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Help choosing right ZTR, PLEASE

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bvoss, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. bvoss

    bvoss LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Currently mow 3 acres with Massey Ferguson compact tractor GC2310, mid mount mower 60". Relatively flat, some "bumpy" areas, really wet in spring (Western NY). Takes 3+ hours to mow inlc. double mowing most due to clumps. Plus 1+ hr of walk behind in tight areas. 100 new trees so lots of obstacles to mow around. Possibility of picking up several addt'l acres from neighbor, currently field. Might be several years.

    Been reading about and looking at ZTRs. On one hand I don't want to waist money but I also don't want to "under buy" like I did with the tractor. Available from local dealers:

    Gravely - all gas engines:
    ZT HD 60" 26 HP Kawasaki w/full suspension seat...$5,800
    Pro-Turn 260 60" deck, 29 Kohler EFI...................$8,500
    Pro-Turn 460 60" deck, 29 Kohler EFI...TBD likely at least $500 over 260?

    ZD326P/S 60", diesel....................$12,850
    On the surface this ZTR was a bit more impressive incl. hydraulic deck lift.

    Gravely dealer did not feel diesel was worth the cost for residential use. Justs said they were several thousand higher in price.

    Comments would be very appreciated!

    FYI, I would also like to purchase a new tractor that can handle a 72" snow blower as my driveway is 520 ft. long. Current tractor is a 2006 Massey Ferguson GC2310 with FEL, backhoe, mid mount mower, post hole digger, 525 hours use. Is it best to try to sell yourself or use as a trade-in.
  2. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,115

    IMO Gravely 460. More bang for the buck. Demo first to see how the x factor deck works in your grass. Best ride out of bunch. If you spend $12,500.00 you are eligible for the 20% fleet discount. I believe that's on anything Gravely. So add the hitch, bagger, striper, etc. etc. or a push mower or other Gravely items and get up to $12,500.00 and after 20% you pay $10,000.00
    Still maybe more than you want to spend unless you need other equip.

    You'll have to check me on this, but I believe Kubota, is slower, holds less fuel, has a higher center of gravity. You should demo it's QOC too. It may cut better or worse than the Gravely on your grasses. Neither would be the answer if you still have to double cut IMO.

    Also IMO diesel just doesn't pay off. Say you spend an extra $1500-$2000 for the diesel option. Now you need a addition fuel supply on hand and this off road diesel is about the same $s as mid grade gas. Hopefully the diesel gives you close to twice the gph that the gas will, more torque, and longer life, but to brake even you would need to put close to 1000-1500 hrs on the machine then you'd start to see payback. The other down side is a diesel is harder to work on/more of a specialty and weighs more. The engine lasting longer is not much of plus in my mind since they are seeing 3000-4000 from gas motors now. At this point the rest of the mower is pretty well shot. In your case, how long would it take to put 1000-1500 hrs on a mower that should mow your three acres in half the time?

    As far as trading equipment in or selling privately, always sell privately for best profit. This is just an example and works for any big ticket item like ag equipment, vehicles, boats, etc. If you trade a dealer will typically give you a couple grand less than market value. They then spend some of that to make it look good (detail) and fix things to make it marketable. This leaves typically around $1000.00 on the table, assuming they checked over well and new what they were getting and there are no hidden problems. They then will ask $500-$775 more than book and work down toward book. If it's a high demand item they may be able to get more than book.

    If you sell it yourself, you need to do the detail and repairs, go through the hassle of advertising and showing, and deal with the sale. In many cases, if it can be done correctly, you should be able to make the same or more profit than the dealer would.

    The other question is how quickly do you need to sell it? Trading it in would be immediate $s where you may work months to sell it depending on your location and the given market.
  3. bvoss

    bvoss LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5


    Thanks for the info. I'll check with the dealer about the fleet discount. Of course need to spend more to save more:laugh: I would probably be glad to have a bagger when my tree get bigger. It will be interesting to see how many of the options I'll be able get with the discount.
  4. bvoss

    bvoss LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Just mowed with tractor 1st time this year. Also 1st time since about 50 additional trees were planted late last fall. Definitely need a zero turn!!

    I'm still agonizing over which mower to purchase. I agree that a 460 would be a great mower. Dealer was steering me toward the ZT HD 60 saying they sold a lot of this model for large acreage residential needs.

    One question is the pros/cons of the size/weight of ZT HD 60 vs. Pro-Turn 460. HS is 850 lbs with 20x10-10 tires. 460 is 1374 lbs. with 24x11.5-12 tires clearly a larger more substantial machine. Which would handle better on wet grass, bumpy ground and slops? Smaller lighter, smaller tires or larger heavier, larger tires? MY "gut" tells me the heavier mower might bounce less than the lighter mower but might slip more in wet conditions????
  5. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,115

    IMO a bigger heavier machine with larger tires would ride better and that's not considering the seat and platform advantage the Gravely has over the other. I run about 12 psi in the front tires and 10 in the rear. The bigger the tire the more rough terrain it swallows. Consider running a Honda civic over a rough field at 15 mph and then try it in a quad cab long bed pick up or school bus. I know this is an extreme example but you get my point.

    Unless the dealer is your best friend or a family member I would take his recommendation with a grain of salt. Too often their recommendation is driven by ease, and profit.

    That being said I think they're are both good mowers and won't go wrong with either of them.

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