First Zero Turn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jhartman, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Jhartman

    Jhartman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Hi everybody,

    I'm looking to get a lawncare business off the ground this year. I've got all my equipment in order except for a zero turn. There are so many brands and choices I'm not sure which to go with.

    The local shops around me are Kubota, John Deere, Toro, Gravely, Bad Boy, and Exmark. If you had to have one mower from any of these which would it be? I'm looking for the best mower as far as longevity. I'm partial to John Deere, But they seem much higher than other brands opionions on that? I'll be running one mower, is a 60" where I should start? I feel that is the most common, and is a good starting point. Any opinions appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. Hughes Landscaping

    Hughes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    If you are looking for peoples opinions on ZTR's, I will give you mine. My first ZTR was a John Deere and I really think they are lower quality compared to Exmark and Scag. I think you are just paying a premium for the Deere name, but the quality and performance is not there. I have also owned Scag (currently have a 48" Tiger Cub) and Exmarks (currently have a 42" Navigator and Turf Tracer) and I personally believe that either of those are much better than Deere mowers.

    Like I said above, this is just my opinion, but it is based on owning and operating all 3 described above. I am sure that the Deere guys will praise their brand, but they are not for me.
     
  3. Jhartman

    Jhartman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I notice that you are running "smaller" decks than a lot of people. Is there a reason for the smaller size ( Ex. Fence entrances ) Or do you find that size works better for you?
     
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Exmark Lazer Z for me. DON"T I repeat, DON'T go over 48" deck size. If you are cutting 90% of your properties with this mower and they aren't really big, you'll be happier with the 48" deck. If you're cutting football fields then forget what I said about the deck size.
     
  5. Hughes Landscaping

    Hughes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I agree with JSS. Exmark Lazer 48" is a sweet mower. I am looking at picking up a Demo X-series from my dealer. I agree also that buying anything over 48" is too big.
     
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,821

    Well, I am partial to Deere, but they aren't the only game in town either. Around me, Scag, Exmark, and Hustler are more money than an equal machine from Deere. Maybe the first poster had bad luck with his Deere, but I am betting that it was one of the earlier machines like a 757, 777 etc. The new Z700 & Z900 series machines from Deere are first rate, and cut as good, or better than any Exmark made right now, and do it under more types of conditions to boot, especially wet grass. I cut right next to several Exmarks on one property every week, and my 7 Iron lays down a better cut every time, but that's not to say that an Exmark doesn't do a good job, because they certainly do. But, around me, you pay for the Exmark name, and I mean pay!

    I would look at a 54" deck for come what may mowing, and go to the 60" if you will be doing more larger and wide open properties. I would only consider a 48" if I were limited on trailer/storage space/gates etc.

    Scag makes excellent machines too, and their Velocity deck is second to none for QOC. Snapper Pro's are also great, as are Gravely's.
    It comes down to what you like the best, what feels the best, and has all the features you want in a mower.
     
  7. Hughes Landscaping

    Hughes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    My first mower was a 60" then quickly realized that it was just too big to manuever around the yards I was maintaining. Most of my yards are under 1/4 acre and the 36" TT and my 2 other ZTR's are the perfect size
     
  8. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    Scag & Exmark are some great mowers. We run a 60" Toro Zmaster and it basically is mowing the lawn itself. We also have Lesco Ztwos, which we will run til they die and purchase more Toro's.
     
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,821

    I agree with a smaller deck for yards like this if they're the vast majority of your business, or even a good WB in the 36"-48" range.
     
  10. Jhartman

    Jhartman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Thank you for that great information! I just assumed 60" was the way to go. But thinking about it a little more now I'm wondering if a 60" would be a wise choice. It will be my one and only mower for the business and needs to be able to suit all of my needs.

    Keep the information coming!!!
     

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