Which ZTR?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by PsRumors, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. PsRumors

    PsRumors LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I have aproximatley 5.5 acres of lawn. I purchased a JD 4410 CUT a year ago to get all of the heavy work done. I have just sold the CUT and am ready to purchase a new or nearly new ZTR for maintenance. I will not get smaller than a 60" and prefer a 72" cut. I have been using a Bunton 60" ZTR that is several years old. I bought it to make sure getting rid of the CUT and going to a ZTR made sense. It does.

    We have done and will continue to do all of our landscape around a big mower. We are fairly level and scalping should not be a problem. Especially since I keep my fescue at about 4.5" tall though one day we will start cutting shorter and over seed with bermuda. I still don't think scalping would be a problem.

    What do you all recommend? A/C, L/C, gas, diesel? I have looked at all of the big ones (exmark, toro, hustler, dixie choppers, Bad Boy, etc) but can't come up with a definitive "this one is better". I have to cut my grass every 4 to 5 days and takes roughly 2 hours with the current 60" Bunton. Are there any I should flat stay away from?

    Any help would be appreciated, I hope to buy within the week.
     
  2. ezdrive

    ezdrive LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I am not an expert, but I would go with a diesel Exmark with a 72" deck. I have a Bunton with a 60" deck, and its really drinks gas. Diesels tend to be more efficient and give better fuel economy. The Exmark has a high ground speed, mix that with a wider deck and you will cut your mowing time in half.

    Look at the Lazer Z XP with a Daihatsu 27 hp 3 cylinder engine. I have test driven this unit. It is fast (12 mph) and smooth. www.exmark.com/lazerzxp.htm

    Ferris makes a full suspension model called the IS-5000Z with a 31.5 hp CAT Diesel. This unit is HUGE. Rides real nice with four wheel independent suspension. I am not sure how well that suspension works with the mower deck. www.ferrisindustries.com/mz_is5000z.php

    Good luck. Just an FYI, I am just a homeowner with limited experience with the Exmark and the Ferris. Wait for one of the pros to give you some real feedback.
     
  3. Grass Man

    Grass Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    .... Have you checked into Kubota's ZTRs :).
     
  4. Cutter LLC

    Cutter LLC LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 100

    I would go with exmark, hustler, gravely, scag, country clipper, dixie chopper, great dane, wright, bobcat, cub cadet, lesco, or ferris. I hope this helped.

    No, but really look into it a lot pick up some literature and demo as many as possible. They all have their advantages.
     
  5. wushaw

    wushaw LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    You have to narrow the field down a little.
    You know you want 60" or 72" so your going to need a big gas motor that drinks alot of fuel or go with a diesel unit and not everybody has a diesel unit in their lineup. I'm rather fond of diesel power myself but that is just me.
    After you get some of the major preferences you want then it just comes down to nit pickin and having to put some seat time on everyone. Good luck hunting.
     
  6. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Posts: 114

    EZ makes good points all around, and I echo his disclaimer. Still and all, my 2C:

    *Suspension WOULD be faster
    * I've decided on a deere, but so what?
    * I did learn rather a lot from my visits to the local dealers.
    - I found some of the better lines didn't have local dealers
    - I found some of the better lines had small fly by night dealers.
    - I found only Deere has massive coverage, impressive parts network, and general high quality shops.

    You might find a tour of the dealers, their inventory and their work shops informative too.

    Study of this site and conversations with many suggest:

    * every brand has an advocate that will soud off
    * through that din the ones that will often surface as quality units will be:
    Deere
    Exmark/Toro/Ferris
    Hustler/Land Pride
    Scag

    * the ones I've determined to avoid include
    Bunton
    Walker
    Ariens/Gravely
    Dixey (maybe unfair, but I've got this feeling..)
    Grasshopper (same comment)
    Country Clipper
    Cub
    Yazoo/Keyes

    I suppose Kubota gets an OK just because they make really good stuff, but you sure don't see many of their z's, and I wonder.


    * I concur on the focus of 72". Size does seem to matter.

    * Would one of the new rear discharge decks mean anything?

    * Ride, as mentioned, will probably mean a lot, and I suppose after making sure I had at least two good local dealers with parts and shops I liked it would be ride next. Of course only those from the above "liked" list.

    * Diesel is probably nice, but at what cost? If you're cutting under 2 hours a week, as you seem to expect, I'm not sure what the economics will justify. If you can afford it, I'm sure you/we/I can give you a good story, but how really required diesel is might be a stretch.

    * A/c vs L/C is religion as much as anything, but as above, LC would be nice, I'm just not sure economics justify it.

    * Do stay on the way upper end of the power curve. With your grass cutting load you may end up cutting wet, tall, or etc... I suppose at least 25hp, and here's where the diesel arguement might fit in well.

    I'd bet after the above considerations applied to your area you'll be down to 2 or 3 units and you'll likely have a favorite.

    Luck,

    dan
     
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Go with the new eXmark Lazer X 72" XS. 31 hp, you'll be all set. The dealer makes all the difference. Find one that is ProCertified. www.exmark.com
     

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