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View Full Version : NLZ or scag or hustler on hills?


jjurich
06-09-2009, 11:52 PM
Have a 96 kubota 24hp diesel 72" fz2400 out front mower now mowing 2.5 acres residential which is all one big hill. Several steep hills around large retaining walls. Current rig mows the hills nicely, but can only get up the hills in L that's how steep they are. The quality of cut isn't ideal and mower needs a clutch. Also starting to rattle me to death and ride comfort and mow time aren't ideal (1.-1.5 hours side to side, 1.5-2 hrs up and down hills).

Looking to replace ztr and get better cut (why I'm moving to the 60"), smoother ride, faster mow time. Have quotes for the following:

new exmark NLZ- $106K for 29/60
new 08 scag TT- $11k for 29/61 (not sure if this has vel deck or not)
new hustler super z - $10k 31/60

I've read from this site the new NLZ is lower to the ground, wider stance, better center of gravity for hills, so should be more like the scag holding the hills. I like the hustler rear discharge as there are a dozen or so areas where clippings have to be managed. The scag shaft drive is awesome as are it's build. Just a casual look I saw the hydro pump filters are like 3x the size of the hustlers. I couldn't find them yet on the NLZ. I think the scag is fuel injection, so should sip less gas then the others, but the liq. cool is obviously overkill for my simple needs. It seems people tend to think cut is better on the NLZ. The new seat on the NLZ feels nice, and w/ the Michigan, would likely be even better. How's the scag seat? I have a ton of moles (free grub control and aeration right?).

I'm kind of leaning towards the scag or NLZ from an over all build quality from just kicking tires at the store. I demo the NLZ tomorrow. Then the scag next week.

What points am I missing or should consider making this purchase? My dealers are all pretty good in this area. The exmark say they have 5 year war now, though the hustler guy swore his warranty was the best???

I'm buying commercial so that this thing won't be in the shop and I can be camping w/ the fam instead of mowing. Never had the kubota in once in 8 years till now. Just routine maint.

Am a bit concerned w/ ztr on my property. I tried one a few years back and had a terrible time w/ it tearing the lawn on the turns on the hill. Think the speed I could mow at was too intoxicating...

Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

Regards,

JJ

tacoma200
06-10-2009, 12:01 AM
What part of the country are you in? Do you cut Northern, Southern, stiff, limp, grass? Do you often cut overgrown or wet grass or are your conditions considered normal?

jjurich
06-10-2009, 12:06 AM
Iowa, northern grass. Cut height is 4" and I probably mow at 6-8" as I get behind waiting for grass to dry and chasing kids around. Cut wet grass more then I care to since my property is at the bottom of this long hill and the whole sub-division empties down to my property. Lots of clover in my lawn, mix of crab grass and nice grass. That's part of the cut issue I have w/ the bota is that if the grass is even a little wet it sticks under the deck and then it clumps like a SOB and I have to double cut. I hate cleaning that huge deck and double cutting!

Guess I'm also wondering about a mulching blade kit and if it is something to consider in my env or if I'll regret it. I'll do some searches on that next...

JJ

tacoma200
06-10-2009, 12:47 AM
The Exmark will probably cut smoother at the 4" height due to the high lift deck but the Scag will handle taller wetter stuff with out clumping. If you want a smooth cut I wouldn't even consider a rear discharge deck, they are good for keeping school kids safe from a rock but they are not known for the great cut. I don't think Hustler makes a deck I would recommend for cutting at 4" (maybe 2.75" or 3"). All 3 should be decent on hills. You should really demo the Lazer and the Tiger, there is no substitute for a good demo. The Lazer should cut well at 4" unless it's really thick, then the Scag "may" do better. It is hard to say since you threw in the 4" cutting height.

jjurich
06-10-2009, 01:06 AM
I cut high as the clippings tended to blend in better and it seems to leave me with a greener lawn then the neighbors when the summer heat rolls around. I'm not real liberal w/ the fertilizer since that just means more mowing. Oh, I now remember why I'm so high as well... I could never get the 72" deck to cut straight when it was lower. One side was always lower.

