justifying a ztr

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BMFD92, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Well I am looking ahead to next season and I plan on doing between 30-50 lawns and will be adding on another mower to manage time. I currently have a scag w/b which does great and has helped me great the past two seasons but with my expectancy of more accounts I am trying to figure out if whether I should just add on a hydro 52" with a proslide or a 48 or 52 ztr. My main issue next season is managing time. I would have to get 6-8 lawns done a day in a four hour period which I think I can do because all of my lawns are averaged size and would not take long with two mowers and a weed-whacker running at the same time but as far as mower decision would a ztr really be more time consuming and profitable then a 52" hydro with a proslide. I understand if the lawns were bigger but the lawns around 1/4" acre with some less and a couple bigger so with the size of the lawn would a ztr really help me.

    P.S- I am not concerned with bagging capabilities because I use my w/b blowers for all spring/fall cleanup applications and the mower I would get is either a Scag SWZ hydro 52" with 18HP honda w/ proslide and accelerator xl or Scag Tiger Cub with the 23/52 kawaski and stripe kit
  2. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593

    I know how you feel!
    This season I was wondering the same thing, and then I picked up about 12 new accounts mid season. I did not have a choice It was either a full time guy or a bigger machine. I chose number 2 for the following reasons.
    I knew that even with another guy that I would eventually have to get a bigger machine and I have pretty bad knee's. Let me tell you that with the ZTR I saved quite a bit of time on some of my lawns. But there are still some lawns that I do not use it on. I believe that With the ZTR I shaved about 1 full day off of my schedule. Worth the money? to me Yes it enabled me to take on some more side work. I don't know what your current situation is but I would look into one of the following
    1. Walk Behind with a bigger deck
    2. Stander (more productive than a W/B)
    3. A ZTR Maybe too big for your particular operation.
    Which ever you chose make sure that you demo as many machines as you can this way you get a feel for what is going to work best for you.
    I HIGHLY recommend John Deere products, especially the mowers. They exceeded my expectations in every way especially with the parts availability.
    Like I have said in other posts if I need a part I usually have it shipped to my house. It has never taken more than one day to get it. And my dealer stocks a lot of parts so I could go get it if I was in a bind. Your dealer is just as if not more important than the machine itself, so make sure you take that into consideration no matter what you end up getting.

    Hope this helps,
  3. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    We worked with a guy this summer doing his 50 weekly lawns. It was him, my brother and I and we would do it in 2 days. We could do 25 lawns 1/4-1/2 acre in no more than 6 hours. That's a man on the 36" for the backyards, man on the Stander in the front and back where there was no fence, and a man on the trimmer and blower. The Stander, according to him saved him several hours of work. We listened and got one at the end of this summer. We were mowing 25 weekly lawns and a 2.5 acre cemetary, and we saved ourselves 3-4 hours the first couple weeks and improved to almost a consistent saving of 4 hours. The mower also bags tremendously well. If you are solo, this machine will give you a break from all the walking you have to do, stripe well, cut fast, increase productivity, and maybe allow for some more lawns. Just a thought. PM if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    How many people will be working with you. What are your properties like. I am going to stay with w/b on my residential lots because we have a lot of hills and I have found that the 48 or 52 will work as fast as the Z and not slide in the wet and not do as much damage to turf. they work better around trees and in my yards they are quicker.
    Now on our bigger properties we will still use Z's
    If you are a solo or 1 man crew use the mower that will do the whole property. Going back to the truck to change mowers eats a lot of time.

    The w/b's have velkes
  5. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Get a ZTR. They don't cost that much more than a comparable hydro and they are much more efficient as far as I'm concerned. They also save a lot of wear and tear on the operator, which is a big factor over the long run.
  6. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    A company I work for on top of my own stuff has 52" Wright Standers and push mowers, nothing inbetween. When I first started working with them I thought they would need something smaller like a 36" or so. I was wrong. That 52 Stander will go anywhere. They are very maneuverable and very productive. You might consider one of these.
  7. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    We have 4 52" Standers and my guys love them...very fast, very manuverable, and very reasonably priced. payup

  8. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 471

    I got a chance to play around with one of these a while back and thought it was pretty cool, but I didn't have any slopes to try it out on. How would you say they compare to a wb on hills?
  9. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    my lawns are the averaged size suburban homes that can vary in size but are on average of a 1/4 acre but i have just a few bigger ones. A bigger deck on the w/b wouldnt work because i need to be able to use it on at least 65% of my lawns. I feel that a 52 inch is the best deck for me. The lawns also vary in elevation so some have pretty big slopes. As for a stander, my dealer doesn't sell them but if he does next season then I will definetly look into it.
  10. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    From our experience, most of the time you encounter a steep hill you get a little nervous. If there is any doubt on a hill, DON'T USE A ZTR! Be safe at all times. It sounds like with the hills that your best bet would be a walk behind. Good luck!

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