Looking to buy a ZTR. Need Advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by hansenke, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. hansenke

    hansenke LawnSite Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 16

    I have a large yard that I maintain, which includes mowing about 3 1/2 acers of grass. The back yard has a decent slope to it and is fairly rough. Most people would consider it a field, rather than a lawn. (see attached pic) I currently have a Cub Cadet 2185 with a 48" deck and it takes about 3 hours to cut the yard. Every time I cut, I'm constantly thinking that there has to be a better way. I'm almost convinced that a "commercial grade" mower designed to cut large amounts of grass would be a better choice then buying a larger garden tractor. I'm pretty sure I want a ZTR to be the replacement, but it has to be able to pull my yard cart. Here are the candidates, in no particular order:

    Cub Cadet Z-Force
    Ferris 1000Z
    Exmark Lazer Z-CT
    Hustler Fastrack

    I think the Ferris might be considered a real commercial mower while the rest are residential/commercial so it might not be fair to include it in this list. I don't think I NEED the commercial heavy dutiness, but I do like some of the features like bigger wheels and castors.

    My main considerations in order are:

    Time it takes to cut the grass
    Ability to handle slope in back yard
    Durability to handle the rough terrain
    Cut quality

    Other questions/concerns I have are:
    -Is a 44" deck too small, since I am currently using a 48" deck
    -Is a 52" deck over kill and would it make this cost prohibitive?
    -Is ground speed that important? The Ferris runs at 10 mph, while the others are around 7 mph. My current cub runs at 5.5 mph
    -what is the minimum HP rating I should consider? Does brand name carry that much weight?

    Any other thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    For your size Lot And You would cut your time In Half If Not more A Lazer Z 27 Kohler 60" Ultracut Deck Is what i would Get.

    lazer resized.jpg
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    I think PA Grass Is similer To Ares In Conn. If You put the striping roller on It You Could end up with this.

  4. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    Hansenke - you have an amazing property there with a breathtaking view.

    In my opinion, the small ZTRs you are looking at aren't great for holding hills. The latest Consumer Reports issue brings this out (and I believe they tested the Z-Force).

    I would recommend a mid-size ZTR, and if you read my second reply to this thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46561 I mention four mid-size models that I think are worthy of consideration.
  5. IndianaDave

    IndianaDave LawnSite Member
    from 47150
    Messages: 14


    Yes, you have a beautiful view as you mow!

    I recently went through a thorough comparison of ZTR's for my residence. I concluded that you cannot beat Hustler for the quality and maneuverability and especially their price point.

    The Fastrack, which is a residential model, would suffice for you. If you want larger, which would gain you more comfort and full commercial grade, I recommend Hustler's Mini-Z.

    What I would recommend is the lower priced Fastrak, have the dealer throw in a seat upgrade, and you have a winner that will provide you with years and years of comfortable mowing!

    I have become very respectful of Hustler and highly recommend their products. If you need a good dealer, let me know and I can put you in touch with an excellent one that has provided me excellent service and help during my decision process.

  6. grassdaddy

    grassdaddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Landpride ZTR 20/52 20hp honda,4850.00.Made 100% by Hustler.I just can't see a better mower for UNDER 5000.00.:)
  7. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204


    I would go with the 52" and not the 44". For trimming around trees, landscaping beds,.. etc. the larger deck will make it much easier.

    I would not be that stuck on the ground speed of the mower. You really will not be able to mow at 10 MPH unless the ground is flat and even.

    For the mower, the best piece of advice is to demo the machines on your property. Also factor in the proximity of the dealer to you. You might love the Exmark, but the closest dealer might be 100 miles away.


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