Narrowing my choices of ZTR's.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rott_dobe, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Well, so far I have demoed a Great Dane Chariot and a Gravely PM260Z. I hate to say it, but I thought the handling of the Gravely was terrible. I'm sure it had something to do with the set-up of this machine, but I didn't like it near as much as the Great Dane.

    With the Great Dane, I have a good local dealer, but I'm afraid of parts availability and reliability based on what I've read here.

    That leaves me with Hustler and Scag. I'll be demoing a Super Z (25HP Kaw, 60" deck) on Saturday, but the local dealer is only going to let me drive it around for a little while on my property...not a really long demo, but better than nothing.

    Besides the Super Z, I'm looking into the Scag Wildcat (27HP Kohler, 61" deck). The only one a local dealer has to demo is the Tiger Cub, but I figured that would be close enough to give me the feel of the Wildcat.

    Anyway, what are your opinions on these two machines? The only thing that scares me about the Wildcat is the size of the pumps (10cc vs. 21cc on the Super Z). I don't know how important the pump size is...
  2. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Pump size= speed. I would tell you Hustler all the way, But if the dealer won't even let you do a real demo, on your own property, how do you think he will treat you for service or parts. I'd tell him to get bent, and get the Scag. It will last you a long time at your home. If you maintain it right, your grandkids might inherit it from you.. I hope I helped, And myself I'd really rather have the Hustler, but no way I'd buy a machine I couldn't demo properly. But you are ahome owner, correct? If so, you'll be miles ahead if you have a Good dealer on your side... Just my nickel
  3. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    If the dealer won't let you demo the way a demo should be done, tell him to pack it in. The Scag is a great product - I demo'd one and loved it but my closest Scag dealer was over an hour away.

    Pump size on the Wildcat is 10cc but that's really not that huge of an issue in my view - up until recently, most pumps used were of the 10cc size. What is even more critical is how you keep the hydraulic oil cool and the size of the reservoir - a small reservoir will require auxilliary cooling since retention time in the reservoir is less due to size.

    And, 21cc is almost overkill unless you're going to be mowing a LOT of acreage in a day, day in and day out. The Hustler is a great machine but between the two, it would be hard to choose if the dealers were equal in service.

    Since they (the dealers) are not equal, I would get the Scag and never look back. However, you might also ask about the Turf Tiger - there's a chance you might be able to pick one of those bad, bad boys up at an end-of-the-season price for not a whole lot more than the Wildcat if you can shop around.

    Good luck!
  4. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    I'm sorry about your Hustler dealer because if you could run the 27 or 28 hp with the 60" deck on the Super Z you would not even care about trying another mower.
  5. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    The deal with the Hustler is defintely a bummer. I already decided that if I like it, I would buy from a dealer in the Chicago suburbs. They gave me a great price over the phone, and seem like a good place to work with.

    The downfall is that I would then have to take it there for service, and that is an hour away. I don't really mind the drive if it's once or twice a year max.

    I guess I'll see how the demo goes. So now it's between a good local dealer (Scag), and a good dealer an hour away (Hustler)....
  6. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    what didn't you like about the handling on the gravely?
  7. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    On the Gravely I had a hard time going straight. If I pushed the two levers the same, it would turn to the right. Since I'm new to the whole zero-turn thing, I would end up over compensating and going back and forth. Also I wasn't too keen on how far I had to push the levers to drive at any kind of reasonable speed. If I drove where my arms were relaxed, I found myself going extremely slow and I had the seat as far forward as possible.

    More importantly, I found the front end to be too light. When I was mowing one time I backed up and went forward a little too fast and the front end came up. I would be scared something like that would happen to my wife if she were mowing up and down our hill in the back yard. I could see her trying to trim around some stuff on the hill, going in reverse and then wanting to go forward and the front end coming up. If something like that happened, I would NEVER get her back on the mower again!

    I know there is a weight kit for it, but I don't believe I should have to buy a weight kit just to mow my yard when there are other equally capable machines out there in the same price range.
  8. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    getting the machine to straighten out isn't a big deal you can adjust the valve i believe.

    i know what you mean with the seat position, i'm 6' and i usually find myself sitting forward in the seat. i've found that i can sit in the back and grab the controls just above the knuckle and control it comfortably and at a decent speed.

    i get the 'oh crap i almost went over' stomach butterfles about once a week when i really push it to the max on the hills. it happened today ;)

    It's too bad the gravely didn't work out. i really like mine.
  9. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I think it's too bad also...I was really thinking that would be the one I get, they have a good name and the financing available is good too. I guess it really does pay to demo!
  10. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Most all Zs have adjustable hand levers for operator size.

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