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what is kees/exmark ztr worth with 700 hours

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DLS1, May 24, 2003.

  1. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    What is is worth. Never owned a ZTR but did demo a Exmark ZTR last year so don't have any idea what a used ZTR is worth.
    Will be sold by a company that used it to mow their property.

    It is a Kees ZT Max ZTR with 705 hours on it, 52" cut, Kohler OHV 22 hp. Not sure how old it is but I noticed the motor had a sticker that said that it met 1995 - 1998 emission requirements.

    This looked exactly like the Exmark ZTR I demoed last year and it even has the RED paint. I am assuming it is made by Exmark and they just put a Kees emblem on it. Even the way to adjust the mowing deck height is same way as Exmark.

    I tested it around the lot. It made the same loud hydro squeaking noise that the Exmark I demoed last year did. The motor sounded okay. The cut was lousy but the blades were extremely dull so I assume it would cut as good as the Exmark once the blades were sharpened. The air filter was extremely dirty and needed replaced badly but the oil on the dipstick looked new.

    Deck needs painting due to some rusting spots.
    I tried starting it 3 or 4 times but nothing happened (no clicking of ignition switch/motor) but the 5th time the motor started okay. Not sure if ignition switch or something going out.

    The anti scalping wheels looked rough.

    What may start going out with 705 hours on it? How soon does hydos go out, when have motor problems with a Kohler,etc. I don't want to buy ZTR that will start costing alot in repairs.

    I will be using it for part-time mowing about 6 hours a week (instead of using my Sears rider) and mow our 5 acre property.

    What is it worth and cost of possible repairs needed in future with 705 hours on it?
  2. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    To give you a price without seeing it would be kinda just a wild guess. I do have some info for you though. As far as it being an Exmark...it is not. Has some similar features and design, but it is a different mower. FD Kees was started many years ago, and I believe the founder of Exmark (later Encore) was an employee of FD Kees before Exmark was around. I am sure they helped each other out in designs or whatever (afterall, they are in the same town) back before Toro bought Exmark and Yazoo and Kees became one and eventually bought by Husqvarna.

    I own both a Lazer Z and a Yazoo/Kees ZTMax. After owning both, you would recognize subtle differences in them. I paid $7200 for my 1999 ZTMax. It is a 61", so that ran a couple hundred dollars or so more than the 52". The 25 Kohler on my machine was a little more money than the 22. So in 1999, I would say a machine like that was about 6700 bucks.

    I don't know at what point the Yazoo/Kees name began being used. I think it may have been 98 but 99 might have been the first year. Does it have a black deck rather than the red the rest of the machine is? Either way, I would put the build year around 1997 on the mower you are looking at.

    Mine has been a good mower. It now has about 1800 hours on it. Pay close attention to the hydraulic oil. See if you see any signs or leaking or air bubbles in the tank. Mine just cut loose a hydro cooler recently and has another leak in one of the lines. The anti-scalp roller thing is pretty normal on them. Mine actually has bent the brackets they attach to. The turning the key several times before it does anything...mine does that too on occasion, but not that often. It's done it for over 1000 hours.

    Bottom line. I don't like the idea of the dirty air filter. The filter that came with them was kinda sub-standard in the first place. I upgraded mine to the Nelson type when it became available. Pay close attention to the hydraulic system. 705 hours is nothing for this mower, but the dull blades (so bad that it makes this decent cutting machine cut bad) and the filter make me question the maintenance on the mower as a whole. We are talking about a 6 year old mower here too. A good running, decently maintained one might bring $2500. I don't think I would pay anywhere close to that for what you described :(
  3. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Keith, thanks for the excellent information.

    Sounds like I may offer up to $1500. I'll check the hydro's.

    I looked at yazookees.com for the ZT Max and it looked exactly the same. It had the same red deck. This mower had an extra set of rear tires that go with it which they looked smaller than the massive wider tires that are on it now.

    Is the hydro noise on your Kees as loud or louder as your Exmark? I assume they use the same hydro units.
    That is the only thing I didn't like about Exmark.

