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Yes, they are. It is due more to the geometry of the design. Most Lawn & Garden tractors top out at around 6-6.5 mph. Zero turns are around 8-9.5 mph. Speed is not a characteristic I especially want. The quality of cut for the money is more important to me, but I'm weird.
 

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Typically blade tip speed is faster to help offset faster ground speed. Quality of cut can be the same as a lawn/garden tractor, but when you step into the commercial units, it gets even better. Some ZTRs even have full independent suspension to keep the rider from bouncing out of the seat at full speed. Siome finesse is needed to keep turf from getting torn up in tight turns. I try to come to almost a complete stop before turning, the spin one wheel forward and one backward so it isn't turning around a stationary but pivoting tire. Dragging a tire tears up the lawn the fastest. Pivoting around a stationary wide tire is a distant second.

I currently use a 50" residential cub cadet. It doesn't always go where I want it to. Traction vs gravity and physics doesn't always work out, so I need to turn more here and there, but overall MUCH faster than a 50" garden tractor, even a hydrostat (MTD 990). I did at one point buy a Ferris IS 3100 or something like that to flip, which I did, but wish I had kept it if nothing else just for the novelty of it. The 4 wheel independent suspension was really cool. That was a mowing machine right there. Sadly, I sold it before I got to use it.
 

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I'm ony 4th brand of ZTR. I can mow 8mph but usually mow around 5 for sake of cut quality.

Just as garden tractors are not all created equal neither are ZTR.

The one I have now is the best mowing one and yet it is not the most expensive one I've owned.

You can't just say ZTR over Rider. You kind of have to be specific about the two you are comparing.
 

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We mow around 8 acres of lawn, and mow with a 35 HP compact tractor with 84" rear finish mower and a 35 HP Hustler Super Z zero turn w/72" deck (will mow at 14 MPH)
The zero turn will mow circles around the tractor.
Tractor w/84" mower takes around 3 hours to mow our 8 acres.
Our zero turn will mow the same 8 acre lawn in around 2 hours
Fastest mower I ever owned.
 

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I mow 3+ acres. Mowing with a garden tractor is slow! I bought a 48 inch residential zero turn at $4400. It still was not enough for my thick lawn. I bought a used 72 inch 34 hp Husqvarna commercial lawnmower and a cut my mowing time from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes
 

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We mow around 8 acres of lawn, and mow with a 35 HP compact tractor with 84" rear finish mower and a 35 HP Hustler Super Z zero turn w/72" deck (will mow at 14 MPH)
The zero turn will mow circles around the tractor.
Tractor w/84" mower takes around 3 hours to mow our 8 acres.
Our zero turn will mow the same 8 acre lawn in around 2 hours
Fastest mower I ever owned.
Yeah those super Z's are fast. Made for commercial mowers that mow large areas.

When the day comes for me to mow both mine and my FILs yard I will switch to something like that so I can mow it all in less than 2 hours.

Few years out.
 

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One thing to note, is don't actually do a zero-turn (as in, pivot the mower around 1 wheel), as it puts a spot in the grass doing it. Do a 2 or 3 point turn, so both wheels are always moving during the turn.
 

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My son is considering a ZTR. Are they really that much faster than a tractor style mower?
Landscape matters. Is this a wide open area? Or are there a lot of obstacles? Hills? Size of mowing area?

I've got three acres or so, but I don't have enough wide open, flat area to make the speed matter. I'm almost always turning or climbing/descending.

The cost of a single purpose machine doesn't work out for me.
 

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I'm ony 4th brand of ZTR. I can mow 8mph but usually mow around 5 for sake of cut quality.

Just as garden tractors are not all created equal neither are ZTR.

The one I have now is the best mowing one and yet it is not the most expensive one I've owned.

You can't just say ZTR over Rider. You kind of have to be specific about the two you are comparing.
X2... I help a widow with her 3 acres. She and her husband mowed together before his passing with two Yardman 42” mowers. I used one to do it all and it took 6 hrs. She started talking about getting a new mower, but was only looking at low end stuff, I think because that’s what she could afford. I found the GTH27V52LS used (a bit roughly). It was priced under her price range so I got it and found I could usually mow her entire lawn in 2 hrs or less. Fastest was 1.25 hrs. Thickness and height make a big difference. Most folks don’t have much good to say about Husqvarna, but that mower has been great with some repairs, mods, and care. It mows very well fast.

