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  #11  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:38 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: FLORIDA
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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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  #12  
Old 09-19-2006, 03:56 PM
MTR MTR is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Florida
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The Z, 52" & 60" are number one in my book. They are money making machines. A hydro walk, 48"-60" is just secondary or supplementary to your Z. The fatigue part, operating fatigue from running sulky on walkbehind cutting 8-10 lawns a day is justified enough to replace with the Z as frontline.
Even you have crew to help you, they will not last long. I was so beat on fatigue part when I was running hydro walk only back then, and there is no way I will run wb as main mower. You still need your walkbehing only as supplementary.
Time saved, and fatigue factor associatiated are well well worth for having a Z.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2006, 09:23 AM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
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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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  #14  
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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  #15  
Old 09-20-2006, 04:59 PM
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Liquidfast Liquidfast is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ontario
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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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  #16  
Old 09-20-2006, 08:09 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Liquidfast.

I definatly see that savings are possible if you have many larger accounts and you can use the ZTR all the time and it saves you.

I definatly care if I can earn more money with a 36" walk behind over a Z I'm going to walk my tired A@# behind that mower until I can see anymore. I'm not saying that you can earn more with a 36 just that if I could I would use the 36" I mean if a Z ends up costing you $1.00 more per account per cut and you have 100 accounts that is $3,000.00 a year I could have spent on advertising or purchase another walk behind.

I understand your point that if you are making money who cares, but I don't nessisarily agree with it. What if you get really big and have enough clients to run 10 ztrs and they cost you $3,000 more a year than walk behinds? That is $30,000. Or what if you are in a economically depressed area where every penny counts?
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2006, 08:40 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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The money in residentials is in small lots, a wright stander or a good WB can make more doing residentials in my opinion. I cannot get the big residentials to pay chit! I can do a 150 $ a month small residential full service account with me and one helper in 18 minutes or less. I do not touch these lawns with a Z. It works out to over 45$ a visit so I am making over 135 $ an hour for 2 guys. I have big problems getting big Residentials to pay me that an hour + they are harder on the equipment. I can get big commercial to pay me that an hour for 2 guys with no problem. So I believe in a Z for big commercial properties and if you buy a good quality one with a good service shop that can fix it on the spot ( not a Lesco ) with a great warranty a Z is no problem.
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2006, 09:08 PM
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Liquidfast Liquidfast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsylvain
Liquidfast.

I definatly see that savings are possible if you have many larger accounts and you can use the ZTR all the time and it saves you.

I definatly care if I can earn more money with a 36" walk behind over a Z I'm going to walk my tired A@# behind that mower until I can see anymore. I'm not saying that you can earn more with a 36 just that if I could I would use the 36" I mean if a Z ends up costing you $1.00 more per account per cut and you have 100 accounts that is $3,000.00 a year I could have spent on advertising or purchase another walk behind.

I understand your point that if you are making money who cares, but I don't nessisarily agree with it. What if you get really big and have enough clients to run 10 ztrs and they cost you $3,000 more a year than walk behinds? That is $30,000. Or what if you are in a economically depressed area where every penny counts?

I now see your point. I never thought about it that way before. DAMN YOU, now its back to the drawing board.

Amazing the things you learn here. In the end, and believe it or not, I would spend the extra $1 per account to sit rather than ride. However, since you put a dollar figure on it, I "M I G H T" reconsider it. Good call. I think this should be a sticky for those considering buying one.

Kudos to you, DAMN YOU but.....damn you. And I thought I knew it all.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2006, 10:10 AM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Liquidfast,
I would also prefer to sit and would be willing to pay for it definately. Who doesn't want to sit. Although my wife brought up a good point last night about the ecercise gained from all the walking and standing is good for you healthwise. Unfortunatly she has a point. I usually end up gaining about 15-20 pounds every off season and then pealing it off durring the season. So if with a ZTR I only burned half the calories I would gain 15 but only loose 7.5 then gain another 15 and only loose 7.5. In a couple of years you would be seeing me on Jerry springer because Jerry is paying someone to lift me out of the house with a forklift. lol

I did a little seaching and discovered that in general a ZTR will burn 2 times the fuel that a w/b will. So if you are buring 5 gallons a day with a w/b you are looking at 10 gal a day for ztr. That comes out to about $1,800 a year or so in extra fuel if you are running full time.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2006, 11:07 AM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kitchener On
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Topsites has the beginnings of the right approach to this question. The question isn't which is better, but on what size and terrain is it better? The opinion seems to be somewhere in between one half and an acre is the change over point. Around our operation we can cut and trim 25 acres a day in 5 sites with 2 z's. I know that there are others that have even higher productivity (Mike jump right in here), but that is up near the upper range. How many can get that kind of productivity from two walk behinds? Our costs are about $23 per acre.
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