View Full Version : part-timers: non commercial ztr?

04-12-2008, 09:23 PM
Anybody using them?

When I first started mowing everyone told me stay away from non-commercial stuff, the Home Cheepo machines are junk, specifically the blade speed has to be lower to comply with the Consumer Protection Act. So I bought a used commercial WB and it's great but getting old and I'd like something to sit on for bigger jobs.

So my question is, I've looked at the Cheepo and Lowes stuff, and it's not anything I would consider buying. But I keep finding deals on residential type ztrs that are sold by the dealer and not big box stores. I'm told the dealer models are much better than the ones sold through the box stores. Having trouble finding the info relating to blade speed specs. Does anybody use quasi-residential machines? I know commercial is better by far, but I don't have $10,000 to spend, and I only mow part-time. I feel like if I can get a faster machine that will cut grass 2 days a week I'll be okay.

Specifically I've been seeing used Cub Cadets, 22 hp 50 inch cut. Know anything about them? I'd be interested in hearing opinions from people who've used them.

04-12-2008, 09:27 PM
For example, I'm comparing a 48 inch Bobcat with a zillion hours and beat to death, for twice what I can buy a gently used low hour 50 inch Cub Cadet for. I think the Bobcat probably wouldn't last the year without needing a motor. The Cub has a nearly new Kawasaki, so it should last a little while anyway. I'm mostly concerned about how it would cut.

04-12-2008, 10:07 PM
You could get a nice cub cadet , but the only one that I would get is the TANK, I have one with 800 hours no problems .new 48 would be around 6200 good luck

04-12-2008, 10:14 PM
Dan like I said in your other post, you might be surprised at what that cub cadet dealer down from you on rt. 4 can do for you. They might have those 48 ztr their, but not sure, they had a W/B when I was there looking at those sweeeeeet 3200 tractors. But I would go with that cub you mention and not that bobcat.

04-12-2008, 10:20 PM
NH Boy has a Cub Cadet tank and loves it. Not sure of what the specs are on it. I am in the same boat that you're in and have looked at Home Depot too.

What I have been told is look at your local dealers on THEIR MODELS and pricing. Get a feel for their service dept, and how soon can they get a part for you if they don't have it in stock. Yeah, you can get a good mower somewhere cheap, but it won't help if you have to look at it waiting for service or parts.

What is your budget at? Here is some prices on mowers that I have found.

JD Estate Series Z510 22hp - 48" deck $6,200
Z520 25hp - 54" deck $6,800 (both with 7-iron deck)

Exmark Lazer CT 18hp - 48" deck $6,119
21hp - 52" deck $6,629
23hp - 60" deck $7,149

Ferris is500z 24hp - 44" deck $4,995
26hp - 52" deck $5,400

is1500z 21hp - 48" deck $6,000

Hope this helps somewhat

04-13-2008, 09:41 AM
[QUOTE=VT MOWER;2267504]NH Boy has a Cub Cadet tank and loves it.heard great things about them, but not what I'm in the market for. unfortunately I can't finance anything right now, so I'm looking to buy in the $2-$4k range

Ferris is500z 24hp - 44" deck $4,995
26hp - 52" deck $5,400

is1500z 21hp - 48" deck $6,000/QUOTE]

I priced Ferris last week down here on the coast, the prices were way higher than that.

Right now I'm comparing the Bobcat rat, a Husky 48 w/bagger, needs some work, and a couple of rzt-50 Cub cadets that are mearly new. I think I'm going to go to the dealer today and try to get them to tell me the difference between the rzt and the commercial line.

04-14-2008, 09:15 PM
My local Nashville dealer does so much business that he always has several Lazers and one or two Turf Tracers he sells used this time of year. I am picking up a Lazer 60" w/ NEW 25hp Kohler on Friday for $3500. Wheel motors have been replaced within last 3 years and hydro last year. Now granted it looks OLD:confused: but I am all about function anyway. Just thought you might find similar luck in your area if you check around.

04-14-2008, 09:47 PM
I have the 50" Cub Cadet RTZ. It has been a great mower for me, the only problem I have had is the deck support cables have broke twice. Once when I clipped a tree and the other going through a giant hole in a yard. It only took 15 minutes and $7 to fix. I have 300+ hours on mine and I wouldn't hesistate to buy another if I had the need.

The mowers at box stores and dealers are the same. I bought mine at a dealer.

Chris "Greenville"
04-14-2008, 10:40 PM
Atvracer, I tend to agree with you. I am in my second year part-time. I use the Cub cadet clone Troybilt rzt 50 with a 22 hp Kohler. I haven't had any problems plowing through the thick spring grass. Honestly another advantage I think I have is weight. With so much rain in my area, the ground is saturated. One of my customers said that the last guy left ruts across his yard. After the first cut of the year he was extremely happy with my cut and lack of ruts. Also with the lower overhead cost I'm able to bid my jobs to the current economic market. With so many people opting to mow their own lawns this year I feel lucky to have picked up so many new customers and keep the blades turning. Thanks!

04-15-2008, 12:38 AM
ZTR payments average about $200 or so. It would take very few lawns to make the payment. You can't make money or be productive if you don't have the equipment. There are some used deals out there that would be better than consumer equipment.

grass disaster
04-15-2008, 01:11 AM
maybe it's time to start charging more so you can afford nice equipment

04-15-2008, 05:49 AM
... I've been seeing used Cub Cadets, 22 hp 50 inch cut. ...

I've seen other LCO's using these machines, they apparently will get the job done for part time LCO's !!

04-15-2008, 06:26 AM
maybe it's time to start charging more so you can afford nice equipment

I make almost 100K per year between mowing and my full time job. I can afford any mower I so choose. Mowing is only a part time gig for extra play money and being able to work outdoors. I only have about 20 lawns and the Cub does just fine on those. I am a fully legit LLC and do charge accordingly.

04-15-2008, 09:48 AM
Well, I feel better about it now, so if need be I probably won't hesitate to use the residential. I definitely think the Cub looks better than the residential from JD or Toro. I went to the dealer to ask about it, of course the guy told me not to buy a Cub Cadet, he said Simplicity is way better (what?) for only a thousand bucks more. He said the primary difference between resi and commercial is the spindles and bearings. He also said that the blade speed is limited by federal law, on both resi and commercial machines, so the commercials aren't spinning way faster like I thought. He said he even called a manufacturer and asked them that because so many people ask about it.

I'm still looking, right now I think I've found a commercial ZTR with a belt driven bagger and 850 hours in my price range. I don't think 850 is too high.

Well, thanks for the input, I appreciate it. Gotts go now, got spring cleanups to do.

Lincoln Combs
04-17-2008, 10:53 PM
I just got a residential 48" ExMark Quest for part time, and I love it.