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  #41  
Old 02-19-2010, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Easy with the blanket statements. I'm old and have both, a 36" w/b and a 48" ZTR. Up until three years ago, I used the w/b for all jobs, then added the 48" ZTR. The w/b is still used on a little over half my properties. The ZTR is too big in terms of terrain, too tight to get through, or is much harder to manage discharged clippings (don't want them in beds, driveways, etc). The w/b gets used about 350 hours per year, the ZTR, just a little less. I am the only operator of both machines.

I also run a 21" hand mower nearly all the time -- many places it is needed where the w/b is too big. The quality of work, handling of bags, etc just does not justify using the w/b.

In terms of the economics, I could never justify adding the 48" ZTR to my 36" w/b. I can never recover the costs. The added productivity just cannot justify the added expense and maintenance. I bought the ZTR hoping for much more production, but it just isn't there. Also, I'm a little older than most others who are on LS, and I was strongly encouraged by others to "ride." Well, that is not its cracked up to be either. Riding is a back killer. I do well with walking, or using a BullRider with my w/b (rare cases). In the Fall, when the weather is cold, the ZTR is akin to a mummifier -- just sit there, getting colder by the minute, not moving, and at the end, somebody needs to pry me out of the seat. Not quite, ...

Maybe the rider will extend my career by a season or two. I would much rather get customers who need a 21" hand mower -- those properties are the most profitable for me. If given a choice, I would permanently part the w/b and ZTR. But, the mix of properties dictates otherwise.

In my area, I think nearly all ZTRs are 48", maybe a 52" machine here and there. 60" and 72" machines are never used. I think nearly all w/b are 48". My 36" is very rare.
Just so you know when most of us are talking about ZTR's we are talking about 52" to 60" with suspension seats and a ride much better than the one you got. Also you have to grow your business towards lawns that are more wide open. I don't blow clippings into beds, I generally mulch and with the right combo of water and fertilizer the lawns look great. If someone has an area they want bagged I have a 60" with a bagger that I can use but rarely need too. I carry 3 large ztrs and a 21" for tight spots, small gates on my trailer. That way I can mulch bag or side discharge with 3 different setups. I don't bid lawns with gates that would keep my ztr's out, I don't want them. I'm getting older and find this works best for me. But for comparisons I don't think you would see any benefit of using a 48"ztr compared to the walkbehinds you mentioned. ZTR's need to be 52" to be worth it. You get more trimside, and in general wider tires to support the weight.
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  #42  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cbegap View Post
I get some rutting with my Z mainly from going around trees and other obstacles and it starts to leave donuts around them. Not sure what to do about it yet. I use my rider way more than my 2 wbs. Just works for me. I just could not mow as fast, period, the end. I don't get heat stroke riding like I did one year walking. Amazing how much cooler it is riding vs walking. My Z also bags better using a Grass Gobler. The catcher stays on better than it does on the wb. Kept falling off the wb and I was trying to bungie it on, cuss at it etc. I have a 1 wheel velke and it leaves a bad stripe that messes up my beautiful lines. I don't use it enough to justify running out and buying a 2 wheel one. Someday maybe. But the top speed just isn't there with the wbs. Turns are trickier and I really wish I had ECS controls. I will say that I am truly converted to Hydro wbs vs my trusty belt drive. Yes you can do 90-95% of the same thing with the Belt drive, but that last percent is oh so nice. Love backing up. With the velky, just lean back and push up with your toes and you can back up nicely with it. Nice. Not as hard on my hands either as a belt. So I really try and match my equip to each lawn. I use a 52 Ztr, 44 Hydro Wb, a 36 Hydro WB new this year (to me anyway) , and a 21 push. So if the yard is really big my helper uses the wb until it makes sense to stop and start weed eating and edging. Then I finish up and help him finish blowing if he isn't done. Both done at the same time and off to the next. Call me crazy but I like having them all to pick and choose. Also, if one goes down while out, you can still put together a decent day.
operator error. Just because you can zero turn it doesnt mean you should in every situation.
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  #43  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:43 AM
Roger Roger is online now
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post
J.... Also you have to grow your business towards lawns that are more wide open. I don't blow clippings into beds, I generally mulch and with the right combo of water and fertilizer the lawns look great. ....
Again, different areas present different situations. "... wide open..." are only so many properties. One has to work the properties that are available. If I could make my own, I would make them smaller to use my 21" hand mower exclusively, ... best profit. But, I am not able to remake the properties.

60" ZTRs may work in other parts of the country, but, here, they are just not part of the fleets here. Yes, I realize a larger machine would ride better, but my objective is not to have a pleasant ride, rather to get the task done in the best possible way.

