First time on a ZT, need Help with Buying

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Olin, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Olin

    Olin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello, I come to this forum looking for help and to tell my experience. First off I am not a landscaper but have 10 acres to to cut at home, For years we used an old Ford tractor with a brush hog to cut the yard which is 5 acres up front and let most of the back grow. After that tractor died, we tryed using a Cub Cadet riding mower that we bought from TS, it worked but had too many problems, the little mower just wasn't made to cut large yards and especially tall grass, the mowing deck hit too many rocks and now we need to get it fixed. Today was the first day that we cut our lawn, the grass was a couple feet tall in some spots. We went to the rental yard up in town and rented a zero-turn mower, figuring it would be faster and just wanted to try something new. They rented us a Bobcat ZT219 with a 19hp kawasaki. It was a challenge just trying to get it off the trailer, but only took about 20 minutes and I caught on how to use it, my wife caught on quicker then I did. Anyways, I was planning on buying a new tractor with a brush hog, but after riding this ZT, I thought I will never mow the grass with anything but a ZT. Its fast, Although I had to cut over the same spot usually twice, the motor didn't bog down, and it wasn't a rough cut like you get with a BH. I was gonna spend $14k for a new tractor that would primarily be used to cut grass and plow snow in the winter. Now Im trying to figure out which ZT I should buy instead. I see many models, but want something commercial, im not buying a mower at a big box store anymore. I tryed finding new prices on the internet but every place I look, says call.. So im not sure what kind of ZT I can pick up for $7000-$9000 I figure I would settle on that price and buy a plow for my truck and still saved money over a new tractor. Now I know a tractor has many jobs, but I would only be using it to mow and push snow out the drive way. I saw a ZT with a snow plow option but I think I would rather save that for my truck instead. Sorry for the long story, but I would appreciate some feedback on what I might be able to get for the price I mentioned. Thanks! :)
  2. Chris G

    Chris G LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    for the price range you are looking in you can get a lot of different ZT lets start with the usuall, many commercial companies prefer their exmark lazer z which for you should be able to get at least a 50" deck with a 23 hp kawasaki and if you like cub cadet they make a commercial line of ZTs which arent too bad, i no a gu who bought a 60" cub with a kawasaki and loves it. Bobcat as im sure you saw in your rental makes very good ZTs and again will probably have a 52" model in your range. Now i realy like ferris ZTs they tend to be pricy but the ride is outstanding because of the full suspension, i dont know any costs off the top of my head. And if you are looking for a plow on this mower too, JRCO makes a pretty good one.
  3. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Gravely 160Z or if you want an even smoother ride a 260 XDZ model.

    Exmark lazer Z AS with 60" ultracut deck

    Bobcat ZTR's are nice

    Cub Cadet M60 are good to.

    These should all be in your price range and they are all great machines but non of these mowers are designed to be used as a bush hog. You need to cut your entire lot weekely or at the very least every other week in the summer. Pick up those rocks to because they will destroy the blades in a hurry and possibly damage a spindle.
  4. thinksnow

    thinksnow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    If you have it in your budget get a diesel. Most of the large fram Z's come with a diesel option for the engine. It will last you longer and wont bog down in the deep stuff. Kubota has out a line of Z's and their diesel engines are well proven. Shop around, you have so many options out there.
  5. TrapperJohn

    TrapperJohn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    I have a similar situation, probably around 12 acres to mow, limestone base underneath, get floaters on occasion.

    First off, get rid of the rocks. No finishing mower will stand up well to repeatedly hitting rocks. The best ones will lose deck bearings, the cheap ones will just fall apart. That's why bushhogs have hinged blades. Pick 'em up, and if the grass is heavy, scout out the field before mowing. Once you get the grass down, you can usually spot hazards.

    You're right to stay away from the big box stores and go with a commercial product. I just retired a commercial 60" ztr that I bought back in 1993. Probably could have fixed it (engine was shot), but just wanted something new. In the fifteen years I used that mower, I would probably have gone through three cheap ones.

    Looked at a lot of mowers, finally settled on a Kubota ZD326. 60" with a 26hp diesel engine. Built like a tank - shaft drive to the deck, jack built into the front to raise the deck for blade sharpening. It cuts heavy grass pretty well, doesn't bog down as quickly as my last (20hp) mower, and actually does a pretty neat job on heavy grass. Fuel usage is quite a bit better, and as it costs $45 to fill the mower up, that's something to think about. Prices are real good right now, I got this one for $10.5 with 0% financing for 42 months. Was close to getting an exmark with 26hp kawi, but the zero financing meant I could get the diesel for not that much more. And as the Kubota is a high speed mower, it mows quite a bit quicker than my last 60". One thing, though - with the high mowing speed, you'll find out just how bumpy your yard is.
  6. StumpZ

    StumpZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I just demoed a Ferris IS2000z with a 30hp Vanguard. I live in the country with 5 acres to mow. The suspension is really nice to have on my lawn which was previously a corn field.
  7. Olin

    Olin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Well now that I got her mowed I intend to keep it that way, I knew where most of the big rocks were, but we have new ones that pop up over time and when the grass is high, you just can't see them until your right up on them! It took alot longer to cut the grass then it would have if it was maintained, I spent 3 or 4 hours this morning cutting the back which was very high! My wife says it feels like your on a roller coaster, and I have to agree, and yes I could really feel how bumpy our land is! I told my wife that this is the ONLY way to cut grass, I don't want to go back to a riding mower or even a bug tractor. I've noticed no one mentioned Dixie Chopper, I hear alot about Exmark, never heard of Ferris, and didn't know that Kubota made ZT's, I do see Gravely equipment quite a bit. I've always equated diesel with longevity, so I think that will be the way for me to go, what about LP gas? I can't say anything bad about that Bobcat that I rented, Its one little tough machine from my short experience. I will have to find out where my dealers are located, I plan on picking something up next week.
  8. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    have you considered a Hustler Z. you can get a plow to fit. i don't know much about snow (SE GA-40 mi from ocean, 45 mi from FL), but i have seen some pics of what they can plow. post on the Hustler forum for more information.
  9. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 683

    Exmark has one of the best cuts out there....Lazer Z's run around $7-11g's with a 60" deck depending on model and engine size. 60" lazer with a 27hp will be around $8500.
    If you have a bad boy dealer close by, you need to check them out. Very well built and usually less $$ then the others. Do a search on this site for them...lots of info................:usflag::usflag:
  10. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    All of the above mentioned mowers will get the job done. Check out the exmark site. They used to have a company that made snow blowers to hook up instead of the deck on thier out front mowers. 23 to 30 hp ought to throw alot of snow.

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