Smaller Lawns - ZTR vs Stander?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by vabch22, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. vabch22

    vabch22 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 17

    Hey guys,

    I have been reading various posts trying to decide the best coarse of action. I am a residential owner with about 1/4 of an acre. I know it's a small lot, but I want to be a nice neighbor and cut two other yards for some older folks I grew up with. They have offered to pay for gas, but I am not requiring that since they have done so much for me.

    All three lots I would say is about 1.2 acres. We do have trees and flower beds, but no real hills to worry about, just the gradual grade of the lawn. I've been trying to debate between a smaller 42" ZTR (Hustler Raptor $2800, or a FasTrak SD $5000). I wasn't looking at the Fastrak because of cost and figure it was overkill for the size lots, but if it would be a better investment over the Raptor why not?

    I then began reading about a Toro stander and figure that would be another option. I just lose the ability to pull an aerator. I'm looking for:

    1. Get the lawns cut relatively quickly
    2. Do not go broke in maintenance/fuel costs
    3. Reliable and long life (10+ years)

    I appreciate any suggestions.

  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    Save the money and get a homeowner ztr. Standers aren't cheap and would be overkill in your situation.
  3. vabch22

    vabch22 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 17

    Ok, thank you. I appreciate it.
  4. Porcupine Lawn and Snow

    Porcupine Lawn and Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    If you want to stay within the commercial aspect of Zero-Turns I would look at 3
    particular homeowner models with commercial features:

    Kubota ZG100: (48", not 42" deck) Is really, really nice. Take a look at it here:


    Toro Timecutter MX4260: (42" deck as you want) Toro SmartSpeed system and other features. Link:


    eXmark Quest S-Series: (again, 42" deck) Basically a Toro Timecutter MX with grey plastic. Here:
  5. baitdragger

    baitdragger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I just bought a grandstand 48" for my lawn. Same as you. I don't want to sit. I don't want to walk. My yard looks great. Cut little less than 1 acre in less than 30 minutes. Park mower

    Plus if I ever change my mind i figured I could sell the grandstand quickly as opposed To some half baked homeowner ztr

    Zero percent for 48 mos is much cheaper than my old lawn service
  6. MikeA57

    MikeA57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I've mowed 1.6 acres for the last 9 years now with a 2000 Great Dane Surfer (18 hp Kohler, 52" cut). Tomorrow evening I'll be going to pick up a 2010 JD Z920A (26 Kaw/54"). I've really enjoyed my Surfer and I'm going to miss it. Maneuverability, overall quality of cut and strength of this mower has been exceptional. I've been able to greatly reduce my trimming because I can put that machine in tight spots that a sit down ztr would never go. It will scalp but that is due to the fact that it doesn't have a floating deck. All the new standers do now so scalping shouldn't be an issue. If I go like hell, I can get the whole 1.6 acres done in ~ 1 1/2 hours. It's also very safe. If you feel like it's going over just step off (have had trouble getting that across to my wife who feels that a sit down is safer.)

    The downside to a stander of the age mine is, is the lack of a floating deck and easy height adjustment, plus it is very hot on your legs while on it. With the motor being on the front of the machine, as you're moving forward all the heat from the engine and the hydraulic pumps is being passed through to your lower legs. The newer standers all have floating decks and height adjustment now though, so that isn't an issue anymore.

    Also, if you have any back problems and the terrain you're mowing is rough the shock of all those bumps will be passed right to your back.

    Are there any gates that you need to get through in order to get into a back yard? Can you make it in with the size of the machine you are looking at? Just something to think about...
  7. vabch22

    vabch22 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 17

    PorcupineLawnCare - Thank you for your suggestions. I will look at the Toro and Exmark models you listed since they are available at my local dealers.

    baitdragger - Yes, that is one factor I was looking at also. By buying semi commerical I would be able to sell it easier than a residential unit.

    MikeA57 - Good points about a stander, I didn't know about the heat hitting your lower torso, but it makes since. My back should be ok since I will not be mowing every day like a LCO. I know the higher end units have a better suspension, but maybe I can find something in the middle. There is only one lot with a gate, and their backyard is small so I'd just push it with a 21".

    I appreciate all the info and feedback. It has helped a lot.
  8. MikeA57

    MikeA57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Yeah, back when mine was built, comfort and ease of operation didn't seem to be on the minds of the designers. I would like to try out a newer model stander just to see how much better they are but I'm really excited to pick up my 920A. Hopefully tonight!!

    Good luck in your quest and let us know what you end up with!

  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Sit down mowers are harder on backs than standers. For this reason I will never own a sit down mower of any kind. My back is already damaged enough. There is less pressure on the discs in the spine standing than siting.
  10. baitdragger

    baitdragger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Both wright and toro dealers tried to sell me on the stander as being easier on your back as opposed to the shock from the seat
    I like the ease of stepping onto the standing platform and mowing. Much easier on my back then getting in and out of a sit down ztr. As those with back issues know. Sometimes the weird movement like getting out of a chair although not strenuous can make the back feel weird quickly

    My grandstand takes up very little space in my shed with standing platform raised and no ROPS to deal with

    I looked at scag tiger cats too. But that was a lot of footprint to store when not in use

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