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  #41  
Old 09-22-2006, 08:29 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kitchener On
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Thank-you Mark for backing up (in a round about way) my earlier point about acreage and choice of machine.

From Isylvain's discussion and attitude it appears that he cuts only residential where gates are a big concern. Our big concern is how long one can cut in a straight line at full sticks before one has to come about. (so far our maximum is about 60 seconds) and head back down the next row. Your analogy of the sod farm fits right in here. In our case 25 litres of diesel will keep the 72" cutter cruising for the day. Numbers supplied by the manufacturers on acres per hour should be put where they belong (figure it out!) The big cutter uses about .4 USgal/acre or .9 USgal per engine hour.

Based on that discusion Isylvain should throw out his walk behind and buy a 72" diesel cutter 'cause I bet he's spending way more than .4 USgal per acre cut.

Yes, yes there is a major failure here. He can't FIT a big cutter on most of his lawns.

Now I circle back to topsites and my original point on the question 'Which is better, WB or Z?'

IT DEPENDS.

All the discussion doesn't get a concensus. Like the man who dropped the 5 pound weight and the 10 pound weight from the tall tower to see which fell faster, you actually have to try it to see what happens. (Google 'Gallileo's Experiment')

So use a WB on a few properties, and next week use the Z and then compare the theories with the results and come to a conclusion

Last edited by heather lawn sp; 09-22-2006 at 08:38 PM.
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  #42  
Old 09-23-2006, 02:50 PM
justanotherlawnguy's Avatar
justanotherlawnguy justanotherlawnguy is offline
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Location: tampa, fl
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I think you are putting too much thought into it. Make a business plan and see what works for YOU.

There is a reason the majority of LCO's have Z's!!! They have already figured out what works. Period!

Here is an idea for you. Go sit at a major intersection and watch all the LCO's roll by. See what they have on thier trailers. Being in Bradenton/Sarasota, it should not take long for a bunch of them to go by.

I think if you asked any guy that if money was no object would they rather have a walk behind or a Z. It is pretty much a no-brainer that probably 100% would say a Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #43  
Old 09-23-2006, 06:43 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherlawnguy
I think you are putting too much thought into it. Make a business plan and see what works for YOU.

There is a reason the majority of LCO's have Z's!!! They have already figured out what works. Period!

Here is an idea for you. Go sit at a major intersection and watch all the LCO's roll by. See what they have on thier trailers. Being in Bradenton/Sarasota, it should not take long for a bunch of them to go by.

I think if you asked any guy that if money was no object would they rather have a walk behind or a Z. It is pretty much a no-brainer that probably 100% would say a Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I was specializing in residentials a WB can make more money than a Z can. I feel good commercial accounts can make the most money with a Z but getting good commercial accounts is hard.
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  #44  
Old 09-23-2006, 10:50 PM
Precision Precision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REALSLOW
If I was specializing in residentials a WB can make more money than a Z can. I feel good commercial accounts can make the most money with a Z but getting good commercial accounts is hard.
Maybe, but I would put my 36" z cat against any 36" walk behind for productivity. And at 200 hours in a year. I am definately getting my money's worth out of my "back yard" mower.
Certainly there are things that you can do with the WB that I can't do with the z cat, but then again you can't cut at 8mph with a WB either.
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  #45  
Old 09-23-2006, 10:59 PM
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Uranus Uranus is offline
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Location: Mass
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I didn't read all the responces but it looks like your just adding up labor savings. And then wondering about maitence expences. With all that aside, how about moral of employees. I know I hate walking all day. What about adding in the break times for the guys walking all day. How much time do you lose a year adding up a 5 min water break to cool off a little before starting the next lawn. And if you bag your clippings what about all the time spent dumping those small baggers. Riders have much larger baggers.
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  #46  
Old 09-24-2006, 01:03 AM
DuraCutter DuraCutter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucec32
I have some lawns where the 44" wb finishes as fast or faster than the 48" ztr. Usually it's small lawns where I'm turning a lot. You have to slow so much with the Z that you lose time there, especially on thin turf where damage is possible. But on other lawns the ZTR blows it away.

You also have to factor in the ability to mow backwards when needed, the quickness of reversing in and out of spots, etc. most ZTR's also have quick height adjustments that allow you to change height "on the fly". It comes in handy here with varying mowing heights, and also allows me to fine tune cuts over crests and other areas where you need to raise the deck slightly to avoid scalping. Most if not all wb's can't do that.

But most of all, you have to remember that standing on a sulky or walking is a lot harder on the body than sitting. And in my case at least, I have more time than energy anyway.

I also find that I don't mind making a high speed 2nd pass over a lawn to disperse clumps on the ZTR, but it would be more of a drag doing that wiht the wb.

If mowing part time, a wb would be fine. Full time, you probably need both types or will have to turn away some types of lawns.

