need advise on my first ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Gunner, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. Gunner

    Gunner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I am looking at purchasing my first ZTR. Below are the ones I have looked at and the prices quoted for each (without tax).

    Hustler Fast Trak Z 18 V-twin Honda 44" deck $5199.00
    Hustler Fast Trak Z 20 V-twin Honda 52" deck $5599.00

    Grass hopper Model 220 20hp Kohler 48" deck $6199.00

    Scag Tiger Cub 20hp Kohler 48" deck $6200.00
    Scag Tiger Cub 19 hp Kawi 48" deck $6500.00

    Bobcat ZT219 19hp Kawi 48" deck $5499.00
    (This mower, according to dealer, is a demo he has used at shows. It has 7 hours on the meter. I looked at it pretty close and it does not appear it has even cut any grass).

    Last but not least. A good friend of mine, who works at a John Deere dealer on the West Coast, told me the dealer he works for will sell me a mini Z-Trak 717 19 Kawi 48" deck for $5850.00 or a mini Z-Trak 727 23Kawi 54" deck for $6377.00. The only problem I would have would be that I would have to get the mower shipped to me in Mississippi and then have it set up when it gets here.

    Any pros/cons and advise at to whether or not these are reasonable prices will be greatly appreciate.

  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Well, first, and most obvious, I'd stay away from the "shipping deal. What happens if you get it, and there is something wrong or missing? "Ship" it back? Wait who knows how long? Also, who would service it? As far as the other choices, it sounds like you're right in the ballpark. Be careful shopping for these "mini-mowers", though. Sometimes, cost comparison-wise, you're better off to just go for the full sized. You get WAY more for your money. I'm not real sure about the JD Ztracs, though. The way they are built, you're looking at almost closer to homeowner's durability.
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    of those mentioned the hustler 20 looks the best to me.
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    Why are you looking at such small width decks?
    Are your lawns on the small side? If I had lawns that would limit a 48" deck, I'd surely not invest in a ride on ZTR. I'd go with a Hydro Walk behind mower.

    You see, with these small ZTR's your looking at, the rear tires are often at the edges of the deck, leaving no trim side deck offset.

    I don't know much about the models you listed, but I noticed no Exmark Lazer HP's in your list.? Smallest ZTR I'd go with would be the 52" Lazer HP w/ 23Kawi. Like I said, any smaller deck, you better have real "tiny" lawns, and with "tiny" lawns come problems when you start putting ZTR type weights on those lawns.
  5. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Dear Gunner,

    IMHO price should be the second or third consideration on getting a Z. I demo'd the Hustler 60" and loved it (got the Wright Stander in stead). I also tried everything that was available in my area and some that were not.

    Sure, if you are talking about a $3000.00 spread or greater that's another story. But comfort, productivity, ease of maintenence, application particulars on your accounts and of course the big one: DEALERSHIP SUPPORT!!! are more important to me than price.

    Of the ones you mentioned the Hustler would be my favorite.

  6. Gunner

    Gunner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Thanks for the info.

    I would really like to hear from some of you out there who currently have one of the Hustler Fast Trak Z's or the Bobcat ZT219s.

    By the way, I'm selling a 2000 Scag WB with 48" Advantage deck and 17 hp Kawi to help finance the purchase. Throwing in a set of Jungle Wheels too. Mower has about 200 hours on it and looks like new. Have it priced at $2600.00, which I think is reasonable, considering my local dealer wants $3250.00 cash for a new mower just like mine (without the Jungle Wheels).

    Again, I thank those of you who have already responded and hope a few more of you will.


    "Stand for something even if it means standing alone".
  7. Propdoc

    Propdoc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I've looked at and or demoed all of the manufacturers that you listed except the Bobcat so I can't say anything about one. First I loved the little Hustler Fast Trac, it looked like it was a well designed machine and could probably hold up to commercial use but I don't believe that it is waranteed for commercial use. The dealer said that it was brought for home use only now but Hustler was planning to change that. That something that you might want to consider. I would recommend if you are really looking at a Hustler, go with the 52" Hustler Z 23 Kawasaki. A good friend of mine just bought one and it is very impressive.
    I trust most of the quys on this forum and Grasshopper just doesn't do very well among them. Plus several of the guys that I know personally didn't recommend them. They seem to be built sturdy enough but you've got to wonder, could that many people be wrong. On the other hand there sure seems to be a lot of them out there. I have heard that they are expensive to get repaired, but maybe that's just heresay.
    I considered Skag for a while but wasn't too sure about there customer support. I believe that they set up too high as well. I don't know if hills are a problem for you or not but they are for me. So maybe you might find the Skag is right for you.
    As for John Deere, let say that if they aren't made by Yazoo or vice versa than somebody is definately ripping someone off. I've recently seen them both next to each other and they were virtually identical. I sure some of the guys here could tell more about the story if there is one. I'm not saying that Yazoo isn't a good mower or anything, I just think that John Deere is the company they once were. Boy am I going to catch h@$l over that one.
    Last I would like to say that if you haven't looked at an Exmark yet I would recommend that you do. I did and after studying, demoeing, and listening to what people had to say, I bought one. I think you will be impressed.
    As someone has already said, your dealer is probably the most important deciding factor involved so choose carefully. In the end it really is personal preference, and a Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge kind of thing.
  8. Propdoc

    Propdoc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Man, I've really got to start proof reading my replies. About John Deere, I meant to say that I don't believe that they are the company they used to be. Sorry.
  9. Gunner

    Gunner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21


    I appreciate the time and effort you took in your reply. You are truly a credit to the profession.

    Right know I'm sort of leaning towards the Hustler Fast Trak Z with a 44" deck and 18 Kawi.

    However, I am going to look at the Exmarks. Would be helpful if you could tell me what an Exmark comparable with the mower above costs "cash on the barrelhead" in your neck of the woods.


    "Shoot low sheriff---they're riding Murrays".
  10. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Get a Walker. They are more pricey but......... That is the back bone of my business. If somebody were to take it away I would sell out tonight yet.

    As for 48'' decks being called small, you must be lucky enough to have no yards with fence around them. I run a 42'' and once in a while get yards I can't use it in back. You mentioned the weight problem, I don't have a problem with my ZTR. It is 25 hp, and weighs less than 1000 pounds. I have no idea what the ZTRs mentioned weigh.

    We are not in this business for our health.

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