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Finish Mower vs. ZTR

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by mowniacal, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. mowniacal

    mowniacal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    For straight, open-field mowing, can a good, 3-point-hitched, PTO-driven finish mower on a farm tractor cut as much and as fast as a ZTR with the same deck size?
  2. ZH Turf Man

    ZH Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I had a six foot Woods finish mower that I used for about eight years and now I have a four foot ZTR. For the type of mowing that you are describing I think the finish mower would be the champ. Where I ran into problems was the trimming capabilities of the Woods, it was difficult to mow close to anything and we ended up spending lots of time hand mowing. The quality of the cut on the finish mower was superb, no streaks, it never clumped, you could mow wet or dry. It did a better looking mowing job than my new ZTR but the Woods leaked oil from the gear box after one year use. Hard to believe but in eight years I never cleaned the deck and when I sold it the bottom was as clean as can be!
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    No way, no how. A smaller Z will run circles around a tractor with finishing mower. I have the tractors and the z's. I have a number of personal acreage. Tested it, the z's will each a tractors lunch as far as production is concerned.
  4. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    To directly answer your question, a ZTR with the same size deck will mow an area a great deal faster than a finish mower behind a tractor. But keep in mind that the ZTR is a dedicated machine that really does only one thing well, and that is mow. The tractor gives you much more versatility. So, I would say that the choice depends on you and what you want to do. Good luck.
  5. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I agree with oldturf,

    I have a 6' first choice finishing mower that I use from time to time. Both of my ZTR's are 5 footers. Given the same yard, the ZTR's will out produce the tractor/finisher every time because of turning ability. But, like oldturf said, the ZTR's are dedicated machines. I got the finishing mower to use on some really rough accounts that I have.(the tractor rides much better than a ZTR.) Again it really depends on what you want to use it for.
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    It all has too do with how fast the tractor can pull the finish mower.
    Most ZTR will cut at around 7 to 9 mph.If your tractor can pull faster than that then it will probaly hold its own.If the tractor is Hydrostatic drive it will trim well.
    If you already have a Tractor then a Finsh mower is cheaper.If not a ZTR is the cheapest.
    If it is Fieldmowing with no trees I take my Kubota L3710 with the 60 inch finish mower.
    If there are obstacles I take my 53 inch ZTR.
    The Tractor has less Fatigue after many acres.Also if the Feild is rough the ZTR will beat you too death.
    Smooth Field Even
    Rough Field Tractor
    Obstacles ZTR.

    If you own nothing the ZTR is the cheaper route.
  7. moneyman

    moneyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I feel a ztr will tire you more than tractor. You constantly have to be Alert to keep a straight line.
  8. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    NOPE a Zero turn mower can do it faster and nicer

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