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Entry level ZTR's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dpullen4, May 1, 2005.

  1. dpullen4

    dpullen4 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 68

    I know, they're not built like Exmark, Scag, etc. Not everyone needs a mower to run 40 hours a week, so there's no need of spending $6-7k on a top of the line ZTR. We're talking about a mower to be used in the area of maybe 5 hours/week.

    I stopped by a local dealer yesterday and seems to be pretty impressed with the Ariens Zoom ZTR's, which are between $2500-$3500. The Ariens has some nice features like a fabricated deck, unlike what you might expect out of a cheap ZTR. From searching this site, I also came across discussions of the Husqvarna ZTR's that would be at a similar pricing point. Toro TimeCutters appear to be in the same range, but their deck looks like a cheap toy compared to Ariens. I was wondering if anyone could give an opinion of who might be using either as I'm hoping to get something in the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for any input you can provide.
  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    do the blades turn off in revese?? If they do it will eat up clutches.

  3. dpullen4

    dpullen4 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 68

    Good question. That'll be something I'll certainly ask the dealer if someone on this site doesn't know. My grandmother has a JD that shuts off the blades when going in reverse and that's a complete PITA.
  4. carolinacutter

    carolinacutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    That price range could buy you an older but better quality ZTR..I just bought a Great Dane with a little over 100 hours on it for 34 with a bagger..
  5. mberry

    mberry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I was in a similar situation as you; although mine will only be used about an hour or two per week. I looked at Exmark, Walker, Ferris, etc... but could not justify the price. If I were in the commercial industry I would definitely reconsider, but I'm not.
    I agree with you on the Toro Timecutter Z; the deck was not very impressive and lacked antiscalp wheels, although they are an option. I can't really comment on the Husqvarna since I only looked at the Z4217? sold at Lowes. I did not care for the stamped deck and prefer a Kohler Engine over the B&S.
    I looked at both the Minizoom and Zoom but ended up going with a Country Clipper Jazee One. I thought the Ariens and Country Clipper were comparable but made my decision based mostly on the dealer. For some reason the Ariens dealer tried to push me toward the Lawn Boy Z Series, which I believe is another version of the Toro Timecutter. I just felt much more comfortable with the CC dealer.
    If my decision came down to Ariens Zoom, Toro Timecutter or Husqvarna Z, I would go with Ariens.
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    The blades do not cut off in reverse. That is a feature found primarily on garden tractors. The Ariens ZTR works just like a commercial ZTR. We sell the Gravely version of the Ariens ZTR. The Gravely 1540 is our biggest seller in the homeowner machine line. We sell them for $2999.00. It is identical to the Ariens, except for paint and decals. Ariens/Gravely homeowner machines come with a two year homeowner warranty, something you will not get if you buy a used machine.
    A big used commercial machine might look like a good deal, but remember, most used commercial machines have had a hard life.
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    That simply isn't true. Have the dealer / a dealer go over it just like you would a used car and find out what if any issues it has. And a True commercial machine With under 500 hours will last a homeowner forever if they maintain it. Especially if they are using it 2-5 hours per week.

    If we put 25 hours per week on a mower and get 5 years out of it. They will get 20 years out of it. or from my 500 hour used example (assuming a 30 cut season and 5 hours per week) They will get 3 more years out of it before it hits 1000 hours and we all know owner/user hours are much less harsh than employee/user hours.
  8. Media Lawnscape

    Media Lawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Of the ones that you listed I would go with the Ariens. Very decent Z for the money.

    Stay away from the Husqvarna. JMHO.
  9. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    My point is, with a new machine, you get a warranty. With a used machine, you do not know what you are getting. A dealer can go over the machine, and still not be able to tell for sure if it is in good condition. Low hours of commercial use does not mean it will be a good machine. I get people wanting to trade in commercial use machines all the time, and have yet to take one in, as there is always something wrong, or they would not be trading them off.
    Yes, there are some commercial machines that are well cared for, or that another homeowner has owned, and now does not need. But you need to be very careful when buying a used mower. Buying a used mower is just like buying a used car. No matter how well it has been checked over, you never really know what you are getting.
  10. dpullen4

    dpullen4 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 68

    Exactly...if that were the case, don't you think they'd all just be buying each other's used stuff? They get new because you can't really tell what's happened internally. For all you know, they've run it real low on oil for quite some time and has some issues. Look at how many relatively low hour machines(under 1,000)have already had an engine replaced. Last thing I want to do after spending $2500-3500 on a USED commercial ZTR is put another $600 in an engine.

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