looking for advice purchasing a ZTR mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by coppermouse, May 13, 2008.

  1. coppermouse

    coppermouse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I am planning on purchasing a used ZTR mower and would like advice.
    My thinking is I would be better to buy a used commercial model than a new Home Depot residential type mower.
    I know the lower the hours the better, but what is considered high hours, or how long should one last? I am considering a Toro zmaster, and it has 1200 hours or so on it. Is that high? It is liquid cooled and I have heard they last longer(the engine that is). What should I look for besides obvious things like engine noise, fluid leaks, bearings that are not tight etc..

    It is a 2003 with the vacuum system and 60" deck 27 HP Kawasaki. Is around $4k a reasonable price?
    Also I will probably sell my existing lawn mower. It is a Deutz (same as Simplicity Sunstar, 20 HP Koheler, 60" deck, 850 hours, 1994 model. What could I expect to sell it for?
  2. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    I agree with your premise that a used commercial such as you described would be far better than any residential mower found in Lowes or HD. !,200 hours doesn't sound like a lot if you consider that if it were a car that had been driven at an average of approximately 50 mph, that would be only about 60,000 miles. Not too much for an engine, in my opinion. Since you posted this in the Homeowner forum, I presume that, like me, you will be using your ZTR for only your own lot and it'll be getting only from 50-to-100 hours per year on it from now on. That engine should last another 10 years, easily. Not sure about the hydraulic pumps, spindles, etc., however. They could be pretty expensive to repair or replace, so you may be taking a risk. I guess you must have looked at it already. If it appeared to be pretty clean, you may want to get it. $4K doesn't sound like a bad price considering it also has a vacuum system too. If it's comparable to the vacuum system that is sold for my Exmark, it probably cost about $2K new. Why don't you look through the listing in the MEMBERS ONLY FREE Equipment forum here at LawnSite to see if there is anything to compare with.
  3. lzrj

    lzrj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    I myself would not buy a used unit with any more than 600 hours. When you get to 1200 hours, the wheel motors and pumps could go at anytime and those will cost you thousands if you had to replace those four parts (2 of each) alone. Spindles, clutches and other misc. parts could start going as well. I consider anything over 1000 hours very used. I would not pay four thousand for it when for two thousand more you can look at a new small commercial unit or a large unit with low hours that will last you a lifetime. At 500 hours, you can look towards many years of good life left in a unit if it was maintained well. I would look for a large used unit that was owned by a homeowner and not a commerical lawn company.
  4. stevepk

    stevepk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I also went from a Deutz 1920 w/ a 60 inch deck to a Toro Zmaster 255 this spring. Been a big Simplicity fan for a long time (still have 3). I truely enjoy mowing again. Decreased seat time by about half. The Toro I bought had 1800 hours on a Kohler Command (air cooled). I will take good care of the engine but the way I figure it is if I have to replace the motor I will still have a quality machine to put a new engine on.
  5. coppermouse

    coppermouse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    After looking at some pretty beat up ones, I finally decided to buy a new on. The local shop had a Bob Cat Predator pro that was a demo with a few scrapes and dings for 6k. I figure It should last the rest of my life. Thanks for the opinions
  6. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    Buying a new commercial is the best decision you could have made. :clapping::clapping:

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