View Full Version : Looking for a good ZTR riding mower

04-20-2002, 07:44 PM
hI, I'm looking for a good reliable zero turn riding mower not too big I'M willing to spend up to $3,000. so far I've seen a dixon model 3014 for $2,700. any pros and cons on this mower? are any other brands for about the same price better? thanks for your input.

04-20-2002, 08:09 PM
New or used ??
Home use or commercial use ??
You will not find a good reliable new unit for either application for 3000.00
Add another 1000.00 and you will get a great homeowner unit from Hustler called the FasTrak.
Check it out here www.excelhustler.com


04-20-2002, 08:32 PM
?What? There is such thing as a ZTR under $3000?
Are you doing this commercialy or just on your home lawn?
$3000 won't even allow you to buy a hydro w/b.

Look for a used commercial ZTR if you want a real ZTR. Even my dealer and I joke about how bad thoes home owner ZTRs are, although they are better than a Home Depot cheapo. If you want a ZTR, but a real ZTR, Great Dane, DC, Gravely, Exmark, Hustler, Scag, or something like that.

What acerage do you mow per week?

04-20-2002, 08:37 PM
Don't leave out Toro Z......:D

04-20-2002, 08:49 PM
oh ya, my dealer and I also joke about their toro lawn tractors and their toro Zs. He keeps the Ariens home owner ZTRs w/the comm stuff, and the toro ZTRs with the homeowner stuff. God I hate toro.
And when we don't joke about thoes mowers, we joke about JDs small power equipment. Not their big stuff like field tractors and landscaping tractors, just anything made solely to cut grass or for home owners.

04-20-2002, 09:00 PM
Toro Z-Master 62" SFS deck is a excellent ZTR great cut in dry and wet conditions no clumping, Now thats nothing to joke about. Marks Mowing Service

04-20-2002, 09:07 PM

Toro homeowner stuff or commercial?

Or do u just hate Toro period if so why....

Myself I have all good things to say about Toro...

With that statemant U made I hope?.... U have owned Toro equipment before?

My best freind I graduated with owns his own Toro shop...
So I have to speak up for him.....

Bottom line che Toro is a great mower....:D ;) :) :p

04-20-2002, 11:27 PM
thanks guys , I'll be using the ztr for my home use only my property is only 1/2 acre I work in construccion and come home dead tired so I need a riding lawn motor I curently own a walkbehind honda harmony from home depot and it takes me aprox 2 hours to mow the lawn front and back is not powerful enough to mulch and the bag fills up very quick but Iwasn't expecting to go over 3,000. what do you guys think of husqvarna mowers?

04-21-2002, 12:45 AM
if i was you and you only wanted it for home. I would look for a graden tractor. For $3000. in the ztr field you will only find junk.
Try lookin at the simplicty line tractors or cubs cadets they will last you for years. As far as toro is concern they are a great company and have a great cut to there products. They are alot better than husqvarna. I cant say much about there line

04-21-2002, 01:13 AM
I agree with Johnhenry your best bet for a 1/2 acre lawn would be to look at the simplicity line my second mower was a simplicity broadmore huge step up from the tractor supply special i put a 170 hours on it with 0 problems in 5 months that would probley be around 4 years use for u.

04-21-2002, 12:53 PM
thanks guys! I checked the Simplicity website they have a ztr also for about 3,300. the reason I'm looking for a ztr is that I have too many obstacles on my front yard not as much in the back , but still need to make a lot of sharp turns but I don't want to buy a piece of junk that will break down on me so if I need to pay another 1,000 bucks for a ZTR will it buy me something decent? also some of the wbsites don't have prices like the hustler that someone reccomended .thanks again!

Doc Pete
04-21-2002, 01:20 PM
Ya know, if you have less than an acre, I'd buy a commercial Walkbehind. Here's the reason, The world is getting lazy, and the exercise will keep you in good health. Why spend money for a Health Club membership, when walking your lawn will do the same thing. Hell, I work full time for a church, and let me tell ya, we're burying a lot of people that are less than 50 years old from heart attacks. Do yourself a favor, walk the lawn.......
Pete;) ;)

04-21-2002, 04:59 PM
I am also looking for riding tractor/ztr mower for under $3000. What about the Ariens ZTR's they are under $3000? How is their quality?

I am looking to cut 3/4 acre and have narrowed choices to Ariens ztr, John Deere 160, toro 16-38hxl or Sabre 17542.

