Nice Residential or Entry-Level Commercial?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by pete326, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I have a 1+ acre lot which is largely open and poker flat. How much mower do I really need to keep it nice? Price isn't really an issue although I would like to avoid buying more than is necessary. I'm torn between buying a higher-end residential mower (Toro TimeCutter MX5060 or Gravely ZT XL) or an entry-level commercial model (Ferris IS600Z or Exmark Pioneer "E" Series). On the other hand, should I consider some kind of riding mower (Cub Cadet GTX 2000 or John Deere X320) that could also be used to move snow? My driveway is only about 100' long, but I am starting to get up in years and sometimes have back problems. Please offer your thoughts and recommendations.
  2. southerntide

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

    Gravely will outlast the toro for sure and the riders.

    With a ZTR you will be done super quick, the riders are a waste of money, cheap made to many breakable parts.

    If all you are doing is your home don't buy a commercial unless you really just want one for 1acre that is nothing for a ZTR, Resi or Commercial.

    ZT XL is 10guage just above the commercial 7guage deck but even the homeowner editions are built great and last long. Step down to low priced ZT it has a 12guage deck. The HD is about $900 more but they half commercial/residential in my opinion on build and cut.
  3. Whittaker's Lawn and Snow

    Whittaker's Lawn and Snow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    If your wanting it for snow also get a tractor! I recommend a deere! If your going to.get one the x300 series is great, but.I would look into the x500 series also. Specifically the x540. It has power steering, power lift, and traction assit. Great for snow, mowing, and garden tilling! New there around $7000 I just with 100 hours for.$6200. You should be able to find one with a couple hundred hours for.cheaper!
  4. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Yours sounds like a solid recommendation, but that's a bit more than I want to spend right now. I do have a snow blower, but it's not self-propelled so I get exhausted when using it in deeper snow. However, for the time being it's adequate. I'm flexible, but I'd like to stay around $5,000 out the door.
  5. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Gravely seems to make really nice products and our local Gravely dealer has a terrific reputation, but is it possible to attach a snow blade to a ZTR?
  6. nolimits76

    nolimits76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I faced a similar dilemma recently, except my lot is only 1/2 acre. Ultimately I ended up going with the 42" Hustler Raptor and I am very happy. Great dealer support, well built and has the Kawi engine for longevity. Another guy on here went with the Toro MX and is equally as happy as I am.

    The biggest difference you will see in the residential vs light commercial ZTR units is the deck thickness and hydrostatic gears. The residential units will come with the ZT-2200 (EZT), which is a sealed no-service type item. The problem is when they do require service, you may have to replace vs just service them because of the way they are built; however, reading some other articles, I discovered there is a pump and rebuild kit available and about 70-80% of the time they can be rebuilt but not everyone knows or can do it.

    The entry level commercial units come with ZT-2800's which are completely serviceable. I prefer this myself, but you start moving into the $4k+ range at this point.

    FYI, the Raptor SD is a step up and includes the 2800's for $3899. I actually thought the SD is what I was going to buy but when I spoke to my dealer, he talked me out of it. Said the Raptor w/ EZT's was more than plenty for my 1/2 acre. I was a bit surprised by that as most dealers try to up sell you.

    Check the other brands for yourself. Personally I think the Toro, Hustler and Gravely are all good choices.

    Although I've never used these, I found this online...



  7. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Yeah, I'm pretty much in the Gravely / Hustler / Toro camp. From what I've heard, any of those brands will likely get me more for my money than either Cub Cadet or John Deere. Some of the others, like Exmark and Ferris seem to cater more to commercial users and folks with large lots, and their entry level machines seem overpriced for what you get. We have a couple of reputable local dealers that offer Gravely, Hustler and Toro, so I should be able to work a good deal on any one of those.
  8. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    Best thing to do is demo any mower you are considering. You mentioned back issues, if you are getting a rider, make sure it has a good suspension seat. Tractor vs ZT. No comparison. I have both and the tractor stays parked. If you want a good used machine, look at Kerrys in Mechanicsburg PA. They still have my John Deere Z830A that I trade two years ago. They gave me $5,500 for it, and I assume you could buy it for around that price, since they had it sitting there for two years.

    here is a link to the craigslist ad Kerrys posted
  9. pete326

    pete326 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    ztman --- Thanks for the response, but your former 60" JD is more machine than I need ... and more money than I want to spend.
  10. ryan aerators

    ryan aerators LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Don't ever but residential/ homeowner equipment. You'll regret it trust me. I would recommend a 48in walk behind with a sulky, but you said you have back problems. maybe a 54in zero turn or a 60in would suit you. Hell you could pick up 10 lawns in your neighborhood and in a couple years it could pay for your mower!!

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