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  1. #1
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Zero Turn Mowers

    Been looking at them.

    3 houses where I am, father in law has arthritic hips and can't ride his riding mower "properly" and has to ride it side saddle.

    We're considering a ZTR. I'm trying to keep the deck width consistent at 60" All prices are rounded off for conversation.

    kubota diesel 21 hp 60" deck $10,000
    Scag turbodiesel 31 hp 61" deck $15,000

    Scag 61" deck, 27 hp kawasaki $8,725
    Woods 60" deck, 25 hp ?? engine (forget) $7,000


    I've looked at Bush Hog brand, and have brochures for Bunton, Great Dane and Country Clipper.

    Upshot, I'd prefer a machine that is diesel, has hydraulically operated deck height and is 60" or greater cut.

    That takes it to the Kubota or Woods (if I give up diesel). Both of those have the hydraulically operated deck height which to me, is one of the first criteria.

    Forgetting any of my preferences, any comments about these brands as a whole?

    My father in law has the bad hips, and the more the machine is hand operated, the better. Sadly, he's... well, hate to use this word, but a cheapskate [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. He's of the older school of keep money in bank and "make do". This causes him to approach the situation from the viewpoint of "what's the least I can spend to get something to cut with", rather than, "what's the RIGHT or BEST tool for the job...and is that an acceptable price".

    Given that, (I've concluded the Kubota is probably the best tool for him, followed by the Woods with gasoline engine), I told him I'd SPLIT the price with him!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    So, here, he can get a $10,000 machine for $5,000!!!. or as he is likely to do, a $7,000 for $3,500. Sadly, in my opinion, for $1,500 MORE outta "my" (and his) pocket, it's very worth looking at getting a diesel unit.

    Ok... that's sort of where I'm coming from but know NOTHING about this type mower. I see it mowing 3 yards, let's presume each yard is 1 acre +/-. AND I have a reasonably sized field by house that I'll TRY to cut with it. It's not a cut up pasture, but then, it's not a lawn either. If we get one of these, he & I will probably both sell our riding mowers and get that garage space back.

    So, who has what to say about this type mower in general and these brands specifically??? any OTHER brands out there that I'm not seeing?

    I'm still doing my research.

    Thanks for any thoughts/input.

    Richard

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    1,344
    Location
    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    Tractor
    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    Richard: I'm sort of in the same mode of looking at ZTR's and have the same objective as your FIL - cost control if possible.

    One "must have" feature for me is a flip-up mower deck to make it easy to clean underneath. I know the Country Clipper and the Walker have flip-up decks. I don't know about others.

    I like the Country Clipper for the joystick control vice the traditional double-handles.

    Another feature to consider is a "suspension seat" - particularly if you have any roughness in the terrain you mow or, in your FIL's case, bad hips. Most brands seem to have a suspension seat as an option.

    Best of luck in your search.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    118
    Location
    Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota B7510

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    You might want to take a look at the Exmarks ( http://www.exmark.com/LazerZEPS.htm ) I don't know if they have a diesel version but they're one of the most popular commercial mowers. If people use them all day every day I'd think they would be as comfortable as a mower is going to get.

    John

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Feb 2002
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    4,383
    Location
    Janesville, Wisconsin
    Tractor
    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    I'm not that familiar with ZTR's, although I thought I might get one once we move out of town.

    My neighbor uses a Grasshopper brand for his lawn mowing part time business. It has diesel engines available, flip up front mowers, and a variety of attachments. Have you looked at these?

    Good luck on your search. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Elite Member Gatorboy's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    3,099
    Location
    Bel Air, MD
    Tractor
    Kubota M8950, Bobcat 873 SSL & Kubota ZD-331

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Both of those have the hydraulically operated deck height which to me, is one of the first criteria. )</font>

    These are finish mowers, and if you are only cutting 3 lawns, why would you need to change the height at all?

    I was in the lawn business for 4 years and cut 100 lawns per week and never changed the height of our mowers once.

    Perhaps I'm missing something here.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    Oh, no... I'm sure it's ME that is missing something [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Since I know NOTHING about these and how much you change them around, I'm in process of learning.

