Does a ztr really pay for itself in time saved vs. a 36 inch midsize

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bustutah, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 816

    Hmmmmmm. I guess that 48" Cub Cadet Commercial ZTR I had last year was only in my imagination then. Strange.

    Funny though, I certainly remember that I didn't notice much time savings with it, as opposed to my walk-behinds. What I DID notice, however, was the ruts it caused on some of my properties. And, before anyone says anything, I'll let you know that I never mow the same way twice in a row. I always make sure I alternate patterns, so I go several weeks without mowing in the same tracks. It still made ruts.

    I also remember that I traded that ZTR in on a 36" hydro walk-behind, threw my sulky on, and continued cutting grass on the SAME schedule each day. I got every yard done on time, just like I did with the ZTR, without working any later at night, and with a lot less rutting, and without waking up at night with my back complaining.

    Just because that ZTR works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone.

    I will not leave my customers yards looking that way. Something I won't even debate, it's so obvious.
     
  2. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    Yup, the people running 60" z's must be destructive productive morons. I wouldnt run anything smaller then a 52" ztr. My next one will be a 72.
     
  3. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    I currently use a 66 Z and a 48 Toro Grandstand. I started with walk behinds. The Z turns have larger tires than the Walk behinds. This means that the weight per square inch is about the same for either machine. That means either machine will rut on soft soil. I havent noticed much rutting from either to be honest. On smaller lawns my Grandstand is outstanding. On larger lawns my 66 Lazer Z is outstanding. Both save time over any Walk behind that I have used and the wear and tear on my body is far less. I will never own another Walk behind.
     
  4. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    I currently use a 66 Z and a 48 Toro Grandstand. I started with walk behinds. The Z turns have larger tires than the Walk behinds. This means that the weight per square inch is about the same for either machine. That means either machine will rut on soft soil. I havent noticed much rutting from either to be honest. On smaller lawns my Grandstand is outstanding. On larger lawns my 66 Lazer Z is outstanding. Both save time over any Walk behind that I have used and the wear and tear on my body is far less. I will never own another Walk behind. I have also used a sulky and a Proslide with my walk behinds. They stink compared to a stand on unit.
     
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    another real world example of somebody who has seen the light and never looked back. By the way, if i come across a lawn that only a walkbehind mower can service i pass them along to people like shooter and my list stays fast and productive.
     
  6. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 816

    Either that, or they just have larger properties to service than I (and a lot of others) do, with larger/no gates, and/or don't have Bermuda grass everywhere, like we do here in Oklahoma. Bermuda scalps (down to the stem) VERY easily. A 60" deck here will leave little brown spots all over the wheres because of the undulations in the turf. It also seems to rut much easier than any northern grass I have ever cut. A 72" would be an absolute nightmare, and I wouldn't use it on ANY residential yards with Bermuda. A field, maybe.

    I may be wrong, but I hear tell that there's not too many Bermuda yards up there in Connecticut.

    Punt, I tried it. I know. I wanted to use a ZTR for my business. So I spent the coin and bought a good commercial unit. It didn't work out for me. Everyone doesn't live where you live, or service the type of properties you do. You can preach it all you want, but ZTRs aren't for everyone. They have their place, no doubt. But until they make a unit with wide enough tires that it won't rut, while still being no wider than the 36" gates we have here, and won't make my tailbone and back hurt, then I'll stick to what works for me: walk-behinds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    I hear you. If they work for you then great. But you will never convince me a WB is just as productive as a Z. O have my z on properties that take 2 min to cut and properties that take me an hour. The z kicks all of them in the arse. Small and large. I do not have gates to deal with because i dont take properties with gates. Thats the great thing about steering your own path.
     
  8. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 816

    I totally understand. I envy that way of thinking, however, in my neck of the woods, if you only took properties with no gates to deal with, you would only need a tractor and brush-hog, because you'd be mowing all open fields. Every single house, and 90% of businesses in this small town have gates. It's just the way it is here. You wouldn't be in this business here if you couldn't deal with the gates.

    Maybe someday I'll live in an area like yours, but for now, I do what I've got to do.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    This is correct about Bermuda. It leaves terrible mow lines and marks if it isn't table top flat. Big deck mowers are worse in that regard. Bermuda can generally handle the heavy weight of big Z's fine, but it's just physics that a large 72" flat plane can't mow an undulating curved surface of grass all at the same height. And with Bermuda that means an appearance that is multicolor, not uniform, which looks worse.

    Up to a certain size lot and area of grass I can rock/roll with even an old gear drive walk behind and velke and match the time of my slightly wider deck ZTR on other types of lawn, mostly due to faster turns. But the wear/tear on the bod isn't worth it in the long run. Time is one thing, energy is another. I actually like mowing with the wb's, but not when it's hot and not when it's lawn after lawn. They're regulated to rainy days and backup duty.

    I also like how a ZTR can raise/lower the deck with the pedal, which I find really helps avoid "scalping" the Bermuda in tough spots. If stand ons could add a switch to do that quickly it would be useful (probably too fragile). Currently it's probably a little too awkward to reach down to do it as often as one does with a ZTR. I lift the deck in nearly every turn on some lawns where it's show in the grass if I didn't.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,079

    Same here in Texas....funny those little states have no gates? You don't want to north, just a little bit further south.
     

Share This Page