Zero turn V/S Tractors

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by C&KLawnCare, May 24, 2005.

  1. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I have had the privilege over the years to personally try different types of walk-behind mowers, zero-turning-radius machines as well as lawn-and-garden tractors. All have their particular niche in today's market.

    But, truth be told, some fare better in certain areas than others. In our particular area, a zero-turning-radius machine does fairly well when the landscape permits. However, the fact that they turn with their drive wheels is a considerable let-down when you're dealing with a hilly terrain. Add some morning dew to the property and you get an extremely hazardous job for both the operator as well as the property owner.

    I know first-hand that a certain degree of slope and some moisture can mean putting your zero-turner back in the garage. Those conditions are simply too unpredictable for some zero-turn riders, especially models that don't have rotating caster front wheels.

    "People will mow in some crazy spots," admits Mike Kadel of Dixon Industries, Coffeyville, Kans. "Our rule of thumb is that if you can back up the slope, you can mow it. I don't know that ZTRs are any more dangerous than any other type of mower. Our units have caster wheels that turn all the way around, so the mower will start sliding down the hill instead of tipping over. That's sort of a built-in safety feature."

    When you've got questionable wet slopes to mow, old-fashioned lawn-and-garden tractors simply can't be beat. They are not as finicky as zero-turners when it comes to terrain. They will give you an early-morning cut on the steepest of grades, as well as be safe (as long as they're maintained properly). The rear wheels drive, and the front wheels steer.

    It's all pretty simple, actually: the zero-turn rider is absolutely fantastic as long as you don't have extreme hills or moisture, but if you do, you're going to get stuck.

    In all fairness, zero-turners are quite wonderful and fast when both terrain and weather cooperate. Where you can use them, they are in no uncertain terms much faster and more efficient than tractors, walk-behinds, non-zero-turn mid-mount riders, and riders with front-mounted decks.

    Please don't misunderstand me: zero-turners are great and efficient -- but as with all equipment, they have their shortcomings, and steep hills are one of them. But before making a purchasing decision, you must consider which machine is best for you. You may even opt to have a few of both, depending again on weather and terrain. It simply comes down to a judgment call.

    Again, my experience has been limited to the southwestern Pennsylvania region, which is not a very hospitable place for machines that are designed to function on primarily flat terrain.

    Posted from http://www.greenmediaonline.com/li/2004/0404/0404op1.as
     
  2. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I mow hills with a ZTR that a "Garden tractor" couldnt touch. To each his own way of doing things. For doing hillside mowing the best is a 4 wheel drive mower, but for the 1% of the time its needed ill just make do with the ZTR.
     
  3. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 362

    I've been through West Virginia. There's not a spot in the whole state level enough to get an accurate check of your oil level. I would have to say C&K lawns would know what works if any one does.
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    That's about right.....
    Same here....
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Sorry, but that's bull.

    What ZTR are you cutting with anyways?
     
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Since you posted these words I will assume that these are your thoughts. I have been reading your unyielding assaults on ZTRs since you started posting here at Lawnsite and to be quite frank, it's getting boring.

    If someone is tearing up a lawn, whether it be on a ZTR rider or a hydro walkbehind, it's not because of the mower. They are either in a hurry or they don't know what they are doing. It is a very simple matter to turn a ZTR mower without leaving divots every 10 feet down a lawn. You can either do a "K" turn or you can learn to turn the mower the way it was intended. A little more turn on the outside tire until you get halfway through the turn. Then pull back on the inside tire until the mower is straight and then go forward. It's actually quite simple and quick once you learn how to do it.

    On the issue of hills there are very few pictures of hills posted here at Lawnsite that I wouldn't take my "supposed" terrible hill cutting Dixie Chopper on. And any hills that are too steep for my Dixie are cut with my walkbehind. I can very well assure you of this, I can take a 48" gear drive walkbehind and cut slopes that you can not even walk on. I have seen homeowners go to great lengths to get riding tractors/mowers, including adding a second set of rear tires, to cut slopes that my old Gravely 50" Pro 150 gear drive would just breeze right through.

