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Best Deal on ZTR

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by hintze_w, May 30, 2012.

  1. hintze_w

    hintze_w LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I am shopping for a new ZTR for my residence which contains about 1.5 acres with no real slopes. I have been quoted the following prices from dealers in my area. What do you think is my best deal?

    1. Hustler Fastrak, 54", 23hp Kawasaki engine (FS691V) $5799
    2. Exmark Pioneer E-series, 54", 23 hp Kawasaki (FR691V) $5450
    3. Ferris IS500Z, 52", 27 hp B&S Professional $5799
    4. Gravely ZT HD 52", 24hp Kawasaki (FR) $5895
    5. Scag Freedom Z 52", 20hp Kawasaki (FS600) $5800

    Boonsboro, MD
  2. GoldStarMowing

    GoldStarMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    Not to make your decision more difficult but you might want to check this link out: John Deere Z600 series. (If you have a john deere dealer in your area that is.)


    Out of the mowers you listed though, I'd choose the Exmark and not just because it's the cheapest. Exmark mowers always seem to have a great cut and leave great stripes more so than some of the others you listed.
  3. hintze_w

    hintze_w LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the recommendation. I really want a Kawi engine and my JD dealer is not willing to negotiate on price a bit.
  4. GoldStarMowing

    GoldStarMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I hear ya, that was my biggest reservation when I picked up the Z655. I've always run Kawi engines and they've been fantastic. Even my 8 year old Kawi powered JD LX280 is still running strong with 2,000 hours on it.

    No problems with the "cyclonic" Brigs yet but it's still pretty new, hopefully it will preform as well as the Kawi's do. My JD dealer is willing to negotiate for the most part but if the dealer near you is going to play hard ball I wouldn't give them my business either. Paying sticker price for expensive equipment is a no-go for me. Best of luck!
  5. dbear

    dbear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    Well, for what it's worth, the Exmark has lighter duty hydros, ZT2800 vs ZT3100, compared to the rest. I'm not sure of the differences between the FR and FS series engines, but I'm thinking the "R" stands for residential(?). Don't know if you knew, but the Ariens Max Zoom is the same machine as the Gravely.

    Another machine in that same class that might be worth pricing would be a BobCat Fastcat Pro: 22hp Kawa (FX691V); ZT3100s; commercial quality deck. http://www.bobcatturf.com/fastcat-pro-zero-turn-riding-mower.aspx

    Based on my local dealers, I'd be leaning toward the BobCat, Gravely(Ariens), Hustler, or Scag as I don't much care for the Exmark and Ferris dealers here.
  6. GoldStarMowing

    GoldStarMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    Dealers sure do make the difference as to what you purchase. Another thought; think about whose going to be the best to deal with after the sale too. Regardless what machine you buy, sooner or later something is going to break and having good folks behind you can sure make a huge difference.
  7. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    This is a good point. With only 1-1/2 acres to mow, any of the models you're looking at should last forever. I'd say go to the one you simply like the best or the dealer you like the best. In this price range, they should go 1500 hours when maintained properly.

    Also, any Husqvarna dealers near you? They have several good values in that bracket and I found that in this bracket, they offer the most bang/buck. After endless research and demoing, I ended up with an MZ6128 for $5000 even with 23" tires, ZT3400 transmission, one year commercial/3 year res warranty. The Briggs engine is a Husq spec'd engine with chrome innerds similar to the other upgraded Briggs'. A close second for me was the Gravely HD which should be had for 5200. Almost got that one. The price you were quoted on it seems very high. I was quoted 5200 for the 52". I found the Hustlers to be fine, but not a very good value.

    Be sure to drive them around. There are differences in handling, comfort, convenience, etc.

    Good luck, You'll love whatever you get of those models, I'm sure.

    BTW, don't start thinking you should start looking at cheaper ones. You are in the right category here.

    Oh, and don't discount the newer Briggs engines. I've talked to some techs (I researched the heck out this subject because I, too, wanted a Kawi) who say that they are much improved over the older ones, especially the upgraded ones, and that Kawasaki's are starting to have troubles of their own. FWIW.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,353

    If I were a homeowner looking I would want that Ferris. The older I get the more I love the idea of a fully suspended mower.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Out of that group it would be the Hustler 54" and then the Exmark. I think the FS engine is a step up from the FR, but I am not 100%.
  10. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Your Scag Dealer has 0% interest for 48 months (free money)...I recommend Scag because should you ever decide to sell it for any reason then the resell market for them is higher than any of the others. Lots of guys tell me that they put ads in the paper and sell the next day. Being from TN...gotta buy orange.

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