Homeowner ZTR, Tractor and mower discussion thread

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

  1. AndyTheMowerMan

    AndyTheMowerMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi guys, I am a brand new member here to this site, so please forgive me if I make mistakes, as I am learning and will take me a short while to get used to it. I love lawnmowers!

    I was in the market for a ZTR riding mower, earlier this year, and I picked out 3 machines that took my interest, studied them, read reviews, watched YouTube videos on them, and I demoed them here on my property, in some cases, under the most horrible conditions, to see how they performed. I started out with a Ferris IS2000Z with 30hp Intek Commercial Turf Series engine, I believe it was, with Cyclonic Air Cleaner, ICD deck, 61-inch (without anti-scalp 360 degree rollers). I liked it, however, I wasn't that impressed with the engine. Cut was great, as well as ride, with 4-wheel suspension.

    Next, I demoed a Hustler Super Z, with 37hp Kawi engine, 66-inch cut. Brand new out of the crate, 2012, with zero hours. Wow, what a beast! The 37hp kawi was unstoppable. Cut was great, ride wasn't near as good as the Ferris, no flex forks, and the deck had awful clumping issues, as well as discharge. The 37hp was a major gas hog, as well. I could literally see the gas line in the tank, go down, by the minute.

    Third, another Dealer brought out a Ferris IS3100Z. It was last year's model, 2011. It had a 32hp Vanguard engine on it, 61-inch old-style deck (with 360 degree anti-scalp rollers). Absolutely NO comparison between the 2 Ferris mowers. The 32hp Vanguard blows away the 30hp Commercial Turf Series engine.

    So.........I bought the 2011 Ferris IS3100Z with old-style deck. I don't mow commercially, just my 10 acres, most of which is open field. I never mow when it's wet, and striping isn't a big deal to me. I know some will call me crazy, but I prefer the old-style deck, over the ICD deck, mainly because it has the 360 degree rotating anti-scalp rollers, and it sounds good, when you get it cranking! I think the 32hp Vanguard engine, is almost just as powerful as the 37 Kawi, and is MUCH more easy on gas!

    Let me see if I can post a few photos of my Ferris. Love it!! :)



  2. Popeye77

    Popeye77 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 244

    Nice, very nice machine
  3. saw n mow

    saw n mow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Congrats on the nice mower. It should put a smile on your face every time you mow.

  4. erdocdan

    erdocdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm a new member. Need some advice before I buy and have regrets. I just bought the property to the north of me giving me 12.5 acres with 2 nice spring fed ponds. Instead of 3A we will be mowing about 8A. For years I was mowing with a Mott flail knife behind my Ford 8N but when I took a job 100m from home my wife assumed the mowing and has been using a Deere 345 with a 54in for the last 13 years. How time flys. There is alot of hours on that rider and it's time to upgrade. I am torn between a ZTR and a new tractor with a mower and a front loader especially after moving 30 yds of mulch with a 8cu ft wheelbarrel. Took me two weeks.The guy at the dealership says I need both of course. He is trying to talk me into a new Scag Cheetah 61 for 11500 OTD. I don't know much about ZTRs and I'm not sure if my wife could/would use it. She was afraid of my 8N and we do have some mild slopes and the ponds. I drove it and I think even at 60 years old I could handle a ZTR. Reminds me of a dozer. Any suggestions short of hiring a lawn service are appreciated.
  5. erdocdan

    erdocdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Oh ya. Does anybody have any comments on John Deere ZTRs?
  6. Popeye77

    Popeye77 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 244

    That's a tough decision. You can do a lot with a tractor you can't do with a ZTR. Front end loaders are great for a lot of chores. ZTR will mow in about half the time of a tractor but that is all you can do with it. The wife could easily drive the ZTR they are easier to mow with than a lawn tractor. Once she gets used to it whch doesn't take long she will might just enjoy it. They don't handle steep slopes all that well depending on the ZTR. Get a dealer to bring one out for a demo and put your wife on it after you get familiar with it.
    My .02
  7. Jdgreena

    Jdgreena LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I have narrowed my choice down to:

    - John Deere Z910a 48" deck. - $7200
    - Gravely Pro-Turn 152 - $6500
    - Bobcat Fastcat Pro 52 - $6200

    The mower will be used at home (1.5 acres) and part time commercially helping my son-in-law with his lawn maintenance business (12 hrs/wk).

    The Gravely/Bobcat dealer is one and the same...14 miles away. The closest John Deere dealer is 8 miles away. Both dealers a are reputable.

    Recommendations or comments?
  8. saw n mow

    saw n mow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I would say for you to demo each one and see which one feels 'right' for you personally.

  9. rob5ham

    rob5ham LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Need some help. Live on a farm & use a Bush Hog for much of farm, but actually "mow" about 4-5 acres of yard. It's hilly & somewhat rocky in places. I'm also hard on my equipment. In southern VA so we mow from April 1 through October.
    Have a JD, Exmark, Toro and Scag dealer/service available locally.
    Would like to spend under $6k. have looked at a Toro Titan zx5420 w/ 23HP Kawasaki engine for $5400; Scag Freedom Briggs stratton $5400 and liked them both.
    thanks for the suggestions:)
  10. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I might look around a bit for something a bit more commericial for your acreage. I think the Freedom might be allright, but I would llok to get one with a better Kawasaki engine with a good Donaldson air filter system.

    I really don't know the Toro's pricing, but if you like the Toro and can swing a few more bucks I would look more into the Toro Z master 2000 52".

    I know you did not mention a few dealers, but some better bangs for the buck have been with Husqvarna and Bad Boy. There is also the Hustler Superduty 54" and Exmark has the Pioneer series. You are going to want something with a better engine and better hydro's from what you are describing, especially if you are going to be hard on the mower.

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