60" John Deere Z-Trac 925M vs. Scag Tiger Cat vs. Toro Z-Master 3000/5000
I am currently cutting 10+ acres yard with a tractor and pull behind finish mower. It takes a good 7+ hours to do and chokes the finish mower pretty easily.
I'm finally going to join the ZTR world and have narrowed my choices down to 3 manufactures and 3 or 4 mowers. All are 60"-61", all will have the suspension seat option, all but one have the Kawasaki FX730V 23.5hp engine, all have some variation of a 7 gauge deck.
The candidates are: John Deere Z-Trac Z925M, the Scag Tiger Cat, the Toro Z-Master 3000, and the Toro Z-Master 5000.
Price wise they are all within a couple hundred dollars of each other. (Except for the Toro 5000 series that is $1200-1500 more.)
I like all of the dealers so that doesn't figure into things.
Here's the comparison:
The Deere has a stamped 7 Iron Pro deck, integrated 13cc pump/motors, Aluminum spindle housings, 18000 blade tip speed, 24 X 12 12 tires, flat free 6.5" casters, heaviest machine at 1283lbs, 3 yr warranty.
The Toro 3000 has a bull nose deck lip, integrated 12cc pump/motors (ZT3400), cast iron spindle housings, top speed is slower than the others by 1.5 mph but the blade speed is faster at 18500, 23 x 10.5 rear tires, pneumatic 6.5" casters, 5 yr warranty (lifetime on frame), for $500 more I can get the 25hp Kohler Command Pro EFI.
The Scag has a tri-plate deck, separate pumps (ZT3100) and motors, tapered roller spindle and caster bearings, cast iron spindle housings, 24 X 12 12 tires, 6.5" pneumatic casters, 3yr warranty.
Of course my favorite is the most expensive-- the Toro 5000. However I'm not sure it's worth the additional $1200-1500 over the others. It takes the Z-Master 3000 series and adds: a standard suspension seat, larger rear tires, flat free casters, larger "27hp" Kohler Command Pro engine, larger gas tank, shock valves to the pump, and is 1.5 mph faster.)
1. How much difference do larger tires and casters make?
2. How much difference does a 1.5 mph top speed make? (Other than getting to and from the grass, will I ever be able to cut even close to the top speed of these machines?)
3. Any issues with stamped decks? On lesser gauge steel I would think so but the 7 Iron Pro 7ga plus a 1" reinforcement bar on the sides is really beefy looking.
4. How much additional power and less fuel (realistically) will an EFI engine provide?