PDA

View Full Version : How would you improve current ZTR's?


CharlieBingo
02-04-2005, 10:16 PM
Maybe I'm too demanding, but I feel Exmark, Scag, Hustler etc are behind were they should be in research and development. Some of my improvements would be: make them lighter ( implement more aluminum), more capacity collection system( Super Z's Bac-Vac only holds 9 bushels) absurd for $2500, Suspention seat's standard and also anything over 48 inches needs a pivoting deck (like flex-deck). Any ideas on improvements, maybe some of the big manufacturers will listen?

WildLake
02-04-2005, 10:52 PM
I don't know. Think about how far mowers have come in the last 10 years. Much faster, much more power, greatly increased efficiency and the maneuverability doesn't even compare to years past. There is always room for improvement but I feel the manufacturers are on the right track.

Eric 1
02-04-2005, 10:58 PM
Air conditioning. :cool:

prizeprop
02-04-2005, 11:00 PM
remote control

Eric 1
02-04-2005, 11:10 PM
remote control


Done. They have robotic ones.

prizeprop
02-04-2005, 11:15 PM
Done. They have robotic ones.remote control that I could afford.

Travis Followell
02-05-2005, 07:01 AM
I think there's always room for improvements to the deck. They should be researching that constantly to keep improving cut quality in different conditions.

PMLAWN
02-05-2005, 07:03 AM
Air conditioning. :cool:


I want 2!!

swim
02-05-2005, 07:30 AM
A couple improvements that I would like to see are...

4 wheel drive on a Z. :cool2:

A good mulching deck that will even mulch in the rain. :rolleyes:

A real good suspension system that will allow me a more comfortable ride. :D

I'm sure I'll think of a few more later.

J Hisch
02-05-2005, 08:02 AM
use handles for speed only and have foot pedals for steering.

MacPhersonlawn
02-05-2005, 08:33 AM
Make them easier to clean. Smoother surfaces, fewer places that collect grass and debris that are hard to remove. Those are always the first place where rust starts. My JD 737 has many of these.
More storage space for tools, water, etc., some of it water proof. I always keep clippers on the mower to cut away low branches that are in the way.

kipcom
02-05-2005, 09:07 AM
HUmmmmm...lets C............

A brake pedal ( even if its fake ) just need to have the thought when Im going downhill out'a control LOL :dizzy:

Enclosed cab ?

4x4....wow, whole new meaning to bush-hogging ;)

Reverse ? ( havent found it yet on the gear selector )

Remote start.....go figure

keyless entry........ok,ok..I know ( need enclosed cab 1st )

I feel good ( sing it guys ) :cool2:

rodfather
02-05-2005, 09:23 AM
Lower prices...IMO they are getting absurd. Their prices are going up faster than our's are.

Oldtimer
02-05-2005, 09:38 AM
List each change and how much you are willing to pay for it.

Randy Scott
02-05-2005, 10:00 AM
List each change and how much you are willing to pay for it.

Right. The answer now would be nothing. You guys can get all the extra's you want, but you won't like the price tag.

As far as I'm concerned, their fine the way they are. If anything, and I mean ANYTHING should be improved, the speed to cut quality is it.

How about 20 MPH with 30K for blade tip speed and 25 foot discharge. Through wet grass and no clumping. That's all I can think of that is going to make me money from these machines.

CharlieBingo
02-05-2005, 10:21 AM
Everything has room for improvement IMO. Imagine if after Ford's Model T came out everyone said "leave it it's good enough". I agree Rodfather we're paying more for hardly any improvements. My 1996 lazer Z isn't much different than my 2003 Lazer. I think if significant improvements are made LCO's will pay more!

Smithers
02-05-2005, 10:47 AM
How about 20 MPH with 30K for blade tip speed and 25 foot discharge. Through wet grass and no clumping.
then i'd go and blow their grass from their living room. :D :D :D

Albemarle Lawn
02-05-2005, 10:52 AM
It would be expensive, but possible with current technology.

