View Full Version : Best ZTR tractor for homeowner?

10-16-2002, 04:46 PM
I am thinking about getting a new riding mower to cut my lawn , it is about 3/4 acres pretty flatjust one hill,my sand mound , and alot of trees to cut around , I would like a zero turn radius riding mower.What is the best one for the money, I was considering the JD SST18 for $3995,or the Ariens EZ 1742,are there other mosels I should look for ?I could use some expert advice , I do not know anything about them, all I know is I am tired of the poor turning radius on my Cub Cadet.Thank you

10-16-2002, 09:14 PM
For that price, maybe an Encore Z34. It's only a 34" cut, but could still do a 3/4 acre pretty easy. I'm sure others will give you some other opinions. Alot of Exmark lovers on this site. Good luck to you.

10-17-2002, 12:47 AM
Check out a Hustler FasTrak.
44 or 52 inch decks.
16, 18, 20 hp Honda engines or 17.5 hp Briggs and Stratton.
Check them out on our website www.hustlerturfequipment.com
Or check out or forum here on Ls
Hustler Forum (http://www.lawnsite.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=31)

Where in Pa are you ?

Here is a pic



10-17-2002, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the replys.
mowerconsultant, I am in northeast PA , about 45 minutes of philly, in a town called Orefield.Another question I have about a ztr is about the cut itself or I should say about the clipings,do I need a mulcher or is the side shoot good enough ?I mean do all ztr's chop up the clippings so well that you cant see them on the grass if you dont mulch or bag?Or are some better then others at chopping the clippings and is engine size important in this regard?
Thank you for the help

10-17-2002, 09:27 AM
One more thing I forgot to ask, where can I find prices on the Fastrak?

10-17-2002, 12:11 PM
Here are your model #'s and MSRP's on the Hustler FasTrak.

FasTrak, 17.5HP B&S / 44" 926774 $4,699
FasTrak, 17.5HP B&S / 52" 926600 $4,899
FasTrak, 16HP Honda / 44" 926527 $4,899
FasTrak, 18HP Honda / 44" 926519 $5,099
FasTrak, 18HP Honda / 52" 926592 $5,299
FasTrak, 20HP Honda / 52" 926501 $5,499

These units may be more than others you are looking at right now, but I can guarantee you they are the best you can buy in the home owner Z class of mowers.
Just look on our forum here on LS and you will see a many of customers that love them, do a search here on LS with the keyword being "FasTrak"

As far as discharging that would be up to you. Every customer has a preference when it comes to there yard.
We also have mulch kits available, the MSRP on those are $79.00 for either the 44" or 52"
We also offer a few different side catchers for the FasTrak, they range in price from about $175.00 to $350.00 at MSRP
The FasTrak will pack a catcher real nice, it will also discharge awesome, so it is your choice and preference.

Please e-mail me for your dealer info, you have a dealer about 5 miles from your town, and a couple about 30 minutes to a hour away also.

E-mail hustler@twcny.rr.com

Hope this helps

10-18-2002, 02:26 PM
SCAG Tiger Cub with a 48 inch deck. It will get your lawn done in a hurry, and its a fun little mower to use. If you sue it only for your yard, it will still be chugging while you are rotting in the ground. (dont mean to be morbid, but its the truth!) :D

01-11-2003, 12:55 AM
Be sure and demo a Walker mower b-4 you buy. It may cost a bit more but worth every penny. Chech out walkermowers.com:D

01-11-2003, 07:20 PM
I would deffinatly check out exmark, I wouldn't even consider JD. Another good brand that is similar to exmark but a little cheaper is Encore. They are fairly new but make a nice machine. I have a 52" prowler and have had little to no problems with it. Good luck

Luke Anderson
Oakhill Landscaping

01-12-2003, 10:26 AM
If your just going to mow your 3/4 acre lot once a week, or less often, ANY commercial mower will work for you. These are commercial, they will last forever with the kind of work you are putting on it. So really, just whatever you like, provided its commercial. They are all good, some just better than others.


01-14-2003, 10:45 AM
I have been in the same position and have gone back and forth and looked at a lot of equipment. If I could justify spending 4800 I would definately go with the Hustler/Landpride ZTR. Unfortunately, I may end up going with a JD rider to save 1400 to buy a bunch of other stuff I need.

01-17-2003, 04:55 PM
tonym10 - I was in the same situation over this past summer. I have 1 acre to mow and was tired of my old cub cadet. I wound up finding a used exmark, 19hp kawasaki, 48" cut. It had 100 hours and I got it for $3,800. I've been smiling ever since. I know used equipment is always a risk, but if you can find the right deal you might get a commercial (better and longer lasting) mower at a great price.

Good luck.

01-18-2003, 04:03 AM
It might take a little time for shopping and inspecting it, but I would advise considering a used commercial ZTR, rather than the cheaper homeowner models new. Some I've seen look like they might not be built that well, and nothing can be worse than a mower than breaks down in summer, leaving you w/o a way to cut your lawn while waiting for it to get fixed.

A lazer Z HP 44" with 17hp is Exmark's cheapest model, and runs less than $6,000 , new. Exmark is considered to have the best mulching kit, it runs $100 or so. Properly used, it leaves lawns looking almost like they're bagged. If you're on a budget, a used one might be a good idea. They're built to last. I use a 18hP 48" model and it's had no major problems in 1100 hours of use. Winter is the time to buy used mowers, obviously, to get the best price.