04-21-2002, 07:30 PM
thanks for the advise Switchless , I know is good for your health to walk, I work in construccion 11 hrs a day I walk run climb stairs and ladders all they long by the end of the day I don't even want to crawl so believe me , I need a riding mower I know a lot of people don't reccomend a ZRT under 3,000 but I have my eyes set on a Dixon wich is powerful and small enough that I be able to fit in my already crowded garage is only 2,900.00 check it out;

Doc Pete
04-21-2002, 08:34 PM
As some of the guy's have suggested, I bought my Wife I nice simple "White" hydro tractor to do the lawn, while I'm out making the "big bucks". :p It has the speed lever on the side and you just push it forward to go and back to back up. Most of the homeowner machines today have that stupid foot lever that's a pain in the butt to use.
The tractor is great and was only $3,000, with a nice Briggs Intek 20hp engine. It's a garden tractor, so it has the big 23inch wheels like a good ZTR has. White is MTD's highend machine and it's been good to me.
Good luck,

04-22-2002, 01:52 PM
che ive talked to you before. id sell u mine if we lived close enough. , best cut among my local competition
uses no oil and everything is A1.OIL looks clean all the time.
but id just take the money and put it dn on a good hustler or lazer.that much dn an the payments be little.mine is a lazer 52 by the way. good luck ,hope u can find something that suits.
u might think about putting the three dn on a new lazer yourself.
after u learn the machine u wont be sorry.

04-23-2002, 12:30 AM
CHE, I just tried the the hustler fastrak 52" deck 20-horse honda. Im going to use it for home use about 3 acres lots of stuff to cut around I have to say this is one nice machine, its easy to use and fast. Now the wife wants to cut the grass. I use to have a 42" riding tractor which was to slow and didnt have zero turn. I think you should demo the hustler you will be glad you did. My fastrak cost $4800.

04-23-2002, 04:36 PM
$4800 isnt bad for a 20hp ZTR, also the fastrack will last longer than the other "homeowner" ZTR's. espically compaird to the dixon and Ariens.

04-25-2002, 10:43 PM
Thanks to all of you guys for the information and advise, at first I was going for a Dixon because I like the size and price (under 3,000) but today I saw and demo the most beautiful coolest machine : The HUSTLER FASTRAK perfect for me, it makes the Dixon look like a golfcart ,of course I have to dish out another grand for it but it is worth it I'm picking it up tomorrow I'm getting the smaller Fastrak 48" deck 18 hp honda engine all for $4,100.00 plus tax I'm like a kid with a new toy so thanks again to all for responding to my question this is a great forum.

05-01-2002, 11:46 PM

How well do you like your new Hustler FasTrak? Can you easily cut around small trees, poles and other small-radius items? Any surprises?


Doc Pete
05-02-2002, 07:19 AM
Originally posted by Bobalong

How well do you like your new Hustler FasTrak? Can you easily cut around small trees, poles and other small-radius items? Any surprises?


You can't go around (circle) "any" small radius object on a regular basis without ending up removing all the grass around it, if you are using a current day hydro rider. Regardless of tearing up the grass itself, the constant running of the machine in the exact same place (around the object) just ruins the grass. However, if the object is small in diameter you would just drive "close and past" it on either side.

05-02-2002, 10:58 AM

It looks like that you are in NJ. I live in Clinton Township and have been looking for a dealer to demo the Fastrak. Where in NJ are they selling this? Please let me know!


Doc Pete
05-02-2002, 11:17 AM
Plains Small Engines (973-538-3645) in Morris Plains is who I deal with. They are good people. Very small shop, like the old days. You can come down Rt24 into Morris Plains, or take 287 north. They're about 40 minutes away.

05-02-2002, 06:40 PM
BOB , I love my Hustler , the speed and power it's incredible at the begining it was hard to maneuver the thing I was all over the place specially going on straight
line, it looked like a drunk did my lawn! but then I got used to it , it took me awhile. I love going around the trees I do my lawn front and back in about 35 minutes the only thing ,not a surprise ,because I knew before hand that Hustler is still working on the catcher for the fastrak I have a couple of strips on the front yard next to my neighbors that I wish I had the catcher because it throws the clippings all over the place specially the first time I did the lawn, the grass was too big but I went out the second day raised the deck 1 notch and got rid of all the clippings , I can tell you one thing my neighbors were really impressed specially the ones that own the tractors to mow their lawn.

