View Full Version : Specific Mower Question (Turf Damage)
GrassRoots Lawn Care
01-31-2001, 12:35 AM
I am going into my second year and am planning an upgrade for my frontline mower. I am considering one of three options: ZTR Rider 44"-52", a Great Dane Stander, or 52" WB Hydro w/ Rocketwheels. First let me say I have read through about 200 previous posts on ZRT's and Standers. I have a few specific questions and I could used the sage advise of the more experienced, seasoned guys (and gals) on this board.
About my crew/accounts: I currently used a 19 HP 48" Hyrdo w/ Rocket wheels. I run a 3 man crew. We service mostly residential accounts (60) and some commercial (13). No accounts with gates narrower than 50". Most of the Residentials are mid to large lots (3/4 - 2 acres) and the commercials range from 1-2 1/2 acres. I would prefer to sit, of course, but I am concerned with the imprint/damage left behind with the ZTR's. I am located in Central Florida where the grass is wet everyday until noon. Low lying areas at or slightly above sea level with often damp soil conditions. How will the riders affect this being so heavy? Will the wider tires offset the increase in weight? Will the Great Dane Standers do a better job in regards to this issue? Or is a ZTR Rider unrealistic to begin with considering we do mostly (80%) residential. Any and all replies will be greatly appreciated.
GrassRoots Lawn Care
01-31-2001, 02:48 PM
Come on guys, dish out some good opinions on this one. I could really use the advice.
01-31-2001, 02:53 PM
The low lying areas are always going to be a problem. Get a ZTR with as wide a tire as you can find and run low pressure. As for deck size, get the biggest deck your lawns will handle, I use my 72 on the majority of my yards, sure beats the old 40" and 48" I used to run.
01-31-2001, 03:07 PM
I wouldn't get anything smaller than a 60" for the bigger lawns. It's amazing how much more you can mow with an extra foot of mower. If you learn how to turn a ZTR, even if it's soft you can do a good job and not mess up the turf. If you don't watch it, sure you can mess it up big time. I could dig a hole with my diesel with those big Boss 2 tires I have on it, but once you learn to turn, you will be fine. Practice on your own lawn or an empty lot. :)
01-31-2001, 03:36 PM
If you had a 62" Z master you could slim down to a 2 man crew by cutting out some dead meat and still make as much money working less hours.
You use a 19 hp mower? This sounds like you have a 3 man crew and 1 walkbehind. Anyway, get at least a 60" ZTR. It will be twice as fast as you walkbehind. As Larry said, you could go to a 2 man crew with a ZTR and your walkbehind. Just stay away from the sloppy areas.
01-31-2001, 04:40 PM
I'm in Central Fl also, so I know the problems you're concerned with. All of my lawns are Floratam and yes they stay wet until mid morning. I always start mowing by 7:30am in the summer. I've always used a ZTR and never seemed to have a problem. Of course I do cut in a different direction each week and alternate my striping direction. I'm currently running a 52" Grasshopper with the mulching deck. I work by myself doing mostly 80 x 125 lots and manage to get done by 3pm every day in the summer. I do about 70 accounts, all residential. You can see from my numbers that I'm much more productive than you. It's not because I work harder or faster, it's because of the ZTR. My hopper has the G2 transmissions and will cut at about 8mph, very similar to a Lazer. I'd get a ZTR real quick and get rid of at least 1 crewmember. What you save in payroll will more than make the new equipment payment. If it won't fit through gates find new accounts that don't have gates or keep your 48" WB just for them.
01-31-2001, 05:03 PM
With the wide tires the wieght should be displaced over a wider area. All that I can say for sure is that you should not make a sharp turn with eather. This is were the damage comes from. The had part is explaing this to your crew so that they understand.
01-31-2001, 06:49 PM
Get yourself a 60" cut Z. Use the three point turn around and youll be fine.
Three point turn is you finish your line by turning 90 deg from where you have just came, back up and start next strip with a 90 deg turn into the uncut grass, useing 2 90 deg turns you dont tear up as much turf. I always use this on damp turf.
01-31-2001, 09:42 PM
Amen Stone!!! Buy the right equipment and you cna cut down on unproductive overhead.
01-31-2001, 10:12 PM
Go with a 60" ZTR or bigger if you properties will handle it. But at least the 60, as it has been pointed out the 60" ZTR will save you time and can save you money by eliminating one worker, unless you are thinking of increasing you customer base.
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