Then I got my X738. It’s a step up in ride, cuts a lot heavier grass, but the quality of cut isn’t as good as the Husqvarna, but good enough. I mow a soccer field, about 2 acres, with it in about 1.25 hrs, but 2 when it was tall and more when I vacuumed it. I estimate an average of 3 seconds for a 90 degree turn, which I feel is comparable to a zero turn. I attribute it to Deere’s hydraulic power steering and tight turning radius. I’ve considered a ZTR, but am not sure it will save that much time over the X738.

In both machines, I believe they can handle more grass because of horsepower. I wouldn’t have guessed it without seeing it myself. I have seen a 10 hp tractor mow well, but it was gear driven, not hydrostatic, and it didn’t have hydraulic power steering or deck lift. If you want to mow heavy grass fast, I would lean toward a diesel. My friend’s Kubota BX2380 is a beast and cuts very well and he has cut 3’ high grass with it and mowed well. My son only passed on it because of the ROPS hitting tree branches. He wasn’t sure his wife or teen would miss them all and it didn’t fit under the Kayaks in the garage.

Needless to say there are many factors in choosing a mowing machine. Hills, blower, blade, tiller - not a ZTR, but on flat ground often the best choice as long as you remember that like tractors, they are not all the same when considering speed, comfort, and durability.
 

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Yes, ZTRs and Front Mowers are alot faster than riding tractors and they also get under hedges and into tight spots better so there is less weed wacking to do afterwards. The ground speed isnt a big differant tho, just because a machine can do 10+ mph does not mean you can expect it to mow well at that speed, your still gonna mow at approx the same speed so that you get a nice finish, the big differance is that you rarely need reverse, you can go around any object or do a 90 turn in one pass.
 

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The ground speed isnt a big differant tho, just because a machine can do 10+ mph does not mean you can expect it to mow well at that speed, your still gonna mow at approx the same speed so that you get a nice finish, the big differance is that you rarely need reverse, you can go around any object or do a 90 turn in one pass.
We know where the bumps are and slow down for trimming and around trees.
But everywhere we can we mow at full sticks with our commercial zero turn (13-14 MPH) and it mows just fine.
 

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I’ll just say this: 99% of the mowers the “pro” lawn guys use here are ZTR’s. And they set them low enough that you could use the lawn as a putting green. No way they are gonna mow my lawn, at least as long as I can still do it myself.
 

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The ground speed isnt a big differant tho, just because a machine can do 10+ mph does not mean you can expect it to mow well at that speed, your still gonna mow at approx the same speed so that you get a nice finish, the big differance is that you rarely need reverse, you can go around any object or do a 90 turn in one pass.
We know where the bumps are and slow down for trimming and around trees.
But everywhere we can we mow at full sticks with our commercial zero turn (13-14 MPH) and it mows just fine.
DK,
so you're saying you don't mow 3 miles an hour with your machine that's made to go 14 miles an hour.

like the Joe Dirt look alike in this video.
?

https://youtu.be/24W54tv5Vzw
 

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Absolutely!

I have about an acre and there is about an hour's difference between the JD 717A (zero turn) that I used to have and my old Ariens GT16 that I use now. The major difference is cutting close to all my trees. With the zero turn it was a simple matter of zipping around and keep on going. With the Ariens cutting around a tree is basically a 4 or 5 point turn, re-align with the previous pass then continue. Now if I only had a few trees the time difference would be a lot less; however I have 16 trees on my property, so that time adds up.

Also once you step up to a commercial machine, you get a bit more comfort and much better longevity than with a "home owner" grade machine.

HOWEVER with my tractor, I now have one machine that can cut the grass, vacuum, shred and bag leaves or dead grass, push dirt, gravel or snow (I have the ability to but a blade on each end), plow and till my garden, plus blow snow in relative comfort due to the detachable cab. So to me at least, the time trade off when mowing is well worth the versatility of a garden tractor.
 
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