Bobcat ZTR - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by wodinsc, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. wodinsc

    wodinsc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I am a homeowner with 2-3 acres of lawn with buildings, trees, beds, etc to cut around. I would like to have a ztr and have considered the homeowner models but have not been impressed with what I have seen so far. I started looking at commercial ztr's but cost is a consideration. Today I found a Bobcat 218ES (52" welded deck, 18HP Briggs Vanguard twin) priced at $5000 (marked down from $5850). This may be just what I have been looking for. Much better built than the typical homeowner model but less expensive than a full blown commercial model. Anybody have any experience with Bobcat or with this model in particular? I welcome any advice or opinions.
  2. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    if that is a brand new bobcat, that is a good price. around here the 52" ZTR sells for around $6,000 new. we run the 61" riders, but everyone i have spoken to seems to like the 52" model ZTR's. when they were first introduced, bobcat couldnt make them fast enough. i would rather have a larger engine than the 18HP
    that machine has. but, the vanguard is a decent engine and should suit your needs just fine.
  3. Dave

    Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 315

    This model started selling as of last year,It is the same machine as the zt219 ,difference is the engines,briggs18,veruses kawi 19,the hydro pumps on them are supposed to be stronger than the 219,and the other thing was a service bullitien for a shim to go between the clutch & the base of the engine,I have one with 430?? hours no problems
  4. wodinsc

    wodinsc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for the information. Is the cut quality good on these machines? Does anyone know how they do as a mulcher? It's hard to demo when the grass isn't growing and this is the only one left at this price (brand new but last year's model, I think).
  5. Dave

    Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 315

    they use the same deck as the other bobcats 5" could do a search on them in the commercial forum,the only bagging system they use is the peco with the pony motor
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i run a 52 lazer and think 17 might not allow you to enjoy
    the full benefits if a ztr. never owned one so mabe some body who has will answer. later now. ps otherwise ,i think the bobcat is alright.
  7. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    No experience with the Bobcats, but I'm a homeowner with the same property features/ size as wodinsc who made the switch to a ZTR last spring.
    I ended up with a Grasshopper, 18hp Kohler/ 52" deck. It cut my mowing from 4 hrs to an hour. The lawn never looked this good and it is a blast to get out there and do it.
    As far as the horsepower debacle, I didn't really want a larger deck to be able to get between tight spots but initiallt I thought the 18hp weren't enough. Well, after the first season which included some 'hill-climbing' on one side of the property and some serious mulching through deep piles of leaves as well as the obvious mowing through thick rich grass, I can find no fault with the power-output. It has performed every task asked of it effortlessly and with the smaller motor I am conserving some gasoline as well. I love the frontmounted deck as it allows to get under brush and fences.
    For the price you stated for the new Bobcat I don't think you can go wrong. Around here you might find a 'Homeowners' machine for this money - not a commercial one.
    Good luck.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    dont have the slightest where i got the 17hp figure,unless u edited your post. well ,got a lot on my mind right now.
  9. creekside

    creekside LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I was in exactly the same postion this time last year. I was wanting to cut my mowing time cutting three acres. Looked at every ZTR available in my area, did not have a Bobcat dealer close enough to be comfortable buying one, but have heard good things about a search here on lawnsite and check out the feedback on Bobcats. I ended up buying a Toro ZTR because the dealer is only 15 mins. away and has a great service history. Service and support need to be a part of your decision. I suggest you ask the dealer you are looking at questions about part availabilty and shop turn time etc. and make sure you feel comfortable that he will be just as concerned with any problem you may have in the future as he was selling to you...even call the BBB to check his status.
    Looking back after buying and using a commercial ZTR as a resident I can honestly say you cannot go wrong with any of them. Some do ride better than others though. That is a good price on that Bobcat.
    I am glad you found lawnsite, it is a great resource with some good people! :D
  10. wodinsc

    wodinsc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the advice. After reading replies to my post and researching bobcat posts in the commercial forum, I decided to buy this model. Everything about this machine is heavy-duty commercial except perhaps the engine. With the hours I will be putting on it, it should last for many years though. I was a little concerned that 18hp wouldn't be enough but after reading Catcher's reply and talking to my dealer, I decided an additional hp or 3 wasn't worth $1000+ higher price. Grass isn't doing much right now but I cut/mulched about 2 acres Saturday that I had been bush-hogging last year so it was still pretty tall and thick. The power was more than adequate. I guess heavy Spring growth will be the true test but I think I am going to be more than satisfied. Can't wait for the grass to grow...

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