Need Advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfguy, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. turfguy

    turfguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I have been maintaining 24 accounts now for 3 years. All Newengland homeowner type lawns big,rolling lots and lots of trees nothing too fancy. currently I run a 48 inch wb and a 61 inch sthm 3 wheel rider. the rider is geting up there in hours and I would like to replace it with a new 61 inch ztr. I am very concerned about switching away from a front mout deck. how much manuverability will I lose? will my productivity go up or will it stay about the same? how much faster can I go and get the same quality of cut? I would love to hear from someone who has used both three wheel riders and ztr. I am considering the turftiger with the 23 liquid cooled kawi engine btw...
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    As far as losing maneuverability, that's a double edged sword. You will gain some, and you will lose some. You will gain some by means of being able to turn arond faster, and in tighter spots. You will lose some, by means that the ability to ride up to a small tree, or flagpole or something of that sort and "glide" around it with the left rear of your deck with your current rider is gone. Z's don't turn like that. They are more "choppy" at first, but with practice, you will be able to maneuver around these objects pretty well. You just have to go by them a bit, and steer the deck in to them a bit, and then proceed forward (and to your left a bit) and do it like that all the way around (or however far you're GOING around). You can't just circle it in one motion, because it steers in to the object too far, and your tire will skid.
    As far as productivity goes, you'll be AMAZED at how much more grass you'll mow with a Z. That's no bull. So much faster... Not just because of the groundspeed, but the acceleration TO that groundspeed, the deceleration to turn around, and the turnaround itself. I know, you're thinking you have that turnaround thing down to a pretty good science with that 3 wheeled rider, and it "swings" you around pretty quick to pick right up on the next row, but let me tell you, with some practice, a 3 point turn, believe it or not, is STILL faster. I know it sounds like an arguable "crock", but it's true.
    Now, that brings us to the groundspeed versus the cut quality. This is all dependent on the never-ending variables of grass thickness, toughness, height, and sharpness of the blades. While some mowers can cut faster than others and get the same quality, (Exmark LazerZ's for example), you will "learn" your mowers ability and be able to "feel" what it is doing to know when to slow down, and when you can push the sticks forward and jam. (again, that's why I like the Lazers. Not to dis Scags, but if you do a search on here, and ask the guys that have ran both, the vast majority of them are going to tell you that their preference comes with red paint on them.). Good luck with it, and have a great season! ;)
     

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