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ZTR for Motorcycle injured Homeowner ( 2006 Z-Force 44 )

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Re-Ignition, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Re-Ignition

    Re-Ignition LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    :usflag: Hello all...

    Prior to 08/10/2003 I was a very active triathlete working full time as a Police Officer... then on the above date I was hit by an on-coming vehicle. Split my pelvis and Triumph 955i SpeedTriple in half. The accident left me with a fused right knee, not much movement in my ankles, and numbness in my feet. I have to use two cains to walk. Everything else if fine.

    So after a Year in the Hospital and year watching my kids screw up the lawn I've decided to purchase a rider. My lawn is only a 1/2 acre + a little bordering town land, I may do my parents lawn from time to time at 1 acre... that's about it. I have tons and tons of leaves too from a few very large Maples on the edges of the property.

    My Front Yard is level and the back yard is level near the house and then gently slopes down to another level spot.
    So with walking out of the question my Dad offered me his 1975 Dynamark which actually still runs but I can't operate foot pedals reliably on the left... none on the right. I was using a Honda WB prior to the accident but that's no longer an option.

    ...which brings me to the closest Servicing Power Equipment Dealer, they carry Toro, eXmark, and Cub Cadet.

    The Toro Time-Cutter Z is too small for my legs (I'm 6'2") but the fused knee puts the back of my leg on top of the black foot rest with my foot hanging off the front of the frame. The Seat was all the way back too. The ZX was just as bad.

    The eXmark Lazer Z CT is too expensive... looks bigger (and solid) the smallest is a 48" deck.

    The Cub Cadet fits me just right... my right knee bends just enough to get my entire foot on the foot rest. The quality is up from the Home depot models and it has IZT over the ezt systems on the RZT 50 and Time-cutter. Plus the 2006 Z-Force 44 has the 20hp kohler command engine and some other upgrades over the big chain versions. Comes with a 2 Yr warranty and the dealer will extend bumper to bumper to 3 years if I purchase 2 annual services in advance.

    This Cub dealer also warranties the drive train for life with annual services at $250 per year which I'm thinking about since so many people on this site seem dislike MTD/Cub, maybe justifiably so based on personal experience or a little hype.

    There's an Ariens dealer about 40 minutes away... I have to check the leg room on thier ZTR. The Cub guy is 10 minutes away.

    Lastly; Consumer reports rates the '05 Z-Force second to the 1st place snapper. The Toro was dead last and Ariens 2nd to last. Toro had the worst reliability rating but I know consumer reports may not be the best test source. I wish John Deere made a consumer ZTR.

    I personally think the Z-Force 44 is over kill for a 1/2 acre... but I want to get back in the yard to help with the family work load, grass, leaves, just being outside...even if I'm done in 10 minutes. I don't mean to sound "leading" (towards Cub), but my physical challenges are limiting my choices... any additional advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Glad you survived!

    I personally don't put much faith in Consumer Reports at all. They typically don't evaluate high-end equipment of any type.

    That said, what kind of price range are you looking at?
  3. Re-Ignition

    Re-Ignition LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Thanks. Originally $2500 - $3000, but my income tax return started to look a little better so I went up to $3500. A lot of money for 1/2 acre but it's more than just a lawn mower for me, it's a way back in the yard so I feel it's worth it.

    I found a local Hustler dealer today and gave him a call... They won't have any '06's in for a couple of weeks. I'll have to try one for fit. If there's anyone out there using one that's relatively tall 6'1+ let me know. thanks all.
  4. Dixie Rob

    Dixie Rob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    You defiantly do NOT want a Dixie Chopper. The deck raise/lower is controlled by your right foot!

    Just a heads up buddy, and glad to hear things are getting better for ya!
  5. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    hey re-i,
    sorry about the injury. that's why i no longer (well, very, very rarely) ride my dual purpose bike on the street. there are just too many careless drivers. i already have a plate and 14 screws in my leg/ankle from a racquetball injury that resulted in a dislocated foot.
    as for the mower, i have a hustler mini fasttrak and i am 6'4". i have about the same size yard. the machine was a little tight for me, but the mower fit my needs so well, otherwise. i looked at homeowner models from cub, toro, dixon, snapper, etc....they all were snug. a simple fix for the hustler was to have the slots in the base that the seat attaches to, lengthened. this can add about 2-3" of additional seat travel. it is a simple job with a grinder. you could also drill 4 holes to move the seat backwards. there are also extensions available for the control sticks that will get them a few inches higher. they are about $40. i was going to buy a set until i figured out that i could do the grinding job, myself.
    the mini fasttrak will fit your budget. hustler also makes a fasttrak. i'm not sure if the frame is any larger. the hustler homeowner's have the best warranty in the business. check them out closley!
    email pj on the hustler forum. he is always willing to research things if he doesn't know the answer.

    oops, i just noted the injury is to your right knee. the deck height adjustment is on the right side on most ztr mowers. one suggestion is to look at some of the homeowner mowers from dixon. some of their models raise and lower the deck with a hand control. my dad has had a dixon since 2000 and it has been trouble free. good luck and best wishes.
    btw, that was an awfully nice bike that was destroyed.
  6. Re-Ignition

    Re-Ignition LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Thanks. I mentioned that to my wife about another brand (Hustler?) with a similar set up. She said that she or one of the kids could set the deck for me... which is an option. Ultimately the best situation is mower I could use all the features without assistance, but if we find something real nice that may require a little help I may consider it. Real nice at the right price.
  7. moss2940

    moss2940 LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 8

    I have a Hustler now, it is a nice mower.
    What I was going to mention was a Snapper that I owned before the Hustler.
    It was not a commercial grade machine by any measure. But it might be something to consider. It had a joystick for steering control and the height adjustment was a lever under the seat.
    I mowed a one acre lot with it for 3 years and it never gave me any trouble.
    The advantage for you might be it is wide open as far as where your legs are placed and the deck adjustment was easy and did not require using your legs. I am 6'4", it had plenty of leg room.
    I think they make a commercial grade version of it also. Another brand that uses the joy stick is Country Clipper.
    You may not like either of them but an alternative for you to think about and look at.
  8. Re-Ignition

    Re-Ignition LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Thanks Moss... I didn't see the joystick version on the snapper website, but the prices seem "OK". A wide-open foot rest area sounds nice.

    -It's great to hear from some taller guys using these machines. I think even if my right knee wasn't limited to 30 deg. bend +/-... some of these ZTR's would still be tight.

    Connecticut got 7" of snow last night so I'm about six weeks or so away from my first cut.
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    The foot operated deck lift is not a bad thing, being a commercial user we use it all the time but a homeowner could set it one time and never touch it again...just a thought.
  10. Re-Ignition

    Re-Ignition LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Thanks... I think thats the way I'm going to go. I tried it this past saturday standing up and it was't bad at all. Looks like I may get the Fastrak... drill some new holes and put the seat allll the way back.

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