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Which Machine to Buy [Long Post]

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by BEAR5614, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. BEAR5614

    BEAR5614 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Looking for your experienced opinions for my situation:

    I have been mowing my lawn with a $2,000 lawn tractor with a 48” deck – which takes over 5+ hours each week, and I’m considering upgrading to a ZTR.
    The lawn is:
    - 3+ acres to mow
    - Generally smooth and flat, but with some areas bumpy enough to require slowing down forward speed
    - A few thick & heavy areas – up to 8”+ high around the edges
    - No hills
    - Need to maneuver around some trees and flower beds, but the majority of the lawn is wide areas with long runs.
    - No bagging

    I have shopped around quite a bit, and have realized that upgrading to a good ZTR may possibly cost $7,000 +/-. Since the jump in investment [from $2,000 to $7,000 +/-] is substantial, whatever I buy should be able to:
    - Reduce the mowing time by at least half [or more]
    - Be a very reliable machine
    - Be a very durable machine
    - Handle the bumpy areas easily
    - Be comfortable to use
    - Have a resale value and market 5+ years in the future. [Also, I will probably never use the machine more than 100 Hrs. each year].

    I don’t want to buy the wrong machine or configuration, so here are the questions:
    -Is it really necessary to spend approx. $7,000 +/- for a good, reliable, re-salable ZTR?
    -If so, which machine would you recommend – the Hustler FasTrack or the Mini Z [or other suggestions]?
    -Regarding configuration – would a 52” deck, be adequate?
    -Would a Honda 24 HP be overkill, or would a Kohler 20 HP do just as well? [Price difference of $650]
    -Dealer price for a Hustler Mini Z, 52” Deck & Honda 24 HP = $7,150 & for a Kohler 20 HP = $6,450. Are these prices reasonable? In this area of PA [South of Allentown] dealers are +/- $75 of these quotes].
    -Are the front Flex Forks worth getting?
    -Is it worth it to also upgrade the seat, or are the standard seats sufficient?
    -Is there any other information I should be considering?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    Spending 7k will get you a very nice mower, may not be totally necessary though.
    You can get into the 20/52 Fastrak and it will fit your needs excellent.
    I would outfit it with the optional seat springs and Flex Forks when they come out.
    You can also get into the Mini Z 19/52 or 20/52 easily with the Flex Forks.
    If you have been mowing with the 48" the 52" will work nicely, as long as you don't have a issue with the extra width in any areas of your yard or in storing the mower.
    The 24hp Honda is a nice choice also, if you have the budget for the Mini Z, I would look at it also.
    If you go Mini Z I would put a suspension seat on it or at least the seat springs off the FasTrak, those and Flex Forks will smooth out your ride considerably.
    Sounds like you have the budget to go with a Mini Z of your choice, if you want to save a few bucks I would seriously look at the 20/52 FasTrak also, it is built for your exact application.


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