Time for a ZTR (residential use)

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by homerlex, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. homerlex

    homerlex LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 24


    I'm seriously tired of my Craftsman Garden tractor. I have a 1.5 acre yard and it takes too long to cut and my tractor is starting to have all sorts of problems.

    I'm hoping to find a quality ZTR that would be my last mower purchase (say last 20 years)

    I'm considering the Scag Freedom Z but would like some recommedations on comparable models from other brandnames.

    Anyone have any comments on the Freedom Z? One big downside is that I just found out that the bagger system is $1200 (oof). I'd like a bagger but I'd probably only use it 5 times a year (mostly in the fall).

  2. wolfsburg57

    wolfsburg57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Mike -

    Based on the digging I've done on this site and others, I'd say the selection of a coml grade ztr often comes down to dealer support and ergonomics/ride. You will most likely go into "analysis paralysis" if you just try and compare the features on paper - especially at that price point.

    That said, I'd say competitors to the freedom z are any high end residential or entry commercial grade ztr. Toro Titans or small Z masters, Hustler Fastrak, Ferris 500, Gravely 148 or compact series, Exmark quest, Bad Boy ZT, Bob-Cat FastCat, etc... all come to mind without putting much thought into it (I haven't priced all of these but I would guess they would be in your range give or take). I will also go out on a limb and say baggers won't be cheap for any of these - probably not $1200 but still not cheap for 5 uses a year.

    Check out your dealers.

  3. homerlex

    homerlex LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 24

    Thanks for the reply. I'm already hitting the "paralysis" point :dizzy:

    Its probably time to go sit on a few machines.

    Still looking for feedback from Freedom Z owers as well.
  4. homerlex

    homerlex LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 24

    BTW - when talking to a dealer - what things should I ask him so that I get some confidence that he is going to provide adequate "dealer support"?
  5. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Been in your situation with just slightly larger property. I chose a Scag Wildcat last year, planning on it being my last mower( it should last 20 years). You might look at the tiger cub, they look like good machines. I got a good deal last year on my wildcat, 52" deck and 26hp lc Kawasaki and recommend it highly, although it is overkill on this size property.
  6. wolfsburg57

    wolfsburg57 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    That was actually one of the initial models I looked at as my closest dealer is a scag/toro/snapper dealer. It was too much mower for my 1 acre needs and looking at it helped me refine my priorities a bit. I didn't find too many owners on here and I don't think you will find very many people that doubt that its a solid machine. Scag has a good reputation on the board.

    You might start with a comparison between the scag and a Hustler if you have a dealer near by.
  7. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I also looked at the Scaq freedom Z, but I came to realize it was overkill for an acre of grass, the salesman belive it or not said the same. For an acre and a half of grass I can suggest the Hustler Mini fastrak. Priced right, fast and fun to drive. I love mine.
    I talked to Doug over at Catcher King and he set me up with a 4.4 XL steel catcher for about $225.00. But with the Gator blades I put on, I don't need a bagger at all. I Just need the catcher every few cuts, to clean up all the debris from all the trees and gardens and left over clippings etc.

    PJ, over at the Hustler site can answer any questions you have..
  8. homerlex

    homerlex LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 24

    I'd actually prefer a little overkill here. The mini looks OK but I'd like at least a 48" deck.

    Hmm, CatcherKing look interesting :)
  9. rainman14624

    rainman14624 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I got the Freedom Z with the 26 Briggs ELS, an engine that gets bashed regularly on this forum, but I also see plenty of people with problems with their Kawasakis and Kohlers, as well. The Scag has made cutting my 2.5-acre yard almost fun, certainly not the burden it was with my Craftsman lawn tractor. It cut my mower time from almost four hours to an hour and 45 minutes. You can look at the components on the Scag and see they're built to last.
  10. Jeepster

    Jeepster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    After getting tired of my Cub Cadet 2130 taking about 1 1/2hr or so to mow about 1 acre of lawn. I bucked up, and now have a Hustler 48/19 kaw Fastrack. Mow time now is about 30min. I beat myself up over what mower was the best deal for me for the amount of grass I have to mow.
    They are all good.
    It all came down to local Dealer and price. $4750 + Tax. And I dont have to travel far for parts if I need them.
    $5000 seems to be the price point for a good quality High end residential/low end commercial mower.

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