I've been lurking for a few weeks now. We purchased a property on 3 acres. It's approximately 1.3 acres smooth lawn and 1.7 acres less-than-smooth field grass/weeds (which I would like eventually to make smoother and less weedy). There are not many obstacles to contend with, and it is quite flat. I have done some internet research (including lurking around lawnsite), and I've visited and called a few dealers in town. I've narrowed my choices down to three ZTR mowers in my 5k price range.
1) Hustler FasTrak 48" Kawi FS 22hp. $5100 (2011 model, last one in stock, new)
2) Gravely ZT HD 52 Kawi FR 24hp. $4999 (might be able to get the dealer to come down from that price a bit)
3) Bad Boy ZT 50 w/ Kawi FR 24hp. $5299 (haven't yet attempted to bargain with this guy yet, dealer is further away)
I am a mower rookie. My current yard in inner city Portland is concrete. No grass at all. So I would appreciate some help. Here are a couple things I am concerned about:
1) Ease of Maintenance. I am not mechanically inclined. I have never changed oil . . . on anything at all, but I would like to learn how to do some simple maintenance (oil changes and whatnot) on my new investment. I do not, however, want to have to do anything complicated.
2) Durability. I would like this machine to last a long time. 5K for a lawn mower seems very expensive, and it is freaking me out a little bit! For this reason, the 4-year warranty on the Hustler seems most impressive, and conversely, the 2-year warranty on the Bad Boy is a little concerning. (Gravely has a nice 3-year warranty).
I had the Hustler salesman hold the FasTrak 48 for me, and I'm going to look at it tomorrow. But I would appreciate some direction from the mower experts. I am especially torn between the Gravely and the Hustler. So I would like some insight on how those two mowers compare.