Benefits of ZTR vs. WB?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by recycledsole, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    Are there any benefits besides sitting down? It seems other than that the WB has all the advantages.
  2. dieselss

    dieselss LawnSite Silver Member
    from NWI....
    Messages: 2,085

    You serious Clark? You can't think of any other benefits other then sitting down?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    Can you say, saving time.
  4. WenzelOSLLC

    WenzelOSLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    Zs usually are faster. Less walking unless you use a sulky.

    WB are better on slopes.
  5. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    There are times, I have a hard time holding back. I suppose this will be one of those times.

    Many years ago, I started with a push mower working for around 12.00 hr.
    Upgraded to a Troy Bilt 33" self propelled mower that was awful on any hill but, made it up to around 14.00 an hour average.
    Then upgraded to a belt driven 48" in walk behind with a sulky. I was up to 30.00 and hour, but the hills were still tricky. Me and my walk behind slid down several hills in the past
    I then upgraded to a 52" Z. Hills were off limits, kept the 48" just for the hills. Hauled the walk behind around just for the hills and started making 60.00 an hour and more and got more done and was able to do at least 40% more per day because of more speed and less fatigue.
    Got tired of unloading the walk behind just for hills. Started just using the string trimmer on the hills. Got tired of that too.
    I no longer have the walk behind just hauling around for hills or for back up. I have learned how to use the Z mower on hills that in the past, I would never dream of using.
    When you begin to get old and tired, you begin to take a few more chances but, also figure out, unless I do something really silly, that Z mower will slide before it rolls.
    On hills, no, you can not get on them when they are really wet or dry. You can and, will slide. Go up face forward, go down backwards face forward slowly. Like a car, if you skid or slide you will lose control. Some hills, I go across but, up and down, I have found is best. Be in a position to bail if need be. I've been ready but, never have had to. If going across, work your way from bottom to top. Keep the front of the mower, with the front heading slightly up the hill, there will be times the rear wheels slide down a little. Re-group without pooping or peeing your pants. When you work your way to the top and say, OH CRAP, Now how do I get down, Come down the hill backwards slowly without spinning or letting the rear wheels slide. I also go up the hills at an angle, facing forward, up and then backwards. If you come down face first on a steep grade you will skid and lose control. Be prepared to jump. Remember this, if you stand up, the mower will shut off. I did that one day, it shut off and saved me. I have hills in certain areas of the same hill, I do it all ways mentioned here.
    So there you have every advantage that I can think of to have a Z turn mower vs. a walk behind, even with a sulky. If you come across an account that you can't use the Z turn, walk away from that account and, don't look back. In my opinion, bigger is always better when purchasing a mower. My trailer now has 2 Z turns on it. One 52 " and one 60 " Aim small, miss small. Aim big, hit big.
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Much faster, much less fatigue are the two main advantages of a ZTR. Take the lawn you passed to us this year as an example. The last couple times I did it in 20 to 25 minutes. A large walk behind would take at least 35 minutes. We used to use nothing but walk behinds. A 52" Bunton, 50" gravely pro-50 and 2 36" bobcats. We switched to ZTR's in the late 90's and have never looked back. We have one 36" WB just for two lawns and a couple steep hills in other spots. If somebody request's we use the WB exclusively then we charge more because it takes longer and is harder work.

    I do think a walk behind is essential to have for certain situations. But 99% of everything we do we use a ztr. I have even cut townhouses with our big 60". 3 swipes and 1 minute of trimming and another minute to blow off. Done and gone in 5 minutes for a $20 minimum charge.
  7. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    thanks for everyones response. the largest lot I have is .25 acres I think but a lot of them are open enough for a 52 or 60" mower. Everyone seems to recommend the zero turn sitting mower.
    ps prostreet that account would take me an hour usually with my 36". but I don't have any anywhere near that big.
  8. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    next question wich is best for small yards?
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,629

    I wouldn't invest 10k in a mower to do .25 acre lots.
  10. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,274

    maybe ill get a 60" wb since I don't plan to do any larger lots, since the prices around here are awful (60/acre or less)

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