Switching From a Lawn Tractor to a ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Swany Mowing, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Swany Mowing

    Swany Mowing Banned
    from NY
    Messages: 16

    In one of the old threads I was reading a member, Envy Lawn Service, had just switched from using a lawn tractor to a ZTR.

    I found that thread interesting because I still see alot of newer guys hauling around lawn tractors. They either disappear quick or you see ZTR's on their trailer the next year.
  2. Rhodester

    Rhodester LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    My experience may not be typical, but here it is....
    I'm still running the same 2002 John Deere, 42 in., 17.5 Kohler, hydro-static lawn tractor I started with, 3 seasons ago.
    Ended the first season with around 20 mowing accounts, 30 the second and 40 this past season. I tow an aerator, thatch rake, lime spreader and a cart for moving mulch, loam and sod around. I also mulch and bag leaves.
    This tractor now has over 700 hours on the meter and still runs strong and cuts very well. Other than the normal schedule of oil, filters, grease, belts & blades, this season I replaced the spindles, main drive belt, tie rods, front tires and one idler pully. I easily repaired two minor welds better than new.
    In three seasons, I have never missed a full day of work due to a break down.
    I have received my original investment in this machine back many, many times over. I plan to run it again next year for a fourth season.
    As a solo guy with application & landscaping work in addition to the mowing, 40 mows is about all I have the time for. At that level, if I had a catastrophic break down I'd replace it with a new John Deere 48, 22 Kohler in a heartbeat.

    Any more than 40 mows a week and I'd have to give some serious consideration to that shiney new Ferris ZTR that I've always had my eyes on.... :)


    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    There are a few here that use em, not for us i myself like a wb times i will climb on the ztr some,the properties we cut it would not work a garden tracter the speed and the cut you can't match it.
  4. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    i started out with a 21" push mower of my parents. they then got a craftsman 42" rider when i was still in high school that i used for a handfull of lawns until i upgraded to my ZTR in 2003.
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    I see some guys driving around with them on their trailers around me,I can't figure out how they make any money with them in our neighborhoods.It would not work for me thats for sure.
  6. Swany Mowing

    Swany Mowing Banned
    from NY
    Messages: 16

    We got some of solo guys driving around w/Home Depot lawn tractors cutting 2-3k res..

    Can't see how they make it work but if it does More Power to Them.
  7. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i had a lawntractor that i bought and used for only one account. they even let me leave in this huge trailer. it wasn't my first choice, would have rather had a used wb.. but i needed something i could lower and raise the blades on the go. alot of useen obstacles in the grass, like huge rocks thrown around.

    anyone want to buy a 42" murry tractor? 21 hp:waving:
  8. ThirdDay

    ThirdDay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    There is a guy that drives around in one of my neighborhoods in an old, beat up Cadillac with no muffler pulling a POS trailer with a Crapsman tractor and weed eater.

    Unbelievable! I can't believe that people actually hire this guy!
  9. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I have a JD 188 that is 10 years old now and has around 1000 hours on it. My father uses it mainly on 1 or properties a week that he helps me on. It was my main mower for a long time when I was part time.When I went fulltime, I replaced it with a walkbehind mower with a slightly larger deck. The walkbehind was a tad bit faster but would turn arround faster then the JD for the stripe effect. Then the next year I moved up to a Z mower(scag tiger cub) just because Of the time factor. I didnt expand my buisness very much but the time I spent on yards decreased alot. I basically could do in 4 days what was taking 5 to do witht he JD or the Walkbehind. The walk and Z are what stay on the trailer now(except the 2 properties that Dad helps with)
  10. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    I originally considered getting a lawn tractor instead of a WB when I first started, but I realied that a 36" would take just about the same time on my lawns as 42" jd lawn tractor would, simply because of the extra trimming time, and the length of the mower would make it difficult to turn with out constantly shifting. I am finishing my second year doing mowing, and I have concentrated all my effort and available revenue for making my operation quicker, and more effecient. I still want to be quicker than I am right now. I can do a 7K lot in 30 minutes total. but I would like to get it down to 20.

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