Trying to by the correct ztr mower for my area

danburkhart

LawnSite Member
Location
Kentucky
I am a homeowner. I mow my yard, my moms yard and my mother in laws yard (total about 6 acres) weekly. I do have some hills on my property (roughly 15% to 20% hilly). I live in Southeastern Ky. and In the summer, you have heavy dew and usually a lot of weedy grass. I had a John Deere L120 and an Old MTD Garden tractor. I broke both of them this last summer. The deere's transmission went out from the hills and the old mtd finally just gave up the ghost. Usually I wait until after about 2 pm to mow and it will still be somewhat wet from heavy dew. The Deere's deck clogs like crazy. I have been looking at Hustler Fast Trak Super Duty and Scag Freedom z. I also looked at hustler X one and Scag Tiger Cat. The X one and Tiger cat are slightly higer than my budget but i need something that can handle hills and wet. I need input from knowledgeable pros. I can't go through another season trying to keep cookie cutter big box mowers glued together. Thanks
:confused:
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
You're the first person I have ever heard complain about a Deere deck clogging up that bad. They are famous for not doing so in wet conditions, or at least for not doing so better than most other brands. The blades that came in the L120's (I have quite a bit of saddle time on one) are multi purpose blades, and aren't the best for damp grass cutting. Just switching to a high lift would have made a huge difference, but since the trans is gone, I guess that's irrelevent now eh?

All the mowers you listed are great machines, but for damp conditions I would lean heavily toward the Scag and the Advantage deck. Also, don't overlook something like the Deere 645/655/665 series machines. They have 9 gauge decks (the vesion that Deere calls the High Capacity deck), and aren't quite as heavy duty as a true commercial deck, but they are much heavier than what you have been using, and are designed for the conditons you have ie; high blade speeds, large discharge openings etc. They are basically designed expressly for the large property/estate owner that doesn't mow for a living.

If you can afford the Tigercat, take a look at the Deere Z720. That's what I run, and I can tell you that they are a commercial mower (though Deere lists them as entry level commercial mowers or for the part timer pro, to help push their 900 series). I have cut some very wet grass and never had any clumping from the 7 Iron deck. On top of that, it is rare to ever see anything collect on the underside a 7 Iron deck.
 

SouthSide Cutter

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Washington In
Every mower I have run the decks clog some worse than others. And yes my Scag Velocity clogs and so does the 7Iron Deere, seen it. Your best bet is to buy a 425,445 or 455 John Deere. You can find them all over. They are a good tractor and will last years. Had several 318, 445 and 455 and never had any trouble. Should be able to find one around 2500-3500. JD dealer up here now has a 445 for 2500 with 606hrs.
 

dgfitz

LawnSite Member
Location
Martinez,GA
Riding Green is correct on those machine recomendations, Scags and
Deers have a reputation for cuttting in wet conditions and still leaving
a very nice cut.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
Every mower I have run the decks clog some worse than others. And yes my Scag Velocity clogs and so does the 7Iron Deere, seen it. Your best bet is to buy a 425,445 or 455 John Deere. You can find them all over. They are a good tractor and will last years. Had several 318, 445 and 455 and never had any trouble. Should be able to find one around 2500-3500. JD dealer up here now has a 445 for 2500 with 606hrs.
Maybe, but as I said, they are about the best that can be had in that department.

I agree with the 400 series if you don't mind staying with a tractor, and the445, or 455 would be the best choices here. I have owned a ton of Deere tractors including the 318 (too tight on leg room, not as heavy duty a deck as the 400 series have, but great tractors) and a few of the 445's. They may be just the ticket for you. They have an in the radiator transmission oil cooler to help keep the trans temps down for high draft situations like mowing hills, are much more stabil on a hill than any ZTR, and have diff locks to help out on a wet hill. Plus tha have power steering, and the 445/455 have very nice suspension under the seat.
 

metro36

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Long Island NY
If the freedom z fits your budget, I would try and demo that one. It has a farely low center of gravity so it does pretty well on hills. It is a pretty well built machine and they offer kawasaki engines. I would say a 52 or 61" freedom z with a kawi engine would be a pretty good fit. You dealer should be able to get you a demo to try out.
 

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