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. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    Yes, a ProSlide has a definite edge in some ways. However, if you have to ride it for any distance on concrete, pavement, or anything other than turf, you'll prematurely wear out the pad that it rides on. The main thing that kept me from buying one last year was the fact that I have to go around the block at one of my accounts in order to get into the back yard. I could use the 21" mower, but it's a fairly large back yard, and it's quicker to ride around to the back gate and mow with the 36". With the ProSlide, I'd have to walk all the way around, adding more time.

    I still may try one, however. I like how they fold up and down quickly, and you don't have to worry about it causing wheel ruts.
  2. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    The weigh savings comes from:

    (1) shorter frames and lack of engine guards
    (2) on fixed deck machines, use of the deck for structure, and lack of lift hardware
    (3) lack of ROPS
    (4) really narrow, lightweight frames, on machines like the Stander RH

    Some of the newer machines are getting heavy, however.

    A pre-2010 fixed deck 52" Wright Stander was 785 lbs, compared to 890 lbs for a early 2000's Exmark Lazer Z HP 48" (without ROPS). The redesigned 52" Stander gained 60 lbs (845 lbs), while the new 48" Exmark Z (with ROPS) is 1035 lbs. The 52" Stander X (with hanging deck) is 890 lbs (over 100 lbs heavier than an old 52"), almost the same as an old Z. By the way, the 52" Exmark Vantage is 866 lbs, almost as heavy as the old Z.

    If you really want to save weight, you need to go with a fixed deck Stander.
  3. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    Thank you, Olde Blue, for that answer. I didn't know there was that much difference in weight between a ZTR and a stander. And, yes, it does seem as though most machines are gaining weight as time goes by.
  4. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    a 100 lbs makes no difference. An operator can make or break that. Standers are good machines for cutting production. But you will be wishing you had a real collection system come spring and fall.
  5. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    That's a pretty generalized statement. Around here, we don't really give fall cleanups a second thought, as we don't have that many trees.

    I'll still stick with my walk-behinds for less rutting and wear on the turf. 500 lbs is much lighter than 800 - 1000 lbs and more, plus the weight of the driver. They may be slower, but the yards here are small, and the time savings with a faster machine is very minimal.
  6. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    when i went from a 36 belt drive wb to a 48 ztr my productivity went through the roof. I never realize how beat up I was getting from the wb on a daily basis. with the z, its so smooth. then after 2 years with the 48, i came across a killer deal on a year end close out on a brand new lazer 60/27. Only crap, at first I thought it would be too big, with the properties I was doing it was never an issue.

    in fact I use the 60" 98% of the time, I am so spoiled with it that If i go do an estimate and cannot ride the whole thing I either keep on driving or charge them alot more then normal (cause the less time I spend unloading the 36 tthp the better)

    increase in productivity was through the roof, go get a z and you will never look back.....
  7. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,345

    If you look at the tire foot print between a wb and a ztr then compare the weight. You will find the psi going to the ground is very close. Also if you compare the psi of a velke compared to a ztr you might be surprised which is less weight to the ground.
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  8. BadRancher

    BadRancher LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,892

    Yea, but on a ZTR all the weight is concentrated in one area. On WB the weight is less and is spread out. The only downside is on wet grass when turning and the tires don't grab traction and tear some turf (this can be cured by walking behind it), but I hear this happens with ZTR's time to time
  9. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I see where you are coming from, but here is the dilema: Around here, the gates are usually 36" or less. Back yards are larger than front yards. So if I were to use a ZTR that is bigger than a 36", I could only use it one the small front yard. Then, load it back up, unload a smaller mower, and mow the larger back yard, then load back up. Any time saved with the large Z would be lost by having to load and unload twice.

    My point is this: A 36" ZTR would be optimal for the yards around here, except for a few points. One being the narrow tires needed to keep it within the 36" width. With these tires, which are about the same width as the tires on a 36" walk-behind, your statement about the PSI being about the same between the two machines isn't correct. The tires are the same width, but the machine is much heavier.
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    bingo, this is a real world scenerio. The guys who swear up and down about WB's just have not run ztr's. Its night and day with production. Something i wont even debate its so obvious.

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