Overkill or not? Help me pick a ZTR.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rott_dobe, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I've been researching and testing and sitting on mowers for about a year now, and need some help. This will be my own personal mower to mow about 1.8 acres (including house/driveway/deck, etc). The yard is a little rough in spots currently. I plan on slowly taking care of the roughness, but it probably won't happen in the next couple of years. Anyway, my current mower is an old Bolens 42" tractor. It's slow, and I don't know how long it will continue to last.

    I have looked at Gravely, Hustler, Great Dane, Exmark, Scag and Ferris. Demo'd Gravely 260Z, Hustler Super Z and Great Dane Chariot LX. I didn't like the Gravely. It didn't handle the hills too good and overall I didn't like the handling of it. I liked the Super Z and Great Dane. I actually preferred the Dane's sticks between the legs.

    Anyway, to continue, I am currently focusing on Ferris and Hustler. I don't care for Exmark, plus heard they aren't the best on hills. Scags look good, but seem to be pretty high priced. Of the Ferris machines, I would like to look at the new 1500 and the 3000. Hustler I would probably be looking at a Super Z or Super MiniZ, but have recently thought about Fasttracks.

    Question is, is it overkill for me to be looking at a Super Z or Ferris 3000?

    Because of the bumps in the yard, I like the thought of suspension, or at least the suspension seat. If I wanted to keep the price around $6500, I believe my choices are Ferris 1500 or Hustler Super MiniZ. Which one would you recommend for my application?

    I want this to last a LONG time. Part of my looking at Ferris is also due to the horizontal shaft versus vertical shaft argument. I don't know which is better, but horizontals appear to be more highly regarded for longevity.

    Maybe all these are overkill, and I should just buy a Cub Cadet or something....I'm getting tired of all this research! Please help.

    I've found good dealers fairly close for all machines, so I believe that is a wash.

    Give me your advide!
  2. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Id go for something smaller like the fast track or mini z
  3. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    do you really need to spend so much money if it's just for your own yard? a fastrac should last you for at least ten years.
  4. Stripe This

    Stripe This LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    If you're going to use the ZTR soley on your property, whether it's 1 acre or 5, any of those commercial riders will do the trick. They'll last you as long as you'll need. I put 600 hours on my Lazer Z HP last season (total of 900) and she runs just as well as she did the day I picked it up. Those units are built for commercial work and your residential property is a tease.

    Any of those units will serve you for a long time to come. Good luck with whichever unit you purchase.
  5. Doc_77

    Doc_77 LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 92

    i was going to say the same thing. why not just pay some one to cut your grass instead of paying $6500 to do it yourself ?
  6. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    If I were to pay someone to mow my yard, I'm sure it would cost at least $100/mow, for let's say 35 mows/season. That would be $3500/year. If I paid $6500 for a mower that last me 15 years, then I think I would be better off financially in the long run to buy my own quality mower.

    Based on the responses though, it appears I am looking at a little too-commercial of a product. If it takes me about 1.75 hours to mow my yard with the current mower, how long would it take with a Fastrack? I got it done in 50 minutes with the 61" Great Dane. Also, wouldn't the Fastrack's ride be too bumpy?
  7. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    If your yard is bumpy then Ferris is the only way to go IMO. I would suggest the IS 1500. The suspension will give you a lot smoother ride allowing you to go faster and the deck is mounted to a-arms so it will not bounce so the cut will be a lot better and the suspension also protects the mower from the rough ground allowing it to last longer. Hope that helps.
  8. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Thanks for the response Travis!
  9. Stripe This

    Stripe This LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    My post wasn't to discourage you from a commercial unit....you definitely want one if you need it to last and be dependable year after year.
  10. rott_dobe

    rott_dobe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Your post didn't discourage me at all!

    I'm just trying to figure out where to draw the line between acceptable for me and overkill. Any of these mowers are extremely expensive for me, but I would rather delay the purchase and get the right unit (whatever that is) and have it last as long as I live here, than buy an intermediate one and not be happy five years from now...

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