Commercial blade tip speed on residential ZTRs???

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by andygold, May 4, 2005.

  1. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Are there any residentially priced machines that have commercial FPS ratings on the blades? My funds are now limited to a residential machine due to some unexpected bills. So, I'm looking into the residential market for a ZTR. The thing is, if the blades are spinning at the lower speeds typical of residential machines, then I'm guessing that the higher ground speed of a ZTR over a comparably decked tractor would be of little use (manueverability aside). You can't mulch well, if you're passing over the grass too quick for the blades to recut the same grass a second or third time.

    Any thoughts as to which resi machines have the higher blade speeds? Also, if there are any, does anyone know how much trimming their decks will allow?

    I looked at to Cub Tank models(when I had more funds), and the bigger the deck, the wider the rear tires...to the point of almost no trimming ability.
     
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    The first question is....................How much can you spend?
     
  3. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    I seem to recall a discussion of blade tip speed on the Hustler-sponsored board for their Fastrak models. I'm not sure of all the physics involved, but I suspect high blade tip speed would allow someone to cut at a similar quality at higher speeds. I also think higher blades speeds would increase the vacuum or airflow effects under the mower, but I suspect blade design would have just as much of an effect if not more.

    I would check around a bit on manufacturer's websites for specifications as more and more are trying to emulate commercial ZTRs.

    As to the deck overhang issue for trimming, I have good luck with a 52" deck in my Toro Z-453, which definitely has more clearance than the 48" deck and is actually offset to the left a bit. I can trim around just about anything. One way your could approach the issue is to consider one of the larger deck sizes for a given mower model which, simply put, should have more mower deck sticking out on the sides.
     
  4. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    My banker (the wife) is pushing me towards a lawn tractor due to the cost being below $2000. Where I was originally leaning toward a Ferris IS1500Z, Simplicity Citation, or Hustler FasTrak 20/52 all in the $5000 area, I'm now looking at trying to coax between $2000 and $3000 MAX from her. There's no commercial machine in that price range that I know of (at least not in my area of the country). So, I've looked at the Cub Cadet RZT 50 and 42 (on their website...have not seen any info on deck overhang or blade speed). Didn't really care for the Toro resi models. The thing is, the Cub is probably more than sufficient for my resi needs, but I'm wondering if I can mow/mulch at a faster speed than a JD 111 for example. If the blade speeds are the same, I don't see anything to gain other than the maneuverability of the ZTR. I'm guessing you wouldn't want to drive at a higher speed than a tractor (if the ZTR is actually able) if both machines' blades are turning at the same rate....if the slow tractor's blades aren't mulching well, then the slow blades of the ZTR shouldn't do any better, unless deck design is significantly better. Any thoughts?
     
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    If you go and look at john deeres new mowing deck i think its called cutting edge or something like that, its got a blade speed around 17500 FPM. Thats not bad for a lawn tractor. The one i seen was a 25 HP Kohler with a 48" deck. The NEW deck seems like it will cut better then the tractors in the past.

    John
     
  6. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    andygold -- What you are saying about ground speeds and deck designs makes sense, but dont underestimate the handling issues on a ZTR and how much they can decrease mowing time -- this is the primary reason to get a ZTR IMO. On the other hand, you may want to hold off and get a decent lawn tractor with decent resale (like a John Deere) that you can sell or trade in when you can afford a better ZTR. Not to complicate the issue, but in that price range, another way to consider the issue is ask how much tractor you can buy at, lets say $2500 vs. how much ZTR you can buy for that price.
     
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    The John Deere i'm talking about had a price of 2,500 dollars.
    John
     
  8. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    John --

    Fair point -- compared to how much ZTR andygold can get for that much money, he may be better off with the JD tractor for now. I just dont know how good of a ZTR you can get for that much money.

    One bit of advice for andygold on JD tractors in case you go in that direction -- I suggest you visit a JD dealer as they will likely have the same price and more personalized service than HD or Lowes.
     
  9. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Buy a higher priced JD tractor or riding mower as has been suggested. You'll be better off in the long run than buying a low end homeowner ZTR. The tractor has a plus of being capable of other tasks...............
     
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    For hilly terrain i think the tractor has better traction then one of the home owner z's, I also think they pull better too.
    John
     

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