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walk behind mowers pros and cons??

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walk behind mowers pros and cons??

Old 09-30-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default walk behind mowers pros and cons??

I'm still looking for a nice zero turn, but on my search I've found really nice and well kept standing or walk behind mowers on the 36 to 48" range...

Aside from the obvious reasons, like standing vs sitting, smaller wheel diameter and traction, what are the pros and cons, of the walk behind when compared with a zero turn...

I mean, are they specific for a particular task or terrain??
I've seen the landscape guys here using both , so I was wondering what would be the benefits, to evaluate to get one instead of a zero turn....


THANKS!!!
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:55 PM
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How many acres do you have to mow? A 48'' walk behind can make short work of an acre or two before you really get tired from standing. Obviously you want a sulky or velke to go with it, belt driven should be ok pulling you if you don't weight too much, >225 or so I would say, over that then lean towards a hydraulic driven unit.

They arent specific to a terrain or task, some take a little more time to adjust the deck height on than others and definately longer than a zero turn but if you only cut your lawn then that isn't a problem for you. If you have any gates to fit through then you obviously want a smaller walk behind.

The biggest pro would probably be less cost unless you are talking about brand new large hydraulically driven units.

Cons ... time to change cutting height, uncomfortable after a very extended period of time. Maneuverability, again unless you have a hydralic unit in mind, reverse is not something you use on these, you never use reverse period if you are standing on a sulky as its very dangerous. They will turn left and right just fine but can leave some nasty skids until you are very good at running one.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:57 AM
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if you want to get hemeroids, get fat, pay large bills getting it maintained... go with a sit down zero turn.

Go with a walk-behind, Kawasaki motor, and if you get tires you can always throw the stand up sulky on..
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:59 AM
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Also, a walk behind generally is safer than a sit on zero turn if you mow steep hills. With a walk behind, the overall center of gravity is lower, you can shift your weight easier, and you can bail quicker than if you're sitting on top of the machine.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:03 AM
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I find the bagging on a walk behind sucks. not nearly the volume of the rear bag sit downs and they tend to clog easier, at least mine does.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:46 AM
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Mowing Area would be an acre, definitely will get a sulky, no bagging, couple of trees and fences to go around, other than a steep slope around the lake, no other elevation.

the deal about not being able to back-up kind of concern me....

how about getting traction on the wheels... I have some places wher if the thread on the wheels are not good they tend to spin, also the diameter and width on the walk behind is smaller than on the riding ones so would this be an issue???

Are the walk behind also considered zero turn???
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:48 AM
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With a walk behind you cannot drink a beer when cutting grass.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:50 AM
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new meaning for ... don't drink and drive...LOL
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
With a walk behind you cannot drink a beer when cutting grass.
That's what I love about my John Deere - Nice big cupholder that will hold a beer in a koozie without issue.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ReelWork View Post
That's what I love about my John Deere - Nice big cupholder that will hold a beer in a koozie without issue.
The purchase of my Craftman lawnmower pended on if a koozie could fit in the drink holder. I told the salesman I'd get the mower if a koozie would fit in the drink holder and he laughed. I looked at him again and said I'm not joking. It took him 20min to find a koozie but when he cam back it fit and we closed the deal. He even through in the koozie he had to go buy from another store.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
With a walk behind you cannot drink a beer when cutting grass.
thats bs


http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&e...w=1024&bih=572
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:58 AM
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I use a 48" John Deere belt drive walk behind in Maine and I walk it. I'm cutting a little over an acre and one half. I'll admit that drinking a beer and riding around is OK and it sucks walking when it's hot an humid. My terrain is varied and there are areas (even though small) that a rider is not going to go on so I'd still need some sort of walk behind. The plus of a rider is that the wife offered to cut the grass and I was seriously leaning in that direction.

That all said I'm getting a little older and heavier. My BP is on the high side and I take meds for it. I also spend more time at a desk or doing things that are less and less labor intensive. The fast paced walk in 3rd gear is not doing me any harm and it lasts an hour and change.

