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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently have a exmark 52' turf tracer and love it but at times i wish i had a Z i mainly have properties that are 1-3 acres no big giant yards but am going to advertise and am just wanting your opinion on when should I step up to a Z and when did u?time?it cost much more!im a one man crew am i kiddin myself with wanting a Z let me have it what do ya think step up to a Z or stay with the wb?
 

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If you can afford it then go for it lawn size really doesn’t matter and yours are plenty large enough I use my 60 lazer even on single strips like on gas stations.

It sounds like you have no ZTR experience so unfortunately you get to learn on your dime not someone else’s. Once you try one though it’s hard to even think of going back. Make sure it has a foot pedal to raise the deck over high spots or on incline turns and don’t think because it can do zero turns you should the tires are a foot wide and will rip easily if you take the turns to fast. Its better to do a multi point turn. I like to veer to my left on the last few feet on the row then back up curving to my right side and then I'm lined up for my next pass and its maybe 2 seconds longer and I don’t rip the lawn up.

When did I buy my first Z before I even had my first lawn contract I used them for 3 years at my former employers and there is no comparison. If you really want it then I say get it they become the center of your lawn business. The bagging system is great and in fall the leaf plow shaves tons of hours off the fall clean ups the 27 hp lazer I got easily pushes 1000 pounds of leaves at a clip try that with a tarp by your self. I had a 2 week period this year when my z was down it wasn’t but the bagger was and they had my z none the less my lawn lists time doubled I was beyond livid.
 

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I would deff. get a Z. No comparison between setting and standing. Standing can be bad on the knees! (not that I have a Z, and if you want to get rid of your TT, to re-up let me know)
Need to "upgrade myself".
 

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I went from a 50" Gravely walkbehind to a 60" Dixie Chopper ZTR and there is no comparision. With the Gravely I was using a part time man on Fridays. When I got the Dixie I dumped the part time man and increased the amount of work I could do by 33%. I use the Dixie on lawns from 1/5 acre up to 2-1/2 acres.
 

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God gave me an a*# for a reason!! And I will use it whenever I can. Sell your 52" WB. Buy a 36" WB and a 60" Z. Then you can do any yard with ease. I know it sounds like a big investment but i think you'll like the outcome.
 

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Originally posted by FineScapes
Currently have a exmark 52' turf tracer and love it but at times i wish i had a Z i mainly have properties that are 1-3 acres no big giant yards
Do you mean a 1/3 of an acre or 1 to 3 acres? If you mean 1 to 3 you're a fool not to have a Z (no offense). That is alot of turf to walk. I'm surprised you can even compete with prices walking 3 acres, if that is the case. You have to decide if your properties warrant a Z or not. I know we couldn't do without them. We really only have a couple properties we use our 48" walkbehind for. The rest is all Z mowing.
 

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I mow 12,000 SF (1/4 acre) lawns with my Hustler Z in about 10 minutes. Before I bought the Hustler I mowed with a 52 inch Scag WB and it took 20-25 minutes. Not only is the Z faster.. at the end of the day your legs don't feel like rubber and you're are much less fatigued. Also the productivity factor increases to almost double what can be done with a WB. That factor alone will justify the price difference between the two. But don't do away with the WB if you do jump to a Z. On steep hills a good WB is priceless. JMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you ALL for your replies- Kelly's I do have experience with Z's Kubota, Dixie Chopper, Toro - and have only test drove the exmarks-ON HILLS ARE THEY LOOSE(EXMARK Z) -ITS HARD TO HANG A HILL WITH THE DIXIE - but IM a one man show and im just trying to keep my expenses down or as low as possible I understand about the time - and as far as prices go I average 35 per hour after driving time , when i started and ended the day - IS THIS WHERE I SHOULD BE( some days i make much more but when i bid if i know its going to take an hour I charge 45-50) I know its different for crews but am i on the right price track? My yards are 1 -3 acres but im tellin ya my wb cuts good and is pretty fast(turf tracer52)

SO I assume i should go after a 60'' I have Kubota, Dixie, Scag, Exmark(which im leaning towards) grasshopper, Hustler,Toro DEALERS in my area that I know of and have heard about it im partial to Exmark but want the right machine - ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YALL HOW MANY SEASON CAN I PLAN KEEPING A Z AND DO THEY DEPPRECIATE A LOT

thanks.
 

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I got a ZTR about 5 years ago and wish I'd done it sooner. They're a little faster in general on wide open areas, but it's more than that. My knees took a real beating on velkies and when walking. I find riding much easier. Even standing on a sulky, you are still having to support and balance your body weight constantly. On jobs where I used wb's, the parts where I got to ride felt like I was taking a rest break. Wb's have their place, but not on 1-3 acre properties. I agree, a 48" to 60" rider (smaller ones are more versatile but you lose productivity on larger properties) and a 32" to 36" (32" if you do a lot of small gate properties) wb make a great combination. Besides, you will need a backup anyway, so get one of each type, with deck size on each determined by what props you're mowing. And of course Wb's are often needed for steep slopes, places ZTR's won't get to for whatever reason, and for mowing wet turf or soggy areas where the ZTR tears it up.

Remember, if you aren't using the wb full time it will last a long time, and the extra cost of a 2nd unit will make you much more efficient and will more than pay for itself. Compared to the lost income from being less efficient, these machines are dirt cheap, even though it may be daunting to think of buying them now. I enjoy mowing with a wb and sulky, and think it is easier on turf in many cases, but it's much more wearing on ME.
 

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exmarks-ON HILLS ARE THEY LOOSE(EXMARK Z) -ITS HARD TO HANG A HILL WITH THE DIXIE

Never once had an issue with a hill and my lazer I only have one hill on my entire list I wont take my lazer on and its strictly WB. The hill is not cuttable with the WB either but it is needed for the piece on top basically the grade goes up 9 feet in height in less then 6 feet of hill I go up it diagonally and don’t allow any one else in my company to ever try it.

