which 34 ztr?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Richard49, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Richard49

    Richard49 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I can get a new arhens 34" ztr for $2400 with 12 guage deck or
    a used encore z34 for about the same with 10 guage deck and 7 guage support and sides with 300 hours on it.
    The arhens dealer says the $2400 model is not a commercial grade mower and will not hold up.
    I need a mower to last through my first year, what do y'all think?
    This coming spring will be my first year in the business.
  2. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    that right there should answer your question. actually i'd go with a walkbehind if it was my first year. less expensive and you probably won't have enough yards to justify a z.
  3. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    Agreed. :usflag:
  4. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    Wait... There will be some deals to be found over the fall and winter. Look for a decient used commercial unit. You can always get your dealer to sell you a new unit in the spring when you start up.

    The Ariens/Gravely 34" is OK for a homeowner. Traction is very limited. This could be a real problem with some accounts.
  5. scholzee

    scholzee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 130

    Could you explain why the traction is limited ?
  6. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    If you look at most mid-mount ztrs there is a weight distribution that allows a majority of the weight to be placed over the drive wheels to aid in handling and traction.

    Many times you will see the engine placed somewhat behind the wheels to adjust the weight percentage that is offset by the operators weight and the weight of the deck and frame that is in front.

    On the homeowner version of the Ariens/Gravely Mini ZT 34", the engine is placed closer to the center of the drive wheels. This engine placement combined with the operators weight that is now placed closer to the front, does not give you the ideal weight ratio that provides for good traction and handling - TOO MUCH OF THE WEIGHT IS IN THE FRONT.

    Other have pointed out that narrow tires on a narrow wheelbase will also cause some problems with traction and control. This problem is amplified worse on properties with slopes. The problem is that you can't go with wider tires because they would sick out wider than the 34" mower deck on the Ariens Mini ZT.
  7. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    I remember my first year, what you will need is reliability! Do not buy anything but commercial equipment. Believe your dealer when he says something will not stand up, unless it's his first year also.

    Good Luck!
    I wish I had known about this site during my first couple years!
  8. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    i'm a part time solo op and if you're like me you will live with your equipment for a long long time. spend wisely and with an idea of where you are going. I'de get a smaller hydro walkbehind like the better quick 36" or something but deffinitly a hydro walkbehind and plan on getting a 60" z in the future. that way you won't be wasting money on something that will likely end up under-utilized. i personally don't know why they make or anyone would buy z's under 48". don't buy anything thats not "commercial" grade. i started with a Cub Commercial Hydro 48" in 94' that i still use on almost every job for something and am near the end of my second season with my 60" Z. they are an excellent combo but the walk could be smaller - 36" hydro walk and 60" Z would be the perfect combo in my opinion. even with a helper. i use the walk for ditches and trimming under trees that i can't get to on the z or anything too steep to take a chance or too wet to ride or whatever. but the z saves so much time and does such a nice job. plan your fleet before you buy your first thing.
  9. Richard49

    Richard49 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    the 34z is made for accessing back yards through 36 inch gates.

  10. Richard49

    Richard49 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I now plan to wait till i retire in Feb to decide. If i am able to go with HOAs and other commercial accounts i'll get a ztr 60, I'm in Houston and surrounded with commercail property. wooohooooo

    I have a stint in one leg and had angiopolasty in the other.
    (circulation problems) so i need to ride as much as possible.
    That's why i need a ztr or sulky.

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