You'll save a bunch of coin with a walker and they are very simple to work on once set up. I can change out a set (3) of blades in less than 5 minutes and truthfully it takes longer to gather the tools and put them away. No need for some silly ramp either, push down on the handles and walk the machine onto a single jack stand or block of wood. Blade height adjustments is a simple stack of spacers.

A walk behind will out cut a standard rider every day of the week and straight lines are very easy to achive. The costs are similar for like quality machines.
A good zero turn is not cheap.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by emudryj View Post
Mowing Area would be an acre, definitely will get a sulky, no bagging, couple of trees and fences to go around, other than a steep slope around the lake, no other elevation.

the deal about not being able to back-up kind of concern me....

how about getting traction on the wheels... I have some places wher if the thread on the wheels are not good they tend to spin, also the diameter and width on the walk behind is smaller than on the riding ones so would this be an issue???

Are the walk behind also considered zero turn???

Traction should not be an issue, you can always get new tires for your machine. You can back the machine up its just not quick and easy like a rider. Diameter and width of the tires doesn't matter, it all translates to the PSI being exerted on the ground. Riders need large, wide tires to distribute their weight over a larger area so that they do not create excessive ruts in the ground. Walk behind machines are lighter and therefore don't need wide tires.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:38 PM
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If you get a walk behind belt driven...be advised...they dont back up on grass.. the outa remove the 'R' from the gear label and put a 'P' for pull back after half braken...

if you want to back up easy..get a hydrostatic and spend the extra grand or 2.. BUT dont hit a stump and always keep the hydrolic lines from freezing if your doing a fall clean up in freezing temps..
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:06 PM
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I've always just pulled the machine backwards or use a hill. Reverse is next to useless on a belt drive.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:51 PM
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since I have you all here.. how is this 1300hs for a riding SCAG??? is that a lot or not???
probably used commercial

http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/grd/1983611857.html
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:53 AM
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i bought a new 36" exmark a couple years ago. belt driven and love it for what i do.i have have a 1/3 acre and bought it to cut down on my mowing time. i just leave the beers at strategic locations so i can stop while i cut so i dont get dehydrated
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by emudryj View Post
since I have you all here.. how is this 1300hs for a riding SCAG??? is that a lot or not???
probably used commercial

http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/grd/1983611857.html
It's all about preventative maintenance. I've seen guys beat stuff so hard at 1500 hours it's scrap iron. Scag is a very good mower. My scaper has a fleet of them.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:05 PM
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Walk behinds are cheaper, better for tight areas, better on slopes and thats about it for pros. Belt drives will work in reverse but it is more of an assist. You can get a walk behind as a belt drive (meaning belts drive the tires off a pulley) or hydro drive. The belt drives are cheaper but do not function as well when they get wet and require replacement or maintenance more often. The belt drives will require some practice as well as time to build up your forearm strength because of constantly squeezing the brakes. A walk behind is not as fast as a zero turn rider, the hydro walk behinds will perform a zero degree turn but depending on your sulky, that may not be possible.
Neither the walk behinds or zero turns, assuming we are talking about commercial units, will require much maintenance, especially only mowing an acre a week.
As far as the Scag goes, my biggest concern would be the motor, if you can have it checked out by a dealer and all looks good, I would not worry too much about the hours. Depending on how it was used, its not hard to put 1500 hrs on a commercial mower in 2-3 years.
Another option is the Wright brand of mowers, kind of a cross between a walk behind and a zero turn.
http://www.wrightmfg.com/
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:37 PM
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I had a Wheel Horse tractor style forever, decided zero turn was the rage of the age so bought a big $5000.00 Gravely, it's a nice machine and no problems in 3 years but I wouldn't consider a zero turn again, if you try tight turns they will scoot up your yard, if you aren't paying particular attention they will hook fences and tree's turning with the rear of the machine, I mow 2 ditch banks that are semi steep, the mower keeps sliding to the bottom of the ditch, the old tractor type held it's line, the newer tractor types with hydro static trans are really more suited for yard work,they shift good and smooth and their turning radius's are better, they are also easier to pull around an attachment, and a HELL of a lot easier to enjoy a beer with while you mow.
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