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  #1  
Old 09-18-2006, 04:36 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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ZTR time savings

I have asked this question before a long time ago, but we didn't really get anywhere. I was wondering if anyone has actually measured the time savings from a ZTR versus a Walk-Behind. Granted these are not real life figures and just my estimates of cost and time savings so I would like to hear from people who have justifiable information about time savings and extra costs associated with ztras, or maybe people who run ztrs can post some information about their mower size, cost of maintanance, ect. and some times and square footage of properties and people with w/b's can do the same.

I am just not seeing the benifit other than being able to sit instead of stand. I mean they weight more, they cost more, they break more, they cost more to fix, they use more gas. I mean a ztr can run about 8.5 mph and a walk behind can get about 6 mpr so at max speeds a 52" ztr can mow 3.5 acres and hour where a 52" w/b can do about 2.6/hour so that sounds like a big difference. However when we reduce that down thats about 2700 square feet a min for the ztr and 2000'/min on the w/b. a 10,000 square foot lot would take 3.7 min ztr and 5 min with the w/b. so I saved 1.3 minutes? Add in the extra 15 seconds it takes to climb onto the ztr buckle up etc and get back out again when finished we are down to 1.05 minutes in savings. At $12.00/ hour labor cost thats only about 25 cents or so in labor savings on a 10,000 ft lot. If you had 200 of these accounts mowed 30 times a year you would save $1,500 a year in labor.

A one acre lot would take 23 minutes with the W/B and 17 minutes with the ztr so that is a 6 minute savings, or $1.20 in labor. 100 accounts 30 times a year you save $3,600

a 31 acre lot would take 12 hours with the W/B and 9 hours with the ztr so you save 3 hours and $36.00 in labor. So if you had 5 31 acre jobs mowed 30 times per year to savings on the year would be $5,400 in labor.

The question comes down to how much time do you really save in real life and in real life how much more gas does the ztr eat and how much more oil, how much more for general maintanance, how long do the tires last, how much more gas do you burn in your truck because of the extra weight? How much "silly" time is wasted trying to get the ztr into someones back yard just so your employee doesn't have to use the w/b or push mower?

Lets just take gas for example if the ztr has 23 hp and the w/b has 17 hp. lets just assume that gas useage is in proportion with hp (I'm sure it isn't) and lets just assume that you burn 10 gallons in a day with the w/b on the 31 acre jobs. That comes out to about $9.00 a day more in gas for the ztr thats a cost of $1,350 in gas for the year.

I would really like to get some accurate data so we can look at this. Everyone is always yelling about expenses so lets see if we can figure out if we can save some money.
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2006, 06:13 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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You have got to have the accounts to justify one. My modified Lesco WB will actually outcut my Super Z on small to medium lawns but on larger properties the Super destroys it bad. A Hustler Super will blow out so much grass you will not believe it. I have a Lesco 52 Hydro modified to pull a Velkie at 9 miles an hour and the Super will cut probably 2 times as much on big properties!
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2006, 07:46 PM
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Liquidfast Liquidfast is offline
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I have a backyard where my guy will take the deck off the machine and drive it thru then put the deck back on once inside the gate. We have cut it with a WB and even with the PITA hassle of removing the deck every 10 days and the 10-15 minutes it takes each time (entering and exiting) we still shave 45 minutes off the cutting time.

The custy refuses to add a bigger gate and its only every 10 days and if I didnt get $165 per cut (no trimming) I would have dropped them long long long ago.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2006, 01:48 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REALSLOW
You have got to have the accounts to justify one. My modified Lesco WB will actually outcut my Super Z on small to medium lawns but on larger properties the Super destroys it bad. A Hustler Super will blow out so much grass you will not believe it. I have a Lesco 52 Hydro modified to pull a Velkie at 9 miles an hour and the Super will cut probably 2 times as much on big properties!
From what I've heard and experienced, the Z starts to outrun the Wb on lots an acre or bigger in size, most anything smaller than an acre the Wb is the ticket due to its maneuverability and agility. But yes, once you get towards the acre lot, the Wb starts to drag hard, I know this for a fact, I got several acre+ lots and trying to get more so I can get a Z lol.

But it is true, the Z is not the best mower out there just because it's a Z, it is a luxury I myself find hard to justify even in my 5th year, I know other Lco's who went 8+ years before ever owning one, it stuns and amazes me how 1st-year Lco's can just splurge off that much cash right off the bat, the Wb is still the best all-around investment IMO while the Z is for those of us who made it that far lol.

As for deck width, the smallest deck Z I would consider would be wider than my Wb which is a 48"... So really, at least a 60" deck... I mean, I'm not buying the Z to sit on my tail, I'm buying it to get some GRASS cut, grass which I could never cut in such short a time with the 48" fixed deck. But no way would I ever consider a deck smaller than 4 feet wide, it's just not worth it to putt putt around with those small decks, IDK how they do it with those 30-36" mowers, why even bother?

p.s.: You can't cut every yard with the Z, even the wider deck Wb's cut me out of some but the Z is even worse in this regard, so again it is a luxury and an investment that I can only justify as such.

