Zero-turn --vs-- Riding Tractor

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by instyle, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. instyle

    instyle LawnSite Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 380

    Which is better to use for large residentials? I like the idea of the speed of a zero turn, but I like the versitility of the tractor. I have to buy one or the other.
  2. jmurphy

    jmurphy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Most people will tell you to buy a ZTR but I have a tractor and do just fine. It is a Rear Engine so it has a tight turning radius. But like I said most people will tell you to get a ZTr. You should demo both.
  3. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    What would you be using the tractor for other than mowing? I would reccomend the ZTR due to the speed factor and better quality of cut.
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    as noted what else do you need it for? Might come in handy for attachments and so forth. Do you have any props that need the tight radius of a Z? Do you plan to get on to properties where you will need a Z in the future? In other words are most properties their better suited to a tractor or are you looking at buying one based on a few properties you have now? You can always rent a tractor for other types of jobs where you need that versatility. If they large and open look at Flex-decks rig. He makes great time on his properties. Use the search to see some pics. Personally I never liked a mid-mount because it always left arcs in the corners you had to go back and trim mow. That's an advantage to an outfront style deck but to each their own.
  5. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    i have a tractor and a w/b . i do great with my tractor but it is not as fast as i would like . i pull various equipment with my tractor but you could also do that with a ztr with hitch .i am going to buy a cub in march just because i want more speed and less trimming . so i guess what i mean is you can do the same work with a ztr as with a tractor so why not get a ztr .
  6. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I have both. My lawn tractor has hydrostat trans,power steering, split brakes etc. All the bells and whistles but I only use it to pull seeders, spreaders etc.
    I also have a compact tractor with a mid-mount mower attachment. Neither one has had the mowers on in over a year. My Scag tigers will mow circles around them. The blade speed is way to slow on the tractors. If you put the tractor in road gear so you can mow at 8 to 10 mph like most z-turns do, you leave so much uncut grass that you have to slow down and go back over it. In close areas where speed isn't a factor, theres the time you lose turning around and going back and forth to get in position. When I went from a lawn tractor to a z-turn I cut my mowing time in half.
  7. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    I live in a very hilly area. Are Z's ok on hills? If not some, but literally All your props had hills of somesort would u buy a tractor? I ask because I know from reading Lanwsite that generally the Z is better and i understand why, yet most lco;s here use tractors. ty
  8. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I like my Z on hills. I only use my lawn tractor for pulling a plugger now that I've got my Z. IMO the Z is safer on hills.
  9. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Noob question. > Wouldn't a tractor be better on hills due to the fact of the way the front wheels are fixed as opposed to the castor style wheels of a walk behind or a Z? Would u say that a walk or a Z can be fussy or difficult on hills by comparison for this reason? What works to thier advantage on flats makes them a drag on hills.
  10. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    My Z holds hills better than my tractor. Center of gravity is lower, so no flipping. I've been puckered up on hills before on the Z and if it got too steep it would just break traction. Always have a way out. In other words don't mow a steep hill that it might break traction on if there is a wall, trees, cars, etc... at the bottom. I would think it holds hills better because of the lower center of gravity and wider rear wheels.

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