View Full Version : I want a commerical grade mower

10-05-2002, 09:04 PM
I have been looking for a short bit on investing in a good mower for my 5 acres. I have checked out several used mowers, questioned several items on this site, and still haven't bought one.
I have started looking at new ones. I have been reading up and started looking at what is available out there now. Since it is getting towards the end of the mowing season I thought this may also be a good time to buy one for a better price too. I am looking for a 60 or 72" deck, ZTR type.

I went today and looked at 3 mowers; Exmark, Toro, and Cub. Of the three, the Tank had the cheapest price and the seat was the most cush. (It did lack the full open feeling the Ex and the Toro had though. ) I did look at all of them quite a bit, but didn't get to try them out for the ride and mow. I was impressed with the quality of the Tank, which I hadn't seen before. I also plan on checking out the Gravely,Dixie, and Scag to see what they have to offer as well.

Here are the specs:
Tank - M60 - 25hp Kohler/60" deck $7500
Toro - 62" SFS deck/25 hp Kohler $7999
Exmark - 60" deck / 25 hp Kohler dealer still looking for this one's price- it just came in and supposedly a little different from the usual
Toro - 72" SFS deck / 27 liquid Kohler $9600

I am going to check a little more to see some other prices, but if anyone has any suggestions on a brand or model I am open. If anybody has any experience with one or the other I would love to hear their input too.

Thanks for any help,


10-06-2002, 07:51 PM
Hi Joey,

I am a homeowner who mows three acres of sloped yard, all fescue, in a nice subdivision. I looked for a year-and-a-half. I'm not proud of that! But, I tried to be circumspect and consider all of the many options. Bottom line, after demo'ing many, including Toro, Exmark, John Deere and Lesco, I purchased a Hustler. This mower is indestructible, VERY easy to steer the first time you get on it, and I believe has the best hydraulic wheel pumps out there (BDP-21 whereas many others have BDP-10's.)

Many will tell you to also consider how close the dealer is. I didn't go with the closest dealer, which would have been Toro. Listen, I know something can go wrong, but this Hustler is guesstimated to be good for 500-750 hours a year for a commercial guy mowing all day every day and for 20 years! I certainly don't anticipate being at the dealer very often. However, my hustler dealer is only about thirty minutes away.

Hope this helps - -


10-06-2002, 11:00 PM
Just give captndevo or contact american bladerunner and take a close look at one tough and extremly fast mower! One thing that bladerunner has that no one else has is tandem drive hydralics! Same pumps used on skidsteers. Also they have a lifetime warranty on the frame! As far as prices go I do know of a new model called an SP72 which is a 25hp 72" cut. They have them on sale for $7995.00! Might take a good look at one.

I am going to be buying my second bladerunner soon but I am probably going to a diesel.

10-07-2002, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Farmboy
One thing that bladerunner has that no one else has is tandem drive hydralics

Hustler has been using tandem drive pumps for over 30 years.
And is still using them in a couple of larger units we produce.

Take a look at the FasTrak, you will not be disappointed.

Let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you


10-07-2002, 11:23 AM
Wow I have never seen a hustler with tandem drive pumps! All I have seen is belt drive.

10-10-2002, 09:02 PM
you may want to take a look at the Dixie Chopper. they have the best top speed across the board for ztr mowers. not only that, they have several different motor set-ups ranging from single 25 hp dual hp and a diesel motor too, you also have the choice of Kohler or Kawasakai (sp??). Dixie offers your choice of the 60 or 72" deck. my company has used every sigle combination of the dixie since 95. the only problem i've ever had was the hour meters aren't the toughest soldiers. we mow approx. 185 acres overall and the dixie is the toughest mower out there. never had more than just normal stuff go out (tires, belts, etc). hope this helps!!

P&J Lawncare
10-11-2002, 02:53 AM
The hustler super z is faster than a dixie and it is built like a tank so check one out.

10-12-2002, 02:13 PM
Ok who is the fastest? Dixie Chopper, Hustler and Bladerunner sound like it is a toss up! I still think that the tandem drive hydralics is going to last longer than a belt drive system!

