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View Full Version : Walk Behind Vs. Zero Turn Flyer


TeamDynamic
05-01-2010, 10:50 PM
Hey guys I need some help. In my area there are easily more than 100 lawn care companies. Many of the bigger companies are offering prices (12$ for a cut that should cost 18$) that are making it harder for the rest of us. Basically they are hiring illegals that will take dirt cheap wages and throwing them on a bunch of zero turns.

I refuse to advertise based on price, I would much rather promote our quality of work. In an effort to separate my company from the rest of the pack I'm trying to design a flyer based around the fact that we don't use big riding mowers on your home.

So what would be pros of a walk behind vs. the cons of a zero turn?

I'll post the flyer when it's finished

CHEESE2009
05-01-2010, 11:53 PM
So what would be pros of a walk behind vs. the cons of a zero turn?


A walk behind takes a lot more energy from the user than a ZTM. Also, Most of the newer ZTM have easy to access parts, for maintenance so there is nothing to really worry about.

Whatever you choose, you should look into something with a deck that lifts up. This way it's easy to clear out all the caked on grass/debris - & it wont be a hassle to do every day.

Reasons to get a ZTM;

1. Comfort with minimal fatigue
a) You can take on more lawns in a day without cramping up your legs or exhaustion

2. Easier to maneuver
a) This varies, though the controls are very simple. It requires just a touch to move these machines, vs the alternative. Even self propelled walk behinds require more effort to maneuver than ZTM.

3. Wider deck sizes for cutting larger areas in shorter amounts of time - increased productivity
a) You have the perfect view while using a ZTM, you aren't behind your machine - you are right in front of the action basically & able to make better judgements.
b)If you screw up a a line on the grass, it's less overwhelming to redo it - it's all in your fingertips.

TeamDynamic
05-02-2010, 12:12 AM
A walk behind takes a lot more energy from the user than a ZTM. Also, Most of the newer ZTM have easy to access parts, for maintenance so there is nothing to really worry about.

Whatever you choose, you should look into something with a deck that lifts up. This way it's easy to clear out all the caked on grass/debris - & it wont be a hassle to do every day.

Reasons to get a ZTM;

1. Comfort with minimal fatigue
a) You can take on more lawns in a day without cramping up your legs or exhaustion

2. Easier to maneuver
a) This varies, though the controls are very simple. It requires just a touch to move these machines, vs the alternative. Even self propelled walk behinds require more effort to maneuver than ZTM.

3. Wider deck sizes for cutting larger areas in shorter amounts of time - increased productivity
a) You have the perfect view while using a ZTM, you aren't behind your machine - you are right in front of the action basically & able to make better judgements.
b)If you screw up a a line on the grass, it's less overwhelming to redo it - it's all in your fingertips.

I understand the benefits of zero turn from a landscapers point of view. We have a few lazer z's, but we only use the on our commercial crew. I'm looking for more reasons why a home owner would want to go with a company that only uses walk behinds on their residential accounts compared to zero turns.

For example, I had a customer that switched to us because every time the other company would turn around on the zero turn it would tear up the lawn.

CHEESE2009
05-02-2010, 12:43 PM
I understand the benefits of zero turn from a landscapers point of view. We have a few lazer z's, but we only use the on our commercial crew. I'm looking for more reasons why a home owner would want to go with a company that only uses walk behinds on their residential accounts compared to zero turns.

For example, I had a customer that switched to us because every time the other company would turn around on the zero turn it would tear up the lawn.

For sure!


My explanation to my customers was, "we don't use tractors on your lawn, a lot of clients I have received were from other companies tearing up their lawns with them. It takes us a little more time, but we leave less room for error & the outcome is just as beautiful"

BUT because I will be getting a ZTM

I will say, "I chose this model specifically because I wanted a tractor that is lighter & safer to use on lawns like yours. I would not have got this tractor if I knew it would damage your lawn":D

robgee05
05-02-2010, 04:17 PM
When you attach a sulkey on your commerc ial mowers does it tend to tear up grass or not? Im looking at upgrading soon and want to know whats best for residential. How about a stand on like wright stander. Light enough not to tear???

majoe7
05-02-2010, 07:55 PM
every time the other company would turn around on the zero turn it would tear up the lawn. They are in a hurry and don't really know how to use or handle their equipment

I have 3 different kinds of mowers that I use on a daily basis.
1. - 21" Self Propelled John Deere Mower
2. - 36" Commercial Walk Behind G-15 John Deere
3. – 34” Dixie Chopper Silver Eagle Zero Turn

(Also a 48" JD Zero Turn) Back up. I use this as a backup due to the fact that I have several clients that have fences with gates that open 36". With all of these I can make marks in a client’s lawn. At first when I purchased the Dixie and John Deere WB I left some marks. You have to understand the power, speed and handling of these machines. Once you master this you will leave no marks. I went slow at first and talked to others who had some pointers on how to use them. After weeks and years of using these machines I became a pro and others comment on how nice my work is. I have posted some pics of my work and I am proud of how I can leave a clients home looking good.
As Breeze said, there are different reasons to use different equipment and like Andy (Picframer) said, only buy what is best for the job and is going to make you money. All my equipment is paid for and has made me plenty of money with this being a part time job.

