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Help a girl out.....

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by country girl, May 28, 2005.

  1. country girl

    country girl LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 9

    Gentlemen, :help:

    I am not in the business of mowing lawns, but I'm in the business of buying an expensive piece of equipment. I have spent more hours researching mowers and ZTR's, and talking to dealers, and reading forums then I care to imagine. :sleeping:

    This forum has been very helpful, as it's your line of business. So if you could, just please take a few moments to give me your advice, I'd be much obliged. I realize most people have a particular "Brand" that they prefer, from the data I've collected it seems clear it's mostly a matter of opinion. The five I'm leaning towards have more to do with the people at dealerships that I've been calling, (less about brand, although I don't underscore this vital fact!) - and I think I called almost all dealers in this area. Some extremely pushy, others TERRIBLY ignorant, and I don't have tolerance for either. I plan to demo them, but I would like some input on models, reliability, prices, and whether or not they sound good for the yard I'll be mowing. I'm guess-timating approx. 4 acres of mostly hilly, (estimate 15-35 degree slopes) some flat areas and several trees all around the property. (Reminding me of the pic of one of the gentlemen mowing a huge hill - house on the top of the hill, only my property flattens out) Currently have about 13 hours of mowing now (11hp, 36" Deck Honda, and Murray push) Yes, a lot of mowing.

    I'm getting LOTS of conflicting info.

    Simplicity Citation 48" deck, $4995 ZTR (was told it has full suspension and would be very stable on the hills - no ROPS) or the Conquest with a 50"deck, 22 HP Briggs & Stratton Eng.

    A GR Kubota 48" deck $6500 (didn't recommend the ZTR because of the hills and said these would be better - but yet still get a 70 degree turn, as the rear wheel disengages, impressive!)

    The Hustler FasTrak with a 52" deck and a 20 HP Honda eng. for $4995 LCG, very well on hills, the Best Warranty, but really expensive for the bagger (would like the clippings in the future for my garden)

    And lastly the Grasshopper ZTR for $6,999. A 52" mid-mount, 8-9 mph, No suspension. He said suspension wasn't important and that it had nothing to do with scalping, and he scoffed at the suggestion of the Simplicity.

    Sorry this is so long, any imput would be great. Thanks guys, for helping a girl out! :rolleyes:
  2. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    I would say Kubota but thats just my 2 cents.
  3. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    From your list, #1 I would pick the Kubota GR series since it is 4 wheel drive. #2 would be the Hustler ZTR with the engine sitting way down low in the back. Adding wheel weights and/or getting bar/lug type tires will help traction a lot. Cederrapidstire.com is where I got mine. But in some circumstances if the tires start to spin, maybe its not a good place to be on a riding mower and just leave it unmowed. Better safe than sorry. If there is a dealer near you, another brand to check out is the Gravely brand of riding tractors. I think they still make one with the engine in the rear?
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    hustler fastrac first. grasshopper second.

    SCAG POWER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Why do home owners with that much land try to do it them selfs? I have a buddy that went out last year bought a Kubota Z Diesel with all the toys to go with it around 14k.

    Guess what it now sits in the storage shed, while i take care of his property. He lives on 5 acres and the bill that i hand him is more in line with what he should be paying for this service.

    So before you run out and make a $7,000.00 Dollar mistake, get some other lawn and landscape people to come over and take a look at what you have to mow. You might find that it would be better to have some one else ruin their equipment on your area then you waste your money& your time.

    How ever my vote would be for John Deere, thats what i use , that and a scag w/b. :waving:
  6. Downeast

    Downeast LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,163

    It would be nice if you could post some pics of your property.I would go for the Kubota .

    I agree with Tinkerer,I would avoid the hills.They are dangerous and not fun to be on.Problem with a Z or HP on those hills is that ,if you go up and down the the weight of the engine could/will cause the engine to drop lifting your front wheels off the ground.Especially as your grass bags fill and add more weight.

    If you go back and forth you will certainly get that ,this thing wants to tip feeling .With any uneven turf your front wheel will lift off the ground.As well as you will be shifting all your weight to the upside to compensate.

    All that, at the least on the 30 degree slopes.

    If money is not a problem you could plant some designer grass on those slopes that would look real nice .Or just let whats there grow ,and cut the easier ares in between.That could have a nice looking affect as well.

    The 4x Kubota would be more useful over all than the Z ,I think.

    The back and forth cutting on the slopes will give you an even higher center of gravity,but I think would be better for the up and down cutting.

    Hills are a real pita,and I will walk away from them.I have nice flat lawns that work out to the proverbial 1.00 a minute.So to take on these pita hill I would have to charge three four times that to make it worth while.I have had them before and they are the jobs you hate to go to.
  7. country girl

    country girl LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated. No, I wouldn't consider paying someone else to do. I'm sure there are a lot of willing and able, but to spend that sort of money to pay someone else is not for me. And my husband and I both enjoy lawn work.

    Yes, in time some of the hills will be mulched and planted, and that will take care of some of the problems. Will go out today and see what's out there.

    Thanks again.
  8. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    I know its not on your list, but fyi theres some used equipment that might satisfy you--if you don't mind taking a long ride! LOL.

    Gravely finish mower---72" deck, seat tilts for slope...1991 model--$5000. Located in Gilmantin NH. 1-603-267-7808

    Kubota F2400 diesel hydrostatic front mower...179 hours of use.. 60" deck, 24 hp motor, 14 bushel container, roll over cage... $10,000...located in Acton Mass... 1-508-245-0700.

    I like the Kubota, but no idea on slope ability. No input on the others you mentioned...sorry. :waving:
  9. country girl

    country girl LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 9

    I appreciate the input. Those are a little far..... We'll probably do the demos and see what we like and what's the most comfortable. This site is awesome - full of great information and knowledgeable, experienced people. Thanks for your time. :waving: You guys are so motivating, I can't wait to just "get" my new mower and start mowing.
  10. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Of the ones listed, Kubota.

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