I read allot on 15 mph speeds now and while it sounds great I do wonder weather that is any use on my type of lawns as the lazer top speed is 10 and often that is to fast for conditions the Ferris looks interesting with the suspension and I do wish to demo that. My only disappointment with the new exmarks is they have removed the 31 hp motors as an option on the 60s and 72s and while its not needed for the 60s I think I would of liked it this year when I get a 72. Well good luck to you and hopefully you can afford an employee soon so you wont need to do all the work your self trimming gets old after 15 years.
 

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FINE,
I'M A ONE MAN SHOW TOO AND I HAVE TWO Z'S. I HAVE A 48"
LAZER Z HP AND A 60" LAZER. I GOT THE 48 MY FIRST YEAR OUT AND THE 60 LAST SEASON. YOU WILL LOVE THE TIME IT SAVES YOU ON A LAWN. I ALWAYS THOUGHT A 60 WOULD BE TOO BIG,
BUT SINCE I GOT IT, I USE IT ON ALMOST ALL MY PROPERTIES.
I DO MOSTLY RESIDENTIAL 20,000 SQFT AND UNDER. THE TIME I SAVED WHEN I BOUGHT MY FIRST LAZER ALLOWED ME TO DO 5 MORE LAWNS A WEEK PART TIME MY FIRST YEAR AND I HAD ENOUGH WORK LAST YEAR TO ADD THE 60 AND AGAIN I ADDED LAWNS TO MY SCHEDULE. DON'T BE AFRAID OF A BIGGER DECK
UNLESS YOU HAVE ALOT OF GATES OR OBSTRUCTIONS TO DEAL WITH. THAT IS WHY I HAVE TWO.

GOOD LUCK, STAYING SMALL DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN GROW YOUR
BUSINESS. THE INITIAL EXPENSE OF THE MOWER MAY ALLOW YOU
TO DO MORE WORK AND MAKE YOU MORE MONEY IN THE END.
 

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Going from a 48" W/B to a 61" Ztr was the best move I ever made! A 61" GH is about twice as fast as a 48" W/B. Once my wife saw the difference, she insisted that I get a 2nd ZTR!!
 

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Originally posted by FineScapes
Thank you ALL for your replies- Kelly's I do have experience with Z's Kubota, Dixie Chopper, Toro - and have only test drove the exmarks-ON HILLS ARE THEY LOOSE(EXMARK Z) -ITS HARD TO HANG A HILL WITH THE DIXIE - but IM a one man show and im just trying to keep my expenses down or as low as possible I understand about the time - and as far as prices go I average 35 per hour after driving time , when i started and ended the day - IS THIS WHERE I SHOULD BE( some days i make much more but when i bid if i know its going to take an hour I charge 45-50) I know its different for crews but am i on the right price track? My yards are 1 -3 acres but im tellin ya my wb cuts good and is pretty fast(turf tracer52)

SO I assume i should go after a 60'' I have Kubota, Dixie, Scag, Exmark(which im leaning towards) grasshopper, Hustler,Toro DEALERS in my area that I know of and have heard about it im partial to Exmark but want the right machine - ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YALL HOW MANY SEASON CAN I PLAN KEEPING A Z AND DO THEY DEPPRECIATE A LOT

thanks.
If you buy a good quality mower like an Exmark or Hustler and maintain it properly it will last indefinitely. The engine will last about 2500 hours before needing rebuilding or replacement. Parts like spindles, pumps, drive motors, clutches, etc. can be replaced as needed. As long as the frame and deck hold out it will provide good economical service provided it is well maintaned. Don't let things get rusty. Buy a can of touch-up paint and keep the paint scrapes covered. Little things like that will make it last a long time.

One last thing about deck size. When you decide on the deck size you'll be buying, don't just think bigger is better. If you buy a deck that is too big for the properties you service, your productivity will suffer. A 60 inch is not that much more productive than a 52 and can be cumbersome at times. If you have a lot of trees and landscape beds to manuver around a 52 can prove to be more efficient than a 60. Just something to think about before purchasing.
 

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You guys are awesome, you basically answered all the questions I had regarding this area with finescapes..hats off to everyone on lawnsite, special thanks to Sean Adams..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hey guys just checked yalls replies and THANKS DENNIS I probably think i willl need a 52 now that i think about it BUT SHOULD I WAIT A FEW MONTHS SAY june OR FIRST OF MAY TO BUY A ZTR and see if i pick up any larger properties OR JUST GO GET IT TOMMOROW IM EXCITED ABOUT THIS SEASON AND THE FUTURE OF MY BUSINESS oh yea im putting out flyers on the 16th do you THINK THIS IS TO EARLY? my 1st time to put out flyers i got my business threw family friends and referrals which turned into 28 accounts Competition is rampid in my area so im tryin to get the first jump on 12 yards ive got my eye on IS IT BAD TO PUT A FLYER ON THE DOOR OF A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER WHO YOU KNOW WHO IS CUTTIN THEIR GRASS OR IS THAT JUST THE LANDSCAPE LIFE? I 've got a great dealer on charlotte (in nashville) who i trust and probably going with exmark so is liquid cooled a big thing or a gimick? ALSO I only have a Ford Ranger XLT V6 runs pretty strong with a 6 * 12 trailor with a new ztr and my wb do you think i can last the season with this truck(its paid for and in my business plan i hope to pay cash for a 92-96 V8 next season) I love my Ranger but i know i need more truck is this ZTR i fixing to buy gonna cost me a new truck this year im getting married in july and just tryin to evaluate the risk


thank you for all your thoughts :)
 
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