1. Ask the Expert TODAY!
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Gather your top questions about fertilization and nutrient management and join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental TODAY at 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Tractors vs ZTR's

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by Darryll, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Darryll

    Darryll LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 33

    Have about 2 acres to mow. House sits on a 15 -20 degree slope. At bottom of the hill in front is terrain where there are few trees to mow around. Backyard is wide open and with a slight slope but flatens out like a football field w/no trees. Considering purchasing either Simplicity's Regent w/16 HP Kohler Command 2 cylinder44" deck tractor or one of the following ZTR's: Excel Huster Fastrak w/16 or 18 HP OHV 2 cylinder 44" or Toro's Timecutter Z w/17 HP Kohler OHV engine. Understand that Honda engine parts and service may cost more than other engines. Concerned about parts and service on Hustler Fastrak given there is only 1 authorized dealer near me. All other mower shops service Toro, Snapper, Exmark. Also could I attach a broadcast spreader, dethatchr, aerator to the rear of ZTR's. Which engine and machine should I purchase? Only will be using for my 2 acres lot. Looking for a well built and quality machine that will last 12 or more years with having to do little maintanence other changing oil, filter, belts. Any comments would be helpful and appreciated.
  2. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,773

    i would go with the Hustler Fastrak Z, if you have any questions about it go to the Hustler Forum here:)
  3. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Go with a ZTR over a tractor, and yes, you can get spreader, sprayer, dethatcher, aerator attachments for ZTR (some are front mount rather than rear). With that amount of mowing if you buy a commercial machine you should never have to buy another.

    Consider the Toro Z100 series over the timecutter Z, the Timecutter is a homeowner machine, the Z100 is the lower end commercial.
  4. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    i personally couldnt imagine going out and buying a $6k machine to mow just my own yard. why not just go and get a good used heavy duty garden tractor for $1k? for $3k u can go and get a top of the line heavy duty garden tractor with a deck bigger then 44'' new. i guarentee for $2k u can get a perfect used 16 hp tractor (good brand name) and a few of the attachments u want.
  5. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    I agree with the gentleman about the used market, but if you want new, Hustler makes the strongest deck. I slid down a bank on (wet grass) and smashed into a bolder. Steep bank, no dent. When I say no dent, I mean nothing. If it were a Kuboto 7 guage stamped deck, I would be banging it back out.

    Also check out the Hustler "Short Cut" with upper deck. Very compact and in the fall the upperdeck configutration powders every leaf.
    With the upper desk you choose how many mulching blades you want in order of 2,4,6or ultra smashing 8 blades. These upperdeck blades are on top or the three main blades. I don't think the upper deck will give you a better grass cut but it will suck up every leaf without going thru the seasonal switch over to a side mounted leaf motor. The upper deck is a permanent fixture on top of the main deck and shares the 25 hp Kohler or 23Kaw. with the main blades.

    Most people buy their Hustler with a Kaw/motor. I went Kohler 25hp. Nothing wrong with the Kaw. but the Kohler starts better in the cold, I like hydrolic lifters because I'm lazy and Kaw. wants you to take the heads off every 350 hours to clean the ports. Most people ignor the 350 hrs head cleaning and run their Kaw's just fine and the cold weather issue is a minor. It just bothers me that the 350 hours head clean is in the dealers service book. I don't know if they are serious or not or if this is a throw back to the leaded gas days that some Kaw. Tec forgot to take out of the book. I know I would not go thru that shi*. Final reason, I can buy Kohler parts easier than Kaw. and calling a Kohler Tec on the phone is also much easier.
  6. the point man

    the point man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    If $$$ isn't a concern, then the ZTR is the way to go. They're
    faster, maybe safer and look much cooler. But, using the example
    of a John Deere LX266 tractor with a Kohler 16-hp engine and
    48" deck, you can buy two of them for about the same price as a
    commercial ZTR. I'm speaking in generalizations, of course.
    Another option, as previously mentioned, is the Toro TimeCutter
    homeowner-model ZTR.
  7. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    I have the 17-44 Timecutter Z. It has about 100 hours on it, and I purchased it earlier this year. Here is my perspective on it-

    If you have more than 10 lawns to mow per week don't even think about it. You would spend more time running back and forth cleaning out the underside of the deck than you will actually mowing. It has an OK cut at full speed if the underside of the deck has no buildup. I f it does, then you have to go pretty slow to do a good job. I truly believe this is a great residential or light commercial grade machine. But, if you live on a place like Vermont with very few flat lawns, you would be better off with a walk-behind. The Timecutter does not have very good hillside stability or ZTR traction, and whenever you do a 180 degree turn you will scuff up the lawn most of the time, and if it's wet then you are gonna make a big mess. i am probably gonna sell this thing and get a good wB next season b/c i am tired of it's marginal commercial performance.

    Overall, if you are a homeowner and have a big lawn, the Timecutter would work fine. But if you are gonna mow commercially, then do yourself a favor and get the Fastrak.

Share This Page