ZTR's for Rough Terrain

dan krem

LawnSite Member
Location
Homer Glen, IL
Alright, so I am moving to 5 acres and have about 3.5 of it to mow. I'm learning It's reasonably rough terrain so I'm wondering what everyone's opinion is.

JD dealer is a couple of miles away and has great service. I was looking at a JD z930R with Tweels. I'm also partial to the JD dealer because they will come out to my house to service, and if it needs to be in the shop, they will haul it for me.

Anything else I should be looking at? I've read that Ferris could be an option as well, ands they do have a dealer about 15 minutes away.
 

JP in KC

LawnSite Member
No personal experience with the Ferris, but people do rave about the ride on rough ground. If you can talk the dealers into it, testing then where you're going to use them seems like a good idea.
 

AlohaMowing

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Hilo, HI
You may like it that the Deere dealer will perform service at your home or will transport it to and from the shop if needed, but keep in mind that the dealer will charge you for the time from when the mechanic leaves the shop until they return. Even at just "a couple miles away" that can add up. If you can have a trailer to haul it to the dealer you will save money. If you do not own a trailer, it may save money to rent one as needed to haul it to the dealer. I assume you will be able to perform routine maintenance yourself.

My mowing is rural and rough. Much of the land has ridges left from having been plowed and not fully leveled. I see people in my area who destroy mowers within a year just from the rough terrain. I ran a Scag Turf Tiger for 12 years and it is still going strong but I have just replaced it with a Turf Tiger II. I think these have the strongest frame of any ZTR, although I know many people do swear by their Deeres. That said, for 3.5 acres a TTII would be overkill. I think the price of the 930R also would be difficult to justify.

Depending on how rough the terrain is, how fast you mow, and how old your back is, a suspension seat may be important. If what you buy does not come with one standard, look for something you could add a suspension seat to later if desired. My original Turf Tiger had a standard seat that I replaced with a Scag OEM suspension seat after a couple years. My back appreciated the difference.

And I would mention that you might want to consider a stander as an alternative to a ZTR. 3.5 acres is kind of large (I think) for a stander, but some people feel they are easier on the back than mowing in a seated position. I have a neighbor who is waiting for delivery of a Wright stander with 72" deck that he is going to use to mow about 8 acres.
 

engineer89

LawnSite Member
I have a Ferris 3200z 61” cut with the vanguard 37hp EFI engine. I mow 4 acres of centipede grass weekly. Before that I had a scag wildcat with a suspension seat. There is nothing that compares to the ride of the Ferris. Cut quality is good once you get everything adjusted. I have over 200 hours without any issues.
 

Raisedonadeere

LawnSite Member
Location
Central Kentucky
engineer89 I am looking at my first zero turn 60". I am trying to decide between the ferris 3200z and the 2100z. I feel like the 2100z would do the job for me on 5 plus acres with a lot of things to mow around. Some of it is up and down, and some banks not too steep, just very busy.

I would just appreciate some comments on just how much better the 3200 might be on rough terrain. The 37 horse power would sure make an impression when ever I hit some tall heavy stuff, going up hill, but that is very little of what I do. The 28 HP should handle my stuff and save some gas.

I am also looking at the bad boy rogue with 33 HP Yamaha. It has a pretty nice ride and is good on banks, has 26" tires etc. but the Ferris is my main candidate, just a little hesitant that the 2100 will handle my up and down hill mowing.
 

engineer89

LawnSite Member
I never tested the 2100 but it should handle most anything just get the 28hp EFI vanguard. I think the 3200 might ride a little better. Get a suspension seat too. As far as gas consumption... I mow 4 acres with about 5 gallons. The 37 big block is pretty fuel efficient with EFI. GOOD LUCK!
 

Raisedonadeere

LawnSite Member
Location
Central Kentucky
Thanks for the fuel information. Makes me think there would not be much savings in fuel with the 2100. I am still looking at tweels. I hear it said that they track much better on the banks and slopes. But the 3200 also is better on slopes than the 2100. I am seeing about $1800 difference in price on these mowers so it will probably depend on my mood when I see them side by side at the dealer.
 

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