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Zero Radius Mowers why Landscapers prefer

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-06-20          143066


The wife and I just got home form a trip into the city, (150,000 pop.), and noticed every mower in town is going today. We've had generous rainfall lately so everything is super green. I never paid that much attention before, but why do the lawn care services use mowers that the operator rides a little two wheeled cart behind instead of having a seat on the mower? Frank.

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-06-20          143075


Frank, I think the mower you are tlaking about is not a ZTR, but a "walk-behind" mower equipped with something called a sulky, basically a VERY tiny chariot if you will, with just enough room for a pair of feet.

The reasons are many and varied for using this type of mower, which is basically a 2-wheeled lawn tractor, but you walk along behind it, like you would a self-propelled snowblower. Usually they are used on smaller areas, but often, especially nowadays, you see them because they are cheaper than a conventional riding commercial mower. A walk-behind is nearly half the price of a rider.

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-06-20          143079


Hardwood, the company if still in business has been sold I was told but Great Dane did make what was told to be a ZTR mower as you described. (I guess that would be a ZTW.) There was not a lot of price difference to me between that model and their rider if my memory is correct (3 or 4years ago). Did not make sense to me either. Sure did make reverse a NO option. kt ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-06-20          143082


I forgot to mention the other big consideration for situations such as you describe where you are cutting grass in an urban (big city) environment.

A walk-behind mower is about half the length of a commercial rider, in fact you can easily put 2 of them in the back of a standard 8' long pickup equipped with a ramp or tailgate lift. This means you could send a crew into an area like a big city without even having to try to fight a trailer through traffic or find a place to park it.

In the Toronto area I see a lot of commercial outfits have gone to cube vans, and not for just that reason, they are also rolling billboards and offer far better security for the valueable equipment that is all too portable to thieves.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-06-20          143087


Yeah the walkbehinds with a sulky will wear you out trying to keep your balance, not to mention keep yourself from wrapping around a tree or fence post. The guys I know who can't afford the nice ZTM's use the walkbehinds. They heavy but twice as fast and offer a better straight-line cut which the commercial land owners like. Some guys use a flat skid plate or roller to flatten the cut grass for curb appeal (Thers'a a term used for that type of look like stadiums and golf courses use---I'm sure Murf will set me straight :) ) ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-06-21          143092


It might take more than the likes of me to set you straight there Jeff'ry........

But I'm jiss sayin's all ....... ;)

It's called 'striping' and is done, oddly enough, with a striping kit. A fancy name and more than a few bucks for a little piece of steel that drags along behind the mower.

If you look carefully at my picture # 1 you will see the front lawn is done that way. It gets cut twice a week, and every time the pattern changes. I need another hobby. :)

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-06-21          143102


Murf, you could take on straighting out EW. You might could use the same stripping kit. ;-)

But I'm jiss sayin's all.... ....

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Zero Radius Mowers why Landscapers prefer

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-06-21          143103


I could see dragging him around back of the wood shed to straighten him out.........

But dragging him around the lawn would probably not work.

;)


Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-06-21          143104


Murf and KT: Ya know... if I had feelings---that woulda hurt. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-06-22          143114


Thanks for setting me straight on the sulkys behind the mowers. That makes me wonder too, how do they back out of a corner? I think I'll leave the seat on the mower and just ride along. Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-06-22          143119


Frank, corners are no problem at all.

They are handled one of two ways, some sulkys (the better ones) are spring loaded and have elbows in the towbar, as soon as you step off of them the spring lifts and folds the sulky up against the mowers body, at which point you merely revert to a walk-behind mower. The tip of one toe is enough to overcome the spring and convert it back to a stand-up machine.

The simpler way though is to not cut tight into the corners and just use a 19" commercial push mower to cut those areas.

BTW, these mowers can really eat up a lot of turf in a hurry. The bigger ones like the Ferris we have is powered by a 25hp V-twin engine with twin hydrostatic transmissions (one per wheel) and can (in the real world) cut 3 acres per hour!! There is nothing like them for cutting hillsides and some special situations like that.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-06-22          143130


That's the problem with walk behinds: they don't reverse. And there are different types of sulkys too. There is one that has one wheel in the center like a caster that you straddle (it folds up too) and there is a sit-down type too that is like a trailer. It's difficult to steer as you have to throw your arms and body way out to follow the mower handles. ....

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Ducati996
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 347 New York
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2007-10-14          146945


Around these parts the Wright standers are the prefered units - of course walk behinds are critical as well 36" inch units especially - for the gates and narrow areas.

I have a few wright standers, but this one is the newest - 52" cut rapid height, and 19 HP kawi motor. Makes short work of my 2 acre lot. I on occasion bring it to customers, but I dont put it in the daily mix. Its too new and I like it for me :) ....


Link:   Wright Stander - stand on ZTR

 
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Ducati996
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 347 New York
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2007-10-14          146946



another shot of the Wright Stander

I forgotto mention it cut down my mowing by 50% at least. Im able to go approx. 8 MPH in most of the areas. Cut is excellent under the majority of conditions at that speed

....


Link:   Wright Stander - stand on ZTR

 
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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2007-10-16          147011



Being in the country more we only sell a couple Wrights a year. The products do hold up well as we don't see them in the shops for much if anything but the simplist of maintence. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Zero Radius Mowers why Landscapers prefer

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Ducati996
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 347 New York
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2007-10-17          147078



You carry Wright's as well Art? thats a good mix, and a really strong brand of choice. The dealer I got it from moves 60 units or so a month just on them alone.
Im happy with them and I like the rapid height versions the best. I have some of the manual adjustment and the RH is a big improvement (not on cut quality but height of cut) ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-10-18          147095


Jeff, I just re-read this thread and finally noticed your comment.

What walk-behinds don't reverse, our Ferris units do, and I know the Toro units we used to have did as well?

Best of luck. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6877 Waterville New York
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2007-10-18          147099



On the island I could see them selling that many easily. Where we are not that we don't have the commercial mowers but the bulk of people here count on it as recreational time. There are times we have talked of a city location but we haven't found a way to deal with what we have. ....

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Ducati996
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 347 New York
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2007-10-18          147106



All the good walk behinds reverse :) I missed that one as well ....

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Ducati996
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 347 New York
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2007-10-18          147107



I can see mowing as a very relaxing experience (most times when Im doing my own lot). gets me away from the nagging pests called humans for a few hours - but there are times when you just want to "blink" and have it done :) for me the ZTR gets me a close as it can be for me - without blinking ;) ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-10-18          147108


Mowing is very relaxing now that I don't have to take away from "Work Time" to mow. This spring we added another acre of lawn plus rejuvinated the old part. A special thanks to Murf for his advice on the "How To" of it all, looks great Murf. Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-10-18          147109


Thanks for the kind words Frank.

I'm real good at getting grass to grow, just don't blame me for the cutting time that results, or ask me to cut it, I've got enough of my own to deal with already! ;)

Best of luck. ....

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