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jeffex
09-20-2008, 07:27 AM
First let me apologize for ever posting on this site that 1/4 acre lawns didn't need a lazer!!! A ZTR what ever brand is worth the money. My thread is to give a review of my purchase . Exmark lazer Zhp 52" trivantage deck with 23hp Kohler. I have been able to cut in dry grass and wet tall grass with one pass. I have one 1 acre lawn that had wet tall grass and it cut one pass at full speed with the deflector up and dispersed very nicely. I have the same deck on myWBs and striping is good even without a roller. There is no bogging down of the Kohler in the tall wet grass. I am able to cut at least 1 to 2 more lawns in the same time as my walkbehinds and the fatigue factor is way down. The lazer requires a greater concentration level but the floating deck makes cutting almost idiot proof. The worst part is operator error in making the zero turn ( wheel marks in the grass)and that is solved by a bag of grass seed and a simple explanation to my customers of a break in period for the new machine and my skill level. NO complaints as I had feared any many seem mezmerized with the machine . I chose the exmark as its reputation proceded itself and the HP model is smaller for my size lawns. Just the deck height adjustment alone goes a long way to reduce opperator fatigue vs constant changing of shims on my fixed deck walkbehinds. I have OCDCs on my walkbehinds but with a lazer you can just cut backwards so that install (OCDC) may wait until next season. I don't have any experience with other ZTRs so my opinions are only of this model . I can say that the stiff price tag of $6799 seems miles away as each evening I am less tired and making more $ per HR. I am very happy with the controls and opperation of my mower and was even happier I could fit it and a 36" toro WB parked sideways on my 5X10 trailer. "gitcha one if ya' kin"

hackitdown
09-20-2008, 08:34 AM
I couldn't say it better. Worth every penney.

punt66
09-20-2008, 08:55 AM
Yea i see peope on this site saying ztr's are a waste of money. Its usually people who have never owned one. I wouldnt be in this business without one. They are actually more manuverable in tight spaces than a walkbehind and like you said more profitable with little fatigue. Good post.

Mowbizz
09-20-2008, 11:07 AM
First let me apologize for ever posting on this site that 1/4 acre lawns didn't need a lazer!!! A ZTR what ever brand is worth the money. My thread is to give a review of my purchase . Exmark lazer Zhp 52" trivantage deck with 23hp Kohler. I have been able to cut in dry grass and wet tall grass with one pass. I have one 1 acre lawn that had wet tall grass and it cut one pass at full speed with the deflector up and dispersed very nicely. I have the same deck on myWBs and striping is good even without a roller. There is no bogging down of the Kohler in the tall wet grass. I am able to cut at least 1 to 2 more lawns in the same time as my walkbehinds and the fatigue factor is way down. The lazer requires a greater concentration level but the floating deck makes cutting almost idiot proof. The worst part is operator error in making the zero turn ( wheel marks in the grass)and that is solved by a bag of grass seed and a simple explanation to my customers of a break in period for the new machine and my skill level. NO complaints as I had feared any many seem mezmerized with the machine . I chose the exmark as its reputation proceded itself and the HP model is smaller for my size lawns. Just the deck height adjustment alone goes a long way to reduce opperator fatigue vs constant changing of shims on my fixed deck walkbehinds. I have OCDCs on my walkbehinds but with a lazer you can just cut backwards so that install (OCDC) may wait until next season. I don't have any experience with other ZTRs so my opinions are only of this model . I can say that the stiff price tag of $6799 seems miles away as each evening I am less tired and making more $ per HR. I am very happy with the controls and opperation of my mower and was even happier I could fit it and a 36" toro WB parked sideways on my 5X10 trailer. "gitcha one if ya' kin"

I love my Lazer hp 50" Triton AND 23HP Kawisaki...don't use my Toro belt drive 40" WB at all anymore...I am seriously thinking of giving the WB up and getting a leaf loader system then picking up a Quick 36 during the winter for the possibility that I'd ever need a walk behind in the future. It just does not get used and is taking up room on my trailer.

