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  1. #1
    TSO
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    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    1,538
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

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

    Shopping for my first ZTR. Mowing 2-3 acres per week, and every other week mowing an additional 3 acres. Relatively flat, grass is in decent condition but it's not a Scott's lawn and I'm not trying to make it that way. I mow around lots of trees, flower beds, landscape gardens, gardens, chickens, children, etc I live in Michigan and will mow for maybe 30 weeks a year at best. I'm guessing 150 hrs per year at most.

    Most people that I know who have used a certain brand are pretty loyal to that brand and believe whatever propaganda that their respective manufacturer tells them. So, I'm hoping that someone here can give me an opinion on their experiences with the below brands and tell me something I haven't found in general research. They're all priced relatively close to each other. They all use 1 of 3 identical engines, they all use pretty much the same transmission, tires, belts, gas tanks, etc etc etc. It seems like I'm basically buying a brand name and a mowing deck, and a color

    Here's what I'm finding in my area:

    • Bobcat FastCat Pro 61", Kaw FX 24hp, ZT-3400 trans, $6299.
    • eXmark Pioneer S 60", Kohler 27hp, Zt-3400 trans, $6999.
    • Dixie Chopper Magnum 2760 61" (last year's close-out model), ZT-3400 trans, $5599.
    • Scag Freedom Z 61", Briggs 30hp (last years) for $6509 or Kaw 24hp (this years) for $7009.
    • Grasshopper 226v 61", Kohler 27hp, not sure on trans, $6923.
    • Hustler FasTrak 60" Kaw FS or FasTrak Super Duty 60" Kaw FX, looks like both use ZT-3100 trans, $5794 or $6479.
    • Also looked (online) at a Dixon Ultra 61" OR the Husqvarna 6128 61", both with 27hp Kohler, ZT-3400 trans, and under $4999... but I can't find much about them on the forums and they look less refined than the others.


    They're all pretty similar, all close in price, all have similar financing...

    I'd like to hear specific reasons why I should AVOID any of these particular mowers, OR why I should buy 1 over another?

    Thanks in advance, Tim.















    Massey 1648 HST Cab
    Previous: LS R4041/4047 & Kioti CK20S

    QA 72'' bucket * 60" Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8' HD Back Blade * 84" HD Box Blade
    72'' Rake * WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Middle buster plow * Wallenstein BX42s PTO Chipper
    Hustler Z Diesel 66" ZTR mower (25 hp Shibaura diesel)
    20' PJ Equipment Hauler/Trailer
    2008 F250 Crew V10 4x4



  2. #2
    PMA
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    Jul 2008
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    1,104
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    John Deere 5325, CI Farmall 85U, Mccormick International 404

    Default

    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.

    Sent from my iPhone using TractorByNet

  3. #3
    Gold Member BuilderML's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    300
    Location
    Tolland, CT
    Tractor
    CCY SX3100

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

    I may be wrong but aren't Exmark and Bobcat one of the same?

  4. #4
    Gold Member newt92's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    344
    Location
    Secor Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520 and 2305

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

    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.
    2007 JD 2305, 2008 JD 2520 w/200cx loader, Harbor Freight quick hitch, homemade pallet forks, 5' KK tiller, 5' KKxb disc, 4' landpride pulverizer, Frontier RB1072 blade, homemade 5 1/2' lawn roller at 3500lbs, 2005 John Deere 797 w/60" deck, 2009 John Deere 997 w/ 72" deck, 2005 JD HPX Gator w/power dump, 1998 Toro 455D 10.5' deck!

  5. #5
    Gold Member newt92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    344
    Location
    Secor Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520 and 2305

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

    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.
    2007 JD 2305, 2008 JD 2520 w/200cx loader, Harbor Freight quick hitch, homemade pallet forks, 5' KK tiller, 5' KKxb disc, 4' landpride pulverizer, Frontier RB1072 blade, homemade 5 1/2' lawn roller at 3500lbs, 2005 John Deere 797 w/60" deck, 2009 John Deere 997 w/ 72" deck, 2005 JD HPX Gator w/power dump, 1998 Toro 455D 10.5' deck!

  6. #6
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    15,833
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

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

    See if you have a Ferris dealer by you. Better ride and much better machine but pricey
    Murph ------------

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    154
    Location
    Quincy IL
    Tractor
    New Holland TC 30

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

    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

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    156
    Location
    Mid, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540 w/ LA514 FEL, 66" QA Bucket, 48" QA Forks, 7' RB, 18" Ripper, Ferris IS2000z ZTR

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

    Check out the Ferris IS2000z. It's the one you missed in your list and yes...I agree when you buy a zt, your just getting their brand name, mower deck and frame design. The frame is the one place Ferris is different from all those you listed. It has 4 wheel suspension and yes...its worth the money. It'll run around the high 8s.

  9. #9
    Gold Member newt92's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    344
    Location
    Secor Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520 and 2305

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

    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
    Just stay away from the later ones with the kubota diesel engine, they are nothing but trouble. I had 4 different ones and were always at the dealership for repairs. Not abuse, just poor designs.
    2007 JD 2305, 2008 JD 2520 w/200cx loader, Harbor Freight quick hitch, homemade pallet forks, 5' KK tiller, 5' KKxb disc, 4' landpride pulverizer, Frontier RB1072 blade, homemade 5 1/2' lawn roller at 3500lbs, 2005 John Deere 797 w/60" deck, 2009 John Deere 997 w/ 72" deck, 2005 JD HPX Gator w/power dump, 1998 Toro 455D 10.5' deck!

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    80
    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

    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

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