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Looking for a New ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by NitPicky1, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. NitPicky1

    NitPicky1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I am looking to get a new ZTR mower. I have my choices down to the Hustler Super Z 60", Scag Turf Tiger 61", Scag Cheetah 61", Gravely 460, and John Deere Z950R or M 60". I will be purchasing a bagger attachment that I can take on and off as this will be primarily used as a personal mower for my home where I want to bag 1.2 acres most of the time and just mow the back .8 acre. I always do routine maintenance and then some and want something that will last as long as I want it to. I also mow every five to seven days depending on the lawn growth (pending rain of course). I would like to get some honest opinions on what would be the best mower and engine configuration of the choices above. Any help would be appreciated.:)
  2. NitPicky1

    NitPicky1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I know some may think the mower choices I listed in my previous post may be overkill for the 2 acres I currently have (looking to expand in a couple years), but I am hoping to get back into commercial mowing on the side either next season or the season after. My wife and I just had our first child this past November, so I decided to back off for a year or two to spend some time with my son and help my wife out. They're only this little once. Any help would be greatly appreciated since the mowers I've narrowed down to all have strengths and weaknesses. Thanks again :)
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  3. tundraman

    tundraman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    I have a Toro 6000 60 with Kohler 34 efi. Very impressive mower so far. All of your choices above are good. My two neighbors have Cheetahs that they like. I would of bought a Cheetah but got a great deal on the Toro and like all its features. So look at all the features plus price like deck, engine, seat, warranty, quality of cut on your grass type, dealer support, etc.

    Make sure you cut your yard at night so your neighbors don't see you and laugh. I was trying to cut my six acres with a 54 Husky Garden tractor and my neighbors laughed saying I needed a Z.
  4. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Check out the Ferris IS mowers. I use a Ferris IS2000 about 12 hours every week at a second job. Can't beat the ride on one of those things. Just beware the IS2000 has a briggs 30hp and is pretty loud. I would buy one of those in a heartbeat if i needed a ztr. Whatever you get, get something with some type of suspension, you might regret it if you don't.
  5. JeremyKuhn

    JeremyKuhn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I run a Gravely 460 and wouldn't trade it for anything. The ride is great and the machine itself is built like a tank.
  6. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Messages: 5,957

    Test them and make the choice.

    I started with Gravely fell out because of bad dealer but saying this will probably get removed like the last 4 post, he also stalks everything I say on these forums and slanders my business.

    So after that I had to move went with JD the 7 Irons are amazing.
    ericg likes this.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,218

    Each of those 4 mowers you listed are the real deal. All have excellent decks, the best on the market IMO. I would stick with one of those brands.
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,971

    Don't be in a hurry. Demo, demo, demo. Then, buy the one that you like the best for fit, comfort, ease of use, ride, and the two that are most important- QOC and dealer support. The Gravley, JD and Scag decks will cut great on any turf type, the Hustler not so much. They seem to do well on southern grass, but even then there are guys having issues with the VX4, especially in the 60" size. So.... demo, demo, demo........and good luck.:)
  9. NitPicky1

    NitPicky1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks guys for your input. I've seen Mic Hippy's comments about the VX4 QOC and have really moved them into more of a 4th place. I'm leaning towards the Gravely 460 with the FX850V, the Scag Turf Tiger with either the FD791DFI or 35Hp Vanguard, or the John Deere Z950M with the FX850V. I'm going this Saturday to demo all three. I've already demoed the Scag Turf Tiger before and really like it, but I don't want to get the orange blinders on and get the best deal for the money. Yes, it's at the higher end of the spectrum price wise, but by demoing all three on the same day, it will give me a better feeling of what fits me better. I've been warming up a lot to the Gravely and John Deere here after reading through posts on this forum, but need to spend a little more time on them in person. I know I will get good dealer support on the John Deere and Scag, but I'm limited on options on the Gravely due to only one Gravely dealer that isn't 1+ hours away. The only good thing about Gravely is the corporate customer support I have been hearing about from other posters, so that puts me a little more at ease. Bottom line, I am just looking for a good QOC from a long lasting machine that feels right and I think I've narrowed my choices down to good options. Plus thanks to Ridin' Green and southerntide's posts I've been reading, I've pulled John Deere back up into the top three. Thanks guys for your info! :)
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,971

    I've been running JD's for a long time, but Gravely and Scag are excellent choices as well. Like you said, Gravely is THE company to beat when it comes to customer care, listening to what their customers want etc.

    If you go with JD, DO NOT let anyone talk you into the MOD deck. I don't know how many of my posts or threads you've read, but the MOD deck sucks, plain and simple. The idea is good, but as with anything that is a compromise, it is no where near as good as an original anything, whether that is a regular deck or a true mulcher.

    The Pro deck is as good as it gets for any type of cutting, and better than most any other deck. I have a Z950A, and now that I have the Pro deck shell in place of my MOD deck shell, I am a happy camper with the mower over all. The FX850 is a very good match for a 60" deck IMO. Mine starts like an EFI most of the time, and doesn't backfire like a Kohler, nor smoke like one either. It doesn't use any oil in fact.

    I have been on the new JD suspension seat and it isn't as good a ride as the std deluxe seat with the suspension seat insert kit IMO (as well as many others here). If you go green, get the deluxe seat and insert kit.

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