I will have the scag next week. Hope rain holds off!

Thanks.

JJ

tacoma200
06-10-2009, 01:12 AM
Make sure to do a demo if possible.

ALC-GregH
06-10-2009, 09:42 AM
I cut high as the clippings tended to blend in better and it seems to leave me with a greener lawn then the neighbors when the summer heat rolls around. I'm not real liberal w/ the fertilizer since that just means more mowing. Oh, I now remember why I'm so high as well... I could never get the 72" deck to cut straight when it was lower. One side was always lower.

I will have the scag next week. Hope rain holds off!

Thanks.

JJ

Sounds like the deck was not set up correct.

ALC-GregH
06-10-2009, 09:43 AM
Also, have you considered a 4wd riding tractor? It will make like easy on hills.

jjurich
06-10-2009, 09:57 AM
Agree about the deck not being right. I've considered the 4whd tractor option, but didn't think would mow as fast or nice as a ztr. Plus, a replacement kubota like I have is $22k. Dealer has a 2000 F3060 4whd for 10k with 1000 hours, but it has a heated cab, which I could care less about. It's my fall back though if the ztr won't hold the hills.

I'd like to spend ~10k or so max. What tractors were you thinking and what's the ball park price? Can always demo one to verify my concerns.

Thanks,

JJ

ALC-GregH
06-10-2009, 10:06 AM
A customer I have for other stuff besides mowing owns a Kubota 4wd tractor. He has a steep hill in the front and it cuts great and goes right up or down the hill. It's a hill my Tiger Cub would not make going down. The deck is only a 52in deck though. You can also get a front mount deck 4wd mower as well. Not sure on pricing.

jjurich
06-11-2009, 04:14 PM
Demo'ed the exmark and it cut nicely. Left unacceptable clumping with the shute down, but up, it did much better and I didn't have to double cut the areas where I had it up vs having to double cut the other areas. Felt the 29 kawasaki bog down some in the heavy grass going up the hills, but backing off on the throttle I was fine. I think for the couple of hundred bucks, I'd just get the 34 since fuel probably isn't that much different from the 29, if this is the mower I end up getting. The new seat/iso mounts are nice. The control and smoothness of the drive is much improved. I had no problems on my hills with this ztr and have very few torn grass issues turning. A much better machine then the exmark I demo'ed several years back.

I demo the TT 29/60 next week. Can't wait! Been reading over and over how nice that deck will do on the northern grass. Hope it has enough power to get up and down my hills w/o bogging down.

Cut height was 3.75 and the grass was probably 5-8" and damp for the first 20m mowing. The dude that brought the mower down said I had closer to 3 acres to mow and I did it in 70min going cross ways across the hils, which is pretty darned quick.

JJ

FastMan
06-11-2009, 04:58 PM
jjurich, if you end up liking the Exmark better, don't neglect to demo the Toro G3 too. Pretty much the identical machine, except for the decks. Ultra on the Exmark and Turbo Force on the Toro. Compare to see which you can get the best deal on, and which cut you like better.

SfTD_service_CENTER
06-11-2009, 05:47 PM
toro is cheaper proly wont clump as bad, never mow with the deflector down that is only so it doesnt shoot the grass as far. gator blades or mambas will blow your mind in comparable cut to the stock blades especially cutting tall it is the best looking tall cut i have seen so far! low cutting is a issue for me i cut at 2.75 today it cut perfect but there wasnt much to cut. i would buy the scag better on fuel and better in tall grass!

jjurich
06-11-2009, 10:16 PM
The different blades will be a first purchase. Are the needed on the scag as well?

JJ

SfTD_service_CENTER
06-11-2009, 10:50 PM
scag i think would need the highest lift blades, ther are a couple of guys on here that run scag in new jersey and in conneticut hopefully they will ring in and let you in on there set up!

i run the exmark with a 34hp kawi it seems to throw the grass pretty good doesnt really bog down and always keeps the blades spinning as fast as they can go makes a big difference in the cut qulity of the mower with the big motor. i sugest you go for that engine i am more than happy with mine. i am a power monger though and if they made a 50hp kawi i would try to buy it ! lol