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Front Mount mower vs. ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jon S, Jan 1, 2001.

  1. Jon S

    Jon S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I am new to this forum and have found it to be very informative. I am looking to purchase a commercial mower to mow my large commercial property.

    I am looking at a used John Deere F932 gas 2WD 60" deck 600 hours, a used New Holland CM224 diesel 4WD 72" deck 620 hours, a used Kubota GF1800 4WD diesel 60" deck 240 hours or purchasing a new Kubota ZTR or an Exmark ZTR.

    Have any of you guys had much experience with those models I have listed? I know there has been alot written about the Exmark. Also, do most of you guys prefer front mount mowers or ZTR's? The best deal that I have found is the New Holland CM224 and the John Deere F932.

    Any info from you pro's would be helpful in making my decision. Your help would be appreciated!
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Im watching this one. I use to have front mt i could
    thread a needle withbut deck bounced mowing fast.
    If i can get that good with the exmark z Id rather
    have it.If notthe front mt is better as I had very
    little trim work left.TM
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You're comparing apples to oranges here. It depends on what type of work you are doing. If you are just doing some kind of rough industrial ares that don't have to look good, then the first three mowers would be suitable for you. But, if you want to do quality work with a nice appearance, such as residentials or higher quality commercials, then go with something like the Exmark. You say you were going to test a JD 932, test one first, and when you see the cut it lays, you'll more than likely be very disappointed in this otherwise "beautiful" machine. Because these other units(all three) are shaft-driven, they don't have the blade tip speeds of a belt drive. Therefore, don't put out the cut of say for instance, a Lazer.
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I have logged a few thousand hours on a JD f935 with the 60" deck. They, quite honestly, cut very poorly. They are built like tanks and engineered well, and brush hog very well, but the deck design does not allow for a high lift or suction to stand the grass up. The blades have to be BRAND NEW, the deck needs to be scraped very clean, and the grass has to be dry for them to even be considered a finish mower. Plus they are just too big of a machine (weight and size) for a 60" deck. Go with a midmount ZTR. You will never look back. There are several good brands, however stick to the brand that your loca dealer supports.

  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Thanks, Tom. I was thinking of you when I wrote my reply because I remember you talking about having one. As I have said before, the JD 935 when it came out was my "dream machine". That is, until I saw it cut.
  7. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I've mowed the finished lawn areas of my horse farm with a F935 for the past two seasons and am moving to [it's all over but the shouting] an Exmark Z, because of the above reasons posted by the other guys.

    I've had absolutely no problems mechanically with the JD, but can't get the cut quality I want with it. Look for this mower to be posted for sale soon on the equipment forum, but I am north of Seattle so location is a problem.
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    Of course when someone comes to buy it, you have to act like it is the best thing going! Cuts like a dream.... right?! LOL

    I think that If they changed pulleys and belts on the deck drive back at the engine and got the shaft to spin a bit faster, or changed the gears in the gearbox to make them spin a bit faster, they would probably cut great! I can spin a screwdriver faster than the blades on a F series JD!!!

  9. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    After all my research, questions, etc., on this and previous equipment purchases, it really comes down to only one thing: SHOW ME! I did live in Missouri for a few years and have found this to be so true of any mechanical device. People, especially salesmen and marketing people will tell you anything to make the sale--it's their job.

    As has been said on this forum time and again, demo the mower! I have always done this, even with a brand new truck or car--after the salesman has done his whole pitch, I test drive the actual car or truck I'm buying before I sign any paperwork or write a check because who knows if that's the particular one that the assembly line worker decided to seal an empty bottle into the door panel or something equally funny?

    Tom, the person most interested in the 935 now is a very good friend and hunting buddy who mows for his summer cabin's lawn and homeowner association and I will insist on showing him every quirk I'm aware of as well as making him cut with it--friends are way more valuable than money! I've already told him that the cut quality is not what I want but he is more interested in speed which this machine has--it just bounces too much for the smoothest of cuts. Mechanically, it should last him for years to come and the price is going to be right. Will
  10. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    Well if you can't decide on one,buy both.Or better yet buy a walker.Its zero turn and has a front mount deck,loads of attachments.Awsome in tight spots.

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