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  #1  
Old 11-22-2008, 12:27 PM
walterwilde walterwilde is offline
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Unhappy Zero radius mowers breaking sprinkler heads

My landscape company uses large ride on commercial zero radius mowers to mow my small residential less than 1/4 acre lawn. There are many sprinkler heads that are breaking and they never take responsibility. Is there any information or documentation I can present to them about this situation. Your response would be greatly apppreciated.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:26 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walterwilde View Post
My landscape company uses large ride on commercial zero radius mowers to mow my small residential less than 1/4 acre lawn. There are many sprinkler heads that are breaking and they never take responsibility. Is there any information or documentation I can present to them about this situation. Your response would be greatly apppreciated.
Tell them to get their lazy @&&es off the ZTRs, and stand their pathetic, sorry legs up and get behind some ( much lighter) 36" - 54" walk-behind mowers, that any respectible mowing company is ethically supposed to be using for 'postage-stamp' lawns of your size!!

Last edited by Marcos; 11-22-2008 at 01:30 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2008, 06:08 PM
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cpel2004 cpel2004 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcos View Post
Tell them to get their lazy @&&es off the ZTRs, and stand their pathetic, sorry legs up and get behind some ( much lighter) 36" - 54" walk-behind mowers, that any respectible mowing company is ethically supposed to be using for 'postage-stamp' lawns of your size!!
I just saw your comments, surprisingly you are bashing the same industry that feeds your family and your making strong assumptions without knowing all of the facts. I certainly wouldnt call anyone who is willing to mow in the summer months in this state LAZY.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2008, 11:32 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Tell them to get their lazy @&&es off the ZTRs, and stand their pathetic, sorry legs up and get behind some ( much lighter) 36" - 54" walk-behind mowers, that any respectible mowing company is ethically supposed to be using for 'postage-stamp' lawns of your size!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpel2004 View Post
I just saw your comments, surprisingly you are bashing the same industry that feeds your family and your making strong assumptions without knowing all of the facts. I certainly wouldnt call anyone who is willing to mow in the summer months in this state LAZY.
If had read this entire thread, including my comments to Runner, you would have discovered that I retracted & qualified this earlier statement to some degree, in posting #5 :




"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.

Likewise...
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!)"[/QUOTE]

Last edited by Marcos; 11-24-2008 at 11:36 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:41 PM
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billslawn89 billslawn89 is offline
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i'm sure you are telling them that they are breaking the sprinkler heads. ya? if they continue...get rid of them!
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:59 PM
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Runner Runner is offline
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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.
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Last edited by Runner; 11-22-2008 at 02:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2008, 03:11 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runner View Post
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.

Likewise...
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!)

Last edited by Marcos; 11-22-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2008, 03:14 PM
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LushGreenLawn LushGreenLawn is offline
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I just want to chime in and backup runner, I don't have the quite the experience that he has, but I have mowed quite a few lawns, and have only damaged one head, that was stuck in the up position. I run over them all the time without issue.

I use a Z everywhere I can, because its the most efficient way to mow lawns. In any business, efficiency is important, as long as its not causing damage. I would check with your sprinkler company about any warranty you may have.

BTW, I do have 4 customers who insist on a push mower, and I am happy be flexible and do it for them, but their rate reflects the extra time it take to mow with the push mower. They all know this and think its fair.

If you ask your contractor to use a smaller, less efficient machine, expect to pay quite a premium for it.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2008, 11:08 AM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Im with Runner.. I use a ZTR on anything we can, were out there 10hrs a day, and i dont want myself or the crew tired because they had to walk "mowing" more than they had to.

Ive cut hundreds of 1/4 acre lawns if theyre wide open and we can fit a 48" ztr mower on them. Has nothing to do with being lazy, the guys who use walk behinds on everything just cant afford the bigger/better ride on machines.

As far as breaking sprinkler heads, 90% of the lawns i cut in developments 1 acre and smaller have irrigation systems and we've NEVER broken a lawn rotor because we drove over it while it was retracted.

If your guy is breaking/chopping up sprinkler heads, there is a problem with the irrigation system "the rotor itself" not retracting fully into the ground. Call your irrigation company and have them check it out.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2008, 06:24 PM
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dave k dave k is offline
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Remember people we are talking about So. Fl, here, so the lawn is probably cut at 4" or higher. So to me this sounds like the rotors may have sand in them which would keep them up partially, St. Augustine can grow quite tall in one week, so if that is the case you can't really blame the LCO for not seeing them. I would use a stainless rotor which would help them to go down. Without pic's it's really to hard to tell from the amount of info he provided.
I don't think the Z has anything to do with it, if a rotor is stuck partially up even a walk behind would brake them.
I personally don't take responsibility for braking rotors unless it is my fault.
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