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mdbelt
04-15-2010, 03:24 PM
I've got 2.5 acres, mostly flat with a ditch & some minor rolling heaves on property. I mow every 10-14 days (sometimes every 7 in Spring if warranted). I don't have any plans for commercial mowing. I'll be replacing a 6 year old Husqvarna YTH2148 that gave me 300 hours then threw a push rod last weekend (yes I'll try & fix this as a secondary tractor in the "fleet"). I'd like to get a ZTR to help reduce mow time & spend more time with kiddos. After some great reading on transmissions, price ranges, & the lot, I've narrowed it down to the following three:

Cub Cadet RZT 54 – 25 HP Kaw - ZT 2800 Transmission – $3,499.00
John Deere Z425 48 – 23 HP B&S - Kanzaki Dup-10 Transmission - $3,899.00
Cub Cadet Z-Force 48 – 22 HP Koh - ZT 2800 Transmission - $3,999.00

I'm sort-of leaning toward the RZT 54. I don't like the smaller tires, but it is 500 cheaper with a larger deck & similar transmission. Then again the RZT tops @ 6.5 MPH instead of 8. These top out my budget so I can't afford to move into a commercial unit, & I'm not sure I really need to. I've made a trip to the different dealers & taken a look at each of these units & plan on purchasing from a dealer when I pull the trigger.

This is a huge financial investment for me, & I believe in seeking the counsel of others. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

Sport42
04-15-2010, 03:32 PM
I would recommend looking at a Hustler Sport 48.

shotgunshane
04-15-2010, 04:38 PM
Ditto on the Hustler Sport 48 for $3500 or a Bad Boy MZ 48 for the same price. The BB do 8 mph. The Hustler has the superior 4 yr warranty. The welded decks are pretty stout on both.
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retrodog
04-16-2010, 01:08 AM
Ditto on the Hustler Sport 48 for $3500 or a Bad Boy MZ 48 for the same price. The BB do 8 mph. The Hustler has the superior 4 yr warranty. The welded decks are pretty stout on both.
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The BB has the twin 26hp, vs the single Hustler for the same money, I would lean on the BB, much stronger engine. I would not recommend a RZT to anyone, heard to many people with issues around here, under $4000 its hard to beat the hustler or BB. The Ariens looks pretty sharp, but if you don't have a dealer around I would be worried. Out of your choices I would recommend the force cub, only if you have a local dealer (don't buy box store), and heck no on the Deere for sure...

betmr
04-16-2010, 09:44 AM
I don't see a Toro in your list, I would at least look at Toro before I decided.

smertus
04-16-2010, 02:51 PM
I was thinking the same thing about the toro...

http://www.toro.com/home/zeroturn/timecutterz/z5035.html

The Z5035 looks like a good value with the Kawi, is there something about this mower I am missing?

laxman3221
04-19-2010, 03:32 PM
I recommend the hustler sport 48 as I have one.

Aaronnc
04-20-2010, 01:34 PM
No offense OP, but if you really want helpful advice and/or opinions, you really need to tell us what kind/brand dealers you have in your area. Your gonna have your Gravely, BB, Scag, Toro, JD, etc, etc... fans, that means absolutely squat with no dealer support. Granted being a homeowner and with mowing every 10-15 days you won't need support as much as say an LCO, but since you've had experience with a ZTR, you know stuff will eventually break and can go wrong.

Also, what are your needs or wants in a mower? What I mean by that is, when I was in the process of buying my mower, I found out that the Ferris's rode the best, like a Cadillac, but cut like absolute crap. The Walker's absolutely gave the best cut I've ever seen, but were pricey and seemed to live in the shop. Drove my cousin's Scag and LOVED it, again pricey, close to perfect in my opinion, but with the nearest dealer an hour away, not an option. Have no experience with Hustler/BB so cannot comment on those. Owned a JD years ago, and have driven Toro/Exmark, but from what I remember, were just average, did the job but didn't jump out or impress in my mind. Also, unlike you, I've never had an engine problem out of one of my mowers. This is my first Kohler (have only owned it 3 months, Bobcat Pro Cat 27hp 61") so I can't comment on it yet, but I've owned two Kawasaki's and three Briggs with never a problem. It's always the deck, spindles, pumps, etc... for me. So I personally tend to put more emphasis on the construction and hardware than I do the engine itself.

