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Old 12-12-2013, 09:24 AM
Hodadical Hodadical is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Clemmons, NC
Posts: 1
residental ZTR or high end garden tractor?

I have a max $4k budget to purchase a rider to mow just under 1 acre currently. However, my family has a habit for upgrading properties often and a dream to eventually have more acreage (though I would hope to never mow more than 1,2 acres tops). I would like to get a machine that errs on the side of more than what I need at the moment to avoid upgrading in the future. Our current property isn't what I would consider hilly, though isn't absolutely flat either and there are a decent amount of beds/obstacles to mow around. i currently accomplish this with a home depot sort of walk behind and it takes me 3+ hrs to get done.

So my question is, ZTR's are obviously king, but I get the impression that statement is more often spoken with commercial ZTRs in mind opposed to their smaller cousins. knowing my budget won't allow getting into a commercial category, I'm wondering are upper end residential ZTRs still worthwhile over similar components in a tractor form factor... am I buying into the ZTR hype? since I'm only mowing 1 lawn at a pretty modest size, speed wise, either is a win over my current setup. And I know my current situation is not hilly enough to be that worried too much about traction with even the weakest/lightest ZTR. A ZTR would give me the best maneuverability and fastest mowing times with the least amount of trimming. But a garden tractor would give me a smoother ride?, more traction, utility (options that interest me are towing a small yard trailer, plugging/aerating, or possibly snow plowing) and probably more versatility with the unknown properties to come (such as if it was significantly more hilly/wooded).

Currently, I'm considering a Toro MX5060 ZTR and contrasting that against something like a Husky GT52XLS tractor. I think I'm leaning more towards the Toro MX5060 but I'm a guy who usually prefers versatility over speed and i'm having a hard time telling myself to let go even though I do think the ZTR is probably the way to go here.

What to you think? does that mantra of "go ZTR and you'll never go back" still hold up generally speaking in the residential/homeowner category? or does it a specific lawn to use a residential ZTR as effective as the big boy commercial guys do? And therefor, is the traditional garden tractor form factor better if you can't spring for the heavier and more powerful commercial ZTRs?

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Old 12-12-2013, 08:45 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 1,554
A zero turn radius mower was originally made to turn within the width of it's own mowing deck. In other word's, it could get to the end of a row and turn around without making that big loop that yard tractor's make. That was the main point of those machine's. Now they have become more of a "must have" even though they really aren't a necessity in most case's. Unless you are mowing in tight space's you probably don't need one, and you do pay more for those thing's. You need a rider though, that make's mowing in August much more tolerable.

Do you know what kind of grass you mow? This make's a big difference in how hard your mower work's. What height are you mowing at? Do you want that manicured look or do you just want to cut the grass once a week and be done with it? The answer's to these question's can easily make a $1000 worth of difference. Good luck.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:54 PM
Jp1 Jp1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Houston Tx
Posts: 1
Hi I'm new here and need some advise on a ztr for 5.5 ac, the terrain is all grass and flat. What kind of mower would y'all recommend and how long would it take. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:13 PM
terceslil terceslil is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: It's freakin HOT in Louisiana
Posts: 43
I have a 2003 Exmark 48" w/15hp Kawasaki. The model is MHP4815KAC, serial number 394840. I have nearly two acres of yard. It is not level and has many dips and holes. After I hit a hole, something on the mower goes out of adjustment and the mower no longer pulls. I take it to the shop and they charge like $60 to correct the adjustment. I really feel that the adjustment is nothing major and I hate having to bring it to the shop for a minor adjustment. It keeps the mower from pulling itself and sometimes won't turn without being forced. Any idea what the adjustment is?

This mower makes a pretty cut but does not like ditches, uneven or unlevel ground or holes!

Last edited by terceslil; 03-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.
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