Does a ztr really pay for itself in time saved vs. a 36 inch midsize

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bustutah, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    What's 1/2 acre and more? What's more? 30,000? 40,000?

    If you can use this ztr on most of your lawns you are definately going to speed your production up over walking them, biggest thing is that you aren't going to be dead at the end of the day.

    Look close at the walkers, but think about the grass you are picking up. How are you going to handle the clippings? They certinaly pose more of an issue than a machine with regular bags that can just be picked up to dump in your truck bed.

    as for a midmount ztr, I'd look at Toro, Exmark, Grasshopper, Hustler?, and whatever else is avaialble close to you. A commercial mower with a PLASTIC blower fan? Have you seen one, with the center bag area blocked off to make the wierdest catcher design ever... (talking about the kubota).
  2. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,529

    Yes a Z will increase your productivity after you get used to operating it. And ask yourself if you feel like doing anything else after a days work. You'll have more energy and less tired. Work is great but play time is much needed in my book.
  3. jaybow

    jaybow LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 1,089

    Its not just time, you use alot less energy on a ztr. And alot less beating on your knees and hips. Landscaping is a very physical job and you need to preserve your body where ypou can. The problem with the ztr is the rutting issues, and people not learning how to turn them properly without tearing up the turf.
  4. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    I know beating the dead horse but alot of the older crowd simply hate ZTRs. I've seen some very frugal managers require 21" push mowers because a LCO wouldn't compromise.
  5. Maco Services

    Maco Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    Our 36 WBs are our workhorses. I've got a walker mulcher, and it's convenient when I'm by myself, but gates require me to pull another mower off the truck. My next buy is another tbar WB. All day long.

    For some of our slightly larger properties and commercial, I love the walker, but speed wise (its an older one) I wish I could pick it up. Leaves a beautiful cut, but I feel at a loss of efficiency.
  6. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    And a lot more beating on your tailbone, back, neck, and shoulders. Which is one of the factors contributing to me trading in my 48" ZTR for a new 36" hydro walk-behind last year. Yes, my feet are a little more tired at the end of the day, but I don't wake up with my back hurting either. Once you get back problems, they are very hard to deal with.

    Was the ZTR fast? Yes. But the walk-behind with a sulky is just as fast on the properties I service, which are typically 1/3 acre and less. The walk behind also gives you an amazing option: to actually WALK behind it, allowing you to shove the deck under shrubs, bushes, low-hanging tree limbs, etc. Saving trimmer time. And I, for one, despise trimmer time.

    This is not to say that I will never own another ZTR. But I will never give up my walk-behinds. They are just too handy.
  7. BadRancher

    BadRancher LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,892

    Well said!
    I would not say I would not like to have a zero turn, but from frugality standpoint WB would be better. In the early spring when it is still rainy that ZTR may have to ride the pine in a res yard. These thing aren't hard to make ruts or stick, and when you get stuck you will need another ZTR or your truck pull it out. But then again, you are in UT and I'm not sure of the rain amounts you guys get.

    I will say that its your hard earned money and you do whatever is in your best interest and makes you happy! It may be real beneficial to you. :usflag:
  8. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    Yes, that was another reason I switched to a walk-behind: weight. Here, in the land of Bermuda, the grass gets pretty crispy during the dry times. Any mower will make tracks, or ruts. ANY mower. The trick is to keep them to a minimum, and a lightweight machine (along with constantly switching mower patterns, making sure to never put the tires in the same track twice) is the key. I ride behind my walk-behind, but my weight is on the sulky wheels, not the mower wheels, as with an already-heavy ZTR.

    Now, I know up north, many properties are larger than most of mine. And if I were there, I would probably look at getting a large ZTR with a suspension seat. But, for me and the smaller properties I service, the walk-behind seems to work out better.
  9. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,599

    I agree & most of my accounts are 1/4 - 1/6 of an acre.
  10. gibbonsballer10

    gibbonsballer10 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    if your making $350 a day, you dont need a ztr. I have over 30 residential and 4 small commercial and I can get them all done in 3 days working 6-8hours/day and all this with a 36'' toro wb.

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