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JGoodish
04-04-2007, 06:10 PM
I've searched the forums and talked to the local dealers, and I've narrowed my selection down to the following:


Ferris 1500Z 52"/25Kaw @ $7200
Scag Tiger Cub 48"/19Kaw $ $7300
Ferris 2000Z 52"/25Kaw @ $8000
Toro Z558 (74271) 52"TF/28Kaw @ $8400

I am not a commercial operator, but this will be for my approximately 1.5 acre residential lot. Some sloping, but nothing steep. Would probably prefer to mulch, and don't necessarily care about striping. I presently spend 4-5 hours per week behind by 21" WB mowing my lot, and I have to cut this time down significantly.

The Ferris and Toro dealer is the same guy, and is about 20 minutes away. The Scag dealer is about 1 hour away. I am somewhat nervous that the Scag 48/19Kaw may be a little underpowered, especially while mulching the thick, damp stuff that I seem to have.

My three criteria are:

1 -- Quality of cut (mulch)
2 -- Time reduction (1-2 hours max)
3 -- Durability

I don't want to go nuts and buy a machine that is way more than I need, though I realize that all of the above probably fall into that category. However, cheaper consumer-focused units probably won't do, because I suspect that they will either sacrifice cut quality, durability, or both.



JKG

dcondon
04-04-2007, 06:31 PM
Welcome to Lawnsite:waving: If you do a search on all your questions I'm sure you will find the answer your looking for. If you still have questions I'm sure a lot of people will help you out.

JGoodish
04-04-2007, 06:43 PM
Welcome to Lawnsite:waving: If you do a search on all your questions I'm sure you will find the answer your looking for. If you still have questions I'm sure a lot of people will help you out.

Well, I've done a search. Lots of searches. And there are lots of opinions. However, everyone's situation is different, and I am looking for guidance on my particular situation.



JKG

lawn masters2006
04-04-2007, 07:19 PM
I Would Go W A Toro W A Kolher Motor

dcondon
04-04-2007, 10:41 PM
Well, I've done a search. Lots of searches. And there are lots of opinions. However, everyone's situation is different, and I am looking for guidance on my particular situation.



JKG

Your going to get a different response anyway you put it:)

lawnprosteveo
04-04-2007, 10:45 PM
My opinion....Kawasaki is better than Kohler. More horsepower is better unless you cut nothing tall, lush, and wet. Go with a brand that is serviced by more than one dealer in your area....nothing like buying a piece of equipment then finding out "we dont deal with them anymore...":usflag:

fiveoboy01
04-04-2007, 10:52 PM
My personal opinion is that all of those mowers are overkill if you're only cutting 1.5 acres once a week. Sort of a waste of money but it's your money and with that small amount of operation, the mower will probably out live YOU, lol.

If you're set on those choices, I'd probably go with one of the first two.

But based on your criteria, my opinion is that the Toro will have the best cut and be allow you to get it done quickest.

Uranus
04-04-2007, 11:09 PM
I dont want to put more confusion into your head, but why not consider a walk behind? Toro makes a great walk behind mower and you can put a sulky or pro slide on it and you wont have to walk. It would be half the price. Your talking about not wanting overkill. I think 7 or 8K for a mower to mow 1.5 acres once a week is overkill.

I would go with the 1500z from the choices you gave us. Decent engine hp and $1,200 less than the most expensive of the choices.

What ever you choose, let us know what you bought and why. It helps out the next guy with your situation. Happy mowing:)

JGoodish
04-04-2007, 11:12 PM
My personal opinion is that all of those mowers are overkill if you're only cutting 1.5 acres once a week. Sort of a waste of money but it's your money and with that small amount of operation, the mower will probably out live YOU, lol.

No doubt that they're all overkill for the ground that I have now, but part of my desire for a "lifetime machine" is that I do not want to go shopping again in 5 years because my cheapo lawn tractor (or ZTR) is having problems. I've concluded that the only way to really avoid that, and have a good cut, is to go commercial.

As for the frequency of cut, we get enough rain around here that I'll probably have to cut multiple times a week if I want to mulch, or at least cut it twice one time a week. Right now, I'm stuck bagging it with the 21" Ariens WB because it's too thick and tall by the weekend, and I don't have the 3 hours or so during the week that it takes to mow to keep ahead of it.

In reality, I could probably do well with a garden tractor--and I did consider a Kubota Diesel garden tractor--but I really don't have much use for a tractor outside of mowing, and I'm not sure that a tractor would get me to the under 1-1.5 hour mark, but maybe it would. All I know is that my neighbors all have the cheapo JD lawn tractors, and they don't race around on them, but the cut is absolutely horrible.



