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  1. #11
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    14,862
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    I have a Scag Wildcat with a liquid cooled Kawasaki engine. I looked at all the mowers in my area and everything about the Scag was heavier, bigger and in my opinion, stronger. The blades are super easy to take off, the seat is the most comfortable that I sat in and the dealer has all the parts in stock. I don't have any experience with any of the other machines, so I can't say if mine is better or not, but I'm very pleased with Scag and would buy another.

    Number one, most important thing of any mower or tractor is the dealer. If you have a great dealer, go with that brand.

    Eddie

  2. #12
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,778
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker View Post
    I have a Scag Wildcat with a liquid cooled Kawasaki engine. I looked at all the mowers in my area and everything about the Scag was heavier, bigger and in my opinion, stronger. The blades are super easy to take off, the seat is the most comfortable that I sat in and the dealer has all the parts in stock. I don't have any experience with any of the other machines, so I can't say if mine is better or not, but I'm very pleased with Scag and would buy another.

    Number one, most important thing of any mower or tractor is the dealer. If you have a great dealer, go with that brand.

    Eddie
    I like the Scag... but the one I'm looking at is the Freedom-Z. I think yours is a step or 2 up.

    Quote Originally Posted by PMA View Post
    I have a Dixie chopper silver eagle and really do like it. Mine is the 27hp with 60 inch cut. This will be my third year with absolutely no problems. I cut around 4 acres a week, 3 is mine and about 1 acre for my mama. I have around 130 hours using it 2 full summers. They are really fast. I had a Husqvarna commercial before that. Only problem kept throwing pulley off and tearing belt off. The main thing get the commercial mower made so much better.
    My Uncle has an older DC also and loves his. The one I found (last years model Magnum 2760) is a steal compared to the others at $5599... but it uses a Briggs and I'm not sure I"m happy about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rrrkkk View Post
    I have an eXmarx lazer 60" with a diesel 3 cyl Diahatsu label (Briggs/Stratton. While I realize the extra cost of the diesel it is in a class unto itself
    I would LOVE to get a Diesel, especially since I can write off the fuel (my tractor fuel). However, the up-front cost is MUCH higher. Takes it out of my price range as I'm really aiming around $6500. I think the diesel's start at around $10k.


    Quote Originally Posted by newt92 View Post
    Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Exmark, Toro, Deere, Yazzo Keys, and one other, could have been Bobcat, all used the same tractor part, but the mower decks were all different designs. For the last several years, Exmark and Toro are the only two twins out there.. Each make their own decks, but the tractor part are the same between the two brands.
    Quote Originally Posted by BuilderML View Post
    I may be wrong but aren't Exmark and Bobcat one of the same?
    BobCat is by itself... made by Schiller Equip or something like that, out of Wisconsin I think. I also spoke with 2 other dealers (Big Dog and BadBoy) that are also around 25+ miles away, here's what they quoted me:

    BigDog R-Series 60". KawFR691, ZT-3100, $6225
    BigDog R-Diablo series 60". KawFX730, ZT-3400, $7845 (with the "Flex-Forks" added in the cost)... He said the BigDog's were Red Hustlers and usually 1-year behind the Hustler twin.

    BadBoy CZT Elite 60", KawFS726, ZT-3400, $7662.

    So, only the BigDog R-Series with a smaller engine than the others I'm shopping, was competitive in price to the rest of the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by newt92 View Post
    I have been mowing commerical for 14 years now, and have used Kubotas, Exmarks, and now Deeres. I will say there is no "perfect" machine. Find a dealer with a good service department, one that is somewhat close to you. Go sit and drive every machine your considering. Just cause they look the same, they will handle different and your visability around the machine may be different. Look at all the service points on the machines. Also, I would recommend you pay attention to tire sizes on the mowers, I prefer 23" tall rears or larger, and also some have smaller narrower fronts. Larger is better..

    Also, of those you posted pictures of, I would stay away from the Husqvarna, I dont like the discharge side, too small of opening. Also look how much cheaper $ it is.. Of those you posted, I would look at the Exmark or Hustler. They should be sold and serviced by good reputable dealers. Take care of the machine and it will hold its value better than some of those others.
    Good point on the tires... and I was thinking of staying away from the Husq/Dixon anyhow, they look much "cheaper".

