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Zero Turn vs Garden Tractor

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  • #16
    I'm going to have to completely agree. I'd get laughed out of business around here using a lawn tractor.

    The possibility of adding other services isn't a good reason unless you've already sold many of those services. I'd rather say "I am not set up for that yet" one time per year than to have a piece of equipment languish, unused in the back of the garage. Even if you do sell services you need a real farm tractor rather than a garden mower. In the case of a residential mower they really aren't designed to carry more than an average American fat guy so towing a top-dresser full of compost is not going to happen.

    Ferris does make a great mower. I'm not convinced they offer the best quality of cut but the suspension makes for a really smooth ride that doesn't beat you up.
    As with everything we need to keep up to date on what is on the market, my X749's will mow circles around your ZTR's meet or beat the quality and generate multiples of income, for fuel economy these are 3 cyl diesels, there isn't a gas engine that will touch it's life, torque and the list goes on.

    I agree the box store lawn tractors are not worth the effort on the business but there are many high end garden tractors that will assist the business owner in growing their business far beyond lawn mowing.

    I have a 48" deck mower for this we use on lawns that are not flat which is the majority, we have a few very large areas we mow so they put the 7 foot finish mower on, for clearing areas over grown we have a 60" bush hog and a 6 foot sickle bar mower, a ZTR will not run any of these.

    As for tight turning, this model will go arould a telephone pole with the deck tight against the pole, start to finish, in my area we have some pretty tough grades, being all wheel drive we can mow any lawn I have seen which brought us a lot of business two years ago when even our 997 ZTR's would not go up the grades.
    Andy
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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    • #17
      ... I didnt have much to compare cuts too..but i would say ferris cuts better than toro..
      Oh, no you didn't!

      ...I dont have much experience around other machines though..what would you reccomend to me?
      In my experience on mostly KBG/Rye mix Toro gives the best quality of cut except for their 40" anything. The 40" is a lemon. No matter what they tell you stay away from the 40". It does not stripe the lawn and it makes a mess of the lawn. I had the displeasure of buying a new one last year only to return it a few days later for a 36". Check my site for pics of what the Toro 36" can do (there are only 2 lawn pics on the site, maybe I should add a few more this year).

      After Toro, I'd say go Exmark.
      Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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      • #18
        Andy I cant argue with you those are some truly great mowers. How much do those run you a piece?

        I dont have alot of grades so personally i want a walkbehind or stand on.

        And thanks mark..the one i tested the cut on actually was a 40" grandstand so thats probably why i didnt like it..I wonder why that is..Id be going for a 36" grand stand if I went the Toro route. or the 36" hyrdrodrive if i went with Ferris..
        maybe a wright stander even..Oh well..thats a subject for another thread..
        Just Kut Lawn and Landscape
        "Where Service is Always in Season"
        Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.

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        • #19
          As with everything we need to keep up to date on what is on the market, my X749's will mow circles around your ZTR's meet or beat the quality and generate multiples of income, for fuel economy these are 3 cyl diesels, there isn't a gas engine that will touch it's life, torque and the list goes on. ...
          You're talking a $14,000 mower though. This cat's talking about saving a few bucks compared to a $2,000 ztr.
          Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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          • #20
            You're talking a $14,000 mower though. This cat's talking about saving a few bucks compared to a $2,000 ztr.
            Thats why i asked him how much they ran him
            It would be great to have a machine like that but in most situations it would not be very practical cost wise..
            Just Kut Lawn and Landscape
            "Where Service is Always in Season"
            Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.

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            • #21
              ... And thanks mark..the one i tested the cut on actually was a 40" grandstand so thats probably why i didnt like it..I wonder why that is..Id be going for a 36" grand stand if I went the Toro route. or the 36" hyrdrodrive if i went with Ferris..
              maybe a wright stander even..Oh well..thats a subject for another thread..
              I think the 36" grandstand has the smaller deck (it's not as tall) and you are going to want the taller deck (I think it's 5" versus 5.5" in depth"). I'd suggest a 48" or a 52" if you can swing it. If you're going with a 36" I'd suggest a Walkbehind with a sulky (jungle wheels).

