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View Full Version : New mower: How much can I expect to spend?


Abouna
05-04-2010, 07:16 PM
Some advice please.

I have a 1/2 acre lot, mostly level, with one mowed ditch to do. I've been doing this for the last several years with..............wait for it...............a CC 2147 tractor. Biggest POS I've ever owned.

We bought it for our rectory and church property several years ago based on our previous experience with a fantastic 70's era CC. What a difference. This thing should be banned. Anyhow, today was the last straw when the reverse pedal got stuck under the decking because, lo and behold, it's just a piece of plastic attached with what looks like a 8" drywall screw! I can't believe it lasted this long.

Well, I've had it and I'd like to start looking for something new. Problem is I have no idea what to look at. Obvious CC is out!

I do know I don't want another tractor, it's completely unnecessary. I'd like something ZTR I guess as I have lots of trees to do.

- whats the lowest dollar amount I can expect to pay for something decent?
- what brands should I look at?
- is anything US made?

Thanks!

MS_SURVEYOR
05-04-2010, 10:43 PM
That's a tough one to answer. Without knowing how much your church budget can stand. You can get a home owner class mower that could give you several years of service. Or a light duty commercial class mower that will give the church many, many years of duty. My vote is for light duty commercial.

http://www.scag.com/zeroturns.html

http://www.exmark.com/Ride.htm

http://www.toro.com/home/zeroturn/index.html

http://www.ferrisindustries.com/

http://www.hustlerturf.com/

http://www.bobcatturf.com/

http://www.walkermowers.com/

http://www.badboymowers.com/

Look these over. Ask more questions. We'll give answers.

Sport42
05-05-2010, 10:41 AM
Of course I would recommend the Hustler Sport at $3,000.

But another good, less expensive alternative would be a Toro Timecutter for $2,400.

Abouna
05-05-2010, 10:49 AM
Thanks to both of you.

Whoa, lots to look at.

The price range of the Hustler and especially the Toro are more in line with our budget. I quickly looked over some of the others and I didn't see any other brands in these price ranges. I probably just missed them.

MS_SURVEYOR
05-05-2010, 11:22 AM
In your research beware of the Briggs & Stratton ELS series engines. They have problems. Bad intake filter problems. Head gasket problems.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tractor/msg0702191721014.html

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tractor/msg041330153268.html

There seems to be problems with the Kohler Courage engine.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0914555819046.html

Just me. But I would opp for a mower with a Kawasaki engine.

IMHO

MS

Abouna
05-05-2010, 11:23 AM
In your research beware of the Briggs & Stratton ELS series engines. They have problems. Bad intake filter problems. Head gasket problems.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tractor/msg0702191721014.html

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tractor/msg041330153268.html

There seems to be problems with the Kohler Courage engine.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0914555819046.html

Just me. But I would opp for a mower with a Kawasaki engine.

IMHO

MS

Thanks. I've noticed the trend also in reading. I'm leaning toward either a Kawa or Honda.

MS_SURVEYOR
05-05-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks to both of you.

Whoa, lots to look at.

The price range of the Hustler and especially the Toro are more in line with our budget. I quickly looked over some of the others and I didn't see any other brands in these price ranges. I probably just missed them.

Once again. Home owner mowers. I listed light duty commercial class mowers. More money, but much longer duty and less money to up keep.

One gets what they pay for. Less money up front. More money down the road with repairs.

Sport42
05-05-2010, 11:51 AM
With proper maintenance and only mowing 1/2 acre, a good quality residential mower (like Hustler, Toro, etc.) should last a very long time with very minimal repair costs.

fredmullegun
05-05-2010, 12:13 PM
commercial mowers are more likely to have grease fittings that you need to maintain where residential mowers have mostly sealed lower maintenance systems.

Sport42
05-05-2010, 12:30 PM
Thanks. I've noticed the trend also in reading. I'm leaning toward either a Kawa or Honda.

I wou'dn't be scared of a Briggs or Kohler for your application either...

MS_SURVEYOR
05-05-2010, 01:19 PM
I wou'dn't be scared of a Briggs or Kohler for your application either...


A Briggs ELS or Kohler Courage being 400 to 800 service life span engines.

Briggs Vanguard, Kohler Command Pro, Kawasaki commercial, and Honda commercial engines are rated for 2,000 hours of hard service.

KarlP
05-05-2010, 01:32 PM
A Briggs ELS or Kohler Courage being 400 to 800 service life span engines.

