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Was all set on getting

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by andygold, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Was all set on getting a FasTrak 20/52 ($4999), and now I see something that might be "better".

    I want a residential machine(read cheaper) with commercial quality, hence my picking the FasTrak. now for $500 more, I've seen the Simplicity Citation 21/48 ($5500). It appears somewhat similar to a Ferris IS1500Z ($6500)...as the companies are related.

    Here's some of the specs...any opinions would be welcome!

    Hustler FasTrak
    20 hp Honda twin
    Deck: 52 inch
    Speed F/R: 7.0/5.0 mph
    Fuel Cap.: 12.2 gal.
    Front Tires: 11 inch
    Rear Tires: 18 inch
    Weight: 740 lbs.
    Suspension: none
    Pumps: single pump

    Simplicity Citation
    21 hp B&S Big Block Vanguard twin
    Deck: 48 inch
    Speed F/R: 9.0/ unk
    Fuel Cap.: 6.5 gal.
    Front Tires: 13 inch
    Rear Tires: 22 inch
    Weight: 970 lbs.
    Suspension: rear shocks
    Pumps: dual fan-cooled pumps
    Other: headlights-standard

    Sooo, the differences for the Simplicity are: it has a bigger engine, narrower deck, is faster, holds less fuel, has bigger tires all around, weighs 230 lbs. more, has rear suspension, dual fan-cooled pumps, and headlights.

    I couldn't see the bottom of the deck, or gauge it's thickness or quality of it's cut, so I'm asking for anyone's experiences. I've read in the past that Simplicity typically had decent decks, but that was on their tractor mowers. I have not read anything about the decks on their Zs, or if they are up to pro quality. The narrower deck doesn't mean that much to me, nor does the slightly faster speed(which I probably wouldn't be able to take advantage of on my property), nor the reduced fuel capacity or headlights. What I do like though is the larger tires (I believe that's better, right?), the dual pumps, and the suspension.

    I'm not sure of the quality of the Briggs Big Block Vanguard vs. the Honda. I'm also unsure about whether or not the additional weight translates into better quality, more robust materials, or if it's just more weight for the drive system to lug around. 230 lbs. is a big difference on a machine with a smaller deck.

    I'm unaware of the tow capacity of the Citation(if it even has one). I'd like to be able to occasionally tow a seeder, or thatcher, or aerator.

    I believe warranties were comparable (in years).

    Any thoughts, experiences, etc...
  2. AEW

    AEW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    I have a fastrak and it is defiantely worth it. I am not so sure about simplicity machines but Hustlers are worth every penny. It is an exceptional machine and you wont be dissapointed in it.

    I also like Honda engines over any other engines I have ever had on any machine.

    The smaller tires and lower stance is also supposed to be better on hills. The fastrak is by far the best mower I have used on hills.

    As you can see I would perfer the Hustler. It is definately a commercial quality mower and all I know about simplicity is the residential side...but its really up to you. See which you feel is most comfortable for mowing.
  3. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    Simplicity Citation Website

    Looks very nice! I think that's the upgraded B & S engine so I'm sure it's top notch. My Fastrac is a bit rough over slight yard imperfections, so the rear suspension on the Citation would be nice. For another $700 msrp you could get a 23hp 53" Citation. :blob3:

    Nice price on the Fastrac. Test drive the Citation, if it appears the quality is the same with the deck, front wheels, engine and the -4" of the citation doesn't bother you seems to me to be a no brainer. The dual pumps and the suspension would be a great upgrade to the Fastrac. The wheel size of the Fastrac I think is 20" not 18", but I really don't think the rear wheel size on anything that large would make a ride difference. Go buy something! payup
  4. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    To those who have messaged me telling me that the title of my post was poorly chosen.....please let it be known that I FORGOT to place anything in the "title" box, and the forum must automatically default to using the first couple of words typed in the "messsage" box and use that for a title. Now, is there any way to edit one's posts? I don't see how!
  5. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    All the FasTraks regular or mini use 18 inch rears, according to Hustler's literature. I might be mistaken though about the Citation's fuel capacity, as I've seen it listed as both 6.5 gallons, and 13 gallons (maybe [2] x 6.5 gallon tanks). Both on Simplicity's website and brochure. Don't know which is correct, but it doesn't matter for my residential mowing.

    I've seen another recent thread with FasTrak owners complaining about tearing the lawns when making turns. They believe it's due to the somewhat smallish rear tires. So, the 22s might help in this regard. I'm guessing they might also give a smoother ride in addition to the shocks.

    From looking at the pics on the website, it appears there might be some heim jointed arms stabilizing the deck, do other companies use this? Does it appear to be a good thing?

    The other weird thing is from looking at Briggs' website, I cannot find a Big Block 21 hp engine. The smallest I see in a BB is a 23 hp unit. I wonder if Simplicity's wording is purposely misleading. They say... "It features a choice of 21- or 23-hp Big Block engines..." maybe it's only a standard type in 21 hp, and a BB only if you you opt up for the 23 hp version. Gotta call Simplicity and find out. Anyone know how Simplicity decks are supposed to cut, quality wise?
  6. LWNMWR1

    LWNMWR1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    my only advice to you would be you get what you pay for. there is always something that is not quite heavy duty on any equipment that is geared towards the homeowner.

    if you were to buy any commercial mower the odds of it lasting as long as you do are much greater. i have a scag turf tiger that has nearly 2000 hrs on it. i have had to do nothing but change oil and the filters. not even belt change yet. that is 4 yrs of non stop mowing.

    if you think you are interested in any real i have a one year old turf tiger that i need to sell. i am looking for an efi unit to try and save on gas. she is a 61" deck and 25hp kohler. best machine built. would last you forever.
  7. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    andygold, the tires churning the grass up, I believe is a complete non-issue. I can purposely rip up the grass by making 'bad' turns. It has nothing to do with the Hustler or any other ZTR, it is the driver.
  8. Roman27

    Roman27 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Hey! I bought the Citation 21/48. If you're interested, I will take some pictures of it tomorrow and post them. I have not mowed with it yet. My wife and I have been out a couple of times practicing manuvers around an Ace Hardware 50 gallon trash bin. ;-)

    One of the more interesting things on this mower is that the wheel pumps and motors have a fan on the top. I'll see if I can get a picture of it.

    Everything is very solid on the machine. They also made a few changes to the machine and haven't really updated their website with them. It does not hold 13 gallons of gas as stated on the website. I think it holds 6 or 6.5 gallons. It also has a top forward speed of 10mph, not 9mph. I tested out the top speed the other day. It's WAY too fast for my yard. I won't be mowing at even close that speed. I suppose if you have a long flat yard, it might work quite well.

    Anyway, you can check out the manual here ( http://www.simplicitytechpubs.com/techpubsearch.php ). Type in Manufacturer's No. 1694768.
  9. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    andygold, the Citation has a 2 year residential warranty and the Hustler has a 4 year warranty .
  10. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    They both look good. Don't forget about the ride. Get the one that has the best suspension to smooth out the bumps in the yard.

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