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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I know there are a few variables here, but I'm just looking for an average.

How many hours do you expect to get out of your zero turn before you sell it and get a new one?

Also, how many hours do you typically put on it in a year (full time guys, working 5 days a week)

I have a John Deere 717A, so I'd really like to hear from JD guys, but anyone with a commercial mower will help me get a better picture.

Thanks for the info guys, I am working on a 5 year projection for my business, and this information will help tremendously.
 

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I do a lot of maintenence and I'm a little optimistic, but I plan on getting at least 3000 hr's on my z turns. But i'm not planning on selling them, just run them until they die and then keep any parts that are still good.
 

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Are you asking how many hrs before you would trade it in?? If you are I would say somewhere around 1000-1200hrs any more and a dealer will most likely not want to trade because nobody will want to buy the mower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wanted to keep my mower as long as possible. I do not plan on trading it in. My dad sells used tractors, and I could get him to sell it for me a more than the dealer would give me I'm sure.

I am not opposed to doing things like changing an engine or replacing a deck, if the juice was worth the squeeze.

When would I see major problems, to the point that it would not practical to fix it?

I know that this is a question that has no definate answer, anything can go wrong at any time, but I'm just looking for an average. I'm working on a five year business plan, and need to know roughly when I will need to buy a new one.

Would it be to much to expect 3000-4000 out of a commercial zero turn, if I was not worried about resale value? Have any of you run yours that long? If so, did it have the original engine and deck. I'm guessing the hydrolic pumps will outlast everything else.
 

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Would it be to much to expect 3000-4000 out of a commercial zero turn, if I was not worried about resale value? Have any of you run yours that long? If so, did it have the original engine and deck. I'm guessing the hydrolic pumps will outlast everything else.
Well without considering resale or trade-in value(which you have indicated you're not concerned about), 3000 would be doable I'd think with a good maintenance schedule. IMO, 4000 is really pushing it, at least for an air-cooled gas engine. You'll get more life out of a liquid cooled gas or diesel engine.

I've seen numerous mowers with a second engine on them and the mower itself(frame, deck, etc) still in pretty decent shape.

Pumps and wheel motors, I have no clue there. Someone else with some knowledge on those will have to speak up.
 

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10yrs for diesel ZTRs and front mounts, hands down. Starts becoming a reiablity issue when gets that old. plus you get somewhat of a trade in/bigger down payment towards a newer machine.

Edit: you can get more hours out of it. we put on about 500-600hrs in one season.
 

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diesel engines are a whole different story. the engine will outlast every single part on the mower. Gas engines you may replace the engine at 2000 hours and have the hydro system go 4000 hours. deck bearings need to be replaced every 200-400 hr's spindles and housings/pulleys 600-800hr's so the only variable on the deck is rotting out witch has to do with how often you clean it.
 

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Gas engines you may replace the engine at 2000 hours
A gas engine should last longer than that. We have a ferris with over 7000hrs on the engine which finally blown (needs new pistons and connecting rods) with regualer maintance. Yeah it was old (about 12yrs)

housings/pulleys 600-800hr's so the only variable on the deck is rotting out witch has to do with how often you clean it.
Power wash my friend. Raise the deck, jack it up the front of the machine, tie back the chute, and nail it till the underside of the deck is as clean as it can become. We do this twice a season once at mid way and once at the end. Beware of smell though.
 

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Commercial Z Turn Mowers are built well. We maintain ours on a regular basis .Oil changes,Grease ,all filters ,Power washing ext.We reach upwards of 3,500hours + with our machines. I have an X Mark with 3600hours and still runs great. Ive replaced 1hydro drive pump,a starter,and odds and ends. Some of the bushing are warn and it cuts lower then others but still rolls without issues. Maintenance is key!
I would replace the motor and another part before buying a new one. At $10,000.00 on average per unit,it can last a life time. 3600hours in around the world . I'm on my 12 lap ! LOL
 

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I'm taking a Exmark to the dump tomorrow 3900 hr original motor was ran low around 800 hrs to the point of knocking. This unit gas had many different operators and at times spotty maintenance. Motor has got a knock, and the deck has rusted out plus the hydro pumps are down to about 4mph.
 

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Maintain the mower, and put about 2000 hours on it, then sell it and buy a new one if you don't want to dump money into it. 2000 is generally the number you'll hit without any major repairs, after that, who knows. You'll see from the stories here, one guy hit 7000 on a ferris when another guy's exmark only hit half that. My cousin's ferris started having problems at 1800. You just don't know.
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I wanted to keep my mower as long as possible. I do not plan on trading it in. My dad sells used tractors, and I could get him to sell it for me a more than the dealer would give me I'm sure.

I am not opposed to doing things like changing an engine or replacing a deck, if the juice was worth the squeeze.

When would I see major problems, to the point that it would not practical to fix it?

I know that this is a question that has no definate answer, anything can go wrong at any time, but I'm just looking for an average. I'm working on a five year business plan, and need to know roughly when I will need to buy a new one.

Would it be to much to expect 3000-4000 out of a commercial zero turn, if I was not worried about resale value? Have any of you run yours that long? If so, did it have the original engine and deck. I'm guessing the hydrolic pumps will outlast everything else.
I had a 60" DC classic for 7 years putting around 500 hours a year on it (had about 3500 hours on it when I sold it), Finally sold it for 2 grand and the guy I sold it to was still using it last time I spoke to him, a couple years later, for his own property. It had a 27hp kohler efi. That was the best I've ever had.

