Customer's complaints about ZTRs

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by billc, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. billc

    billc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I'm about to buy my first mower (my funding arrives next week). I called a local dealer and told him I was interested in an eXmark 52" ZTR (the recommendation of a landscaper I respect greatly).

    When I told him where I would be working, a somewhat higher class residential area, he said he was hearing that folks living in that area were asking LCOs to use walk-behinds, not ZTRs because the ZTRs were tearing up their lawns when the operator turned.

    I asked if this was a machine issue or an operator issue, and he said an operator issue.

    Now, since I'm the operator, I figure I'll do it right, but I have some questions:

    Is it difficult to NOT do damage on a turn with a ZTR? Or can a novice like me handle it if I'm careful?

    Have you run into customers who objected to your using a certain mower and, if so, how did you respond?

    I'm thinking of going with a Stander so I can say I don't use the kind of mower the homeowner objects to. Is this devious?

    Thanks for your responses!
  2. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

    Buy the Exmark ztr. Yes they take time to learn how to operate efficiently without making divots when turning. But you can always do 3 point turns to eliminate the divot problem until you can properly do zero turns. The problems people have with LCO's with ztrs is usually do to the problems turning and lack of proper training.
  3. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I have had more complaints about how fast I finish a property with my ZTR than anything else.
    It seems many of the previous lawn services mowed my customers with walk-behinds and lawn tractors. Years ago, I had one customer swear I could not have possibly mowed the entire lawn and trimmed in the amount of time I was there. She said it usually took them about fifty minutes to finish. Let me tell you, she was upset! I was done in thirty five. :D
    After walking the grounds with her, she was satisfied that it was an adequate job. The funny thing was, I was taking my time because I was not used to my rider yet.
    You have to take your time and NEVER mow in the same tracks on consecutive mowing's!
    If you are looking to get good stripes... purchase a lawn stripper. They are a great investment.

    Craig :)
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380

    No one has ever complained to me that I mowed their lawn too quickly. Why take your time? I bought a ztr to increase my production.
  5. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    The main problem with the bigger ZTR's is the weight. Especially on centipede. It will bruise easily and leave burgundy stripes where your tires went. If the yards are small you intend to do, get a walk behind. I have an Exmark 60" and I still have problems with turning and not messing up the ground on it. You have to finesse it.
  6. billc

    billc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    The guy at the dealership suggested a walk-behind.... but I'm fifty and would prefer to ride/stand. I thought the Stander was a compromise of sorts.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    You can stand on any of the walk behinds. That is why they made proslides, velkes and sulkys.
  8. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    I've had old ladies complain that we were done too quickly! They think for their $35 you should be there for a couple of hours.


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    if u r doing lawns under 10,000 sq ft a hydro walkbehind might be better if u r doing big lawns go rider
    i have found that u can mess up a lawn with anykind of mower if u go to fast but i also need to cut so many in a day to make money so it is up to u what to get
    i put the biggest mower i can on the lawn to get done quick
  10. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    I have some high end residentials, half to three quarter acres, that I have mowed with a 48" walker ghs for the past 6 years. when I tried to save time by using my 60" exmark, they all complained that the yards did not look as good and wanted to know where the little yellow mower is at. These little old ladies get spoiled to the walker cut and don't want you to change.
    Last October I bought a 52" tiger cub and installed the mulch kit to do leaves. I am going to try this on the smaller properties once we get past the spring flush. Meanwhile I'm upgrading the walker with the 9.5 bushel catcher and low pro all-terrain tires. It already has the speed up kit and the rpm's are turned up to 3900, so it will mow in the 6 to 7 mph range. Thats more than fast enough on landscaped residentials, and I really enjoy this mower. I just get tired of hauling off clippings.

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