Homeowner ZTR, Tractor and mower discussion thread

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Capemay Eagle, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    We are on the Cape on NJ and the Bay/River run along side of us up into Wilmington and Philly and most of the storms take that route! I can sit outside and watch lighting and hear thunder and never feel a drop of rain! allot of times it is sunny!
  2. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Got into reading about the Hustler ZEON today and I am impressed by this thing! I would love to demo one at my home and see how well it cuts along with everything else! This mower would certainly be perfect for the homeowner with a 1/2 to 3/4 acre and not very mechanically inclined or really any homeowner in that manner. No Gas, no filters, no belts and no fluids, just plug and play! I really believe that these mowers are the future and they are only going to get better down the road. I do believe without a doubt that down the road that if these machines can match my Superduty, I would buy one in a minute. Discuss?

    Check out the video!
  3. ethan169

    ethan169 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2


    New memeber here with a few questions.

    I am looking into upgrading my 22" Husqvarna mower to something larger. like a 48" or so. I have a little over 0.5 acre yard that i am cutting. A few rectangular blocks with maybe a tree or two in the way but nothing crazy for obstacles.

    Im looking for something used in the $1500 range. Id like a zero turn or a walkbehind that i can attach a sulkey onto. The sulkey isnt critical but it would be nice to cruise though the lawn quickly.

    I have found a ariens Zero turn rider witha 48" deck. Its advertised as a 21hp so im not sure if this is a B+s, Kohler or Kawi engine. Id rather the Kawi or the Kohler. I have a brigs on my huskee and im less then impressed with it for a fairly new mower with low use. The Model number is a Ariens Zoom 2148. With 345 hours on it. It looks very well maintained in the pictures online. I will see it in person this afternoon.

    Any comments on this mower or suggestions for walk behinds or ZTR's?

    Thanks guys.

  4. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Welcome to the site Ethan!

    Honestly I think your best bet is to look on CL and look for a used Commercial Walk behind! $1500 could get you a decent machine and you see them priced in that neighborhood. I myself am not familiar with Airens at all but the mower you mentioned seems to be the top of the zoom line and possibly has the Kohler Command engine! some do not like the Kohler engines, but I have always had good luck with them! I assume they are asking $1500? If it is in good shape, I would say that it is better than anything you could get new for that money, so it could be a pretty decent buy. The 2148 is a pretty heavy duty machine, not full commercial, but maybe semi commercial, so again depending of the shape, you could have pretty nice machine there and would be perfect for a 1/2 acre!

    If you could squeak a few more dollars, you could look into a new Quick!!!
  5. ethan169

    ethan169 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for your response.

    The asking price on that particular unit was $1800. From what i could gather online they are worth around $1500 most. I was going to offer $1500 on the top end. I wanted to start a little lower and see where we could go. But he was pretty firm. Only took it down to $1700. It just didnt feel worth it to me. So i said thanks and left. Nice guy though.

    I did however get to drive it a bit and get a feel for the ZTR mower style . It is a bit different and i think might take a couple mows to get used to. Or at least a solid 10 passes or so. I had a hard time keeping the mower completely straight. It seemed like the two levers were a little off from each other maybe? Again im sure it would just take a little getting used to. The machine did look like it was in really really good shape. Just not worth the $1700. Id rather get a Exmark turf tracer with a Kawi engine rather then this one which did have a kohler. not sure if it was the command or not though.

    Are there any brands or engine combos that i should stay away from as a homeowner?

    Thanks again!
  6. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Most people steer clear of the box store stuff, low end Briggs and Kohler engines and such. Best bet as you said, is a Exmark Turf Tracer, might find one used in the $1500 to $1800 range, I am not really sure on the pricing on them, maybe some could chime in and help you out with what you should be looking for in a walk behind as far as price and set ups!

    My one question would be is what is your high end budget? If you would like to get into midmount ZTR and if you can get around the 3K mark, you could get into a brand new BadBoy MZ or Hustler Sport with a Briggs or a few hundred more for the Kawi. These two would be perfect for your lot size, but the question is, will the machine be a perfect fit for the property, turf and you? These two machines have been very popular the last two years with some of the members on the board and that reason is that both the BadBoy MZ and Hustler Sport are priced very well for most average people with a about an acre or so to mow on a limited budget. These are both entry level ZTR's from both manufactures, but they really do not cut back on quality. Welded/Fabricated decks, EZT transmissions and optional Kawasaki power make these very dependable, high quality machines that leave a nice cut. The Briggs is said to be doing pretty well on them, but can only go off of what guys are saying on here. Kevin (AKA Saw&Mow) has the 48" MZ with a Briggs and he has nothing but good things to say.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  7. saw n mow

    saw n mow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    In a day or so I'll post about the latest yard I have mowed with my MZ...another yard that really should have been bushhogged in some areas :dizzy:. I will say that this MZ continues to amaze me.

