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ZTR Selection

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JGoodish, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. JGoodish

    JGoodish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I've searched the forums and talked to the local dealers, and I've narrowed my selection down to the following:

    Ferris 1500Z 52"/25Kaw @ $7200
    Scag Tiger Cub 48"/19Kaw $ $7300
    Ferris 2000Z 52"/25Kaw @ $8000
    Toro Z558 (74271) 52"TF/28Kaw @ $8400

    I am not a commercial operator, but this will be for my approximately 1.5 acre residential lot. Some sloping, but nothing steep. Would probably prefer to mulch, and don't necessarily care about striping. I presently spend 4-5 hours per week behind by 21" WB mowing my lot, and I have to cut this time down significantly.

    The Ferris and Toro dealer is the same guy, and is about 20 minutes away. The Scag dealer is about 1 hour away. I am somewhat nervous that the Scag 48/19Kaw may be a little underpowered, especially while mulching the thick, damp stuff that I seem to have.

    My three criteria are:

    1 -- Quality of cut (mulch)
    2 -- Time reduction (1-2 hours max)
    3 -- Durability

    I don't want to go nuts and buy a machine that is way more than I need, though I realize that all of the above probably fall into that category. However, cheaper consumer-focused units probably won't do, because I suspect that they will either sacrifice cut quality, durability, or both.

  2. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Welcome to Lawnsite:waving: If you do a search on all your questions I'm sure you will find the answer your looking for. If you still have questions I'm sure a lot of people will help you out.
  3. JGoodish

    JGoodish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Well, I've done a search. Lots of searches. And there are lots of opinions. However, everyone's situation is different, and I am looking for guidance on my particular situation.

  4. lawn masters2006

    lawn masters2006 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I Would Go W A Toro W A Kolher Motor
  5. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Your going to get a different response anyway you put it:)
  6. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    My opinion....Kawasaki is better than Kohler. More horsepower is better unless you cut nothing tall, lush, and wet. Go with a brand that is serviced by more than one dealer in your area....nothing like buying a piece of equipment then finding out "we dont deal with them anymore...":usflag:
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    My personal opinion is that all of those mowers are overkill if you're only cutting 1.5 acres once a week. Sort of a waste of money but it's your money and with that small amount of operation, the mower will probably out live YOU, lol.

    If you're set on those choices, I'd probably go with one of the first two.

    But based on your criteria, my opinion is that the Toro will have the best cut and be allow you to get it done quickest.
  8. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    I dont want to put more confusion into your head, but why not consider a walk behind? Toro makes a great walk behind mower and you can put a sulky or pro slide on it and you wont have to walk. It would be half the price. Your talking about not wanting overkill. I think 7 or 8K for a mower to mow 1.5 acres once a week is overkill.

    I would go with the 1500z from the choices you gave us. Decent engine hp and $1,200 less than the most expensive of the choices.

    What ever you choose, let us know what you bought and why. It helps out the next guy with your situation. Happy mowing:)
  9. JGoodish

    JGoodish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    No doubt that they're all overkill for the ground that I have now, but part of my desire for a "lifetime machine" is that I do not want to go shopping again in 5 years because my cheapo lawn tractor (or ZTR) is having problems. I've concluded that the only way to really avoid that, and have a good cut, is to go commercial.

    As for the frequency of cut, we get enough rain around here that I'll probably have to cut multiple times a week if I want to mulch, or at least cut it twice one time a week. Right now, I'm stuck bagging it with the 21" Ariens WB because it's too thick and tall by the weekend, and I don't have the 3 hours or so during the week that it takes to mow to keep ahead of it.

    In reality, I could probably do well with a garden tractor--and I did consider a Kubota Diesel garden tractor--but I really don't have much use for a tractor outside of mowing, and I'm not sure that a tractor would get me to the under 1-1.5 hour mark, but maybe it would. All I know is that my neighbors all have the cheapo JD lawn tractors, and they don't race around on them, but the cut is absolutely horrible.

  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I see where you're coming from with the durability thing. Also consider that there are "mid grade" Zs which are not the most desireable for commercial work but would hold up forever with a residential application once a week. Scag's Freedom Z comes to mind...

    I agree with Uranus on the walk-behind. Of course, I don't know your age or physical condition either. Do you want to walk or not? You can always put a sulky behind the walk behind so you don't have to walk and they do much better on slopes. You'll save $, less maintenance and it will last as long as a ZTR.

    FYI, with my Turf Tracer I can cut a 1-acre property in approximately 45-50 minutes. This is a 48" deck, 19hp walk behind. And part of the property is very hilly and there are quite a few obstacles. Just something to think about.

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