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ZTR Questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 32fever, May 12, 2007.

  1. 32fever

    32fever LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    We bought a Cub ZTR a few years back. It's a 44" ZForce (not a Lowe's machine, we bought just before they went big box. Ours is the "semi-commercial" unit from a dealer that was over $4k MSRP.) It' a 20 hp Briggs & Strat.

    We absolutely are disappointed with this machine. First, our dealer is the WORST dealer in the USA. Their customer service skills are terrible. It was back for repairs many times and the way they treated us was unreal. They even hung up on my wife. So, we wound up taking a mower under warranty to a local small engine repair shop and PAID to get it fixed because they got it running correctly. So, just based on that, we're starting off poorly.

    Part of our problems are my stupidity. I thought a non-vacuum bagging system would work on a 44" deck. I was wrong. So, I'll never do that again. And, before anyone asks, yes, we're that anal. We bag 2 acres. Long story as to why, but we do.

    The mower has had endless problems and there are known issues with the Briggs motors used in the mowers.

    So, I"m searching for a realiable unit. And one that has a vacuum bagger option, no more than 48" deck to fit in areas we need it to, and smooth ride with reliability.

    I own a JD 2210 and absolutely LOVE JD and the service, but our local small engine repair that has taken care of us well also sells Hustler. Service is my #1 concern since our last issues.

    So, my question is, should we look at a JD or Hustler, and if so, what models would you suggest?

    I see there are now more JD ZTR mowers, but are these of any quality? It seems our Cub ZTR has pieces falling off as well, as part of what is mowed is pretty bumpy.

    To be honest, if money was no object, I'd buy a diesel JD ZTR, but we're just cutting a res lawn of 2 acres. I'd also leave the Cub at the end of the driveway for anyone to have. :)
  2. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    The fact is...there are good mowers and there are great mowers. Stay away from the new z from deere, it is a heap. My father has been a consumer products mechanic for JD going on 25+ years and does not recommend the new ones. As everyone knows, hustler builds one heck of a machine, but have you looked into a Grasshopper? Mine is 15 years old, has many hundreds of hours on it, has an unbeleivably easy power bagging system (don't even have to get off the mower to empty the hopper!) and is built like a tank. If you don't have a Grasshopper dealer around, go with the Hustler. My subs use Hustlers and like them a lot! It all boils down to personal preference. You can end up with a lemon in any brand you go with!:dizzy: Good luck to you.
  3. 32fever

    32fever LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Problem is, the Grasshopper dealer is the Cub dealer I purchased from. they sell Kubota, Cub, Grasshopper, White.

    I had thought about a Gravely back when I got the Cub. A friend of mine bought one and has been happy with it, but the dealer that sells the Hustlers will take mine as trade if I don't want to mess with selling it myself.
  4. 32fever

    32fever LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I will agree about the Lemon issue. But when the dealer cannot take care of it, that's when I get irritated. It's not too much to ask. Especially at the ticket prices of these machines. My JD dealer is 30 miles away. Great service and will come out and pick up the 2210 for simple things. And I'm just a little guy. They're servicing farm equipment there, but they treat me very well.

    Probably would look at a 717A JD

    How is the ride on a Hustler Mini Z? Do the flex forks help a lot? Anyone have the BAC VAC catcher?
  5. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    you cut 2 acres with a 48"?

  6. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    for the life of me i just dont understand why some people dont buy time tested machines from ferris scag toro exmark...bottom line is u get what u pay for. in this business u cant afford downtime.B & S is just that, B_ll Sh_t. JD should stick too farming equip. and stay outa lawn mowers.
  7. ToughAsStihl

    ToughAsStihl LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 124

    A family member has a new last year Zforce 44. We have about 45 hours. I do all the mowing with it. I use it on their land which is about 2 acres and it doesnt take very long. We havent had any problems. It seems to burn a little oil. So we have to take care of that. I dont know if the newer Zforces are better or if you got a lemon. The one we have is Kohler, which I guess is a lot better then B&S. When you buy equipment its not so much the color of the machine but how good the dealer is!
  8. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I agree the Briggs is a pile, and any John Deere CP mechanic will tell you that. But I will testify that the Kawi's and the old Onan's they use/used, are (as a rule of thumb), damn good motors, and if serviced well and regularly, will last a very long time.
  9. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    i can tell you my JD 717A is great.for them that say JD mower are no good must have never used one.i do have a great dealer and that helps!
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    You might consider lookin into the Dixon RAM MAG 44" ZTR ... this has a power bagging attachment available with it.

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