Commercial Z-turn Recommendations for 2 acre lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by frciii, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. frciii

    frciii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I need a little help from the pro's please. I am a homeowner in North Texas with 5 acres and 3 full acres of irrigated lawn. I have been looking at new and used commercial Z-turns since for about the last 3 months and have a few questions. I am looking at the 2nd level of commercial grade mowers with 50 -52" decks just above estate grade (I have trees in the back). Scag "tiger Cub", Exmark lazer Z ct, Toro 400 series, Ferris, Hustler, and an occasional Bushhog or Gravely. The ones with 7 gage decks, fabricated decks, bigger motors, bigger tires and individual pump and wheel motors. I have steered away from the estate size mowers with the charged hydro gear just because it is not as fast & seems less beefy than individual pump and wheel mowers. Every time I walk into a dealer though and they hear 2 acres of lawn they take me right to the Freeedom Z or the 3oo series Toro. So question 1 is the Pump/wheel motor combination really better than the Hydro gear, or is it that I just won't notice with once a week use. Is the speed, 7 vs 10 mph that important.

    I said I had been looking at several used mowers and have a general hour limit in mind of about 600 hours max. This usually gets about 1/4 -1/3 off the new price. I figure that if i can get something under that range, it will still last me a lifetime for 1 - 2 times a week duty. Am I correct, or should I just bite the bullet and buy new.

    Is there any one particular brand that I listed that is not in the same class as the others? On the motor side, most are found with KAW or Kohler with occasional B&S ELS or Intek. The briggs usually are bigger in the same price range. I am thinking 23 hp should be sufficient for a 50 -52 inch cut, but Ivie seen some as low as 20. Any comment.

    Finally, on deck size & quality of cut. I noticed the pro's like 60's. Any particular reason for a 60 vs 52/50. I have trees, live oaks in the back most I could squeeze through with the biggest issue being getting under low hanging branches which are about 48". Most importantly is quality of cut, does anybody hold the edge. I will probably be mulching and striping during the summer on turf type Bermuda. Is there a particular deck height that improves cut, does anyone have an advantage. I just finished my self designed/ installed sprinklers (16 zone Hunter in front yard only) and my neighbors had a fir when I pulled up with a ditch witch behind my truck. They made me park it in the back overnight. I want to smoke my neighbors that have everything done for them. thanks, Fred C.
  2. BSIA

    BSIA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I bought a scags wildcat 61 inch to cut 5acres It has a 27hp kol. engine on it
    I like it a lot except it will scalp if your not careful. I bought mine at dealer cost.
    January is the time to buy last years model what you do is to get two scags dealers to bid against each other I bought mine $1500 less than a friend paid for the exact same mower
    Good Luck
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I think the dealers are only doing their job, they don't want you making a mistake.
    This isn't like Home Depot or Sears where 30 days later you can return it.
    With these guys once you buy it, it's yours.

    I have a 13mph machine but it really doesn't matter, much past 7mph it doesn't cut right, none of them do. I've tried more blade-deck height and angle combinations you can mention, I've even gone beyond the manual and machine specifications by buying special size washers so I can adjust my decks and blades by 1/16'th of an inch and I always sharpen my blades daily and what I am saying is much past 7mph NO mower does a good job cutting.

    Oh I forgot to mention, an 8mph ride is far from comfortable, once you get near 10 or more it gets downright dangerous.
    That suspension seat won't stop a hard bump from riding up your spine, and I'm not sure how much these machines weigh but I suspect in the vicinity of a literal ton (2,000 pounds), maybe more... You just don't want to fly around your yard with this stuff, one mistake and I assure you the ROPS will not stop you from killing yourself :laugh:

    I'm sure after you first get it you will want to test it out some, fine, I did too.
    But after so many hours most of us slow down, see...

    So forget the speed, what is of issue here is money.
    You want to fork over 8-9g's for a machine that will last 20 years that's fine, but is it necessary or is it overkill?

    I always say, two to three steps above minimum, maybe one step over recommended but any further than that is overkill.

    The question you need to ask is which is the smallest machine that is rated to handle what you have, then what you do is go two steps above this, maybe 3, but that's it because at that point you're set.

    I dare say a 10mph 52" is likely the absolute most you'd need, if that's the route you wish to go.
    It could be overkill, I don't know.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Oh yeah, don't get a briggs.
    They're good engines for the money, but they won't stand up to much abuse.
    They're economy engines, if you want to take it that way.

    Honda, Kohler, or Kawasaki.
  5. frciii

    frciii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the input. From waht you said about 2 -3 steps over the minimum would put me in the Freedom Z or Tiger Cub range. Thx for the input on the Briggs I had not initially considered them but was starting to think it wasn't that big of a deal.

  6. DavidR

    DavidR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    I have to say that I'm in a similar situation as you. I looked for several quite a while before finally deciding. I ended up with a Walker MC due to wanting to bag all of my grass. I went with the 48" deck and GHS option. The cut is awesome and this machine saves me a bunch of time.

    Take a look at these machines. They make several options that may fit your need exactly. Since you can get any of there machines without the GHS option, a MC with a mulching deck would work very well for you.
  7. frciii

    frciii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Anyone have any experience with Husqvarna or Lesco
  8. MONTE

    MONTE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 793

    I will make a suggestion for you to look at! Take a look at a Country Clipper Charger! It has the pumps and whell motors, but it also has an articulating deck to eliminate scalping! It is also the best hillside mower I have ever been on! plus you can get them with either joystick or twin stick steering and there flip up deck is standard equipment!
  9. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Messages: 979

    if i was just a home owner cutting my lawn it would certainly be enough for me and the right price 52'' cub zero turn 22 hp kawasaki
  10. frciii

    frciii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks all for the input. Based on my finish cut acerage I am leaning to estate / entry level commercial and now really need help. Hustler FasTrak 52 in deck 21 HP KAW, $5K. Scag Freedom Z 48", Briggs 26 ELS $5K or 52" +$300, or super special 30 day deal Exmark Quest 48" Briggs ELS 22Hp $4K, 52" 24 hP jumps to 5K. All local dealers. All have same ZT 2800 hydro gear and seem to have same front caster bearings. Scag seems & exmark have 7 gage deck but neither really appear to be direct decendents of their big brothers the Lazer Z or Turf Tiger. Right now it seems as you could do no wrong wit the Ex Quest for the proice. ANy Pro's or Cons on any of the above mowers. Thanks in Advance


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