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pros and cons on zero turn mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by southwest lawn care, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. southwest lawn care

    southwest lawn care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Howdy friends, i'm thinking about buying a scag 29 hp dfi with a 61 inch deck and bagging system, i have never operated a zero turn mower i have been using a john deere lx 266 with a mulching deck, i would like to know from the pros how well these zero turn mowers are and how steep of grades they can mow on.
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    a zero turn can cut time due to the tight operating radius, faster mowing capabilities and will last longer (if it's a commercial model). find a mower you like and demo it at a dealer to see how they really work.
  3. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    like what was said above. much faster mowing. and with a collection system, makes short work of leaves. Scag's are a very well built machine. i demoed a TT w/ 29 DFI and it cut amazing. you should try looking into some other brands too, not just Scag. there might be another mower you will like better or a dealer thats closer and gives you a good deal. just be careful with turning around on the lawn! Good Luck!
  4. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    ZTR's are faster for mowing and you use less energy to operate them
  5. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I cant think of any coms of a ZTR off hand, Im shur there are some. But the pros out way most everything one can pick on most Zs. I have use tractors large and small for many years and still have some nice ones, but my 2 Zs are what I call my money makers.

    If your mowing every day and tuging on a steering wheel, them mow all day with a Z you will see a big diference. But mowing all day with a nice power stering tractor any size deck, will take you all day. But with a Commercial Z you will be done just after lunch on the same mowed amount.
    It like night and day in my opinion.
  6. scholzee

    scholzee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 130

    I have never used a ZTR but isn't the biggest con that thay are less stable on hills than tractor base mowers /
  7. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Thats a relitive question. Stable compared to what? A goat, a man pushing a mower? A tractor mower? in my opinion NO.

    And heres why, There are a lot of guys here that go on and on about unstable on hills. And there are some Zs a little less that others. As well as some tracotrs hold the ground better. But in a broad over view a tractor has a much higher center of gravity. On a hill this means roll over mostly. Z by nature have a lower center of gravity. So the Z is far an away safer on hills. But stubility is totaly different. Stubility is weight of the maching and tire traction only. Most Zs all weigh with a hundred ponds of each other. But where Z operators get all silly is. Tire configuration and use of power on a hill or slope. With a Z, If your going stright up all the time (with is not recomented) yes you will get the feeling of unstable. (like the frount want to come over) this is true with any machine Z or tractor. But going down or side ways across a slop a good operator with the right tire configuration and the proper use of the power at hand is key. A Z has a lot of quick accest to power and on a slop if you drive as you was on flat ground you are going to slide, slip and feel unstable. From my experence a Z with slower response and less power the operator will not get in as much trouble no a hill or slopr.

    But Z strong sute is quicknes and speed on mowing your lawn. But you can not use that same mind set on hills or slops. This is where guys can agrue all day on witch Z is better on hills. Its operator controling the power of the unit and what type of tire tried he has.

    scholzee< I put my Dixie Chopper on a very steep slop every week that there are not a tractor made that will not turn over. Its one block long by 10 feet wide and eveyone in the past has used a push mower to mow this. Granted I slip some and its hard to keep the Z going stright as well as i have to hold on to the arm rest to stay in the seat. But I mow it.
  8. scholzee

    scholzee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 130

    dhardin53 thanks for the good insight and explantion that I can understand. I am not sure how the original poster was going to use the Z and was trying to understand the hill thing as I do medium grade hills and the biggest problem is probably the dew we get in the northeast and the loss of traction it creates.
  9. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    Hills are risky with zero-turn riders. It's kind of weird. You can easily lose control on a hill.

    My first rider was the Lesco Z2. And I had a few incidents with it:p Like, one time on a fairly steep hill I was mowing across it and I hit a patch of ground that was saturated from recent rain. I rapidly slid sideways down the hill, ripping up the grass the whole way down. I had lost all control and was just hanging on for the ride. Scary!:eek: The brush in the woods stopped me!

    In 2005 I was operating that same machine on a small hill and I lost it. I guess the hydraulics had gotten week. I almost crashed into a neighbor's deck! And I was stuck in a flower area. How embarrassing! And I've been doing this for years. I was just glad nothing really got damaged. It could have been much worse.

    I don't take too many chances anymore with riders on hills.

    But riders are great for productivity! And in comparison to using pistol grip walk-behinds, riders are much better for your hands.
  10. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Why argue buy both. I have a commercial lawn tractor and Toro Z and walkbehinds it takes a different mower for different jobs. I will never use my Z on hills if there very steep the front caster wheels are why a tractor is more stable. The wheels are fixed to the steering wheel and you can control them you don't have any control with casters. I also don't think you should be bragging about your dangerous behavior, it might work for you but I would strongly warn against it! Its just plain stupid!!!!! Very bad advice.

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