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View Full Version : 4to5 K budget, 3 level acres, WHICH ZTR?


Jswatson2
11-12-2012, 10:52 AM
Never owned a ZTR before so I am a complete novice but I want to buy a decent mower that will last a long time.

Any advice is appreciated.

davidcalhoun
11-12-2012, 11:34 AM
There are quite a few mowers that will fit your needs. Just have a couple of questions.

Have you ever mowed with a ZTR? Do you enjoy mowing or do you want it done as quickly as possible?

The reason I ask is that there are several sizes of decks capable of cutting three acres. Larger decks will do it quicker but with additional cost.

Jswatson2
11-12-2012, 11:51 AM
I have never used a ZTR before. I do enjoy mowing and working in the yard. However, because I have 4 children, my life dictates that I finish mowing quickly so that I can move on to other things.

I was thinking that a 54" deck would do fine. Do you agree?

larryinalabama
11-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Id just get a craftsman lawn "tractor", they last a long time, Im sure one of the 4 kids would love to use the thing. ZTRS are dangerous and dont have many attachments lkie a tractor has.

davidcalhoun
11-12-2012, 01:55 PM
Yes, a 54" mower will do the job done pretty quick. Even a 48" ZTR will do the job just fine. A decent 42" ZTR would work but it would take longer. A 60" ZTR would cost more and might be overkill for your needs/budget.

A 48" ZTR will cost less than the 54" for a couple of reasons (assuming the same grade of mower). Main reason will be engine size necessary to power the unit.

And Larry has a good point. A rider/tractor will also do the same job (just not a quick but at a lower cost).

Jswatson2
11-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Ok. That's all good info.

Now, in my price range, what brands will give me the best bang for my buck in the ZTR and lawn tractor markets?

Jswatson2
11-12-2012, 03:27 PM
Forgot to mention that's get 15% off at tractor supply. They sell Bad Boy and Cub Cadet.

I don't hear good things about Bad Boy. The Cubs get decent ratings on their tractors but not so good on their ZTRs. Thought?

davidcalhoun
11-12-2012, 04:17 PM
You will need a mower that is in the "estate" or "light commercial" range to get a new ZTR in the 4 to 5 K price.

Check out the Husqvarna MZ 5225 or the Dixon Ultra 52. They are the same mower.

Others. The Bob Cat Fast Cat RZ series, Ariens Zoom series, Also check out Gravely GT series (Ariens sister mower).

Have you checked out the mowers for sale on this site? You can also check craigslist and ebay for used (and truly commercial) ZTRs.

larryinalabama
11-12-2012, 04:28 PM
You will need a mower that is in the "estate" or "light commercial" range to get a new ZTR in the 4 to 5 K price.

Check out the Husqvarna MZ 5225 or the Dixon Ultra 52. They are the same mower.

Others. The Bob Cat Fast Cat RZ series, Ariens Zoom series, Also check out Gravely GT series (Ariens sister mower).

Have you checked out the mowers for sale on this site? You can also check craigslist and ebay for used (and truly commercial) ZTRs.

The Ariens at Home Depoit look decient.

A lot of fellers use the Toro Tomecutters commerically so they must be decient, I think they have independant hydros so you have a maintance free system.

A lot of my friends have bopught cub cadet tractors and are happy with them, they have heaver decks than craftsman and are around the same price.

The problwm now is the "box" stores wont have a good secection until spring.

Brules
11-13-2012, 02:38 PM
For $4-5k Look at the Hustler Fastraks, Scag Freedom Z (little about 5k), The new Kubota mower coming out, and the Gravely HD mowers.

Any of those are 100000000000000000000x better than anything you can buy at Lowes, Home Depot etc and will last much much longer.

For 3 acres a ZTR will run circles around a tractor mower and will get you on and off the mower in a fraction of the time. Unless you like riding a mower for hours on end, a ZTR is the way to go.

Hustler Fastrak: $5300
Scag Freedom Z: $5k
Kubota ZG series: $4500-$5500

A 48" ZTR would cut your 3 acres easily, for the price difference to go up to 52-54", it is not worth the price, as you will make a few more passes to account for the deck difference, no biggie.

With regular oil changes, air filter and fuel filter - the above mowers should last a long, long time, vs 3-5 years for the el cheapos at the big box stores.

IS500Z
11-13-2012, 10:00 PM
As stated above stay with an OPE dealer instead of the big box stores. Since you are mowing a large area you may also want to look at Ferris mowers which have an independent suspension system which will give you the best ride in the business. For a lawn tractor I would look at John Deere in the 500 series, Kubota (might be out of the price range) and Simplicity. Cub Cadet is not what it used to be and I would not buy anything made by Cub today. Personally I would go with a ZTR from a dealer that I want to do business with and shows me he/she wants my business.

I would run, not walk, away from any used commercial equipment. The only exception I would make would be if it is sold by a dealer to whom you can return if you have problems. Most used commercial equipment is for sale because it is worn out. You also have no way to confirm any maintenance on the machine since most of it is done by the local talent selling it to you.

lifetree
11-13-2012, 10:10 PM
You will need a mower that is in the "estate" or "light commercial" range to get a new ZTR in the 4 to 5 K price.

Check out the Husqvarna MZ 5225 or the Dixon Ultra 52. They are the same mower...

I recommend the Dixon Ultra 52" or 60" machine !!

... For 3 acres a ZTR will run circles around a tractor mower and will get you on and off the mower in a fraction of the time. Unless you like riding a mower for hours on end, a ZTR is the way to go. ...

