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Walk Behind Vs. Rider (z or otherwise)


Truck, Trailer, and Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs.

Questions on your truck, trailer, commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders??
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:39 AM
lukus223 lukus223 is offline
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Default Walk Behind Vs. Rider (z or otherwise)

Hello All,

I seldom post here, been so busy this year. In my area lawns are pretty small. Most residentals are only .25 to .33 acres. I have got by the last couple of years with commercial 22" mowers. I am ready to make the jump and get a bigger machine. Was debating on a 36" walkbehind or a small rider. Wanted to hear some opinions from others who have made the jump. Pros and Cons? Did one not work for you and the other was the answer?
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukus223 View Post
Hello All,

I seldom post here, been so busy this year. In my area lawns are pretty small. Most residentals are only .25 to .33 acres. I have got by the last couple of years with commercial 22" mowers. I am ready to make the jump and get a bigger machine. Was debating on a 36" walkbehind or a small rider. Wanted to hear some opinions from others who have made the jump. Pros and Cons? Did one not work for you and the other was the answer?
It will probably come down to price and what you are willing to spend or what is available used to buy. Hills may also effect your decision.

Either way your productivity goes up.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:35 PM
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Speaking of "productivity"...

Does it really go up? I was thinking about this the other day because I was considering getting a walk behind next season. I'm a one-man operation and I have to wonder if I'll still need to use my 21" mower to get to places a walk behind won't go. If so, it seems I'd be wasting time loading/unloading TWO mowers. Perhaps my fears are unfounded though?

I've never used a walk behind, so I don't really know what the pros/cons are.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
Speaking of "productivity"...

Does it really go up? I was thinking about this the other day because I was considering getting a walk behind next season. I'm a one-man operation and I have to wonder if I'll still need to use my 21" mower to get to places a walk behind won't go. If so, it seems I'd be wasting time loading/unloading TWO mowers. Perhaps my fears are unfounded though?

I've never used a walk behind, so I don't really know what the pros/cons are.
It would depend on the size of the yards. If it takes you 10 min to mow the whole thing with a 21in mower and 3min front with large walk behind and 6min to mow the back but a min of transition between mowers no it doesnt make sense.

But if save you time especially in a one man operation then I'm all for it personally. Also I personally think the yard looks better mowed with a larger deck as it has a more even look. But that is just me. Almost golf coarse like.

If your a numbers guy and have the mow time calculators play with them. Its actually interesting what situations pay off more then others.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:06 AM
lukus223 lukus223 is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys. I do have some pretty sharp sloped lawns, but they are pretty small and would probably be easier with my 22". Price is always an issue, but if I am going to by big I plan on droppings some serious $$. I am also hesitent to buy this big a purchase used. I will almost certainly buy new. Our local commercial landscape dealers are real good guys and carry a good variety of stuff. I' thinking the walk behind may be the way to go unless some one has a real strong opinion about riders being better.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:40 PM
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Well the walk behind would be better for the hills but if we are talking productivity same size mowers the zero turn is faster. You can only walk so fast unless you get a sulky and then you have to worry about proper hp(most newer models do have enough but then it also comes down to motor size).

I stepped away and don't remember what else I was going to say so... that it I suppose.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:27 AM
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I have a few mowers and I am a one man band. I have a 21" Mower one house needs it on the side no other mower fits between a tree and a A/C unit. It's just to big to really weedeat all of it. I have a 36" Wright Sentar and a 52" Wright Sentar and a 32" Exmark walk behind w/ Sulky (I'm lazy I admit it). I started with the 32. I stepped up to the 52 and realized how much time I saved using that then the exmark (backing up=horrible w/sulky). I bought the 36 Wright to see how much of a difference it makes. The width it fits in all of my back yards (I was worried). The 36 Wright fits better in yards because it isn't as long as the exmark walk behind. That thing saves SOOOOOO much time compared to the Exmark and your not tired when your done because I can stand or sit (again I'm Lazy). It takes a little over an hour to do a block with 5 houses on it. I have a great system for myself set up. I used to use the 52 and 36 the 36 is actually faster (ground speed) then the 52 I don't even take it out unless its an open yard with no fences. I would go with a rider (my opinion) 36 or 32 depending on what's available in your area. I am seriously thinking about kicking in for the Peco Z Trimmer ( http://www.lawnvac.com/trimmer/z-trimmer ) to see how it works and see if it saves me time. If anyone has one of those I would like pros and cons on that too. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgemaster View Post
Speaking of "productivity"...
If it takes an hour w the 22" it would be closer to 20 minutes on a 36" walk behind w/sulky. The smaller the yard, the less of a productivity gain. Walk behind not great in corners & doesn't back up well so it will depend on the type of stuff that you do.
We will not even bid on anything anymore that has to be done with a push mower - you just can't push that thing fast enough to make much money. Properties close together & increased productivity from the larger machines is where you will make your money, especially if you are a solo op. I am not saying that you can't make money with the 22"s, just that there is an easier way to do it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:33 AM
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Thanks again for all the thoughts and opinions.

I am starting to question the benefits of a larger mower. Like I mentioned before, lawns here are small. I would say 75% of my accounts take me less than 25 minutes with the 22" mowers. Of course this is with a helper. I may see if they have a demo I could take out (do any of your dealers do this??) just to see if it's worth the few grand.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukus223 View Post
Hello All,

I seldom post here, been so busy this year. In my area lawns are pretty small. Most residentals are only .25 to .33 acres. I have got by the last couple of years with commercial 22" mowers. I am ready to make the jump and get a bigger machine. Was debating on a 36" walkbehind or a small rider. Wanted to hear some opinions from others who have made the jump. Pros and Cons? Did one not work for you and the other was the answer?


My 42" machine can get through just about every gate. A 36" will be fantastic! Though, I do figure it's not much of an improvement from using a 21"....

Get a zero-turn, nothing else. Easiest to load in/out of a trailer, and you have a lower center of gravity = +safety +control!

As you grow, you will be glad to have the ability to sit down. It's not fun mowing, trimming, and blowing all of your properties alone. Give yourself a break in the future, get a ZTM!
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