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Deck Depth; also compare to Tiger Cub

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by RichmondR, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Greetings --

    I'm currently considering replacing my JD 38" lawn tractor with either a Fastrack 20/52; Mini Z 23/53, or Scag Tiger Cub 23/52. My property is about 2 acres, slightly hilly with lots of landscaping. I've been looking at LawnSite since last summer and the primary reason I have been considering Hustler is what I have read on this forum and what appears to be a pretty good price/value equation compared to the other major brands of ZTRs. I realize the Mini and the Tiger Cub are probably overkill, but I would be occasionally using a Blue Bird tow behind aerator and other accessories, and I figure that the extra HP might come in handy.

    My questions:

    1. One difference I have noticed with the Scag is that the Scag (and other major brands like Toro, Exmark and JD) have at least 5 inches of depth to the deck vs. 4 inches for both the Mini and the Fastrack -- is this a fair comparison point? I plan on primarily mulching, and I'm concerned that a deeper deck would mulch better.

    2. Are there features that the 23/52 Mini has that give it an advantage over the same size 23/53 Tiger Cub? My dealer is quoting a price difference of about $900 cheaper for the Mini.

    3. As to deciding between the Mini and Fastrack, I obviously can see the features differences, but does Hustler track resale value of used units? The reason I ask is that I have a theory that the Mini may hold more of its value vs. the Fastrack, which means that I will get at least part of the price difference back if I ever sell. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for any assistance.

  2. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I thought my Cub was only 4.5" deep. It may be 4.75, but I am not positive.

    I think the mini is set up for commercial use where the fast track is for homeowner.

    The Mini will be way faster then the Cub. Mulching is not an option for me, but if that is your plan you may only utilize the speed in transport mode.

    I would imagine you will like the warrenty better on the Hustler.

    It all depends on you purpose, but I would look at a full Z, or Super Z if you are looking at a Cub. The Super is awsome! I can not fathum having a Super Z and a Cub sitting side by side, with a couple hundred dollars difference in price, and ever, under any circumstances choose the Cub. I like my Cub, but it is not in the same class as the Hustler Z's with their speed, cut, suspension seat, smooth controls. It is a no contest.

    Demo, and you will find out for yourself.

    Good luck
  3. JHE

    JHE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    The proof is in the pudding - get the dealer to drop each off as a demo and cut your lawn. make sure the lawn is in as much of the same condition as you can so that you are comparing apples to apples. See what you like best.
  4. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    JHE and Shady Brook --

    Thanks. I agree about the demo comments -- I'm just trying to do as much research as I can ahead of time. As to the demo, at least one of the dealers I might work with carries both brands, so that will make the comparison easier.

    Mowerconsultant -- any additional comments that you would have to my original questions would be appreciated.

    Thanks again
  5. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Bump -- Just wondering if anyone else (including the Hustler moderator) has any thoughts on these questions -- thanks again.

  6. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    1. Deck depth in some designs will help or hinder mulching capabilities; in our Mini Z, Super Mini Z and FasTrak models of mowers we have a shallower deck.
    We have achieved excellent mulching results with the baffle design and mulch kit design, although it is nothing super special, this design works great with Gators and of course the high blade tip speed.
    A very important key to mulching is making sure you are not taking to much grass off in one pass, this is true to any depth deck or design on the market today.

    2. You will find the Hustler and the Tiger Cub to have almost the same exact features; some of the differences are the following and favor the Hustler product:
    The Hustler has a completely welded frame, not a bolt on caster wheel design in the front like the Tiger Cub.
    The Hustler has 12.2 gallons of fuel compared to the 8 gallons on the Tiger Cub
    Take a look at the deck height adjustment, you will find the Hustler easier to adjust do to its top type design.
    The Hustler sits lower and overall is a shorter unit, this all results in better slope performance.
    The parking brakes on the Hustler are built into the steering levers, no extra lever to fool around with, when you push the levers out the brakes are set, it also eliminates extra linkage and a safety switch.
    The parking brakes are an actual drum design with shoes inside, very similar in design to what you would find on a car with drum brakes.
    I am sure there are more differences; these are the ones that come to mind quickly.

    3. We do not track resale value of any product we manufacture.
    There are so many things to consider in putting a value on a used piece of equipment, we would never be able to be accurate.
    The Mini Z will hold a better resale due to its commercial features; these are not available on the FasTrak.

    Hope this helps and sorry for the delay in getting this post to you.

  7. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Pj --

    Many thanks for the reply. I actually did notice, with the help of a dealer (Arrow Mower in St. Paul, MN) many of the features you mentioned. For example, IMO, the seating position on the Mini is second only to the Fastrack in terms of "secure" seating position (Heck, the Fastrack feels like a go-cart) and as far as I'm concerned, the lower the better. Also the deck adjustment mechanism, particularly how easy it is to make 1/4" adjustments, is excellent. The Mini Z felt every bit as solid to me as the Tiger Cub, and at a much more competitve price.

    I will likely shift gears a bit and see if another dealer (Century Power Equipment in Stillwater, MN) will let me demo a 23/52 Mini Z against a JD 727A and see which works best for our lawn. I am paranoid about cut quality. Then, all that remains is convincing my wife (smile).

    Thanks and, although I have seen other people say it on this forum, a primary reason I started looking at Hustler was this forum and your responses. Keep up the good work.

  8. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    Thank you.
    Let us know how you like the unit after your demo.

  9. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    What is the actual deck depth on a Z/Super Z 60"? There is conflicting info on the website vs the literature. I think I measured 5" but one of the sources of info (don't remember which) said the decks were only 4".

    Which is it?
  10. JHE

    JHE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Richmond R - here are some sales pitches I used with my wife (got the full size Z out of it!!)

    1. I will cut my mowing time by more than half. That is more time to spend with you and the kids. All joking aside, what used to take 3 hours now takes 1.25 hours and it looks ten times better. And. I do spend more time with her and the kids.

    2. I have hills and safety is a key component to my wife (my neighbor flipped his craftsman mower on these hills). So I showed her the literature from hustler and threads from this site about how good this was on hills. And it is very good on hills. I feel more secure on my full sixe Z than I did on my Gravely garden tractor.

    3. I have an old Gravely now which bucked me once. Threw my back out when it happened and worse, the Gravely does not have a dead man's switch. Could have mamed or even killed me. The new mowers have all kinds of deadman switches.

    4. Finally, and this one is for you, mowing now puts a smile on my face. Cutting my grass before was like going to a bad job - I just didn't want to do it. With the time savings and the fact that it is fun as hell to work these Z's, I look forward to cutting the grass (although I still tell my wife it sucks).

    Good luck - I cannot down play the other brands because I have not used them but I can tell you that you will not make a mistake buying a Hustler.

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