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Recommendations on ZTR mowers?

SWOHFAL

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I may have to write off the John Deere as the deck is well and truly fucked - bent and cracked. Going to see if some local good ol' boys can weld it and straighten it back up for me - otherwise $1600+ for a new one on a tractor with 600+hrs that probably will need a hydrostat soon - probably not worth it. I figure a ZTR is what I should've had all along as the JD slips and slides all around the little dips in the yard and I have a ton of shit to steer around.

Gravely, Hustler and Exmark are all on the list right now and not sure about others. i see Bad Boy mowers recommended and they look nice, but besides a fairly high buy-in price, it looks like they a la carte the fuck out of you for every little thing such that a $5000 mower could easily push $10K or more if you got all the options - not even sure if I need a lot of them and don't like that they were left off if they are helpful.
 

Gunhaver

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I have had great luck with commercial grade Scag mowers. Currently using a Tiger Cat 2, 61 inch with a fuel injected Kawasaki. I think the newest models may now be using a Koehler FI motor but I’m not certain of that.
 

flopshot

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the servicing dealer is key. i didn't have a good experience with kawasaki's warranty. had some issues with Kohler EFI way back when but that may have been rectified by now. fabricated deck is best, i prefer manual blade engagement over an electric PTO .
 

ByronF

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Spartan seem to be coming on strong.

I'd look at features, not brands. Fabricated deck is a must. Better mowers have a hydraulic tank, filters, and the hydraulic motors and pumps are separate units (but seeing lots of integrated pumps/motors/filters on high end machines). Deck lift mechanisms are important. Some are pretty weak. Some are electric. Get an engine with pressure lubrication, oil filter, and a big commercial canister air filter. If you are an older person and/or a "person of size" mowing bumpy lawn get a suspension seat (expensive). Some machines has other suspension schemes but can get expensive. I suppose worth it if you mow a lot of bumpy land. Roll-over bars suck unless you mow on hills. They snag on low branches.

I wanted a 60" deck, found a clean used machine with a 54" and glad to have it instead. It follows uneven terrain better, let's me get in closer to some parts of my lawn, and the 54" ZT is so much faster than my tractor that an extra 6" doesn't seem important to me now. I have 2.5 acres, probably 2 acre mowable.
 

meltblown

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Not sure what options you are wanting when you say Bad Boy. How much are you mowing. Do not buy anything with a stamped deck as you are probably understanding by now. I think that is what the Deeres are but may be mistaken. Tractor Supply carries a line of Bad Boy. I have the 54" cut. Slightly regret not getting larger rear tires because of the sand here and the ride is a little rough. I cut 2.5 acres in a hour and 1/2. I like the design as it is simple and easy to work on.
 

alphadog58

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The gals across the street from me have a mowing business. They just sold their two older Hustlers and bought two new ones. I keep their weedwhackers, leaf blowers, and little mowers running. They've not brought their big machines to me. They said the Hustlers don't break. That's all I got...
Larry
 

MordeanGrey

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I had a mowing business on the side for the past 13 years. I had an X-One which is their middle model in the commercial line.

If you need more than that get a Super-Z.

Just buy a Hustler commercial unit and be happy forever with little maintenance and extreme quality.


1684935548057.png
 

MikeD718

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I finish cut about 8 acres at the house. I’ve had a kubota ZD326 for about 8 years now. 3 cyl diesel, 60” cut. It’s a nice mower, but Carrie’s a high price. I got mine on a same as cash financing deal. Built like a tank.
 

gunplumber

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I've been using a Walker 60" and have really come to hate it. 15 Acres.

Built like a tank, but maintenance heavy and hard to access what needs maintenance.

I'm looking at a Hustler or a Gravely to replace it - about 10 days until my other property closes escrow and I can buy it.

One of the problems is that if it's not in stock, one may be looking at 4+ months to get one. Gravely has been using Kawasaki engines because Kholer can't supply them.

I wanted to go to something larger than a 60" deck, I'd have to get a wider trailer. I want the Hustler Super 104, with wings, but even rasised, it's 80" wide.

I did rent a JD deisel when the Walker was down (blown hydro at ~650 hours) and really liked it.

One of the factors that is leaning me toward the gravely is that there is a local servicing dealer about 15 miles away. Hustler is 50 miles.

I am a little apprehensive about having to jack it off the ground to access the blades. On the Walker, the deck will lift to 90 degree.

The Hustler mechanic said not to get the EFI, but they have something that's more like TBI, which is a lot more reliable. Gravely also had issues with their EFI - the one I'm looking at is a 26.5hp Kawasaki with carburetor.



And on a side note, the Gravely mechanic told me to always disconnect the spark plug when changing blades. That if the blade starts turning, it can "jump start" even with the ignition off. I had not heard this before. Valid?
 
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MordeanGrey

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My Hustler X-One had the 27 HP Kawasaki motor. 60" deck.

I could mow 5 acres in around 2 hours.

They are extremely well-built mowers with heavy duty features and great suspension seats on the new models. Get the flex forks on the front and they ride even better.
 

biyf

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I have a 2009 Bad Boy ZT Elite 60" cut which is built like a tank and while showing its age, still seems to have plenty of life left in it. The deck is welded thick gauge steel and it has the external hydraulic tank and a hydrogear transmission with changeable filters. This was a high end consumer unit when it was purchased, not quite a "commercial" unit. The deck is electric lift, and easy to work on for replacing blades and spindles. The engine is a 27HP Kohler and it's held up well - just needed new coils a couple years ago. I don't have any experience with their newer stuff but their older stuff is well built.

