Tried the T, Z, and GL out at the take

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    My biggest goal at the GIE was to speak to each of these mfg's, then try out at least one of their machines outdoors. I currently run a Mag, and it is working fine, but may trade up soon to avoid potential maint issues via running an older ride on for too long. Here is my quick take on each machine. Since the GL machine is similar to the Mag, I may be a bit jaded there, but it is what it is.

    I tried out the LT Rich rackable unit first, their newest model. I need to have a machine that will get through gates so I chose that one to try. Could have also tried the Jr 36 as well I suppose. My initial thought after taking off on it, is how much practice I would need to steer the thing correctly. I am not used to a machine that I cannot drive with one hand while using the free hand for other controls. Really herky jerky. This machine, to me, would have the biggest learning curve to use. However I can see how once you are polished steering the thing, you could become a spraying 'artist' of sorts. Really liked how this machine had the tank below the machine...would seem to be very stable.

    Next, on to the Ground Logic machines. I tried both the pathfinder and the larger version of it. First I must say that Brice was the best guy to talk to of any of the mfg's. Very knowledgable young guy, very receptive to my questions, I never felt belittled talking with him even though I am a small fish in the lawn care sea. At any rate, the 2014 machines are being updated a bit, including lowering the center of gravity, adding quick release fittings on the pump, adding a parking brake, among others. My first though on the GL units are how simple to use that they look. Even my wife commented on this and she doesn't know much about ride ons. Much less 'cableing' than the current PG's, far fewer parts that look like they could fail. Obviously riding on the units was second nature to me. I did feel like the handles were a bit too far apart, making steering a little awkward, but not a deal breaker. Also, the engine was still tucked under the machine making maint more cumbersome than with the T or Z. Best of all is that GL now offers a spray bar that replaces the single main nozzle, so that you can see your output better while spraying.

    Last up was the Turfco bunch, and the T. Friendly people, but hey what can you say we are from MN. I have to say that I was intimidated looking at the T prior to riding it. However once I started driving it, it was amazing how intuitive it is. The steering wheel and foot speed control were easy to catch on to. Having a free hand, to me, is important and I think the T enables that. I still struggle to imagine how the T would do on a 5k sq ft lawn, just seems like overkill. However I need my machine on those size lawns as I do not run a skid. Maybe it's all in my head?

    Price wise, the GL unit (smaller one) was the least exp at $7300, followed by the Z rackable at $8k, then the T at $9245. Of course GL and LT Rich have other models to choose from, but for me these that I drove would best fit my operation thus I have to compare amongst them only. At any rate not a huge diff in price but a couple grand between the T and GL is something.

    Bottom line after all this.....I had no clear cut winner. All machines had their merits. All would be better than the Mag I currently use I believe. I could give the GL unit a slight edge based on simplicity of design, but I stress slight.

    Hope this helps someone. This is geared toward the new user, not necessarily the seasoned T, Z, or GL user.

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,462

    Nice piece on the rideons but you mow to I though you would be 2nd nature for you and a Zero turn. But I know the felling I drove my first Zero turn this summer and you would get use to it very quick just put water in it and go to town.

    Charles Cue
  3. jalderfer63

    jalderfer63 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    Did you notice which had the best suspension for the uneven lawns.Thinking of getting on of these machines but I have a back issue.Thinking L.T.Rich has the best ride.
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    This is a good question that I can't completely answer taking a 5 minute test run on each machine. I do know that an articulating machine like the Ground Logic may not be in your best interest as you will be doing a little twisting and turning driving the thing. The T involved the steering wheel. The Z very well may be the best for you. Ride wise, I did not notice any real difference in feeling bumps with any of the machines. None have car-like suspension, lets put it that way.
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,750

    You seem to have a pretty fair initial assessment of the machines. The Z is not as hard as you might think. Within a week or so of daily use, I was driving with one hand while switching on and off selected directo valves and engaging/disengaging the hopper with the other hand. Nobody around here uses a T, so I can't speak of the ride but there is a night and day difference between a Z and a articulating ride on such as a PG or GL. The new Z's are extremely smooth.

    I went from a PG Ultra to a Z-spray Jr with an Intermediate hopper. Not to mention I had never operated any piece of zero turn machinery prior to the purchase of my first Z. I was very intimidated at first but in no time I had confidence and now it is second nature. Living where I do did not afford me the luxury of being able to test drive anything before I purchased so I went by what others told me here on Lawnsite. No regrets
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    And your assessment of my assessment is also pretty fair....
    I do believe if and once I would get the hang of the Z rackable unit, it would be a bit more nimble on small lawns than the T. But that is my thought, perhaps the T would be just as effective. Bottom line I need a unit that can do 5-6k sq ft lawns with some tight areas, or I do not want the machine at all. I don't run a skid nor ever will.
  7. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,358

    How is the t more nimble then a machine with zero turn?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Service 1st Lawn Care

    Service 1st Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    I can put a Z-Spray Junior 36 anywhere you can put a Permagreen, Ground Logic or a T-3000. And be done while your still fooling around with the shifter on the PG or GL trying to get out of the so called tight spot. Bottom line no way can any of those machines out maneuver a zero turn. Driving with one hand is nothing, do it every day all day. Have a Permagreen also believe me its harder to drive that with one hand then it is with the Z any day.

    To bad they can't get these manufactures to all be side by side at the outdoor demo area, now that would be very interesting.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Never said that....said that the z looks a bit more nimble in tight spaces.
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    How do you drive a z with one hand? If it is anything like driving a z mower with one hand, can only be done on straight aways. You have to use two hands to turn, which is no advantage at all. I am not questioning you.....asking you to learn me though.

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