Also, if you have the luxury, I would definitely recommend waiting/put off till winter if you can. All of my local dealers are pretty proud of their equipment in the spring/summer. I never buy brand new or used (unless it's just a stupid crazy deal) but always hunt down a 100 hour or less dealer demo in December or January. 90% of the time around here they are itching to move anything then and can get a great deal with a full warranty.

Sorry to get off on a rant and write a novel, but just wanted to share what has worked for me, and to try and help. With all that being said, and considering my limited knowledge, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal than a Cub Cadet or Husky for the money in a homeowner model.

Good luck in whatever you decide, and hope this helped.

Jim64
07-16-2010, 07:12 PM
I have replaced one of the mower deck spindles and now the PTO will not engage. I bought a new switch but that did not solve the problem. Any ideas? Somebody please help ASAP as I have grass up to my butt and no way to mow it.

Aaronnc
07-16-2010, 10:45 PM
I have replaced one of the mower deck spindles and now the PTO will not engage. I bought a new switch but that did not solve the problem. Any ideas? Somebody please help ASAP as I have grass up to my butt and no way to mow it.
Hey Jim, don't have much experience with Cub Cadets but it sounds like it's either the switch (even though it's brand new) or the PTO clutch is bad. Does the spindles spin freely by hand? Anyways, I would pull the switch back out and unplug the the wires from the clutch. Take a voltmeter and check for voltage. If you have voltage, then the clutch is bad. Do you hear the click of the relay when the PTO supposedly engages? Checked the seat switch? Is the battery in normal range with the key turned? If it drops below 12vdc I believe the PTO will not engage. Did the pigtail come off the PTO? Could be numerous things. I would drop the deck and give it a strong good look over for any loose or broken or worn wires.

smitty1258
07-17-2010, 12:16 AM
hustler sport 42/48 with the twin honda

MDTRD
07-18-2010, 03:28 PM
OP, stay away from the box stores! I bought a Husqvarna YTH2348 tractor at Lowe's and after a year of fertilizing at my new house(1.2 acres), it couldn't keep up. I sold that and bought a Toro Titan ZX5450 and I'm loving it! Find a reputable dealer near you that also services what they sell. Check Craigslist in your area. Some good deals there too. With 2.5 acres, I'd get at least a 54" and you'll have plenty of time with the kiddies.

rtharris
07-20-2010, 09:38 AM
Ditto on the Hustler Sport 48 for $3500 or a Bad Boy MZ 48 for the same price. The BB do 8 mph. The Hustler has the superior 4 yr warranty. The welded decks are pretty stout on both.
Posted via Mobile Device
Posted via Mobile Device

rtharris
07-20-2010, 09:46 AM
The BB has the twin 26hp, vs the single Hustler for the same money, I would lean on the BB, much stronger engine. I would not recommend a RZT to anyone, heard to many people with issues around here, under $4000 its hard to beat the hustler or BB. The Ariens looks pretty sharp, but if you don't have a dealer around I would be worried. Out of your choices I would recommend the force cub, only if you have a local dealer (don't buy box store), and heck no on the Deere for sure...

I own an MZ 48 BAD BOY AND HAVE had zero problems so far Strong well built mower with the 26 els briggs more than enough power
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rtharris
07-20-2010, 09:51 AM
Ditto on the Hustler Sport 48 for $3500 or a Bad Boy MZ 48 for the same price. The BB do 8 mph. The Hustler has the superior 4 yr warranty. The welded decks are pretty stout on both.
Posted via Mobile Device
Posted via Mobile Device

bigjoedo
07-20-2010, 11:42 AM
Another vote for the Hustler Sport 48.

Specop_007
07-20-2010, 02:25 PM
Hustler Sport 48. I run a 42 with the Honda. I almost wish I had went to the 48 with the Briggs. Love that Honda engine but I wish I had the extra 6 inches. Not sure if I made the best decision, but I sure didnt make a bad one either way. :)

MS_SURVEYOR
07-20-2010, 03:00 PM
Hustler Sport 48. I run a 42 with the Honda. I almost wish I had went to the 48 with the Briggs. Love that Honda engine but I wish I had the extra 6 inches. Not sure if I made the best decision, but I sure didnt make a bad one either way. :)

Hustler put the Honda GXV530 on a 48 inch Sport according to their web site.

