Zero Turn Anarchy

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
4,759
658
Floriduh
I've got to cut about 2+ acres of Floriduh grass at my place.  Since nothing has more grass flakes than the lawn care industry here, it's time I do it myself.  Zero Turn mowers are a necessity, as my property is infested with Cabbage Palm trees.  Pro-sumer Zero Turn grade cutters are my intention.  Current favorites are the Ariens Ikon XD 52 and the Toro Time Cutter 50.

As usual, the more I learn, the less I know. Since all human knowledge, and then some, is resident in this group, I hereby invoke the Sacred Summoning of Knowledge:
<Dumb Question Here> Anarchy. 

Do your worst. 

 
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Mid

Super Anarchist
Current favorites are the Ariens Ikon XD 52 
rates as Best Budget tick

money no object ? then

h310-1069.png


 

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
4,759
658
Floriduh
There are drink holders.  But like my neighbor, I plan to install an insulated gimbled drink holder, so I will never spill a drop of my beer.  ;)

 
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Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,756
960
Washington DC
Landscape manager at a dc college,  owned a landscape company in Orlando, and worked  for Disney Hort department...

i would consider a used commercial grade mower. something with less than 3000 hours   Deck size no larger than 52”. My neighbor has an older toro time cutter 42.  It served him well. I would not have been apply with it, bUt he was.   We use scags at work,  I’ve owned exmarks and walker branded mowers 

my current personally owned mower is a walker Ghs 42 walker from the early 90’s the hour meter stopped working at 7000 hours.  Motor has been freshened up andthe the frame body is just now starting to rust.

nice thing about the walker is that it has an out front mower deck. Which means you can really slide it under neath overhanging shrubs, much lower center of gravity,  newer models have flip up mower deck to make blade changes easier.  Down side is that doing work on the engine  is a bit difficult

scag and exmark are both great mowers as well.  If you are mechanically  inclined. Don’t worry about a dealer network.  

Keep it clean. Blow it off after cutting,  hose it down every now and again  if you can store it under cover  o matter what you buy will last a long time.   Try a test drive.  And if you can I would spend the extra money on a suspension seat.  The short wheel base of the  ztr will not  do your back any favors if your land has bumps and undulations   Figure for two acres you are going to spend about an hour on the machine  smoother ground equals faster cut. 

 

Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
25,222
3,253
Suwanee River
I have 2 neighbors with the Ariens, They are both in the shop constantly for repairs, I hd a nother neighbor with omething like a Dixie trimmer. It sux.

 Get yourself a Sgag, Comfortable, fast dependable, and a really nice cut.

 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,756
960
Washington DC
Are you cutting st Augustine, or bahiagrass.  Not that it matters much but Bahia always seemed to chew up the mower blades more and really need more consitent  sharpening to have a better cut.

 

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
4,759
658
Floriduh
Largely Bahia, some Bermuda, some gawd only knows what.  Been warned away from St Augustine.  Plan to tow a seed spreader behind the rig to overseed in Spring whatevah type I decided to go with. (Recommendations of low maintenance grass?)  My dearly departed grass guy cut the grass right to the nubs and killed off a large part of the lawns. So I'm working on restoring the lawn. 

 
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Foreverslow

Super Anarchist
My SIL and her dad owned a huge landscaping and maintenance company.

Everything Marcjsmith says is exactly what she told me years ago.

Listen to him and you will be happy..

Or as an alternative, you could do bottom jobs without a vac.  That nasty grass will never grow back once you mix in enough bottom paint dust into the soil..

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,496
1,269
lake michigan
I've got to cut about 2+ acres of Floriduh grass at my place.  Since nothing has more grass flakes than the lawn care industry here, it's time I do it myself.  Zero Turn mowers are a necessity, as my property is infested with Cabbage Palm trees.  Pro-sumer Zero Turn grade cutters are my intention.  Current favorites are the Ariens Ikon XD 52 and the Toro Time Cutter 50.

As usual, the more I learn, the less I know. Since all human knowledge, and then some, is resident in this group, I hereby invoke the Sacred Summoning of Knowledge:
<Dumb Question Here> Anarchy. 