05-02-2002, 06:46 PM
Ple, I got mine in Highstown NJ, I live in Somerset about 35 minutes away .

05-02-2002, 07:10 PM
Che, I asked because I am considering the FasTrak, but have not yet seen it.

I asked about going around trees, etc. because I have several of them and because a lawn or garden tractor with a 21 or 22 inch radius cut will circle them nicely, with the edge of the deck cutting right along the circumference of the circle. If the tree has a smaller radius, I simply cut out the grass and mulch it so that the edge of the grass is farther out than the radius of the cut.

I have read in the past on one of these forums that because the pivot point of ZTRs is between the drive wheels and not at the deck, you have to go back and forth to cut around the trees, etc. That seems to be what Switchless is saying, but I do not know how it ruins the grass.


Doc Pete
05-02-2002, 08:59 PM
The problem is really two fold. First, you are using a fairyly heavy machine compared to a homeowner mower, or tractor. Next, current riders have really large (wide) tires, and turning around that small radius makes the tires kinds "twist" the grass as it goes around it. So, between going around the exact same area, plus the heavy weight, and the slight twisting of the grass, it dies.

05-02-2002, 10:34 PM
Initially, I had made up my mind to purchase the Toro Timecutter Z for my 2 acres lot, but after reading this forum and learning about the Hustler Fastrak, I ordered on last week, 44" 18HP Honda Engine. I wasn't able to demo one but after researching several ztr's and with the help of this forum, I just decided to go for it. Let me know what you think of the Fastrak. Thanks

05-08-2002, 09:56 PM
Darryl, I'm considering the Fastrak unit that you have and live in Maryand. Where did you purchase yours and what did you pay? Someone earlier in this thread from NJ got the Fastrak with the 18hp 44" deck for $4100, MSRP is $5099 and the dealer closest to me is quoting no discount off of MSRP. Checking the internet I found Alamia.com that ships anywhere in the US but they don't sell Hustler outside of Colorado. Anyone know of other dealers that ship throughout the country? Thanks, Vince

05-08-2002, 10:19 PM
cutters, I got mine for $4100, and I'm very happy with it here's a site that is selling it for $4299 good luck!

05-08-2002, 10:20 PM
sorry ,forgot to post the site,

05-08-2002, 10:23 PM
sorry again, $4299.00 is for the 16hp honda 44" deck
and 4,500 for the one I have , the 18hp 44" deck

05-09-2002, 10:03 PM

I purchased the Fastrak 18 HP Honda, 44" deck for $4650; taxes were extra. I got it from Kohler Equipement, 15867 Commerce Court, Upper Marlboro, MD. There numbers are (301) 249-2200 or (800) 543-1852. Ask for Sean. You may also try Lyons and Lyons Sales Co located in Glen Arm, MD. (410) 665-6500. They wanted more for the Fastrak. Initially, I called Excel to get the MSRP and was advised that dealers generally will give from 10 to 11% off MSRP. I also recall in a conversation with either Excel or Kohler Equipment that if 3 Hustlers are shipped to the same dealer at the same time, there is no freight charge for the 3rd hustler. Hopefully, this info will help you. Good luck

05-09-2002, 11:59 PM
Is any body haveing trouble with the front castors on the fastrak makeing a banging noise I did. I took it back to the dealer he said the bushing in between the bearing was to long so it wouldnt get a snung fit. To fix he just cut the bushing a little shorter, He had four fastraks there and they were all the same.
no other problems so far. This is one sweet machine!

05-16-2002, 05:04 PM
no problems here ,buyman , I just like to agree with you that the fastrak is one sweet machine indeed! I just replaced the original blades with gator blades and I'm telling you what a big difference ! you hardly see any clippings no need to bag.. I mowed my lawn today 2 days after we had a lot of rain here in jersey and I had no clumpings on my lawn and no mess sticking under the deck and I didn't spray anything yet,(waiting for mo-deck) I love this blades! with the original ones
I had to mow twice to get rid of the clippings but not with this gator blades, Highly reccomend them.

05-21-2002, 09:20 PM
Che, Ill give the gators a try did you get them from your hustler dealer?

05-21-2002, 09:49 PM
Che, good choice and I'm glad you are happy. I have a Super Z and it is awsome also. I'm sure you will be happy and the guys at Hustler are great!