jeffex
09-20-2008, 09:30 PM
I still have a few back yards that I can't use it on but I may be making a deal with some customers to put in a larger gate. Even if I donate my labor in december or march it might be worth the effort for a few lawns. I just picked up a new lawn friday that it will fit in the gate if I remove the discharge chute or get the flexible one or even an OCDC. It changes your mindset as to what is workable for you own business plan. Years of riding a velkey and bouncing hard over rough drought hardened clay soil took its toll. One day riding and I only wish I had made the move 10 yrs ago. I agree on the quick 36 dully . its small foot print and hill holding ability with the dual hydro may put one of those on my trailer too. With my current lawns a WB is still needed.

mississippiturf
09-20-2008, 09:37 PM
Welcome to a new world of mowing! I get tickled reading the posts about what a waste to mow 1/4 acre lawns with a ztr.

ZTR's RULE!!!!!!!!

jeffex
09-20-2008, 09:47 PM
well i'm a convert!!! A few new issues of maintenance with a battery but I can get a solar trickle charger to act as a battery tender. I can still lift the front up to clean and check the blades but it takes a little more umph!!! I just use my floor jack when I'm home. As the mower ages I may keep my battery charger on my truck though since a ztr doesn't look like fun to push or pull when it won't start!

landscaper22
09-20-2008, 10:54 PM
Jeffex, we seem to always have the same opinions. I don't know if we are smart or dumb, but we are in the same boat. We must be long lost brothers...:laugh: I love my Lazer Z HP with the Tri-vantage. I am pushing close to 1000 hours on mine. I also have an Exmark walk behind 36" that just sits in the shed. They do have their purpose, but I rarely use mine. It is the one piece of equipment that I feel was the biggest waste of my money. Talk about working you to death.....I would rather use my 21" snapper than that 36". I once had 3-4 properties with the big back yards and small gates. But I no longer have them. I would almost rather turn down those properties than have to deal with that dang walk behind.

jeffex
09-20-2008, 11:12 PM
landscaper22 you must be the smartest guy in SC then LOL. I 'm not going to be tooo quick to cut anyone loose just because of my purchase. However, I will be looking for lawns where I can utilize this piece of equipment. I developed tendonitis in both hips and found that removing the velky from the wb helped. I did 5 weeks physicl theorpy and got on the right track . The tendonitis forced me to look at a ZTR as an alternative and it was a god send IMO. I probably would have remained a walkbehind person if not for this health issue. I still use my 36" for a few back yards and an ocasional hill but my confidence on the ZTR is only limited by NOT wanting to test the ROPS . I can't get away with no walkbehind yet but I have a few bids in the works to make use of the lazer more. I think I got a good deal because of the old style deck but my grass gobbler fit right on from my WBs

brucec32
09-20-2008, 11:13 PM
I have to agree. The lazer z hp is "just right" in terms of size. I enjoy using wb's but the fatigue factor is so much greater when you mow a lot of lawns. I haven't trailered a wb bigger than a 21" more than a few days all year.

I think the biggest ztr advantage other than sitting down is the ability to raise/lower the deck with a foot pedal instantly. On Bermuda lawns I use it at the end of every pass to avoid cut variations and when cresting hills. With experience you can really get better results than a comparable size wb.

The downside is of course wear from the weight and damage in turns, but again with experience this is diminished. I three point almost all turns. wb's are still handy for wet days where the ztr would destroy a wet lawn, and faster turning means you can match ztrs for speed on some size lawns, and some lot types require a smaller deck of a 36" wb, but when you're really tired out there ztr time is like rest time compared to mowing with a wb.

It's also nice to be able to mow backwards when needed. I have some steep hills where mowing downhill would cause traction problems and mowing accross the slope causes a bad cut quality. So I mow up, scoot backwards down the slope, then up the next room, etc.