Do your worst. 


Landscape manager at a dc college,  owned a landscape company in Orlando, and worked  for Disney Hort department...

i would consider a used commercial grade mower. something with less than 3000 hours   Deck size no larger than 52”. My neighbor has an older toro time cutter 42.  It served him well. I would not have been apply with it, bUt he was.   We use scags at work,  I’ve owned exmarks and walker branded mowers 

my current personally owned mower is a walker Ghs 42 walker from the early 90’s the hour meter stopped working at 7000 hours.  Motor has been freshened up andthe the frame body is just now starting to rust.

nice thing about the walker is that it has an out front mower deck. Which means you can really slide it under neath overhanging shrubs, much lower center of gravity,  newer models have flip up mower deck to make blade changes easier.  Down side is that doing work on the engine  is a bit difficult

scag and exmark are both great mowers as well.  If you are mechanically  inclined. Don’t worry about a dealer network.  

Keep it clean. Blow it off after cutting,  hose it down every now and again  if you can store it under cover  o matter what you buy will last a long time.   Try a test drive.  And if you can I would spend the extra money on a suspension seat.  The short wheel base of the  ztr will not  do your back any favors if your land has bumps and undulations   Figure for two acres you are going to spend about an hour on the machine  smoother ground equals faster cut. 
I question the deck size limitation at 52"  IF the terrain is flat bigger would be better, time effiency wise.  If the maker concentrate on making their 52 inch units the very best then go that route.  Disclaimer is I had a rolling  hilly 1 acre that I cut with a 43 inch deck.

 

BayRacer

Anarchist
594
80
I don’t have personal experience, but regional landscape company that mows our company property uses commercial series Gravely(s). I believe it is an Ariens brand. Caveat that we are in Wisconsin, so use is maybe 7.5 months rather than year round. From casual conversations, the commercial Gravely products have a good reputation. 

No connection, though Ariens is a Wisconsin company.  That  may partly explain popularity around here, though I expect most lawncare companies look at ROI/reliability more than regional ties. 

 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,756
960
Washington DC
I question the deck size limitation at 52"  IF the terrain is flat bigger would be better, time effiency wise.  If the maker concentrate on making their 52 inch units the very best then go that route.  Disclaimer is I had a rolling  hilly 1 acre that I cut with a 43 inch deck.
   I’ve found that even on flat ground, the 52 offers the best cut/productivity.  Once you get up into the 60+ inch range you really need a super flat surface, think sports playing field flat, to avoid scalping the turf on the outer edges of the deck.      I’ve owned ztrs, walk behinds, tractor style, triplex reel mowers from 36” to 72”.  From a residential point of view over 52”  I was never happy with the cuts.  At GU. We had a 72” toro groundsmaster that we used on the football field and it was great,  but anywhere else it sucked.  Our 60” scab does ok on our flat turf areas, but even then I notice scalping  and some uneven cutting.

alos keep in mind that ztrs, are very time pressure sensitive.  You get one rear tire or one front tire with too high or to low of a pressure the mower won’t sit level ergo the deck won’t sit level. And you end up with uneven cut.  The wider the cut swath, the more this being out of level is noticeable.

also. Going from a 52 to a 60, usually ends up with a greater hp engine, which means higher cost as well... 0.5 hp per inch of cut is a good safe guideline as well.

Just my opinions (which when added to 5 buck will get you a Starbucks) I think 48-52” is a good size for larger residential property in regards to cut quality and speed.  Yeah a 36” will cut much better but who wants to  sit on a mower for 2 hours and another 30 min for trimming and blowing.   

Also cup holder,  novel idea,  but all the bouncing around beer ends up going flat or spilling.  Just pound one, get on the mower and start cutting...

if I was up north sitting on a couple acres I’d consider a lawn and garden tractor as opposed to a ztr, for the simple fact that I could put a plow blade on it for snow removal.

productivity mower times

http://www.encoreequipment.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Mowing-Times-and-Productivity.pdf

 
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Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
25,222
3,253
Suwanee River
Largely Bahia, some Bermuda, some gawd only knows what.  Been warned away from St Augustine.  Plan to tow a seed spreader behind the rig to overseed in Spring whatevah type I decided to go with. (Recommendations of low maintenance grass?)  My dearly departed grass guy cut the grass right to the nubs and killed off a large part of the lawns. So I'm working on restoring the lawn. 
You might want to over seed right about now with perennial rye grass. you could do a mix of white clover too, for the bees.

