Best Tractor??

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by BC Lawns, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. BC Lawns

    BC Lawns LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Messages: 8

    Fairly new to the green biz. I'm now in the process of purchasing a tractor. Have aprox 10 accounts. All residential so far.

    What is a good brand ZTR?
    Do all have grass collection systems available (for additional $)?
    Do all have additional accessories available (i.e. core aerator)?
    I do need an aerator accessory deck.
    What are my options?

    I really would like the Walker. I like its grass handling system, front mount deck, and aerator adaptor deck.... Price is holding me back.

    Is it worth paying the extra for the walker?

    Thanks to all---
  2. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Winning the job time race
    The tortise and the hare
    We're all familiar with the story about the turtle and the rabbit. The rabbit has more speed, but the turtle has more determination, stamina and consistency. The rabbit may get a fast start, but the turtle wins the race.
    When it comes to winning the job time race, the fastest mower -- the mower with the fastest ground speed -- is like the rabbit. It can mow fast, but it will often finish second to a machine that has more maneuverability and trimming capability, and the ability to overall manicure a lawn.

    At Walker Mfg., we like to position the Walker Mower as the tortoise. No, it's not the fastest mower in the world (it's no slouch either), but when it comes to winning the job time race, it comes in first almost every time. Here's why.

    The job time race begins and ends at the trailer, not at the edge of the mowed turf. One of the true measures of a mower's performance, including speed, is how long it takes a mowing crew to completely finish a job.

    Let's position the rabbit (e.g., a compact mower with a belly-mounted deck) at the starting line. The mower tackles the straight-aways faster than the turtle (e.g., a Walker with a GHS deck). There's no question it is fast, but it can't take turns at 8 mph. If this 1,000-pound rabbit were to reverse direction at top speed, it's good-bye grass.

    And having a mid-mounted deck, the rabbit can't trim close to hedges, trees, flower beds and other landscaping elements. In fact, built for speed and not maneuverability, the rabbit is far too clumsy for most trim work, leaving much of it to crew members with string line trimmers.

    Meanwhile, the turtle (a.k.a. Walker) is humming along at a near consistent speed. It's fast enough on the straight-aways and trimming -- this turtle is built for turning. With its patented combination of Forward Speed Control and steering levers, only gentle fingertip pressure is needed to put the turtle through its paces. Forward and back, side to side, and forward and back again, the machine is like "poetry in motion."

    Combine the outfront deck with the compact design of an integrated grass-handling system (GHS), and the turtle seems perfectly content to take a little extra time on the straight-aways to quickly outmaneuver the hare on the turns.

    Back at the race, the turtle's maneuverability has allowed it to close the gap on the rabbit. But just as it was gaining ground, its grass catcher needed emptying. Too bad, the rabbit wins by a nose. Or does it? At the finish line, the rabbit's operator picks up a trimmer to complete the trimming and then comes back for a blower to tidy up the walks, disperse clumps of grass and overall finish the job the rabbit only started. By now, the turtle is long gone, starting on its next job.

    The moral of this story is simple: When it comes to mowing, speed is relative. A mower's overall speed should be measured by how long it takes to completely finish a job, not by how quickly it covers the ground. In fact, too much ground speed is a liability because it makes turning more difficult. And decks, even mid-mount decks, lose some of their efficiency at higher speeds.

    The next time you see a rabbit mowing, admire its speed, but tip your hat to the turtle -- the machine that's already heading to the next job
  3. cmurphy128

    cmurphy128 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    to answer you questoin yes
    this week i had 3 major competitors and long time competitiors customers trade in or sell there machines for multip reasons, some took losses of 2000.00 with 5 hours on it.
    quality of cutt, going over it twice,
    rides rough
    it goes on and on
  4. BC Lawns

    BC Lawns LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Messages: 8

    Thanks much.

    Another molehill holding me back is distance to dealer.
    According to a search, the nearest dealer (for me in Montana) is about a 4 hour drive....

    I really would love the Walker. Any other options for me???
    Could I buy used @ a local lawn dealer???

  5. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    CMurphy, I absolutely HATE that Walker advertisment. First off, is the 42" or 48" as fast as a 52" or 60" ZTR? And will you not blow off your property after you mow if you have a Walker? I think any good LCO should do a once over with the blower to get debris off hard surfaces. Does your add talk about the time (and cost) needed to dump your clippings at the end of the day? But after all that is advertising.

    That said the Walker is a great machine if you need it. Are your properties small and have a lot of obstacles? Do you collect clippings (which is a whole other issue)? Walkers are incredibly manuverable and are light on turf. The GHS system is second to none. That said there are limitations. If you're using the GHS you are limited to 48". After that you can go side discharge up to 74". It's funny, I know Walker is not a huge brand but there are a lot of them around here. Mabye just alot in western PA I guess.

    BC Lawns, only you can run the numbers to see if the Walker is worth it. Demo the Walker and whatever else you can get your hands on and see what is the best for you.

    I'll throw in a note about dealers. I think if you really like something get it regardless of how far away the dealer is, as long as it is a good dealer. Parts can be shipped overnight and a good dealer will stop by every now and then to see how things are. Sometimes the dealer 4 hours away is better than the one 4 minutes down the street.
  6. shopbytch

    shopbytch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    If you got the bucks, a new walker will last 2-3 years with minimal maintenance: after that YOU have to learn how to keep it running trouble free. They are worth the extra money and high maintenance especially in spring, fall and with newbie operators. Except for the thathcher, all the extra attachments and gizmos are weak. Textron equipement can't compare for three seconds and kubota doesn't quite get it yet ( zero- turning on a lawn is worst thing for it!)
  7. JandRLandscape

    JandRLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Well I had a simular question, except I'm currently looking at HUSTLER, FERRIS, EVERRIDE.
    Why these, well Hustler and Everride I've seen and seem to be built like a brick sh!t house (tough) Both these machines seem to be very simular as well. The only problem with Everride is there too new to the market. Some Hustler dealership kept saying he saw problems under the deck when he got it on the lift. BUT he never would tell me what the problem was.
    I don't think theres a machine out there that another person wouldn't say something bad about anothers machine.
    Its kinda like saying Fords are better than Dodge or Chevy, HEY IT YOUR PREFERANCE.

    I finally got a dealer on the phone today and he didn't say one bad word about any other brand. The only thing he gave me is his personal opinion about problems with other machines, (decks cracking in particular)

    Well let me know what you all think of the Husters (I hear there having a good sale right now) and also the Ferris and Everrides
  8. excel25

    excel25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    I got one of the first HUSTLER super-z's
    GREAT!!!!!!!!! also have the bag system does an awesome job. Great factory support and warranty.Demo one and you will not want to return it.
  9. stumper067

    stumper067 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    How about a tractor, Here's a fine one..


    bx2230 and trailer_0013.jpg
  10. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Stumper, your Kubota is a fine machine for sure, but I think what these guys are after is a machine that mows with maximum productivity. For around half of what your BX2230 cost, you can buy a ZTR mower that will obiterate a tractor in terms of mowing productivity. Granted, a ZTR doesn't have nearly the versitility of a tractor, but nothing will beat it for a fast, good quality cut.

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