    Neighbor across the road has a Grasshopper and I hear his hydro squeaking noise when he mows so I guess most ZTR's do have same loud hydro noise.
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Yeah, they make some noise. The Kees is a little louder than the Exmark, because my Exmark is only like two months old ;) But neither are even close to how loud my Grasshopper is :eek: Make sure you are operating it at full throttle, otherwise the hydros tend to make a lot more noise.
  5. Barker's Lawn Care

    Barker's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Keith, could you compare/contrast the differences between you Yazoo and your Exmark. This Spring I purchased a new 48" Yazoo/Kees hydro waklbehind. Next season I would like to purchase a new ZTR. I would like to buy a Yazoo(cheaper) but I have not yet tried their ZTRs. I have been very pleased with my w/b.

  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    i would be suspiciouse of the hr meter,considering how u said it looks. got mine at 800 hrs and it still looked good .
    if the mower has the same hydros,w mule drive,as the lazer
    does ,i would get it .if the motor gives the rite sighns.
    that aint many hrs. for that machine.
  7. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    I'll try to go in to more detail for you later. But here is what I can tell you about the two real quick.

    1.The Exmark cuts better on grass that is not completely level, even with the anti-scalp rollers not set in the optimum position. This is probably due to the wider rear tires and castor tires.

    2. The cutting height is slightly misleading on the Yazoo/Kees vs. Exmark. In St. Augustine grass, early in the mowing season I could cut a 4" according to the Y/K markings. By this time of year, we were cutting most at 4 1/2". Late summer required a lot of them to be cut at 5" and that was it, it does not go any higher. The Exmark on the other hand has 1/4" increment settings. 3.75 is almost equal to the 4 1/2 on the Y/K :confused: Maybe this could be corrected and maybe on the newer models it has been.

    3. In the front frame section, the castor arms on the Y/K are identical. In other words they have the same angle. The 60" Lazers arms are at different angles. This possibly contributes to its ability to cut unlevel ground better. And again, this may be something that has been changed on newer Y/K's.

    4. My 1999 model Y/K holds a whopping 2 gallons of oil in the hydraulic tank. The Exmark holds about a quart of Mobil1. Not sure if this is a benefit, but I felt more comfortable with having that much in case I sprung a leak. That actually happened to the machine recently, but the leak developed at the cooler, which the Exmark does not have or need. So this is probably cancelled out.

    5. The lift mechanism was similar on my Y/K, but that changed shortly aftarwards. Toro sued them for patent violations and it was changed.

    6. The offset on the drive wheels is different.

    7. The foot-well area is different.

    I'll take some pics of them side by side when I get a chance.
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    The Kees sold for $3,700 at the auction today. Guy in his 60's who bought it said he will use it around his property to mow.

    Oh well, 80% of my lawns is average residential lawns so I was really waiting for the Hustler Gatemaster to come out soon so I can demo it. I plan on buying one if the demo goes well. I am still waiting to hear from Hustler to test it. Not sure when they are going to get the prototypes out for testing.
  9. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    That is way more than I would have paid for it. But hey, the guy that bought it is happy, that's what matters. I think you did well to let this one go :)
  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    To add to this a little, here are a few things I would look for in a used mower of this type.

    Overall condition, how it looks can be deceiving. A faded, scratched paint job does not necessarily represent what the mower is. That just means it's used.

    I look for original setup. Someone who fixes things half-azzed probably has treated it that way. You know what I mean, throttle cable hanging off the side, rag for a gas cap, wires hanging all over ;)

    I look at the oil filter, is it a quality OEM or aftermarket or some cheap knockoff? If a guy spends decent money on that, he probably treats the machine well. Same goes for the air and hydro filter. Though I don't want to see a brand spanking new filter on it. That suggests he just put it on to sell it.

    I look for quality upgrades. Did the guy add a HD air filter? If he did, he probably spent 180 bucks or so and that is not typical of someone who does not take care of their stuff.

    Small leaks don't really concern me much. Just as long as oil is not pouring out of anything :p

    Tire condition, if the dude is running around on crappy worn-slap-out tires, thats a good indicator of the rest of the machine.

    Spindles. Make sure they are not noisy and sloppy.

    Check for dirt and debris buildup in cooling fins and near the hydros.

    Simpy put a machine with 2000 hours on that is scratched and faded may be a far better machine than one with 800 hours on it.

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