Also, in this area, I know of nobody with a ZTR that is mulching. That just does not work here. Either clippings are bagged, or discharged. I bought a mulching kit for my w/b several years ago, hoping to eliminate the problem if discharging clippings into beds and mulched tree circles. It just did not work. There are too many wet clippings when the growth is heavy. Clippings turn to mush because of heavy moisture content. Quality of cut is not acceptable either. I use the mulching feature on my hand mower in some areas, but usually bagging is used more often.
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  #44  
Old 02-19-2010, 03:04 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Just so you know when most of us are talking about ZTR's we are talking about 52" to 60" with suspension seats and a ride much better than the one you got. Also you have to grow your business towards lawns that are more wide open. I don't blow clippings into beds, I generally mulch and with the right combo of water and fertilizer the lawns look great. If someone has an area they want bagged I have a 60" with a bagger that I can use but rarely need too. I carry 3 large ztrs and a 21" for tight spots, small gates on my trailer. That way I can mulch bag or side discharge with 3 different setups. I don't bid lawns with gates that would keep my ztr's out, I don't want them. I'm getting older and find this works best for me. But for comparisons I don't think you would see any benefit of using a 48"ztr compared to the walkbehinds you mentioned. ZTR's need to be 52" to be worth it. You get more trimside, and in general wider tires to support the weight.
speak for yourself.......

ztr stand for zero turn radius. that covers walkbehinds, standers and sit downs.

when i see the letters ztr only i wonder are they talking about a walkbehind, a stander or a sit down.

get with it dude. even if you use ztr to mean sit down you can have anything from a 34" deck all the way to 72".
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  #45  
Old 02-19-2010, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
speak for yourself.......

ztr stand for zero turn radius. that covers walkbehinds, standers and sit downs.

when i see the letters ztr only i wonder are they talking about a walkbehind, a stander or a sit down.

get with it dude. even if you use ztr to mean sit down you can have anything from a 34" deck all the way to 72".
he is talking about generaly speaking. Who needs to get with it?
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  #46  
Old 02-19-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardguy28 View Post
speak for yourself.......

ztr stand for zero turn radius. that covers walkbehinds, standers and sit downs.

when i see the letters ztr only i wonder are they talking about a walkbehind, a stander or a sit down.

get with it dude. even if you use ztr to mean sit down you can have anything from a 34" deck all the way to 72".
Sorry Yardguy ! I been running ZTR's since before you could even spell it. I thought we were comparing 60"ztrs against the small walkbehinds etc. I was merely pointing out a 48" ztr is hardly comparible to a 60" ride wise, and cut wise in my opinion.

So I'll see if I can get with next time and spell it out so you can understand as well. Go drink some warm milk or something to calm you down.
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  #47  
Old 02-19-2010, 04:28 PM
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MJB MJB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Again, different areas present different situations. "... wide open..." are only so many properties. One has to work the properties that are available. If I could make my own, I would make them smaller to use my 21" hand mower exclusively, ... best profit. But, I am not able to remake the properties.

60" ZTRs may work in other parts of the country, but, here, they are just not part of the fleets here. Yes, I realize a larger machine would ride better, but my objective is not to have a pleasant ride, rather to get the task done in the best possible way.

Also, in this area, I know of nobody with a ZTR that is mulching. That just does not work here. Either clippings are bagged, or discharged. I bought a mulching kit for my w/b several years ago, hoping to eliminate the problem if discharging clippings into beds and mulched tree circles. It just did not work. There are too many wet clippings when the growth is heavy. Clippings turn to mush because of heavy moisture content. Quality of cut is not acceptable either. I use the mulching feature on my hand mower in some areas, but usually bagging is used more often.
Hey Roger I feel for ya! That just shows how different conditions are even though we probably cut the same northern grasses I'm in a dryer climate which allows me to have more options.
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2013 Exmark Pioneer S 60" Ultracut (Review with pics) http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=410996

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  #48  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:39 PM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punt66 View Post
he is talking about generaly speaking. Who needs to get with it?
generaly speaking then.......ztr stands for zero turn radius.....that covers walkbehinds, standers and riders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Sorry Yardguy ! I been running ZTR's since before you could even spell it. I thought we were comparing 60"ztrs against the small walkbehinds etc. I was merely pointing out a 48" ztr is hardly comparible to a 60" ride wise, and cut wise in my opinion.

So I'll see if I can get with next time and spell it out so you can understand as well. Go drink some warm milk or something to calm you down.
and your point would be what? if i wanna state what ztr means and that walkbehinds, standers and rider are ALL ztr's then i will.......

i've been through 2 ztr's but i've never owned a rider
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  #49  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:51 PM
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I really laugh when people say that a deck is true float on anything that is zero turn radius. The deck would have to ride on the ground. simplicity is the only on I know that does this on there riding tractors. They have a rollers that go all the way along the back of the deck. When you adjust the deck ride height, it adjusts the rollers. Then you can just pick the mower up off the ground with the electric lift.

I know a guy who mows a meat place with one of these. The lawn looks just like this when he is done. This is all stock.
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  #50  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:52 PM
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the deck looks like this. This is a old one.
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