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View Full Version : Does a ztr really pay for itself in time saved vs. a 36 inch midsize


bustutah
01-31-2011, 12:40 AM
I guess its time to make the jump to a ztr, preferably a walker, I do 11 lawns a day solo,(about 350$ worth) with my 36 inch ferris and toro walk behind.
The ztr are much more expensive have you found the ztr's pay for themselves and more. I'd love whatever feedback you have thanks

bustutah
01-31-2011, 01:28 AM
I ve been looking at the other threads it looks like the exmark is more preferred than the walker

BadRancher
01-31-2011, 01:41 AM
Good question, but I think the biggest upside is comfort. You can almost get any hydro WB with the same width as a ZTR cheaper than a ZTR. On big open areas is where the ZTR is most beneficial. Faster speeds with the engine power allows you to cut nicely and efficiently.

doubleedge
01-31-2011, 01:45 AM
What size are your yards? Do they have gates? I assume that they are smallish (perhaps a bit smaller than my avg yard) based on price. I also assume that you want to bag, or else you probably wouldn't have suggested walker. With that knowledge assumed to be correct, I'll proceed to answer with a story pertaining to a situation that I believe to be similar to yours.

When I was looking for my first ZTR, I was dedicated to find a 36-42" wide unit because I thought any bigger would be too cumbersome; I also needed a good bagging system. The Walker/Navigator machines seemed perfect to me. I even tested out a Navigator; I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be. It really didn't go much faster than my 42" lawn tractor, which happens to be slower than my 36" dual hydro BOP walk behind mower.

My other option was a mini mid mount type unit. The problem with those is that they usually only have 2 blades and usually only 1 anti scalp wheel. That blade configuration makes the deck take up more space between the front and rear wheels, which makes it more prone to scalping. It also increases the length of the unit to the same size a bigger units.

Finally I reluctantly explored my final option, a 48" Kubota (which I had already narrowed down from the other 48" mowers in my area). I liked how it maneuvered and how fast it was, but I wasn't able to take it upon a full demo. I was tired of searching, and I had exhausted all other options, so I bought it. The Kubota is a good mower, by the way; it has been reliable over the past 500 hours, has dual deck belts, pto driven deck, clutch type pto activation, and the bagging system sits over the engine compartment to save space. The only negative is that it's bagging impeller gets clogged up with dirt during spring dethatching (and only then), which causes the plastic impeller to wear and fail (quite frequently if the dirt isn't removed regularly).

The results? It turned out better than I had imagined. I can fit the mower onto almost any of my properties. The only things that stop me are steep hills, steps, and gates. If the ztr mower fits, it is almost always the fastest piece of equipment for the job. Only very small areas give the 36" walk behind an advantage.

I bought an even bigger mower last year, a 54" Hustler Super Duty. I was again worried about it fitting, but I haven't encountered a problem. However, I prefer the way 48" mowers cut, so I'll be getting another one of those next time.

Long story short: If your lawns are indeed similar in size to mine, and you need to bag most of the time, the 48" zero turn mower will be the fastest machine for the job. The Walker type units are most likely not for you, unless you like to mow slowly.

bustutah
01-31-2011, 02:05 AM
Everyone runs walkers around here thats why i've been shopping that brand. I'll do some research on the kubota hopefully it bags well. thanks

bustutah
01-31-2011, 02:07 AM
Good question, but I think the biggest upside is comfort. You can almost get any hydro WB with the same width as a ZTR cheaper than a ZTR. On big open areas is where the ZTR is most beneficial. Faster speeds with the engine power allows you to cut nicely and efficiently.

Half my yards are 1/2 acre or more. Several have small gates, i'll need to keep my ferris around. I'd like to see the investment of a ztr add the time for more lawns daily. Thanks for your post man.

bustutah
02-01-2011, 05:05 AM
anybody else seen an increase in productibility vs my 36 in walkbehind?

Jason Rose
02-01-2011, 10:38 AM
I ve been looking at the other threads it looks like the exmark is more preferred than the walker

:laugh: yeah riiiight. Try the other way around.

turfbuilder
02-01-2011, 10:42 AM
A Stander would work wonderfully on those sized properties.

punt66
02-01-2011, 10:47 AM
you cant get a good collection system for a stander. A ZTR would upgrade from a 36wb would be a huge production boost for you. Anybody who says otherwise just doesnt run a ztr. I wouldnt be in this business without one.

