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ZTR time savings

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lsylvain, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Thank-you Mark for backing up (in a round about way) my earlier point about acreage and choice of machine.

    From Isylvain's discussion and attitude it appears that he cuts only residential where gates are a big concern. Our big concern is how long one can cut in a straight line at full sticks before one has to come about. (so far our maximum is about 60 seconds) and head back down the next row. Your analogy of the sod farm fits right in here. In our case 25 litres of diesel will keep the 72" cutter cruising for the day. Numbers supplied by the manufacturers on acres per hour should be put where they belong (figure it out!) The big cutter uses about .4 USgal/acre or .9 USgal per engine hour.

    Based on that discusion Isylvain should throw out his walk behind and buy a 72" diesel cutter 'cause I bet he's spending way more than .4 USgal per acre cut.

    Yes, yes there is a major failure here. He can't FIT a big cutter on most of his lawns.

    Now I circle back to topsites and my original point on the question 'Which is better, WB or Z?'


    All the discussion doesn't get a concensus. Like the man who dropped the 5 pound weight and the 10 pound weight from the tall tower to see which fell faster, you actually have to try it to see what happens. (Google 'Gallileo's Experiment')

    So use a WB on a few properties, and next week use the Z and then compare the theories with the results and come to a conclusion
  2. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    I think you are putting too much thought into it. Make a business plan and see what works for YOU.

    There is a reason the majority of LCO's have Z's!!! They have already figured out what works. Period!

    Here is an idea for you. Go sit at a major intersection and watch all the LCO's roll by. See what they have on thier trailers. Being in Bradenton/Sarasota, it should not take long for a bunch of them to go by.

    I think if you asked any guy that if money was no object would they rather have a walk behind or a Z. It is pretty much a no-brainer that probably 100% would say a Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    REALSLOW LawnSite Senior Member
    from FLORIDA
    Messages: 668

    If I was specializing in residentials a WB can make more money than a Z can. I feel good commercial accounts can make the most money with a Z but getting good commercial accounts is hard.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Maybe, but I would put my 36" z cat against any 36" walk behind for productivity. And at 200 hours in a year. I am definately getting my money's worth out of my "back yard" mower.
    Certainly there are things that you can do with the WB that I can't do with the z cat, but then again you can't cut at 8mph with a WB either.
  5. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    I didn't read all the responces but it looks like your just adding up labor savings. And then wondering about maitence expences. With all that aside, how about moral of employees. I know I hate walking all day. What about adding in the break times for the guys walking all day. How much time do you lose a year adding up a 5 min water break to cool off a little before starting the next lawn. And if you bag your clippings what about all the time spent dumping those small baggers. Riders have much larger baggers.
  6. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    I find that I feel worse if I sit in the Deere for 4 hours than if I had walked with a Wb or a 21". The bouncing seems a lot harder. Anyways, a lot of walking never wore anyone out. It's the lack of walking or a predisposition to injury that's the culprit.

    If I shovel snow for let's say 10 straight hours with breaks every two hours, overall, my body loves it. Keeps me limber, same with mowing.

    REALSLOW LawnSite Senior Member
    from FLORIDA
    Messages: 668

    You will not outcut one of my walkmowers with a 36Z. A WB does not tear the turf near as much as a Z. I can fly around a property at 8 or 9 miles an hour on a WB with a fixed velkie and not worry about damaging the turf. My super Z if I try and do that it looks like we had a tractor pull on the lawn so the WB is more productive on small to medium lawns and looks way better because you can hardly see the tracks on the lawn. Really a Produtive company that can handle all jobs needs both. People pay me top $ not to use a Z. They are tired of turf tearing and will usually in some cases pay me an extra 20 $ a month to use a WB and some will pay an Extra 40 to 50$ a month to walk it with a WB. These are small lawns as well, The WB is faster on these lawns anyways over a Z so for me it is a win win thing kinda like the bank cartels ruling the world.:laugh:
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    On a healthy St Augustine or even bahia, a properly driven Z will not tear up the grass....I never had any complaints. heck Is till wish I had my 36 up here though...It woudl be nice on the hills on my current yard and I could probaly make a few bucks with out even leaving the hood..:) ohwell easy come easy go...

    Go with what you feel comfortable with. if you have gates, youre stuck with a 36 or a 48" and a 21.... take your pick...

    I had no gates smaller than 5 feet...so I could get the 52 in...My number snad experience told me that the Z was the right choice to make...

    and if your getting beatup up on a z as a result of the rough surface, Spend the monay on a suspension seat or find better yards.....
  9. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    No, breaks allowed on Job sites. Breaks on job sites are for Scrubs. My wife is a reastarant manager, she is on her feet 12-14 hours a day 6 days a week. Her other manager works the same hours and is 7 months pregnant. It seems we have a general concensous that grown men who get paid to work outside are not as tough as a 35 year old pregnant women with diabeties. lol seriously though the question I am asking is not which is faster a 36" walkbehind or a 72" ztr. I'm talking a 60 W/B vs a 60 ztr or 52 vs 52 or 36 vs 36, and if the labor cost saved outweights the added cost of the machine.

    I pretty much descided to let my yard go for a couple weeks and then demo a 52" ztr and 52" w/b I will mow at a high height then clean up all the clippings, then I'm going to drop the deck 1" and time the ztr from gate up to gate up on the trailer, rake up all the clipppings again and then time the 52" walkbehind cutting an inch off, from gate up to gate up and see what the savings is.

    The dealer quates on Acres per hour don't include turns, they just assume a straight line. Also, I am sure that the max speed that is quated from the dealer is blades off running on concrete, not actually mowing. Usually the dealer with show a 80% efficiency. What if you can only run the Z at 50% efficiency and the Walkbehind at 90%. so the 10 mph ztr is down to 5 mph and the 6 mph w/b is only down to 5.4 mph.

    REALSLOW LawnSite Senior Member
    from FLORIDA
    Messages: 668

    The problem with the Z is you have to slow down to much on some properties. I love the Z's but realize there limitations.

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