# Super Z Speed Cutting Video

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by puppypaws, Aug 14, 2013.

1. ### puppypawsLawnSite Fanaticfrom Marshville,NC 28103Messages: 9,148

To give you an idea of how much productivity you lose while turning, the last time I ran this cutting course it took me 70 seconds, this time it took me 59 seconds to mow a distance of 1052' (4 x 263') including turn-around time. When you calculate the speed to mow these four passes when including turn around time the mower is averaging only 12.16 mph. When you look at the video time to run the straight line distance of 263', it takes only 12 seconds.

We had 1" of rain last night, meaning the ground is soft, and the grass is cutting wet. This slows the mowers ground speed somewhat. The mower was cutting 263' of grass in 12 seconds, this calculates to a speed of 14.94 mph, but when adding in turn around time it slows the total mowing speed to 12.16 mph. This calculates to 81% cutting efficiency with the remaining 19% going to turn around time in a wide open cutting scenario.

Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
2. ### Patriot ServicesLawnSite Fanaticfrom Tampa FLMessages: 14,208

You sir, have an obsession. What's next Outlaw Mowing Racing?

3. ### MickhippyLawnSite Platinum Memberfrom Queensland, Australia.Messages: 4,274

What do you have on the ground to mark distance? I couldnt see anything! It would need to be close to your wheel to give a more accurate reading. Judging from something in the distance is highly inaccurate!

Also, you cut differently to most in that your not doing zero or "Y" turns coming to a stop then go back next to the last run. I know thats not how you cut but it is how most do, otherwise these numbers dont really mean anything.

Do the test again measured on the ground your cutting and do a few back n forth runs.

Not having a go or anything mate, just sayin'!

That machine really does get along though!

4. ### puppypawsLawnSite Fanaticfrom Marshville,NC 28103Messages: 9,148

The ground is measured at a 263' distance, there is a ditch where I turn around at one end of the run to the left , and a pond bank on the other end of the run to the right. This is a mowing time demonstration comparing how fast the same exact distance was cut before and after the mower speed was increased.

If you watch both videos you will see it took me 70 seconds to cut 4 passes that is 263' long, whereas I cut the same 4 passes in 59 seconds since increasing the rpms which in return increased the speed.

I cut the exact way you see me cutting in the video in my open areas, I start in the middle and move all the grass off the mowed area, either into the woods, fields, or pond, this leaves a much cleaner look. I use this procedure everywhere possible, this way I have no clippings left at the time of cut, and I'm not forced to deal with clippings the next cut. I never slow down in the open areas of this type, I have forward movement at all times.

This is not a hard number speed check, I know exactly how fast the mower runs. This is an example of how much additional speed the mower picked up from the rpm increase as shown from the faster mowing time of the same area.

This also allows people to get an idea of how much time is lost when turning around. Most people will never come close to mowing at 80% efficiency, in everyday mowing most will be in the 50 to 60% range.

I would say if using the "Y" turns you spoke about, of which I also use when necessary, this alone would probably drop the cutting you saw in the video into the 60% range. When you lose forward movement, it takes a big toll on productivity. I can promise if you watched me mow my open areas it would blow your mind, if you were mowing the exact same area making your normal "Y" turn-around, I would mow the same area at least 15% faster if the mowers were the same speed, and this is because I never lose forward motion.

Where I was mowing in the video is much larger than it looks at the video angle. There is slightly over 1 acre in the area I was mowing, and you could see the length of the video, and in that short time I had at least 30%, probably more of the acre cut. People honestly have no idea of what cutting that much grass in that short period of time is really like, there is no way to comprehend that much productivity unless you experience it yourself.

5. ### Ridin' GreenLawnSite FanaticMale, from MichiganMessages: 17,019

That mower is really moving puppy, I'll give ya that. Looks like a really bouncy/rough ride though.

I disagree with you being faster by much more than a fraction of a second on the turns. Mowing over previously cut grass is not saving any real time even though you are still moving forward. If you get good at Y turns, you can turn as fast as what you are doing there since you are only moving over the width of the deck vs you having to move over several passes each time you make a new pass.

Plus, you would quickly be out of business doing that here. Most customers like the striped look and you can't get it that way.

6. ### puppypawsLawnSite Fanaticfrom Marshville,NC 28103Messages: 9,148

That's the difference in cutting areas and conditions, I prefer the smooth clean look that appears as if a mower has never rolled across the property.

I talk with many LCO's and there are many customers that do not want the striped look, which totally blows an LCO's mind, and this is due to the fact of believing a good striped lawn is the signature of a professional cutter.

This is only a matter of preference, but I would say if the truth be known, most property owners could care less about the striped look, they want their grass cut. This has been discussed on LawnSite many times, with LCO's believing the stripes signify the work of a good lawn maintenance professional, and stands-out as a sign of good work.

There has also been an agreement that most customers could care less about a striped lawn. I've actually heard it said by a number of LCO's that their customers did not want to see, what they called "streaks" in their yard. This is only a preference thing, like people buying Ford or Chevrolet.

The turns you spoke about will start to even out in time as your distance traveled to the next point of cut entry is lengthened, and there will be a distance that comes about where the "Y" turn will in fact become faster. I personally just don't like stopping and turning around if I find it unnecessary, and that's just me. You must remember, there is the difference in night and day between cutting 1/4 to 1/2 acre lawns with all the additional trimming, and cutting the large open areas I mow, all cutting situations must be tailored to fit the job at hand.

The way I cut leaves a perfectly manicured look with zero clippings, I mow as fast, or faster than anyone you will ever see, so for me to stop and make a "Y" turn makes me feel as if I'm losing time. With me not making a normal turn as with most also takes away from the potential of tires marking the turf in any way.