Jason Rose
02-01-2011, 10:51 AM
What's 1/2 acre and more? What's more? 30,000? 40,000?

If you can use this ztr on most of your lawns you are definately going to speed your production up over walking them, biggest thing is that you aren't going to be dead at the end of the day.

Look close at the walkers, but think about the grass you are picking up. How are you going to handle the clippings? They certinaly pose more of an issue than a machine with regular bags that can just be picked up to dump in your truck bed.

as for a midmount ztr, I'd look at Toro, Exmark, Grasshopper, Hustler?, and whatever else is avaialble close to you. A commercial mower with a PLASTIC blower fan? Have you seen one, with the center bag area blocked off to make the wierdest catcher design ever... (talking about the kubota).

ashgrove landscaping
02-01-2011, 11:27 AM
Yes a Z will increase your productivity after you get used to operating it. And ask yourself if you feel like doing anything else after a days work. You'll have more energy and less tired. Work is great but play time is much needed in my book.

jaybow
02-01-2011, 11:35 AM
Its not just time, you use alot less energy on a ztr. And alot less beating on your knees and hips. Landscaping is a very physical job and you need to preserve your body where ypou can. The problem with the ztr is the rutting issues, and people not learning how to turn them properly without tearing up the turf.

shooterm
02-01-2011, 05:02 PM
I know beating the dead horse but alot of the older crowd simply hate ZTRs. I've seen some very frugal managers require 21" push mowers because a LCO wouldn't compromise.

Maco Services
02-01-2011, 06:52 PM
Our 36 WBs are our workhorses. I've got a walker mulcher, and it's convenient when I'm by myself, but gates require me to pull another mower off the truck. My next buy is another tbar WB. All day long.

For some of our slightly larger properties and commercial, I love the walker, but speed wise (its an older one) I wish I could pick it up. Leaves a beautiful cut, but I feel at a loss of efficiency.

ShooterK2
02-01-2011, 08:16 PM
Its not just time, you use alot less energy on a ztr. And alot less beating on your knees and hips. Landscaping is a very physical job and you need to preserve your body where ypou can. The problem with the ztr is the rutting issues, and people not learning how to turn them properly without tearing up the turf.

And a lot more beating on your tailbone, back, neck, and shoulders. Which is one of the factors contributing to me trading in my 48" ZTR for a new 36" hydro walk-behind last year. Yes, my feet are a little more tired at the end of the day, but I don't wake up with my back hurting either. Once you get back problems, they are very hard to deal with.

Was the ZTR fast? Yes. But the walk-behind with a sulky is just as fast on the properties I service, which are typically 1/3 acre and less. The walk behind also gives you an amazing option: to actually WALK behind it, allowing you to shove the deck under shrubs, bushes, low-hanging tree limbs, etc. Saving trimmer time. And I, for one, despise trimmer time.

This is not to say that I will never own another ZTR. But I will never give up my walk-behinds. They are just too handy.

BadRancher
02-01-2011, 08:45 PM
And a lot more beating on your tailbone, back, neck, and shoulders. Which is one of the factors contributing to me trading in my 48" ZTR for a new 36" hydro walk-behind last year. Yes, my feet are a little more tired at the end of the day, but I don't wake up with my back hurting either. Once you get back problems, they are very hard to deal with.

Was the ZTR fast? Yes. But the walk-behind with a sulky is just as fast on the properties I service, which are typically 1/3 acre and less. The walk behind also gives you an amazing option: to actually WALK behind it, allowing you to shove the deck under shrubs, bushes, low-hanging tree limbs, etc. Saving trimmer time. And I, for one, despise trimmer time.

This is not to say that I will never own another ZTR. But I will never give up my walk-behinds. They are just too handy.

Well said!
I would not say I would not like to have a zero turn, but from frugality standpoint WB would be better. In the early spring when it is still rainy that ZTR may have to ride the pine in a res yard. These thing aren't hard to make ruts or stick, and when you get stuck you will need another ZTR or your truck pull it out. But then again, you are in UT and I'm not sure of the rain amounts you guys get.

