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Mini Z

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by john_incircuit, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    We need to get our first mini ZTR soon (36 to 44 inches). Our big challenge is that we got a lot of work because we only use 21’s, on the other hand, we have so much work now, we can not keep up. For some of the properties it will be OK to use a WB, but why walk if you can ride for $1k more? I guess we would put around 200 hrs on per year. Typical lawn is a well maintained 3000 to 7000 square feet fescue with plenty of trees and flower beds.

    Lots of questions:

    -- On dealers, we have Hustler, Gravely, Toro and Exmark. Like the Exmark dealer best, the sales guy at Gravely told me that I only can do a test drive around his shop, but I have to stay on the pavement… is he kidding or what??

    -- Why do most ZTR have a mid belly mount for the deck and not an upfront mount like a Walker for example. What is the drawback to the upfront mounts?

    -- The ZTR should be small and light, somewhere in the 36 to 44 inch range and definitely not a rut maker.

    -- Mulching: We mulch pretty much exclusively now, except when we do fall cleanup. Is it realistic to expect that the smaller ZTR can do a really good job mulching tall fescue? It took us a while to find a very good 21 mulcher, the ones that didn’t perform we returned. Don’t think I can do this with a ZTR… A very good cut quality on Fescue is essential for us.

    -- Do 2 blades cut as well as 3? Decks with 3 blades have overlapping cut circles, I don’t think that the decks with 2 have much overlap.

    Hope I didn’t ask too many questions and yes, I looked through many of the previous postings.

  2. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    I'd say you would be just fine to go with any of them but you can pretty much rule out Gravely because the dealer wont let you demo one. I'd get a 44" Hustler super mini z if I was looking for a small machine.
  3. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    Thanks for the input.

    Also, any opinions on 2 blades versa 3 blades? Do more blades cut better?

  4. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    More blades is more sharpening, I would reccomend 2 on a 36 and 3 on a 44.
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062


    Will you be mowing any slopes or ditch banks with the mower?
    What about gate sizes or very limited access areas?

    Could you stand a 48", 52" or 54"?
    What is the max?

    On a side note, have you been keeping up with the 2006 eXmark thead here?
  6. ceytl

    ceytl LawnSite Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 12

    I have used every small Z on the market; the best I have found so far is Dixon's Black Bear. It has a 34" deep deck for a better cut, the most heavy-duty wheel motors on a mini z (Parker). The bagger has a blower with a quick connect, it takes only 5 seconds to take the blower off, so it will fit through a 36" deck. The mulcher uses Fusion Gator blades. It also comes in a 16hp V-Twin Kawi or 18 Kohler V-twin. It is one heck of a machine.

    The next I would go with is the Gravely it has a 15hp Kawi, the mulcher does a great job it uses harden steel blades and I like that the bearings are sealed which usually will give you a longer bearing life.

    The only problem with any of the small commercial Z's is that if the grass is wet they will leave tire marks in the lawn because they are so heavy, I think Dixon seemed to do the best job out of all the different Mini Z's because it has the widest rear tires.
    Toro will is coming out with a 36" Z next year. Encore uses a cheap transmission and the hustler uses a cheap transmission too.

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