    Quote Originally Posted by L355SS View Post
    I prefer a mower that does not crush down the grass before you try to cut it. I have an old Jacobsen 3 wheel mower that has the deck out front and ahead of the wheels that support the mower. So a mower with very thin front (ahead of the deck) support wheels to minimize compaction of the grass is preferred. No one makes a mower like that nowadays.
    I use a 7' JD rotary brush/grass mower for field mowing but the tractor wheels crush down the grass (a foot wide for each rear wheel) so the mower can't cut it!
    Dennis
    Currently, I'm using a mid-90's Ford-NH CM272 72" Commercial Front Mower. It has a 27hp Shibaura Diesel. It's nice, and it cuts big spaces quick. However, it's VERY heavy and LONG, so it's not nearly as maneuverable around tight spots, and it ruts my lawn if/when it's damp. Also, it has very high hours... I already had to spend some money last year on it to replace a head-gasket (wasn't cheap) and parts are getting more and more difficult to find. I'm going to put it up for sale here in a couple weeks and get away from it.

    I'll check into the Ferris units too and get some pricing.
    Massey 1648 HST Cab
    QA 72'' bucket * 60" Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8' Rhino HD Back Blade * 84" Rhino Box Blade
    84" LandPride Rake * 78" KK HD Box Discs * WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Middle buster plow * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper
    Hustler Z Diesel 66" ZTR mower (25 hp Shibaura diesel)
    20' PJ Equipment Hauler/Trailer
    2008 F250 Crew V10 4x4


    205 Hrs @ 6/30/14

  3. #13
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    7,184
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    Quote Originally Posted by L355SS View Post
    I prefer a mower that does not crush down the grass before you try to cut it. I have an old Jacobsen 3 wheel mower that has the deck out front and ahead of the wheels that support the mower. So a mower with very thin front (ahead of the deck) support wheels to minimize compaction of the grass is preferred. No one makes a mower like that nowadays.
    I use a 7' JD rotary brush/grass mower for field mowing but the tractor wheels crush down the grass (a foot wide for each rear wheel) so the mower can't cut it!
    Dennis
    You would want the F series John Deere front mounted mower (built like a forklift with a mower in front) with U joint power to the mower deck rather than belts. I think I would prefer one of those to a zero turn, but the price is rather high. If money was no object, that is what I would buy. They are built for maintaining golf courses and work on hills just as well as flat, whereas a ZTR drifts down the slope
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,778
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    You would want the F series John Deere front mounted mower (built like a forklift with a mower in front) with U joint power to the mower deck rather than belts. I think I would prefer one of those to a zero turn, but the price is rather high. If money was no object, that is what I would buy. They are built for maintaining golf courses and work on hills just as well as flat, whereas a ZTR drifts down the slope
    Gary... see the last paragraph of my above post. Not to mention that new ones of those are ridiculously expensive!
    Massey 1648 HST Cab
    QA 72'' bucket * 60" Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8' Rhino HD Back Blade * 84" Rhino Box Blade
    84" LandPride Rake * 78" KK HD Box Discs * WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Middle buster plow * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper
    Hustler Z Diesel 66" ZTR mower (25 hp Shibaura diesel)
    20' PJ Equipment Hauler/Trailer
    2008 F250 Crew V10 4x4


    205 Hrs @ 6/30/14

  5. #15
    Platinum Member westbrooklawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    644
    Location
    North Carolina
    Tractor
    kubota L3400HST

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    I've used Exmark and Hustler mowers commercially... both are very good machines. Scag also has a great reputation. My experience has been to go with Kawasaki motor if at all possible. My current recommendation would be Hustler.
    L3400HST, L463 FEL, Markham toothbar, Markham Grapple, Woods BH80-X, 5 1/2' United box blade,6' Leinbach scrape blade, Pallet forks, 5' King Kutter RM, 56" First choice tiller, Leinbach rake

  6. #16
    Silver Member ae_ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    115
    Location
    Far West Ky
    Tractor
    MF 1040

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    for $6500, I would get a used kubota diesel mower. I found one 3 yrs ago for $3500 with 700 hrs and it is amazing. I cut 3 acres every week and that old ZD21 60" cut is awesome. my BRL and niece each got a 4000 to 5000 JD and Huscavara when i got my used diesel commercial grade mower and mine looks and runs better than those 2 now after only 3 yrs of use. Consider going quality used commercial grade.

  7. #17
    Elite Member Coyote machine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,212
    Location
    Southern VT
    Tractor
    '10 Kioti DK 40se/hst KL-401 FEL, loaded tires, KB-2485 bhoe, Tuffline TB160 boxblade, Woods QA forks, MIE Hydraulic bhoe thumb & ripper tooth, Igland 4001 winch, & GR-20 Log Grapple. Woods BBX72" Mower. Diamondplate aluminum canopy.