Another suggestion is to get 0 lift or "sand blades". They're 2 sided, and last at least 4 times longer than the "gator" blades I'd been using before.

 

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
4,759
658
Floriduh
Here on the Space Coast of Floriduh, we're in our dry season (in terms of Florida) until March.  I'm planning on Weed and Feeding Late Feb, then seeding two weeks later. 

 

chinabald

Super Anarchist
15,211
628
There are drink holders.  But like my neighbor, I plan to install an insulated gimbled drink holder, so I will never spill a drop of my beer.  ;)
FYI zero turn means both hands on the controls. No hands available to drink beer. Unless you have hands large enough to span the gap between the 2 controls and have a long enough straight away to sneak in a sip. Otherwise it’s a pain. Plus a little wind and you have grass clipping in your beer. 

And. If you are thinking of towing a spreader. Make sure your unit will handle the weight and that hitch is comparable with your spreader, trailer, whatever you think you want to tow. Mine was not, I had to have my nephew do a G job at work and fab something up for me. 

 
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warbird

Super Anarchist
16,496
1,269
lake michigan
   I’ve found that even on flat ground, the 52 offers the best cut/productivity.  Once you get up into the 60+ inch range you really need a super flat surface, think sports playing field flat, to avoid scalping the turf on the outer edges of the deck.      I’ve owned ztrs, walk behinds, tractor style, triplex reel mowers from 36” to 72”.  From a residential point of view over 52”  I was never happy with the cuts.  At GU. We had a 72” toro groundsmaster that we used on the football field and it was great,  but anywhere else it sucked.  Our 60” scab does ok on our flat turf areas, but even then I notice scalping  and some uneven cutting.

alos keep in mind that ztrs, are very time pressure sensitive.  You get one rear tire or one front tire with too high or to low of a pressure the mower won’t sit level ergo the deck won’t sit level. And you end up with uneven cut.  The wider the cut swath, the more this being out of level is noticeable.

also. Going from a 52 to a 60, usually ends up with a greater hp engine, which means higher cost as well... 0.5 hp per inch of cut is a good safe guideline as well.

Just my opinions (which when added to 5 buck will get you a Starbucks) I think 48-52” is a good size for larger residential property in regards to cut quality and speed.  Yeah a 36” will cut much better but who wants to  sit on a mower for 2 hours and another 30 min for trimming and blowing.   

Also cup holder,  novel idea,  but all the bouncing around beer ends up going flat or spilling.  Just pound one, get on the mower and start cutting...

if I was up north sitting on a couple acres I’d consider a lawn and garden tractor as opposed to a ztr, for the simple fact that I could put a plow blade on it for snow removal.

productivity mower times

http://www.encoreequipment.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Mowing-Times-and-Productivity.pdf
Thanks,  good points.

 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,756
960
Washington DC
Largely Bahia, some Bermuda, some gawd only knows what.  Been warned away from St Augustine.  Plan to tow a seed spreader behind the rig to overseed in Spring whatevah type I decided to go with. (Recommendations of low maintenance grass?)  My dearly departed grass guy cut the grass right to the nubs and killed off a large part of the lawns. So I'm working on restoring the lawn. 
St Augustine cuts easy but loves water.  If you want lower maintenance and don’t need the golf course look you can get Bahia seed,  it’s very slow to germinate though. Overtime, the Bermuda might start taking over as it’s a bit more aggressive and will spread faster.   Especially during the warmer months.

the down side to Having a mixed grass,  is to make sure you check Chemical labels when it comes to herbicide to ensure you won’t be killing weed and turf.

florida extension office has a lot of great free info. https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn-and-garden/yard-maintenance-and-care/ 

 
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