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  1. #1
    Silver Member Mpking's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Posts
    106
    Location
    Southwest Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST-3, Hustler Fastrak 54" ZTR

    Default Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    I'm unexpectedly in the market for a zero turn mower after my JD L118 mower's transmission failed. Rather than drop $1000 on a new transmission for a mower that's worth 500 bucks, I'm going to get something new and little heavier duty. I'm looking at a 50-54inch deck and something that will not bounce me right out of the seat on my somewhat bumpy lawn.

    So far I've eliminated Deere EZtrack mowers because I felt like have much lower quality components fro the price of others and I didnt really like the feel when I tested them. There also are not any Bad Boy dealers within 100 miles so they are out.

    Right now I'm looking at:
    -Hustler fastrack 54" with 24hp kawasaki FS engine for $5,575, no tax.
    -Gravely ZT HD 52" with 24hp kawasaki FR engine for $4,899, no tax.
    -SCAG Freedom Z 52" with 26hp Briggs & Stratton professional series engine for between $5,000-5,500. The SCAG regional distributor is bringing one by my house Thursday to demo and he couldn't give me price specifics yet but said it would be in that range.

    Things I'm thinking about right now are possibly going with a model that has ROPS so I can have a seatbelt to keep me from being bounced out of the seat if I hit any rough spots and warranty coverage. Right now, that puts the Hustler in front of the other two but I've yet to drive the SCAG.

    Ok, so my question is: does anybody have any experience with these mowers and have opinions on one vs. another. Any comments are helpful since I'm new to zero turn mowers. Thanks.
    L3240 HST-3, R4s loaded with Rim Guard, LA724 FEL with 72" quick attach bucket, 3rd function valve for loader, Sunshade, Woods BB60X rotary cutter, Woods 65" box blade, Land Pride GS1572 grading scraper, Quick Hitch.

    2011 Hustler Fastrak 54" deck Pics
    Brinly 42" lawn sweeper

  2. #2
    Gold Member BleedGreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    471
    Location
    Iowa
    Tractor
    John Deere LX178

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    Quote Originally Posted by Mpking View Post
    So far I've eliminated Deere EZtrack mowers because I felt like have much lower quality components fro the price of others and I didnt really like the feel when I tested them.
    Which EZtrak models did you test? I will agree with you on the Z425 and the new Z445 models - all with HydroGear ZT2800 transmissions, but you should take a look at the new Z600 Series before you make a decision. The quality and feel are definitely there with the Z600's, much more so than the others.

    27hp Briggs "Cyclonic" Commercial-Grade Engine
    Kanzaki DUP10 Dual-Unitized Commercial-Grade Pump (Same DUP10 used on the old Commercial 700 Series Z-Traks)
    48" or 54" High-Capacity Mower Deck (Same deck design as the 7-Iron II mower, without 7 gauge steel)

    We sell the Z655 (27hp / 54C) for $5,50.00 and honestly cannot keep them in stock right now. We have re-ordered this model multiple times already this year at my store alone.

    Anyway, just my two cents, for what they are worth.
    I can run a D100 and a 9560RT (and most of the models in between) all in the same day!!!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    10,343
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    Everyone is entitled to their ow opinion, but personally I like the kawasaki engines. I have always had good luck with them.

    But you really need to look at how they are built. Stamped or fabbed deck?? Are components greasable/servicable?

    I also like WIDE back tires as well as WIDE fronts. ZTR's are pretty heavy and get stuck pretty easy.

    The ones you listed are all good brands and I really dont think you could go wrong with any of them. I would advise to try to drive them all if possible, and go with what you like.

    Also, if the yard is that bumpy, you really cant take full advantage of the speed of a ZTR. So I would look at addressing that issue. And have you considered a ferris with the full suspension?

    As to the rollbar/seatbelt, IMO they are a waist on a ZTR. I am not going to say it cant happen, but it is highly unlikely you will roll one over. They will slide long before they roll, even on hard dry ground. Flipping backwards going up a hill is the real danger. And the rollbars stick up so high it makes mowing under/around trees a PITA, at least around my place.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
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  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Maryland's eastern shore
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030, RTV900, Kawasaki Mule,Kubota 326, Toro 428

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    I have a Gravely 260z with the Kawasaki engine that's probably about eight years old. When it was originally purchased it was used to mow about 25 acres. It was put through ****. I even mowed corn stubble with it a time or two. It has been put into semi retirement where it mows a three acre lawn but is still going strong. I now have a kubota 326 that is really a tank. It now mows the 25 acres.

  5. #5
    Silver Member Mpking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    106
    Location
    Southwest Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST-3, Hustler Fastrak 54" ZTR

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    Quote Originally Posted by LD1 View Post

    Also, if the yard is that bumpy, you really cant take full advantage of the speed of a ZTR. So I would look at addressing that issue. And have you considered a ferris with the full suspension?

    As to the rollbar/seatbelt, IMO they are a waist on a ZTR. I am not going to say it cant happen, but it is highly unlikely you will roll one over. They will slide long before they roll, even on hard dry ground. Flipping backwards going up a hill is the real danger. And the rollbars stick up so high it makes mowing under/around trees a PITA, at least around my place.
    All the decks are fabricated, cant remember what guage steel but very thick to my eye. That was another reason I passed on the JDs.