With a microprocessor controling torque to front wheels and angle of the front steering, it could be done.

Even if it were only a "helping" pull to front wheels rather than true 4wd, hillside stability would be amazing.

ALarsh
02-05-2005, 11:36 AM
I agree with lower prices. Think about it. You could buy a compact car for what you paid for a LAWN MOWER.

Smithers
02-05-2005, 11:40 AM
alarsh, what kind of car wiould that be? :):) the cheapest car will run you 15 G's

once u add the engine, steering wheel and the undercoating.

rodfather
02-05-2005, 11:42 AM
I know 65hoss has written to and addressed the issue of mower prices with eXmark and I have done the same with Ferris.

Randy Scott
02-05-2005, 12:42 PM
I know 65hoss has written to and addressed the issue of mower prices with eXmark and I have done the same with Ferris.

I hate to say this, and I like to here responses from both you guys, but who are you guys to say the mowers are too expensive. Now all of a sudden we know the operations cost to run their business. I mean, they are expensive, but some customers think a 25K retaining wall is too expensive.

Not busting your balls, just thinking out loud.

ALarsh
02-05-2005, 01:04 PM
I hate to say this, and I like to here responses from both you guys, but who are you guys to say the mowers are too expensive. Now all of a sudden we know the operations cost to run their business. I mean, they are expensive, but some customers think a 25K retaining wall is too expensive.

Not busting your balls, just thinking out loud.

Good point.

ALarsh
02-05-2005, 01:12 PM
alarsh, what kind of car wiould that be? :):) the cheapest car will run you 15 G's

once u add the engine, steering wheel and the undercoating.

You get my point. :waving:

CharlieBingo
02-05-2005, 01:15 PM
Randy, you clearly see no need for improvement so why post? The thread was to brain storm on improvements. If a worker constantly asks for a raise sooner or later the employer will ask "what more can you do?" That's all we're saying about price increase.

bill w
02-05-2005, 03:07 PM
use handles for speed only and have foot pedals for steering.


How about rear wheel steer(speed) with the handles and front wheel steer with the foot pedals? On the flat or turns just keep foot off the pedal. On a side slope, use the foot pedals to assist tracking.

YardPro
02-05-2005, 03:17 PM
I don't to pay for all this R&D

you're talking about a $20K mower..............

and randy

if the cost increase will relate to increased quality ( that can be charged for) or increased productivity, then i can see the value, BUT

when you add complexity you add expense AND more things to break or malfunction.

i prefer the KISS principal.

sdwally
02-05-2005, 03:30 PM
My suggestions are aim at the 72 inchers.
1. Hydraulic deck lift, such as Gravely.
2. Pivoting front axle for front castor wheels. Less stress on frame and smoother ride, such as Gravely.
3. Some type of castor wheels for deck, instead of anti scalp wheels. Let the deck follow the terrain, not be dependent on the chain hangers to set HOC.

I disagree about using more aluminum, our ZTRs take a beating at a local cemetery. Manufacture even improved the frame design after replacing one frame and re-inforcing two others under warranty.

Built in radio with headphones that reduce mower noise. :)

Jeff@SGLC.ca
02-05-2005, 04:29 PM
Built in cooler to carry a nice cold...........diet coke.

jpmako
02-05-2005, 06:12 PM
Here are some things I would like to see

Standard:

Fold-able Rops w/lights
Striping Kit
2 Cup Holders
Dry storage for phones etc...
more fuel efficient motors
Attachment points for sprayers/spreaders
longer warranties
Better material collection systems

Options:

Radio w/earmuffs
some sort of way to blow cold air on your back when needed
Hydraulic deck lift
Weight transfer kit for slopes or pivoting axles
attachments from the manufacturer


That's all I can think of in a hurry.

Jason

brucec32
02-05-2005, 06:13 PM
I agree that they're way too heavy. Even "compact" ZTR's can run 870 lbs.