I will say that its your hard earned money and you do whatever is in your best interest and makes you happy! It may be real beneficial to you. :usflag:

ShooterK2
02-01-2011, 09:30 PM
Yes, that was another reason I switched to a walk-behind: weight. Here, in the land of Bermuda, the grass gets pretty crispy during the dry times. Any mower will make tracks, or ruts. ANY mower. The trick is to keep them to a minimum, and a lightweight machine (along with constantly switching mower patterns, making sure to never put the tires in the same track twice) is the key. I ride behind my walk-behind, but my weight is on the sulky wheels, not the mower wheels, as with an already-heavy ZTR.

Now, I know up north, many properties are larger than most of mine. And if I were there, I would probably look at getting a large ZTR with a suspension seat. But, for me and the smaller properties I service, the walk-behind seems to work out better.

sweetz
02-01-2011, 10:26 PM
you cant get a good collection system for a stander. A ZTR would upgrade from a 36wb would be a huge production boost for you. Anybody who says otherwise just doesnt run a ztr. I wouldnt be in this business without one.

I agree & most of my accounts are 1/4 - 1/6 of an acre.

gibbonsballer10
02-01-2011, 11:26 PM
if your making $350 a day, you dont need a ztr. I have over 30 residential and 4 small commercial and I can get them all done in 3 days working 6-8hours/day and all this with a 36'' toro wb.

kilgoja
02-01-2011, 11:52 PM
you must cut small yards lol....most yards i cut are 1/2 acre or so....would take 1hr or maybe 1 1/2 hrs to cut with a walk behind....takes about 30-45min with a ztr 48" or a 54"...about half the time plus i don't think i could hold up walking that much all day all week long...i'd be tired out after 1 or 2 yards lol...i do enough walking doing the trimming and blowing already haha.....most yards i do take about 30min with a ztr then about 15-25min of trimming and about 5-10min with the blower and i'm done in 45min-1hr depending on the yard and make $50...if i used walk behind it would take 2hrs and i'd not make any more money...so the main thing is time savings.... they do cost alot more but i think it's worth it

bustutah
02-02-2011, 02:11 AM
thanks for the input fellow lco's. I think the ztr is not for me. I might compromise with the wright stander. I was put off by the weight of that mower. I'll do some searching on older posts for that opinion.
If anyone else has some hard numbers after switching to a ztr i'd love to hear em. Peace out.

jaybow
02-02-2011, 02:41 AM
And a lot more beating on your tailbone, back, neck, and shoulders. Which is one of the factors contributing to me trading in my 48" ZTR for a new 36" hydro walk-behind last year. Yes, my feet are a little more tired at the end of the day, but I don't wake up with my back hurting either. Once you get back problems, they are very hard to deal with.

Was the ZTR fast? Yes. But the walk-behind with a sulky is just as fast on the properties I service, which are typically 1/3 acre and less. The walk behind also gives you an amazing option: to actually WALK behind it, allowing you to shove the deck under shrubs, bushes, low-hanging tree limbs, etc. Saving trimmer time. And I, for one, despise trimmer time.

This is not to say that I will never own another ZTR. But I will never give up my walk-behinds. They are just too handy.

Oh yeah, your right about the back issues also. My Exmark Lazer I just sold was hurting my back. I just sold it and im switching back to all walk behinds myself this year myself. This will be my first year using a sulky. Im thinking of getting the 2 wheeled caster style. What do you use?

ShooterK2
02-02-2011, 08:36 AM
I use a Velke x2. It works well, however, since it is the only one I have ever used, I would like to play around with a caster-style, and possibly even a slider.

If you walk every yard, you'll definitely be tired at the end of the day, and you won't get as much done. But if you use a sulky, and get good at it, you can get your productivity down to be almost on par with a a ZTR of the same size deck, and you'll do a lot less damage to the turf. I only walk it in tight areas, where I know I'll be reversing a lot.

Also, as someone mentioned earlier, any mower that you stand on is easier to get off of to pick up trash, move a sprinkler, etc, as opposed to a mower that you sit on.

bustutah
02-02-2011, 11:07 AM
I use a 1 wheel velke behind my 36. It is nice to have unfortunately I have found it only saves me about 2 min a yard. Example 45 min to 43 min. That is after I really learned how to use it. Make sure you can easily hang it up on the mower to unload it off your trailer.

turfbuilder
02-02-2011, 11:19 AM
thanks for the input fellow lco's. I think the ztr is not for me. I might compromise with the wright stander. I was put off by the weight of that mower. I'll do some searching on older posts for that opinion.
If anyone else has some hard numbers after switching to a ztr i'd love to hear em. Peace out.

