Home Owner: ZTR replace finish mower and it is worth it??

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jpierce, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. jpierce

    jpierce LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thanks for all the advise here on the forum, it very informative.

    My situation:
    1. Mow about 3-5 acres spread out in grass trails and around the house on our property
    2. Our land has hills, slopes to mow on (no ponds)
    3. Most of mowing is not smooth, especially around the house.
    4. Currently have Kioti tractor with 72" finish mower (has 300 hrs in 8 years of use, primarily mowing) to use for primary mowing - Usually takes 3 hrs to mow
    5. Busy with kids stuff so rarely have time to mow much
    6. Bigger dude myself so the mower will be well grounded.

    From what I gather and have researched, it seems like a Scag Cheetah would be nice (or something similar) in terms of ride, durability, etc.

    Any other thoughts?? So many mowers out there and I don't mind paying for quality..

    I also wonder if a good used mower would last just about as long (can buy a John Deere ZTrak 757 Mower 60" Deck with 500 hrs selling locally for $4000) might be a better solution...

    Thanks so much for your time and input..
     
  2. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,851

    Cheetah, turf tiger, gravely 460, ferris 3100, hustler super Z, not sure what model exmark compares but try them out also. Read the recent homeowner review of the cheetah on here if you haven't yet. Very good review from a homeowner like yourself.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. TUNANUT

    TUNANUT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I was in a similar situation last year. I went with a Toro 72" 3000 series, and upgraded the seat. Love it. Went from 3 hours, to 1.5 hours. I was using a combo of tractors and a finish deck on an old ford tractor. The new mower is night and day, wish I had done it sooner. I was stuck between the 3000 and 5000. The differences were not worth the cost to me. Seat, EFI, bigger gas tank, and shock valves. I am not an LCO going all day. All the differences didn't mean much to me for the extra 2k. See my other recent post for more info. My wife runs our horse farm so we qualified for the equine pricing with toro and exmark. I liked the Toro a little better for price features at the low end of 72".
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    A lot of the decisions are personal preference, but one of the most important issues to consider IMO is hp. I tested a Cheetah with the 27 hp engine and it was a dog. Ended up with the 31kawi and it is great. Another important factor is the ride. I got rid of a JD ZT because it was a rough ride. Could only mow about an hour before my back started to hurt. Cheetah, I mow four hours with no issues. I tested other mowers, but decided that the Cheetah was my best choice, but like I say , its personal preference.

    Consider HP and comfort because if you get a "deal" on a mower you don't enjoy riding, you will not be happy.
     
  5. Olympus

    Olympus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    It sounds like toot and I were in a similar situation. I mowed about 4 acres with a finish mower and hated it, especially around trees and obstacles. ZTR is the way to go if you're looking to be more efficient.

    You really need to give us a price range or budget first. Also be good to know what dealers are in your area. I would not recommend going with a brand that does not have a dealer within a short distance.

    Scag is very nice. You might want to look at the Tiger Cat also. The Cheetah is built for speed and typically something a commercial cutter would use to improve productivity. Hustler X-One is a great choice also. I would also give Bad Boy a look. I have a Grasshopper 321D and it cuts amazing. I love the way Grasshoppers handle, cut, and stripe.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. TUNANUT

    TUNANUT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I was in a similar situation last year. I went with a Toro 72" 3000 series, and upgraded the seat. Love it. Went from 3 hours, to 1.5 hours. I was using a combo of tractors and a finish deck on an old ford tractor. The new mower is night and day, wish I had done it sooner. I was stuck between the 3000 and 5000. The differences were not worth the cost to me. Seat, EFI, bigger gas tank, and shock valves. I am not an LCO going all day. All the differences didn't mean much to me for the extra 2k. See my other recent post for more info. My wife runs our horse farm so we qualified for the equine pricing with toro and exmark. I liked the Toro a little better for price features at the low end of 72".
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. jpierce

    jpierce LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thanks for all the feedback. We just live about 30 minutes from Kansas City/Topeka KS, so we have pretty much all the major players within a short distance.

    Hustler, Husquav, Gravely, Grasshopper, Scag, and Toro dealers have all been friendly..
     
  8. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 40,774

    You will not be sad with a Scag Cheetah, great machine and cuts fast. Depending on the size of the deck you're looking at, I'm assuming 61" or thereabouts, go with a bigger engine.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. Olympus

    Olympus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    We lived in KC for a few years, north of the river.

    In my neighborhood, every house has at least 3 acres. There is a full spectrum of mowers. The thing I notice most is that houses that use Grasshoppers all have the best cuts and nicest stripes. In terms of cut, I think Grasshopper is king. The next closest are Scag and Hustler. My neighbor across the street has a Scag Tiger Cat and it mows faster than my Hopper, but his property is flatter and smoother than mine. My neighbor on the side has a Deere and it's terrible. It's a commercial model, not a big box store model. The cut is very poor. Probably the biggest reason why I don't own a Deere, that and the premium you pay for the name. There are a couple Toros and they do alright, nothing that says WOW. Hustler does pretty well too.

    I'm looking to upgrade to a newer machine and Grasshopper would easily be my first choice, but I've had too many bad experiences with our local dealer so I can't won't buy from them. They also sell Scag so that is out for me too. Hustler is probably my top choice right now, but I plan on demoing a Bad Boy soon. You get a lot of mower for the price with Bad Boy.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. WilsonBoud

    WilsonBoud LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222




    Like you, I was cutting 3.5 acres over the last twenty years with a Kubota Tractor and 72" LandPride Groomer & 48" JD 345. The wife would start cutting the front and sides around the house while I was string trimming. Once I was finished with the trimmer, I would get on the tractor and starting cutting from the back. All told, the grass cutting process took upwards of 4.5 hours.

    Like you, my property is less than smooth. Some areas are quite bumpy.

    After about a year of research here, I purchased a Scag Cheetah ("60 - 31 Kaw) in April '13.

    The Cheetah has successfully reduced my total grass cutting time to one hour and forty minutes (from 4.5 hours). I still have the hour and fifteen minutes of string trimming.

    Although the Cheetah runs about 1.7 gpm, it's still less that the 2.5 gallons of gas and the 1.5 gallons of diesel that I used on every cut in the last twenty years.

    The ride of the Cheetah while cutting my very rough yard gives me immence comfort.

    I'm totally satisfied .....
     

Share This Page