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View Full Version : Purchased new home with 2.5 Acres


osueric27
06-11-2011, 10:17 AM
Greetings All!

My wife and I just purchased a new home sitting on 2.5 acres. 98% of the land is absolutely flat with a slight grade going up to the pool. The property was built in 2003 and there are only about 8 very small trees to mow around on the property. The landscaping is just around the perimeter of the house. So all in all there is not a lot to mow around. The grass has been very well maintained and is Kentucky 31 tall fescue. By the way we are in Southern Indiana to give you an idea of the climate conditions.

Ok, having said all of that my previous home I used a push mower on a small lot. I am now in the market for at least a 52" ZTR. I have been researching on this site and others and have narrowed down my choices to 4 mowers. My price range is around the $5k mark. Here are my options in no order:

Bob Cat Fastcat Pro 52" 22HP Kawasaki - $5499 (Initial price from dealer)
Hustler Fastrak 54" 21 HP Kawasaki - $5899 (Initial price from dealer)
Bad Boy ZT 60" 27HP Kohler - $4999 (Initial price from dealer)
Gravely ProTurn 60" 4 HP Kawasaki - $4999 (Initial price from dealer)

So far I have only riden the Bob Cat and really liked it but will be giving test rides to the others soon. From specs, warranty, and dealer I am leaning towards the Bob Cat. However, the Bad Boy price is very appealing and it seems to be a well built machine. My only concern is the Kohler engine which I am hearing some bad reviews. But since I am not using this as a commercial mower I think it should be ok. I really like the Hustler as well but the price is pretty steep and I think the Bob Cat is just as good a machine as the Hustler overall. The Gravely is a nice price and a Kaw engine but the deck and components seem to be built as strong.

All opinions are welcome and I would really like to hear from some folks with similar needs that have one of these mowers and what their experience has been.

Thanks for the help!

Eric

Capemay Eagle
06-11-2011, 11:31 AM
I like the Bobcat or the Hustler! I actually like them all, but if this was my decision, it would be these two. I was looking pretty hard at a Fastcat till I stumbled on to my Super Duty which was a leftover and I saved a good chunk of change. Your best bang for the buck are going to be the Bad Boy and the Bob Cat. There is a thread above in the forum, actually the first thread called ZTR discussion thread. There is a couple recent buyers of the Bobcat 52" Fastcat that posted some info in there. Allot of good reads in there if you would like to research a little more.

Mason72
06-11-2011, 11:54 AM
you should be able to get the base FT a little cheaper. Or for a couple of hundred more get the HD.

mberry
06-11-2011, 06:42 PM
I just purchased a 2011 54" Fastrak with a 24 HP Kaw for less than $5,300 in Western PA. I believe the 21 HP you are looking at is last year's model and I would think you could get a good discount for this reason. If the dealer does not move on the price, I would go with the Fastcat Pro.
Fyi, I looked at Scag, Bad Boy, Bob-Cat, Bunton, Dixie Chopper, Exmark, Walker and obviously Hustler. In the end it came down between Bob-Cat and Hustler. I got the better deal on the Hustler and felt more comfortable with the dealer. Only have 3.4 hours on it so far, but am very satisfied with it.

rwaters
06-11-2011, 07:50 PM
I have sold the Badboy and currently sell the Hustler and Bobcat. You might want to check on the Hustler prices as I think something got messed up the 2011 54 Fastrak has a 24 hp kawasaki engine on it, so they could have gave you the wrong price as well. The Fastrak super duty has a 26hp Kawasaki but that sounds more like the price you have.

Ok as for the differences

Both the Bobcat and Hustler run the ZT3100 Transmissions and Kawasaki FX engines(commercial engine). Both have a lifetime frame and leading edge of the deck warranty. The Bobcat has a 5 year(parts and labor) consumer warranty on the drivetrain and Hustler has a 4 year(parts and labor).

The Badboy ZT mower has a Kohler Courage engine(a consumer engine will not last nearly as long as the Kawasaki FX) and a ZT2800 Transmission(same as th ZT3100 but with plastic gears instead of metal) As well as a 2 year warranty(1 year Parts and Labor 1 year Labor only).

