View Full Version : Its down to 3...Final Decision..Input needed

05-10-2010, 11:17 PM
I have researched the local ZTR dealers in my area and have narrowed my search down to 3.... (I mow 1.75 acres and want to spend as little over 4K as possible, would like 50" deck or larger)

Hustler Sport 54" deck - 54" deck is new for this model
**Quoted 4,200. Concerned that top speed is only 6mph, looks very sturdy, fabricated deck

Gravely ZT XL 54 - 54" deck
**quoted 3,800, top speed 7mph, not quite of a sturdy build but still good, fabricated deck

John Deere Z445 - 54"-deck
**quoted 4,200, top speed 8.5mph, stamped deck, sturdy build, previousled owed a deere and I am leaning towards this one.

Looking for opinion's, past experiences with these models / brands. Have heard the fabricated decks are better, but does it really matter for residential use? Have heard the wheel drive motors are serviceable on this model of John Deere...is this something I should consider?

Also concerened that I'll need 2 hands to drive this thing and won't be able to drink beer while mowing my lawn!

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks for your time

05-11-2010, 12:12 AM
I'm in the same boat and going to test drive a few tomorrow. Those are also a few of the Z's that I've narrowed it down too after much searching. The Husky looks to have the sturdiest frame and you can get a Honda engine.But the spec sheet on the web doesn't say which hydro it has. If it's the EZT then I'm going to pass. The EZT is not serviceable and weaker than the ZT and I like to tow a cart and a sweeper now and then. The gravely has the ZT 2800 and a fabed deck. The deer has the separate pump and motors but has a stamped 11 gauge deck as you mentioned. Make sure you drive before you buy. My dad bought a hustler fast track 54 a few years back and he liked it because of the way it drove. And he drove a bunch. Some of them took a lot more effort on the bars to drive. The hustler was real smooth and took little effort.

05-11-2010, 12:52 AM
oops double post

05-11-2010, 01:49 AM
That Deere is hard to beat. It's got a good mowing heavy stamped deck. Duel hydro pumps and wheel motors. Big drive wheels. All yellow and green. I love the way JD turned the engine to put the oil filter in good position for oil changes. Every thing is right where you need it. There's a lot to like about the JD. I've always said, "Keep Your Hands On The Wheel, And Your Eyes On The Road." Then look at the engine. It ain't no Briggs! As far as stamped decks. That deck has a good mow. It's heavy. Yea, you need to keep it clean. But most of JD decks are stamped. They do cut great. They do last a long time.

I say demo each mower. Even if it's at the dealership.

Good Luck! :cool2:

05-11-2010, 10:04 AM
I was looking for a ZTR earlier this year as well for myself, the same models as you and I had settled on the Z445 too. Ended up with a Z820A instead because of a deal that I couldn't pass up, but if I hadn't found that I would of had the Z445.

05-11-2010, 11:19 AM
Have a sport 48 and I really like it.

I can have a beer and mow at the same time as the controls are close enough to mow in a straight line with one hand.

One of the big selling points for me was the fabricated deck over stamped, because on my old tractor I had bent the deck several times.

05-11-2010, 10:03 PM
If you were quoted $4200 for the Z445 54 with the Kawi motor that is a good
price. The 445 is $4849 on line and that is about what I was quoted today. The 425 with the briggs in 48" was 4100. The only other thing I don't like about the deer is it doesn't have a foot pedal to lift the deck. If you cut around roots like I do it comes in handy. I looked at the exmark quest sp today and for $5000 it is a hoss.Heavy deck, vangaurd vtwin big block, remote air cleaner and big ass spindles. The regular quest in 48" was 4K and is a nice mower but has a briggs ELS. One of the guys I talked to today told me they are seeing about 700 hrs off the EZT trans and twice that on the ZT's. He said it's about $700 bucks a pop now to replace the tranny's. He was surprise when I told him the Deere came with a pump and motors for that price as the cheapest one they sell is 6K.

05-11-2010, 10:23 PM
Thank all of you for your responses! I really appericate it! I am going to drive the Deere and Gravely tomorrow after work. I am thinking I am going with the 445 unless there is something I don't like about it after riding.

Deere has a green tag event on the 445 currently and the dealer had an open house this past weekend and had more marked down - they will still honor that price now. I called around to a few other Deere dealers in the area and no one else could come within $300 bucks. When I asked one of the other dealers about a price match, they said they could only be making $100 or so at that price.

05-11-2010, 10:28 PM
Billyed,anyone,,,,Have you looked at the JD z445 with high capacity deck? I have also been researching and test driving many of the these same models .... scag freedom, hustler fastrak and SD, gravely HD, JD 445, etc. I have not looked at the exmark quest sp yet but will.

There are things I like and dislike about each I've looked at. I can't find much info on the high capacity deck JD deck. The biggest complaint about the JD is the deck, so I'm wondering if this deck upgrade would would tip the scale in favor of the JD?

05-11-2010, 10:37 PM
From what I understand the high capacity deck is made from thicker metal - 3.8mm. Here is a link for the specs

The normal deck is 3.4mm. Here is a link to the specs

What are the deck complaints you know of?

05-11-2010, 11:04 PM
rcleaver28,,the link doesn't work correctly for me. But, I think I have seen this when going through the JD site.

The regular deck isn't as "heavy Duty" as many of the others I have looked at. It also doesn't appear to be as deep. The high capcity deck is 9 gauge and more importantly (I think) appears to to be deeper. I haven't seen any specs to confirm the depth, just looking at the pictures.

05-11-2010, 11:09 PM
What does the depth get you?

05-12-2010, 09:26 AM
The deere deck has a lip on it which collects moisture and can rust. A deeper deck gives you more air circulation and more and more room for grass without bogging down. Supposed to give a better cut.

05-13-2010, 03:19 PM
I went with the Hustler Sport. I really liked the Gravely XL series but the only dealer in this area ket trying to talk me out of the machine and into a bigger TORO that I did not need. Either he knew something I don't about the XL series or he makes more money on the TOROS.


05-13-2010, 06:30 PM
Good choice. You'll be happy with it.

05-15-2010, 01:55 PM
Look at bad boy
Posted via Mobile Device

05-19-2010, 12:37 PM
I believe the JD decks are shallow when compared to some of the others. I looked at everything, demo'd 4 units and bought an Exmark (used 2008 140 hours) The JD went to the bottom of my list when I sat on it and mowed with it. Clumped and discharge wasn't the same as any of the others (Ferris, Exmark, Scag, Toro) I tried out when you went at a decent speed. The whole reason for me to buy a ZTR is to mow several acres quickly without having to worry about windrows, clumping, etc. Every unit did better than the Deere in that area. I'm in NY and this was on damp, not wet grass cutting off 2-2.5".