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What to look at in a used ZTM

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by BSP, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. BSP

    BSP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    My 1st post.
    I am pretty well decided on either a used Hustler FT or Toro Z Master.
    48 to 52 is preferred. Kawa or Hondas. One with less than 2-300 hours.
    I'm willing to spend around $4000 and have found a few possibilities.
    Mainly looking through Craigslist in NC and other nearby states.
    What I need to know is what to look for when buying a used machine.

    How does one know it has been serviced regularly? What are the critical points to go over before buying? What overall conditions should I look for?
    I know I don't want one beat all up and have to rebuild it as soon as i get it.
    But I don't want to buy a new one either.

    Homeowner use only, 1 1/2 ac. Parked in a shed.
    Not counting maintenance & repairs I am looking for the last mower I will ever buy and expecting around 40 hours a year use.
    Is this unreasonable?
    Any help or ideas?
  2. BSP

    BSP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Ok, well 3 days on the board and currently 81 views and 0 replies.
    I will have to guess from this that I am on my own and buying used is a crap shoot and I get what I get. Ok.
  3. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Like I always say, when you are looking at used equipment you just know when you see something that is used and abused and something that has been taken care of. But also just because something looks abused does not mean that it has not been taken care of either. Service records would be the best evidence. Other than that, you just have to go over the machine well. If you are unsure, hire someone that has the experience to go with you if you find a machine you like. You are looking for clean oil, clean filters, good spindles, no smoke or oil leaks from the engine. Run the machine and check that the hydro's are functioning properly. Those are some of the basic rules.

    One thing to remember is the Hustler Fastrak is a homeowner/semi commercial mower, so you don't want something with a load of hours. Most likely if you find one it will be a homeowner owned machine. If you go with a commercial grade mower like the Z master, you can certainly look at something with 800-1000 hours and still have plenty of life left in it. If you find something, go ahead and post in here and somebody will be sure to help you out.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  4. BSP

    BSP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks Capemay
  5. IS500Z

    IS500Z LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I would echo the above. I am not a big fan of buying used because there is usually so little documentation of what maintenance the machine has seen. You might consider looking at what used equipment is available at your local dealers. At least you would have a place to go back to if you have after sales problems. Also we are approaching the end of the season for the most part and you might be able to pick up a good deal on a new machine with a little patience and work. Best of luck.
  6. BSP

    BSP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks IS500Z.
    I have found a Big Dog R series for $4700 new I am leaning towards. I know its basicly a Hustler by Excel so I'm thinking it will be a good one. I'll see if I can talk them down a bit.
    I will also look at the bad boy but so far it has not gotten enough good reviews to suit me.
  7. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Don't look to get that much lower. Usually pretty firm on the price.

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