Specop_007
07-20-2010, 03:13 PM
Hustler put the Honda GXV530 on a 48 inch Sport according to their web site.

Oh you can get the 48 with the Honda but it was at the limit of my budget and I didnt want to push it that much. Due to the numbers I was faced with the 42 with the Honda or the 48 with the Briggs.

If the numbers worked out I'd take a 48 with a Honda in a New York minute. However short that may be. Either way, I'd be all over it.

IS500Z
07-20-2010, 03:41 PM
All of the major names (Hustler, Scag, Ferris, Toro, Exmark, etc.) will make a quality machine that you will be satisfied with. As has been mentioned previously buy the dealer not the brand. Having what some consider the "best" machine and a poor dealer is always a bad deal.

subtlestang
07-23-2010, 07:49 AM
The dealer is a LOT of the sale in this price range. I spent 2 weeks looking at a lot of brands and visiting dealers. I can honestly say that any of the mowers with a fabricated deck should last for a long time in a residential setting. I seriously considered the BadBoy MZ48, at the same price point, but the dealer kept pressing me towards the ZT series(at $1000 more!). The Hustler dealer was further from home, but was more interested in selling me what I needed, valued my business, and even delivered the mower. The Hustler also has the lowest seating heighth of any I saw, which adds to operator confidence.

I ended up purchasing a Hustler Sport 48 with the Honda.......and have come to the conclusion that the majority of the manufacturers are catering to the "neighbor envy" crowd with HUGE engines....the Honda is rated at 16 hp, which is plenty to run the Hustler 48 in even dew-soaked heavy bermuda/fescue mix ~10" tall with no bogging or clumping in side delivery mode. Fuel usage was roughly 1/2 what I'd been using with the previous Craftsman Pro 42" 25 hp tractor, and took 1 1/4 hr (with a LOT of learning/playing time) to mow my 2 acres. Before, the wife and I had been spending 1 1/2 hr with TWO riders, the aforementioned Craftsman (AYP), and an elderly Simplicity Coronet rear engine 34" rider.

Joe S

rtharris
07-23-2010, 08:05 AM
Joe i hope you enjoy ur new mower how much was the sport 48 with the 16 hp honda i still feel that is somewhat underpowered for a 48 inch deck good luck
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Specop_007
07-23-2010, 10:19 AM
Joe i hope you enjoy ur new mower how much was the sport 48 with the 16 hp honda i still feel that is somewhat underpowered for a 48 inch deck good luck
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Have you driven one? What the heck are you mowing??

catflyer
07-23-2010, 11:44 AM
I wonder if that 16 HP Honda doesn't deliver more torque than my 18 HP B+S? Mine doesn't have a lot of power even with 42"deck.

Specop_007
07-23-2010, 01:12 PM
I wonder if that 16 HP Honda doesn't deliver more torque than my 18 HP B+S? Mine doesn't have a lot of power even with 42"deck.

I hadnt thought of that but it could very well be the case I suppose. I know the Honda seems to be overkill on a 42" deck so much so I have had some second guesses about whether I made the right choice or whether I should have saved some coin and went with a Briggs. Perhaps getting the Honda was the right choice after all.

rtharris
07-23-2010, 01:22 PM
No speccop i havent driven one thats why im asking questions as for the power i dont know anyone having that hp on that size deck 18 hp yes but not 16
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Specop_007
07-23-2010, 02:01 PM
No speccop i havent driven one thats why im asking questions as for the power i dont know anyone having that hp on that size deck 18 hp yes but not 16
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Theres a pic in this thread of what I have mown with my 42" with a Honda. You can see a bit of grass still sticking up down the centerline of the machine becuase I was going too fast.
With the Honda and the 42" deck you lose cut quality before you lose power. I have no doubts the Honda would run a 48" deck without ANY problems at all unless you're doing heavy mowing.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=324051

subtlestang
07-23-2010, 02:24 PM
Joe i hope you enjoy ur new mower how much was the sport 48 with the 16 hp honda i still feel that is somewhat underpowered for a 48 inch deck good luck
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In spite of list being $3899, I paid $3499 with free delivery

smitty1258
07-24-2010, 08:06 AM
the cut quality on my 42" hustler seems to be fine to me.

Full speed runs.

