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Advice for first year lawn care.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dewy, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. Dewy

    Dewy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi, I'm a first time user of this sight & first year lawn care. I was recommended by a dealer to visit this web-site for recommendations. I have a few questions & would like your expertise/advice before I purchase 2 z-turns. I have researched & talked to 5 dealerships. I came to a conclusion that there all basically the same. Please advise!
    1) what brands of z-turns do you recommend & why?
    2) belt driven or shaft?
    3) Is it that importent to have maintance free spindles?
    4) cub-cadet z-turns aren't mentioned , any thoughts?

    please excuse the amount of questions all at once (still a rookie)
  2. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I am guessing that since you plan to buy 2 z-turns walk-behind (w/b) mowers you do not mean riders.

    First off everyone has their preference when it comes to mower brand and equipment... Find the best for you, what feels good and easy to operate. Buy the best mower you can afford, you do not want to be re-buying in a year because you bought cheap the first time. Next use the dealer you like best and the one with a good set-up including parts on hand and customer service.

    As for #1: I run toro. On the w/b I prefer the T-bar handles because they are quick to learn, easy to operate and they don't cause carpultunnel (however you spell it) in the hands (I have heard that over time sqeezing pistol grips can cause it).

    #2: If you can afford it I would go with hydro equipment not belt for the reason that the machines I have with belts do not opperate as well when wet and you need to tighten them every once and awhile.

    #3 & 4 I do not have any good suggestions for you, sorry.

    ****Do a search on mowers you will find many previous posts on the topic.
  3. Dewy

    Dewy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the input.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I run eXmarks. Love em'. But, if I was to every change brands it would be Hustler. Maintenance free spindles are awesome. They are sealed so no worries. I've never replaced a sealed bearing. Although, I have replace a few on greaseable setups. If your getting zero turns its must be hydro's. But I assume you mean zero turn riders.

    Exmark has a tremendous cut quality. They have great customer support. I've spent very little money on maintaining them. I really like keeping my profits.
  5. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Quit! Get out while you're young! Run don't walk for the exit!!!


    You've done the right thing already by being on Lawnsite!!!

    Lawnsite is a great place to exchange info about customers, equipment, employees (if & when you reach that level), you name it!

    My biggest piece of advice is watch your debt level. Go into as little debt as possible, just what you need to be productive and profitable. Last year we had the worst drought on record here, really shook out a lot of players.

    Work safe and don't forget to have fun, too!!!

  6. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    We have maintenance free spindles on our Gravely 260Z machines. The Gravely is a great machine with the exception of the spindles. The bolts that hold the blades on are shoulder bolts that are undersized especially on the 72" deck that swings a large blade.

    Maintenance free spindles are a marketing gimmick.

    Additionally, some brands with maintence free spindles say that you must not pressure wash the machine. That is a major drag. You really need to keep your decks clean in order for the mower to last and cut efficiently.

    A mower is a major maintenace hog, and eliminating a few seconds with a grease gun for the spindles is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of maintenance you need to do!!!

    BTW in my opinion the best ZTR on the market now is the Kubota ZD28 with the fabricated 60" deck. Good value, quiet, powerful, easy to maintain, built to last.

  7. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Forget about it. This is a light duty machine, it will be junk in weeks under heavy commercial use.

    Don't kid yourself you are wasting, not saving money unless you buy real commercial equipment. Plus, you will come to hate your job fighting that junk.

  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    And not to mark you down, or anything, but if you have arrived to the conclusion that these mowers are all basically the same, THAT is a bad assumption. There is a BIG difference in these mowers. First, go with a main brand that you are going to get factory support with. There are a few of these brands at the top of the page. Toro, as was said above, is a good one, too. Also, another thing that was said above that holds true as good advice, is get as good as you can afford. Sometimes this means not as big as you can afford, either. A quality brand mower in a 48" deck, is going to serve you better over time than some off brand with a 52 or 60" deck that is going to give you troubles down the road, and/or is not going to produce the quality of cut that is so greatly desired in this industry. Many times, a better cut is going to save you aLOT of work by not having to recut if it comes out rough or clumped in adverse conditions. As far as the hydros go, yes, they are nice, however, for many, because of the cost factors, they are a bit impracticle for some operators, especially just getting started. BIG bucks difference. Belt drive is suitable for most operaters, and works well in most conditions, especially mowing conditions, and let's face it, most mowing occurs in dry conditions. Myself, I don't ever mow in wet conditions. I hope this helps, and I wish the best to you.
  9. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    I bought a Lesco Ztwo 60" rider for $6195. It is the same thing as the Cub Cadet, but a fair amount less money. I did a lot of research, and I don't think this machine is junk as a previous poster stated. It is an excellent value. I'm looking forward to giving it some rigorous use. So far I love it.
  10. G. Moose

    G. Moose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48


    While all commercial brand mowers are built for the proffesionals, some will last longer than others. I am a Scag man through and through. They are hands down the toughest machine out there and will last forever.

    If you are talking about walk behinds, I recommend hydro IF you can afford it. Belt drives are not a bad deal if it weren't for wet conditions and no real reverse.

    I do not like maintenance free spindles at all. They are junk. At all costs, avoid them.

    Finally, Cub cadet is a piece of $h!t. Nothing more than over priced homeowner equipment.

    Good luck and welcome to the industry. :D

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