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The ZTR somebody should build?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Realslowww, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,527

    I do a job now where the tractor with dual wheels and mower booms cannot handle it so they hired me,this is along I 75. their gigs may even be 4 wheel drive I have not checked that out however.

    The area where I am there are lot's of horse farms and real big acreage so a good ZTR that could pull a few tow behinds would work wonders here.

    I was just thinking since I am already doing an interstate embankment with my 72 Super and a 36 walk behind why not build a machine that could tackle the hole job without the huge tractor setup and the ZTR is faster at least mine seems to be.

    My Super can hug some steep stuff,now my 36 with me walking it and cleets can go steeper but if I had 2 wheels in the tractor variety on each side on my Super it would be like look out! of course with a cage.

    The last guys who did this section of this job were using weed eaters to do most of it and it took 2 guy's on weed eaters with one guy running a quad with a special mower he built for this job attached to the quad 8 to 10 hours.

    The state employee's tried to cut it with their Dixie Choppers but they will not hold the hills well enough and it was to dangerous so everybody used Mexicans on weed eater's :laugh:

    I took this particular job on and was unsure as to weather I could do it at a good profit but my trusty Super said no problem. The mower hates it and it is killing it but the new Super may have these problems solved.

    With my 72 Super a 36 walk behind and a man on a trimmer making a total of 2 men altogether we have it down to 4 to 6 hours depending on how much it rained that month.

    The Super was the key learning just how steep it could go and with dual wheels it could practically cut the whole job with no use for a walk behind and get the job done in probably 2 hours but the trimming would take more time but the mowing would be done like nothing.

    A properly designed Z is a awesome piece of equipment ( I repeat a properly designed Z ),Hustler got the chassis right on this mower but other details needed attention and hopefully the new Hyper with the bigger engine solves alot of the issues. They made the new mower higher up and that SUCKS! as far as center of gravity.

    There is a market for a Super duper Z turn! More power without all the weight which means no diesel, more traction and a drive that can handle it! and boom people will be shocked at how productive one of these light and agile mowers can be as in put the big pig tractor back on the farm where it belongs :laugh:
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    we have gotten into some deep weeds with our chopper too. Belts breaking being the issue oin the really high stuff.
  3. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,527

    Thats not a problem on my Hustler,I was real skeptical about a 72 and alot of the other stuff like one belt to run the whole blade system but the basic design is right. Everybody said they were to big and scalped to much.

    But then after I bought it I realized the biggest problem was the machine was way underpowered and practically every other thing compared to my 60 was a plus.

    The wheels are set out wider which is better for slopes, not only that the bigger deck that hangs further out really seems to lower the center of gravity and give a better balance overall when doing steep inclines.
  4. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,089

    Just wondering if some of what you're mowing could be steep enough to cause the engine to not "oil" correctly. I'm sure you know but, "bank" mowers are designed to circulate the oil properly while on steep grades. This could be an expensive mistake if you're not careful.
  5. hammmerhead

    hammmerhead LawnSite Senior Member
    from ozarks
    Posts: 266

    I though all the mowers in "Neverland" came with dry sump engines......:laugh: J/K, that is a good point and or question.
  6. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,527

    Yaa I was concerned about that so what I do is only mow 100 feet at a time where it is steep and then turn around and go the other way or get off the slope for a moment and let the mower's motor catch it's breath.

    Oh I know it will kill a mower because the guy's who work for DOT who were doing the job off and on before me killed 2 D.C's doing it, blew the motors out.

    The grades are so steep I literally mow sideway's at a angle like a sprint car coming out of a corner with the front pointing up doing sections on this job just clawing at the earth,dually wheels would solve the whole problem but my mower has the girlie man drive system compared to the new Super so duel's would probably blow it out.

    I just went and looked at the new Super Z Hyper and I saw why they made the mower bigger, the Kawie 37 is huge compared to my 30 Kohler! and the other stuff they added is bigger but 200 pounds heavier and a little taller will hurt it on steep grades. You want to be light on steep grades that is why I say no diesel.

