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The dreaded low cost residential Z issue, Take #2

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dfischer58, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. dfischer58

    dfischer58 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Drat. This ain't easy. After much reading (and my thanks to all those that have shared their research, conclusions, and costs), I reached at least a few basic conclusions. I'm going to quickly outline them and then ask for some advise. First background:

    * cutting 1 acre residential, mostly flat, with a 200' long steep berm that I'll either hand mow or use the 265 on.

    * I own a JD 265 w/46" deck that will likely still be running in 10 more years, but I don't care for the deck. To shallow, with all the ills that implies. Still, after 17 years, I give it the props it deserves.

    * Objective: Deere, like it or not, is getting old. 1 acre, with a deck I don't like, ain't in the cards. It needs help or a replacement. If I could afford a CUT I'd do that but can't so...


    * I'll skip the MTD/CC, Husky et al bashing, and simply say "I agree"

    * Simplicity Consumer Z WAS at a tempting price point in '04, but that has changed. I'm seeing $4.5K for the Consumer Z 20/50, the hyrdo's aren't really all that smooth, and the speed, at 7 mph isn't all that impressive. Of course, with a 20" tire, it might not be smooth enough to run faster.

    * I could live with a a Hustler Mini Z, and it seems to be about $6k new. Faster, more power, bit more deck (lets assume 23/52), bigger tires. Maybe tougher, but finish quality of many ZTR brands is beginning to make me nervous and I know a simplicity or a Deere is likely, say, painted right for gods sake. Maye a hustler is the next kubota, but then maybe not.

    * I would be happy with a Deere 727A, and it seems a close enough match to the Mini Z. Pricing new about the same, $6k, but resale race naturally goes to the Deere, and I think I could find a Deere dealer on the moon.

    Now, any of these best live 10 years, and I'm not gonna own something I won't like for $100 or $125 a year diff, so the Consumer Z is looking a bit weak to me right now. But lets shake this up a bit and then I'll ask the question.

    Lets assume I can buy a used Consumer z for $3.3K, and hustler for $4.5K and Deere for $5K. Still not a lot difference, but is Deere really 50% more mower then the Simplicity?

    For 50% savings I'd love to get the Cz, but I'm having a hard time believing it's even close to an equal machine, and, again, for $100 to $125 a year....

    Comments, advise from any welcome'd those that have run or owned both desperately sought.
  2. wushaw

    wushaw LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Do some test driving on all the machines you are interested in, then you might be closer to what machine you will be comfortable on in ten years.
  3. dfischer58

    dfischer58 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    Decent advise wushaw. I suppose I meant my comment on the simplicities hydro's to imply I'd driven one, but to be clear, I'm in the midst of driving them.

    FWIW, I place value on a test drive, but the experience of ownership can't be replaced by a mere spin around the lot. I've noticed some in this forum have owned quote a few Z's and I'm hopeful I'll learn from their experiences, or perhaps learn how my conclusions and or thoughts are, or aren't flawed.


  4. wushaw

    wushaw LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    dfischer58, I have a Hustler mini-fastrak 36" that I use to squeze in all the areas I can't fit my 61" Grasshopper. I have only had these machines a few months and what I have learned is the bigger tires on the Grasshopper makes for a smoother ride.
    The Hustler sits lower and is lighter and is alot of fun to drive. The Grasshopper is big and powerful that gets the job done very well. I like both machines but time will tell how they will hold up.

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