10-13-2002, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Farmboy
I still think that the tandem drive hydralics is going to last longer than a belt drive system!

No such thing.

The Bladerunner has a direct driven (bolted to engine or through a pto and housing, I am not sure because I am not familiar with how they couple the tandem hydraulic pump to the engine) tandem hydraulic pump.

The way Hustler currently drives a tandem hydraulic pump is by belt.

Hustler still uses a tandem hydraulic pump on 3 units we produce, the Hustler 4500, 4600 and the Hustler 6400 Hillsider.

The way you drive the tandem hydraulic pump makes no difference in the life of the tandem hydraulic pump, in my un-educated opinion..........


10-14-2002, 12:36 AM
If you were considering the tank, go to Lesco www.lesco.com (http://www.lesco.com) and find your closest service center, their mowers are identical, and are usually cheaper.

10-15-2002, 09:02 PM
You are a Home owner right. fine. I"m not sure what your bank account looks like but a 60 inch deck would do you just fine.

You have no real reason to spend the extra cash for a Hustler ( Fine Product) with tandem hydraulic pumps. This is a mower that will outlast you grand kids if used only 36 or less times a year.

You could pick up a good used unit and save a ton of money. Check you paper, trading post etc. Just a thought to ponder on.

BladeRunner Rep
10-17-2002, 08:32 PM
We use the tandem pumps with no belt! The reason we do this is with this drive you eliminate a belt, but you also eliminate the side load put on the pumps. By using a belt driven system there is usually a side load put on the pump shafts which shortens pump life and it also is generally less eficient due to the extra parts driving the system! How much life diffrence there is between a belt drive hydro and beltless hydro I cannot answer that, and that would be a good question for one of our engineers!

As far as who is the fastest? Well let's just say that we are a mower designed for production mowing and we do it real well! We also take pride in the fact that we give a very good cut at high speed!

As far as engine choices, we do have choices as well from Kohler to Kawasaki water or air cooled and Subaru engines in gas. In diesel we use Duetz and Lombardini on our current production.

We have a new diesel comming sood but you will have to waite until the press release!

Good Luck!

10-17-2002, 09:38 PM
I have never heard of a pump failure due to side load.
I am sure it has happened to someone at sometime but I have not heard of it on our units.


10-18-2002, 02:23 PM
Go with a used SCAG Sabertooth Tiger. That thing has a 72 inch deck and a 31 HP engine, I am a firm beliver in the saying, (coined by a very wise man) "To much power is just enough".
But if your going to use this thing to mow your yard and only your yard, you have no need for a brand new one. These mowers re designed to be run into the ground, day in and day out, around 20 yards a day. They can be prohibitavely expensive, like around $8000-$12000 for the 72 inch models.
Or really, you could just call me and I will come do your property! :D

Planet Landscaping
10-19-2002, 06:32 PM
No brainer Exmark lazer $7.000 to $8000

10-19-2002, 07:52 PM
In the area that I live in it has been dominated by dixie chopper, exmark came on strong a few years ago but has faded recently. The machines around here that seem to be really coming on this past year have been the bladerunner and the hustler. I beleve that you could not go wrong with any of these machines it is just a matter of preference! Each company has it's strong points. And remember no one builds the perfect mowing machine!

The hustlers around here are selling in the $8500 range.
The bladerunner sp72 that farm boy was talking about is a real good buy at $7995.

10-22-2002, 05:57 PM
Also, look at the Gravely line. You said that you are going to be mowing 5 acres right? I would say for a homeowner, any 60" commercial grade piece of equipment would suffice. The one thing that I would say, is to not get a Kholer engine. I would eihter get a Kawi or a diesel engine. Again, look at the Gravely line, you might save a little, they are still going to be good mowers. For 5 acres, any 60" should be able to wrap that up in 2 hours or less, if the ground is pretty level. Probably more like an hour and a half.

Good luck,

10-25-2002, 04:51 PM
Thank you everyone for your input. It has been a great help and very good.

