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Lets have an intelligent debate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I had to cut one of the few yards I have with a gate today. My 42" lawn tractor goes thru it with a little to spare. It's a chainlink walkway gate. Anyways as i was cutting, I was day dreaming about the new ZTR I am hoping to get. Then a good question crossed my mind that could apply to anyone.

    Doesn't it make more sense to have a 42" or smaller ZTR to get those gated yards instead of a walkbehind?

    Then I began to think of what was out there that might fit through that gate I just went through. Of course Encore's Z34 came to mind 1st because a 34 is just plain odd and sticks in your mind. Why not 36" or 38"? Then I thought of there Z42.

    Then I thought of the Dixie Chopper 42" w/removeable trim side. The only other that came to mind was Husqvarna's 42".

    Then I tought, I really wonder how much time I'd really save with just a 42" ZTR v/s my lawn tractor? Sure I'd save some turning and trimming. But would I really increase my ground speed any? I don't even run my lawn tractor flat out much. It just beats me around too much.

    Let's all discuss my rantings! :blush: :confused:
  2. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    If what I think your refering to as a "lawn tractor" any intelligence in the debate is already absent.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    :confused: HUH???
  4. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Sorry for the sarcasm.... What is a lawn tractor?

    The bottom line comes down to the FACT that the best equipment will always improve your net profit margin via it's improved efficiencies.
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I don't doubt what you are saying for a minute. I'm just having random thoughts basically. I guess I'm also trying to see clear justification for replacing my lawn tractor with a small ZTR.

    Fact is, I can't really see how spending 5 or 6 G on a small ZTR can really improve my profit margin much. I think it would take a long time to recover the cost of it for probably little time I would actually save. I just can't see myself boucing along really any faster. I'd save on turning and trimming.

    Feel free to correct me with experience! I can take it!

    The fact of the matter is, I only see 3 toros, 2 bobcats and 1 great dane out of all the LCO's around closeby, oh and one GD super surfer if that counts.

    Most everyone still uses lawn tractors. A few miles south of here, that is no longer the case. I think for the most part they all suffer from fear of change and fear they won't beable to do the things they now do with ZTR's. This seems to me more and more all the time that it's not the case.

    But there again, I hear people say wider and bigger is better for control. 34 or 42 inches is not wide at all in the ZTR market.
  6. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Why not aggresively market your services more so that you pick up a good number of new accounts to justify that purchase.

    I agree with you in respect to the fact that just because you have a beautiful, efficient, fast mower that the customers are NOT gowing to flock to you...

    Kind of like the guys in our area that drop $4k on a new snow plow that sits in the driveway all winter long except for the 1 hour they spend clearing the 1 account for $65 when there are a ton of good used plows all over for a quarter that price.
  7. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    You just can't beat Zero-Turn, even if i't only a gear drive walk behind. for example : my main mower is a Lesco gear drive WB 36 in with jungle wheels. I recently got a Huskee 18hp 46 in garden tractor and a blade and plow and cultivator ( these attatchments are what I got the tractor for ) I used it on my lawn and It took about 1/3 longer to mow than with my 36 walk behind. That's the productivity. also most garden tractors don't even come close to the durability of a Commercial mower. I am still amaized at some of the abuse I have put my WB through and Lesco isn't nessecarly the "best' of the commercial mowers.

    to sum up my thoughts: you can't beat zero-turn for productivity and you can't beat commercial for durability.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    The jobs will be there next season. I've already been pushed at times to keep up with what I had this year and i've turned lots of work down. I only cut part time anyways.

    I'm going to have to buy a ZTR to keep up if I want to take on any more. I was just thinking of rather or not to replace the LT too. It is a hydro atleast and I just can't see saving that much time.

    I could maybe see saving quite a bit on flat smooth ground even with a smaller than 42" deck. But none of my accounts are flat and most are not smooth either.

    Also, I'm afraid to buy a smaller frame ZTR because I'm afraid it won't stay on the hills like my LT does. I think this fear is the same fear that keeps most of the others around here on LT's.
  9. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    How many gated yards to you cut compared to open areas? Is it worth losing time on the easy access yards where you can fit a bigger ZTR on just for a few gated yards?

    Thats the question you should ask yourself.

    BTW....a ZTR the same size as your "lawn tractor" WILL save you lots of time.
  10. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    A person could always get a long ramps set up so you could drive right over the fence:D dont have to worry about gate:D have ramps on each side of the fence:eek: up and over

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