    The new Super Z is a brick crap house! that mower is built maybe even over built. The solid front wheels cannot possibly ride good? after owning pneumatics I do not want to go back to solids?

    Incidentally the head lawn guy at the job who works for the state saw how well I could cut it on a ZTR the first year and then the next thing I know he has a new Super Z to cut the job with. They retired the Dixie's,there are major cut backs going on in FL and I could be getting the axe on this one because I have noticed when I go to do the job sometimes a real steep section will be like trial cut and they are testing to see if they can cut it with their Super Z.

    Time will tell.
  7. Brieldo

    Brieldo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    1. Not sure what you mean about flat earthers, witch burnings or stonings but as an engineer and person who has owned a company developing products, I'll add some more thoughts.

    2. Hustler's ratings are done for the sake of marketing. While there may be some validity to the numbers they offer, they're using the numbers relative to zero turn hydraulic systems. What you're talking about is a great deal more demanding than the simple action of moving a ZTR around. Two-speed could be doable, however, if you're wanting the high speed to be usable while working, not merely for transport, you will need a far more robust system than anything found on any mower out there currently, short of transaxle based systems. Even the big WAM offerings from Deere and Toro stipulate that the high speed setting is for transport only.

    3. The mower would weigh a great deal more than 100 lbs more if you're sticking with the engine upsizing required to run both the hydros and deck drive system. Lets do a little engine comparison...

    Engine Dry Weights:
    Kawasaki FX1000 (Hustler Super Z): 138 lbs
    Kohler 40 HP diesel: 343 lbs
    Kohler 64.4 HP diesel: 432.2 lbs.

    So...we're talking a lot more than 100 lbs. Those weights dont include fluids, mufflers, etc. They may not even include the radiators and such. Given that 40 HP is going to be very much on the small end of the spectrum in terms of needed power, you're looking at over 200 lbs+ in additional weight on the engine alone.

    Now, make a deck that's of the specs necessary for bush hogging (it's not going to be 7 ga/10 ga construction), add a shaft-driven gear box and a PTO capable of driving everything and you're probably talking 750 lbs without doing anything in the way of upgrading the frame, linkages, etc.

    3. Find me a deck designed for bush hogging that's belt drive/mule drive. They don't design/implement them that way for a reason. You want reliability and longevity...it's not coming from a belt-driven deck. While the electromagnetic clutches on a ZTR can undertake occasional rough mowing, over the long-term, they won't stand up to the kind of abuse that kind of mowing imparts on components. Hit some big rocks/brush/etc hiding in tall grass/weeds, and you'll see the clutch give up the ghost very early in life.

    4. Price out a Honda VTX motor and calculate what it would cost to get it implemented in this design. Going to turn it on its side? Not going to work. Furthermore, look at the RPM range that engine is designed to run. You're talking about an engine that's made to be connected to a gearbox. 100 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque at what RPM?

    5. You're changing your argument/what you're after mid-discussion. Your original post talked about a no-holds-barred super mower with a huge engine, bigger drive system, yadda. Now you're wanting just a different deck to put under a Super-Z type platform? Which is it?

    6. At no point did you address the business/economics side of your proposal. Companies don't make products they can't sell. If the market isnt there, or the economics of the product doesn't scale, the product isn't going to happen. This is a very important distinction. Just because something can be done, doesnt mean, from a business standpoint, it should be.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  8. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    Last time I was in FL I didnt see any slopes that steep you talking about
    Have any pics
  9. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Just for sh!ts n giggles, watch these...

    The new SZ, while you do sit a little higher (not much once youve been on it a while,) the CoG is the same or lower than the older SZ. The all extra weight in the deck, engine, larger pumps n wheel motors and just the amount of extra hydro fluid (about 12lts) off sets that smaller height increase.
    If still worried put on some AT101's and half fill them with fluid.
  10. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,557

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