Residential ZTR advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mdbelt, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. mdbelt

    mdbelt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I've got 2.5 acres, mostly flat with a ditch & some minor rolling heaves on property. I mow every 10-14 days (sometimes every 7 in Spring if warranted). I don't have any plans for commercial mowing. I'll be replacing a 6 year old Husqvarna YTH2148 that gave me 300 hours then threw a push rod last weekend (yes I'll try & fix this as a secondary tractor in the "fleet"). I'd like to get a ZTR to help reduce mow time & spend more time with kiddos. After some great reading on transmissions, price ranges, & the lot, I've narrowed it down to the following three:

    Cub Cadet RZT 54 – 25 HP Kaw - ZT 2800 Transmission – $3,499.00
    John Deere Z425 48 – 23 HP B&S - Kanzaki Dup-10 Transmission - $3,899.00
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 48 – 22 HP Koh - ZT 2800 Transmission - $3,999.00

    I'm sort-of leaning toward the RZT 54. I don't like the smaller tires, but it is 500 cheaper with a larger deck & similar transmission. Then again the RZT tops @ 6.5 MPH instead of 8. These top out my budget so I can't afford to move into a commercial unit, & I'm not sure I really need to. I've made a trip to the different dealers & taken a look at each of these units & plan on purchasing from a dealer when I pull the trigger.

    This is a huge financial investment for me, & I believe in seeking the counsel of others. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.
  2. Sport42

    Sport42 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I would recommend looking at a Hustler Sport 48.
  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Ditto on the Hustler Sport 48 for $3500 or a Bad Boy MZ 48 for the same price. The BB do 8 mph. The Hustler has the superior 4 yr warranty. The welded decks are pretty stout on both.
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  4. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    The BB has the twin 26hp, vs the single Hustler for the same money, I would lean on the BB, much stronger engine. I would not recommend a RZT to anyone, heard to many people with issues around here, under $4000 its hard to beat the hustler or BB. The Ariens looks pretty sharp, but if you don't have a dealer around I would be worried. Out of your choices I would recommend the force cub, only if you have a local dealer (don't buy box store), and heck no on the Deere for sure...
  5. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    I don't see a Toro in your list, I would at least look at Toro before I decided.
  6. smertus

    smertus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

  7. laxman3221

    laxman3221 LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 40

    I recommend the hustler sport 48 as I have one.
  8. Aaronnc

    Aaronnc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7B
    Messages: 354

    No offense OP, but if you really want helpful advice and/or opinions, you really need to tell us what kind/brand dealers you have in your area. Your gonna have your Gravely, BB, Scag, Toro, JD, etc, etc... fans, that means absolutely squat with no dealer support. Granted being a homeowner and with mowing every 10-15 days you won't need support as much as say an LCO, but since you've had experience with a ZTR, you know stuff will eventually break and can go wrong.

    Also, what are your needs or wants in a mower? What I mean by that is, when I was in the process of buying my mower, I found out that the Ferris's rode the best, like a Cadillac, but cut like absolute crap. The Walker's absolutely gave the best cut I've ever seen, but were pricey and seemed to live in the shop. Drove my cousin's Scag and LOVED it, again pricey, close to perfect in my opinion, but with the nearest dealer an hour away, not an option. Have no experience with Hustler/BB so cannot comment on those. Owned a JD years ago, and have driven Toro/Exmark, but from what I remember, were just average, did the job but didn't jump out or impress in my mind. Also, unlike you, I've never had an engine problem out of one of my mowers. This is my first Kohler (have only owned it 3 months, Bobcat Pro Cat 27hp 61") so I can't comment on it yet, but I've owned two Kawasaki's and three Briggs with never a problem. It's always the deck, spindles, pumps, etc... for me. So I personally tend to put more emphasis on the construction and hardware than I do the engine itself.

    Also, if you have the luxury, I would definitely recommend waiting/put off till winter if you can. All of my local dealers are pretty proud of their equipment in the spring/summer. I never buy brand new or used (unless it's just a stupid crazy deal) but always hunt down a 100 hour or less dealer demo in December or January. 90% of the time around here they are itching to move anything then and can get a great deal with a full warranty.

    Sorry to get off on a rant and write a novel, but just wanted to share what has worked for me, and to try and help. With all that being said, and considering my limited knowledge, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal than a Cub Cadet or Husky for the money in a homeowner model.

    Good luck in whatever you decide, and hope this helped.
  9. Jim64

    Jim64 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I have replaced one of the mower deck spindles and now the PTO will not engage. I bought a new switch but that did not solve the problem. Any ideas? Somebody please help ASAP as I have grass up to my butt and no way to mow it.
  10. Aaronnc

    Aaronnc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7B
    Messages: 354

    Hey Jim, don't have much experience with Cub Cadets but it sounds like it's either the switch (even though it's brand new) or the PTO clutch is bad. Does the spindles spin freely by hand? Anyways, I would pull the switch back out and unplug the the wires from the clutch. Take a voltmeter and check for voltage. If you have voltage, then the clutch is bad. Do you hear the click of the relay when the PTO supposedly engages? Checked the seat switch? Is the battery in normal range with the key turned? If it drops below 12vdc I believe the PTO will not engage. Did the pigtail come off the PTO? Could be numerous things. I would drop the deck and give it a strong good look over for any loose or broken or worn wires.

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