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Mower advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by longhill, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. longhill

    longhill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I am choosing between a Hustler Sport 42" or Gravely ZT 50. I will be using the Ztr for my yard which is about 1 1/2 acres. Any advice on which one to go with? My budget is between $3k - $3500 so even though I would like to, I can't go any heavier at this time. Thanks for your help.
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  2. jambra1

    jambra1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    While I can't give you a comparative answer based on experience between these two good mowers, I will mention that I bought a 48" Hustler Sport this spring since we have moved to a house that has an acre of land (about 60% turf). The Hustler has done a great job for us with no problems at all. Even my wife likes using it. Mine was a decision between the Hustler and the comparable Bad Boy and this one won out for me.

    I would think one issue you need to consider is the deck width. There's quite a difference between 42" and 50" when you are looking at an acre and a half. Maybe not a horrendous gap but you'll extend your cutting time with a narrower deck. On the other hand, you need to make sure any gates or other mowing areas will handle the wider deck. (Our gate from front to back yards just barely allows the 48" deck to go through. Any wider and we would have been installing a new gate.) Frankly, if I had to choose between two mowers of comparable quality, I would go with the wider deck.

    I expect others will chime in but thought I would get a response out there. BTW, here is another thread on a similar comparison but with the 48" Hustler:


    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  3. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Any reason for limiting the choices to only those two? Sounds like with a limited budget, you need to go for the best mower you can get for the most you can possibly spend and there are some other models out there that may better suit your budget such as Husqvarna's residential line http://www.husqvarna.com/us/products/zero-turn-mowers/husqvarna-zero-turn-mowers-for-homeowners/ or BadBoy MZ or ZT lines. Not that those two are bad choices, just limiting. Of those two, look at the specs carefully and get the one that has the better durability specs (transmissions, etc.) for the $. My experience with the Hustlers that I saw was that they were fine, just more expensive than comparable units but YMMV. I do like the Gravely's and nearly got one (an HD however). Husqvarna seemed to offer the best value for the $. I agree with jambra1 as to deck width. You will be happier with the widest deck your place can handle. My 61" deck works just fine even in my smaller yard spaces, and the cost differences in deck widths are almost negligible.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    All my neighbors have residential Husqvarna's. My MIL neighbor has a residential Husqvarna. He sold mowers at a dealership. I must say they seem to mow a very nice lawn. Especially my neighbors mowing Bahia Grass like me. I think they all got them on a special sale a couple of years ago. They all seem to be 42 to 48 inch deck with KAWASAKI engines. I was watching the MIL neighbor mowing just today. Nice mowed lawn. I told my wife if my LT died I use and keep at the MIL's hose died we just might look into a Husqvarna to replace it. Worth looking into.
  5. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    MS, just curious, what size areas do your neighbors mow with the residential models and how rough is their ground? A lot of folks seem to have around an acre or two and it's hard to know if the $3500 ztr's will go the distance for them. To me, it's all about durability over a 15 or even 20 year period. I'm thinking that they should go the necessary number of hours okay, but only if they aren't getting beaten up by hard use. My old LT on 2 acres kept running for about 6 years, but only with a whole lot of repair work, welding, tire repairs, engine work, etc. because it was just too flimsy for the task. That's why I always ask people how rough their ground is when we're talking anything less than commercial grade units. I hate to see people make a mistake by buying too cheap because I've been there, but I understand budget restraints, too. I never ever thought I would pay 5 grand for a lawn mower (there goes that fishing boat I wanted - sniff). What's your take on the lower end ZTR's in general as far as durability?
  6. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    The reason I would suggest the Hustler other than it is a top notch machine, is that it is backed by one of the best companies in the business! I can tell you this from experience. Some say they care, but Hustler DOES care. The Sport paired with a Kawasaki or Honda engine will benefit you for many, many years of service!

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    Most have 1 acre plots. 1 is mowing 2 to 3 acres. All pretty rough with Bahia Grass. The MIL's neighbor is mowing a nice 1 acre lawn. They all seem to keep their mowers clean. Their mowed areas look good. How long will they last? I don't know? My Saber LT is 12 years old and still mowing. He's getting tired, but has a few left. I'd say 8 to 15 years if they keep the oil changed. That's not bad being they paid less than $2,400. One neighbor put his tractor with a finish mower in the barn, and just uses it to bush hog fields.
  8. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Yeah, I know, there are too many unknowns to answer a question like that. One or so smooth acres, six months of weekly use, good maintenance, anything decent should last a good while I guess as long as it isn't pounded senseless.

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