Also, it's hard to time mowing exactly since conditions can vary week to week. But say you're doing a typical 1/4 acre subdivision home. You might only be mowing for 15-20 min. Say one type does the job 10% faster. You saved 2 minutes. Time is money, but other factors begin to matter more, such as cut quality, turf damage, fatigue, etc. Of course it matters more on bigger props and when doing high volume stuff.
I find that I feel worse if I sit in the Deere for 4 hours than if I had walked with a Wb or a 21". The bouncing seems a lot harder. Anyways, a lot of walking never wore anyone out. It's the lack of walking or a predisposition to injury that's the culprit.

If I shovel snow for let's say 10 straight hours with breaks every two hours, overall, my body loves it. Keeps me limber, same with mowing.
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  #47  
Old 09-24-2006, 10:16 AM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Precision
Maybe, but I would put my 36" z cat against any 36" walk behind for productivity. And at 200 hours in a year. I am definately getting my money's worth out of my "back yard" mower.
Certainly there are things that you can do with the WB that I can't do with the z cat, but then again you can't cut at 8mph with a WB either.
You will not outcut one of my walkmowers with a 36Z. A WB does not tear the turf near as much as a Z. I can fly around a property at 8 or 9 miles an hour on a WB with a fixed velkie and not worry about damaging the turf. My super Z if I try and do that it looks like we had a tractor pull on the lawn so the WB is more productive on small to medium lawns and looks way better because you can hardly see the tracks on the lawn. Really a Produtive company that can handle all jobs needs both. People pay me top $ not to use a Z. They are tired of turf tearing and will usually in some cases pay me an extra 20 $ a month to use a WB and some will pay an Extra 40 to 50$ a month to walk it with a WB. These are small lawns as well, The WB is faster on these lawns anyways over a Z so for me it is a win win thing kinda like the bank cartels ruling the world.
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  #48  
Old 09-24-2006, 08:12 PM
MarcSmith MarcSmith is offline
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On a healthy St Augustine or even bahia, a properly driven Z will not tear up the grass....I never had any complaints. heck Is till wish I had my 36 up here though...It woudl be nice on the hills on my current yard and I could probaly make a few bucks with out even leaving the hood.. ohwell easy come easy go...

Go with what you feel comfortable with. if you have gates, youre stuck with a 36 or a 48" and a 21.... take your pick...

I had no gates smaller than 5 feet...so I could get the 52 in...My number snad experience told me that the Z was the right choice to make...

and if your getting beatup up on a z as a result of the rough surface, Spend the monay on a suspension seat or find better yards.....
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  #49  
Old 09-25-2006, 02:59 PM
lsylvain lsylvain is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
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No, breaks allowed on Job sites. Breaks on job sites are for Scrubs. My wife is a reastarant manager, she is on her feet 12-14 hours a day 6 days a week. Her other manager works the same hours and is 7 months pregnant. It seems we have a general concensous that grown men who get paid to work outside are not as tough as a 35 year old pregnant women with diabeties. lol seriously though the question I am asking is not which is faster a 36" walkbehind or a 72" ztr. I'm talking a 60 W/B vs a 60 ztr or 52 vs 52 or 36 vs 36, and if the labor cost saved outweights the added cost of the machine.

I pretty much descided to let my yard go for a couple weeks and then demo a 52" ztr and 52" w/b I will mow at a high height then clean up all the clippings, then I'm going to drop the deck 1" and time the ztr from gate up to gate up on the trailer, rake up all the clipppings again and then time the 52" walkbehind cutting an inch off, from gate up to gate up and see what the savings is.

The dealer quates on Acres per hour don't include turns, they just assume a straight line. Also, I am sure that the max speed that is quated from the dealer is blades off running on concrete, not actually mowing. Usually the dealer with show a 80% efficiency. What if you can only run the Z at 50% efficiency and the Walkbehind at 90%. so the 10 mph ztr is down to 5 mph and the 6 mph w/b is only down to 5.4 mph.
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  #50  
Old 09-25-2006, 05:40 PM
REALSLOW REALSLOW is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: FLORIDA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcSmith
On a healthy St Augustine or even bahia, a properly driven Z will not tear up the grass....I never had any complaints. heck Is till wish I had my 36 up here though...It woudl be nice on the hills on my current yard and I could probaly make a few bucks with out even leaving the hood.. ohwell easy come easy go...

Go with what you feel comfortable with. if you have gates, youre stuck with a 36 or a 48" and a 21.... take your pick...

I had no gates smaller than 5 feet...so I could get the 52 in...My number snad experience told me that the Z was the right choice to make...

and if your getting beatup up on a z as a result of the rough surface, Spend the monay on a suspension seat or find better yards.....
The problem with the Z is you have to slow down to much on some properties. I love the Z's but realize there limitations.
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