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Ztr selection question...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jon1029, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Jon1029

    Jon1029 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi all,

    I made a quick post earlier about a simplicity. I have a little more time now, and would like to get opinions.

    Here is my situation...

    I currently own a Swisher ZTR 20hp briggs/50" deck. It takes me 3 hours to mow my 2 and a half acres. deck belt broke, had to wait on Tractor supply to special order the belt. Had a friend that is in the lawn care business come over and mow my yard. he has a Bobcat 19hp Kaw./52" deck. Took him 1 hour to mow...1 HOUR!!! And he said it could be done faster.
    Ok, now, I have commitments from my three neighbors (which are all family), to let me mow thier yards thru next year. All together, I am looking a approximately 8 acres. Right now, I am thinking about buying the Bobcat 19hp Kaw/52 inch. I am willing to spend $7000. Local dealer priced the Bobcat at $6900 plus tax. These yards are mostly flat with two main inclines, that the swisher doesn't have any problem with.
    I had to have my friend come and mow for me again yesterday, this time I had him mow all 8 acres as a test. He did it in 4 hours.
    I will be paid $125 to mow these yards, so I figure that by the end of next year the mower will be paid off. And, I will only be sacrificing one extra hour a week. I think this is a good deal for me.

    My problem is that there are too many mowers out there to choose from. I need help. Any other suggestions other than the Bobcat for my situation? I am confident about the Bobcat, but would be really happy to find a comparable machine for less money. Time, quality of cut, dependability are my main concerns as of now.

  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Ok Jon, I work for a commercial lawn & garden Dealership,Over the past 14 years we have sold many brands. Three years ago we took on the Dixie Chopper (Worlds Fastest Lawn Mower) And they earned the right to write it on the fenders! If you think that bobcat is something Demo one of these :)
    You can get a full fledged commercial Chopper with a 25hp Kohler and 50" or 60" deck for under 7000.
    The nicest thing about them is they hardly ever break down,Out of the hundred or so we have sold I'll bet I havn't worked on 6 Or 8 and was only minor repairs. They are also easy to replace belts on, One of the first units we sold is still going on the orginal belts and he mows commercial and has me do all his general maintance.
    I would have in the shop 2 or 3 of the other brands a week,Sence we took the Chopper line I feel like I'm on vacation every week!
    Just test Ride one and I'll bet ya buy it !
  3. ZH Turf Man

    ZH Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    You might want to try a Ferris, tough mowers with a great ride. The Ferris IS 3000 with four wheel independent suspension should be in your price range. They come with a 27 or 25 hp. Kohler engine and 61 inch deck. The Ferris IS 1500 with the 25 hp Kawasaki and 52 in deck sells for around $6000.
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I'm not going to knock the Ferris because I dont know much about them,The suspension may give you a great ride but thats just more wear parts down the road isn't it ?
    The Chopper with the large low pressure tires give a great ride also with less parts to wear out down the road.
  5. ZH Turf Man

    ZH Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Yes, you're right, it's best not to knock something that you don't know much about. I'm sure the Chopper is a great machine and you should know since you service them. Jon wanted comments on different mowers and I gave him another choice to think about. As far as the suspension is concerned, should a car be without a suspension because there are more parts to wear out? Why ride on some bumpy rough mower when you don't have to?
  6. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Sorry didn't mean to step on any toes,I was hoping to hear something like;
    I've owned mine for 5yrs. now and it still rides super and everything is holding up great.
    Just for the heck of it I'm gonna go demo one and check it out,It just may be a nicer unit.
  7. ZH Turf Man

    ZH Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Yes, I'm sorry also, didn't mean to come across so strong with my response. When you reach a certain level of quality in the commercial mowers they, at least on the surface, start to resemble each other as far as weight, deck construction, engine options, wheel pumps and motors, etc. I'm sure then it's the little things that some companies use or don't use that start to count.
  8. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I couldn't have said that better Myself !
    See Ya Around.
  9. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138


    Fact is you have a lot of good choices in the $7K range. Any full commercial mower is going to run rings around that Swisher. If you are committed to mowing 8 acres I would suggest getting the largest deck you can afford. I use a 72" deck on my 2 acre yard with lots of obstacles and it takes me 45 minutes to cut.

    SCAG POWER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Well down in this neck of the woods the most widley used mower is are between JohnDeere Scag, or exmark,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. In this one area that i mow in just about all you see is JohnDeere Ztrs, with Scag walk behinds.

    I would go and see what the Deere has to offier in the size you are looking for check out the 737 nice Ztrak, I run a 727 A 23 hp 54 deck cut 3 acers in about 2.0 hours

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