Your opinions of choice ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kpl272, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. kpl272

    kpl272 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    Hi, I'm new to this community, but not the industry. My company has used John Deere mowers for years. (tractors) Now I would like to explore off the turf so to speak. Over the years I've been intreaged by the cut of these ZTR's and feel my customers would love the cut too. Only thing I'm not sure which ones offer the best cut. To my knowledge, Ferris, Scag, Dixie Chopper & Exmark seem to catch my eyes & ears often. My question is this: to those who know the cuts of all listed above, which cuts and looks the best?
  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Well you need to pick what you like everybody will tell you something different you need demo mowers make your choice
    I run Dixie Chopper been owning and useing them since 1985 only brand I ever like I have demo many others and I never found one will out do a DC in my eyes
  3. LawnMan19

    LawnMan19 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,284

    Demo as many as you can then you can make your own decision of which one is best for you otherwise everybody will tell you something different.
  4. lifesgood14

    lifesgood14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I agree with the demo as many as you can and make your own decision for what you are using them for.

    I have used Ferris and Exmark.
    Ferris Pros:
    - its faster
    - will make a nice stripe pattern with the stripe kit on healthy lawns
    - the suspension offers a more comfortable ride
    - if your using the bagging unit the fan has PHENOMENAL suction
    Ferris Cons:
    - has a harder time with thicker grass and often needs to be gone over twice.
    - more expensive

    Exmark Pros:
    - It will create an even cut in almost any lawn condition
    - built like a tank
    - less expensive (than the ferris)
    Exmark Cons:
    - its slower
    - the bagging fan unit has terrible suction

    My conclusion:
    If you have to bag or if your cutting mostly healthy residential, acreage or even nice commercial lawns go for the ferris you won't be disapointed.
    However if you do alot of ugly commercial that just get mulched and may have to mow down a few jungles, then go with the exmark.

    Although in the end you have to make up your own mind, and it depends on what your willing to pay and what you want the machine to do for you.
  5. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    I've been researching this for the last four months as well and you may want to throw Hustler SZ, Toro, Gravely 400, and Husqvarna PZ and PZ/ZT in the mix. And there is always Bad Boy....not to complicate things further. After looking at and reading a lot, these IMO were the only other ones in my area, other than the ones you already listed, that looked to be in the same category. I would personally rate them in the order I listed them. I don't have a Grasshopper dealer but I've read some good reviews as well on them, esp. when it comes to bagging.

    Out of the ones you listed, I'd lean toward the Scag TT.

    Keep us posted on what you do. Inquiring minds want to know!:drinkup:
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,807

    Since you are familiar with Deere tractors, take a look at their ZTR's too. For all around, come what may mowing, it's gonna be hard to beat either the Scag Velocity deck, or the Deere 7 Iron. Both cut cleanly in all conditions, and both lay down nice stripes. The Deere MOD deck offers you the choice of mulching or side discharging just by moving a lever.

    The new Deere 900's are very good machines, and the Z700 series are darn good too, and a lot less money. I owned a Z720, and for most mowing situations, it is all anyone will need.

    Exmark gets lots of praise, but they aren't worth a crap cutting wet grass. They clump way too much. Around me they are way overpriced too, but they have been in the game a while now, and make a decent machine if you can avoid cutting wet grass with it.

    Ferris has the best ride, and cuts good too.

    Snapper Pro is a very underrated mower, and these days are awfully nice machines for the money.

    Gravely is making several very good machines too, and their new 400 series looks pretty promising.

    There are many, many good mowers out these days. You need to demo as many as you can and decide which one suits your needs the best.
  7. mow4cash

    mow4cash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Looking at the way the machine is built says alot and what engine options it has. I would look at the scag tt with velocity deck first because it makes alot of other mowers look underbuilt and not thought out. I've never heard anyone say a velocity deck cut bad. You got to try for yourself though.
  8. Aaronnc

    Aaronnc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7B
    Messages: 354

    It might not look the best, fastest, biggest gas tank, etc,etc..... but if quality of cut is of number #1 importance, then nothing beats a Walker. (Well, maybe a Locke Reel mower, but let's not split hairs.)

    While everyone will disagree, and I expect them too, here is how I would rank them (ZTR's):

    Cut Quality: (of course different grasses and blade combos and pitch can and will affect this.)

    1. Walker
    2. Scag/John Deere
    3. Exmark-Toro/Hustler/Dixie Chopper
    4. Gravely/Husqvarna-Dixon/Ferris-Snapper Pro/Grasshopper/Kubota
    5. Bobcat/Badboy/Wright

    Quality of Construction:

    1. Scag/Dixie-Chopper
    2. Exmark-Toro/John Deere/Hustler/Kubota/Wright
    3. Gravely/Husqvarna-Dixon/Ferris-Snapper Pro/Grasshopper/Walker
    4. Bobcat/Badboy


    1. John Deere
    2. The rest.........

    Now this is my opinion and my opinion only. My lawyers tell me that I have to admit of only having experience/owned Bobcat, John Deere, Husqvarna and Snapper Pro.
    The rest I have at least driven/cut with or completely made up out of my bunghole. I did not include Cub Cadet or Ariens, etc, etc..... because these are the ZTR companies I would actually look at and consider for purchase. I'd trade a brand new Cub Cadet for a case of beer and a #2 pencil any day of the week.

    If you don't like my list, then please forward all hate mail and rants to Sean Adams c/o Moose River Media.

    If you enjoyed this, come back at 10pm Rocky Mountain Time and I'll be reviewing and listing light beers, blade balancers, and make-up removers. Thank you, and have a great day.
  9. javelin377

    javelin377 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I really like my Grasshopper. They are made like a tank.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Nicely done! My hat's off to you sire.:drinkup: I'd say I'd agree with a lot of your listing placement except maybe on Quality of Construction. Dun dun dun.....I am bias, so lets get that out of the way right now but I think, actually let me back up, I know Hustler would have to bump out the two you incorrectly (probably due to the light beer review starting early.. or maybe the make up remover?) placed in first position. And John Deere the prettiest?? Only a mother could love that thing.

    We also need to grace us with your list onMPM (most productive mower). :rolleyes:

    What part of Rocky Mountain time is called home?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

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