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/3522/039ln.jpg

MS_SURVEYOR
07-24-2010, 09:38 AM
That's clean smitty! Can't out do that mow!

:drinkup:

smitty1258
07-25-2010, 12:47 PM
That's clean smitty! Can't out do that mow!

:drinkup:


the best thing is that my pattern is starting to get "locked" in and we are getting rain again! Looking forward to some truely checkerboard stripes in the coming weeks.

Capemay Eagle
07-27-2010, 12:05 AM
You can look at the ZT series from BadBoy. Allot more mower you are looking at for a few more bucks. I would have bought this mower if it was available in a 42".

http://www.badboymowers.com/view/zt-commercial-mowers

laxman3221
07-27-2010, 10:39 PM
Theres a pic in this thread of what I have mown with my 42" with a Honda. You can see a bit of grass still sticking up down the centerline of the machine becuase I was going too fast.
With the Honda and the 42" deck you lose cut quality before you lose power. I have no doubts the Honda would run a 48" deck without ANY problems at all unless you're doing heavy mowing.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=324051



I'll take the extra 5 to 6 hp for the 48" with the B&S. Perfect mow at full speed.

YMMV.

subtlestang
07-28-2010, 11:09 AM
I'll take the extra 5 to 6 hp for the 48" with the B&S. Perfect mow at full speed.

YMMV.

No need.....I 'think' the Honda may make a bit more torque......it runs my 48 with no problems at full speed, and is a LOT more fuel efficient than the Briggs......more of B&S "overstatement of HP"????

Specop_007
07-28-2010, 12:24 PM
I'll take the extra 5 to 6 hp for the 48" with the B&S. Perfect mow at full speed.

YMMV.

The B&S 21 is specced at 540 cc.

The Honda GXV 530 is specced at 530 cc.

I just dont see the Briggs running a compression ratio so much higher than the Honda to account for an extra 6 horse. Admittedly I dont know that much about engines but I'd assume the 10 cubic centimeters is not going to give you 6 extra horsepower.

Especially when you factor in the fact the 17.5 is listed at 500 cc and still lists as higher horse than the Honda?

Call me skeptical of the Briggs ratings..... :)

subtlestang
07-28-2010, 12:49 PM
torque ratings for the Briggs.......24 ft/lb

Torque rating for the Honda........25.5 ft/lb

That's the difference....torque is what does the work!

Specop_007
07-28-2010, 12:52 PM
torque ratings for the Briggs.......24 ft/lb

Torque rating for the Honda........25.5 ft/lb

That's the difference....torque is what does the work!

As they say, people buy the horsepower and drive the torque. :cool:

rtharris
07-28-2010, 01:08 PM
In spite of list being $3899, I paid $3499 with free delivery
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Sport42
07-28-2010, 01:18 PM
I can tell you that the Sport 42 with the Briggs 17.5 has plenty of power, horsepower, and torque.

Is there a difference in blade tip speed between the Honda and the B&S?

rtharris
07-28-2010, 01:22 PM
In spite of list being $3899, I paid $3499 with free delivery

So the same money as the MZ48 but with a 16 hp honda instead of a 26 hp v twin briggs with over 700ccs IMO U made the wrong choice for money and power but thats my opinion
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Specop_007
07-28-2010, 02:05 PM
Never mind, read it wrong

laxman3221
07-28-2010, 03:49 PM
No need.....I 'think' the Honda may make a bit more torque......it runs my 48 with no problems at full speed, and is a LOT more fuel efficient than the Briggs......more of B&S "overstatement of HP"????


Who knows? Is honda overstating torque? At what RPM are the #s reached?

I guess you would have to use both to figure out fuel efficiency, but the B&S has done a fine job.

laxman3221
07-28-2010, 04:00 PM
Plus these are peak readings and the mower may never reach the rpm range of these peak #s.







But, does it matter as everyone here seems to be satisfied with the engines they bought.

firebuff
07-30-2010, 02:58 PM
Hey guys what about the Gravely ZT XL 42 ,seems to be pretty stout with a kawasaki engine welded deck and a pretty strong transmission.

subtlestang
07-30-2010, 11:09 PM
I looked at one, but was dissatisfied with the local Gravely dealer.....just didn't impress me, so I went elsewhere. Not a bad looking mower.

It's true....when you buy a ZTR, as well as the mower, you're buying the dealer and his service department.