Try or demo a Wright and I guarantee you will never walk again! As far as collection system goes the grass gobler works quite well although you don't have the capacity as other catchers. We only use them catchers on certain properties for leaf pick up anyway. I will not take a client that wants the grass bagged just not enough money in it unless they are willing to pay.
A stander is also hundreds of pounds lighter than a sit down ZTR.

ShooterK2
02-02-2011, 03:12 PM
A stander is also hundreds of pounds lighter than a sit down ZTR.

I'm not disputing this claim, as I have never researched this subject, but I'm curious as to how this can be. It seems to me that the only thing missing from the stander is the seat, and I know a seat can't weigh THAT much.

sweetz
02-02-2011, 10:11 PM
I use a 1 wheel velke behind my 36. It is nice to have unfortunately I have found it only saves me about 2 min a yard. Example 45 min to 43 min. That is after I really learned how to use it. Make sure you can easily hang it up on the mower to unload it off your trailer.

My velke is 2 wheel, that doesn't matter though, it does save ME quite a bit of time & exhaustion by not making me walk 20 miles a day.:drinkup:

BadRancher
02-02-2011, 11:47 PM
My velke is 2 wheel, that doesn't matter though, it does save ME quite a bit of time & exhaustion by not making me walk 20 miles a day.:drinkup:
Common ground. I think we can all agree that a ZTR or a WB with a sulky is better than walking all day!
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khutch
02-03-2011, 09:24 AM
I use a 1 wheel velke behind my 36. It is nice to have unfortunately I have found it only saves me about 2 min a yard. Example 45 min to 43 min. That is after I really learned how to use it. Make sure you can easily hang it up on the mower to unload it off your trailer.

A WB with a ProSlide is a step up...No flats, no ruts, no hanging the dang thang up!

Not a fast as a ZTR, but it does have it's advantages.

ShooterK2
02-03-2011, 09:48 AM
A WB with a ProSlide is a step up...No flats, no ruts, no hanging the dang thang up!

Not a fast as a ZTR, but it does have it's advantages.

Yes, a ProSlide has a definite edge in some ways. However, if you have to ride it for any distance on concrete, pavement, or anything other than turf, you'll prematurely wear out the pad that it rides on. The main thing that kept me from buying one last year was the fact that I have to go around the block at one of my accounts in order to get into the back yard. I could use the 21" mower, but it's a fairly large back yard, and it's quicker to ride around to the back gate and mow with the 36". With the ProSlide, I'd have to walk all the way around, adding more time.

I still may try one, however. I like how they fold up and down quickly, and you don't have to worry about it causing wheel ruts.

olde_blue
02-03-2011, 10:09 AM
I'm not disputing this claim, as I have never researched this subject, but I'm curious as to how this can be. It seems to me that the only thing missing from the stander is the seat, and I know a seat can't weigh THAT much.

The weigh savings comes from:

(1) shorter frames and lack of engine guards
(2) on fixed deck machines, use of the deck for structure, and lack of lift hardware
(3) lack of ROPS
(4) really narrow, lightweight frames, on machines like the Stander RH

Some of the newer machines are getting heavy, however.

A pre-2010 fixed deck 52" Wright Stander was 785 lbs, compared to 890 lbs for a early 2000's Exmark Lazer Z HP 48" (without ROPS). The redesigned 52" Stander gained 60 lbs (845 lbs), while the new 48" Exmark Z (with ROPS) is 1035 lbs. The 52" Stander X (with hanging deck) is 890 lbs (over 100 lbs heavier than an old 52"), almost the same as an old Z. By the way, the 52" Exmark Vantage is 866 lbs, almost as heavy as the old Z.

If you really want to save weight, you need to go with a fixed deck Stander.

ShooterK2
02-03-2011, 10:54 AM
Thank you, Olde Blue, for that answer. I didn't know there was that much difference in weight between a ZTR and a stander. And, yes, it does seem as though most machines are gaining weight as time goes by.

punt66
02-03-2011, 10:58 AM
a 100 lbs makes no difference. An operator can make or break that. Standers are good machines for cutting production. But you will be wishing you had a real collection system come spring and fall.

