1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns in the Franchising forum plus sign up to receive a FREE eBook on how to grow your landscape business.

    Dismiss Notice

Tractor or Zero Turn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yamahatim, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. yamahatim

    yamahatim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    I just bought a John Deere 534 4 wheel steer and everyone says I should have bought the zero turn. I personally like the tractor, especially when you have to tow a sprayer or trailer. Besides, you have to still trim with a push mower or trimmer. I am almost having second thoughts. What does everyone run for a mower?
  2. GlynnC

    GlynnC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    They both have their advantages, but for mowing, it's hard to beat a zero turn. Years ago (around 1980), my 1st exposure to a zero turn was a Dixon dish/cone drive. Years later, when it wore out, it was replaced by a wheel steer (Murray from Walmart). Dad hated it and refused to mow (getting old and could get by with it)!

    After having my 1st zero turn, I understood dad's feelings. I've not been around a 4 wheel steer so don't know how it compares, but I'm guessing it's much better than a traditional steer!
  3. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,649

    I think a tractor is great if you are trying to save money, but if you are trying to make money I would go with a Z rider.
  4. yamahatim

    yamahatim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    The JD 534 rides really smooth and they claim a 13" uncut circle at full turn. on the tar, maybe, but not on the turf! It leaves less wheel marks than the GT234 I replaced it with, and my buddy came over with his JD zero turn claiming he could mow a lot faster than me. He was bragging up a storm...so far, I am not impressed by the zero turn. I could easily keep pace with him. Plus, we switched mowers and I did not like not having a free hand when on the controls.
  5. GlynnC

    GlynnC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    Funny you mentioned the free hand--I live in Tennessee where we still wave at people driving by--do that with a zero turn and you've just done a zigzag. I've managed to learn how to hold both sticks with one hand for a short time so I can give the customary wave!!!
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Around the house, I think lawn tractors are probably your best choice. They offer a wide variety of attachments and can do a number of different jobs (tow a trailer, snowblow/plow, till a garden, bag leaves, use tow behind tools easily, etc).

    Zero turn mowers are great for commercial use. You really can't beat the manuverability and productivity of a zero turn when mowing, at least with an experienced operator driving the mower. I've used ztr's long enough that I can drive one with one hand the whole time if I wanted to and still make it look just as good had I used two hands. Its all about the operator.
  7. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I bet you never cut with a Scag. I can light a cig while mowing and never miss a beat. I can free hand my Cub and it goes straight. One hand, two hands, no hands, it don't matter. I've mowed almost every property I cut, one handed!

    Oh yeah..... :waving: <my other hand is holding the cig. :laugh:
  8. GlynnC

    GlynnC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    I bet you're wrong on the Scag--I have a 61"TT, and love it--it's several years old, advantage deck, 25hp Kohler. I was stretching the one hand part for a bit of humor--but at one point, I used a newer version of the dish/cone drive Dixon--one handed driving was much harder. I still drive with both hands most of the time.

Share This Page