Need help buying a ZTR

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by boojieman, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. boojieman

    boojieman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Guys, another new dummy. Great forum, but I need your knowledge. My Honda 3813 tractor just blew and after 15 yrs, too $$ to have fixed->$2k. So, I am looking for a ZTR. I don't want a low consumer model, but can't afford over $5k. Have approx 2-2.5 acres, flat. I've looked at virtually all the ones I can afford (and some I can't), and have it narrowed down (I think) to 2 or 3--Hustler 52" Fastrac w/20hp honda and IZT; Yazoo Mid Max 48" with 18hp Briggs V-twin Intek and Hydro Gear Pumps and Parker Ross wheel motors. My dilemma: I know the Honda engine is better than the Intek, but is the IZT weaker than the separate pumps & motors. They both seem like fine machines (I like some of the xtra features on the Hustler). Both prices are similar, both dealers about same distance-about 15 miles. The sticky spot: my next-door neighbor is a Snapper dealer and has offered me the new FastCut 50" w/20hp Briggs Vanguard and Hydro Gear w/Parker Ross. It's not nearly as heavy and sturdy and has a stamped deck, but it's only for personal use. His shop is about 5 mi. away. Help me guys to make a decision--how do spindles, pumps/motors, and engines compare? :confused: Which will treat me better? Forget about my neighbor; I'll buy him a hot dog or something. Sorry for the long post, and thanks for the help from the pros.:help:
  2. mike freeman

    mike freeman LawnSite Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 18

    I've been looking at the Hustler 20/52" Fastrack and from my research it should handle up to 5 acres for 15+ years with out any problem. (My ego wants the Mini Z, but I don't need it ) The Hustler fastracks have a $700 dealer rebate until May so you should be able to get a good price ($1300 on Mini Z).

    No first hand experience, I'm looking for my first ZTR mower as well.
  3. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Sounds like you'd get great service on the Snapper, and that's got to count for something.

  4. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Posts: 198

    I'd stay away from the Intek (Vanguard is the only B&S I'd even consider). A friend has the same flat 2+ acres and also considered the good, but relatively expensive FasTrac, the Kohler-powered JD SST-15 (the spin-steering models have trouble on almost any degree of slope) and the Exmark CT. He eventually went with the Country Clipper JAZee because of the easy flip-up deck and the single joystick control. Because of several trees and lawn areas around two decks and a pool, he went with the 17 hp 42" deck (just under $4000). It is also available with 48/52" decks and 19/20hp Kawi/Kohler engines. Good luck!
  5. boojieman

    boojieman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks, guys. I think I have decided on the FasTrak. It seems to have all that I'm looking for--heavy deck & Honda V-twin--along with other nice features. Plus, I think I got a pretty good deal. I appreciate all of your help. B.J.
  6. vjaj

    vjaj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I've looked atHustler fasttrac,toro timecutter z,Dixon ram 50,etc. The Snapper is far more rugged and better quality for the money.
  7. boojieman

    boojieman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    vjaj, I looked at the Snapper very seriously, and I'm convinced it's an excellent mower. But if you look at the bolt size and metal gauge on the Fastrak, it is much heavier and thicker, particularly the thickness of the deck (and I have been known to bend a deck). I did like the separate pumps and wheel motors on the Snapper as compared to the integrated ones on the Fastrak. But I learned that Fastrak puts an extra pump inside the unit to keep fluid circulating and cooler, so I decided that because of less maintenance, I went that route. I have no doubt that the Snapper would have given me years of good service, but when I weighed all factors, I felt that for me, the Fastrak met my needs best. And, so far, I have no regrets. That sucker will flat mow some grass, and leaves a beautiful cut; and I wanted the Honda engine. I'm sure you'll be very happy with the Snapper.:D
  8. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    kawi is the best engine goin except for the diesels but them are costly honda makes a great engine and i think briggs are just junk they are really underpowered
  9. boojieman

    boojieman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    chuckers, Kaw makes some fine engines, no doubt. I have several motorcycle buddies who ride Kaws, and have no problems. I've just been a Honda man for many years. I have a Honda tractor, two Honda walk-behinds, and two Honda motorcycles; and my brother worked for Honda for 20 years, and built racing bikes, so I guess I'm kinda biased. However, there's nothing wrong with Kaw or Yamaha lawn & garden engines, either. I even think Briggs makes some good ones. I've got a 20+ year old garden tractor w/ a Briggs and never had a problem. They just don't have the power of an equivalently rated Honda engine.

    Mow happy,
  10. jamesmcdonald

    jamesmcdonald LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    boojieman, It was my understanding that all IZT transmissions were the same. How did you find out that the Hustler version has a special pump to circulate the fluid?

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