Benefits of larger mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bruces, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    New mower?

    I currently have a 52” Toro Z100 w/ 19 hp Kaw. I am contemplating purchasing a 60” Z (brand to be determined, but top candidates are Exmark, Chopper, or Toro).

    My reason for looking at the new mower is that I am about maxed out as far as how much work I can get done with current mower (or as much as I can get done in the hours I want to work).

    In looking at the Exmark productivity chart, I see the following productivity numbers:

    6mph 52” 60”
    Acres per hour 2.52 vs 2.91

    7mph 2.94 vs 3.40

    8mph 3.36 vs 3.88

    By going up from a 52 to a 60 will I gain more than the charts indicate?

    I assume that the larger machine will be able to provide a quality cut at a faster speed due to larger tires, better ride, etc, so that property I am cutting currently at perhaps 6mph I might be able to cut at 7 or 8 mph with the larger machine and gain both speed and width of cut. (Also, top rated speed on current mower is 8.1 mph).

    Is that a valid assumption?

    Also, how many of you find that the 60” is too big? I don’t think I really have any properties that the 52” will fit on that a 60” won’t.

    I’m not looking for a brand or cost comparison, just theories on the benefits or drawbacks of going up to a larger sized mower.

  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I would go with a 60" in your case.

    1) You'll be stepping WAY up in HP/Inch from your current ride.

    2) Increased speed over your current ride.

    3) You will notice a difference. Slight, but you will notice it.

    I'm not familiar with your current Z-100, but it seems a lesser machine than a Lazer HP.

    My theory, go as big as you can comfortably fit on your properties. For most 1/4-3ac residentials, 60" is about ideal. Any larger, and wide open, I feel the 72" machines will really shine.

    Good Luck
  3. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    I just purchased a 52" lazer after demoing it for 2 days. I found that the 60" would be just too big for my properties and result in more trimming, which I hate. There are very few lawns that I can mow at wide open speed, which is only 9.5 mph I think. They are just too bumpy. I think you will only notice a big difference from the 52 and 60 if you are mowing wide open properties that take several hours to do because you are not going to make up any time driving from job to job or trimming with the 60". In fact you may increase your trimming. Plus the 60" was another $1000 more.
  4. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    don't forget exmark rates theirs at 80% efficiency where as most others rate at 100% which we know isn't real world.
  5. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Right Mike, my production numbers are all from the Exmark chart at 80%.
  6. bettern'goats

    bettern'goats LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I just bought a 61" Scag Turf Tiger and find it very appealing...yes you may have to trim a little more....but, you make up for time lost with a bigger mowing deck. I'm new so take it for what's it's worth...Mike
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i guess to get the100%,u would have to have a strait line of level grass that would last an hr. lets see 5280 per mile traveled ,.
    times 4.333 ft versus 5 ft.. then convert the answer to acres. hmm . ill get right on it.:) think ill just take their wd for it.
    to your question . think about the tradin value,on your mower.this is the variable ,that can really vary if a dealer
    is in a dry area ,where new sales just aint happening.u got a good mower so u should have the upper hand in the trading.
    sorry dealers. just the way i think.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,698

    The only way to achieve 100% efficiency is to only have to cut a piece of grass that is the exact width of the mower. We recently had a competition where mowing efficiency was put to the test. The rules were to cut 1 pass down the 200' course and one pass back. If you have a 60" cut mower than your total cutting width would be 120" to achieve 100%. The actual cut width was measured at 3 points along the length of the cuts and averaged. The best that was obtained was 117" (97.5%). This , of course, was in a controlled enviroment and speed was not an issue, mowing efficiency was. The competition also did not take into account the grass at the end of each pass which also reduces efficiency.
  9. hlgmoney

    hlgmoney LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Bought a JD 1435 Diesel with a 72" deck. Takes some getting used to over a Z but once you get the hang of it, it's awesome. 72" and 12mph is very productive. They're twice a Z turn in price though.
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    And half as maneuverable, and twice the weight!

    If I had a bunch a bucks burning a hole in my pocket, they'd be a nice toy though! Big improvement in the older F- Series!

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