  8. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I have a thread running on a mower for my Dog Club and Park. I need to mow 4-6 acres every week for around 6 months. I have been looking at Commercial grade ZT's: Hustler, Kabota ExMark, Bad Boy, SCAG...in 60" decks. I am looking at this size mower because I currently use a 6' rear discharge finishing mower on my tractor, mowing around 5' at a time. I would like to save some time and I figure a 60+ " ZT would accomplish that end.

    The whole engine thing is kinda throwing me and I thought maybe a general discussion of commercial grade motors might fit well in this thread. Although some might argue that I could use a smaller or less expensive mower I know many people opt for something similar to what I am looking at when there is significant acreage of grass to maintain. I have had major problems with engines and hydraulics on two "residential" grade riding mowers, back when I had much less to mow and prefer to lean toward something more reliable at this point.

    The most frequently used type of engine seems to be plain old air cooled Kawasaki engines from 25-37 HP. The thing is, I read all sorts of negative feed back on these engines from users. Some seem to like the liquid cooled engines and some seem to think they only provide more parts that can break wasting more time & money. All the Kohler, Genrac, Briggs... engines seem to have fans too although I find it hard to pick clear winners. Then there are the DFI and EFI fuel injection systems that are sometimes available. The diesels are interesting too, however, they are expensive and noisy. Then there are the rear discharge decks which may require less HP to operate.

    I even hear opposite opinions in regard to the torque vs horse power contest.

    I am interested in what people feel are the best choices engine wise for these heavier duty mowers.
  9. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    If I were looking at cutting what you are going to cut, I would look over the long run and a diesel would be what I would be buying. Power, reliability and good on fuel. I would look at the Hustler Diesel or the Kubota 300 series. I am not really a big fan of Kubota, but the 300 series with the Kubota diesel is surely a solid built machine and worth a thought. I myself would most likely go with the Hustler just because I prefer Hustler, built like a tank and a solid company behind it! I know noise is a concern for you and also the deck. As for the noise, don't hold me to it, but you may be able to afit a muffler, I am sure someone out there is fabricating something like that. It would most likely rob some power, but would help quiet it down. I have seen sites that offer quiet baffles for certain lawnmower engines. Maybe something to research.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  10. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Thanks for the reply Capemay,

    I own a Kubota tractor and the guy that services it for me was the one who got me thinking bout the ZT's. I drove a diesel Kubota ZT first. It seemed the least maneuverable of the machines I have driven, but I was the least experienced then too.

    Like you I kinda like Hustler as a company. I drove a Super Z with a 31hp Kawasaki engine and rear-discharge deck although it felt big I liked it. When the dealer turned the throttle all the way up though it seemed quite loud and scary fast. The dealer told me the diesels were a good deal louder which soured me on them. I may go back and try a smaller model and or a diesel. The brochure I was given lists X-Ones with rear-discharge decks. Although the sales rep said they were not available, I am wondering if it is just a new offering. Have not driven a SCAG yet either. I have read some good reports on the SCAG TT or Cheetah with Vanguard engines. The dealer that sells Hustler also carries SCAG but tried to throw cold water on any interest I might have in SCAG.

    I found another dealer in the area who sounds good. He just carries SCAG and ExMark though. I would like to buy from a dealer that I feel confident will be there if I need service. The Hustler dealer is a Rental business that did not impress appearance wise. Although, they have tons of Hustler mowers they rent out, so one would assume they are well versed in their care and feeding.

    The Super Z with rear-discharge is at about the max I think I should spend which may toss me out of the diesel market. I expect a Bad Boy Commercial grade would handle my needs for maybe $2,000 less, but I think the Hustler is an even heavier duty machine that should present the least problems service wise. I am not that confident with the 31hp Kawasaki engine though and I know it is bad on gas. I am not excited about the engine offerings on the Super Z's but I am not sure my concerns are justified either. I plan to ask about the Kohler Command EFI 29hp I see in the new brochure, as I believe it should get better gas mileage and may be more reliable.

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