I agree !!

Nate'sLawnCare
11-14-2012, 12:05 AM
Check out the Snapper Pro models, they should have a 48 to 52 inch ZTR in your price range and you should be able to get a great deal right now.

You might be able to pick up one of these for around $5k:

http://www.snapperpro.com/models/features/3:s150xt

Brules
11-14-2012, 07:06 PM
I would look at the Ferris IS500 as well. I was told in 2013 they are switching to Hydrogear drives and the price will come down.

hartje123
12-10-2012, 10:51 AM
Look at the new Ferris IS 600 Z that replaces the IS500Z Great mower

Darryl G
12-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Don't forget about the Gravely ZT XL and ZT HD mowers. I think they need to put slightly larger rear tires and 1/4 inch deck adjustment on them, but if that can be overlooked I think they're an excellent value.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gravely-ZT-48-XL-Zero-Turn-Mower-/261138999231?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccd18e7bf

Darryl G
12-10-2012, 11:41 AM
P.S. - I don't think anyone has mentioned Bob-Cat. Their FastCat RZ and maybe even the FastCat Pro SE could fit your budget if you can get a good deal on it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BOB-CAT-BOBCAT-52-FASTCAT-RZ-MOWER-22-HP-KAWASAKI-942315G-/200807060164?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ec10892c4

Darryl G
12-10-2012, 12:19 PM
Guess I scanned this thread too quick..others have already mentioned these so I guess I'd second that, lol.

Brules
12-10-2012, 06:39 PM
Who makes those? Toro?

retrodog
12-10-2012, 07:10 PM
Ok all of you guys are recommending box stores. Do not buy from box stores. You might shop there pick out the mower then drive to the actual dealer and buy. Much faster service, parts, etc. I know alot of dealers that only work on what they sale and will not touch box store mowers, me not being one. Ok on the Bad Boy, I sell more bad boys than anyone in the country, and I have really good luck out of them. I think they are one of the best built mowers out for money. ZT has 3100 transmissions, 27hp briggs pro motor 7 guage commercial deck 50" for $4499, or 60" with 27hp kohler for $4999.
Check out the Grasshopper 124 for $5300 with $200 off the 2012 models, or the Hustler Fastrak they run mid to upper $5000

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-10-2012, 07:15 PM
Look into what popular mowers are in your area and what commercial companies use. Stop by a couple of dealers to get an idea of what machines they recommend. In the Spring the dealers have mower Expo's with amazing deals.

-Michael

C & T Landscaping
12-16-2012, 09:00 PM
Look into what popular mowers are in your area and what commercial companies use. Stop by a couple of dealers to get an idea of what machines they recommend. In the Spring the dealers have mower Expo's with amazing deals.

-Michael

I agree, what dealers are close to you? You don't want to drive an hour plus away if something goes wrong. once we get a list of dealers nearby we can help narrow your search.

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-18-2012, 09:42 PM
There are 3 or 4 within my county (15-20 minutes), I don't know how the one guy is still in business with the crap he pulls.

Suburban Lawn and Equipment is the top dealer in my area and they make sure they take care of their Commercial clients first. They sell Exmark, Toro, Scag, Hustler, Walker, Cub Cadet, Honda (snowblowers/generators), Echo, Stihl, Boss snowplows.

-Michael

C & T Landscaping
12-19-2012, 04:01 AM
There are 3 or 4 within my county (15-20 minutes), I don't know how the one guy is still in business with the crap he pulls.

Suburban Lawn and Equipment is the top dealer in my area and they make sure they take care of their Commercial clients first. They sell Exmark, Toro, Scag, Hustler, Walker, Cub Cadet, Honda (snowblowers/generators), Echo, Stihl, Boss snowplows.

-Michael

My bad, I just re-read what I wrote...the 'I agree' part was for what you said, and rest was for the OP.

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 11:31 AM
My bad, I just re-read what I wrote...the 'I agree' part was for what you said, and rest was for the OP.

We knew that.....well at least I did.

I used to have an Exmark dealer just a few miles away but they closed due to death of the owner. Another shop opened not far away but they were terrible and didn't last long. Now I have to drive about 1/2 hour for parts and service...not all that far but even that can be a pain sometimes.

When it's time to replace my Exmarks I'll probably go with Bob-Cat because that dealer is within 5 miles and excellent, based on my dealings with them and my Shindaiwa handhelds. The thing I really like about them is that they actually stock parts. There's another Shindaiwa dealer nearby but you could buy a new handheld off the shelf and not be able to buy a spare air filter and spark plug for it without them having to order it. I think my shop is better stocked with parts than theirs is, lol.

CowboysLawnCareDelaware
12-19-2012, 05:26 PM
Thank you Darryl, time for me to stop posting all together on this site.

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 06:16 PM
Thank you Darryl, time for me to stop posting all together on this site.

I really don't know what your problem is with me. Do you have some sort of persecution complex or something? I just re-read everything I've written in this post, and other than being redundant in mentioning two brands that had already been mentioned, I don't see where I said anything that could possibly be considered offensive even by the most sensitive individual.

Who thinks that anything I've said in this post is out of line and in any way offensive? :dizzy:

avguy
12-20-2012, 01:19 PM
Who thinks that anything I've said in this post is out of line and in any way offensive? :dizzy:
I generally don't comment on these types of posts but I honestly don't see any thing either.....