JD 970R vs Hustler Super Z Hyperdrive

jaik77

LawnSite Member
Location
Raleigh
I’m trying to decide between the John Deere 970R with the Kawasaki KX1000 and the Hustler Hyperdrive with the Vanguard EFI. I have heard to stay away from the Kawasaki Big Blocks but I don’t know what to listen to..
 
OP
J

jaik77

LawnSite Member
Location
Raleigh
You know I was just looking at the specs of the hustler hyperdrive. And I was extremely impressed, im interested in seeing what people have to say about it.....
Yeah I’m waiting haha. It’s a lot of money for either but I’m just worried about the Kawasaki Motor. Then again I don’t have any experience with Vanguard
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
There's nothing at all wrong with the Kaw BB's these days and hasn't been since 2012. Been a few bad Vanguard 37 efi's come out. That doesn't mean they all are bad. The efi will be much better on fuel for sure, but from the guys I've talked to that have run both, they say the carbed Kaw seems stronger in really tough conditions.


I'd take the 7 Iron over the VX4 any day, especially in the 60" size, but both machines are good machines and the Hustler has really good hydros in it, though there again, both have hydros that are more than proven now.

Best bet is demo both on the properties you will be cutting with the one you buy and get the one that does the best for you. Both will have similar rides now and both have good suspension seats with the fore and aft system and both can be had with flex forks.
 

greenleafgreenscapes

LawnSite Member
Location
Wi
R's are the only mowers I buy. Have 3 970r's with 72" decks and 2 939r's with 60" decks.
Prefer last year's black stripes seat to the new z glide seat
Love the electronics on handles. Can kill deck in an instant if have to and even with the hydraulic deck lift you can still feather up and down by holding the button in or just bumping it short bursts of going over Vern's or mound systems
 
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JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
I have never demoed or owned a JD, so I can only give you my opinion of the 72 in. Hustler Super Z Hyperdrive / Vangard 37 hp. EFI.

Let me start my saying I"m not partial or biased to any company or brand. If I knew I could buy a mower than handles better and has a more comfortable ride than mine I’d trade immediately.

My first Hustler was a 60 in. Super Z / 28 hp. Kohler EFI. The only reason I traded was for the 72 in. deck and Vangard 37 hp.

Before I purchased the 60 in. Super Z I demoed a Scag, Ferris, and Exmark, all on the same property. Neither of the three impressed me at all. Then I demoed the Hustler and the decision was automatic, I didn’t even have to think about it any further.

I'm located in the southern part of N.C. in Robeson County. I only cut my own property weekly which is 10 acres, some fairly smooth, some rough and everything in between. Some thin grass in sandy ares which eats blades aggressively.

From my perspective here are the pros and cons of the 72 in. Hyperdrive.

Pros:
* Grammer Suspension seat with fore/aft isolater. It's not just the seat but
also the position and height of seat in relation to the control handles.
* Distance of travel of control levers is perfect, not jerky, smooth as butter
* industrial Hydo pumps
* Flex forks available for front which increases the comfort. Others swear
By Ferris, but the Hustler felt smoother to me.
* EFI cranks instantly.

Cons:
* Hydro filter beneath hydro reservoir under mower is hard to get to. Need
right kind of jack to raise mower for access beneath. You could pump
hydro oil from reservoir from topside with siphon pump. Change at
50 hrs., 500 thereafter.
* Engine oil filter is not in the most user friendly place either. This is just
a minor con, not a daily issue. 100 hr. Interval.

Don’t know if fuel consumption is a pro or con compared to others. From my calculations the Vangard EFI 37 hp. consumes 1.43 gal. per hr.

There are many minor and major differences in all mowers. The things that matter most to different people usually come from experience, not from my opinion or anyone else’s. With that being said before pulling the trigger on the JD or Hustler I would demo both for several hours on my own terrain, not just a short drive around a parking lot.

Before I make my next purchase I may demo and consider a JD, but for me the smoothness of the hydro system, the ride comfort, power of the 37 hp. EFI are hard to beat. The Hustler just handles with finesse.

BTW, I purchased my mower at Pinkston’s in Wadesboro, NC. I've tried to give an honest review that is totally based on my experience with the Hustler. Hope this helps. In the future let us know your decision and why you choose either the JD or Hustler.
 
OP
J

jaik77

LawnSite Member
Location
Raleigh
I have never demoed or owned a JD, so I can only give you my opinion of the 72 in. Hustler Super Z Hyperdrive / Vangard 37 hp. EFI.

Let me start my saying I"m not partial or biased to any company or brand. If I knew I could buy a mower than handles better and has a more comfortable ride than mine I’d trade immediately.

My first Hustler was a 60 in. Super Z / 28 hp. Kohler EFI. The only reason I traded was for the 72 in. deck and Vangard 37 hp.

Before I purchased the 60 in. Super Z I demoed a Scag, Ferris, and Exmark, all on the same property. Neither of the three impressed me at all. Then I demoed the Hustler and the decision was automatic, I didn’t even have to think about it any further.

I'm located in the southern part of N.C. in Robeson County. I only cut my own property weekly which is 10 acres, some fairly smooth, some rough and everything in between. Some thin grass in sandy ares which eats blades aggressively.

From my perspective here are the pros and cons of the 72 in. Hyperdrive.

Pros:
* Grammer Suspension seat with fore/aft isolater. It's not just the seat but
also the position and height of seat in relation to the control handles.
* Distance of travel of control levers is perfect, not jerky, smooth as butter
* industrial Hydo pumps
* Flex forks available for front which increases the comfort. Others swear
By Ferris, but the Hustler felt smoother to me.
* EFI cranks instantly.

Cons:
* Hydro filter beneath hydro reservoir under mower is hard to get to. Need
right kind of jack to raise mower for access beneath. You could pump
hydro oil from reservoir from topside with siphon pump. Change at
50 hrs., 500 thereafter.
* Engine oil filter is not in the most user friendly place either. This is just
a minor con, not a daily issue. 100 hr. Interval.

Don’t know if fuel consumption is a pro or con compared to others. From my calculations the Vangard EFI 37 hp. consumes 1.43 gal. per hr.

There are many minor and major differences in all mowers. The things that matter most to different people usually come from experience, not from my opinion or anyone else’s. With that being said before pulling the trigger on the JD or Hustler I would demo both for several hours on my own terrain, not just a short drive around a parking lot.

Before I make my next purchase I may demo and consider a JD, but for me the smoothness of the hydro system, the ride comfort, power of the 37 hp. EFI are hard to beat. The Hustler just handles with finesse.

BTW, I purchased my mower at Pinkston’s in Wadesboro, NC. I've tried to give an honest review that is totally based on my experience with the Hustler. Hope this helps. In the future let us know your decision and why you choose either the JD or Hustler.
Thanks for responding. I’ll let you know which I choose!
 

Shayne Anderson

LawnSite Member
How do you like the electronics on the handles?
I have a 960r and 970r, and love both. Have owned a 920a and tried out 945m and a 955m, and the foot pedal deck lift is a deal breaker. Am very surprised that JD didn't put the electronic lift on the 994r.
 

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