ShooterK2
02-03-2011, 11:04 AM
a 100 lbs makes no difference. An operator can make or break that. Standers are good machines for cutting production. But you will be wishing you had a real collection system come spring and fall.

That's a pretty generalized statement. Around here, we don't really give fall cleanups a second thought, as we don't have that many trees.

I'll still stick with my walk-behinds for less rutting and wear on the turf. 500 lbs is much lighter than 800 - 1000 lbs and more, plus the weight of the driver. They may be slower, but the yards here are small, and the time savings with a faster machine is very minimal.

justanotherlawnguy
02-03-2011, 09:49 PM
when i went from a 36 belt drive wb to a 48 ztr my productivity went through the roof. I never realize how beat up I was getting from the wb on a daily basis. with the z, its so smooth. then after 2 years with the 48, i came across a killer deal on a year end close out on a brand new lazer 60/27. Only crap, at first I thought it would be too big, with the properties I was doing it was never an issue.

in fact I use the 60" 98% of the time, I am so spoiled with it that If i go do an estimate and cannot ride the whole thing I either keep on driving or charge them alot more then normal (cause the less time I spend unloading the 36 tthp the better)

increase in productivity was through the roof, go get a z and you will never look back.....

djagusch
02-03-2011, 09:57 PM
That's a pretty generalized statement. Around here, we don't really give fall cleanups a second thought, as we don't have that many trees.

I'll still stick with my walk-behinds for less rutting and wear on the turf. 500 lbs is much lighter than 800 - 1000 lbs and more, plus the weight of the driver. They may be slower, but the yards here are small, and the time savings with a faster machine is very minimal.

If you look at the tire foot print between a wb and a ztr then compare the weight. You will find the psi going to the ground is very close. Also if you compare the psi of a velke compared to a ztr you might be surprised which is less weight to the ground.
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BadRancher
02-03-2011, 10:16 PM
If you look at the tire foot print between a wb and a ztr then compare the weight. You will find the psi going to the ground is very close. Also if you compare the psi of a velke compared to a ztr you might be surprised which is less weight to the ground.
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Yea, but on a ZTR all the weight is concentrated in one area. On WB the weight is less and is spread out. The only downside is on wet grass when turning and the tires don't grab traction and tear some turf (this can be cured by walking behind it), but I hear this happens with ZTR's time to time

ShooterK2
02-03-2011, 10:38 PM
If you look at the tire foot print between a wb and a ztr then compare the weight. You will find the psi going to the ground is very close. Also if you compare the psi of a velke compared to a ztr you might be surprised which is less weight to the ground.
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I see where you are coming from, but here is the dilema: Around here, the gates are usually 36" or less. Back yards are larger than front yards. So if I were to use a ZTR that is bigger than a 36", I could only use it one the small front yard. Then, load it back up, unload a smaller mower, and mow the larger back yard, then load back up. Any time saved with the large Z would be lost by having to load and unload twice.

My point is this: A 36" ZTR would be optimal for the yards around here, except for a few points. One being the narrow tires needed to keep it within the 36" width. With these tires, which are about the same width as the tires on a 36" walk-behind, your statement about the PSI being about the same between the two machines isn't correct. The tires are the same width, but the machine is much heavier.

punt66
02-04-2011, 01:36 PM
when i went from a 36 belt drive wb to a 48 ztr my productivity went through the roof. I never realize how beat up I was getting from the wb on a daily basis. with the z, its so smooth. then after 2 years with the 48, i came across a killer deal on a year end close out on a brand new lazer 60/27. Only crap, at first I thought it would be too big, with the properties I was doing it was never an issue.

in fact I use the 60" 98% of the time, I am so spoiled with it that If i go do an estimate and cannot ride the whole thing I either keep on driving or charge them alot more then normal (cause the less time I spend unloading the 36 tthp the better)

increase in productivity was through the roof, go get a z and you will never look back.....

bingo, this is a real world scenerio. The guys who swear up and down about WB's just have not run ztr's. Its night and day with production. Something i wont even debate its so obvious.

ShooterK2
02-04-2011, 01:54 PM
bingo, this is a real world scenerio. The guys who swear up and down about WB's just have not run ztr's. Its night and day with production. Something i wont even debate its so obvious.

