First Zero Turn Purchase

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bigjohn71, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. bigjohn71

    bigjohn71 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hey guys, I've decided to purchase my first zero turn mower. As I read posts on this website I see that many others are having the same problem I am. WHICH ONE to buy? I'm hoping someone here can help answer that question. I am looking for a good quality commercial grade machine that will last a long time. I mow approximately 5 acres per week and it is all basically flat land. I only have about 3 dealers that are within reasonable driving distance so naturally I am trying to choose between their three different brands. My choices are Grasshopper 329b with the 29hp briggs and Stratton Vanguard big block or 327k with the 27hp kohler efi. Another choice is a scag tiger cat with a 23.5 hp Kawasaki or a 26hp kohler. Or a a pro turn 260 gravely with a 27hp Kawasaki. (There is also a 26.5 kohler efi option for this gravely mower too.) Any one that I pick will have a 60 or 61 inch deck. I'm really having trouble deciding which motor to choose. I am really interested in the fuel injected models but not sure that's the best way to go in the event of problems with it. I like the grasshoppers and the scag the best but I am concerned that the 23.5hp Kawasaki might be just a little underpowered with the 60 inch deck. Not only does it need to cut good, it has to haul me around as well. I'm 6' 4" and go about 280 pounds. If you guys have any info on the mowers listed above, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. (BTW there is also a FERRIS dealer not too much farther away but I know nothing about their machines other than the fact they have suspension.)
     
  2. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    I know that if the of grasshopper dealer sells an efi kohler, they get the specialized tools to diagnose and work on the motor. I haven't heard this from the other brands.
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  3. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    I'm biased, as I absolutely love my Kohler EFI.

    Don't worry about EFI breakdowns, as they're as reliable as your car or truck.

    I'd go for the Gravely 260, with Kohler EFI. I'm not sure why Scag don't offer it with their 61" deck, yet, they offer a Kawasaki 23hp with it. Gravely has nearly twice the fuel capacity and ~3mph faster than the TC.
     
  4. bigjohn71

    bigjohn71 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Good opinions of the Kohler efi engines is what I was hoping to hear. It seems like everyone says go with Kawasaki, which I'm sure is good. I have had good experience with Kohler in the past. I just haven't been able to find people with actual experience with the efi engines. And, with the problems created by ethanol in carb engines I'm guessing efi is really the best way to go? However, I do read good things about the Briggs big block engines as well.
     
  5. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    I've never owned one. However, I consider efficiency into my equipment choices, as I have profit to consider. I can't see buying a sledge hammer to do the work of a carpenter hammer. That big engine is such overkill, especially, on a regularly maintained parcel. There's no way I'd endure the extra fuel usage (~50% more), with every hour the engine is running.
     
  6. bigjohn71

    bigjohn71 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    You make an excellent point. I was sure the fuel consumption was higher for that engine. Just didn't realize it would be that much difference. I did try the grasshopper 329b with the big block. It is a powerhouse for sure.
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  7. grassguy03

    grassguy03 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    If you have a snapper pro dealer near by I think the 200xt is one of the best deals on the market. But the gravely is an excellent choice for sure.
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