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View Full Version : Best ZTR for mowing fields, tall weeds, trails?


rochenyguy
08-14-2005, 07:17 PM
Help, I'm planning to buy a ztr for mowing my yard/acerage (ex-corn field actually), probably a 25hp-27hp with 60" deck. I'd like it to be able to mow fields and cut trails through tall weeds and even light brush. I know some ztr's are better for smooth, lush lawns, etc. Mine lawn's bumpy, with tall weeds and on trails some brush. I don't need golf-course cut quality, average ztr quality is fine. What's everyone's opinion on the best ZTR for such heavy cutting needs? What ztr's should I stay away from for this kind of use?

Thanks.

valleylawn79
08-14-2005, 07:46 PM
they say that a dixie chopper will cut anyghing because of the blade speed. my cousin has a 27 ./ 50inch cut that will cut anything he puts it in. althougfh it is not a bush hog he treats it as such and from time to time abuses the machine in my opionon. however its his so he is welcome to do so. he had 60 in cut to start with and traded for the simple reason the 50 " cut has to throw out less gras/brush than the 60" thus taxing the 27 kohler a little less. believe you me it does cut some thickkkkkkkkk stuff. maybe a diesel would fit your application better or maybe a small tractor with a finish mower. although won't be as quick or compact as a ztr. dixie has a 31 hp generac i think available on there 60" extreme as well. and hustler has a 34 cat deisel avaible on the super z with a rear discharge deck that will power through the thick stuff. good luck

Metro Lawn
08-14-2005, 07:47 PM
We do code violation properties and have used our Super Zs to cut down waist high grass and weeds. They did a good job, but not what any z should be doing. I would think for your application a compact tractor with a bush hog would be the answer.

MOturkey
08-14-2005, 07:50 PM
I'm no expert, but just noted your post, and no replies yet, so thought I'd respond. I suspect any commercial quality mower will cut through the rough stuff OK, but not sure about the "light brush" thing. Light brush to one person might be Bush-Hog fodder to another. Anyway, as long as it is limited to weeds and grass, I'd think any heavy-duty mower would be up to the job, if you take it slowly enough the first time. I own a Gravely, and love the hydraulic deck because it is easy to change cutting heights when doing something like mowing rough ground.

Also saw you were from Rochester. One of my best friends lives there, retired from Eastman-Kodak last year. I'm hoping to get up that way for a visit and turkey hunt in the next couple of years with him and another friend who lives at Sodus Point.

Now, maybe someone will answer this post who really knows what he is talking about. :) Neill

stboo6
08-14-2005, 08:10 PM
little off topic here..Metro how do you price your code violation properties ? I have to finalize bids on 26 properties tomorrow. Thanks for any help you can give..

Mickhippy
08-14-2005, 08:49 PM
Sounds like the perfect application for the SuperZ rear discharge machine!
Or you could go bigger and get the diesel Hustler, JD 997 (do a search), Iseki/MF have a new ztr out also that "we" can get a RD deck for over here! Dont know about you lot!

I would just check out the normal Hustler SZ RD machine first, as will save you $$$$ and do the job!

mcwlandscaping
08-14-2005, 08:56 PM
I think a Dixie would be the best. Lots of power and very strong to stand up to the rough ground. There knobby tire will help too. Good Luck!

lawnmaniac883
08-14-2005, 09:52 PM
How much do you want to spend?

Bush Hog
08-14-2005, 10:05 PM
I have a M2560 Bush Hog ZTR and I have mowed some pretty thick off lawn areas. My father also has The M2560 as well as a friend. I have been extremely satisfied with the Bush Hog mower. You need to take a look at one of these. It's built very heavy duty, and priced below most other comparable mowers. My father has 500 hrs on his with zero problems, and believe me he puts it to the test. I believe if it will push it over he will try to mow it.

rochenyguy
08-14-2005, 10:19 PM
Looking to spend between $7000 - $8500. Prefer ztr over tractor or brush hog because much of what I mow I could use the speed on and lots of trees to mow around. Just want something heavy duty that I wouldn't be afraid to take into those rough mowing areas (slowly).

South Florida Lawns
08-14-2005, 10:23 PM
What you need is low end torque and any diesel will have plenty of grunt to handle a field. Dixies have Yanmar, Hustler uses Caterpillar, so does Ferris. Toro uses Daihatsu, and Johnny D also uses Yanmar. You cannot go wrong with any of these. Find some dealers near you and go demo.

