What kind of lawn mower should you get, a rider or walk behind?

“Many new lawn care business owners who are just starting out tend to have limited funds so they need to spend their money wisely when purchasing equipment. But what kind of equipment should they get? There are so many options and different styles on the market to choose from? That is the question a new lawn care business owner asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. He wrote “I’m a new solo operator. I have about 12 accounts currently in my first season. I still work full time as a firefighter. I just do lawns on my day off.

Rider or walk behind lawn mower

Rider or walk behind lawn mower

I’m starting to get to the point where I’m thinking about getting something bigger than my 21″ self propelled mower so that I can trim some time off of my larger lawns. I’ve never used a riding lawn mower or a walk behind. I was wondering which one everyone thought I should lean towards. A rider or walk behind?

I have mostly residential accounts, some with fences and some without. I just thought in the long run I’ll need something bigger anyway. What type of mower should I get?”

One member suggested “based on what you wrote I would probably get a garden tractor as it allows you to pull a large number of attachments and offer other services. You can even use it for snow removal etc. I use the X500 series from John Deere, simply amazing tractors with excellent cut quality.

If you are only mowing, consider a small ZTR, perhaps something with a 48 or 54″ Deck, they are in my experience 20 to 30% faster than a tractor and you can spin on the fly.

As for brand, there are many, service is critical to me so I opt for John Deere. Selection in my city is very limited also.”

Another member suggested “if you get a rider do not get a tractor. I tried the tractor type and they suck when it comes to mowing for money. If you get a zero turn you also have to think that some homes back gates are limited on size. For me personal my next step upgrade would be a 36 inch walk behind. A 36in mower should cut your mowing time from 40% to 60% (wider cut plus drives faster the a 21 inch).

I started with two 21 inch mowers now I have a 33 inch and a 48 inch walk behind. This now gives me the ability to mow lawns about 70% faster.”

A third member said “I have a small walk behind for lawns behind small gates and or bushes. For larger lawns I have a 42″ cut tractor. I love the tractor. It cut my mowing time down by about 2/3’s. One of the larger lawns I mow took me 3 hours with my walk behind but with my tractor it took a little over an hour to do. And I didn’t even break a sweat.”

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