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Old 09-18-2006, 05:36 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
Posts: 777
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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