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Help me pick a new mower (residential)

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by MattB, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. MattB

    MattB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Hello everyone,

    As I was doing research about lawn equpment I came across this site. It is pretty cool that there is a site like this with knowledgable lawn professionals.

    Anyway, to get to my questions. I just bought my first house in Newark, DE and want to buy a new mower before next season cause the riding one that came with the house is not sufficient. I currently have an old Murray 11hp ~32" deck mower with a very crappy turning radius (has to be like 6 ft or so). This mower also like to throw drive belts so I try to keep the mower moving at all times while mowing. It takes me 3+ hours to cut my 1 acre lot now. My lawn is mainly flat but has about 10 trees and 2 sheds as obstacles and on the side of my yard it has a steep hill that I mow now by hanging over the one side of the mower so that it does not slide down the hill or tip over. It takes about 1hr 45 min to do the riding part and another 15 min of close up push mowing in some of the obstacle spots (could get most with a manuverable riding mower), about 10 min of weedwacking and about 50 min to sweep the clumpy clippings up off the lawn. With the bulk of my time spent on riding and sweeping I figure a new, bigger deck, more manuverable, mower could cut this down to less than 1.5 hrs total.

    I have been looking at new lawn mowers lately and I am having a hard time deciding on one to purchase. I am interested in the zero turn ones but it seems that the prices for a good one are ~$6500. I am budgeting to spend a max of $5000 total price for the new mower but would prefer to spend about $3500. I want something in between a 48"min and 54" max deck. I would like to avoid sweeping the lawn. I do my lawn once every 5 days unless it has been dry. I would consider a riding tractor or a zero turn. I want something with a lot of horsepower and something that is a quality product. I would like the mower to not have a belt driven drive axle as I dislike the design (would prefer a driveshaft). Also, I would like a mower that parts are easy to get and that is easy to work on. I am just not sure on what to get.

    If anyone could please give me some advice on which mower to pick I would greatly appreciate it. Also, please include prices if you have them available.

    Thanks in advance and kind regards,

  2. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    If you want a good heavy built tractor that will last you should look at Cub Cadet. They are about the best you can get in lawn and garden tractors. The series 1000 tractors have a belt drive to the transmission while the serier 2000, 2500, and 3000 have a shaft drive to the trans. You could find a 2000 or a 2500 series to fit your budget. The 2000 and 2500 series includes tractors with shaft drive trans. and decks from 38" to 54" and commercial grade Kohler and Briggs Vanguard engines from 16 to 23 hp. You can find more information about these tractors and a dealer at www.cubcadet.com.
  3. MattB

    MattB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the reply Travis, I appreciate your help. So for my situation a commercial type zero turn would not be necessary? I looked through cub's site and found the GT2523-54 to be a good lawn mower that fits within my budget. It has a 23 hp Kohler engine a 54" deck and an MSRP of $4299. How much should I be able to get one of these for? I am figuring somewhere around $3800-$4000. Approximately, how much faster would a zero turn cut my lawn over the cub?

    Again thanks for your help and advice,

  4. equipment_lister

    equipment_lister LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Tractor Supply sells a Cub Cadet Zero Turn for $2999 it is 22hp and a 50" cut would work great for your home needs and leave you a couple of g's in the bank.
  5. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    I would say that you could get the GT2523-54 for around $4000 plus tax. You could mow your yard a little faster with a zero turn mower but if you were going to get one of those you would be better off getting a commercial machine and that would cost you $5000 at least for one with a 48" deck. Like the previous post said you can get a cub cadet residential zero turn for around $3000 but the residential zero turns are built to light. You would be better off getting the cub cadet GT2523-54 tractor because it is bigger and is made a lot heavier and would last you for many years if you take good care of it.
  6. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Messages: 198

    Scroll down to the Homeowner's Assistance Forum to review replies to similar questions. For just an acre, anything more than 48" is overkill. Check out www.countryclipper.com to see if there's a dealer nearby. The JAZee is more than adequate for your needs and the flip-up deck will make for easier cleaning and maintenance. A neighbor can mulch his 1.2 acres in 45 minutes with a 42" JAZee. Good luck!
  7. MattB

    MattB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12


    I called around and got a quote of $4000 delivered for the cub.


    The closest one is over 4 hours away. That would be way too far for me to drive to get a mower. Thanks for directing me to

    What about the Hustler series Fastrak or a walk behind with a Sully? I seen I could get a 44/19hp Fastrak for around $4500 and a 52/20 for around $4800. There is a dealer 5 miles from my house. Would I be better off getting a commercial walk behind in place of the zero turn?

    Any more opinions or suggetsions on what mower will get the lawn mowed in the quickest time with the best cut for a reasonable price? I am just trying to gather as much info to get an idea of what I should be looking for before I go to a dealer to discuss prices, etc.

    Thanks again,

  8. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    I would reccommend that you look at the zero turn fastrak. It would be a good machine for your yard. I would definately suggest that you look at the hustler walk behind with a sulky also. You could mow faster with the fastrak than a walk behind and you wouldn't have to stand up.
  9. ReckordGeneralMaintenance

    ReckordGeneralMaintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    home depot has a decent homeowner model a toro 16 hp 42" zero turn its has good ride and cuts pretty good a neighbor of mine just bought one for $2999
  10. mission007

    mission007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I found A cub zero turn at lowes special order for someone & they didn"t like the way it drives you know with out a steering wheel this thing had 7 hour on it & I pick it up for $3031.00 tax & all I just could not pass it up I"ve only got to mow 4 times at the last of the season with but I think it a pretty good mower I talk to the mtd rep. & he told me that this mower will probley go up next year $500 to $800 or so only thing I didn"t like so far is the grease zerts for the spindles are on the bottom but I can still reach 1/2 way decent. I wanted to see if any one has had any time using a makita trimmer found one on the net. for $215 tax included no ship fee 24.5cc 9lb solid shaft centrifical force head fulltip carb.

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