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  #1  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:10 PM
LSUfan1 LSUfan1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
I need your help!!

Hello all, long time lurker/first time poster here.

I have recently started looking for a machine to cut the grass on some property I own. The information contained in the old posts here at Lawnsite is fantastic, but there is so much of it that I now that I am suffering from paralysis by analysis! I need your help to get me back on track.

I own some residential property that is 3.5 acres, rectangular & flat. There are a few trees on it [3 old live oaks (200yrs+) & 5 young ones (~35yrs); no visible roots]. The grass is nothing special and has patches of clover throughout. We will build on it eventually, but in the interim (2 years?) I need to maintain it myself (deal I made with the wife)

I have dealers for most major brands nearby. So far, the John Deere dealer has been the most helpful and is likely the one I will deal with.

In my search, I have decided to buy much more machine than I need for the job. As such, my choices have been narrowed down to the z900 series ZTRs and the X700 series garden tractors.

I love the versatility the garden tractor offers, but I am concerned that it will take much longer to cut the grass than the ZTR. I know the advertised top speeds are slightly different between the units (10+ for the ZTRs and 8.6 for the GT), but how does that translate to real-world cutting speed? Both have various iterations of the 7-iron deck. Will the ZTR complete the that much faster than the GT? Are there any other machines I should look at?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:27 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 7,957
Where you gain time on a Z over a tractor isn't so much the max ground speed as the increased manueverability. A ZTR will do much of what a tractor will do as far as towing around carts and tow-behind rear implements and such. You really need to decide if you're going to want PTO driven rear implements or a snowblower I think. Which is more important, the ability to mow grass or to have an all-around utility-type tractor?
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:00 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,577
I am not sure why most homeowners want to know at warp speed. It isn't necessary, nor does it produce the best job. Plus, it's harder on equipment by far. That said, I would look long and hard at the GT. It will pull much heavier loads than any Z will, and it will be far more versatile for the average homeowner in the long run unless you never plan on any gardening, lawn rolling, snow removal etc. If you never plan on mowing for a living, you won't miss the Z. Most guys don't mow at full sticks with their Z's either. Either the ground is too rough, or the property won't allow it, so the Z's only real advantages IMO are it's better maneuverability and higher blade tip speed when you are able to go at higher speed across the turf. Unless you use the Z all the time, you will have a lot more issues with tearing turf on turns etc., too.

I own lots of JD equipment including a GT, Z950 and a CUT. I have lots of mowing experience on all three of them too, and for what you are wanting to do I say go with the GT.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G
I can also tell by looking back to see how they're hanging and often reach back and feel them to see how firm they are.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:37 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 1,574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridin' Green View Post
I am not sure why most homeowners want to know at warp speed. It isn't necessary, nor does it produce the best job. Plus, it's harder on equipment by far. That said, I would look long and hard at the GT. It will pull much heavier loads than any Z will, and it will be far more versatile for the average homeowner in the long run unless you never plan on any gardening, lawn rolling, snow removal etc. If you never plan on mowing for a living, you won't miss the Z. Most guys don't mow at full sticks with their Z's either. Either the ground is too rough, or the property won't allow it, so the Z's only real advantages IMO are it's better maneuverability and higher blade tip speed when you are able to go at higher speed across the turf. Unless you use the Z all the time, you will have a lot more issues with tearing turf on turns etc., too.

I own lots of JD equipment including a GT, Z950 and a CUT. I have lots of mowing experience on all three of them too, and for what you are wanting to do I say go with the GT.
I agree, speed while mowing should not be a factor. Did you know that the best mowing speed is 6.5 MPH. Going too fast will beat you and the mower to death, fast. Go for the tractor, much more versatile, much cheaper.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:44 PM
ztman ztman is online now
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: mountain pa
Posts: 633
I have a JD x720 and a zero turn, the zero turn cuts twice as fast, and cut better, quality zero turn is the way to go imo
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:47 PM
LSUfan1 LSUfan1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks to everyone for their replies!

My dealer has agreed to let me demo a z925 and an x720 on my property. I will let everyone know the outcome....
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