Realistic ZTR productivity numbers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Herrick, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I'm sure we've all seen the charts on manufaturer's websites and the formula for calculating acres per hour for a certain size deck at a certain speed... I feel for the most part that these charts and tables are unrealistic. I thought it would be helpful for everyone to share some real world numbers. Please include machine, type of area you're cutting (football field, or a condo), and any other info that may be helpful.

    I see about 1.5-2 acres per hour out of my 60" Z830A Deere on the 1/2-1 acre residential and commercial acounts I do. One lot I mow every other week is about .8 acre, and takes about 35 minutes. I think if I got it out in the open on weekely cut grass I could see close to 4 out of it.
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I have a one acre open square lot that I use my 44" on at full speed of 5mph and my best time was 37 minutes.
  3. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    One account I have now is a small park the size of 2.6 acres. I need 45 to 50 min with the ZTR alone and then some work with the WB for tight spots.

    This puts me on 3.3 acres per hour for the ZTR. Good, but much less than the advertised productivity (which I can't recall how much it is right now). On typical 1/2 acre lots I'm getting less I suppose.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    our best lawn " as in NO WEEDS and very little CRAP to pick up" Is a 10 acer home
    we can knock this one out in about an hour, were running a 60" exmark and a 52"

    But remember this is Very flat NO WEEDS, very few trees, it's a LCO's Dream come true
  5. djchiodo3

    djchiodo3 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I live on one acre, it takes me 20 min. max to mow with my Toro 62" or scag 61". With no house I would add another 5 min.
  6. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    With my 25HP 52" Ferris IS 1500 I typically mow about 700-1100 sq. ft. of turf per minute depending on obstacles etc. This is on lots smaller than 1/2 acre typically. I have not done any wide open mowing yet so I have no numbers to compare that to.
  7. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    If we could all have the magical spiral lawn, where you start in the middle and just keep spinning around the inner circle. Or for those that might get dizzy, why can't we just get that lot that is 1 mile long, and 2x the width of our mower so you can mow out and back and be done!
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    There is nothing wrong with the charts -- they are only a graphical representation of the arithmetic.

    The problem comes in determining the productivity ratio. Nobody is able to achieve 100%, unless the lawn is 48" wide, and 10 miles long. The usefulness of the charts is related to how well you can predict your productivity ratio.

    Several of the above posts include important information (e.g. wide open, few trees, etc) in this regard. If much time is spent navigating around obstacles, or having to make many turns, or working on a steep slope where the overlap is hard to control, ... all these things will have an impact on productivity ratio.

    The other piece of the time consideration is the non-mowing task. My average time for trimming is about 15 minutes per property, a fixed time regardless of what mower is on the trailer. In one case, I have two properties side by side that require 55 minutes to complete the trimming and edging, BEFORE even thinking of firing a mower engine. These non-mowing tasks can really eat away the time, making the productivity numbers of the mower less important.
  9. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    For this experiment, we'll ignore trimming time.

    I understand how the charts work and the math behind them. They just don't account for any real world conditions. It's difficult to say that all properties will use the 80% efficency factor that most manufacturers throw out there... Some are going to be more like 30% (I've got a couple like this), other may be a lot closer to that 80%, which is close to the max output I think anyone can expect.

    The other factor is speed... I've heard a few claim to mow at 15mph... butit seems the general concensus is that this is a rare occurance, and only accomplished under ideal circumstances. What then is a more realistic number for the majority of manufacturers... 4mph? 6mph? 8? again it depends on the property.

    I think we agree Roger, I just think it's helpful to see real life numbers from people and not manufacturer's marketing numbers. This is the biggest key to knowing how to price a property... how long is it going to take me?
  10. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I have a chart of my own that I use. I figured it out at 3MPH 4 MPH and 5MPH with 5 deck sizes on it, borken down with multiple efficiency factors. Email me or PM me and I can send it to you.

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