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Should I retire my tractors?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by the point man, Sep 20, 2001.

  1. the point man

    the point man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Hi Guys!

    Being relatively new to all of these forums, I have been surprised
    to see how few lawn tractors and garden tractors are being used.
    Walk-behinds and Z's seem to dominate, and I'm wondering why.
    I should mention that lawn care is a part-time prospect for me
    (young but retired police officer) but I'm starting to get into it
    and I'm looking to expand my business. I use two John Deere
    lawn tractors, happy with them, but I would rather walk than ride.
    Aside from that are there substantial reasons that I should be
    considering Z's or walk-behinds?. I do 100% residential and mow
    about five lawns per day. Time is not a major issue at this point.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Since time is not an issue with you then here are a few reasons I would still opt for a commercial machine.

    1: When you show up at a job site with a commercial machine you look more professional. Although image isn't everything it can get you new customers. It lets potential customers know that you are not just like the teenager down the street.

    2: I think that commercial machines (some of them anyway) hold up better over the long run of thousands of hours of use.

    3: There is a wider variety of blades available for commercial machines. Although JD may make a variety of blades for your mower try getting a set of Gators for it. Not!

    4: I think that most commercial machines tend to be of simplier design and are easier to work on for the most part.
  3. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    if your going to expand your buisness time will be a major consideration, i was in your shoes till not long ago, i was using a traditional style jd, bougt my first z about a month ago, its a good bit quicker and you could add 3-5 properties a day. find a dealer go demo a quality machine and you'll do the same thing with you jd i'm doing with mine, i either throw a rock at it or kick it every time i go by, just kiddin, there good machines but there not in the same class as a z

    take a demo, keith
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Point Man,

    I was once a big believer of Tractors. Had 2 JD 318's running (18hp Onan 50" cut) Put a couple thousand hours on each. Those were the days before ZTR's really took a strong hold on the market. They held up fairly well. Then I migrated to the JD 935's and also got a 48" WB. I was totally amazed at the increase in production here. Then I went with a ZTR (Dixie) and saw the light. What a difference! Very short learning curve, but the speed is the difference, they actually cut pretty darn good a high speeds, where the tractors just couldn't.

    Try em, you'll like em.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    the good thing about your present mowers is that they will probably trade well. as a lco who just recently changed to ztr from
    lt ,i can tell u that the increase in production will be unbelieveable.
    shop a lot and id recommend the lazer as thats the one i know,
    but there is a lot of good machines out there. good luck
  6. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Time is always an issue,so Id sell those JD tractors,since a ZTR will cut at least twice as much grass,and cut it better,and have straighter lines than you can get with a tractor.The tractor is nice for other jobs,but fro mowing it is very slow,and the cut is never as good as a commercial ZTR.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Thanks The Point Man - I'm with you, as I run JD 455's and a chopper. I still can relax and drive straighter with the ol tractors but they are both very good machines
  8. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    you said you rather walk then ride? you may switch your opinion after a while, but maybe you should consider a 52 inch walk behind. its very productive and you will have it for years. after you get used to that and expand your business, you can jump up to a rider. if i was you though, id just jump right onto a ztr. i spent my first year and a half with a 48 inch scag walkbehind, and i bought a lazer after that. i would never be able to be as productive without the ztr.
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    The cut quality is far greater with a commercial mower. There is a huge difference to the appearance of the lawns cut with residential tractors verses commercial mowers.
  10. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Point Man, I retired my 430 JD tractor from mowing. A ZTR of the same size deck will cut about twice as much with half the effort.

    I use mine for snow removal and for dirt work only now.

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