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Advantages of ZTR over tractor?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MarkD, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. MarkD

    MarkD LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 22

    Hi. My brother and I live next door to each other and have about 2 acres combined and want to buy a mower together. He can't understand why we can't just buy a tractor at Home Depot like "everyone else."

    I told him a $5000ish ZTR like the Hustler Fastrak would have the following advantages over an $1800 tractor:

    - Better cut due to floating deck and faster blade speed

    - Not needing to bag since the 18000fpm blade speed chops the grass into find particles. None of the commerical guys here in NJ seem to bag from what I've seen.

    - Ability to cut the two acres much faster. How much faster I don't know. Any thoughts?

    - Durability. Most likely this will be a one time purchase if we buy a unit with a good frame, welded steel deck, real bearing in wheels as opposed to bushings, heavy duty transmission, etc...

    To that last factor he says, "yeah but we can buy a new tractor every 5 years and still be ahead of the game."

    We are both Mechanical Engineers so perhaps I'm not explaining this correctly. I'm at the point where I'm going to forget him and just buy a Mini Fastrak for my acre.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


    - Mark
  2. Signature Landscaping1

    Signature Landscaping1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,496

    Deffinatly ztr!!
  3. nmez21

    nmez21 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Go big or go home, the HD mowers usually need more service work than most can imagine. GO ZTR
  4. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    Well, your on the right track, is it possible to demo a ZTR and bring it home and show your brother what you mean? That might thelp
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    You mentioned some great factors to why a ZTR would be a better purchase. But you forgot one really big factor and that is you will enjoy using it 1000 times more then the garden tractor. The ZTR will last long enough to justify the cost, so I wold focus more on the time saved (labor) and the fact you will look forward to cutting the grass each week using a ZTR.
  6. lampeslawnservice

    lampeslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    ZTR way more fun and faster than HD tractor. The blades do move at 18000+rpm instead of 3600 rpm's. Thats a no brainer which will cut thick grass. It's funny watching a customers neighbor ride around on his craftsman (same size yard) already started on his and I pull up unload mow and have the yard done weedeated, walks blown off and loaded before he gets 3/4 the way done.:dancing: Tell your brother to buy his own HD mower and get yourself a ZTR and then you can laugh when he's out there for an hour and it only takes you .5 hour
  7. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    Plus there will be no finger pointing when something breaks. If you do go partner then just remember that unless the mower was used outside the scope of it's abilities then it probably isn't anyones fault if something breaks. Most likely it was just the luck of the draw who was using it at the time of breakdown.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I wasn't going to say anything but I don't want any misinformation getting out there.

    The blades on a ZTR do not move at 18,000 RPM and in some instances they do turn at 3600 RPM.

    You had the right number but the wrong reference.

    A lot of the blades on ZTRs move at more than 18,000 FPM (feet per minute). Homeowner type machines do tend to rotate slower but these days it's not a whole lot slower.
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Well ive used a 16hp 1990 48" Simplicity garden tractor for years, put almost 800 hours on it myself alone. If would have been much easier using something that costed 8k vs 3k like the 1990 simplicity. My ferriz ztr 1000z has plenty more HP, 27 vs 16 and has a full 61" deck vs a 48" on the other mower. It was hands down much better than a $1500 craftsman or hd crap mower. Its got 1300+hrs on it now over 16yrs.

    I think personally on my OWN large lawn back years ago, i would have wanted, and did want a FRONT mower not a ztr, a front mower would have been much easier getting under the large trees than a garden tractor or ztr.

    ztrs are great for commercial lawn care since you can turn right around and not waste time. plus they ONLY cut grass, no plowing, snowblowing, pulling wagons etc. I would have bo ught a large garden tractor over a ztr for my own lawn purposes... like a simplicity legacy 4x4 xl with a 60" mower deck and snowblower.
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I don't know about the ZTR he is looking at but some do offer attachments such as a snow blade or snow blower. Also some ZTR's come with hitch options for towing. I have/do use a tow behind aerator with Hustler Z and Dixie Chopper.

    BUT, if one was planning on using a lot of special attachments then a mid size tractor (not the garden variety) with front loader and 3 point hitch would be best.

    I think we are getting a bit off topic as he didn't mention attachments but it is something for him to consider.

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