1. Can’t make it to the GIE+EXPO 2017?
    LawnSite brings the trade show floor to your fingertips with our new GIE+EXPO 2017 Sneak Peek video series debuting now in the Lawn Mowing forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Tired of pulling a trailmower - Need advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by fastweig, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. 06LTNox

    06LTNox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I have about the same area to mow as you and I picked up a Z820a at the beginning of the year and it hasn't done me wrong yet. As for the problems with them, either since I only mow a few hours a week versus eight hours a day the pros do I haven't noticed any issues.

    I looked at the Ariens/Gravely Home Depot models and JD z4xx mowers and compared to the JD Z8 series mowers there is such a build difference, but that is going to be true looking at any commerical level mower. I would recommend trying to get a commercial unit if at all possible.
  2. Bagit

    Bagit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Now, your seeing what's available close to you. See what the Bob-Cat dealer has in stock. Try to demo what you want. I wouldn't buy until I cut with the Pro-Cat and the Fast-Cat. Compare the feel and components of both. See what you'll be gaining with the Pro-Cat compared to the cheaper Fast-Cat.
  3. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,350

    I use a Bad Boy 6000 (60") along with a Swisher exactly like yours and they work great together. I have over 150 trees in my yard, and like you, it wore me out turning the steering wheel on my former tractor going around all the trees with it and the Swisher. With the ZTR you don't have that problem, just a flick of the wrist and you're around the tree. If I was you I'd consider keeping your Swisher to use with your new ZTR.
  4. fastweig

    fastweig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Stan - Thanks for the reply. It's great you know exactly what I'm dealing with and why I want another solution. I hadn't considered pulling the Swisher behind the ZTR but I guess there shouldn't be a problem with that. Having never owned one I wasn't sure if the transmissions were built for that kind of use.

    I do plan on keeping the Swisher. It's so many years old now it doesn't have much value and it would serve as a good backup. I can always pull it behind my 4-wheeler.

    Thanks for the interesting reply.
  5. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,350

    The dealer assured me that there would be no problem in towing a pull behind mower with my Bad Boy and I would think any of the heavier built ZTR's would be the same. I would however ask about the particular ZTR you plan to buy just to make sure. I also recommend lowering the air pressure in your swisher's tires to about 5 psi to reduce the bouncing that will happen when mowing at a faster speed. The Swisher (as I'm sure you've seen) has a sticker on it that say's it shouldn't be towed at over 5 mph but the lower tire pressure takes care of the shaking. I've used this setup for a full year now with no problem at all. I mowed with just my BB the other day and after being used to mowing with both, it seemed like it took forever! The combo will spoil you for sure! :) Stan
  6. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    Wouldnt it be easier for the swisher to be offset on the right so you didnt have to try and trim with it? We pull double rakes for baling and its as slick as it gets.
  7. fastweig

    fastweig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Yes, for trimming and going around obstacles you are correct. But for straight ahead mowing it is easier offset to the left because you want to blow the grass to the already cut side and you want that to be on the side where you are sitting. Otherwise you are constantly looking back to see if your overlap is correct.
  8. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Your ground speed is going to depend more on the smoothness of the turf, your age, and the condition of your intervertebral discs than it depends on the max ground speed of a Z. I can turn my neck into petrified wood by riding too fast. I can mow in double digit ground speed but never come close.

    I used to pull a Swisher and it was great for trimming under magnolia trees (most people want branches that are too low to ride under). Eventually I trimmed around all trees with the Swisher rather than the rider. Didn't add much to the line trimmer time.

    I think a garden tractor transmission would hold up better for fairly heavy, continuous towing.

    If your 6.5 acres is fairly flat (appears to be) go for the 72"
  9. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    Keep in mind Z riders are not tractors and are not made to constantly pull.
  10. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,350

    I understand your point, but I don't think there would be much difference in a ZTR mowing tall grass and having to push against it, and a ZTR pulling a tow mower on thin grass. I also asked the manufacturer of my mower if it would cause any problems and they said "no".

Share This Page