    The only ferris dealer in town has stopped stocking them because of low sales. They said they would gladly order one but couldn't budge much on the price and would not order until I decided to buy. I really like the idea of the suspension on the ferris and probably get one but I don't really want to buy without seeing it first.

    I hear ya on the rollbar. I also seriously doubt I could roll it but I feel like I want a seatbelt to hold me in when I hit any big bumps I didn't see going 6-8mph. I tried that at the dealer without a seatbelt just to see what would happen and it almost launched me right off the thing. Also, my gut says getting a seatbelt without a rollbar would be a really bad idea so thats not an option.

    @Bleedgreen - They didn't have any z600s at either dealer I went to. They didn't seem too eager to get them just for me to look at either .

    @Hmgary - I love the look of the Kubotas too. I also love my kubota dealer so I'd really like one but they are out of my price range ($9,700 list for a ZG227)

    Anyone else have anything to say about the models I'm considering?
    L3240 HST-3, R4s loaded with Rim Guard, LA724 FEL with 72" quick attach bucket, 3rd function valve for loader, Sunshade, Woods BB60X rotary cutter, Woods 65" box blade, Land Pride GS1572 grading scraper, Quick Hitch.

    2011 Hustler Fastrak 54" deck Pics
    Brinly 42" lawn sweeper

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    2,387
    Location
    Mid-Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota L210

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    I just bought a Gravely HD60 for $4999 + tax, so I think you can beat that deal on the HD52. I'm happy with mine though it does not have grease zirks on the wheels or the spindles. I have a pretty bumpy place and I get bounced around quite a bit, but I don't find it excessive as there are some small springs under the seat that take some of the bounce out. I run it flat out as much as I can, but I have lots of fenced trees and other obstacles to deal with and it sure beats the heck out of my old rider. The Gravely has the Kawasaki engine, heavy deck and the same hydraulic pumps found on the more expensive brands. I bought it in preference to a Bad Boy at the same price largely because the BB had a Kohler engine. I don't know enough about the engine comparison, but my reading favored the Kawasaki.

    Chuck

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    2,011
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    I have the Ferris IS2000 52" with 25HP Kawasaki and lawn is reclaimed forest floor that has settled over time so bumpy/rocky and it handles this very well. Got it last year $7K as a left over 09 model I am very happy with it overall.

    You might consider Simplicity also, as Ferris bought them and make their ZTR's. They have the suspension, 52" and 25HP Kawasaki motors.

    If this not an option I would concur with what others have said and get the Kawasaki, and look for commercial pumps, separate gear motors and the fabricated deck.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    64

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    I don't know if you purchased yet, MpKing, but I have been shopping quite a bit too. If quality of cut is your primary concern, then the lawnsite posts mostly favor the Exmark, Scag velocity, and Deere 7 iron. From personal experience, my Bunton, Bobcat walk behind cuts beautifully. You may want to check out the Bobcat Fastcat RZ or Pro.
    If ride is utmost important especially if you are on a bad surface, then Ferris and its cousins are paramount choices.
    I am interested in BleedGreen's comments on the high capacity deck on the JD homeowner z's.
    Most people talk about fabricated decks as the most durable. Let's face it, the 7-iron is second to none and is one of the most durable and best cutting decks in the industry. It is a stamped deck! Trust me, I have one. It is easy to clean too.
    If the Z-600's have the same deck as the 7 iron then the cut should be outstanding! However, I cannot find the blade tip speed for this deck. If it is not 18,000 or better, it just may not function like the commercial units. As far as the rest of the components, I cannot comment.
    The frustrating thing is that if you are interested in bagging, they do not make a collection unit for the high capacity deck that I am aware.

  9. #9
    Silver Member ae_ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    115
    Location
    Far West Ky
    Tractor
    MF 1040

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    another option. I went to a 2001 700hr kubota ZD21 60". I was not able to afford a new price and was looking at the $3000 to $5000 range of mowers. Found a great deal on the ZD21 for $3500. The durability on this tank of a mower will last me a halftime as I am 58 now i think. I have my $10000 mower at a price that i could afford and am very very happy with it. Good luck in your search.

  10. #10
    Silver Member Mpking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    106
    Location
    Southwest Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST-3, Hustler Fastrak 54" ZTR

    Default Re: Zero Turn Buying Decision Help/Price Check

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the advice. I decided to go with the Hustler Fastak 54" deck and then added a suspension seat which makes the ride quality pretty good. I wouln't say I'm floating across my lawn on a cloud or anything but It's better than my old JD L118 riding mower. I may end up trying the flex forks later on but I don't think I need them just yet. I think the cut quality of the Scag was a little bit better but not by much and everything else was just a little better on the Hustler - deck was a little wider, engine had 4 more HP (compared to 20hp kawi), rear tires were a little bigger, front castors also a little bigger. It all added up to me buying the Hustler.

    I really wanted to get my hands on a Ferris to try out the suspension but the only "dealer" within an hour of me doesn't even stock any. They just order at a customer's request and I wasn't spending $5k without seeing what I'm buying first.

    Here's some pictures:





    L3240 HST-3, R4s loaded with Rim Guard, LA724 FEL with 72" quick attach bucket, 3rd function valve for loader, Sunshade, Woods BB60X rotary cutter, Woods 65" box blade, Land Pride GS1572 grading scraper, Quick Hitch.

    2011 Hustler Fastrak 54" deck Pics
    Brinly 42" lawn sweeper

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