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Walk behind vs ZTR


Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell

Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:42 PM
xandrew245x xandrew245x is offline
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Default Walk behind vs ZTR

Hey guys, I wondering what the pros and cons are of a walk behind vs a ZTR. Around this time next year I plan to purchase a commercial mower, I decided to use my residential mower and get the most life out of it. I haven't decided if I am going to buy new, or if I will buy used.

If I bought a walk behind I plan on buying a velkye to ride on.

Other than walk behinds being substantially cheaper and lighter than a ZTR, what are some other pros and cons?
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:04 PM
pfreeman pfreeman is offline
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Each has benefits, but the answer is what is your account look like? Gated yards usually don't accept ZTR, nor do steep inclines. ZTR's are great for wide open spaces, but it takes a while to learn not to leave divots in the lawn while turning. Choose the equipment that will make you the most efficient with your accounts. I have a Ferris 61 ZTR and a Scag ProV 36 with a velke. Each was chosen for different account styles.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:13 PM
xandrew245x xandrew245x is offline
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I'm just starting out, I have 4 accounts right now, which are all pretty flat. They range from the biggest being about 1.5 acres to one that is under 1/2 an acre, none have fenced in areas.

I guess I will find out what I need once I pick up a few more clients.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xandrew245x View Post
I'm just starting out, I have 4 accounts right now, which are all pretty flat. They range from the biggest being about 1.5 acres to one that is under 1/2 an acre, none have fenced in areas.

I guess I will find out what I need once I pick up a few more clients.

If you have the means to buy, and have a target neighborhood, and know what the lawn sizes are, buy based on what you have available to mow.

Not sure if that made sense, but here's my example...

I started with a 21" mower. All of my accounts are small/med in size as a result. Let's say I decide to buy a ZTR tomorrow... what will I do with it?
I'll need to find new clients (to use the ZTR) and/or drop the ones I have now because I can barely use a walk behind for my current lawns, let alone a ZTR.

It's "easy" if you have "all" the equipment to cover any type of job, but if you are limited to one or two types of mowers, you need to choose lawns that work with what you have.

Not sure if THAT made any sense either.



I actually DID own a new, homeowner Husqvarna ZTR for a few months this past winter. I had trouble with it and returned it and it was the best thing I could have done. I had VERY few lawns I could use it on and some of those had pretty steep hills. I put that money toward the Ferris walk behind.

Last edited by Hedgemaster; 08-21-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:01 PM
xandrew245x xandrew245x is offline
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It actually all made sense. The areas I would like to target all have at least 1 acre of grass to mow. To be honest, a lot of houses around where I live have decent sized lots anywhere from a half acre to 3-4 acres. A lot of the housing developments have about 2.5 acres.

I was thinking of getting a large walk behind with a velkye, that way if I had hills I had to mow, easy enough to do so, if I had large areas to mow, it was doable.

I think with the advice you gave me though, I should probably shoot for a ZTR, if I can swing it I might pick up a small walk behind, maybe like 36-42" deck.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:00 PM
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Hedge said it best. It all depends on you. Large flat I'd get a big deck ZTR. Smaller areas or fences, I'd go with a 36" walkbehind. Thats just me though. Go with what suits you the best.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:10 PM
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I see a lot of companies around here mowing apartment complexes and other similar places with 48-52" walk behinds, rarely do I see them on a ZTR. However all of the smaller scale businesses have ZTRs
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:15 PM
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A few companies here use walk behinds. Most of them use ztrs with Walkers being the most widely used.
Or who knows, maybe they do have a ZTR and i just don't see it, I usually only see one person on a walk behind and then like 2 or 3 people trimming, so I assume there is another mower somewhere.

I think I am going to go with a ZTR, if I can upgrade my truck and trailer, I may add on a small walk behind for the future, but thats way in the future.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:31 AM
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I started doing my lawns with a 21", but I reached a point where I could only take on so many clients.

The reason most people purchase a zero turn is to increase their speed, this is so that they are able to take on more work.

-

When I purchased a zero turn, my productivity allowed me to take on a lot more clients. There are times where you will have to use a smaller mower for backyards, which is not a huge problem.

If it takes you 20 minutes to mow a front yard, imagine having it done in 5 minutes, then compare the difference on a larger scale;

20mins x 100_clients = 33 hours
5mins x 100_clients = 8 hours

It's about '25' difference.
... 75% decrease.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 08-22-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 View Post
I started doing my lawns with a 21", but I reached a point where I could only take on so many clients.

The reason most people purchase a zero turn is to increase their speed, this is so that they are able to take on more work.

-

When I purchased a zero turn, my productivity allowed me to take on a lot more clients. There are times where you will have to use a smaller mower for backyards, which is not a huge problem.

If it takes you 20 minutes to mow a front yard, imagine having it done in 5 minutes, then compare the difference on a larger scale;

20mins x 100_clients = 33 hours
5mins x 100_clients = 8 hours

It's about '25' difference.
... 75% decrease.
Most of the time you can't top out your speed with a ZTR unless your mowing long strips, so wouldn't a walk behinds maneuverability make up for its less amount of speed?
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