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  1. #11
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    2,353
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default

    For only 3 acres, you can find multiple units to choose from under $6k. You don't need diesel for that size. You'll only be putting 100 or so hrs per year, so a gas unit will be more than adequate.

    52" works for 3 acres, of course 60" does too, but you definitely don't need 72" for 3 acres.

    I have a Hustler Z Diesel commercial 66", & it's a great mower... but if i was only mowing 3 acres, I wouldn't have it. I would go with a less expensive gas model.

    So, you'll have your pick of good commercial mowers. Gravely, bobcat, Hustler, Scag, Ferris, Exmark... to be honest, they're all very close. They will pretty much all use the same engines & the same hydro power units. Go sit on them and see which one fits you best. They really do all feel different. I like my Hustler and I think it's a fantastic mower... but I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the big brands.

    Just stay away from Husqvarna, Dixon, and the Big Box store mowers ... They aren't commercial quality.

    Good luck!
    Massey 1648 HST Cab - Hustler Z Diesel 66" mower
    2007 F450 Crew - 20' PJ Equipt Trailer
    QA 6ft bucket * 5ft Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8ft Rhino Back Blade
    7ft Rhino Box Blade * 7ft LandPride Rake * 6.5ft KK HD Box Disc * Middle buster plow
    WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper * 8ft Ford Brush-Mower
    7.5ft QA Western snow plow

    393 hrs @ 12/30/14

  2. #12
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    506
    Location
    N. Texas
    Tractor
    Ford 2000 and 3000; Branson 6530C with FEL

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    The riding comfort can become a very big deal if you have a lot of mowing to do and especially if you run over irregular terrain. The older you get the more important this becomes. I have a DR and Hustler ZTs and Have gone through a lot of trial and error/expense to get it improved.

    With all said and done if I were in the market for a new one I would be looking up a Ferris dealer and having a demo as to just how great is the ride. You might seriously consider that; I would. Course Ferris is said to be on the upper side of cost but you get what you pay for in these machines. I think they are all built for the long haul.

    On gas vs diesel, I can buy farm diesel for 40 cents under road prices putting it in the area of the cost of gas.

    All my mowers (7 at last count) have Briggs Stratton, Kohler, or Honda engines. I have had most of them over 7 years and have essentially had zero repairs (normal maint items only). Haven't replaced a belt on any of them and that is amazing considering the punishment I have put these mowers through. They are all very fuel efficient. All my farm tractors are diesel so I am fully aware of the advantages. However, for mowing the lawn, gas does just fine so you don't have to get hung up on diesel to get fuel/reliability advantages as I see it.

    Only other thing I would suggest is that in the owner's manuals, all list full synthetic oil as an approved oil. Viscosity for all the mowers is 10W-30. I run all my mowers on it and unlike dino oil, I only change oil at the end of the season, not several times; don't have to as it resists breakdown from heat. I think it is THE oil for the hotter running air cooled engines.

    Good luck,
    Mark

  3. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    39
    Location
    Burke, VA
    Tractor
    Scag Tiger Cat, 61", Craftsman LT1000

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    I bought my Scag Tiger Cat with a 61" deck for $6k and it only had 92 hours. Its been great so far this season.. We have 2.5 acres to mow. You might want to think about what dealers are close to you. You'll also need a trailer to get it to the dealer for major service and minor service if you're not going to do it.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member MESSMAKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,006
    Location
    Bluegrass,KY
    Tractor
    Bobcat ct 225

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    I just bought a ztr this spring after looking for a while. I found that their are lots of good choices and few really poor ones. Does not seem to be a price leader in my area. Pick the size deck and the size transmission, then pick the motor you want. They can all get pretty expensive. For three acres you should be looking at a low end commercial. Exmark,Scag,Grasshopper,Toro commercial,Snapper Pro,John Deere,kubota,Hustler,Bad boy are all good. I think Dixon and Husqvarna are fine as long as you don't cheap out. I would stay away from Cub Cadet.Three people in my neighborhood have bought used commercial unit with a couple hundred hours on them for less than $4000. They are out there if you want to look.