JKG

fiveoboy01
04-04-2007, 11:32 PM
I see where you're coming from with the durability thing. Also consider that there are "mid grade" Zs which are not the most desireable for commercial work but would hold up forever with a residential application once a week. Scag's Freedom Z comes to mind...

I agree with Uranus on the walk-behind. Of course, I don't know your age or physical condition either. Do you want to walk or not? You can always put a sulky behind the walk behind so you don't have to walk and they do much better on slopes. You'll save $, less maintenance and it will last as long as a ZTR.

FYI, with my Turf Tracer I can cut a 1-acre property in approximately 45-50 minutes. This is a 48" deck, 19hp walk behind. And part of the property is very hilly and there are quite a few obstacles. Just something to think about.

nobagger
04-05-2007, 12:26 AM
I agree with 5oboy about the "home owner's commercial mower" not quite a true commercial machine but by far better than a Homecheapo model. There are more and more manufacture's making different models like, Scag's Freedom Z or Gravely's model or even an Exmark. Most have bagger capability and all the power for mulching and probably 1/3 the cost. And in my opinion, they should last just as long as a true commercial machine.

JGoodish
04-05-2007, 09:38 AM
I agree with 5oboy about the "home owner's commercial mower" not quite a true commercial machine but by far better than a Homecheapo model. There are more and more manufacture's making different models like, Scag's Freedom Z or Gravely's model or even an Exmark. Most have bagger capability and all the power for mulching and probably 1/3 the cost. And in my opinion, they should last just as long as a true commercial machine.

Actually, I did look at the "commercial homeowner" units, but it seems to me that many of the wear items are no better on these "better" homeowner units than on the cheap ones. For example, I don't want to see "no maintenance" attached to any piece of equipment, because that means it won't last and the "no maintenance" items will be expensive to repair when they fail. I'm not Joe Yuppie Homeowner, and I do not have a problem with preventive maintenance. Even the dealers have directed me away from those units and toward the low-end commercial units (such as the 1500z and Tiger Cub). If I'm going to spend $6k on a "better" homeowner unit, I might as well spend $7k on a unit with better (greasable, for example) components.

I could probably get the Tiger Cub or 1500Z down under the $7k mark, so maybe one of those is the way to go.



JKG

chammons
04-05-2007, 11:40 AM
have you considered the JD 717A it is a 48" cut (commercial) and I have seen them online (ebay) for under 7000.00. Another option is used commercial equip?

Jeff Voorhies
04-05-2007, 11:50 AM
I am a homeowner like you and cut approx. 2 to 3 acres with mine. I wanted a true commercial mower so it would last me. Have you considered an exmark. I recently purchased a Lazer Z HP with a 19HP Kawasaki engine. It does a great job and has a 46" cut. I had hoped to get a wider cut but when you go up in width and engine size, the prices are quite a bit higher. Even with a 46" cut, It doesn't take long to cut with all the speed you get with a ZTR. I got my 2007 mower for $6000.00 plus tax. Only have 15 hrs. on it but am quite pleased.

JGoodish
04-05-2007, 12:41 PM
I am a homeowner like you and cut approx. 2 to 3 acres with mine. I wanted a true commercial mower so it would last me. Have you considered an exmark. I recently purchased a Lazer Z HP with a 19HP Kawasaki engine. It does a great job and has a 46" cut. I had hoped to get a wider cut but when you go up in width and engine size, the prices are quite a bit higher. Even with a 46" cut, It doesn't take long to cut with all the speed you get with a ZTR. I got my 2007 mower for $6000.00 plus tax. Only have 15 hrs. on it but am quite pleased.

Jeff,

That's an excellent suggestion. The problem I'm having in my area is that the dealers (especially Exmark) only carry the larger mowers, 56" and higher, in the ZTR. However, the Scag dealer--though 1 hour away--does have a 48"/19 in the Tiger Cub, which certainly appears to be a commercial-grade mower. The other issue that I had with the Exmark dealers here is that they have been cleaned out of inventory by the commercial guys, and partly because of that, aren't necessarily interesting in selling me anything that they don't inventory. Nor is anyone willing to budge on price. As much as I probably don't need a $7-8k mower, I certainly don't need an almost $9k 56" mower.

Right now I have roughly 1.5 acres, minus the house. However, I may trailer the mower for other property as well, though right now, that's not going to be routine. My lawn doesn't look that big to me, UNTIL I get out there to mow it with my 21" WB, and it really does take forever. And I have more ground that I haven't yet seeded because I don't need any more grass to mow until I solve the mower problem.

