View Full Version : small commercial mower
06-21-2003, 10:59 PM
I have been cutting grass (and weeds) for about 5 years now. I have decided to move to a commercial ZTR mower. I would like to spend around $6,000 (give or take a little $). I have two areas of concern, dependability and quality of cut in short and tall grass. Some brands that I have close access to are Grass Hopper, Scag, Hustler, Gravely, Bob-Cat, Toro, and Husqvarna. I'm looking for around 18-19hp with 48-52" cut. Your professional advice will be greatly appreciated.
06-21-2003, 11:24 PM
Hello from Jefferson County, TN and welcome to lawnsite. I am just starting out and just bought a Toro Walkbehind 48". So, I can't advise you on a ZTR. I'll let some of the more experienced people advise you on that. Have you looked at a Toro ZTR yet? If you don't mind driving a bit, check out Lane Sales. They are located off Hwy. 25E between Morristown and White Pine on Wilson-Hale Road. Ask for Todd or Randy. They are very good people and have taken very good care of me. If you make it up there, tell them that Tim sent you (the guy that bought the Proline 48 from them 2 weeks ago). They will know who you are talking about. Well, best of luck to you. Nice to see someone else from TN in here. :D
06-22-2003, 12:50 AM
I just ordered a new super z 60 hustler with 27hp. I have a 42in encore ztr that I've used for two years it's OK. The hustler rode and handled great I would recommend trying out the fastrak or mini Z , Hustler is running a sale this month. Line up a demo and see for your self. Good Luck it's hard to decide with the machines available today>:) :)
06-22-2003, 01:04 AM
I just purchased a Hustler Z 60" 24 hp. Very happy with it. It seems to be a step up from the Toro.
06-22-2003, 05:40 AM
You're going to get as many 'recommendations' as there are brands here. If you haven't already, do some searches on this site. There are pros and cons to every brand.
Consider, if you haven't already, the type work you'll be doing, and the physical aspects of the locations you'll be working.
Sometimes, bigger isn't better.
Have you all your other equipment yet? The amount you mention, is that just for mower? What about all the hand helds?
Just like shopping for a vehicle, go to the dealers, do some hands on shopping, and remember, everybody is a salesman.
BTW, my preference is Scag.
06-22-2003, 06:55 AM
You might want a little more horsepower, maybe 21-23 horses for a 48''-52'' deck. Like others said, do a search of each brand on this site & try to do some demos.
06-22-2003, 07:52 AM
Look into a wright Sentara or Stander of a Exmark Lazer ZHP
w/48" deck (more expensive) but exzcellent machine.
Lots of choices out there.
06-22-2003, 09:55 AM
From the choices you have I would get a Hustler. I'm convinced Hustler has a really good mower.
But make sure you don't have an eXmark dealer close. Demo all the mowers you like ON YOUR PROPERTIES to see what works best for your situation. Everyone is different, we all have different needs and likes. Check all your options.
06-22-2003, 11:39 AM
Thanks everyone. To answer Rustic Goat's question - I do have all my other equipment. Mostly Stihl and Husqvarna brands. I also have a 6.5' x 12' trailer. I am going to spend all the $6,000 on the mower.
Sounds like a lot of people speak favorably toward the Hustler ZTR. I have demoed a Bob-Cat 52" with 19hp. It did just fine. Can anyone tell me specific details on why a Hustler might be better. Cutting grass that is just a little taller than normal is also a big concern of mine. Also, how close to $6,000 can I stay for a Hustler?
06-22-2003, 01:01 PM
I have had good experiences with Scag's advantage deck in tall, short, wet, dry grass.
If it was me making the purchase I woul demo the scag and hustler on my own yard after letting the grass go 2+ weeks
06-22-2003, 02:54 PM
Ultracut For deep Grass, I think Mowed Just Said the Lazer deck Did Very well In deep grass ( Demo Lazer).The ultracut Is 5.5" Deep I Don't think Hustler Home Owner One Is?. If You go Turf Tracer With a Good sulky, 23 Kohler Or Kaw With It's 200Lb Clutch You Will Do Fine(Believe Me It's A Killer Combo).
06-23-2003, 06:21 PM
I have a Husqvarna 48" Z with an 18 Kawi. It does an excellent job, but it is not as fast as the larger frame unit, or the small Exmark. The only complaint I really have is the front caster wheels: They are too small and are easily pushed off of the rim unless there is about 50# of air in them. I got foam filled wheels from J Thomas to solve that part of the problem.
The machine was less than $5500 with taxes, and I would recommend considering it among the other contenders.
BTW, I cut grass/weeds with it that are too tall to see over from the seat, and it goes right through the stuff. If the blades are good and sharp, it will do it in one pass.
06-23-2003, 07:15 PM
Demo the HUSTLER........... you won't need to try the others!!!
06-27-2003, 07:39 AM
The 48" Scag Turf Tiger Cub is your best choice in my opinion...
Scag has been making excellent ztr's for years and this Tiger Cub cannot be beat at the special price of $5999!! 48" 19 HP
The unit sold for $7,299 last year!!
Give it a try....you'll like it a lot!!
06-27-2003, 08:28 AM
A couple of months ago I ask for advise on whether to purchase an Exmark 21hp 48" cut Lazer HP or a Great Dane Chariot 19HP 48"cut (both have kawasaki engines) .This is one of the responses I got.
