View Full Version : Commercial WB or Z-Turn?

12-06-2007, 10:15 PM
Hey guys!

Just gettin another one of my ?'s in. Anyways, I'm looking to buy a new commercial grade walk behind or zero turn. To be honest, all I use right now are are commercial 21" trim mowers. This is the time of the year to get a he@$ of a deal on lawn equiptment from my local retailer. So my question is, Should i get a nice, wide walk behind or a small,compact zero? As far as brands go, I want commercial duribility but inexpensive price, Toro as been my prime but idk. I'm on a budget and just don't know if I can afford one. PLEASE help!

12-06-2007, 10:19 PM
What kind of budget are you in? WB are a lot less expensive then z-turns. But I am sure you are now aware. Have you looked into brands besides Toro? What sized properties do you currently have, and do you plan on expanding to larger lots?

12-06-2007, 10:27 PM

Thanks ritchiem for responding. Well, right now I am servicing mid size yards but my 21" are beginning to get a little small. I already have a commercial apartment complex that wants me to mow this upcoming season so I think i may need an upgrade lol. As far as brands, i don't really mind. I've looked at toro and john deere but I know i can get cheaper prices with other retailers. What do you think i should do? thanks!

12-06-2007, 10:36 PM
Well first off a 36"-48" walkbehind mower (belt/gear/hydro driven) would be a nice addition for you. Once you get a lager deck size your productivity goes up and you can do more work in a day...so anything larger then your 21" deck will be nice. The walkbehind mowers still have the versatility of a push mower for getting into tight spaces and mowing berms however there still is the fatigue factor. If you are mowing say 20 lawns per day your legs may feel like jello. And that is where a Z-turn can save you time and energy. But they tend to cost a lot more. If I were you I would invest in a good mid-ranged walkbehind mower.

12-07-2007, 12:14 AM
I'm with ritchie on this.

If you have a variety of styles of lawns a walkbehind will be the most versatile tool you can buy. They handle inclines, ditches, flats, tight spots, etc. like no other mower. I have nothing against Z's or riders but if I had my choice of 1 it would be a walkbehind everytime.

I will be demoing new mowers in the coming months so my opinion might change on toro's but here's how it stands right now...

I've always found Toro a bit light for my taste. I like a good heavy deck...made like a tank. When I accidently slam into a tree trunk, I don't want it to damage the metal. Also, light decks bounce around (even the floater decks) and cause uneven cuts on rough ground.

If you're going to skrimp on price, ditch things like hydro drive and auto start.

Don't try to save money on things like the motor, bearings, spindles, tranny. Those are the things that go wrong quickest so get the best quality you can.

Those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head. I'd love to hear comments from the pro-toro guys out there to help me change my mind.

Good luck with your expansion:


12-07-2007, 09:14 AM

OK Thanks! I'm only 14 so you might have to bear with me on this.... what is the differrence between hydro, belt, and gear driven walk behinds. And yes I think a walk behind is a much better choice now that i think about it. So what other types and brands do you think would work for me? Thanks!!!

12-07-2007, 04:42 PM
Heres my addition into the mix. http://betteroutdoorproducts.com/

this is what I will be getting, if things go well, next year.

12-08-2007, 09:24 PM
hey those Better walk behinds look really great. I'm really interested in them. I think the original,
Quick 36 Super Fox™ Hydrostatic Commercial Lawn Mower, is kinda like Toro's 30984 15 HP, 36" TURBO FORCE, Pistol Grips.

The price in't even close and I like the idea of free shipping.
Do you think being that lightweight is good? Like Keith said, too light might make it bounce up and down for a uneven cut. But it could also be great for menuvering and loading. IDK Help me out! thanks

Here's a pic of each of them

12-08-2007, 09:26 PM

12-08-2007, 10:01 PM
Luke do any of your local dealers have these mowers? Could you demo a heavier one and then a lighter one?

12-08-2007, 11:58 PM
Well, I was actually thinking that idea myself! Normally, do reatailers like this allow demos for little or no cost?
But the only problem for the Quick walkbehind is they are only on the internet. There are many reatilers in my community with other brands but I was getting really interested in the Quick. Thanks for ythe idea!

12-09-2007, 02:37 AM
Well I wouldn't know if the dealers in your area offer this but it wouldn't hurt to ask them.

12-09-2007, 10:28 AM
Here is my thoughts and input on this, you are young and you say your budget is low, with you just getting started you might want to consider buying something used maybe 4-5 years old, get another season under your belt and and then buy a bigger new unit. Stay with the smaller 36" but look for belt but if you can swing it buy a hydo over the belt.

Tips for buying Used;

Belt drive; check wear of drive pullies and belt, check the oil/dip stick see if the oil is dark and if the stick has dark marks at the oil level (dark marks indicate it was ran with low oil and may have been heated. Check and make sure it was greased properly look for wear on spindles and look for stress cracks. if it has chain driven axels check the chain and sprocket, start it and listen for any sounds that may on seem right, and ask them to cut a small area so you can see it engage and disenage with no trouble, finally and only after it has ran smell the oil to see if it smells like gas if it dont good if it does walk away and keep looking.

Hydro: Chcck all the same as I listed above but check the hydro steering make sure it doesnt stick, creep or pull to one side (if *Dual Pumps) if it does creep a little it probly will be ok for your work load at this time. Some newer units have a bleeder to correct the pulling or you can do minor adjustment to the hydro engagement arms to correct it. Check the hydro fluid it should have a little oil small but if it smells like a burnt pan on the stove it may need new fluid.

Ask how many hours are on the units, and ask if they were rotation units or everyday units.

Good luck hunting.

PS Your young you may get a better deal if you call some of the Larger LCO's in your area and see if they have any for sale that they may be looking to replace in the upcoming season.

12-09-2007, 10:30 AM
My only experience with walkbehinds has been with Exmark...so I am very judgemental on them when it comes to quality. Mind you, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg for one, they are imo one of the best names in commercial walkbehinds. But I am sure that Toro you have pictured there is right along the same price...anyways, Toro and Emark are one and the same branding companies.

12-09-2007, 11:13 AM

Quote[/b] ]Your young you may get a better deal if you call some of the Larger LCO's in your area and see if they have any for sale that they may be looking to replace in the upcoming season

Thats a great idea! But where else might I be able to find used equipment? Everyday I check the newspaper classified section and still nothing! lol Do you think it's a good idea to place an ad that says I am looking for slightly used commercial lawn equipment? Or should I just save the expense and just "hunt" around? thanks

Realistic Lawn Care
12-10-2007, 10:35 AM
heres my outtake on equiptment buying. you are young you need to look for a new used machine i just went a bought a 48inch walkbehind exmark turf tracer hydro, i bought it for 3,000 new machine like that is 5,500 and mine is in really good conditon.but if your gonna buy a new machine and you can pay cash for it i would go exmark. check out there website productivity increases with that machine

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
12-10-2007, 03:24 PM
Try making yourself known at some of the local equipment dealers. Inform them you are looking for a good quality machine. Chances are you can score a machine that was maintained by the dealer and traded in for a newer rig. They can also let other customers know that you are looking.

12-12-2007, 07:46 PM
Quote[/b] ]Try making yourself known at some of the local equipment dealers. Inform them you are looking for a good quality machine. Chances are you can score a machine that was maintained by the dealer and traded in for a newer rig. They can also let other customers know that you are looking.

ok I will definately do that. My local Toro dealer already does know me pretty well but I will expand to different dealer, too. Thanks!