ZTR or Tractor for 3 acre residential property???

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by pete326, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Parts of our county are very rural and many of the local farmers still use JD agricultural-grade equipment, but in the residential areas you see very few JD models. Most homeowners are using Toro, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet and Hustler with a few other brands sprinkled in. I've owned a JD lawn tractor in the past, but despite following the scheduled maintenance program, once the warranty expired it was just one thing after another. After spending a couple of grand on various repairs, I threw in the towel and gave the damn thing away and hired a lawn service. Now that I'm retired, I have plenty of time and considering what I would pay to have someone come out and cut/trim a 3 acre lot, it wouldn't take too long to recoup the cost of buying a high-end residential or entry-level commercial machine. In the meantime, I'll keep researching and looking around.
     
  2. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    Pete, I own both, a ZT and a garden tractor. If I had to keep just one, it would be the ZT. It cuts twice as fast as the tractor and gives a much better cut. If you only have a 200 ft drive way, I would not buy a snow blower to attach to a tractor. Use a high quality walk behind or get a plow guy, which will probably cost you fifty dollars just to do your drive.
     
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,275

    Maybe your Z does better than your tractor, but you can't make a broad assertion like that. I run both too, and have for years. The GT's will cut as good as any ZTR made...period. Like everything else, it depends on which brand, and which model you have in either type. My 23 YO JD garden tractor will lay down as nice a cut as your Z gauranteed. I've posted pics of the cut on here many times to back it up. It stripes awesome too, and I don't have any type of striper kit on it anywhere. It may not be as fast, but speed only matters when you're in this for money, or pressed for time, and the OP is not.
     
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,275

    Kubota makes some nice stuff, but I've always been a fan of JD for a few reasons. One, JD usually has better designs in their products as far as layout or control functions etc., ( again, depends on the model, but model for model they generally do).

    Two, I am a proud American, and I like to keep the profit money here in the USA instead of Japan or China whenever and wherever I can. I know that all brands these days use engines, trans's, etc., from other countries now days, but the end profit for Deere stays here.


    You don't need a blower for snow, and there are some good reasons not to have one. Like getting blasted in the face with snow when the wind is wrong, and the fact that it is a solo purpose attachment. That's why i mentioned a blade too. I have a blade, broom and 2 stage bower for my CUT, but the blade gets the most use.
     
  5. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,023

    Another thing to consider is they do have snow plows for ZTR's. I have only ever sold one. The guy that bought it was in such a hurry to get it, he paid me for it and picked it up from my distributor. I asked him to let me know how it worked....never heard a word good or bad.

    Before we started selling ZTR's we had tractors. First one I cut our property with was an old Jacobsen. We eventually got a JD 318 and then later on a 420. The 420 had a 60" deck. I could generally cut our property in about 1:45 with that machine. I can do it in 45-50 minutes flat with a 60" ZTR. I can also do it in 45-50 minutes with a 52" Wright Stander. The Stander is just quicker around obstacles(which we have alot). If it was wide open mowing the ZTR would win. The 420 had a very heavy stamped deck that would bog down causing slow downs in taller/lusher sections of grass where the commercial ZTR's do not have to slow down.

    As someone else said, if you want access to lots of attachments go with the tractor. If you are just trying to get the grass cut, go with the ZTR.
     
  6. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    That is true Rindin Green. My tractor is a JD also (7 series), the zt is a scag. Both are considered high end mowers. At speed, there is no comparison to cut quality. The scag lays down nice stripes and cut at 10mph. If you slow down, the tractor can give almost equal quality, but when mowing multiple acres, I don't want to be driving Ms Daisy, I want to get done. I was just relaying my thoughts to Pete, he will have to make his own decision on what suits him best.
     
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,276

    The other fear the guys have here is if you get the ZTR and become skilled on it you may just decide to jump into the trade and start a landscaping company of your own. ZTRs are easy enough to learn how to use but until you develop muscle memory they can be dangerous. They had an article on here this year of an old man using one he just bought for the first time he drove under a low deck and didn't know how to back out and crushed his chest on the deck. Other idiots flip them and either crush them selves that way or drown. Iv never seen anyone do anything like that with a ZTR but I did see a homeowner cutting a bank next to a road with a tractor while I was sitting 200 feet back at a light. It wasn't very steep my ZTR would hold that with no problems at all in fact I wouldn't even need to slow down. But this guy managed to flip his tractor right in front of me into the road where he landed on his face with his tractor on top of him. I drive a 48ft rig all day long with no issues I put a car driver in it and were going to see an accident. The point is everything can be dangerous to an unskilled under trained person. What ever you decide take it slow and master it and you won't have the lawn damage nor the danger of hurting yourself on things you should know to watch out for.
     
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,275

    LOL

    I think that is probably true, but that is far from being a factor in what I posted top the OP.

    I just get tired of all the guys here who have no experience with a tractor other than running their uncle's TSC Husky lawn tractor a few times during visits in the summer, and those who have no experience with tractors at all telling someone that a tractor is useless. They aren't, and are far better for certain applications such as a HO who needs an all around machine and doesn't have the money or desire to store two or three separate machines.
     
  9. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    No worries on that point. Rest assured, I have no intentions of getting into the lawn care business - that would require me to hire illegals to make a living!!! All I want is a quality piece of equipment to fulfill my rather simple needs ... cut, haul and plow. Sounds like a garden tractor is in my future. :)
     
  10. cfranzen

    cfranzen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I believe Husqvarna makes some options for a tractor also. Had a sears version (made by husqvarna) for 7 years and a several hundred + hours that was used to mow 3 acres and plow my drive. Father in law is using it now on his property. Purchased a Bad Boy outlaw 54" beginning of summer and couldn't be happier. Took about an hour and 50 mins to 2 hours to mow with the 54" lawn tractor. Takes about an hour now maybe an hour 10 mins. No comparison on cut quality and clippings dispersal, in a totally different class than the tractor and rightfully so. Initially intended to purchase a mibar blade to handle snow but rethinking that now. Might just get a snow thrower. We'll see. I think the ZTR would work wonderfully, but planning ahead and getting the ZTR from the shed to the drive after it has already snowmed might be an issue. Was with the tractor, always had to plan ahead.
     

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