Originally Posted by Runner
This is hogwash. there is no problem with using Z's on smaller areas...as long as they are using care in not scuffing turf on turns (most common cause of damage with Z's). These irrigation heads are the same heads that are used on smaller AND/OR wider areas. If any mower damage is occurring, it is because these heads are either improperly installed, or are cheap heads that don't retract all the way because of weak springs. Take this advice from someone who has been in the maintenance AND irrigation business since 1983. I've seen this LITERALLY dozens of times with cheaper lower line heads that do one or more of these things previously mentioned. Some heads in fact, are even constructed of cheaper, thinner, brittle plastic. Are these of yours heads mister, impact, or gear drive heads? Do they retract ALL THE WAY down into the ground when they shut down? Are they mounted on flex pipe? I see great amounts of "sub-standard" work done by other irrigation companies all the time. In all irrigation heads that are properly installed, the chances of any breakage are an EXTREME minimal. The only ones I really see break - are the ones that aren't buried all the way (sometimes they heave up out of the ground from frosts and thaws), and the ones that do not retract all the way. Even the pressure of a ztr TURNING on a head shouldn't hurt it. Bottom line is, you almost have to purposely try to destroy these heads if they are properly placed in the ground and working properly to break them.
as far as the comment of getting their lazy rears off their ztr's, in business, it usually just doesn't work that way. You take our company for instance, and many on here (this site) will concur with this, because we have had this conversation here many times before,... If I have an island of grass big enough for a z to go on and turn around, then that's what is being used. There are services on here that do literally up to hundreds of accounts a week to fill their route, and if they have an 8 or $9000 machine sitting on the trailer they are paying for, they are going to use it.
You may be
one of the "exceptions the rule", Runner!
I'm not saying that every
company that runs ZTRs on postage-stamp quarter acre (or less) lawns breaks sprinkler heads, are incompetent, or otherwise does shoddy work.
What I am
saying...is that since the INTRODUCTION and proliferation of the ZTR in this industry (especially the last couple of decades) smaller lawns like walterwilde's have been cut in increasing #'s by companies of various sizes, many of which are scratching and scraping to stay ahead of their competition, to stay "in the black"
, and in business.
And as MORE of them do it...the quality of (many of them) suffers dramatically these days, as compared to when these yards were maintained with cutting decks of only 48" (or so), with walk behind mowers that were maybe 1/2 to 2/3
the weight of what the average ZTR weighs these days.
For smaller lawns, especially, it often comes down to higher incidences of "uneven soil problems" as compared to typical larger lawns.
This happens, I expect, because these people (and builders) try to "miniaturize" these yards...over TIME... to suit their individual needs better.
i.e....developer puts in "smaller" privacy levee along one side of property line, that has an extreme slope as compared to normal, to compensate for space.
The larger the deck size is, the worse the 'forgiveness' is in scalping the turf, & having the often unpredictable "high grass-low grass" disparities that can often happen regardless
of using fixed-deck vs. float deck mowers.
You can certainly find plenty of ZTRs with smaller decks in the market.
But many contractors won't consider buying them for their employees, because of their (obvious) inefficiency in terms of acres cut per hour, as compared to the larger 60" and 72" deck ZTRs. That's why the lion's share of ZTRs with smaller decks are sold to property owners.
Walk-behind commercial mowers can typically be found between 32" to 54" decks, some even as large as 60" (but they're rare.)
The same thing is true for them.
The bigger the deck, the worse quality of cut you'll generally
get ( with half-@&& quality of personel driving them, especially!)