MAYBEE I CAN GIVE SOME SIMPLE THOUGHTS ON THE TWO. THE FIRST THINGS THAT I NOTICE IS IN THE DECKS. BOTH ARE GOOD BUT THE DANE SEEMS TO HAVE MORE BEEF ALONG THE LINES OF A SCAG. A 19HP UNIT WEIGHS AROUND 1055 LBS, I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE EXMARK WEIGHS BUT ON A 19 HP UNIT IT MAKES IT VERY STABLE. THE NEXT THOUGHT IS CHARIOT WENT TO A SINGLE ONE PIECE FRAME. THE ADVATAGE TO THAT I BELIEVE IS IN LONG TIME DURABILITY AND AGAIN LESS PARTS INVOLVED IN THE CUTTING MACHINE. NEXT IS THE CONTROLS EITHER WRAP STYLE OR CENETR FIXED, IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL BUT YOU HAVE OPTIONS. I HAPPEN TO BE ON THE LARGER SIZE OF THE WEIGH SCALE SO THE CENTER CONTROLS FOR ME WORK OUT BETTER ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM BACKING UP PLENTY OF ROOM BETWEEN MY SPARE TIRE AND THE CONTROLS HA! ALSO WENT TO A PLASTIC SHUT WHICH IS BETTER THAN THE METAL OR WILL ABSORB THE BEATING THE UNIT WILL TAKE. LAST HAVING THE GAS TANK UNDER THE SEAT JUST ALLOWS MORE VISABILITY AND LESS STUFF UP WHERE YOU CONTROL THE UNIT. ITS A BIG SINGLE 8 GALLON TANK THAT IS HIDDEN I THINK IT JUST LOOKS BETTER. A 19 HP ENGINE ON THE 48 DECK HAS ALL THE MUSCLE THAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU TEST DRIVE ONE IT FEELS LIKE YOU ARE ON A GO KART WHEN RUNNING ON PAVEMENT. HOPE THIS HELPS
This was a great help to me, I bought a Great Dane Chariot (made by John Deere, at the same plant in North Carolina). This mower kicks butt. I highly recommend, it is built very heavy duty.
Hope this helps you.....
06-27-2003, 08:32 AM
i went with the lazor hp 44".fits thru 4' gates and has great manuverablity.plus i sit down(lazy).
06-27-2003, 09:15 AM
You have gotten some really good advice. Make sure you think about what accounts you have and what size/type of accounts you want to get in the future. Another very important item is to demo everything you are interested in on the properties you maintain. Check into the dealer to also see not only who will give the best price but also who will give you the best service after the sale.
06-27-2003, 07:53 PM
Demo the CUBS also !!! Great mower !!
06-29-2003, 05:07 PM
I'm with eslawns. I have an Husqvarna large frame 52"ztr and I love it. I have the 25 Kohler and have yet to find grass that can stop this mower. I routinely cut at full throttle,(where that is possible)and this mower gives me a great cut, especially with the mulch kit. Also use all husky trimmers,etc. and have been happy so far.
06-29-2003, 07:06 PM
I like my Hustler Z.
There is no simpler deck heigth adjustment anywhere in the industry. A foot switch and pin.
Servicing the unit is a snap in that when you raise the suspension seat, everything is out in the open, easy to see, and easy to get at.
Hustler markets a product that is well though out, easy to use and simple to maintain.
I use my ZTR on a wide varity of terrains. It hold hills increadibly well, unit has a low center of gravity which = stability.
Unless you live in a Delta region, this is an important consideration, as about 50% of my customers have hills that have to be mowed, and ZTRs are not generally known to be shurefooted.
Imput from the Hustler forum here on lawnsite.com is excellent with PJ answering my emails and post.
Dealer response has been good too.
Quality of cut is excellent in short/tall grasses. I run double blades on my Hustler ZTR and grass dispercial is improved using the Qwikchute in the open position.
Mulching is improved running doubles with the Qwikchute in the closed position.
The leading edge of the deck is warrantied for life. They say the strongest in the industry.
In my opinion, the fabricated deck looks stronger than those that are stamped, it makes the J*** D**** 7-Iorn stamped deck look cheap by comparison!
Demo all available, then make you own choice.
My 2 cents worth.
Envy Lawn Service
06-29-2003, 10:49 PM
I will have to agree with all the praise the Husqvarna mowers are getting here.......strange.........after all, I own a Yazoo/Kees, which is the MFG of Husqvarna commercial mowers. It's good to see you guys showing pride in a great machine!
However, make sure you demo everything you can get your hands on and do the demos on your accounts. That way you know you ended up with what's best for you.
Also remember, you may end up wanting to make a buying decision that busts your budget. But I think it's better to spend a little much than spend $6,000 and be unhappy. Go the extra for HP and options if you can as well.
I kept on sweating the budget I had set for myself. After some hard thought, I came to the realization of what I said above. I set the mower budget a $10,000 because I figured "whats a few grand if I'm happy with my purchase?" That was the max I really had to spend on a mower and still be able to get other stuff I wanted. Plus I figured that budget would allow me to buy basically any mower I wanted, within reason of course.
So money had no basis in my decision at all. I think it turned out better in the end for me too. If I hadn't done that, I'd likely ended up standing behind a belt drive walkbehind.....
Not that that's bad, I'm just a tightwad at times is all :blush:
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