I realize some areas require wb's for slopes and ditches, and some areas are full of narrow gates, but I think my 32" is going up for sale this winter. In 5 years it just hasn't had any hours put on it.

jeffex
09-20-2008, 11:27 PM
I've found a new challenge in making things work with the new equipment. I can see on a wet day i may have to tough it out and put only WBs on the trailer but I experimented with NOT striping when its wet and it works well. Most of my customers could care less about stripes and some even like it better without them. I found out on my own lawn that its geat that the hydros let you go down hill slowly but only in dry conditions. I also did a nice "wheelie" going uphill too fast on my steep hill.

MnDLawn
09-21-2008, 12:23 AM
Most of our yards are 1/8-1/2 acre. We love our HP's. They are just the right size, have plenty of power, and great on hills.

chesterlawn
09-21-2008, 09:56 AM
What kind of problems are you having with your battery? You shouldn't have to keep charging it.

djflats
09-21-2008, 10:07 AM
I looked at the same model Exmark yesterday. There's a rental center up the road from me that rents them and also carries new ones. This particular one is a demo he said he could sell for $7600. Too much for me at this time...better stick with my TANK for now.

scagdude
09-21-2008, 10:48 AM
do you guys recommend these exmarks over a scag? also how did you guys list your equipment under your post? thanks.

jeffex
09-21-2008, 11:44 AM
no battery problem . Im just thinking of having a trickle charge for the winter . I looked at a skagg tiger cub and it looks like a good machine as well. They had one for sale at $64oo but it was a vanguard engine . I must say that is the ugliest color ever but they do look like nice machines. I like the adjustable front leeding edge that can be lowered to help prevent leaf blowout on the skagg.

chrismowfaster
09-21-2008, 05:46 PM
I three point almost all turns.

Can you explain this? I haven't actually bought yet, but I am looking real hard at an Exmark Lazer HP 23/46 Triton. I demo'd one and it cut great, although I can see it will take me a while to master turns without tearing up the lawn.

Maybe a 3 pt turn will help....:)

mississippiturf
09-21-2008, 07:33 PM
Here's a link to a past thread on three-point turning.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=2522234#post2522234

nosparkplugs
09-21-2008, 07:48 PM
Sounds like your going to be more productive, bet yah wish you purchased a ZTR sooner.

The bean counters love the WB, I use the local dominat companies all use H2B labor, and large deck WB/sulky, mainly two man crews, I cannot compete. WB, are half the price of a midmout ZTR, so it comes down to money IMO. I respect those who continue to work harder than is required on WB just to save a buck. I personally enjoy a comfortable ride, and more productivity you get riding vs a walkbehind.

landscaper22
09-21-2008, 08:03 PM
I do the three point turns most of the time too. That is the only problem with the ztrs. I don't care how careful you are or how good of a true zero turn you do, sometimes you are still going to chew up a little grass. If it is perfectly flat land with dry conditions, you should have very little problems. These machines can take hills fairly well, but will slide. It is all a trade off. You may have a few complaints when using these heavy machines, but most customers don't want to pay my price for using a 21" or the 36". I am not against using any type of equipment and they all have a purpose. But the more of my energy I have to use the higher the price. My energy is sort of like fuel, natural gas, and electricity. The more of my energy I use the more you pay (seems I have a shortage of energy sometimes too).
I am more than happy to let those bean counters have the customers that don't like my ztr. :laugh:

jeffex
09-21-2008, 08:36 PM
i had to justify my purchase with a health issue but I can see where the productivity and fatigue factors should have made me buy one yrs. ago . I'm not in a position to want every lawn I can get . I will continue my plan to swim up the customer stream to better pay full service customers on streets I already travel if possible. This purchase lets me see farther down the road as the physicality of this biz. takes its toll. I can understand a company that uses large WBs and employees but as a solo op aged 50+ this can extend my years in this business .