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Is a ride on ZTR too heavy for in city lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by instyle, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. instyle

    instyle LawnSite Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 380

    I am debating, weather to get WB's or ride on ZTR's, but 1/2 of my work is in city on small 50x100 yards. Either way I would get a 48", but is the ride on too heavy for the lawn?

    My rural customers with big yards should have no problem with riders.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    City lots have been walked all over and packed down by tons of people, i don't see why a ZTR would be too heavy. just my .02 though
  3. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    By ride on ZTR do you mean a normal sitdown ZTR or a Stander? Either way, it shouldn't matter. I've used my Gravely 260Z on city lots and have had no problems with weight.
  4. AboveTheCut

    AboveTheCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    Just make sure you alternate pattern so you don't get ruts. the ztr will save you a lot of time. but it really depends on your terrain (flat, obstacles, etc.)
    good luck.
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I guess it depends on some factors, and how you define too heavy. If the lawns have narrow runs it will make it hard to mix up your patters forcing you to run the same path. Whether or not the sodd is elevated above the walks can be a problem with heavy riders. A lawn with trees and shade can really take a beating with a heavy rider.

    If you ask what is best....probably a light walkbehind like a 21 or a quick 36. A 48" without velky will not be too bad in most cases. I love my riders, but if you what what is best for a small residential lawn, a walkbehind will be your best option.

    Good luck
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    instead of the heavy factor, why not consider the accessibility factor?
  7. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    A majority of the yards I do are just like what you described. I use a Toro 52" ZTR. I'm solo so its nice to have a fast cutting mower. It gets into fairly tight areas. I havent had any trouble with tearing up or rutting up the yard. It has big tires that seem to "float" the mower pretty good.
  8. Scag413

    Scag413 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,287

    I would go with a compact zero turn rider. They can go faster not only on small yards but also on big yards. A rider all the way for me!
  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I have a 880? lb Lazer HP and will probably be getting a compact 44" phazer or gravely at around 610 lbs. I see zero problems with weight of the smallish(for a ztr) on lawns with thick dense turf (Bermuda, Zoysia) when mowed with reasonable care, but Tall Fescue in thinned conditions (shade, wet soil, thin turf, etc) definitely shows more wear. I can watch the front casters tear the turf when it's wet as they swivel when you reverse the mower. My wb's wouldn't bother it. I think the more weight you have on the front wheels, the more damage you'll get, but the rears matter too. If you have to use a super wide tire to handle the ground pressure of the mower, you may be more likely to damage turf in tight turns on small lots.

    Some guys mow fields and crow about how they don't damage anything. Well, they're not making turns every 5 seconds and have space to make wider turns, or the turf is just tougher. But in less than optimal conditions, wb's will leave the lawn in better shape.

    But, I only use wb's when I have to. They tire you out. I will have a set up this year with a pair of wb's to use when the conditions are not right for ZTR's. So I mix and match depending on conditions. The varied turf types and conditions here make using a single mower quite inefficient.
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Riders are made for more open areas. Riders on smaller lawns are slower because you will be turning alot slower and you will have more compaction because of the weight and speed of the rider.

    You can turn a walk alot faster with no turf tarring or compaction issues. You will be faster when trimming because you can put the deck under things you will not be able to with the rider.

    DEMO,DEMO,DEMO a rider and a walk and time yourself-----Dont forget about the hills too.


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