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Outfront vs ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lars, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    I considering pushing to replace a couple of out front rotaries with ZTR's at work. Currently we use a Toro 224 62" and a 220 52". What does everybody think of ZTR's over out front rotary mowers? How do they compare to Toro and Deere machines? How about productivity? Turf damage? Quality of cut? Durability? Slope handling ability? When comparing rotaries to ZTR's it seems you can get almost two ZTR's for the price of one out-front machine. Two-for-one gets pretty hard to pass up.
  2. P&C Lawn Care

    P&C Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 373

    You know they make outfront ZTR's right? Is that what you mean?
    Grasshopper make an out front deck that cuts well. It is not as fast as a midmount ZTR but it does cut down on the amount of trimming you do. It gets under trees and shrubs better.
  3. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    I've used the Toro groundsmaster and the ZTR is much faster and more manuverable. A much more productive machine. I switched to the ZTR last summer and wished I had done it sooner. I bought a 60" Hustler Z and I am very happy with it. The cut quality is excellent. You have to be careful when making turns not to make a divit with the pivoting wheel. I usually do a 3 point turn to avoid this. Slope handling ability is better due to the low center of gravity on this brand. This varies depending on the manufacturer. Weight is just under 1200 lbs and with the 12" wide tires, there is no rut problems. I have only 170 hours on it with no trouble of any kind yet, so the durability issue still remains to be seen. Even though it does not trim as well as the outfronts, I still have saved a huge amount of time since switching to this machine.
  4. steinerguy

    steinerguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I use a Steiner 220 with a 60" front deck. Love the machine and can hold any hill I want. I mow a lagoon for a homeowners association and get to the point of holding the power divider engaged and crabbing along the hill. This machine will not tip. I have not run any of the current z's, but since I can mow at 11 mph and it comes with a stripping roller/floating deck, I don’t need a z. 18" turning radius is fine with me. Yes you pay for Steiner, but I got mine used with <800 hrs on a Kubota diesel. I'll stay with this unit indefinitely.

  5. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    The Z will go into much tighter areas than the front mower because it is at least 2 ft shorter. And the Z takes up less room on the trailer. And the Z will climb hills much better because of the weight transfer to the drive wheels. The front deck machine has the weight transfer to the steering tires going up hill. Also the deck rests on the ground so you lose traction weight there also. The front deck machine will give an excellent cut and will allow you to get under lower trees.
  6. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    I think on very large jobs and where road access was required and more traction for hills etc, I think a 4 x 4 front mount e.g Deere or Toro, Kubota etc....but the 4 x 4 is the necessary feature to get the most out of a big front mount...imo.

    I wouldn't buy a 2 wheel drive model.....either a Z or 4 x 4.
  7. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    My biggest concern is definitely cut. Specialtylc (or anybody else) do you think that an outfront cuts better or scalps less?
  8. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    any mower will scalp so you have to be more careful about it i am running a 721D with a 52 inch deck and i tried the 72 inch deck and that scalps alot more so it depends on what kind of terrain your going to cut with it. and also what you are going to use it for with grasshopper you can run snow removal equipment on it and other things as in power brooms and bed edgers and aera-vator. dealer support can either make or break a mower and you should try to demo the mower before you buy it

    hope this helps
  9. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Actual cut quality is going to be a little better with a front deck on uneven or bumpy lawns. I used to have a 52in Toro front mower. It cut beautifully but it was just to long and bulky for most of the accounts I have now. And it wouldnt do the hills. If your jobs are all sports fields then why not run a front mount.
  10. Tbarchaser

    Tbarchaser LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 449

    Sentar.....best of both worlds.

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