Btw Tonyr has a new John deere diesel, he posted some pics on here a while back of it. Check out his website it has some crazy field mowing with his old toro you will get good ideas from the stuff he has cut. www.apcmowing.com.au

valleylawn79
08-14-2005, 10:37 PM
I have a M2560 Bush Hog ZTR and I have mowed some pretty thick off lawn areas. My father also has The M2560 as well as a friend. I have been extremely satisfied with the Bush Hog mower. You need to take a look at one of these. It's built very heavy duty, and priced below most other comparable mowers. My father has 500 hrs on his with zero problems, and believe me he puts it to the test. I believe if it will push it over he will try to mow it.
i have heard good things as well concerning the bush hog ztrs. they look like a tank they are so heavy looking. i watched one cut the other day and it was moving fast and throwing grass. they -bushhog- have a good record of reliability and customer service as well and have been around for a while. someone told me the other day they would not be making a ztr after 2006 model. thats bad if its true because it looked like well built machine. could just be rumor.

rochenyguy
08-14-2005, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the info. Are there any of the most common ZTRs (Exmark, JD, Ferris, Toro, Scag) that would be worse than the others (or more suited for finish cutting/lush lawns)?

Tonyr
08-14-2005, 11:45 PM
Sounds like the perfect application for the SuperZ rear discharge machine!
Or you could go bigger and get the diesel Hustler, JD 997 (do a search), Iseki/MF have a new ztr out also that "we" can get a RD deck for over here! Dont know about you lot!

I would just check out the normal Hustler SZ RD machine first, as will save you $$$$ and do the job!



WHAT HE SAID!! ^^^^^

Fubba
08-15-2005, 12:56 AM
Get that 50 hp Dixie Chopper. I bet it will do the job. LOL

drmiller100
08-15-2005, 01:01 AM
i'm getting 150 an acre to mow large meadow fields, so don't give me too much grief for abusing my mower.....

use low lift blades, and have them sharp. lifting the deck high enough is an issue for me.
I made a "quick" release system for my mulch kit where I can take the discharge off by unbolting the side plate.
When stuff gets much higher then 2 feet tall, a fair amount of it folds over, requiring you to go over it backwards.

I told my dealer what I was doing wiht my mower, and he was aghast. he told me in my application the blade spindle bearings are a weak link, but so far no troubles.

the hydrostat is pretty handy, as you can creep really slow if need be. don't be afraid to take half cuts if it gets too thick.
I have a JD 737. Pretty tough unit.

Pro-Scapes
08-15-2005, 01:15 AM
I used to hae an older honda 4 wheeler with a pto and a bush hog. It died a sad death. I would use somethign manuverable like that before killing a new ztr in some overlly thick stuff... i take my toro in 2 ft tall growth tho more than i should and it does just fine.

Bush Hog
08-15-2005, 01:17 AM
I don't think you can buy a 50 hp Dixie or any of the diesel models for $7,000-$8500. I paid $7500 for the Bush Hog M2561. Now I'm not pushing the Bush Hog as I get no commision from their sales. But it is a very good heavy duty mower within your stated budget.

rochenyguy
08-15-2005, 04:51 AM
Thanks. I'll have to look at for a local dealer for the Bush Hog and try it out. A local shop suggested I try the new Everride Warrior. Says that while it's a new machine, it's very heavy duty and with an 8" deep deck and wide discharge, it might be a good machine for me. I know about parts availability and no track record, etc. so that's a concern, but if it's really heavy duty, maybe I should demo it too.

You're right about the 50hp Dixie and the diesels probably being more than I'm willing to pay.

drmiller100
08-15-2005, 12:58 PM
how many acres are you talking? how many hours a year are you willing ot spend?
if you mow it even twice in the spring, it is amazing how much it cuts the summer growth back. if you wait until mid august, you are talking some serious effort to get it cut back the first time.

iluvscag
08-15-2005, 01:06 PM
If price isnt an option then the 50 hp Yanmar diesel Dixie will work. :)

FrankenScagMachines
08-15-2005, 01:32 PM
Exmark is not the one for you then. They make a fantastic lawn mower, but its not good on fields and weedy areas.

I demo'd a John Deere 27hp liquid cooled 60" and it did really good in harsh nasty stuff (tall, crappy, weedy, etc). May look at it, it didn't plug up either. a rear discharge would be great too. If it doesn't have to be a ZTR I'd check into a compact/utility tractor with a 5' bush-hog (small and maneuverable) I've seen some very clean cutting bush hogs out there that I thought were done with a finish mower.... They can handle the rough stuff too.

But if it has to be a Z the JD and Toro have good deck designs for rough cut and crappy conditions (very overgrown/poor quality/weedy).

cushman
08-15-2005, 08:04 PM
I had similar needs and settled on a Toro 60" with a 27 LC Kaw.

The mower deck is a rugged as they come, and with the Turbo Force baffle opened the chute almost never clogs.

The LC motor keeps its cool mowing tall weeds for long periods.

Diesels have advantages sure, but any motor can have problems, and has anyone priced replacement engines?

A complete new 27 Kaw is $1,600 from jthomas, try to find a Daihatsu or Kubota diesel for anything close to that. We spent $4,000 to replace a Daihatsu gas motor that had run out of coolant and overheated.

65hoss
08-15-2005, 08:09 PM
You probably need something like a bushhog instead of a mower to cut light brush.

Tonyr
08-15-2005, 08:23 PM
it looks like ya just mowing a standard everyday aussie lawn there mate lol....serious!