              Try the 36" GS out though, it may surprise you!

              I do agree with picframer. ZTR is for mowing only. I am looking for something that can handle hauling a top dresser but probably won't go for it until next year. I'll probably look into something like a Steiner.
              Last edited by mark123; 04-03-2011, 05:48 PM.
              Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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              • #22
                I think the 36" grandstand has the smaller deck (it's not as tall) and you are going to want the taller deck (I think it's 5" versus 5.5" in depth"). I'd suggest a 48" or a 52" if you can swing it. If you're going with a 36" I'd suggest a Walkbehind with a sulky (jungle wheels).

                Try the 36" GS out though, it may surprise you!

                I do agree with picframer. ZTR is for mowing only. I am looking for something that can handle hauling a top dresser but probably won't go for it until next year. I'll probably look into something like a Steiner.
                eh..you can attach alot of attachments onto a ztr but your limited as to where if you had a commercial tractor it has a broader range..

                and as far as deck size..i really want to stay away from larger decks for two reasons, lawns around here (even the bigger ones) look weird with the huge stripes and lots of people like seeing smaller machinery..i push mow and alot of my customers love that..because theres no ruts and it dosnt tear it up..

                also because i want to fit between gates..
                Just Kut Lawn and Landscape
                "Where Service is Always in Season"
                Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.

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                • #23
                  eh..you can attach alot of attachments onto a ztr but your limited as to where if you had a commercial tractor it has a broader range..

                  and as far as deck size..i really want to stay away from larger decks for two reasons, lawns around here (even the bigger ones) look weird with the huge stripes and lots of people like seeing smaller machinery..i push mow and alot of my customers love that..because theres no ruts and it dosnt tear it up..

                  also because i want to fit between gates..
                  Yes, definitely equip to fit the locality. I also don't like the huge stripes but there's not much difference between a 36" and a 48". As you say though, you're not going to get a 48" through a gate.
                  Last edited by mark123; 04-03-2011, 07:19 PM.
                  Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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                  • #24
                    You're talking a $14,000 mower though. This cat's talking about saving a few bucks compared to a $2,000 ztr.
                    I was addressing your feedback and opinions on Garden tractors, not the cost difference between a ZTR and Garden tractor. Cost is a factor when buying equipment, in my case thr return on investment is the deciding factor, a ZTR would take me two years, as with other locations lawn mowing is very, very competitive which is why I focus on services other than mowing, thus a X749, based on the two I own, payed for themselves in a few months, the first one only 4.
                    Andy
                    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                    • #25
                      Gate

                      Yes, definitely equip to fit the locality. I also don't like the huge stripes but there's not much difference between a 36" and a 48". As you say though, you're not going to get a 48" through a gate.
                      I have been tossing around what size deck to get. I sounds like I should have more than one mower. I have limited funds - and have about 12 contracts so far for mowing (none have gates) estate size lots 100 x 200, trees and uneven terrain. I was looking at a 54" commercial mower and possible a cheaper non-commercial craftsman 36" till I get more $$. Do you think I should just go with a good 36" walk behind - and save the cash for emergencies?

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                      • #26
                        Do you think I should just go with a good 36" walk behind - and save the cash for emergencies?
                        I would think that was a prudent plan. Sounds good.
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                        • #27
                          Yes, for someone starting out a 36" walk behind, a weed whacker and a backpack blower is a perfect setup. I use this setup with no trailer, just two curved ramps (better than straight). You must get a set of ramps that have safety straps or else they'll kick out and you'll turn your mower over on it's head. (How do I know this you may ask ... )

                          When you grow enough to need a bigger mower and a trailer, the 36" can be moved to backup and small lawn/gated lawn duties.

                          For the 36" get a sulky. I prefer Jungle Wheels. I ran my entire first year without. I walked everything. Longest year of my life. I did lose some weight though.
                          Boughter's Lawn Care Services Mowing and Fertilizing in New Castle, PA

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