1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Homeowner's Qs...speed and quality and longevity

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by andygold, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Couldn't find a homeowner forum, so my appologies for posting here!!!

    Can anyone tell me the difference in mowing time between a typical 42 inch, hydro or manual lawn tractor such a JD100 or 110 and a Hustler Mini FasTrak with a 36 inch cut?

    I know the Hustler will go faster, but can it do the fine work such as going along flower bed edging and brick work, or will a ZTR need to stay clear from fine stuff (not as able to drive a fine line as possibly a tractor would) and use a string trimmer or push mower for the fine stuff. Will a ZTR have a smooth slow steering ability or are they too coarse and jerky for the curvy work around beds?

    All things being equal including horsepower, does a ZTR send more horsepower to the blades than a comparably powered tractor? What I'm curious about is if my lawn guy's 17hp tractor bogs in my thick grass, will a 17hp ZTR using hydros instead of a tranny send more or less power to the deck?

    Lastly, any opinions of a Mini FasTrak's quality/longevity versus most other big company's homeowner units, such as Toro, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna?
  2. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Once you get the hang of driving a ZTR you can do a great job with the trim work. They are extremely maneuverable and really shine going around obstacles. No lawn tractor will come close to it.

    Also, of all the homeowner units that you mentioned I believe that Hustler makes the best of the bunch.
  3. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    ztr is extremely easy. It becomes 2nd nature. I would now recommend any ztr over a lawn tractor. If you have the $ obviously the Hustler products ar superior to HD and Lowes ztr's, but they will cut your yard in half the time a tractor would. I test drove the $3000 cub cadet ztr and it's much faster and agile than the JD or others. However, once you test drive the Hustler, Ariens or other near commercial quality ztr you will see the "step-up" improvement. One important factor for me was for the blade engagement to remain on while in reverse. No model has this feature at HD or Lowes. Go test drive and you'll see how simple ztr is.
  4. CWG

    CWG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Yup, one of the things I disable immediately on the lawn stuff I've had was the seat disengagement and the 'no reverse' cut safety feature.
    I have yet to run something over in reverse that I didn't want to cut.
  5. moremowing4me

    moremowing4me LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Posts: 148

    Do you by any chance know how to disable it on a JD LX266? If you do Please!!!! let me know. ;)
  6. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I'd love to get the FasTrak 20/52, but the funds are low. I can afford maybe a 2500 to $3000 machine, and that's even pushing it, with the wife knowing that we can get a lawn tractor for about a grand. So, I'm probably looking at a Mini FasTrak in the smallest size available. I'd rather go that way instead of spending less for a larger, less-commercial type ZTR machine. Longevity of the machine is key. I don't need to hear the wife bitchin' when my Z breaks down earlier than a typical JD tractor would. Yeah, no flames please, I know it, I'm whipped!!! :help:

    As I asked earlier, I'm also concerned about bogging with the smaller motor. Yes, I know it will be driving a smaller deck, clipping less grass at a time, and things should equal out somewhat I believe, but if a 17/42 tractor bogs on my grass, will the Z push more power to the blades than the tractor since it doesn't really have a transmission to lose power through?

    On a brighter note... I did get to drive a Hustler Super Z with the 72 inch deck. It was the only demo he had available at the time. WHAT A RIDE!!! Even with the throttle set at about half way, I never got the levers fully forward. It was scary fast...especially that being my first time on any ZTR machine. I mowed a field for the dealer. He's probably getting paid by a customer to mow it, and he gets us demo people to mow it for him (for free). :) The one thing though is that I didn't get to do any fine work with it, hence my earlier question. With that machine and my lack of experience, while trimming edges, I'd probably mow across my flower beds and end up in the in-ground pool (I guess I can safely assume Hustlers don't float very well) :dizzy: . But I digress..... again, with no experience, how does one do fine trimming? Is it a controlled creeping speed with the left lever, and doing most of your maneuvering left and right with the right lever? Any thoughts?
  7. vtx1300

    vtx1300 LawnSite Member
    from OKC,OK
    Posts: 36

    Andy, if you are only in a $2500-$3000 ... I'd recommend looking at the Ariens homeowner series. If you really don't spend more than what you've said -- I think those little ZTRs would be very nice.

    Would have been my pick if I held within my budget .. which I didn't!

    Ariens -- 1740 is around $2800 ... 17hp Kohler, 40" deck.

    I don't know how the power is displaced etc. except some of the sales people told me it was supposed to push more to the blades if it bogs down. That makes sense to me so I assume it does somehow...

  8. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    You want quality and longevity, so that does rule out the HD Toro ZTR and the Lowes Cub Cadet ZTR. Vtx's advice is good, the Ariens is a great machine. The best price I got on a Mini was $3295, so that is just out of your range. Check Sears, I think their ztr is made by Ariens, someone verify this please. I completely understand the wife factor. Why don't you show her the differences. When you look at a quality deck like the Hustler (and many other near commercial) and then the HD and Lowes decks, there is such a difference. This may help you justify a few hundred more over your upper limit of $3000. Remember, this should be your last purchase for a long, long time - if not your last mower purchase. It would be a shame to 'under' buy for a few hundred dollars on something that's gonna last for many years to come.
  9. vtx1300

    vtx1300 LawnSite Member
    from OKC,OK
    Posts: 36

    Yes, Advance is correct -- have a friend who has the Toro -- which he now wishes he would have gotten something a bit more durable. He already bent the deck... It's a nice machine but just not heavy duty built.

    Ariens, Sears ... are same from what I understand.
  10. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    And yet on the pro forums, they said the Craftsman was junk. Maybe that was from a pro standpoint, and not a homeowner one. I can understand they're calling it junk if they were asking it to perform for thousands of hours and not hundreds.

    When the time comes, I'm hoping to get a Hustler. I definitely don't want any other homeowner brand. I earlier said up to $3000, but I realize I will have to go a little higher than that.

Share This Page