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View Full Version : Using a Z on smaller yards


Sir mowsalot
03-20-2007, 10:59 AM
This year im wondering wether i should buy a wb or not. I havent used one in about 2 years now, cause ive been doing all my mowing with my wildcat 52". I wanted to be more effecient and time saving, but im thinking some of my customers really dont want the z on their small yards. Being solo i want to make as much time as i can, and i have gotten rid of alot of reallly small lawns in favor of lawns i can use the z on.

Spending the money on a wb is not the problem, it just takes longer using one. You other solo guys, do you just figure that is part of this business and accept it or do you try and build your base around lawns you can just use the z on?

dcondon
03-20-2007, 11:08 AM
We mow some very small yards and they all get done with a Z. Don't have them time to mess around with a WB.

ncls
03-20-2007, 11:13 AM
We don't break out a wb unless the customer specifically requests it. Then the price goes up. Usually, 5 bucks on the small yards.

naturescape
03-20-2007, 11:46 AM
Well........... it DOESN'T take longer to use a WB than a rider on small properties. The opposite is true, with a sulky anyway. I use the Proslide on my WB.

pixr99
03-20-2007, 11:50 AM
Out of curiosity, what's the most common reason that your accounts would rather not have the Z on their lawns? I did grounds maintenance at an amusement park for some years and off-hours daylight being so scarce, the deal was, if you can ride it, you'd better do so in the interest of saving time!

Sir mowsalot
03-20-2007, 11:52 AM
Out of curiosity, what's the most common reason that your accounts would rather not have the Z on their lawns? I did grounds maintenance at an amusement park for some years and off-hours daylight being so scarce, the deal was, if you can ride it, you'd better do so in the interest of saving time!

They say its to heavy.

Jason Rose
03-20-2007, 11:54 AM
That's the tough part to being solo... I realy need a lot of different sized equipment, but only one machine can get used at a time, leaving things sitting on the trailer not making money... I think the 50" - 52" Z is well combined with a 36" of some type. For about 6 years I used a Troybilt 33", then last year I found a used Walker 36" GHS. It's PERFECT for small lawns and a heck of a lot faster and easier on ME than using a 21".

Now, once again, I'm in a quandry... I have many "larger" lawns that I could use a 56 to 60 inch machine on, but, I would still need a medium (48") sized Z, plus the 36" walker... It's all about time! Time can be saved on the large lawns with the larger Z, but switching back and forth between the 3 and jockying them on the trailer eats time.

I too used to turn my nose up at small lawns, or ones with small gates... but now that I have the 36" walker, I welcome them! I know a lot of others may turn them down, not even bid, or bid high because of the extra time needed to mess with them.

Shades of Green LService
03-20-2007, 11:55 AM
They say its to heavy.

So your customers have a weigh station?
-Jay

pixr99
03-20-2007, 12:07 PM
They say its to heavy.

I suppose it's something to consider but I'd be curious on the customer's take regarding why it's acceptable to use a Z or a tractor on a larger lawn. Is turf on a larger lawn inherently more rugged?

If there's no obvious evidence of rutting, it seems that there's no proof to the back customer's theory. The biggest factor is weight per square inch of contact with the ground, in other words, how many tires and how large are they.

Clearly, newly established lawns (younger than a couple seasons) are more prone to rutting as well. Until they compact naturally I try to keep heavy stuff off of them.

All things being equal, I can't imagine you'll have trouble with a mature lawn and nice big fat tires on your Z.

cward
03-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Gate size is the only reason I use a smaller mower. I have a 36" WB. If it doesn't fit through the gate, I typically won't mow it.

topsites
03-20-2007, 03:17 PM
Well........... it DOESN'T take longer to use a WB than a rider on small properties. The opposite is true, with a sulky anyway. I use the Proslide on my WB.

That's right, my 48" proline will whoop a Z on most anything below an acre. And with the velke the wear and tear is no worse on my body, matter of fact it is cheaper not just in labor but cost as well (the Z is a LOT more expensive to run).

It has to do with sheer weight and size, if you take a go kart and a nascar stock car and you put them on a big oval, the nascar wins. But put them on a small gokart track and the nascar is still maneuvering the first few turns by the time the gokart is about done with the lap. Has to do with average speed, if you can maintain 4-6 mph's throughout a 1/4 acre lot, you will finish faster than if you have to speed up and slow down constantly from 0 to 8-10 mph, hard as it sounds to believe consistency wins the race, not top speed.

The Z is so heavy, you have to stop to turn it, and it consumes distance while you're slowing down and speeding up so there's less actual straight line top speed, then it takes longer to turn it, you can't get into the corners as deep so there's more linetrimming, and don't forget it consumes over twice the fuel. But really most of your time is lost slowing down, speeding up, and turning.