    That said, I DO change the deck height of my rider mower couple times every time I cut my yard. Our terrain isn't golf course smooth.

    All I know is with the foot lever I've seen on some of them, my father in law would NOT be able to adjust the deck. I saw that feature on the kubota and thought it was a VERY nice touch so that ALL functions would be hand controlled.

    I'd rather spend a bit more and give him TOTAL flexability and not need it, than save a bit of money and have something he can't fully use.

    I've seen one brand (forget which) that had a hand controlled deck height that ought to be acceptable too.

    Richard


  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    125
    Location
    Woodbury, Connecticut
    Tractor
    New Holland TC35D

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    I have 2.5 acres of lawn. I bought a used Scag 60" zero turn with 500 hours on it and a 20 hp kohler gas engine, 5 years ago for 4,500 with a vac system. It has 1100 hours on it now.
    For residential use, these things last forever. The gas engines are good for 1500 hours at least and the only things that can wear out on the machine itself is belts, spindles and electric clutch, all cheap repairs.
    Buy a used machine with low hours. Both you and the cheapskate will be happy.
    These things cut an acre in half an hour. The hours add up slowly. It's by far the most used machine I have and the best return on investment.
    Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2002
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    289
    Location
    ECNY
    Tractor
    DK35

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    Go to the seller and have your FEL get on and off one. I have bad knees etc and it [ZTR] is easier to run but can be a little tricky to get on and off with infirmities. bcs

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    104
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 4200, JD B, JD 50

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    There are lots more brands of Z-turns available. I have one the Textron Bob-cats. I have lots of "green" machines, but this one pays for itself the most of anything out in the barn.


    Bob-cat Z-turn mowers

    They have a diesel and an option of Kohler or Kawasaki gas engines.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Zero Turn Mowers

    I spent half of yesterday going to various brands. I saw Scag, Exmark, Grasshopper, kubota, Woods, Great Dane...(pant pant pant) I think that's all of them

    I told them all I was primarily interested in 60" cut, possibly 72 and had a preference for diesel and "what did they think"

    Upshot, the Scag dealer tried to AGGRESSIVELY talk me OUT of a diesel, and the Scag is available as a diesel unit (though non on hand...hmmmm) (gotta be careful of the sales pitch)

    So I was left wondering, was it his attempt to move his inventory, or was he playing straight. He told me eye to eye that his 60" unit with the water cooled Kawasaki engine would outcut his diesel unit. It would cut faster &amp; go through rougher terrain.

    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

    I thought it was all about torque? I thought a 31 hp diesel would/could out torque a 31 hp gas???

    Right, wrong, blowing smoke up my hiney?

    One reason I want the diesel (I dont DESIRE to simply spend money) is ease of general maintainence, fuel storage, power (or so I thought).

    If the machine is capable (and the dealers ALL tell me they are) I'd like to be able to cut the field next to house and if it works, look at some of the other (relatively smooth) fields. The dealer flat out told me he uses his like a bush hog as long as his fields are less than knee high. Another person there (associate from different store) told me HE uses HIS even if the fields are 6 feet high. hmmm....

    The Kubota salesman told me to simply have them get their machines and titles to the machines together with him for a shootout. Winner takes other mans toy. He's spouting the words out inferring he's so confident HIS diesel would smoke their machine, ANY machine, he'd be willing to bet his machine. Of course, this is the salesman and not the owner.

    sigh.

    Kubota dude said the diesel in the 31 hp machine is the same diesel in the B7500, bx?? and another (I honestly dont remember any of the 3, but you get gist)

    so what's the skinny?

    If you have a hill like I do, if it's got long grass like it does, if you are mowing UP the hill... what's gonna make it to the top with less bogging?

    31 hp Kubota diesel or 31 hp liquid cooled Kawasaki?

    This isn't a race per se' and I know that ALL these machines will 'do the job'. I'm just trying to sort the facts out in my head so that what ever purchase is made (if any) it's made with facts and not sales pitches.

    Thanks

    Richard

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