Hmmmmmm. I guess that 48" Cub Cadet Commercial ZTR I had last year was only in my imagination then. Strange.

Funny though, I certainly remember that I didn't notice much time savings with it, as opposed to my walk-behinds. What I DID notice, however, was the ruts it caused on some of my properties. And, before anyone says anything, I'll let you know that I never mow the same way twice in a row. I always make sure I alternate patterns, so I go several weeks without mowing in the same tracks. It still made ruts.

I also remember that I traded that ZTR in on a 36" hydro walk-behind, threw my sulky on, and continued cutting grass on the SAME schedule each day. I got every yard done on time, just like I did with the ZTR, without working any later at night, and with a lot less rutting, and without waking up at night with my back complaining.

Just because that ZTR works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone.

I will not leave my customers yards looking that way. Something I won't even debate, it's so obvious.

punt66
02-04-2011, 02:19 PM
Yup, the people running 60" z's must be destructive productive morons. I wouldnt run anything smaller then a 52" ztr. My next one will be a 72.

delphied
02-04-2011, 02:22 PM
Well said!
These thing aren't hard to make ruts or stick, and when you get stuck you will need another ZTR or your truck pull it out.
I will say that its your hard earned money and you do whatever is in your best interest and makes you happy! It may be real beneficial to you. :usflag:

I currently use a 66 Z and a 48 Toro Grandstand. I started with walk behinds. The Z turns have larger tires than the Walk behinds. This means that the weight per square inch is about the same for either machine. That means either machine will rut on soft soil. I havent noticed much rutting from either to be honest. On smaller lawns my Grandstand is outstanding. On larger lawns my 66 Lazer Z is outstanding. Both save time over any Walk behind that I have used and the wear and tear on my body is far less. I will never own another Walk behind.

delphied
02-04-2011, 02:25 PM
Well said!
These thing aren't hard to make ruts or stick, and when you get stuck you will need another ZTR or your truck pull it out.
I will say that its your hard earned money and you do whatever is in your best interest and makes you happy! It may be real beneficial to you. :usflag:

I currently use a 66 Z and a 48 Toro Grandstand. I started with walk behinds. The Z turns have larger tires than the Walk behinds. This means that the weight per square inch is about the same for either machine. That means either machine will rut on soft soil. I havent noticed much rutting from either to be honest. On smaller lawns my Grandstand is outstanding. On larger lawns my 66 Lazer Z is outstanding. Both save time over any Walk behind that I have used and the wear and tear on my body is far less. I will never own another Walk behind. I have also used a sulky and a Proslide with my walk behinds. They stink compared to a stand on unit.

punt66
02-04-2011, 02:27 PM
I currently use a 66 Z and a 48 Toro Grandstand. I started with walk behinds. The Z turns have larger tires than the Walk behinds. This means that the weight per square inch is about the same for either machine. That means either machine will rut on soft soil. I havent noticed much rutting from either to be honest. On smaller lawns my Grandstand is outstanding. On larger lawns my 66 Lazer Z is outstanding. Both save time over any Walk behind that I have used and the wear and tear on my body is far less. I will never own another Walk behind. I have also used a sulky and a Proslide with my walk behinds. They stink compared to a stand on unit.

another real world example of somebody who has seen the light and never looked back. By the way, if i come across a lawn that only a walkbehind mower can service i pass them along to people like shooter and my list stays fast and productive.

ShooterK2
02-04-2011, 02:37 PM
Yup, the people running 60" z's must be destructive productive morons. I wouldnt run anything smaller then a 52" ztr. My next one will be a 72.

Either that, or they just have larger properties to service than I (and a lot of others) do, with larger/no gates, and/or don't have Bermuda grass everywhere, like we do here in Oklahoma. Bermuda scalps (down to the stem) VERY easily. A 60" deck here will leave little brown spots all over the wheres because of the undulations in the turf. It also seems to rut much easier than any northern grass I have ever cut. A 72" would be an absolute nightmare, and I wouldn't use it on ANY residential yards with Bermuda. A field, maybe.

I may be wrong, but I hear tell that there's not too many Bermuda yards up there in Connecticut.