I don't even load the Z unless I got acre+ lots on my schedule, it digs into my truck's mpg right nasty as well, plus I have to drive easier with it on the trailer due to the weight.

MTR
03-20-2007, 04:10 PM
This year im wondering wether i should buy a wb or not. I havent used one in about 2 years now, cause ive been doing all my mowing with my wildcat 52". I wanted to be more effecient and time saving, but im thinking some of my customers really dont want the z on their small yards. Being solo i want to make as much time as i can, and i have gotten rid of alot of reallly small lawns in favor of lawns i can use the z on.

Spending the money on a wb is not the problem, it just takes longer using one. You other solo guys, do you just figure that is part of this business and accept it or do you try and build your base around lawns you can just use the z on?

Being solo, you'd better stick with your wildcat cause wb is not worth using. I only use wb on properties with hills and slopes. The time saved out of cutting is well worth besides energy saved from manhandling wb. 3-1, z will save you everything. I have used 52" eXmark tracer for 3 years and 2 years on Gravely 152 z, the z help me get second truck and new engine for my boat within 1 year...business volume is doubled and tripled cause I am not beaten to death running my Gravely, compared to my TTHP which is great but it take your life out of you running 5 days a week, of course sulkied. Now, I have helpers so everything is even faster and more money in pocket.
Stick with your wildcat. period.

MSS Mow
03-20-2007, 04:54 PM
Well........... it DOESN'T take longer to use a WB than a rider on small properties. The opposite is true, with a sulky anyway. I use the Proslide on my WB.

Can anyone actually prove this? Either way? Which is faster.

I think it depends on many factors such as type of lawn, operator, size of each mower, etc, etc, etc.

I would like to see some specific comparisons between mowers on the same exact property with all the details. mower size, deck size, hp, etc.

I mow all my lawns with my large Z but I've never used a comparable walk behind. If you put a 72" Z on a lawn and a 48" walkbehind, the walkbehind has an extra 2 feet of cutting to make up every swipe. That's why we need to be comparing apples to apples when saying which one is quicker.

Shades of Green LService
03-20-2007, 05:50 PM
Can anyone actually prove this? Either way? Which is faster.

I think it depends on many factors such as type of lawn, operator, size of each mower, etc, etc, etc.

I would like to see some specific comparisons between mowers on the same exact property with all the details. mower size, deck size, hp, etc.

I mow all my lawns with my large Z but I've never used a comparable walk behind. If you put a 72" Z on a lawn and a 48" walkbehind, the walkbehind has an extra 2 feet of cutting to make up every swipe. That's why we need to be comparing apples to apples when saying which one is quicker.

It's all relevant on a small yard. Just get a Stander and you'r problem is solved.
-Jay

ed2hess
03-20-2007, 07:51 PM
I suppose it's something to consider but I'd be curious on the customer's take regarding why it's acceptable to use a Z or a tractor on a larger lawn. Is turf on a larger lawn inherently more rugged?

If there's no obvious evidence of rutting, it seems that there's no proof to the back customer's theory. The biggest factor is weight per square inch of contact with the ground, in other words, how many tires and how large are they.

Clearly, newly established lawns (younger than a couple seasons) are more prone to rutting as well. Until they compact naturally I try to keep heavy stuff off of them.

All things being equal, I can't imagine you'll have trouble with a mature lawn and nice big fat tires on your Z.

It is a lot simpler than you think they don't want to see a big monster machine wipping around their yard at 13mph....they are afraid that their stuff is gong to get damaged. And ...more importantly those customers that are at home want to see you sweat and do some work...not 15 minutes and you are gone. By the way more urban yards are less than 10K in our area and you definitely CAN NOT fit any big rider into the yard anyway.

daveintoledo
03-20-2007, 08:05 PM
if it will fit, i use it,.. just be careful.... if anyone complains about the big mower, i just say " ok, ill use a push mower for 6 times the cost.... "

but really, it leaves such a great cut i have no complaints or problems..... i will ride vs walk, anyday.....

SouthernYankee
03-20-2007, 08:12 PM
I run a Gravely 34" ztr, its a great machine and in the world of 36" gates and 105+ in the summer, its a great machine.


The down points are that it can track on small properties because there is only one way to mow. Overall its a great machine and works well for me.

ed2hess
03-20-2007, 11:34 PM
I run a Gravely 34" ztr, its a great machine and in the world of 36" gates and 105+ in the summer, its a great machine.


The down points are that it can track on small properties because there is only one way to mow. Overall its a great machine and works well for me.