In my experience, at around 3000 hours all the pivot points on the machine are getting really sloppy and (in Florida at least) you will have to do some patching on the deck at around 1500 to 2000 hours. I've never had any problems with the hydraulics (knock on wood;) ) on any machine I've had.
 
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Maintain the mower, and put about 2000 hours on it, then sell it and buy a new one if you don't want to dump money into it. 2000 is generally the number you'll hit without any major repairs, after that, who knows. You'll see from the stories here, one guy hit 7000 on a ferris when another guy's exmark only hit half that. My cousin's ferris started having problems at 1800. You just don't know.
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I don't understand this theory, but no offense. Many people feel the same way, it's just something I don't understand. I have a truck that will have 400,000 miles by the end of this year. Guess what? It's not going ANYWHERE. In all those miles I put one transmission, one water pump, (2) axle seals, a few front end suspension parts and misc. parts. Cost me less than $3,000.00 in parts to keep her running in parts. Let's say the engine goes this year, a crate engine will cost me $2800.00 shipped to the door for a brand new V8 crate engine. I don't see the need for spending $30,000.00 on a "new" truck just because I want a new truck. I can put $5,000.00 in my truck and have a whole new drive-train (transmission/engine) combo and I can assure you I will have less issues then every single one of these new trucks with the AFM, Government regulated bull crap engines. It's sad when you work at a dealer for years and you see more new cars come in for repairs then older vehicles.

Same concept with mowers, it would cost me $13,000.00 to buy my ZTR all over again. I can buy the engine, for $1,750.00 shipped to my door. Need two new hydro pumps? Good deal, $2,000 later and I'm still $10,000 ahead after the brand new engine and hydro pumps both. I'll keep that 10 grand in my pocket.

Many argue replacement parts cost isn't the issue, time is. But many of us that have $13,000.00 mowers laying around, have back-up machines. Time isn't an issue, unless you don't know how to allocate or manage your time. Your not working 24 hours a day I don't care what climate, state, or type of grass your cutting. You can't find off time on a weekend to swap an engine or hydro pump?

I think what it truly boils down too, are you afraid to turn wrenches or learn? If not, save your $10,000.00 and put it in your retirement, you'll need it one day.
 
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Edit* - And things might break down while your on the job. What spare parts can I not afford to buy with the 10 grand I saved from buying a new mower. Times not the issue, the issue is grease up and turn some wrenches.
 

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I don't understand this theory, but no offense. Many people feel the same way, it's just something I don't understand. I have a truck that will have 400,000 miles by the end of this year. Guess what? It's not going ANYWHERE. In all those miles I put one transmission, one water pump, (2) axle seals, a few front end suspension parts and misc. parts. Cost me less than $3,000.00 in parts to keep her running in parts. Let's say the engine goes this year, a crate engine will cost me $2800.00 shipped to the door for a brand new V8 crate engine. I don't see the need for spending $30,000.00 on a "new" truck just because I want a new truck. I can put $5,000.00 in my truck and have a whole new drive-train (transmission/engine) combo and I can assure you I will have less issues then every single one of these new trucks with the AFM, Government regulated bull crap engines. It's sad when you work at a dealer for years and you see more new cars come in for repairs then older vehicles.

Same concept with mowers, it would cost me $13,000.00 to buy my ZTR all over again. I can buy the engine, for $1,750.00 shipped to my door. Need two new hydro pumps? Good deal, $2,000 later and I'm still $10,000 ahead after the brand new engine and hydro pumps both. I'll keep that 10 grand in my pocket.

Many argue replacement parts cost isn't the issue, time is. But many of us that have $13,000.00 mowers laying around, have back-up machines. Time isn't an issue, unless you don't know how to allocate or manage your time. Your not working 24 hours a day I don't care what climate, state, or type of grass your cutting. You can't find off time on a weekend to swap an engine or hydro pump?

I think what it truly boils down too, are you afraid to turn wrenches or learn? If not, save your $10,000.00 and put it in your retirement, you'll need it one day.
My thoughts on this is, once you hit 2k hours, the resale starts to really plummet. If you're going to keep it, that's fine, I fix all my my own equipment. If you don't want to spend time doing that, 2k is the time to sell.

Your theory on your truck makes sense............. If you live in Texas. Vehicles have a shelf life up here, salt destroys the frame, and then you're screwed. Every large repair requires you to evaluate if it's worth it or not. I do as much of my own vehicle maintenance as I can though, my buddy was a mechanic, but even with his knowledge and extensive tool supply I still bring my truck to a trusted shop when I don't want to do it.
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We put 1,000-1,200 hours a year our diesel walkers. Generally the engines never give problems but everything else wears out. Blowers every 1,000hrs, hydro at 2,000 etc. I usually flick them at 4,000 as that seems to be the point at which maintenance costs more than repayments on a replacement. I do have an old one at 6,000hrs but that had an operator that treated it like he owned it for most of it's life.

Don't know if its common in the US but we've recently moved to leasing mowers; after the lease period you just hand it back and get a new one. Its well used by then anyway. There are tax benefits to it too, here in NZ at least.
 
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