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The right choice to avoid ZTR damage

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turf4kansas, May 8, 2012.

  1. turf4kansas

    turf4kansas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I work for a small college in the middle of Kansas and we currently have a 60" Hustler Super Z w/ a 28hp Kohler and a 72" Hustler 3400. We use the 3400 for our large open areas that we aren't concerned about the cut as much and use the Super Z for our sports field(would love to have reel) and nice irrigated lawns.

    the problem is that most of the lawns we have irrigated are fairly narrow stretches broke up by sidewalks. We have to do what we can to not shoot clippings out into the street or too much on the sidewalks. This ends up "locking" us into one mow pattern that really works without shooting debris in undesirable places. Obviously, if you're mowing something one way with a ZTR mower you're going to get rub marks in the lawn from your turning in the same spot all the time.

    I'm looking to the future and thinking about options that would allow me to rotate my cut/stripe. I've thought about getting into a smaller ZTR or possibly a larger walk behind. My struggle is that while the individual locations are small, we have a large number of them on campus that currently take a couple hours with the Super Z. So I am in need of quick ground transport and avoiding killing myself or my workers by walking forever and a day.

    We're not locked into Hustler, so I'm open to any suggestions.

  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    Use a competent backpack blower to clean up your mess. :)
  3. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    Scag Cheetah would be a good choice. You could also get dedicated mulching kits so you can go the opposite direction without blowing the clippings everywhere. Or cut any way you want really without making a mess. The only problem I see with mulching is when you come off the grass onto pavement of walks it will dump the grass in the deck making clean up necessary.
  4. Fwilamosky

    Fwilamosky LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    Like the post said above a scaffold cheetah would be right up your ally. The mower can mow up to around 12 mph, but then has a transport speed of around 12-17 mph. That would make getting to jobs easier in your area from what you described.
    A good backpack blower (stihl br600 magnum) would also clean up any mess you make
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. fitzbrotherslawncare

    fitzbrotherslawncare LawnSite Member
    from DE
    Posts: 12

    I would recommend getting a 48 Hustler Fastrak Super Duty. Great machine.
  6. turf4kansas

    turf4kansas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Thanks for the replies! We do currently have a very dependable John Deere backpack blower and the top end Echo handheld blower. I'm just always looking to save time as I'm the only full time employee with two 7 hour work study kids and around 15 acres of campus + sports complex(soccer & softball).

    Any thoughts on walk behinds with sulkies? I know my ground speed would decrease, but is their manueverabilty on par with the smaller ZTR's? I have no experience with them and I'm wondering if I should just cross them off my list and stick with smaller ride on ZTR's.
  7. Mowerboy04

    Mowerboy04 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,441

    get a chute blocker, so when you come up agains a bed,sidewalk or street you can kick it closed and no mess.
  8. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,137

    Get something to block the chute. Buying a cheetah would not help you. Get a chute blocker, power chute ect...
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,128

    for maneuverability you can't go wrong with a stander
  10. mcduff48

    mcduff48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    See if you can demo the Grasshopper mid mount with a rear discharge finish deck. I have a 329B with that deck and I love it. It leaves a great cut and doesn't throw anything to either side. All the clippings shoot out the back. They introduced this design three years ago and I pulled the trigger last season and have been very happy with the mower ever since. :usflag:

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