A system to change quickly from mulch to discharge (John Deere is implementing one I hear) would be a deal maker for me. I have to keep an extra mower around since my mowers take too long to switch.

improved rear clearance so it doesn't hang up in ditches or other spots would be nice.

Improved access to belts underneath is always a plus, too.

all ferris
02-05-2005, 06:38 PM
I'd love to see a seat with some lumbar support. Also maybe an air conditioned seat so my a$$ isn't so wet at the end of the day.

DennisF
02-05-2005, 06:59 PM
Creature features like cushy seats and cup holders are nice, but they don't get the grass mowed. Productivity hasn't improved at the same rate that prices have risen. If some enterprising gear head comes up with a ZTR that will cut twice as much grass as the competition and price it like the big names...he'll be the next Bill Gates.

procut
02-05-2005, 08:45 PM
I'd like to see a Z with an cab that was quiet, had air conditioning, and an am/fm CD player.

Jeff@SGLC.ca
02-05-2005, 08:49 PM
I'd like to see a Z with an cab that was quiet, had air conditioning, and an am/fm CD player.

Kind of like a winterization kit for a skid steer? Instead of heat will have an RV style Air Con unit mounted on the roof with front, rear and side glass....we'll also have the MP3 player with a built in phone port so if the phone rings, radio will mute and phone will ring (ala Alpine)

Mowman29
02-05-2005, 09:38 PM
You guys are now complaining about price. It sounds to me that you are either greedy or mad that your customers pay you little money. I Just Looked at a John Deere 1445 The Price tag on one Brand New Was $27,000.

I also Looked at a New Toro Groundsmaster 3280D The price is $23,000 with Decks. 72 inch . If you need the equipment to make your business run better and faster than the other lawnboy then buy it.
If not FIND ANOTHER BUSINESS TO BE IN AND QUIT COMPLAINING

DennisF
02-05-2005, 09:47 PM
You guys are now complaining about price. It sounds to me that you are either greedy or mad that your customers pay you little money. I Just Looked at a John Deere 1445 The Price tag on one Brand New Was $27,000.

I also Looked at a New Toro Groundsmaster 3280D The price is $23,000 with Decks. 72 inch . If you need the equipment to make your business run better and faster than the other lawnboy then buy it.
If not FIND ANOTHER BUSINESS TO BE IN AND QUIT COMPLAINING

The operative word here is Decks. If we were mowing golf courses or cow pastures then "decks" would enter into the equation.

By the way. What tree did you fall out of?

Eric 1
02-05-2005, 09:54 PM
Built in cooler to carry a nice cold...........diet coke.

Done, comes standard on the nicer Dixie Choppers.

Mowman29
02-05-2005, 10:17 PM
We don't have 1/8 acre lots here where it $20 and you can get 15-18 done in a day with 1 Two man crew. Here we have accounts with 2 to 12 acres that get mowed every week. These are not Fields they are large industial lawns. We have a need for one and weare getting at least one this year. We also have 10 residentals that are 6-8 acres a piece that gets mowed twice a week. Last year 3 brand new Z truns was 25,000 for these props. they are now just about worn out. I can run one Guy to do these properties for about 3-4 days. then last year a 3 man crew 5 days a week. You figure the amount of time I'll save.

Mowman29
02-05-2005, 10:23 PM
We take special care for our customers. 95% get total service so we make sure everything is perfect before we leave. So with you FLA lawncare boys not pros just the mow and blow guys of course 20 is perfect 15 lawns a day $300 a day. 6 days a week 1800 42 weeks per year 75,600 per year and thats solo. SO quit complaining how tough it is to make a living down there you make me sick.

Patrick.B
02-05-2005, 10:26 PM
Inclose Cab would be nice but HECK ..thats would be about $2000 more Plus about another $1200 for air cond and heat lol

jtkplc
02-05-2005, 11:44 PM
I'd love to see a seat with some lumbar support.

My Gravely 260Z has lumbar support. Itís a very nice feature.