Team, you sound like you take pride in your work and I haven’t had any clients tell me that I couldn’t use any of my equipment while maintaining their property. I have had some ask if I could us my push or walk behind on occasion and told them I would if it would benefit their lawn. Many home owners tend to blame the company that cuts their lawn rather than question the company that sprays their lawn. Maybe they see us more often and never see their spray tech. I have had some ask me when there are problems with their lawn if my tires had enough air in them, blades sharp, diseases on my tires transferred to their lawn ect. Some pita, some good concerns. I have dropped some and never have been fired from a job. I tend to educate them on their lawn and problem areas. Let them know what to look for in regards with pest, yellowing, browning, thinning of grass and work hand in hand with their spray company. Rarely, if at all, do I damage the client’s lawn. I have fixed plenty of lawns that have been neglected or not taken care of properly.

John

majoe7
05-02-2010, 08:05 PM
When you attach a sulkey on your commercial mowers does it tend to tear up grass or not?

I have a sulky on my John Deere WB when needed and it has two wheels and a platform. It just follows the mower and does no damage to the grass. I have seen when a LCO uses a single wheel sulky and the grass is moist or they follow the same pattern it begins to leave a small rut. You can see the pattern of two outer wheels and then a single pattern where the sulky wheel was following. Once again it depends on who is operating the equipment and if they care to do a good job. I hope this helps you out.

John

TeamDynamic
05-02-2010, 08:58 PM
When you attach a sulkey on your commerc ial mowers does it tend to tear up grass or not? Im looking at upgrading soon and want to know whats best for residential. How about a stand on like wright stander. Light enough not to tear???

The sulky will not tear up a lawn. If you want to use a sulky and can afford it, go with a hydro. A belt driven mower only has reverse assist and a hydro will actually push you in reverse.

I have heard good things about stand on mowers. They are very popular down south. From what I hear they cut with the speed of a zero turn, but they take up significantly less space on a trailer. The only downfall is that they cost just about as much as a zero turn. So most guys end up sacrificing trailer space for the comfort of sitting.

I'm going to demo a Gravely stander with a floating deck sometime this week. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

TeamDynamic
05-03-2010, 01:31 PM
Here is the new flyer so far. Hopefully it doesn't offend you guys that only use ZTM's. Let me know what you think

CloseCuts
05-11-2010, 07:16 PM
Wow! $12 to $18 a cut? How big our these yards. They must not be but an 1/8 of an acre

robgee05
05-12-2010, 08:35 AM
Here is the new flyer so far. Hopefully it doesn't offend you guys that only use ZTM's. Let me know what you think

But somewhat true. Im sure if you have speedracer on one of those it can cause a lot of damage. What do you cut with TD. Im still on a lawn tractor, but I have been considering a Zturn. What do our other Zturn users Say?

Steve
05-12-2010, 03:58 PM
Here is the new flyer so far. Hopefully it doesn't offend you guys that only use ZTM's. Let me know what you think

That is very creative! I things it's great you play up your positives like that and bring attention to their negatives!

I bet you got a bunch of interesting responses when you handed this flyer out.

TeamDynamic
05-12-2010, 10:47 PM
That is very creative! I things it's great you play up your positives like that and bring attention to their negatives!

I bet you got a bunch of interesting responses when you handed this flyer out.

we just got 10,000 printed up so I'll let you know how it goes.

TeamDynamic
05-12-2010, 10:50 PM
Wow! $12 to $18 a cut? How big our these yards. They must not be but an 1/8 of an acre

The average size is a 1800sq ft house on a 60'X120' .

TeamDynamic
05-12-2010, 10:53 PM
But somewhat true. Im sure if you have speedracer on one of those it can cause a lot of damage. What do you cut with TD. Im still on a lawn tractor, but I have been considering a Zturn. What do our other Zturn users Say?

On our residential accounts we use 52" Gravely hydro walk behind and 32" and 36" Exmark Metro's for back yards

JP Landscaping
05-12-2010, 11:10 PM
10,000 fliers!

How long does it take you to pass them out? and how many people do it?

I printed 5000 and can't seem to pass all of them out.

TeamDynamic
05-12-2010, 11:24 PM
10,000 fliers!

How long does it take you to pass them out? and how many people do it?

I printed 5000 and can't seem to pass all of them out.

Look into finding a canvassing company in your area. I pay a company $.08 per flyer. One person on average can pass out 100 flyers per hour, paying the .08 per flyer is about the same as paying an employee $8 an hour. If you factor in your time supervising you actually save money going with a company. The company I work with can do 20,000 in one day. Just make sure you go with a reliable company (ASK FOR REFERENCES !!!) I've seen guys get burned by not doing their homework. The guy they hired basically just took the money and tossed the flyers in the garbage.

HumanCannonball
05-13-2010, 11:59 AM
Here is the new flyer so far. Hopefully it doesn't offend you guys that only use ZTM's. Let me know what you think

I have no problem with the ad. I can show my customers the lawns that have been cut with the big ZTMs and they can see the difference. Besides the compact soil and track marks, they also seem to leave too much uneven and scalped grass.
For most residential yards a walk-behind is plenty of mower. I use a 52" ExMark walk behind with a velkey, if/when it dies I'll buy another one, the thing has been fabulous.