1/2 acre level lot = 1 hour or less per mow
Cedar Rapids grass growth = 35 mows a year

If we assume 600 hours before major failure / 35 hours per year the residential mower probably won't be worth repairing in 17 years.

Sport42
05-05-2010, 03:06 PM
Exactly, Karl. And I would say a 1/2 acre lot should not take anywhere near 1 hour.

I have a similar situation and am in the Midwest. I have 3/4 of an acre and can get it mowed in 35-40 min. I put 22 hours on my mower last year in a very wet season/summer. It will take me 20 years to reach 400 hrs.

I don't need (or want) a mower to last me 50 years. I'll be ready for something new in 20 years (probably before), I'm sure.

fredmullegun
05-05-2010, 10:13 PM
A thin deck residential mower will likely not last 17 years before it rusts out. Around here anyways. Plus you will want to get a new one long before that time anyways.

Sport42
05-07-2010, 10:43 AM
The fact is, many people don't need a machine to last 2,000 hours. We all know residential mowers don't compare to commercial one's, but many people only need residential mowers.

retrodog
05-07-2010, 01:31 PM
Hey, the BB MZ 48" 26hp Briggs is $3499, but as a church you guys could get the bid assist pricing from BB on the commercial grade mowers and get them right above cost. I have 13 churches here that bought the Lightning 26hp Liquid-Cooled Kawasaki Engine. Waaay more mower than what any of them needed, but for the price, it was an amazing buy they couldn't pass up.

Abouna
05-19-2010, 05:24 PM
Hey, the BB MZ 48" 26hp Briggs is $3499, but as a church you guys could get the bid assist pricing from BB on the commercial grade mowers and get them right above cost. I have 13 churches here that bought the Lightning 26hp Liquid-Cooled Kawasaki Engine. Waaay more mower than what any of them needed, but for the price, it was an amazing buy they couldn't pass up.

I just saw this post!

We thought we were pretty close to snagging a Hustler Sport with a Honda under a similar bid assist for the church. Unfortunately it tiruns out Hustler doesn't do bid assist on the Sport. Dang!

I missed this post though so now I'm wondering how to go about getting a bid assist from BB. Any advise?

Also, the website is a bit confusing. What series should I be looking at? We need anything from 36" - 42".

retrodog
05-21-2010, 10:32 AM
I just saw this post!

We thought we were pretty close to snagging a Hustler Sport with a Honda under a similar bid assist for the church. Unfortunately it tiruns out Hustler doesn't do bid assist on the Sport. Dang!

I missed this post though so now I'm wondering how to go about getting a bid assist from BB. Any advise?

Also, the website is a bit confusing. What series should I be looking at? We need anything from 36" - 42".

Hey man, bid assist only works with commercial models. All the Churchs around here have the lightnings because they are by far the best deal on bid assist. Your dealer still might slide you a little off of his profit for a local church, but there isn't a bid assist currently out there that I know of that covers homeowner units. The 42" 21hp MZ is $2999, and the 42" commercial zt 23hp Vanguard is $5499 retail.

Abouna
05-21-2010, 10:53 AM
Hey man, bid assist only works with commercial models. All the Churchs around here have the lightnings because they are by far the best deal on bid assist. Your dealer still might slide you a little off of his profit for a local church, but there isn't a bid assist currently out there that I know of that covers homeowner units. The 42" 21hp MZ is $2999, and the 42" commercial zt 23hp Vanguard is $5499 retail.

I guess then that we're probably out of luck. Even with the BA, a commercial unit is out of range for us (and likely overkill, we only have 1/2 acre mowable).

I did have one Hustler dealer offer us a Sport 42" with a Briggs for $2600. Good deal but I'm just not keen on the single Briggs.

Maybe we should rethink one of the Toro TimeCutters?

MS_SURVEYOR
05-21-2010, 02:42 PM
I guess then that we're probably out of luck. Even with the BA, a commercial unit is out of range for us (and likely overkill, we only have 1/2 acre mowable).

I did have one Hustler dealer offer us a Sport 42" with a Briggs for $2600. Good deal but I'm just not keen on the single Briggs.

Maybe we should rethink one of the Toro TimeCutters?

There Ya Go! You can only work with what one has. Both look like they will do the job for many years easily. Keep the oil and air filter changed, and the mower clean.

Sport42
05-21-2010, 03:10 PM
I would jump on the Hustler Sport for $2,600. That's a great deal. It is a lot more mower than the timecutter. The Briggs engine will be fine.