View Full Version : ZTR Recommendations

06-05-2005, 08:53 PM

Hopefully you won't mind providing a little advice...

I have 60 Acres, half is mow-able, rest is trees, that I have been mowing with a John Deere tractor and brush hog. We are getting ready to move to this property, so I need/want to get something to do more finish work, expand the areas I'm mowing, under trees, roadside, hills. I'm a little nervous on the tractor on some of the inclines I have, and feel a ZTR will help me get to more areas. I also can get closer to the fences etc with one.

I'm looking for some recommendations for:

Size...I'm thinking 48" would be fine. I only plan to mow around the new house and along fence, tree lines, hills I don't want to attempt in the tractor, etc. Should I go bigger?

Horsepower...or engine brand. I do realize that this and the actual ZTR brand will be sensitive subjects, or could start other threads...

Brand...Very new to this, but do want something more than a home use... I can't guarantee that I won't be hitting some small tree's, running over sticks, small stumps, etc, so want a sturdy commercial unit. Also want the most stable on hillsides if there is such a thing;-) I have special dispensation from the walking boss...my wife...to spend almost what I want...would prefer under $7K.

Any other recommendations that I should be looking for when I talk with dealers etc, certainly already know to look for reputation, service and all. Any features that you specifically feel are most important or least important that some mfg's push.

Thanks for your time and consideration. I did try to look for a similar post but didn't find anything in the first 20 pages of threads;-)

Take care,

06-05-2005, 09:48 PM
If I were you, I would find the nearest dealers for say, Exmark, Scag, Hustler, Ferris, and the like and see about some demos. If I read your post correctly, it sounds like you're going to be mowing about 30 acres worth of grass? Certainly if that's the case, I would go with something larger than 48". I'd get the biggest mower I could get to do the job.

06-05-2005, 09:57 PM
For 30 acres you for sure want something bigger than a 48" deck. I would say a 72" if you don't mind some scalping and if not at least a 60" deck. I use a John Deere 757 60" on a 8 acre sports complex and it works will and holds very steep hills (probably 30 degrees or a tad more) with no problem ONCE you LEARN to use the machine so i woud look at Deere. Also Scag is suppose to hold well according to their ad's because of their lower center of gravity. I can tell you from experience though that the Deere I have holds hills much better than exmark or toro.

Mark McC
06-05-2005, 10:03 PM
Highgrass has a point. Even a mower running 8 mph (in many cases about as fast as you can go) with a six-foot deck will cover only about five acres an hour. That's six hours of mowing time. Drop to a four-foot deck and you're looking at three acres an hour, or ten hours of mowing, assuming this mower can keep up with an 8-mph clip. It may or may not be able to, depending on the specs on the drive and on the ability of the mower to keep flat when going that fast, assuming the ground isn't terribly even. A bigger mower will weigh more and will have less problem with the bouncing.

Here's a productivity table provided courtesy of eXmark.


06-05-2005, 10:33 PM
Go down to the Hustler dealer and get a Super Z with a 60'' deck and a 25 HP Kawasaki...........and never look back!It will do you a great job on what you described.

Mark McC
06-05-2005, 10:38 PM
If you really want to go all out for a slope-friendly machine, you could go with the Hustler ATZ, but it'll set you back a lot more than seven grand, methinks.


06-05-2005, 11:00 PM
Actually I will continue doing most of the 30 acres on the brush hog... Want to use the ZTR for about 2 acres around the new house, and "cutting" in where I can't go with the tractor, hills, roadside, closer to the fence, etc...

Thanks for the help!!!!


06-05-2005, 11:39 PM
dixie chopper, cant go wrong with one of those, 60 or a 72 inch.

06-06-2005, 01:09 AM
i would ( i did) go with deere , i put mine on slopes i can barely walk up , go with a 757 or 777 i like yhe 777, 27 hp kawi liquid cooled, 60" deck, great mower! now that said, you can without a dought stay in the commercial end of the market and never really go wrong, pay attention to dealer service , it is very important!! also if you have never operated a z on slopes and hills learn how first , it can be quite a ride down,and deadly, ask where you bought it they should help you ,if not dont buy it there, demo alot of machines and buy within your perameters !!! other recommendations, toro, hustler, scag, badboy,dixie chopper, exmark, kubota, and many more, good luck!!!!!

06-06-2005, 09:49 AM
I am in about the same situation as you. I have a little over 60 Acres, a tractor with Brush Hog and I like to keep a few acres mowed pretty nice.

Earlier this year I got a Hustler ATZ. I looked at a bunch of the other manufacturers, all of which I am sure make good machines, but opted for the Hustler based on dealer reputation and advice, response from the Hustler Rep on this forum and the slope preformance of the ATZ.

I am very happy with this mower. It handles the Missouri hills and slopes pretty good (not the back of a dam I was hoping to mow but that thing approaches a 45 degree angle). After using it a few times I am starting to mow more of what I used to use the tractor for. The ATZ is quicker, provides a better cut and is more comfortable to use.

The ATZ is more money than what you mentioned but it does give you a 72" deck and a 27 HP Kohler engine.

Good Luck!!

06-06-2005, 10:17 AM
I am kind of curious if from a mowing perspective only, can the width get too big? I'm not concerned about covering the area quicker, so the time I save is not an issue from a 48" to a 60/72". Are there ever times that smaller is better, other than going thru a gate, between tree's etc? If time isn't an issue, what other reasons would you have to go bigger....other than to keep the economy moving along;-)