Like previously said, if the bloke is cutting crap and wants a ztr, a hustler rear discharge petrol model will do what the bush hawg will do....with reason obviously lol. more versatile too...

just thinking outloud....I bought a J.D 997 rear discharge to go playing in the jungles with, awesome. but the petrol hustler is a lot cheaper.

another thing I've noticed, the wear on blades whilst playing in these jungles is min with rear discharge compared to side discharge too.

talkin' jungles, I better go conquer a few! payup

MBDiagMan
08-15-2005, 08:33 PM
Sounds like a job for a Bad Boy. They have a 1/4" think deck and high blade speed. The one with the Cat Diesel doesn't miss your price range by much. I think that the Bad Boy is the best kept secret in the industry. The equivalent DC or most any other brand would cost several thousand more.

You can find them at www.badboymowers.com No I'm not a salesman for Bad Boy, just a fan.

Good luck,

CHRIS MELROSE
08-20-2005, 06:30 PM
Check Out The Toro Z-500 Line...full 7-gauge Deck With A Patented Baffle System-one Of A Kind!

MBDiagMan
08-28-2005, 04:29 PM
rocheny,

Have you bought a mower or made a decision. I'm curious to know what you decided.

Best of luck with the job,
Doc

stevesmowing
08-28-2005, 04:39 PM
I hear everyone talking about the blade tip speed on the dixie choppers, does anyone know the spec of what it is?

Travis Followell
08-28-2005, 05:16 PM
I hear everyone talking about the blade tip speed on the dixie choppers, does anyone know the spec of what it is?
It's 19,000 feet per minute. The same BTS as Encore and Bad Boy. Most other mowers turn 18,000-18,500 FPM BTS.

rodfather
08-28-2005, 05:22 PM
You probably need something like a bushhog instead of a mower to cut light brush.

Man Eric, looks like married life is agreeing with ya LOL. Carolyn is feeding you real well too huh :D

rochenyguy
08-28-2005, 06:18 PM
Didn't buy yet MBDiagMan. Demo'ed lots of different ones. Leaning toward the Toro Z557 right now. JD757 close behind. Others I demo'ed were nice too but cost more, at least in my area (Hustler, Ferris, Exmark).

Ramairfreak98ss
08-28-2005, 11:04 PM
Simplicity has a 27hp kohler Legacy XL 2 or 4wd and rear PTO for a rear brush hog type unit, i think it starts at list $8300 2wd and $9300 4wd plus whatever attachment you choose.

In another year i may get one for post hole digging on the back, snowblowing addition with the snowblower, a 60" deck for another mower for the large summer lawns and maybe a front bucket for moving trees and plants around for landscaping, 9300 for the 4wd model is steep but JD x585 i belive is over 11k.

65hoss
08-29-2005, 08:42 AM
Man Eric, looks like married life is agreeing with ya LOL. Carolyn is feeding you real well too huh :D
That ain't me Rod, I was behind the camera. So far at least, I've been able to keep most of the lean figure, although age is starting to make that harder now. :waving:

bossplow
08-29-2005, 09:53 AM
I have found a deck design like Deere uses works well in tall grass. You need a deck that is not baffled very close in front of the blades, cut and quick discharge. Exmark uses tighter baffling in front of the blades for a cut and re-cut, then discharge, design. My experience is that they do not do well in very deep grass. The re-cut style also takes allot more power to run in my opinion. I have been very impressed with the Deere 757 in all conditions, the 25HP Kaw feels like it has 30HP because of the deck design. I am using Exmarks and a Kubota ZD28 60" right know, I have used a 757 3 or 4 times now in different conditions and find it to be very comfortable riding and it cuts very good.

Any one else with good or bad experiences with the Deere?

Blessed 1
08-29-2005, 02:18 PM
I cannot believe that this thread is 4 pages long and NO ONE has suggested a Lazer Z XS. 31 hp did not back up from any thing on my demo. I went into some brush that was taller that me on the mower and it did a great job!

rodfather
08-29-2005, 05:51 PM
That ain't me Rod, I was behind the camera. :waving:

LOL, I know...I just couldn't resist that one. You still have me beat though... :D

bossplow
08-30-2005, 03:47 PM
I run an XS 31hp 60", it does a terrible job in really deep grass. Good in the lawn areas, other than a longer wheelbase than the other Lazers. XS has lots of power, its just the deck design that does not work in the really tall grass that its not intended for. I am also impressed with the fuel economy of the XS.

aussiegreg
09-25-2005, 09:40 PM
G'day Lawnies,

I a have a Hustler 72in Rear Discharge 34hp cat and it will cut 2foot high grass at a slow walking pace and 15inch at a fast walking pace and then 1 foot ata run and if taking 6in off then at almost full pace. Simply awsome.

The reason it is so quick is that it does not mulch as much as aside discharge. but it is 4 yimes quicker than my Toro Z597 27hp diesel 60in and that means that if presentation is important then you go back over with deck 1/2 inch higher to remulch.

Greg