Buying my first zturn, asking for some help

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Mitchkrama, May 21, 2013.

  1. Mitchkrama

    Mitchkrama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I am looking to purchase a 52-62" machine for my family's 1.5 acre property. I want a heavy duty "lifetime machine" (10-20 years w/o major overhaul in a residential application) I am hoping to spend (overall) in the $6000-7500 range. I am balancing between buying new w/ warranty, buying slightly used (<200hrs res-app, <500hrs com-app), or getting an older/high hour machine for cheaper and use the remaining balance to overhaul it. This last option I was considering a kubota ZD21 as I love the torque output and longevity a diesel provides and I can't afford one brand new. I already know my options for buying new and its between a gravely pro-turn 152z or a big dog r-diablo 754 based upon my criteria and dealer/parts availability.

    Any thoughts, advice, or feedback?
  2. 1Sharkey

    1Sharkey LawnSite Member
    from STL
    Messages: 29

    I would buy new

    The Gravely has the better trans with the 3400 series. The Big Dog/ That is basicly a Hustler painted red has the 3100 trans.

    They are both good machines, I would demo both and buy what feels right and cuts the best in your application

    Does your dealer have demo mowers?
  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    Get a commercial stander.
  4. Mitchkrama

    Mitchkrama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    The big dog model r-diablo 754 actually does run the 3400 tranny and KAW fx691 motor, same as the gravely 152. Both machines are similar in price. The tires and wheelbase is narrower on the gravely, but comes with an air-ride adjustable seat. There are also a few gravely dealerships nearby, so while it may be slightly more expensive then the gravely, I could get 3 dealerships to compete on price. The big dog's tires and wheelbase is wider and being (basically) a hustler in red can take the flex forks on the front casters if I chose to buy them from hustler. Unfortunately, the nearest big dog dealer doesn't have much of a stock and the r-diablo would have to be ordered, but they may have gotten one since I checked last month. Thanks for the feedback
  5. Mitchkrama

    Mitchkrama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I thought about that road, and a guy at wright tried to sell me on a stander. But there are two reasons I want the sit-down: 1) I stand for 50hrs a week on a concrete floor, I want to sit while mowing. 2) I want my 65y/o mother to be able to operate the machine if need be, and a stander would be too much for her. I did consider the wright sentaur or ferris evolution as a compromise, but I decided against it in the end. Thanks for the feedback
  6. Mitchkrama

    Mitchkrama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Oops, the gravely 152 is slightly more expensive then the big dog r-diablo MSRP wise. I also saw someone selling an encore prowler with a 60" deck and 27hp B&S (daihatsu) diesel engine. Does anyone know about these machines? The only feedback I can find is either they are a great value or a total POS.
  7. antv20

    antv20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I just bought a Gravely 152 last week and absolutely love it. Fantastic cut. I bought it for the same reasons you are wanting one. I mow our 2 acres and it cut my time way down.
  8. Brules

    Brules LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma
    Messages: 958

    I personally would run, not walk away from the "big dog" vs a Gravely lol.......if those are you only 2 choices. Gravely has proven they make good equip and stand behind it and you see a lot of commercial guys using them with little if any issues.

    IMHO a Diesel is overkill for only 1.5 acres.....and while Kubotas are nice machines, everything I have ever heard was they are $$$$$ to maintain as every part for them is very expensive.

    So I would go Gravely, or Ferris (is2000?), but from what you posted Ferris was not a final option? They have the best ride.

    Also look into joining an Equine associtaion - I keep hearing that you get a nice discount if you are a member of like the AQHA - it's $40 for 1 year. Discounts can be into hundreds of $? Ask your dealers about it.....
  9. Mitchkrama

    Mitchkrama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I did hear some positive things about big dog, and I just got a call from the dealer telling me an r-diablo was coming in. The gravely 152 is more and more looking like the default choice, however I like to explore all options. A landscape company I worked for used to run ferris', but I never ran them as I worked hardscape/irrigation and not lawn maintenance. The ferris mowers I looked at in my $-range didn't seem to run 3400 trannies or fx series motors. I'm also considering the wright zto, which seems to spec out identical to the 152 and r-diablo and there is a dealer close to the property. An ex mark, kubota, or scag would be nice, but all 3 are too pricey. I ruled out husqvarna as I never liked any of their products except for their chainsaws. Deere is also readily available, but my neighbors $9k Zturn hasn't shown good reliability over the years. Thanks for all the help guys!
  10. Brules

    Brules LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma
    Messages: 958

    Ferris is600/700 both have ZT3400's. FS series engines though. To go to FX engines takes the mower cost up another $1-1.5k usually.

    The Kawa FS series engine is more than enough engine for a 1.5 acre yard for years and years of should be able to get 1000 hours out of one easily. The FX series is a 2000+ hour engine. Like a diesel, for most home owners, it is overkill.

    My deal with big dog mowers, is look around, name a LCO company that uses them.......few if any. Stick with what the commercial guys do, there is a reason they like/use the Scag/Gravely/Hustler/Toro/Exmark/Ferris's.

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