  5. #15
    Gold Member dntfxr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    349
    Location
    north Louisiana
    Tractor
    Ford/NH, Kubota

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    I just got a Ferris is700 also. It is a really nice mower. If you have any bumps or rough terrain it really makes a difference having the suspension. I opted for the Vanguard big block engine, I highly recommend it. It is amazing how quickly the job gets done with a ztr even compared to a much larger tractor.
    '95 Ford/NH 3930 mfwd
    '83 Ford 3610
    '94 Kubota B7100 mfwd HST
    '14 Ferris is700 61" Vanguard BB

  6. #16
    Gold Member dntfxr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    349
    Location
    north Louisiana
    Tractor
    Ford/NH, Kubota

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    dbl post oops
    '95 Ford/NH 3930 mfwd
    '83 Ford 3610
    '94 Kubota B7100 mfwd HST
    '14 Ferris is700 61" Vanguard BB

  7. #17
    Veteran Member JJZ 109's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,587
    Location
    Near Lake Ontario
    Tractor
    Bobcat S185 skid steer - Ferris IS500Z - JD GT235

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    Quote Originally Posted by MESSMAKER View Post
    For three acres you should be looking at a low end commercial.
    Just what I was thinking. For 2 acres I got a Ferris IS500Z 52 inch/27 HP. Mostly got it for the suspension, as the wife mows a lot and has had multiple neck surgeries.
    After adding the governor's cut it was $5600.
    Time loves to be wasted. From that waste their is no salvage - Henry Ford
    _____________________________________________

    Also - E Terra E 60 SSQA backhoe • Erskine 73" blower •TSC QA boom pole • Bradco 48" forks • JLG T350 Boom Lift • 2001 Ford F450 w/Telsta A28D aerial lift • CAM Superline 6x12 dump • (2) Kristi 7x18 enclosed • 2014 Ford F250 Super Cab gasser • 2007 Mustang GT • 2007 Crown Vic P71 Police Interceptor

  8. #18
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,056
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    With 3 acres that's flat and if it's not uneven (meaning bumpy) all the major brands will be fine - Scag, Exmark, JOhn Deere, kubota, Hustler Ferris will be fine - I would also look at obstructions - narrow areas and get a width that is a bit less. 52" is a good size for most lawns and it has enough deck sticking out to the left side to do some close cutting.

    Personally and as others have stated Ferris was my choice for the rough areas I cut - the IS2000 52" with the independent suspension and a Kawasaki engine. The new IS2000 will run about $8K and you can get 0% on them too.

    If you can find a 100-300 hour commercial unit for $4-6K that would also be an option.
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  9. #19
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2007
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    1,357
    Location
    Mid-Coast Maine

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    If you go with a CAT diesel, see who is going to service the engine. At one point only a CAT dealer could service the engine, the mower dealer could not. I would think it would be hard to justify the extra cost of going diesel unless you were going to mow commercially.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

  10. #20
    Veteran Member Poopdeck Pappy's Avatar
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    May 2013
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    1,522
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti DK50SE HST Cab, Kubota BX23TLB

    Default Re: What Zero Turn?

    Quote Originally Posted by IXLR8 View Post
    If you go with a CAT diesel, see who is going to service the engine. At one point only a CAT dealer could service the engine, the mower dealer could not. I would think it would be hard to justify the extra cost of going diesel unless you were going to mow commercially.
    My Ferris dealer said he wouldn't sell me one with a CAT diesel in it because he couldn't work on the motor. He said he has to pull the motor out and ship it to a CAT service center/dealer for any work. And that was just a couple of months ago.

    I agree with you on the cost of a diesel mower, but I'd still be tempted to buy one just because of how crappy our gasoline is these days with the ethanol in it. And you will get some of the extra cost of the diesel back when you sell it.
    __________________

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