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    I bought my Scag Wildcat with rear bagger about 3 years ago from a pro lawn guy who prefers JD's to the Scag and so he put it up for sale with only 200 hours on it. I've run it ever since, HARD, and it is bulletproof. It has the basic stock seat without suspension and it is comfortable, but the full suspension seat would be awesome.
    A lot of pros around here are driving Xmarks and Scags- Freedom Z's now. I don't see pro lawn care guys using the other brands at all.
    Scag is made here in the states- something not found in many other brands. They are solid as rock and somewhat heavy and do want to go where they want on hills.
    IMHO, unless you blow away your budget you likely won't find a better mower in the price point you want. you could also go low hour used too, and save a LOT of dough.
    Good dealer service is like all machinery- a very important part of the whole purchase package.

    Also note that your intended use of 150hours/season is NOTHING as far as commercial use. Some guys will do that in a week's mowing. Scag has a number of acres/day chart; which blows one's mind when you consider how many hours a day they can be run and how much acreage can be cut.
    If I were you I'd start with a good used machine with relatively low hours and see what works for you, then upgrade to new in a year or two after deciding what is the best mower for your use/needs. I don't think you need to spend what you are thinking you need to this year; at least not for the number of hours/use/season. JMHO.
    Last edited by Coyote machine; 03-10-2013 at 04:59 PM.
    2010 DK-40se/hst, Kioti KL-401 FEL, (with reversible Kioti cutting edge), 72" Ratchet Rake. Fit Rite Top-N-Tilt hydraulics & diverter valve. HLA Series 2000 7' snowplow, Aquiline MPC rear chains.

    Scag Wildcat: Kawasaki 26HP, with bagger system. Dr. brush mower, & 42" lawn deck, Dr. self propelled, 6.5HP Trimmer mower. Pro-Mow 3 gang mower, no HP.

    Bunch of STIHL chainsaws: 011x 2, MS192T, MS200T, MS180C, MS230, MS270 (Wood Boss), 038 Farmboss, '86 anniversary edition.

  8. #18
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    81
    Location
    Mountaindale, Oregon
    Tractor
    Allis Chalmers ACD19, ACG; Kubota BX2200 FEL, B2710 FEL, L355SS FEL; Cat D47U, Ford 4600SU FEL

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    You would want the F series John Deere front mounted mower (built like a forklift with a mower in front) with U joint power to the mower deck rather than belts. I think I would prefer one of those to a zero turn, but the price is rather high. If money was no object, that is what I would buy. They are built for maintaining golf courses and work on hills just as well as flat, whereas a ZTR drifts down the slope
    Thank you. Google shows a number of that type such as Gravely, Steiner, Ventrac even kubota has one. The Jacobsen has a drive shaft to the gear box and hydraulic lift so you can actually mow without wheels pressing the turf down. I have a relatively cheap Craftsman mower that I purchased with optional exta wide tires thinking it wouldn't compact the grass as much but didn't work out that way.
    Dennis

  9. #19
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,819
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    TSO,
    I don't have any of the above. I use a 6' finish mower behind my 2600 Ford.

    However, I do have a couple friends in the commercial mowing business. And, down here, they've already started. Really, our normal mowing season generally runs from about Easter through Thanksgiving. From May until October, they run 6 days per week. Four ZTR mowers. They've just about tried them all, and say they get the best results from eXmark, followed closely by Dixie Chopper. (they currently have 3 eXmark and 1 DC)

    Hope that helps.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  10. #20
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    1,986
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Shopping for a new Zero Turn --- this is what I've found so far, INPUT NEEDED

    TSO,

    All of them make good machines, made in the USA and brand selection seems to be more regional.

    In the NE, most here run Scag, Exmark, and Ferris and the occasional kubota and Hustler. Also most of the lawn services have people to run the machines, so ride quality is not the first issus its build quality and longevity, since the owner is not on them 6 hrs a day but has to keep them running to make $.

    Virtually all the machines should give you a long service life 1000-1500 hours w/o major issues, and good cut quality so it comes down to if you are running it, how does it feel for you? For ride quality, cut, and performance I got the Ferris (and they make Simplicity ZTR as well) IS2000 based on the suspension and overall construction because I am running it.

    If I had a crew running the machines doing 50-60 lawns a week - that's a different paridigm and would come down to cost per unit and less about creature comforts.

    Carl
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

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