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Which Mower?

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by javabuddha, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. javabuddha

    javabuddha LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I live on approximately 2 acres. Before we bought it, the land was used as a hog farm so some of it is fairly bumpy. There are some trees on it as well as some open areas.

    I am 95% certain I am going to buy a Hustler mower and I'm pretty sure it will be a Mini FasTrak. Here's where I'm confused/indecisive though. I've called the three closest Hustler dealers to me (all within 20 miles) and two of the three say mowers with either the Kohler or Honda engines are great. The third said he wouldn't even sell me a mower with a Kohler because they aren't as good as the Honda, etc... He wouldn't even quote me a price for one with the Kohler.

    I've been told that this may really be because he isn't set up to deal with repairing Kohler engines. ordering parts, etc...

    After reading all I could for the past two weeks I think I've settled on the Mini FasTrak with the 42" deck and the 17HP Kohler. However, I still have some lingering doubts. I've received quotes from two dealers of $3700 for this mower. And I've been quoted $4200 for the Honda-based mower with a set of the flex forks thrown in. So there is a decent spread in costs between the two mowers. And, to complicate matters Hustler is running what seems like a great deal (to me anyway) on the FasTrak's with the Kawasaki (or Honda) engine and the 48" deck. I was quoted $4799 for one of them. Plus they have an extra year of warranty.

    - Is it worth the extra $1100 to get the FasTrak with the Kawasaki (or Honda) engine? I noticed that the FasTrak has commercial hydro-gears on it too. Do these perform better? Last longer? All of the above?

    - Is it worth the extra $500 to get the Honda engine over the Kohler?

    - All things being equal (maintenance-wise) is there any difference in the life expectancy of the three engines? Or between the Mini FasTrak and the FasTrak?

    - The Kohler is a single cylinder engine whereas the Honda is a twin cylinder. Does that make any difference?

    If you can't tell I'm new to the concept of buying a quality mower and there's a whole bunch I don't know. I do appreciate that you even read this far into my posting. A lot of what I'm asking requires opinions for answers but any opinions/wisdom/thoughts you have on any of this will be greatly appreciated.

  2. mowerconsultant

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

    You would be getting a better engine and hydros if you go with the FasTrak series with a Kawasaki or Honda.
    You could also get the better Honda engine on the Mini FasTrak.
    They will both handle your mowing with ease.
    In my opinion it is worth every dollar when upgrading to a v-twin engine such as the Honda or Kawasaki.
    As to twin vs single, big difference, single cylinder lugging torque adn power vs a smoother running v-twin, it is also quieter.
    Life expectancy in your mowing situation is going to be about the same, 2 acres once a week.... you may get a longer life out of the FasTrak series if your mowing any type of slope or hills.
    You mention bumpy property.... the FasTrak with its larger tires and wider stance may be a better choice for you.
    Hope this helps.

  3. RobinM

    RobinM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I've had my FasTrak 54" w/Honda 20 for two weeks and couldn't be happier. My back yard is one and a half acres of lumpy, bumpy "reclaimed" land. I don't run at full speed and it takes about an hour to mow, including around the house, garage and woodshed.

    The front yard is almost an acre of slopes, trees, gardens and driveway..... it takes about 45 minutes.

    I had the flex forks and hour meter installed. The flex forks take a lot of the jarring out of lumps in the lawn..... saves me and the mower some discomfort.

    I've also used it to pull the broadcast spreader...... gotta fertilize so the grass will grow so I can mow more. :)

    I considered the smaller deck (48") but really wanted the 4.5" trim capacity of the 54" deck.

    We've never had a problem with any Honda engine we've owned, so that choice was simple.

    Hope this helps with your decision.

    Happy mowing.
  4. Quiky One

    Quiky One LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I got the Mini fastrak with the 16 HP honda, mulch kit, and hour meter for $4100 out the door. Maybe you should talk them down a bit.
  5. javabuddha

    javabuddha LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for your responses. I went and checked out the Hustler mini FasTrak and the FasTrak two Saturdays ago. I liked what I saw. I was quoted $3700 for the 42" with the Kohler engine and $4200 for the Honda engine.

    This past week I also checked out the Woods CZ series, the Everride Hornet and the Bush Hogs.

    The Woods has a 42" deck with a 19HP Kawasaki engine. I was quoted $4750 for it.

    The Everride Hornet has a 48" deck and a 19HP Kawasaki engine for around $5500.

    The Bush Hog I looked at has a 44" deck with a 20HP Kohler (Model ES2044). The dealer is asking $4600 for the Bush Hog.

    The Woods dealer is far from my house (about 45 miles). The Hustler dealer is about 20 miles and the Everride/Bush Hog dealer is the local dealer.

    I don't view the driving distances as too much of a disqualifier since I would only be driving it at most (hopefully) once or twice a year for normal preventative maintenance.

    I'm leaning towards the Everride right now. It just felt better to me. Of course it is significantly more expensive than the mini FasTrak and a good deal more than the FasTrak and Bush Hog. But from what I saw and everything I've been able to read it seems like the Everride is the best deal for me.

    Any one have any experience with the Everride Hornet?
  6. mowerconsultant

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

    Why not compare a 52" Mini Z to the Everide?
    I would also look into the possibility of demoing them, your not going to be disappointed in the Hustler product, we have been building them strong and right for over 42 years, not to many companies can say that!

  7. javabuddha

    javabuddha LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I know I'm probably sounding like I have multiple personalities here but I have put the Hustlers back on the table.

    One main reason is that there are several Hustler dealers in my area while there is only one Everrride dealer. Not only that I cannot take advantage of the good financing from Everride because this dealer doesn't accept the Yard Card.

    I will check into the Mini Z. For some reason I thought they were starting in the $7500 range which is definitely more than I want to spend.

    PJ, you don't by chance happen to know what the next round of financing packages are going to look like do you? I see the current offers end here in a few weeks.

    The current ones are ok with the low payments for 24 months but its hard for me to wrap my head around what I'm really paying in that setup.

    One other thing I noticed about the FasTraks (and I hope I'm not sounding too ignorant here) is the fuses appear to be exposed just under the right arm rest. Isn't there a chance of snapping these off if you were to slip when standing up, etc...?

    As I said before I do like the Hustlers and I still may get one.
  8. javabuddha

    javabuddha LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I just read back through this thread and I realized I never thanked everyone for their input.

    Well, thanks guys. I'm new to real mowers and your opinions are helping me feel like I'm making a more informed choice.
  9. Quiky One

    Quiky One LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    No it will be very unlikely to break off a fuse. If you break one of those off, you will have bigger issues than just a fuse.
  10. mowerconsultant

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

    Right now you can get a Mini Z 52" with a Kawasaki for $6,199.00 on special promo, this price is only good until the end of the month.
    I don't have any information on new financing, those decisions are made right at the end of the month.
    Your not going to break off any fuses, I have never seen or heard of this happening and we have put them in that location since 1999.


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