Which model to buy

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Trout Bum, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Trout Bum

    Trout Bum LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 3

    I have read about all I can about a ZTR for home use, understood you can always do more research but there comes a time when the paralysis has to be kicked. I could use a little help from you good folks who have the experience; I have none with a ZTR. I have a 3ac home, probably mowing
    1 1/4+ with many obstacles, trees, gardens, stone walls, pool a few grade changes but no big hills, decent lawn quality throughout. I have narrowed my brand to Bob-Cat because of dealer quality, proximity and price. My current landscaper sits for just about an hour using a ZTR w/52 inch deck while two guys trim. I always cut my prior lawns but sold my tractors with the old house and I thought I might as well buy a mower this time instead of a tractor that mows (had a New Holland GT and Kubota B series CUT). It is time I go back to cutting myself. At nearly a 100 bucks a cut the mower will pay for itself with my free labor.
    My questions are:
    1, does a larger tire size cause more or less turf damage, i.e.: 20 inch or 23 inch on the same weight mower. I read a larger tire causes less potential damage if driven the same way.
    2, is there a difference in trimming around trees and walls if you use a larger deck? Like a 48 to 52?

    Now for the mower question:
    The Bob-Cat Fast Cat and Fast Cat Pro are where I am leaning but I cannot decide between these two models. Do you think there is any considerable benefit to spending additional $ for the PRO model: both model mowers I am looking at have 52 inch decks.

    Here are a few of their stats:
    Fast Cat Fast Cat Pro
    Drive ZT-3100 ZT-3400
    Pumps 10cc 12cc
    Tires 20 in 23 in
    Kawi FX651V, 22HP FX691V, 24HP
    Deck Drive 125 pound 175 pound both Warner clutch
    Seat Std seat Premium suspension seat w/elastameric suspension
    Weight is nearly the same for both models.

    The Fast Cat PRO will cost $600 more than the Fast Cat. Clearly the PRO model has better everything but I started out wanting to keep the budget at $5K and I am up to 6K now, and another 600 more if I go for the PRO. IMO this site does not have much posting action with Bob-Cats but all of the components on their mower are all top notch components that I have seen many good comments about on this site, albeit on other brands.

    Thanks for any comments and opinions.
  2. Bigfish8

    Bigfish8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I believe you should factor in how long you plan to keep the mower as part of your purchase decision. I own a Gravely Compact Pro 34 and a Toro Z500 -52 for my two homes. Considering the size of your property you will never be sorry for purchasing a 52" deck versus a 48" deck. Larger tires will definitely do less damage, especially on wet, soft ground.

    You did not take about the spindles on both mowers. Typically, pro models have better spindles.

    Good luck on your decision.
  3. Trout Bum

    Trout Bum LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the response. The purchase will be very long term and I am thinking the 52 is the better choice as well.
  4. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I just curious if you worded the mowers right. There is the Fastcat RZ, Fastcat Pro, Pro SE and the the Procat. I believe you are comparing the Fastcat Pro and Procat?

    If you are looking at the Fastcat pro, I would look no further than that. The Fastcat pro is more than well equipped to cut an acre. You could even look into the Fastcat RZ. As Always, if you can lay down the cash, more never hurts. IMO, I would save the $600. Honestly, you really don't need ZT3400's. You said you have 3acres and if you will be cutting more down the road, the upgrade would be something to think about.

    As far as turf damage, things do factor in like your grass type, soil and skills. Most of the time it is not the tires, but the weight of the machine and driving skills. A big heavy machine on soft soil would most likely cause damage. You will be fine! Takes awhile to get your turns down, in the mean time you can always do three point turns till you get comfy. I know in the ZTR thread at the top of the page has some info on the Procat 52" somewhere in there. If you can dig it up, maybe send a PM and see how he is making out with his.
  5. Trout Bum

    Trout Bum LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 3

    I did confuse it the way I wrote the post...both are Fastcat Pro's, the lesser model is a straight Fastcat Pro with a 52" deck and the other is the Fastcat Pro52, also with a 52" deck. Neither was the RZ.
  6. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

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