Too much information! Help needed on ZRT

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by cobbonthecorn, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. cobbonthecorn

    cobbonthecorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I've been shopping for a ZRT for a small residential lot, let's say less than 1 acre. Started thinking cheap and am now thinking quality. Hopefully I can find a compromise here. I have four manufactures in mind, Cub, Exmark, Hustler, and Gravely. Would like something 40-48". Most of what I have read tells me a 2 cylinder engine is much more enjoyable to ride than a single cylinder. Will mostly mulch, but would like a bagging option available.

    I have narrowed it down to the Cub Z-Force 44 or 48, Exmark Phazer 19/44, Hustler Mini Fastrak Honda 16/42, and the Gravely ZT 2044. But after reading it looks like the Mini Fastrack is receiving a lot of complaints about the grass clogging the deck and leaving grass trails. I don't think the Phazer has a bagging option. Cub seems a little pricey and there is little being written about it so maybe it is not so remarkable. And finally, the Gravely seems unremarkable and may just fall off the list.

    So here are the questions: 1) Are my facts in order?; 2) Have I missed a competitive ZRT near the $4000 price point I should have examined?; 3)Do you have experience or an opinion as to which of these choices ranks highest?

    Thanks in advance! (First post, please be kind.)
  2. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Posts: 668

    maybe i have missed something on the MFT, but i don't recall anything on clogging. i have a 17/42. all i can say is that it is a workhorse. search my user name and read some of the post. it is a great machine, with a great cut, and backed up by a great company that is the model for customer service.
  3. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    I purchase a MFT 17/42 in march of this year and have nothing but good things to say about it. The other machines may be great, I have no experience with them. The only clogging problems I,ve had were in tall wet grass, which I believe will happen with nearly all mowers.
  4. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    the Gravely seems unremarkable and may just fall off the list

    Gravely may be one of the most underated brands out there. Take a closer look and compare it to the cub. You will find that the gravely units may not be as flashy as some but they do have it where it counts....
  5. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    I don't have knowledge of what the CT series from Exmark runs cost wise but they list that platform as a 5" deep deck which I believe may be the ultracut deck. That mower has a bagging option as well. If that is the UltraCut you would be getting the best quality of cut with an option to bag or mulch.

    As far as the Hustler MFT goes the problems that you have been reading about are relating to the new XR7 platform that I don't think is on the MFT. You can ask PT in the hustler forum to clairify that for you but I thought that the XR7 is on the full size Z and Super Z. As for the Hustler you would be getting the Honda Engine which IMO is a bigg plus over the lower end briggs stuff.

  6. runningdeer

    runningdeer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I'm picking my Hustler Mini Fastrak 42" Kohler up tonight with the bagger and hourmeter. In my opinion it's the best mower for the price. I paid $4035 brand new not a demo. That includes the bagger, hourmeter, and 7% sales tax. You will be hard pressed to find another machine of this quaility for that price. You'll pay about $500 more for the Honda engine. I've done 8 months of research and have tested most ZTs in the $4000-$5000 range. The Phazer which was my third choice behind the Simplicity Champion should have a bagger in the near future i learned. Bagging shouldn't be an issue with the Hustler unless the conditions are wet and heavy. Hustler does offer a high lift blade for the Mini Fastrak and a spidle drive blower if you step up the Fastrak (not the mini). Drive them all and go with what you're comfortable on. Also, make sure you have a friendly dealer handy for service. Good Luck!
  7. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Posts: 293

    I too have the MFT 16/42 and have never had a clogging problem. Actually I drilled a hole in the discharge chute and only put it down when I'm pointing towards a bed or driveway. I think the unit discharges best for me this way.

    NEVER have I had a clogging problem and I'd buy this mower again in a heart-beat. I do have to clean the underside of the deck a few times a year in the heavy growth season though.

    As they say though... demo the ones you are serious about & make a decision from there. I can't tell you what to buy, but I can tell you I love my mower... :usflag:
  8. cobbonthecorn

    cobbonthecorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I appreciate the feedback on the MFT. I'll make it a point to look more closely at it now. Newest dilemma is as follows, Phaser 19/44 $4000, Fastrak with Kohler single cylinder 44" deck $4000. Going to agonize over this one through the weekend and hope my local dealers are open so I can wander and look.

    As always, love first hand experience gained by others, it is the cheapest way to by quality equipment the first time!
  9. Steelratt

    Steelratt LawnSite Member
    from CNY
    Posts: 59

    Did your dealer quote you $4000 on the phazer? I know some people were getting those prices, but I had the dealers here check, and they couldn't find any special deals on them.

    I ended up with a Gravely 44z for about $4800. I know it's a bit above your limit (It was for me too) but it is truly a commercial grade mower. VERY heavy construction and excellent build quality. This thing is light-years beyond the residential Gravelys.

    Hustler is good in that their support, at least on this forum, is second-to-none.

    EDIT: This is just my experience, but the single cyclinder motors seemed to have a lot more vibration than the 2 cylinder motors. For $4k, a single cylinder just seems lacking.
  10. cobbonthecorn

    cobbonthecorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Yes the dealer did quote the Phazor 19/44 at $3999. Almost impossible to pass on this deal since it has the twin cylinder Kawasaki, a bagging kit (Very expensive at $1100, but available. They also have a free hanging bag or grass catcher for $299 that is a maybe for occasional use.), great hydros and the tractor will fit nicely into my garage. I'm going to shop around a bit to see what else I can turn up. Seems like the age old problem of "just another $500 and...."

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