    The moisture thing is new, you have never complained about it before and you should have left well enough alone. The only thing I have ever gotten my Dixie stuck in is very dry beach sand. I have a job that has a very low, mucky soil that is submerged on a regular basis by the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The area that I cut is next another property that a buddy of mine cuts with Exmarks. I have had to go down into the "Sippy Hole" as we call it with my Dixie Chopper and pull his Lazers out. I absolutely guarantee you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can take my Dixie in wetter and muckier soil than you would ever hope to on a riding tractor/mower.


    Some people like ZTRs, some people like tractors. Leave it at that.
     
  7. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    (((( Since you posted these words I will assume that these are your thoughts. I have been reading your unyielding assaults on ZTRs since you started posting here at Lawnsite and to be quite frank,)))))))


    Well i guess MR Martin needs reading skills , at the bottom of my posting where it says Posted from http://www.greenmediaonline.com/li/2004/0404/0404op1.as

    It Just backs up what i have said . These guys saying they mow hills with a Z Turn that a rider wont are full of bullshit.

    (I absolutely guarantee you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can take my Dixie in wetter and muckier soil than you would ever hope to on a riding tractor/mower.)) OK bring that bad boy to WV and im not going to tell ya i told ya so whene it goes sliding and crashing into a Highway some place after you slide off the hill . Ill Just sit on my tractor and keep Mowing .
     
  8. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    (I absolutely guarantee you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can take my Dixie in wetter and muckier soil than you would ever ))

    I thought about this and your right you proably would ...... I take pride in my equipment and my job . If your out their sinking in muck while mowing well theirs another fool that forgot who pays the bills. ya do that crap in customer yards and . If your lucky youll get to the pickup not bleeding .. Getting on here mr Martin swearing up and down u can mow Wetter and Muckier soil is The whole point ive been making . You damn guys and those Mowers that do that stuff are making us all look like idiots .

    LOL I Love this (If someone is tearing up a lawn, whether it be on a ZTR rider or a hydro walkbehind, it's not because of the mower. They are either in a hurry or they don't know what they are doing))) Thene ((I can take my Dixie in wetter and muckier soil than you would ever )) Well Looks like in his own words he dont know what he is doing , if your going to sit their and tell me that Dixie aint tearing up yards in muckie wet ground . Im here to say your a big fat liar .
     
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Hey pal, first off, I don't really give a rat's butt what you do or don't believe. It wasn't me that got stuck in the muck, it was another cutter. My Dixie goes over the muck. Second off, I have never lied about anything here at Lawnsite. Third off, if you don't believe those words you posted why post them? Fourth off, I never, ever said my Z would go where your rider wouldn't. Go back and reread everything I wrote instead of selectively reading what you like and then replying with vularity.

    And WHEN doesn't have an "E" on the end of it.
     
  10. C&KLawnCare

    C&KLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    Hmmmmmm lets see what we have here,

    Martin--Second off, I have never lied about anything here at Lawnsite.

    Martin--Third off, if you don't believe those words you posted why post them?

    C&K--It Just backs up what i have said . These guys saying they mow hills with a Z Turn that a rider wont are full of it ---If that is not beliving the words Mr Martin i dont know what is


    Martin--Fourth off, I never, ever said my Z would go where your rider wouldn't

    Martin--I absolutely guarantee you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can take my Dixie in wetter and muckier soil than you would ever hope to on a riding tractor/mower.


    C&K Hmm never lied ehhhhhh the above shot that down .

    Martin---It wasn't me that got stuck in the muck, it was another cutter. My Dixie goes over the muck. ------LMAO Ok Then we have this from Mr Martin His line of crap just gets better .

    Martin------The only thing I have ever gotten my Dixie stuck in is very dry beach sand.

    Now make up our minds was it your dixie stuck or not , ya have told that one already 2 ways .

    I rest my case
     

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