Punt, I tried it. I know. I wanted to use a ZTR for my business. So I spent the coin and bought a good commercial unit. It didn't work out for me. Everyone doesn't live where you live, or service the type of properties you do. You can preach it all you want, but ZTRs aren't for everyone. They have their place, no doubt. But until they make a unit with wide enough tires that it won't rut, while still being no wider than the 36" gates we have here, and won't make my tailbone and back hurt, then I'll stick to what works for me: walk-behinds.

punt66
02-04-2011, 03:07 PM
I hear you. If they work for you then great. But you will never convince me a WB is just as productive as a Z. O have my z on properties that take 2 min to cut and properties that take me an hour. The z kicks all of them in the arse. Small and large. I do not have gates to deal with because i dont take properties with gates. Thats the great thing about steering your own path.

ShooterK2
02-04-2011, 04:09 PM
I totally understand. I envy that way of thinking, however, in my neck of the woods, if you only took properties with no gates to deal with, you would only need a tractor and brush-hog, because you'd be mowing all open fields. Every single house, and 90% of businesses in this small town have gates. It's just the way it is here. You wouldn't be in this business here if you couldn't deal with the gates.

Maybe someday I'll live in an area like yours, but for now, I do what I've got to do.
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BrunoT
02-08-2011, 08:57 PM
Either that, or they just have larger properties to service than I (and a lot of others) do, with larger/no gates, and/or don't have Bermuda grass everywhere, like we do here in Oklahoma. Bermuda scalps (down to the stem) VERY easily. A 60" deck here will leave little brown spots all over the wheres because of the undulations in the turf. It also seems to rut much easier than any northern grass I have ever cut. A 72" would be an absolute nightmare, and I wouldn't use it on ANY residential yards with Bermuda. A field, maybe.

I may be wrong, but I hear tell that there's not too many Bermuda yards up there in Connecticut.

Punt, I tried it. I know. I wanted to use a ZTR for my business. So I spent the coin and bought a good commercial unit. It didn't work out for me. Everyone doesn't live where you live, or service the type of properties you do. You can preach it all you want, but ZTRs aren't for everyone. They have their place, no doubt. But until they make a unit with wide enough tires that it won't rut, while still being no wider than the 36" gates we have here, and won't make my tailbone and back hurt, then I'll stick to what works for me: walk-behinds.

This is correct about Bermuda. It leaves terrible mow lines and marks if it isn't table top flat. Big deck mowers are worse in that regard. Bermuda can generally handle the heavy weight of big Z's fine, but it's just physics that a large 72" flat plane can't mow an undulating curved surface of grass all at the same height. And with Bermuda that means an appearance that is multicolor, not uniform, which looks worse.

Up to a certain size lot and area of grass I can rock/roll with even an old gear drive walk behind and velke and match the time of my slightly wider deck ZTR on other types of lawn, mostly due to faster turns. But the wear/tear on the bod isn't worth it in the long run. Time is one thing, energy is another. I actually like mowing with the wb's, but not when it's hot and not when it's lawn after lawn. They're regulated to rainy days and backup duty.

I also like how a ZTR can raise/lower the deck with the pedal, which I find really helps avoid "scalping" the Bermuda in tough spots. If stand ons could add a switch to do that quickly it would be useful (probably too fragile). Currently it's probably a little too awkward to reach down to do it as often as one does with a ZTR. I lift the deck in nearly every turn on some lawns where it's show in the grass if I didn't.

ed2hess
02-08-2011, 11:15 PM
You wouldn't be in this business here if you couldn't deal with the gates.

Maybe someday I'll live in an area like yours, but for now, I do what I've got to do.
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Same here in Texas....funny those little states have no gates? You don't want to north, just a little bit further south.

rmslawns
02-08-2011, 11:32 PM
I started a couple of years ago with a 48" Hustler wb and still use it on certain yards. I bought a 54" ztr this past season and am also solo. During the dog days of summer, those big properties I use the ztr on, I drink less water and have more energy when it is time to trim/edge. That alone is worth the upgrade as well as less time. Time is money as they say.

ShooterK2
02-08-2011, 11:35 PM
Yeah, I've noticed that about the gates. It seems, from reading on this site anyway, that the farther north you go, the less people have fenced back yards. To me it seems strange. It's all I've ever known. Everyone has a fence around their back yard for privacy here. Plus it keeps the dogs (and small children) in.

It probably seems strange to the folks up north. But, then again, it seems really strange to me for folks to NOT want a back yard fence. LOL.