If you really want a new commercial quality mower...for your relatively small needs, I would suggest that you also consider a new Toro T-bar steering 36" or 44" deck belt drive mower. Maybe $3,000 new, depending on engine and deck size. A velke or other brand of stand on sulky could be added if you hate walking, for another $250 or so. (haven't bought one in years)
Not as fast as a ZTR, but still blazing compared to a lawn tractor or push mower. Unless you have health problems, it's almost as easy as riding a mower when you're only doing one yard a week.

Also available used, of course. I bought a 36" toro years ago for $1000 and it's still going strong. Also owned 3 other models I bought new over the years.

Try Exmark and Toro's webpages for details.

The Mowerdude
01-21-2003, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by tonym10
....Another question I have about a ztr is about the cut itself or I should say about the clipings,do I need a mulcher or is the side shoot good enough ?I mean do all ztr's chop up the clippings so well that you cant see them on the grass if you dont mulch or bag?Or are some better then others at chopping the clippings and is engine size important in this regard?
Thank you for the help

This really depends on how often you cut your grass, how many mulch areas you have, how many walkways, etc.

If you're zealous enough to purchase a comercial grade ZTR (hey, I'm a proud Hustler owner) then I'd say that you plan on cutting at least once a week. You may have to either cut twice a week during the season's initial heavy growth period or you'll need to bag. However, during normal growth periods, if you cut regularly and consistently, mulching decks and blades will be more than adequate.

Also, I see you're from Pennsylvania. I would imagine that in your neck of the woods, most of your grass is fescue. If you'll cut your yard often enough to never have to cut anything more than the wide leafy part of the plant, everything will decompose quickly and cleanly. And hey, that new ZTR will be so much fun to use, you'll be cutting it at least once a week anyway. :cool:

01-21-2003, 07:17 PM
One more thing to consider:
for a 3/4 acre you may fare well looking into a walkbehind, maybe even with a sulky to stand on. This will give you the same quality cut at about half the price.

01-30-2003, 11:00 PM
There is a new homeowner line of ZTR mowers for 2003 from Ariens/Gravely that are a huge improvement in design and engineering from what this part of the market has been offered in the past. They have put on a fabricated deep and well braced mower deck. The deck lift is a convenient foot pedal that locks and unlocks with a toe tap to the pedal. The twin tube frame is widened and lowered and the seat has been dramatically lowered. This makes it quit stable on hillsides and it seems to turn much easier without scuffing the turf as much - probably cause of the wide stance of the rear tires.
These Gravely models are not as heavy duty as the commercial models that have been suggested, but they are more than good enough for mowing a 3/4 acre yard. They appear to use the same hydro system as the little Hustler, the only question is the Briggs Inteck engine. But the engine would surely get at least 750 to 1000 hours if maintained - and the mower will probably be used less than 50 hours a year on 3/4 acres.

There is a very light duty unit with stamped deck, that I don't recomend ZT1340 for $2499 for your purposes.

The better models with the heavier frame and fabricated mower deck, and rear factory hitch to pull a roller, light aerator, or trailer etc.,etc.
model ZT1640 - 16hp, 40 inch cut is $2999.
model ZT1844 - 18 hp, 44" cut $3699
model ZT2048 - 20 hp, 48" cut $$3999
model ZT2252 - 22hp, 52" cut $4399

The ZT1844 - $3699 should be all that is needed at most to maintain 3/4 of an acre of turf.

01-31-2003, 09:06 PM
Yesterday, the site showed the 1844 as an 1842 w/42" deck. Today, It has the 1844 w/44" deck and the price went up from 3699 to 3899. Go figure?

01-31-2003, 09:32 PM
Ever concider a used ZTR ?

01-31-2003, 09:53 PM
For a home owner i`d look at the areins that you have been i have a 1999 ariens ztr 48" cut with a16 hp briggs vangaurd, u`d think that 16 hp isn`t enough but it has plenty of power i`ve got about 880 hr on it and it runs amazing, cuts and stripes really good too. I don`t know what the new home owner series is like but if it has the intek? i`m not shure with that engine but i know it wont hold up like the vangaurd. probably all u need for what ur doin though.

02-02-2003, 01:53 PM
I just looked at their new 2003 line . never seen it before. my god was i shocked . they look really cheap. i`d look at gravelys commercail line or ZTRs thats mine is like , i don`t like the looks of this new home owner series. just my opinions though/:dizzy:

02-17-2003, 12:09 AM
if you have not bought a new mower yet. go look at an Ariens 1640 it is brand new for this coming year and will work great for your size of lawn and is reasonably priced around 2999.00. If you want something bigger they have it for the homeowner.

If you want a commercial machine than i think the Examrk Lazer hp will be more than what you will need but it will also last a life time if you take care of the machine.

But the best mowers that you can buy are the ones that you can get serviced by a trained professional in your area. Better service will always be better for you than a great mower. Everything will break down!

02-22-2003, 08:27 PM
I have a Gravely ZT1842 that I bought last Spring with optional bagger mulching kit that has 16 hrs.on it that I'm looking sell. Moving to Florida to a gated senior community.