JD vs. Hustler ZTR

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by captn, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. captn

    captn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    OK Folks, this is my first post. I will be purchasing a ZTR mower this spring to mow the 2.5 acre property in IL.

    I think I have narrowed it down to the JD z425, or the Hustler Fastrack.

    JD z425 is cheaper and has larger 22" drive wheels and better cut quality rating (according to mag reviews) and also claims more accessory options. Downside is 3.5 gal fuel capacity, with Briggs power

    The Hustler has the fab deck and better choices of engines outside the Briggs, and also has a 10gal fuel capacity. downside is price and dealer proximity.

    Without getting into fab deck vs stamped deck debate here, because i really don't think it matters unless to beat the crap out of it, which is the better Machine?

    Captn.
     
  2. PEVO

    PEVO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Are these the Deeres that Lowes & Home Depot are peddling? I looked that those, I just laughed & walked away. Best thing you could do is Demo both & really compare how they are built, what they are built out of & the power plant on the unit + the all important deck construction. To me the fast trac is way more along the lines of a commercial mower than the ez trac 245. You have to make up your own mind in the end. To me it's alot to spend on a mower & i wanted to make sure it would last against the test of time & how much punishment(abuse) the deck & driveline could handle. I would had went with the Hustler fast-trac as opposed to the DJ. To me these JDs are more along the lines of the Cub ztrs you find at Tractor Suppy Co.(another i didn't think could stand-up to heavy use)
     
  3. captn

    captn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    this isn't a big box model. only through JD dealer. it is less expensive than Hustler, but i need advice from someone who runs em.
     
  4. cmurf70

    cmurf70 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Probably wont go wrong with either. It depends on what you want to pay for. They dont say "You get what you pay for" for nothing.

    I tried both, went with the the Fastrac 48/18 Honda. To me, the heavier deck and all-around construction were important though...I have a pretty rough yard.
     
  5. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    I started my business with one of each. My Fastrac had a 21hp/54 deck. My JD was the 425 that sold for 3999 at Lowes. It had a 48" deck and 23hp Briggs. The JD mowed circles around the fastrac. Lot bigger engine and a little smaller deck. The fastrac was very easy to get stuck, whereas the JD was very hard to get stuck. Go with the JD hands down. My opinion. Oh yeah, my fastrac was 5400 new.
     
  6. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    I ended up selling my JD for 2 grand to a farm kid I know who's using it around his place now. I traded the Fastrac along with a Bad Boy 72/35 Cat that I had problems with in on a frontmount Grasshopper. I don't use residential grade machines anymore since my business kind of took off and started flying, but back when I first got into the green industry that's what I started with. I didnt have alot of start up money so I bought the JD because I was able to put it on my Lowes card. I paid cash for the Hustler Fastrac. The JD also had an hour meter and the Fastrac didnt. Demo the new Fastrac Super Duty before you buy one though. Those go for about 6 grand where im at and you can get them with a 25hp Kawisaki that has the commercial air filter and 20" drive tires like the JD does. That would be plenty of engine on a 54" deck. They also come standard with a roll over bar. 13" front tires. It's a light commercial mower. For 2 grand less though I would say the JD would be satisfying enough.
     
  7. captn

    captn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    OK...now we're getting somewhere. so no-one has issue with Briggs with the JD over the Kohler on the Hustler? Any comments on the benefit of the 22 inch wheels on the JD? Are there any parts on the JD that would routinely fail contrary to the commercial heritage of the Hustler brand?

    Help me out, I just need to know if I'll regret investing in the cheaper JD since I'm biased towards the Hustler.
     
  8. Mowinforaliving

    Mowinforaliving LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,258

    Bigger tires make the ride more comfortable in my opinion. The smaller the tires, the more they seem to catch every little bump and hole. The bigger ones also keep you from getting stuck as easy. Engine wise, I liked my JD. The deck was really easy to remove on it which made taking it to the car wash and flipping it over to clean the underside an easy weekend habit. The Hustler's deck weighs a ton (because its heavier built) and wasnt as easy to remove. I never had anything fail on my JD and I ran it commercialy until I bought my first commercial grade machine. That Fastrac isnt commercial either, so dont let it fool you just because it's a Hustler. Now, the Fastrac Super Duty is considered "light commercial". It's the same mower other than bigger tires, bigger engine options, canister air filter, hout meter comes standard as does the roll bar, and the floor pan is a little longer for increased leg room/operator comfort.
     
  9. cmurf70

    cmurf70 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Smaller tires make for more responsive and crisp steering. Drive them both, you'll see what I mean.

    Do a search about Briggs engines here, you'll find out what everyone thinks about them. The Kohler on the Fastrak is a single cylinder. Go with the KawAsaki or the Honda, both V-twins and both will eat the Briggs for lunch.
     
  10. captn

    captn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    OK, so the several threads I have read on this seem to point to the z445 is a closer alternative to the Hustler. I'm going to go demo one.
     

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