This is only a matter of preference, and there are smaller areas I mow where the "Y" turn must be utilized, but I am fortunate due to the size of my property, I can move the clippings totally away from my cut area, and this makes for a much better looking job.

You also got to see in the video, with everyone believing my property is golf green smooth, that no, I in fact have bumps to navigate the same as with everyone else.

When you see a mower that weighs 1600 pounds, with a 225 pound person (1825 lbs.) bounce, you can figure it took a pretty good bump to make it happen. With that being said, I felt nothing affecting my body to the point I would be forced to slow down, as was proven in the video. Would I mow at that speed, no, and this is the reason I had posted earlier I would not mow at full speed with this now faster mower due to the fact it is not comfortable.

There were a few that could not understand why I would not continue to mow at the even faster speed, but believe me, when a person has never cut with a 16 mph mower, you have no experience to back your thoughts. I would have been the first to bet and lose money when saying an increase of 2 mph would not stop me from mowing at full speed.

Until you've experienced the feel people have no idea of how pulling back only 1 mph can help with the operation and ride tremendously, this is for the fact very few people have ever cut grass at this type speed.

I know you have a hard time believing grass can be cut at 15 mph, but believe me it can be done, and you will not see any grass left standing. Think about it from a common sense standpoint, I would never run at the fast speeds I utilize if on the next pass I saw standing uncut grass, it's just not going to happen. Why would I cut at the faster speeds if I was going to be forced to re-cut, I would slow down on the first pass, nothing but common sense.

I've posted pictures of grass I had just cut at full speed (before the mower speed was increased), and you could see it was cut as good as if the mower was cutting at 6 mph. This is the look you get, so I mow as fast as the mower will move while feeling comfortable, and I must say, at the speed the mower now runs, it is not comfortable cutting at its higher rate of speed...Never thought I would make that statement.

7. ### GMLCLawnSite Platinum Memberfrom New HampshireMessages: 4,345

I know warm season grasses are different. When I mowed in Florida there were no stripes when I cut even though I mowed in the same fasion as I always do. In cool season grasses if you ever mowed in cricles half the lawn would be dark and the other half light. We have no choice but to stripe. In order to get a carpet look you would have to mow in one direction. You would be out of business mowing in circles up here because it looks like crap. You also shouldnt have to be recutting your clippings to make them disappear unless the grass is really long. It is also faster to mow back and forth than in circles once you are good at zero or three point turns.

8. ### JCLawn and moreLawnSite Fanaticfrom MIMessages: 5,281

his next mower

9. ### Ridin' GreenLawnSite FanaticMale, from MichiganMessages: 17,019

This was my point puppy^^^^^^^^^^

We simply cannot stay in business mowing the way you do. I am not stupid, and I do understand your thoughts on the way you mow, but you are not in it for the money either. If you were, you would have to adjust your thinking to accommodate all your clients or go out of business.

Like I have said on here before, since this is [/I]the commercial cutting forum that we all go back and forth in with all this stuff, it only makes sense to provide the best info for commercial cutters who may be reading along. A newbie, or less experienced cutter who reads your posts may not understand the fact that you mow large acreage on your own property where the outcome will not cost you a loss to your income (again, I understand that you try for a clean finish on your land too) and believe they can go that fast if they buy a machine capable of it since a guy on a professional cutting forum said so and posted video of it

There are guys here who could care less about striping (and I know of at least one that is in the north here that is a member of LS), but they are far and away the exception rather than the rule, up here especially, since guys in the south generally don't have the types of grasses to cut that allow striping, but even a ton of them on here have posted within the last year even, that they wish they could lay stripes like we do up here. Those who say they don't care when the grass types are capable of taking a stripe are either lying, don't know how to stripe properly, have a machine that isn't capable of laying down a good stripe so they justify it by making such claims, could give two chits about anything other than get in and out and make as much money as they can while they can, have their clients somehow convinced that the way they do it is the way to do it, or are too lazy to try to improve/learn. Take your pick.

The fact that I regularly see folks around here, including even lower income home owners, trying to lay stripes with their cheap little lawn tractor they bought at TSC or the local hardware store tells me they like and appreciate the look. Things change over time, and there will always be folks that are slow to come around. For example, when I (or even you) were boys, no one striped anything (intentionally). Then the sports announcers on TV started making comments on how nice the playing fields looked and the striping trend took off. That really wasn't all that long ago either, though to some of the younger guys on here it may seem like it's always been that way, because from their perspective it has.

As far as clippings being pushed to the side to leave a clean finish- believe me when I tell you, that none of us can stay in business for very long if we leave them on someones yard. It is even more important to us than you, trust me/us. Maybe you having been running Hustlers for so long has made this a bit hard to understand, but many mower decks out there chop the clippings up great in one pass due to being more tightly baffled than the Hustler decks have been for the last couple designs. One reason I like the 7 Iron Pro deck so well is that it cuts at speed, in the wet and/or tall thick grass so well, yet the blades are closer to the front baffle than they are on the VX4 and V+ decks, so while they cut and discharge fast, they tend to chop the clippings up a bit more than the other two on the way out.

10. ### puppypawsLawnSite Fanaticfrom Marshville,NC 28103Messages: 9,148

Like I said, and you brought it out perfectly with the above statement, it boils down to how the LCO would like it to look moreso than the property owner. The person you brought out making the statement, "they wish they could lay stripes down like we do up here." That is a lawn maintenance person making this statement, not a property owner, the stripes just seem to look better to the person making them, but are not being requested from the property owner as a matter of retaining job security. Believe it or not, there are stripes to be found in the south, not that most care, but they can be seen at times.

The athletic fields look great in our area, some with stripes, some without, but the people watching the games could care less.