Another Newbie question...ZTR Decisions

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Guinessnc, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Guinessnc

    Guinessnc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 14

    Hi all, new to the forum here. I have found a lot of good advice so far.

    I just recently built on 4.5 acres of flat land with the exception of the burm at the drainage ditch up near the road. I plan to plant centipede grass come early summer. I am looking at a ZTR to get the job done. Now based on my lurking on here I know a lot of a ZTR decision is like the Ford vs. Chevy argument, so hopefully I can make it easy.

    The following are the dealers I have within a 1 hour drive.
    John Deere

    I have decided on a 60" mower and I have looked at the Hustler Z and Super Z and the Exmark Lazer and AS (demo'd the Lazer. The Hustler dealer said he would drop off a Super Z at my house for a demo, I REALLY like that). To make it easier, I would like to choose from 3 manufacturers and from reading on here the Exmarks and Hustler get good reviews.


    -If you were to choose ONE (mfg and model) other from the list what would it be?
    -Am I in the ballpark as far as deck size I should be looking at?
    -Being that I will be mowing at a minimum once a week, what is hp/deck overkill (i.e. SuperZ)?
    -I have read that the Exmark has a better cut but the Hustler is faster and has a better ride. As far as cut goes, I wish that when people gave their opinion they would state what type of grass is being cut. IOW, how does the Exmark and Hustler compare on CENTIPEDE?

    The following are quotes I have got so far. Are these prices fair?
    Hustler Z 25/60 $7499
    Hustler Super Z 27/60 $8599
    Exmark Lazer AS 25/60 $8000
    Exmark Laser 27/60 $9299
    Exmark Laser AS 27(?)/60 $9299 (One of my Exmark dealers was telling me there is no difference between the AS and regular Lazer. I compared the two online and there is, even subtle. Either he was pushing the AS or he didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't like that)

    BUDGET- No more than $10k OTD.

    Sorry for the long post but :hammerhead: <---I feel like this guy deciding.
  2. GripB

    GripB LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    Just another homeowner's opinion/feedback here. I have almost 2.5 acres that I mow (kentucky blue/rye mix). I purchased a new Exmark Lazer Z in 2005 to get the job done (27HP & 60" deck). I also added the suspension seat for a better ride and a striping roller. I do all preventative maintenance including blade changes every 15-20 hours. The Lazer has not given me 1 problem and it absolutely leaves an excellent cut. Here's a picture of my back yard from last year :waving:

  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    With a 60" deck mowing at 8 mph you should finish your lawn in about 1.5 hours, so 60" is a good choice in sizes for what you need. I would choose the Exmark Lazer Z with the 27HP, this is because the engine is a Kohler. If you can I would go with the Ultra-Cut deck since I hear that some people are having trouble with their Triton decks. And really there is little difference between the Z and AS in there performance on the turf, the Z is just a little faster and has a larger fuel capacity but other than that there are only subtle difference that don't effect the overall performance. But definately go with the 27HP Z.
  4. MitchDaniel

    MitchDaniel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I have an Exmark LazerZ 60" w/the 27hp Kohler Command. I have been very impressed with it. Every single customer I have has spoken very highly of the quality of the cut! I don't know much about the Hustler, but Exmark makes an excellent machine! Hope this helps, and Good Luck!
  5. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    SCAG 61" w/ 27 Kawasaki or 29 fuel injected Kawasaki. LOVE THEM>>>>
  6. PEVO

    PEVO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Wait & demo the Hustler vs. the Exmark first before you decide. Also on the type of grass your wanting either deck will give a very good cut. It would really be nice to try out a Super-Z with the kohler 28HP/efi. You can never have enuff power & once you get yourself on a ZTR & learn how to handle it, you will want to push it faster & faster. Thats where a Super-z w/28efi excells!
  7. Guinessnc

    Guinessnc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 14

    I was thinking about throwing in the SCAG or the JD as my 3rd choice. I don't know a whole lot about the SCAG's but I am willing to consider. I will probably demo one tomorrow.

    I thought the deere's get marked up a lot because of the name. I called my local dealers and they have the 757 for $7800 which is comparable to the hustler/exmark at least pricewise.
  8. Guinessnc

    Guinessnc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 14

    I need to do some reading up on this. I'm sure the search function will turn up something. My dealer told me the triton decks were robbing HP. This was why Exmark was no longer making the 23?/60. True?
  9. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,449

    i would recommend exmark's lazer over the the super z. it is true that hustler's mowers are faster (hustlers fastest mower does 15 mph, while exmarks fastest goes 12 mph), however it is harder to achieve a good, clean cut going over 8 mph, while it is nearly impossible to get a good cut at 15 mph. the exmark lazer's 10 mph should be fine for you.

    as far as triton vs. ultracut, you're going to find lcos on this site that like each one. i would advise you to stay away from it for now and go with the 27 kohler ultracut model, as the triton has proven to not cut as well as the ultra. i think it has to do with blade tip speed, as well as the thickness of the steel used to make the deck.

    the 60 inch deck is not overkill unless you have a lot of obstacles.

    finally, the exmarks leave a nice even cut and have a reputation for striping nicely. i cant vouch for its stripes due to all my accounts being st. augustine (soooo hard to stripe) but have seen its stripes in other types of grass. i do not personally use an exmark for my business but the LCO i work for on the side has one that i use.

    good luck and remember, no matter how good the mower or price is, dont buy from a dealer you dont like. they are the ones that will repair, recondition, and eventually replace your mower.
  10. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    Ditto to all of the Exmark praise provided above. I'm another homeowner who went the route of buying a new one and have been completely satisfied. Pretty big initial investment? Of course! Been worth it? Without a doubt! I'm going into my 8th year with it and haven't had problem #1 yet. And considering the $100 a cut my neighbors with comparable size lawns pay their LCOs, I feel my Lazer has paid for itself a couple of times over. Not only that, it's still like a new machine, and I doubt if I'll ever wear it out in my lifetime. My recommendation is to go for the Exmark.

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