As for the Gravely I can not help as I do not know the exact model you are talking about.

mberry
06-11-2011, 08:39 PM
The Fastrak's have Kawasaki FS engines but the Fastrak SD's and Fastcat Pro's have the Kawasaki FX engines.
Stepping up from the Fastrak to Fastrak SD gets you folding ROPS, larger HP FX engine and larger fuel capacity. I seriously considered getting the SD but in the end I could not justify the price increase. I personally did not need the folding ROPS or larger fuel capacity, but the extra 2 HP FX engine was tempting.

rwaters
06-11-2011, 08:49 PM
The Fastrak's have Kawasaki FS engines but the Fastrak SD's and Fastcat Pro's have the Kawasaki FX engines.
Stepping up from the Fastrak to Fastrak SD gets you folding ROPS, larger HP FX engine and larger fuel capacity. I seriously considered getting the SD but in the end I could not justify the price increase. I personally did not need the folding ROPS or larger fuel capacity, but the extra 2 HP FX engine was tempting.

your correct on the 2011 engine I forgot about the change this year. But still a better engine then the Kohler Courage.

Capemay Eagle
06-11-2011, 09:09 PM
your correct on the 2011 engine I forgot about the change this year. But still a better engine then the Kohler Courage.Yep, you had me thinking for a minute about that one.

But I have another question if you know the answer! Someone posted that the EZT trans is only good for 200 hours, I know that cannot be right. What is the life expectancy of the EZT trans. I would have to think at least 500 hours?

saw n mow
06-12-2011, 10:29 AM
The Badboy ZT mower has a Kohler Courage engine(a consumer engine will not last nearly as long as the Kawasaki FX) and a ZT2800 Transmission(same as th ZT3100 but with plastic gears instead of metal) As well as a 2 year warranty(1 year Parts and Labor 1 year Labor only).

As of 2010, I believe the ZT's have ZT3100 hydros.

Kevin

Capemay Eagle
06-12-2011, 10:52 AM
As of 2010, I believe the ZT's have ZT3100 hydros.

Kevin

Yes the ZT has the 3100's and the CZT has ZT3400's

rwaters
06-12-2011, 11:02 AM
Yep, you had me thinking for a minute about that one.

But I have another question if you know the answer! Someone posted that the EZT trans is only good for 200 hours, I know that cannot be right. What is the life expectancy of the EZT trans. I would have to think at least 500 hours?

I have ezt transmissions out with well over 500 hours on them. From a tear down perspective the ZT2800 is close to the ZT honestly, but has a hydro filter and you can change the oil.

Hydrogear does not have an official posting on the hours nor does anyone else that I know of. If fact the hyrogear testing center is not far from me. I know a few guys in the engineering department.

Sorry about my errors on the bad boy I was looking at their brochure from last year and it says 2800, sometimes it is wrong though.

rwaters
06-12-2011, 11:12 AM
some other notes remember if your pulling a lot of weight or on really steep hills the EZT will not cool itself and the life will drop. If your on flat ground it will be fine. Also putting lots of hours on the EZT at one time will heat it up and damage it. For example if your cutting yards all day with the EZT it would be like putting more then a year of use as far as wear on the unit.

Like everything else they were designed for a purpose if you follow that you will be fine. My biggest problem is it seems the Briggs ELS/Professional Series and Kohler Courage were both designed to get you out of the warranty period then fail.

Capemay Eagle
06-12-2011, 11:23 AM
some other notes remember if your pulling a lot of weight or on really steep hills the EZT will not cool itself and the life will drop. If your on flat ground it will be fine. Also putting lots of hours on the EZT at one time will heat it up and damage it. For example if your cutting yards all day with the EZT it would be like putting more then a year of use as far as wear on the unit.

Like everything else they were designed for a purpose if you follow that you will be fine. My biggest problem is it seems the Briggs ELS/Professional Series and Kohler Courage were both designed to get you out of the warranty period then fail.

I have ezt transmissions out with well over 500 hours on them. From a tear down perspective the ZT2800 is close to the ZT honestly, but has a hydro filter and you can change the oil.

Hydrogear does not have an official posting on the hours nor does anyone else that I know of. If fact the hyrogear testing center is not far from me. I know a few guys in the engineering department.

Sorry about my errors on the bad boy I was looking at their brochure from last year and it says 2800, sometimes it is wrong though. I figured you can at least get 500-700 hours for flat mowing. I looked for about 20 minutes on reports for Hydrogear. Their own link was down yesterday and every thread I researched just never really answered the question! What do you think about the ZT3100's> 2000+ hours?

mprowland
06-12-2011, 05:59 PM
I asked the same question with regards to the EZT transmissions, here is the response I got.

