heavy equipment

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by fishindude, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. fishindude

    fishindude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I have two subjects that I need help with:
    1. During the winter here in East Texas, lawns stay wet most of the season. Does the tire indentions left behind from heavy mowers ruin the lawn? Not the tire tracks left in the grass, but in the soil under the grass (St. Augustine). Many LCO's still use their heavy equipment. I stopped using mine and started using my 21' TORO. Its extra work, but I can look back at the lawn when finished and be proud.
    2. I purchasd a double trimmer rack from a company that advertises in this forum or I read about it from someone in this forum. Recently, I noticed that my trimmers are groved from where they rest against the rack. I am not talking about where they sit on the rubber protection, but from the inside rack where they lean on it. Is this common with all trimmers racks? Is this protected under my Echo warranty? I fixed the problem, but still have the groves.
    Thanks Eric
  2. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    All turf grasses benefit from core aerification.
    Instead of killing your self with a 21" mower, up-sell the core aerification coupled with a professional turf fertilizer and diversify your business.
    My crews aerify 2X per year and fertilize up to 6X per year depending upon the site, budget and other considerations.
    To answer your question, most ztr's do have more ground pressure that a small 21" mower.
    The effects of compaction are cumulative and often appear as a contributing factor in especially Brown Patch formation which St Augustine is particularly prone too. Also, St Agustine benefits greatly from power raking all that old, nasty, un decomposed organic matter and excessive stolon activity. Aerify, rake, really let the turf respire easily and your turfsites will show dramatic improvement.
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I have said this before in several posts about big Zs doing damage on smaller properties only to get bashed by everyone. Its seem to me that everyone on this site just want to sit their f_t a_ _ on their big Zs 24hr a day and never have to use a 21" for anything. Yes the big mower will do alot of damage over time and even more when wet. I use big Zs and big tractors and walkbehinds in my business but the 21" Toro Prolines get alot of work too. I've owned a commercial lawn & landscape business since 1990 and we use the correct equipment for the correct job unlike some on this site.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I find specific deck sizes are designed to handle certain sizes of lot.

    In my experience, the 48" does its best in lots ranging from 1/4 acre UP to a full acre in size.
    While I find the 60" Z pulls ahead starting at the acre sized lot, it does little if not take longer on smaller lots due to sheer bulk and weight creating maneuverability issues which in effect slow down the machine.

    I do not know where the 21" would stand out (as I do not own one), but more likely than not it would be in lots UP to 1/8th acre in size or so.
    I could be mistaken about that, but I am certain the 21" would get done as fast if not faster than the 48" Wb on a small enough lot.

    Not to say the Z doesn't cut worth a crap, but the 48" Wb's are more efficient both in cost AND in time on most all lots smaller than an acre in size.
    The Z needs flat out terrain to run straight lines as long as possible.
    While the Wb can turn in a jiffy AND maintain most of its speed doing it, it's only loss vs. the Z is top speed, but it makes up for this in smaller lots with agility and maneuverability the Z simply can not match.
    When turning, the Z has to come to a complete stop (even if the machine never stops, the ground speed still goes to 0mph at some point in the turning), then speed back up - And it takes time to speed back up and the Z covers DISTANCE in that time so if there's not enough straightaway to build and then maintain a top speed, before I know it I have to get on the brakes again as it also takes more than a few feet to slow the beast down.

    In order to finish a yard in the shortest possible time, consistency is the key, and while a top speed may appear important, it is the machine that can maintain the most consistent speed that is most likely to win this race.

    Not to mention, the smaller the mower = the less linetrimming you have to do.

    Last but not least, I like to sit on my tail, too...
    But everytime I think of the cost of running the Z, I don't feel so hot about it anymore (plus, the wear and tear on my body is about the same as standing on a velke because it's still a rough ride).
    That, and leaving the Z at home saves fuel AND time when I don't have yet another machine to play musical equipment on my trailer with.

    Now on acre+ lots, the Z boogies.
    So, you need the LOTS to justify the Z, preferrably you either have the lots first or you can spare the expense.
    Otherwise, I would highly recommend a smaller machine such as a Wb.
    If you like the 21", more power to you.

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