I have been doing some more checking on what I can find on the market and have found several ones to follow up on.

I did look at the Gravely. - Impressed with the deck lift, but everything else seems average. One of the highest prices I have been quoted too.

I have checked with Scag too. One of the highest prices, but with the 27 KAW liquid cooled. Plus the owner also has a 72" (same engine) for a major discount (right at $8k, basically same as the 60") I do like the drive shaft idea.

I have also looked up the Lesco model. From the brochure and info + pictures it is very similar to the Tank. I also did some background checking and it has been made with/by MTD, so it is the same as the tank minus badging. Still waiting on the price quote, haven't been to the dealer yet, it is 45miles away.

The Exmark is a nice mower no doubts, but still one of the higher priced ones.

As for used - not many to be found. Once someone gets it they keep it until it is shot. For the money they are still asking I could buy new for a few hundred more.

I did find a 60" Grasshopper ZTR with the diesel for @ $7k, but it is the 21hp.

It depends on what dealership I speak with, but I hear negatives about the KAW from some and Kohler from others. I do know there are some carb probs with the Kohler, but again there are tons of them out there.

Thanks again for the input.


10-25-2002, 06:08 PM
Lemme just say this, I have never, and I do mean NEVER had a problem with any of my Kawasaki engines. The one Kohler I had was so horrible that I have never bought another Kohler. Just take care of your Kawi, thats all you have to do, and it will chug forever. :cool:

Piedmont Lawn
10-30-2002, 08:27 PM
Hi jheady,

My local Gravely dealer had a sale last month on the 2002 260Z with the Koh or Kaw 25 hp your choice for $6800.00. I have a new 260z 25 hp Kohler setting in my garage right now:D

Only 20 hrs on it with no regrets.....:)

Hope this helps you to work a price.


11-06-2002, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by mowerconsultant
I have never heard of a pump failure due to side load.
I am sure it has happened to someone at sometime but I have not heard of it on our units.


I have an old Hustler 262 that had a pump fail due to the side loading. These are Sundstrand units and I just rebuilt them and modified the housings and shaft to use a needle bearing with higher load capacity.

Granted, its an '88 with who knows how many hours, and statistically a small sample size. But I think this does show merit in the axially driven method. I also think it speaks well for these units because this thing is an oldy!

11-09-2002, 10:28 AM
l have used or demoed almost every commercial mower out there, and I currently use dixie choppers and bladerunners! However for home use just about any commercial brand of mower is going to last you for years, some maybe longer than others. Just remember a good dealer can make all the diffrence!

03-14-2003, 09:52 AM
I have still been looking and not bought a thing. From everything I have researched I have it narrowed down to a few. After talking to many people I am going to get a 60" deck. It would be better or more workable for my needs.

Lesco is on top right now. I have talked to them several times and I can get the 60" for about $5995.

A Ferris dealer has been continually running a special for a 61" for same price lately too.

The Scag, Exmark, Cub, and Gravely are all nice mowers, but at least $1500 more than the Lesco.

All of the mowers are basically the same. Same engine, same wheel motors and pumps. For my planned use, I don't think I can beat the price difference, but I am still going to see what dealers are willing to do.

Thank you to everyone that have given the great input, and to Longhorn who pointed me toward the Lesco. So far it is a hard one to beat. I still would appreciate any additional input though.

Thanks again,


05-02-2003, 02:05 PM
I ended up buying a Cub Tank. After talking with the dealers and checking with a few more people, the Cub dealers reputation and my testing help make my mind up. The Lesco's price was a tad bit higher than I was previously quoted and Cub had the 0% financing till 04, I went a head and bit the bullet.

Since I have bought the mower. It has been to the shop twice. About 17hrs, it started cutting out when mowing. The dealership had the mower for a 2 weeks and I just got it back. It ended up being the fuel pump, but I also got a new replacement carb too. From what I have seen it runs fine now, but I have not tried mowing my acreage to really test it yet.

Thanks to everyone for your input. I do greatly appreciate the help.


John Gamba
05-02-2003, 04:21 PM
Spend a Little More and Get!