Hey mark, we have rebuilt several izt trannys between 8 to 12 years old. The oil starts to break down and turns into nasty goo over time and ruins the gears. You either have ezt or izts, ezts usually can't be rebuilt, but izts can because they have protective plates over the housings. The expected lifespan on either I would give 800 hours, I have heard some getting over 1000, but its rare.... I will ask the hustler Rep when I talk to him next on which one they have...

I also emailed Hydro-Gear and this is the response I got.

Mr. XXXX,
There is not a published number of hours for the EZT transaxle due to the
lage number of factors that can affect that outcome. The units in question
have been thoroughly tested and designed to be used in the machine type you
have purchased. This product has been used widely in the residential zero
turn market and is designed for years of reliable residential use.

Thank You,
Jeromie Taylor
Hydro-Gear Technical Service

Capemay Eagle
06-12-2011, 06:03 PM
I asked the same question with regards to the EZT transmissions, here is the response I got.

Hey mark, we have rebuilt several izt trannys between 8 to 12 years old. The oil starts to break down and turns into nasty goo over time and ruins the gears. You either have ezt or izts, ezts usually can't be rebuilt, but izts can because they have protective plates over the housings. The expected lifespan on either I would give 800 hours, I have heard some getting over 1000, but its rare.... I will ask the hustler Rep when I talk to him next on which one they have...
Yeah, that is what I figured! between 500 and 700 and that would be roughly 10-12 years of use for a 40-50 hour homeowner season.

Just to double check are sure that it is not the EZT that can be rebuilt and not the IZT? I have heard of the IZT, but I have never really seen a machine that has them?

rwaters
06-12-2011, 11:44 PM
Yeah, that is what I figured! between 500 and 700 and that would be roughly 10-12 years of use for a 40-50 hour homeowner season.

Just to double check are sure that it is not the EZT that can be rebuilt and not the IZT? I have heard of the IZT, but I have never really seen a machine that has them?

Neither of them can be rebuilt when the oil starts to break down, it is cheaper to buy a new one. As to your other question nobody knows as of yet but I expect 1500 to 2000 hours on average before we start seeing trouble on the integrated drives. That included the 5400 that they use on commercial machines. But that is my opinion and I have yet to see any reach that. The 2800 units are failing much faster then 1000 hours on average around here, but they were billed as commercial units and used as such when they came out(I also have yet to see a homeowner reach that).

mprowland
06-13-2011, 12:05 AM
Neither of them can be rebuilt when the oil starts to break down, it is cheaper to buy a new one.

The price for BOTH left and right side is around $1000, at least for the Hustler Sport. This put my mind at ease.

rwaters
06-13-2011, 12:27 AM
The price for BOTH left and right side is around $1000, at least for the Hustler Sport. This put my mind at ease.

here is the problem most shops bill out at say $90 an hour, in my area I own the only shop that is hydrogear warranty authorized so that tells me only nobody has likely sent a tech to be trained on hydrogear.... Most likely your hourly rate will go threw the roof when it comes to the rebuild. I personally will only do it for my customers during the peak season as it is too expensive to send techs to school, I personally am the only one that has been trained to do the transmissions in my shop and none of the other shops around here have even signed up to do hydrogear let alone trained a tech. Another problem that you have is, how many has the tech done, do you want to be his first?

mprowland
06-13-2011, 12:53 AM
I wouldn't rebuild, I would just buy new for a $1000 and swap them out myself. Unless a rebuild is substantially cheaper, this would be the route I would go. Am I missing something, I know nothing about these transmissions?
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saw n mow
06-13-2011, 08:19 AM
Good info on the EZT's fellas. I'll be bookmarking this info for future considerations.

Kevin

saw n mow
06-13-2011, 05:37 PM
Hope this isn't a thread hijack.

rwaters, sounds like you have gotten some good info about Hydro gear transmissions. If the prices, other components, build quality and so on were the same, which mower would you pick if one had a Briggs Professional engine with ZT3100 hydros and the other had a Kawasaki FR engine with ZT2800 hydros?

Kevin

rwaters
06-13-2011, 06:19 PM
Hope this isn't a thread hijack.

rwaters, sounds like you have gotten some good info about Hydro gear transmissions. If the prices, other components, build quality and so on were the same, which mower would you pick if one had a Briggs Professional engine with ZT3100 hydros and the other had a Kawasaki FR engine with ZT2800 hydros?