I frequently use a Kubota Diesel zero turn with a 72" cut and I am firmly convinced it's the best lawnmower on the planet. It's was also over $15,000 pre-pandemic.

I also frequently use a one year old Kubota zero turn with a 42" cut. It's their entry level zero turn, and it has a Kawasaki 21.5 HP engine on it. It's just "OK" I would say. Stamped steel deck. Deck lift is manual but easy to use. I can't seem to get at the spindles if I needed to change them - would probably have to go to the dealer for that or be a real PITA to get to.
 

SWOHFAL

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I have three acres, so a serious commercial probably not worth it, but I would buy a light commercial or HD homeowner grade mower. Kawasaki is my engine of choice and the bright spot of my current JD - probably will stick with carbs, though TBI might be a possibility. Thanks for the responses.
 

meltblown

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And on a side note, the Gravely mechanic told me to always disconnect the spark plug when changing blades. That if the blade starts turning, it can "jump start" even with the ignition off. I had not heard this before. Valid?
I find that hard to believe. Maybe more of a safety thing in a shop just in case the key may have inadvertently been left on
 

gunplumber

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I find that hard to believe. Maybe more of a safety thing in a shop just in case the key may have inadvertently been left on
He did mention people using an impact driver to pull the bolt, and spinning the blades fast. I use an impact also, but I'm holding the blade and unless the belts were off, I'm not seeing it being able to do as he suggested. But then I'm not a mechanic, and I'm a little high on the anxiety scale for safety - having seen just how quickly bad things can happen, when safety procedures are ignored.
 

meltblown

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He did mention people using an impact driver to pull the bolt, and spinning the blades fast. I use an impact also, but I'm holding the blade and unless the belts were off, I'm not seeing it being able to do as he suggested. But then I'm not a mechanic, and I'm a little high on the anxiety scale for safety - having seen just how quickly bad things can happen, when safety procedures are ignored.
It's better err on the side of safety. I guess the point is why does the engine stop when turning off the key if it can be started by spinning the blades? I use an impact because it doesn't require having to hold or block the blades.

One further point is the clutch is disengaged from the engine drive pulley if the power is off. A push mower is a different animal and the plug thing is valid
 
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Invictus77

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I have three acres, so a serious commercial probably not worth it,
Three acres is enough to seriously consider commercial grade stuff if you can swing it. "How much longer do you plan to be there", etc. comes into play on that equation of course, but three acres is a lot of mowing. Our actual "yard" that we finish mow is about that or just a bit over.

I battled with the home-owner grade stuff for decades (my nature is to go cheap), but most last two or three years at best, with lot's of maintenance and repairs in the middle. About three years ago we broke down and bought a good commercial grade. Started off with the intent to buy a Skag (not a thing wrong with that), but stumbled into a deal on a Husqvarna PZ60 with only 50 hours that was rated even better. It's a 60" with a Kawi engine. An air-ride seat that is awesome. An $11K mower new, but I believe it will be the last one we need before we get old and downsize off this place. It is a badass, comfortable machine.
 

OMCHamlin

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I may have to write off the John Deere as the deck is well and truly fucked - bent and cracked. Going to see if some local good ol' boys can weld it and straighten it back up for me - otherwise $1600+ for a new one on a tractor with 600+hrs that probably will need a hydrostat soon - probably not worth it. I figure a ZTR is what I should've had all along as the JD slips and slides all around the little dips in the yard and I have a ton of shit to steer around.

Gravely, Hustler and Exmark are all on the list right now and not sure about others. i see Bad Boy mowers recommended and they look nice, but besides a fairly high buy-in price, it looks like they a la carte the fuck out of you for every little thing such that a $5000 mower could easily push $10K or more if you got all the options - not even sure if I need a lot of them and don't like that they were left off if they are helpful.
I have had a Bad Boy 54” MZ Magnum for a year and a half, paid just over 4K for it at a local store that honored Bad Boys.mil discount. Bought it plain as heck, added nothing. Since then, I bought a Purple Foam ass cushion and a tow hook for my yard wagon. No problems so far…
 

meltblown

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I have had a Bad Boy 54” MZ Magnum for a year and a half, paid just over 4K for it at a local store that honored Bad Boys.mil discount. Bought it plain as heck, added nothing. Since then, I bought a Purple Foam ass cushion and a tow hook for my yard wagon. No problems so far…
Yeah mine was 3500 six years ago. This one was around 3900. I sort of wish I had gotten the larger wheels. But grateful for what I have because we were just getting into having a big place and learning.

 

frankxtc

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3 acres here, lots of weeds & Bahia grass.
Kubota had a "4 years 0%" financing deal, I bought a ZD1211.
3 cylinder Diesel, welded deck, 5 years later still going strong.
Kept the 25 year old Kubota GS1800S, damn thing won't quit, but is worthless as a trade.
Took me a long time to get the hang of zero turn, old dog not wanting to learn new tricks...
Screen Shot 2023-05-24 at 18.13.42.png
 

GIshooter

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Another vote for a mid-level Hustler. About ten years old. Been using it on just over 5 acres. No issues except normal maintenance.
I have a couple sets of blades. Never needed to do anything special with the air impact wrench to switch out.
 

gunplumber

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So I'm looking at semi-commercial use, based on the size of the field, and the need to keep it "event ready". Hey, we're having a 2-day music festival 9/30-10/1!

One of the local agricultural guys says to get a deisel, and the extra cost is worth it. He used to do golf courses.

I notice on the Hustler Super Z gas, engines range from 27-40 HP Kawasaki. On the Diesel Z, it's 25 HP Perkins.

I understand diesel has more torque(?) so I guess the question is, how do I compare HP on diesel vs gas?
 
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