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Tank, Kubota, Brush Hog, or Snapper ZTR?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Elkbow, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Elkbow

    Elkbow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I am looking at buying a ZTR before next spring, so I looked at all the available local brands yesterday hoping to find some end-of-the-season deals. I would appreciate your opinions on what is available locally.
    I can buy a demo Brush Hog 20hp 52” with a Kohler Command engine and 14 hours for $4800. They also have the same mower with a Honda engine and 30 to 40 hours for $5000. They have a 1 year warranty. The mower looked pretty heavy duty, but it has really short rear tires.
    I also looked at the Kubota ZG20 with a Kohler 20 hp and 48” cut. It is brand new for $6050 and 0% financing for 36 months.
    Next is Cub Cadet. The dealer has a M48 Tank that is a loaner to their commercial customers when their mowers were in the shop. It has 36 hours, I am almost certain it has a Kawasaki engine, but I don’t remember what horsepower it is. All the Cub Cadets also have 0% interest for 36 months.
    The same dealer also has the Z-Force 50” with a 23 hp Kohler Command engine for $3900, and it is new.
    The local Snapper dealer has a 48” with a 21 hp Briggs Vanguard, new, for $5000. I didn’t get the model of the mower, though. The owner was out of town, so I’d have to talk to him Tuesday about possibly getting a better deal on his last one of the year.
    There is a John Deere dealer and a Skag dealer here, too, but I can’t afford a $7000 mower. All other dealers are 25-45 miles away.
    I am a homeowner, with 4 places to mow with the total area being around 4 to 5 acres. Is there one brand of mower to stay away from? What about engines, which one is the best?
    The Hustler web site shows a local dealer, but I am pretty sure they don’t stock any mowers, they are a tractor dealer and I think they must have gotten a dealership for their own use.
  2. GriffinLawnService

    GriffinLawnService LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    I personaly have heard good things about Vanguard. I also own a cub cadet and I am very impressed with it.

    I also have been talking the owner of the tractor company I deal with and he said personaly he thought the vanguard was one of the best motors if not the best.

    On the other hand he did say every motor has their flaws and everyone has there favorite. Just thought that I would give my two cents.
  3. Elkbow

    Elkbow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Thanks for the reply. How do the prices I was quoted sound? Are they reasonable, or should I be able to get a better deal?
  4. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    We have 3 Tanks and I can tell you they are as good as they come. I have mowed some fields that were 3 foot tall. (NO KIDDING). Take the TANK and you will love it.

    go with the TANK not the z force!!!!
  5. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    there are quite a few lco's in this area running snappers, the dealer lives 1/4 mile from me and has a great reputation for service after the sale. it is one of the brands i'm considering.
  6. Elkbow

    Elkbow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    The brochure from the Snapper dealer shows the Fastcut XL to weigh 832 pounds, which I'm almost certain this model is. The Tank weighs in at 1040 pounds, and the Kubota weighs 1058 pounds. I'm not sure, but that should be at least an indicator of how well it is made. Is that correct, or not?

    I hope to make a decision tomorrow on one of these mowers, or just wait a little longer before buying. Thanks for your help.
  7. Elkbow

    Elkbow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I know Kubota has a great reputation for tractors, but are their ZTR's any good? I've done a lot of reading on the LawnSite, and they don't seem to be very popular here.
    The Cub Cadet Z-Force is out; I'd like a more heavy duty mower. Right now I am leaning toward the M48 Tank. Is $5000 for a M48 Tank with 35 hours a good deal, or is that too high? He told me they were $6200 new, is that about right or has he inflated the new price to make his demo sound like a better deal?
  8. KB Klippers

    KB Klippers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I have a Kubota ZG23 54" cut. It is a great machine. The engineering behind Kubota goes without saying. Everything about the machine is great. If you can afford it, get a diesel. They get better gas milage.
  9. Elkbow

    Elkbow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Unfortunately, a diesel is out of my price range. Actually, I shouldn't be spending $5000 on a lawn mower, but I like to go with quality whenever I can manage it. The Kubota is $1000 more than the Tank, and so far I haven't seen a reason to spend that extra grand.
  10. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Check John Deere Anyway. You are talking about $5,000 mowers in your selection possibilities anyway. The John Deere 717A, 48" with 19HP Kawasaki should be in your price range. John Deere has 3.9% financing right now through (I think) Oct 31. They also have same as cash deals. But the payment on the 3.9% offer is 2.5% of the amount financed. I got a 727A a few months ago (total price after sales tax, $7,900) and my payment is $198 a month. So you might be ble to afford more mower than you think if you look at it that way. John Deere is a state of the art Z Turn is you ask me. They are worth taking a look at. Especially if you are planning on growing and adding to your customer base next year.

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