Kevin

here is the thing, we do not really see that many problems with the EZT transmissions unless someone is doing something other then mowing with the mower. If for example you want to push snow, or put behind a yard cart all the time I would go with the 31 hydrogear. so for mowing grass I would take the Kawasaki FR engine. Your mower is only as good as the first part to fail. I would even go as far to say I would take a Kawasaki FR engine and an EZT transmission over a Briggs Professional( or Kohler Courage) engine with pumps and wheel motors.

rwaters
06-13-2011, 06:22 PM
I wouldn't rebuild, I would just buy new for a $1000 and swap them out myself. Unless a rebuild is substantially cheaper, this would be the route I would go. Am I missing something, I know nothing about these transmissions?
Posted via Mobile Device

unless you really have a good tech I would recommend buying a replacement. too many factors you can not control in rebuilds. But if you do at least ask to see some sort of hydrogear certificate with the name of the tech doing the work on it. It is nice if he has some sort of clue what he is doing and now winging it.

Skidpad
06-13-2011, 08:57 PM
osueric27: I recently purchased a Bobcat Fastcat Pro 52/22. The price you were given is either a not-so-great deal on the previous version of the mower (the F series, which is what I have), or a smokin' deal on the new version - the G series - which is what is shown on the Bobcat website. The fuel tanks are a dead giveaway between the two versions. Let me know if you have any questions - I'll be glad to help.

Everyone else discussing the ZT-2800...here's a link to the service manual: http://www.encoreequipment.com/servicebook/05DealerTips/10%20Parker%20Wheel%20Motors/transaxles/FCBLN-52441-zt-2800_P5.pdf

Somewhere on the web I've seen one of these units disassembled, but I can't seem to find the page right now; will post later if I find it.
Enjoy
Posted via Mobile Device

saw n mow
06-14-2011, 07:32 AM
here is the thing, we do not really see that many problems with the EZT transmissions unless someone is doing something other then mowing with the mower. If for example you want to push snow, or put behind a yard cart all the time I would go with the 31 hydrogear. so for mowing grass I would take the Kawasaki FR engine. Your mower is only as good as the first part to fail. I would even go as far to say I would take a Kawasaki FR engine and an EZT transmission over a Briggs Professional( or Kohler Courage) engine with pumps and wheel motors.

My yard is 45 mins, a paid yard is also 45 mins, and another paid yard is about 25 mins. I do these roughly every 10 days...but with the heat and no rain lately...it'll be longer between mows. I share the mowing of our church yard which is 25 mins whenever it's my turn. The 25 minute paid yard has a decent slope as does a portion of my own yard, but they are not very long (2 to 3 passes). I'm very particular about maintenance so in all, I believe my MZ will hold up for many years.

I think I should quit wondering about my EZT hydros and just mow. :)

Kevin

osueric27
06-14-2011, 11:47 AM
Thanks for all the info. Just so I have this straight:

The Bobcat has the ZT3100 trans and the NEW ZT Bad Boy has them as well?

I think I have narrowed it down to these two as the Hustler is a bit more pricey than I want.

My delima now is whether I want the Bad Boy with a 60" cut or the Bob Cat with 52". My instinct says the 60" might be a little too big for what I need and take up more space in the garage. I think with a little negotiating I can get a good deal on both with the Bad Boy being a few hundred dollars cheaper in the end.

My other issue is with the engines. Will I be dissapointed if I go with the Kohler Courage? Anybody have this engine or had any issues with this engine?

Thanks again for the help.

rwaters
06-14-2011, 01:35 PM
osueric27 In the long term YES, the Kawasaki engine will have a lower cost of ownership then the Kohler Courage. It will also last longer then the consumer engine. This will more then save you back the difference in cost of the mowers and will last twice as long if not more.

Capemay Eagle
06-14-2011, 02:07 PM
You can get a ZT 50"

Popeye77
06-14-2011, 02:20 PM
Bobcat with the Kaw hands down vs BB with Kohler Courage.

Capemay Eagle
06-14-2011, 02:28 PM
Bobcat with the Kaw hands down vs BB with Kohler Courage.
Oh yeah, I second this!! I believe that the Bobacat Pro uses the FX in that unit!! I really like the Bob Cat mowers.

I myself have always had good luck with Kohler engines, I would certainly get another, but would prefer the Command Pro! I am curious if the ZT uses the Courage Pro or the Courage XT-7? Or just a Courage?