We have been using 36" hydro units and a Standar and we have found tracking but fortunately none of the customers have called us on it.

stuffdeer
03-20-2007, 11:38 PM
That's the tough part to being solo... I realy need a lot of different sized equipment, but only one machine can get used at a time, leaving things sitting on the trailer not making money... I think the 50" - 52" Z is well combined with a 36" of some type. For about 6 years I used a Troybilt 33", then last year I found a used Walker 36" GHS. It's PERFECT for small lawns and a heck of a lot faster and easier on ME than using a 21".

Now, once again, I'm in a quandry... I have many "larger" lawns that I could use a 56 to 60 inch machine on, but, I would still need a medium (48") sized Z, plus the 36" walker... It's all about time! Time can be saved on the large lawns with the larger Z, but switching back and forth between the 3 and jockying them on the trailer eats time.

I too used to turn my nose up at small lawns, or ones with small gates... but now that I have the 36" walker, I welcome them! I know a lot of others may turn them down, not even bid, or bid high because of the extra time needed to mess with them.


I agree with you. I have a 50" Cub Cadet Z, and a 36" Ferris Walk Behind with a Sulke. Best setup in my opinion for a Solo Operation. And it all fits nicely on a 5x10.

brucec32
03-22-2007, 07:10 PM
Can anyone actually prove this? Either way? Which is faster.

I think it depends on many factors such as type of lawn, operator, size of each mower, etc, etc, etc.

I would like to see some specific comparisons between mowers on the same exact property with all the details. mower size, deck size, hp, etc.

I mow all my lawns with my large Z but I've never used a comparable walk behind. If you put a 72" Z on a lawn and a 48" walkbehind, the walkbehind has an extra 2 feet of cutting to make up every swipe. That's why we need to be comparing apples to apples when saying which one is quicker.

Proof? No. But on some small/medium sized home lawns I've finished faster with a 44" belt drive wb and velke than with a 48" ztr. You can turn faster w/o damaging turf. It all depends on turf quality, slopes, moisture, etc. But I use ztrs whenever posssible. And the only reason I use a wb now is gates and terrain so undulating that larger decks don't give as good a cut.

And anyone who says using a velke isn't harder on your body hasn't been using one long! I had knee and foot problems for years till I switched. I'm older yet have no knee pain. It has to be the velke.

I enjoy using wb's more, and I think the lighter footprint in some cases gives a nicer look, but they do take more energy and I wouldn't do it every day. You really need both types to cover the gamut of lawn types anyway.

vtscaper
03-22-2007, 07:40 PM
I think that using a wb on smaller lawns with obstacles is more efficient, and leaves a nicer cut. We have some lawns that can be done with the z but actually take the same amount of time and stripe nicer with the wb. You should look into a wb with a width the same as your z for a couple of reasons. One being on small lawns your rarely have the z wide open so with a similar deck, productivity should be the same if not bettter. Second being that your stripes will match up nicely. For instance if you have a real tight front yard and large back yard, hit the front and cut in the perimeter in the back with the walk then hop on the z and hammer the rest. Up here in VT you just cant get by without a wb. I think its a wise investment.

MSS Mow
03-22-2007, 11:40 PM
Proof? No. But on some small/medium sized home lawns I've finished faster with a 44" belt drive wb and velke than with a 48" ztr. You can turn faster w/o damaging turf. It all depends on turf quality, slopes, moisture, etc. But I use ztrs whenever posssible. And the only reason I use a wb now is gates and terrain so undulating that larger decks don't give as good a cut.

And anyone who says using a velke isn't harder on your body hasn't been using one long! I had knee and foot problems for years till I switched. I'm older yet have no knee pain. It has to be the velke.

I enjoy using wb's more, and I think the lighter footprint in some cases gives a nicer look, but they do take more energy and I wouldn't do it every day. You really need both types to cover the gamut of lawn types anyway.


That's kind of what I was trying to get at. There are several variables that come into play when trying to determine which is faster and more importantly which provides a better cut. You bring up some very good points here.

green acres lawns
03-23-2007, 12:27 AM
The new Walker model mB would solve all your problems.

lawnprosteveo
03-26-2007, 11:55 PM
I am solo...my wife does help me some. Most of my prperties are around 5,000 to 8,000 sf....I run a 48" JD Quik-Trak on all of them. I have a Toro 36 wb to get in areas with a smaller gate. Then a Toro 21 for really tight areas.
The JD is perfect for small residentials. I have found it doesnt scalp as easy as a 52 or 60, it gets in tight areas between houses and around beds. I have a discharge plate over the discharge so I dont throw grass in beds....I think a solo guy needs a mower like this. If you can, get one and just plan on always having one.