Do you think that 19hp is enough for the 46" deck? What is your terrain like?


JKG

chammons
04-05-2007, 12:49 PM
although mine is the 717 it does have the kaw 19 w/ 48" cut. No problems with the engine, plenty of power.

sawman65
04-05-2007, 01:01 PM
demo a snapper pro ypu cant go wrong

mag360
04-05-2007, 01:04 PM
The 48/19 should have enough power. You should also be able to get that mower (scag) for closer to 6500 than 7000. Scag sells that tiger cub model with a 24hp briggs ELS motor also for around 6000. If you can get the dealer to have one shipped it's a great mower for you. Even if the motor only goes 1000 hrs you'll get a solid 20 years out of it at 50 cuts per year.

Bluffman
04-06-2007, 07:11 AM
I posted a few days ago about the same topic. I live in Minnesota and "have decided on a Scag TC with the briggs. I too will use just at my place and do about 2-1/2 acres. I have really appreciated all the input from everyone on the forum. I can get the '06 "promo"(24hp briggs) for $5750. The new "promo" '07(26hp briggs is $6150. Three dealers in my area seem real motivated to sell the '06 model and all say it is more than adequate for my needs even if I add the bagger unit. I'm still debating which one I'll get but definately one or the other. After exhaustive research and consideration of a Gravely 152M, Exmark Lazer Z hp and Hustler which were in my mind comparable mowers, the Scag wins out. I agree dealer proximity is an important part of your decision, All three of my choices are within 1/2 hour drivefor me. Good Luck

LarryF
04-06-2007, 07:48 AM
No doubt that they're all overkill for the ground that I have now, but part of my desire for a "lifetime machine" is that I do not want to go shopping again in 5 years because my cheapo lawn tractor (or ZTR) is having problems. I've concluded that the only way to really avoid that, and have a good cut, is to go commercial.


JKG

If you would like another homeowner's opinion, I don't think it's overkill. I was in the same situation as you about six years ago when I bought my Exmark HP ZTR. It's my belief that not only is it a pleasure to operate compared to a lawn tractor, especially one from Home Depot or Lowes, you'll get a fine cut, and you'll save lots and lots of money in the long run. From the way you are talking, it sounds like at least 40+ cuts per year and I have to believe that should you have someone else do it for you, it would be at least a hundred each time. So at the end of three years that would add up to 12 grand you won't have to spend and you will still have an excellent machine that is relatively new. I don't see how anyone can claim that your approach to this would be wasting money.

supercuts
04-06-2007, 07:57 AM
not knowing your financial situation its also wise to look at newer used commerical equiptment. i see machines that are only a year or two old iwth 500-700 hrs fairly cheap compared to new machines. since most mowers are fairly reliable through 2000hrs there is still plently of life left if them at a fraction of the price and many times come with collection systems. heck, if you read on here long enough half of the new guys on here will go belly up and sell all their new equiptment they cant afford

johnnyk
04-06-2007, 09:30 AM
I was in the same situation as you two years ago. Homeowner with 2 acres to mow, about 30 times per year. Didn't want to even consider the "junk" that's out there in the homeowner category, so I bought a 52" Z-Master from Toro with a 19 hp Kawasaki. Great machine, great cut, no problems so far. Only have 105 hrs on it and am very satisfied. The one thing that nobody mentioned so far is that, when it comes time to sell, you will recoup 75% of the purchase price because you have bought a commercial machine. I would, however, tell you to buy a bigger deck, because when it comes time to sell, your buyers will be landscapers and they will want the bigger decks. I have seen 48", great looking scags on e-bay not sell.......probably because the deck was too small for a landscaper.
Go with a good one and you'll never look back.
John

springover
04-06-2007, 09:45 AM
Get a Ferris ZTR with suspension...it makes a world of difference...when financing whats another thousand or so...

Jeff Voorhies
04-09-2007, 02:53 PM
My Lazer HP 46" 19HP has plenty of power for my groungs. I don't do any bagging so if you bag, you may need more power.

robbo521
04-10-2007, 12:09 AM
i have a JD 717a and its a 19/48'' and i have the full mulch kit and mulch every yard i do and it has never slowed one time.

sslandry
04-14-2007, 01:49 PM
I have 1.5 acres with lots of trees. Bought a Snapper Pro 500 with 48 inch deck and I get it cut in about an hour. Really nice machine and pretty fun. I think you can get one for around $5000. Should last me a lifetime. I'm have the same theory you do - buy a commercial mower so you don't have to worry about durability.