ZTR or tractor/riding mower?

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by casolorz, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. casolorz

    casolorz LawnSite Member
    from 67207
    Posts: 84

    I need to get a mower for my 3 1/2 acre lot. I do plan on landscaping a bit so I will need some attachments, I am thinking some sort of little trailer, a aerator someday, seeder/spreader, I don't know what else.
    Anyways with that in mind, do I want to get a ZTR, or a riding mower/tractor or one of those "zero turn tractors", you know the ones that all 4 wheels move but otherwise look like a normal mower?
    I haven't heard good things about attachments for ZTR which is what worries me the most otherwise it would be a fairly easy decision.

    Thanks,

    --Carlos
     
  2. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,168

    Pretty much, if you want attatchments you will need a hefty garden tractor or more of like a compact or sub-compact utility tractor. That being said 3.5 acres is a lot to mow with a slow garden tractor. Maybe get a zero turn mower for the speed and then an old beat garden tractor later on down the road for the attatchments. Or just go with a small utlility tractor with a 5' deck.
     
  3. casolorz

    casolorz LawnSite Member
    from 67207
    Posts: 84

    So is the advantage of the ZTR just speed? what about comfort like back support, etc?
    Is the ZTR faster because of the turning or something else?

    --Carlos
     
  4. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    my 2 cents... i would run to the ztr! it will destroy any tractor with regards to speed, comfort and the overall appearance/health of your lawn. there are numerous attachments available (vacuum, seeder, thatcher, leaf plow, blower cradle, etc.). they are not cheap, but well worth the $... the leaf plow has cut my fall clean ups (hrs.) by more than 1/2!!! no more dragging heavy tarps... work smart not hard. the smallest property i take care of is 2 acres... i work by myself and the looks i get from people and other landscapers while doing my cleanups, ALONE, is priceless. most times i will finish before other lco's with a "crew". also, if you have a little receiver/bracket made up, you can use ANY towable attachment a garden tractor can. good luck, be well.
     
  5. casolorz

    casolorz LawnSite Member
    from 67207
    Posts: 84

    Thanks for your post, very informative.

    So those attachments go on the front right? is there a PTO of some sort or do they not need them?

    Thanks,

    --Carlos
     
  6. treeman06

    treeman06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    I have a kubota 2350 with a 60 in deck for mowing and i think that is just as fast as a ztr. it has 4wd so going up steep hills when grass is damp is no problem, many more options for attachments, am able to use it in winter with snowblower etc... i wold never consider a ztr to pricey and not enough uses.
     
  7. Maxify

    Maxify LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    In the past year I have logged many hours weekly on my Ferris 1000Z in cutting 7 acres. I decided at the outset of the purchase of the land to buy a dedicated cutter. The heat here is Florida is just murderous. My catch-all phrase for everything that needs fixin' is: "I'll add it to the list". I bought a Gray Mkt. Tractor with a loader for the landscaping and farming farming needs (Nice guy with great machines...if you're interested, PM me). The Z is by far and away the best buy I ever made. I about stole it from a police associate who got out of the landscape business. Ferris 1000Z with 30 hrs on the meter for 3K and 1K for a 7X16 twin axle (sealed axle bearings) trailer. We now buy horse hay in 20 round bale increments and deliver it to other smaller farms in the area for an extra buck or two with the trailer.
    With a dedicated cutter it frees you up to do other tasks "from da list". Maintenance is crucial on these beasts, though. Know where all your zerk fittings are and use them. Replace all the lubricants at or before their needed and never, ever get in the seat without changing the blades to razor sharpness. There's never enough time to do something right but always time to do it over. Seems to come to my mind from Grampa. Dull blades make for a brown tinge to the cut after completion as you're ripping the grass rather than cutting it. I've got 7 acres of bahia grass. Does it sound like it? The stuff is like cutting shoe leather but you can do it at top speed with proper lubes and blades. Buy the good stuff. You'll love yourself for it later.
    You should be able to get a ZTR (used) for around 3-4K. 2 thousand hours is about right for a homeowner use. It'll last you until you need a nurse to wipe your drool and change your depends. If it's too clean, there's a reason somebody cleaned it.
     
  8. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    i agree with maxify, get the good stuff. i may cost you now however, if you go the cheap route it will cost even more in the end and you will be totally unhappy with the outcome. the ztr is alot more versitile than some others may give it credit for. i quess it depends on your needs, desires and available finances... but for the money i would 1st purchase a good used ztr (nothing cuts like a zero turn) and rent (when necessary) a machine for digging, moving, scraping, etc. further, when it comes time to buy another machine i would look at a compact loader/backhoe. again there are many quality used compacts out there and they give you the abilty to use MANY different implements with ONE machine. i just picked up a 92 kubota 3450 w/loader, hoe and power angle snow plow... all of which are quick change. in my opinion, you can't be these compact loaders. good luck, looks like you may have some research to do. have a good one.
     
  9. Maxify

    Maxify LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    The reason we advise your selection towards a ZTR is blade tip speed. A tractor is good at doing lots of things but a slow grass cutter. It's not made to do that. It's made to do a lot of things, grass cutting being one of them but if you want to cut and be done with it. There is but one solution...dedicated machinery. Let's see, shall I have my gall bladder taken out by a General Practitioner or a Specialist. When I'm knocked out and under the knife, I want the best. Now, paying for the best is another dilemma.
     

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