Last edited by topsites; 09-19-2006 at 01:57 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:38 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topsites
From what I've heard and experienced, the Z starts to outrun the Wb on lots an acre or bigger in size, most anything smaller than an acre the Wb is the ticket due to its maneuverability and agility. But yes, once you get towards the acre lot, the Wb starts to drag hard, I know this for a fact, I got several acre+ lots and trying to get more so I can get a Z lol.

But it is true, the Z is not the best mower out there just because it's a Z, it is a luxury I myself find hard to justify even in my 5th year, I know other Lco's who went 8+ years before ever owning one, it stuns and amazes me how 1st-year Lco's can just splurge off that much cash right off the bat, the Wb is still the best all-around investment IMO while the Z is for those of us who made it that far lol.

As for deck width, the smallest deck Z I would consider would be wider than my Wb which is a 48"... So really, at least a 60" deck... I mean, I'm not buying the Z to sit on my tail, I'm buying it to get some GRASS cut, grass which I could never cut in such short a time with the 48" fixed deck. But no way would I ever consider a deck smaller than 4 feet wide, it's just not worth it to putt putt around with those small decks, IDK how they do it with those 30-36" mowers, why even bother?

p.s.: You can't cut every yard with the Z, even the wider deck Wb's cut me out of some but the Z is even worse in this regard, so again it is a luxury and an investment that I can only justify as such.
I would say half acre a Z starts to show its stuff but the super Z is not your normal Z mine on bahia is incredible way and I mean WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more productive than my 60 Lazer not even close .
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2006, 09:23 AM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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I'm not really seeing the fatigue factor. I mean we used to mow 12-14 hours a day with nothing but belt drive toro t-bars 5 days a week and we will still all go out to bars and such after work and come back in at 6:00 the next morning and do it all over. You spend so much time sitting in the truck going from job to job. I feel a lot more tired running a bobcat for 6 hours than I do mowing for 10 and you sit in a bobcat. Yes on big jobs say over an Acre you may get a little worn out, but on your average residential yard? There is no doubt that a 60" ztr is going to cut more grass in less time than a 48" walk behind, but is it worth it? Would it not be better to spend the extra money on a part time employee to help out here and there? No one has any actaul cost data of what the true cost of a ZTR is?
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2006, 04:44 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Come on guys. Out of all these members no one has anything to offer about how much a ZTR cost to run a year? Or is it so expensive everyone is affraid to look. lol
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2006, 04:59 PM
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Liquidfast Liquidfast is offline
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Bottom line, if you need Z, buy a Z period. I want accounts that require a Z 100% of the time and nothing else. In my humble opinion, you aren't making real money (solo) if you aren't using a Z. And I dont mean the LCOs that go out and buy one just for the sake of having it. I am referring to the ones that can justify it on larger lots. I have started using my Z on lawns that I used to use a 48" wb on just cuz I can.

Next year, I'll have 33 commercial and 12 residential. The residential accounts are a minimum of 1/2 acre and I will never step foot on a $25 yard again unless its in and out with no gate, no trees and only trimming around the house.

As far as costs to run the equipment, it's really a moot point. As long as equipment is making you money, who cares. If you are a smart biz person, you have already factored in your cost of doing business and that includes, and is not limited to gas, equipment costs and maintenance, insurance, depreciation and daily incidentals. I have never questioned costs on anything I have purchased. Its making me money cuz I have taken the above into account when pricing work.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2006, 11:25 AM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsylvain
I'm not really seeing the fatigue factor. I mean we used to mow 12-14 hours a day with nothing but belt drive toro t-bars 5 days a week and we will still all go out to bars and such after work and come back in at 6:00 the next morning and do it all over. You spend so much time sitting in the truck going from job to job. I feel a lot more tired running a bobcat for 6 hours than I do mowing for 10 and you sit in a bobcat. Yes on big jobs say over an Acre you may get a little worn out, but on your average residential yard? There is no doubt that a 60" ztr is going to cut more grass in less time than a 48" walk behind, but is it worth it? Would it not be better to spend the extra money on a part time employee to help out here and there? No one has any actaul cost data of what the true cost of a ZTR is?
A question to your question

Are you talking cost per hour or costs per square area (acre, square foot)

But how many acres per day per machine did you cut?

See, the question can be twisted in many different directions, depending on weither you are paid per visit per hour per season or per acre
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2006, 11:35 AM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Cost per whatever would be as good as anything. It doesn't really matter to me, as long as I have the information. Are you saying your cost is $23.00 per acre total, or per machine? How long does it take you to mow the 25 acres in hours? What are you including in the cost?

thanks.

Last edited by lsylvain; 09-21-2006 at 11:42 AM.
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