ALarsh
02-06-2005, 12:25 AM
We already complain about getting off the seat to pick junk up, think about getting out of an air conditioned cabin. Sur Charge!

Soupy
02-06-2005, 03:57 AM
I would take a Hustler Super Z and install a Exmark deck and Dixie chopper's Turf Boss tires. Then have a QuickChute come as standard equipment (like Dixe Chopper but the qc is better). Also throw a Exmark striping kit on it too as standard. It already has a full suspension seat and the best drive/brake system in the industry. Best warranty and built like a tank.

That would be my perfect mower :D.

DennisF
02-06-2005, 08:52 AM
We take special care for our customers. 95% get total service so we make sure everything is perfect before we leave. So with you FLA lawncare boys not pros just the mow and blow guys of course 20 is perfect 15 lawns a day $300 a day. 6 days a week 1800 42 weeks per year 75,600 per year and thats solo. SO quit complaining how tough it is to make a living down there you make me sick.

Your fuzzy math doesn't add up. Most LCO's in Florida don't work 6 days a week and don't average 15 lawns a day. You obviously don't have a clue as to how to operate a business anywhere, let alone in a highly competitive environment like Florida. Your shortsighted business sense doesn't account for expenses of 40-50% for most solos. Even if a solo could service 90 accounts per week (a highly unlikely scenario) in Florida, he still couldn't come close to the revenues that he could produce in most other areas of the country.

Business clowns like you always give me a chuckle. You cut a lawn for $25 and you think you just pocketed $25. Keep thinking like that. Your competitors will thank you.

BTW. No one is complaining about ZTR pricing. The thread is about the need for improvements to ZTR's and justifying the price increase.

wanabe
02-06-2005, 10:46 AM
Where do I start. I would love to see a enclosed cab with AC/radio. Another thing I would like is a set of rubber tracks on the back for wet conditions. Somenthing like the CIH Quadtrack has.

Precision
02-06-2005, 11:56 AM
Mowerman 29
is that 29 for IQ points or number of beers you drink before posting.

Those of us in Florida are not all inbreed yocals. I had a start up business this year and with an ending balance of 32 maintenance clients did about $80K solo. We won't talk about take home.

Mow and blow is great for some, full service works for others, I do lots of extras for non- maintenance clients. You know nothing about what we do here, what our obstacles are, how frigging hot it gets.

If you want to bash people perhaps you should start with a baseball bat and a mirror.

rodfather
02-06-2005, 04:07 PM
You guys are now complaining about price. It sounds to me that you are either greedy or mad that your customers pay you little money. I Just Looked at a John Deere 1445 The Price tag on one Brand New Was $27,000.

I also Looked at a New Toro Groundsmaster 3280D The price is $23,000 with Decks. 72 inch . If you need the equipment to make your business run better and faster than the other lawnboy then buy it.
If not FIND ANOTHER BUSINESS TO BE IN AND QUIT COMPLAINING

Looking is one thing...come back and tell us when you have bought something. Toro 72" Groundsmaster? I have 3.

newbomb
02-06-2005, 04:46 PM
I just hope I can acquire enough new business to buy a ZTR. Owning one would be the best improvement I could make. These W/B's are burning me out.

-Paul

Fareway Lawncare
02-06-2005, 05:01 PM
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee....

The Lower Commercial Mowers are Priced the More People Will be Able to Afford Them...That Means More Compeition to You which Means You Have To Lower Your Prices.

Keep the Lawn Tractor Crowd at Home Depot.

I Would Prefer to See Prices Raised to keep More of the Riff Raff Out of the Business or in Crappy Homeowner Units.

What's a Couple extra Thousand Tax Deductible Expense over the Life of a Commercial Mower.

Peanuts.

parkmaster
02-06-2005, 05:19 PM
I like most mower improvements that get the job done. Just wish that mower manufacturers would integrate tie down holds on their mowers whether a walk-behind's or ztr's for better trailer securement. Not one mention for this improvement in this thread.