franco b wrote:I don't understand the need to bag clippings. Cut the grass once a week only when it is dry.
Zero turn will not cut any faster except when there are a lot of obstacles. How fast you can cut is a function of blade speed, the decks are similar, only heavier on the commercial models.
Keep the machine out of the weather and service it and the Home Depot Ariens will last ten years. Look for refurbished at the end of season for great buys. I paid $600 for 42 inch with auto transmission. Runs great and cuts even better. This will be the third season.
I can respect the craftsmen and ariens and scotts type ride on mowers have their place for grandpa or the newlyweds with a 10k sq' lot.
Mulching is not a bad thing as long as your very understanding of the fact that people and pets will get green shoe syndrome and you will be dethatching and spring/fall clean ups just cant happen without a lot of hand effort, also when mulching its hard to cut in the morning until the dew is dry, its impossible to cut wet grass and mulch, and obtaining the clean look of a bagged lawn just cant be obtained by mulching. If you have an area where you can dump clippings or if you have a wet lawn typically or if you have a pool then bagging is a must.
in terms of speed I cannot stress enough how much faster a Walker can do a lawn then anything else, I know you think its all about blade speed and maybe it is (if that's the case the Walkers blade speed is 10x faster then a Craftsmen)
I know mulching slows down the job because you need to ensure all that crap is reduced to fines, I know clogging side exit baggers slow down the job because even the best clog up like the hoover dam, I know that the Walker cures all those main issues and the ease and speed it can cut a lawn is second to none (which is why any pro landscape company has Walkers in their inventory).
Even if you spent the $2k for a cyclone rake or something for those homeowner models it can NEVER do what a Walker can (the power unit is near the end of the hose, not the front of it so the clogging still occurs), and god forbid if your trying to pick up inch sticks and branches because you would hear very bad noises and shut down fast where the Walker with chew em up and spit out sawdusk (even if you have a 10' long branch with lil' branches attached I just roll over it and take of 3' of it and then on my next pass take 3' more, etc. without so much getting out of the seat or interrupting my passes
) ... Ive spent the $1k for Scotts/Craftsmen/Etc plus the $1k for what I thought was a good bagger before but after Smitty buys this Walker he will never have to buy another mower or attachment, he could start landscaping plus it will always be worth what he payed for it!