Bad Boy Lightning Z 6000 vs. Kubota ZD331 vs. Super Z 66/Kohler 30

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nuconz, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. nuconz

    nuconz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    2 years ago i bought a Hustler Super Z 66/Kohler 30 mower for personal use and a part time lawn mowing business.

    Today I visited the dealer that has dropped the Hustler line in favor of the Bad Boy. I tested the Bad Boy Lightning Z 6000/Kaw 31 and the Kubota ZD 331 on this fine Bahia grass that grows locally.

    There is no comparison in these mowers! The Hustler will dust the others in all ways, except comfort. That Kubota is a very comfortable ride, but costs way too much and doesn't handle very well. It cuts pretty good, but leaves some objectionable patches in the grass.

    The Bad Boy seems slower than the Hustler Z 60/Kaw 25 I originally owned and doesn't cut very well at all. The ride is slightly better than the Super Z, but I only have the suspension seat on the SZ.

    I paid slightly more for the SZ than the Bad Boy, but a whole lot less than the Kubota. You could almost own 2 of the Super Z mowers for the price of the Kubota!

    I told the dealer/owner that I already owned a machine better than these two and asked him why he has the Bad Boy line instead of the Hustler!? Its because of the salesman. I think he should drop this salesman and get a new one!

    The only local Huslter dealer has far less competency, a much smaller shop, and some creepy looking people working there! I wish you'd go back with the dealer I bought mine from.

    My 2 cents...

    And I'm working on auditioning some of the Flex Forks.
  2. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    The comparison that you mention seems like an apples to oranges to peaches... type comparison to me. The ZD 331 Kubota is going to cost alot more than the other two because of the diesel engine alone. The BB Lightning might not be too far off from the Hustler Super Z, as far as the comparison goes but the BB AOS seems like it would be the better match comparison wise, to the Super Z.

    None of that changes the fact of the Husler Super Z cutting the Bahia better than the other two that you mentioned, from your experience, since the BB AOS and any of the pro series Kubota's would have the same decks as the ones that you tested.

    I do think that the 31 Kawasaki would be alot more powerful than the 30 Kohler, if you need the extra power. The Kubota 31 HP diesel is a different class of engine that shouldn't be compared to the gas engines, as far as performance and efficiency, hence the higher price tag on the Kubota.

    What blades do you use with the Super Z...super high lifts or something else?
    What speed do you estimate that you can cut the Bahia cleanly in the tough summertime conditions with the Hustler Super Z? Also, What do you estimate the speed that you were able to cut the Bahia cleanly with the Kubota and the Bad Boy that you tested? Just curious.
  3. nuconz

    nuconz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    I believe the statement about price inequality was covered in my post. The Bad Boy is slightly more than the Hustler Z, but with the 31kaw, it will certainly cut thicker grass.

    The Bad Boy is much slower than the SZ, and seemed slower than the Z, as mentioned. So I don't rate it anywhere near the SZ. They didn't stock the AOS. But with all the hoopla about the Bad Boy, I expected this to be something special. It wasn't. I'd like to try a Ferris next.

    I just got some new blades today and didn't have a chance to check the manufacturer. I believe they are the Oregon Fusion. But I use the standard SZ blades and the gators.

    The gators do real well on medium density bahia grass here. They also cut real thick grass, like I cut 2 weeks ago. The mower didn't even bog down in grass up to the foot deck until I hit a mound of discharged clippings at too fast a speed.

    I can't tell speed, so I don't know how to reply. Even though the mower is very fast, I usually use the speed for "clean up" of thick grass, grass that should have been mowed a long time ago.

    Personally, my experience is that the Grasshopper 721D cuts grass better than anything else I've tried. But it's a front deck mower, and much slower than the SZ.
  4. nmanley

    nmanley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I watched a commercial operator cutting a half acre lot of 8-10" thick Bahia on a Super Z 72" before I bought my Bad Boy. I was very impressed with the cut he was getting but he didn't run more than 5 mph while cutting it. He kept the motor under a consistent load in the heavy stuff. The local Hustler dealer is also the John Deere dealer and a good dealer to deal with.

    I bought my Bad Boy for my residential/farm use and couldn't be happier. It has cut the same type of Bahia as the Super Z at the same speed pretty well also but my stock fusion blades are new too. It should cut well. Both brands have good access and easy to work on but I liked what Bad Boy offered for the money.

    One thing I noticed in your review, sounds like the BB you tested was not running at full RPM. This has been a delivery issue in the past as throttle not set correctly from the factory.

    Always best to get what you like. :clapping:

    My 2 cents...

    BTW.. I cut at 2.5" Ruler measured at the blades.
  5. Thunderhead

    Thunderhead LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    If you already own a product and are 100% satisfied with it (and it sounds like you are), then why in the world would you wanna change?:hammerhead: I'd choose the right dealer and go back with the Super Z......and thats exactly what I did.:weightlifter:

  6. zman2307

    zman2307 LawnSite Senior Member
    from OR
    Messages: 328

    one thing to take into account when demoing is that the blades need to be freshly sharpened for a fair comparison...
  7. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    I can agree that the BB does not cut as well as others and I own one after all kinds of attempts to get it where some other mowers that I have owned the BB just doesnt compare in cut quality to Deere or even Dixie and especially Everride. Multi blades tried all kinds of pitch all to a mediocre cut IMO from BB, they are built to last but the cut is not crisp like others and I attribute it to the deck not having enough overlap. The blades are 20.5" vs Deere and Everride 21" thats an additional 1.5" of blade to cut grass under the deck with the longer blades there are no stragglers as the Dixie and BB will leave some but BB is worse. I dont know but I wont be a repeat customer to BB.
  8. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Have you thought about giving EverRide another try when the time comes to make a change? They may have less dealers now but with Ariens corp. dollars behind them, the company itself ought to be pretty stable. If EverRide has taken care of the reported issues with belts, pulleys and spindles on the earlier generation warriors, they should be a great performer in the future.
    What do you think?
  9. HydroGearHead

    HydroGearHead LawnSite Member
    from florida
    Messages: 89

    I'd go for the Super Z 66"!!! I own 3 and love them!! (2 60" and 1 66") I just bought a new one at my local dealer here in Gainesville, Fl at Equipment Direct. He has 30hp Kohler Super Zs on sale for $7,699.99!!! BRAND NEW. He is like one of their larger dealers and I always get a good deal. I used to have a Bad Boy but the local dealer was really bad with parts and every time it broke they blamed it on me!!!! Anyway get the Hustler, you won't be sorry.
  10. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    I would definately give Everide another shot but no dealers for a long way around here as they all got burned with the buyout. I would but a Exmark tommorrow but no dealers within 50 miles execpt 1 right down the street who has zero mowers in stock. I really like the BB dealer that I have he also was a Everride dealer and he just wont try them again as he had a hard time selling them before. I had 3 Warriors 2 GEn 1s and 1 Gen 2 and never had any issues other than 1 spindle and a few belts but thats with about 2500 total hrs between them. The cut on the Warrior is IMO only surpassed by the Deere 7 Iron deck. I like the old Ultracut Exmark deck but it doesnt perform in wet grass like Deere and the Warrior. I demoed a Hustler Super Z 60 and it was good but somewhat between the BB and a Dixie in the grasses we have here in NJ Fescue and KBG.

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