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Garden Tractors

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John P., Apr 23, 2005.

  1. John P.

    John P. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    The time is coming where i need to get a second lawn mower. Right now i have a bobcat walk behind (36") and i want something bigger. I was thinking on maybe getting a lawn tractor that could serve more purposes than just mowing like a normal ZTR or walk-behind. How many guys out there run garden tractors to mow lawns, and what other uses have you found them good for?
  2. slicksilverado01

    slicksilverado01 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 173

    Lawn tractors are so slow and most really suck at mowing compared to a ztr. A ZTR can do almost anything a lawn tractor can do, unless you are talking about a a bx23 or somthing similar. I use my scag TT to pull my 12' trailer around the yard full of mulch and it does fine. (I wouldn't want to go down a steep slope with the trailer though) plus alot of lawn tractor dont have diff locks and the ztr have power to both wheels which means more traction when pulling a heavy roller in wet grass.
  3. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Posts: 4,785

    That will slow you down a lot.
  4. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    I would not reccomend a lawn tractor for commercial mowing purposes. They do not have a very high ground speed while mowing, and the fact that they do not have a zero turn radius will slow you down. Invest in a mid-sized walkbehind or ztr.
  5. EC-Rider

    EC-Rider LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    ...That’s all they have! LOL! payup

    On the positive: :angel:

    They are safer (front steering can handle slopes much better specially around ponds and lakes! LOL!) And cheaper…no pun intended LOL! They can also tow just about anything.

    On the negative: :angry:

    They are not fast; they are not an efficient way to cut grass around landscape, obstacles, and tight area…you’ll miss your 36” walk behind there…but (and that’s a good BUT LOL!) you’ll’ be riding instead of walking…BUT! (And that’s a bad BUT) all that steering and looking out will tire you! Lol!

    Been there...done that…and yes we still use them for slopes and towing.

    Hope that helps! payup

    It’s all good! Enjoy! Peace! :angel:


    EC-Rider :waving::
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    As far as I'm concerned a garden tractor is all but useless. A larger compact is nice for utility puposes but if you plan on dowing a lot of mowing and only have a couple other minor uses for a tractor than purchasing a tractor would be like shooting yourself in the foot. Also, someone mentioned slope mowing and I will agree that there is a much smaller learning curve on a tractor when mowing steep stuff but, after you get used to it theres nothing to it. I run only ztr's and have put them in many places that people wouldn't do with riders before.
  7. heavenlydeere

    heavenlydeere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    i think this business has made most new guys think they have to buy the biggest baddest ztr made , thats just not true! if you need a tractor type get one who cares what someone else uses! i started out with a jd g100 ,its part of deeres economy line but the g1oo is really a gt275 with a new hood, i wouldnt buy any of the economy line except the 100 but jd has some really great tractors check out the 485,495,585,595, built like a horse and mow very smooth and quick!! i use 757s and 777s only because my accounts warrant them! just dont buy a ztr just because "you wont be a real professional" , the machine dosent make you a pro you do!!!!!
  8. slicksilverado01

    slicksilverado01 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 173

    you can be a pro with a ztr or with a lawn tractor, but a ztr is alot better the a lawn tractor when mowing.
    why ztr is better
    1.ztr have zero turn radius
    2. can handle slopes better the garden tractors (sides ways and up and down at least my scag TT can handle hills better)
    3. faster cutting speeds.
    4. less trimming around trees and landscaping
    5. most ztr have a better deck then most garden tractors (at least for mowing faster)
  9. heavenlydeere

    heavenlydeere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    slicksilver, i do agree with you i feel that the ztrs we now have are much better than most garden tractors! and your reasons are right on ,i just hate seeingguys buying mowers that are way out of their budget just so they feel like a pro, i was only saying that 1.license 2. insurance 3. the best job you can do,that is what a professional is ,i think its more pro like to but a tractor over a ztr if its all you can afford! although theztrs way out perform tractors! i run 4 ztrs but they dont make me a pro!!! its just more than a machine!
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I will second these statments. I still run lawn tractors along with the ZTR's.

    The ZTR is a bit over rated, I think because some feel the need to justify the outreagous price. I'll just be honest and say I like the commercial stuff because it is built heavier and is less tiring on the arms than a manual steer lawn tractor.

    I also think that those who think ZTR's are sooooo much more productive happened to jump from a 38" gear drive MTD striaght up to a 60" or 72" ZTR. Well, why sure they are more productive!

    The truth is, I see very little difference between a good cutting hydro lawn tractor and a commercial ZTR, of like size, on the same property. Most of the time there is little difference unless the property is nice and smooth where you can take advantage of the extra ground speed of the ZTR. So as far as I'm conserned, the zero turn radius does extremely little for productivity.

    On a side note, if you want a good cheap little lawn tractor that is good for the buck, then go to a Cub DEALER and check out the 1050 Cub Cadet. It's a hydrostatic lawn tractor with a deep 50" deck and is power by a 26hp Kohler... all for $2k.... not bad.

    Do a search here. I posted a picture somewhere.

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