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ZTR Mower Versus Tractor

by The Handyguys

in Audio Podcasts

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Handyguys Try Out Some Riding Mowers

The Handyguys are falling behind on the honey do list  because this year’s mowing season is taking all of their free time. Pennsylvania has been hit by lots of rain — making for nice fast growing lawns — but that comes with long hours of mowing.

Handyguy Paul is researching a riding mower to replace his slow walk behind but is undecided as to the best model. Should he get a traditional lawn tractor or one of the zero turn radius models? To help Paul decide, the Handyguys called on John Deere to provide some samples for us to test. Listen to our podcast (Click Play) to hear analysis of these mowers  Also, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

tractor vs ZTR

Click on the Image to see a larger version of the mowers we tested.

John Deere was kind enough to loan us two models to try out. They didn’t sponsor this show nor did they let us keep the mowers.  Darn!  The two mowers were the Z445 with 54″ high capacity deck, the Zero Turn Radius ZTR model, and the X324 Tractor

So, how did they test these mowers?  The first test was in a field that only gets mowed four or five times a year and has some tall grass and weeds. The second test was a residential property with some hills and a number of different obstacles from trees, deck stairs, flower beds, walks, etc. The third test was a larger residential property, also with some slope in sections but with deck posts to mow around and also flower beds, walks, a play area and so forth.

Z445 ZTRThe Handyguys started in the open field which was a good way to start. The ZTR takes several minutes to get used to the hand controls. To go forward with a ZTR you push both bars forward, to reverse pull both bars back. One forward and the other back and you pivot. You can easily make slight adjustments to your direction or you can also make sharp turns.

Once they got used to the handling of the ZTR, they were moving briskly through the field with no problems.  They noticed that this ZTR was significantly faster than the tractor (not that the Handyguys tried to race these mowers… we would never do that!).

x324 TractorThe X324 has a steering wheel and gas pedal (actually two pedals… forward and reverse). This will be familiar to anyone who can drive a car. Its a very natural driving position and takes very little time to become proficient. One interesting feature that the Handyguys quickly appreciated on the X324 tractor was 4 wheel steering. The tractor could cut around a 9″ tree! The four wheel steer made it extremely maneuverable in tight spaces.

Handyguy Paul contends that the tractor is a must have fashion accessory for those living in the “exoburbs”.  He felt a little too much like a landscaper on the ZTR. For Paul, its all about looking cool when you mow your grass! All kidding aside – there are some advantages to a tractor for many people. The tractor supports a wider variety of accessories. Things from snow throwers, shovels, sweepers, baggers, aerators, carts, snow blades, and spreaders can all be attached to a tractor such as the X324. If we were just mowing grass, and had a lot to do, the ZTR is a hands down winner.

You can hear the full discussion by listening to the podcast. Also, if you want to see the mowers in action make sure you check out the video we put up last week.


This post was sponsored by http://www.erento.co.uk/ where a
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