Which Zero turn to buy????

   #1  

varmint

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I have to mow about an acre here in Maryland. Mostly flat, but lots of scattered bushes and trees, three buildings and a large garden, so there is lots of twisting and turning. Using our Husqvarna graden tractor with a 42" deck takes about two hours, and as I am getting old, bouncing around for two hours isn't as much fun as it once was. FWIW, I have about 300 hours on it in 11 seasons of use. No real problems at all.

So, I have been seriously shopping around for a bigger Zero Turn with more weight, better seat and faster mowing. Of course, 11 years use from of a residential grade garden tractor also means it is getting tired. A friend in a similar situation says a zero turn has cut his mowing time almost in half, also my goal!

Sort of come down to two choices: a slightly used (152 hours, clean appearing) Cub Cadet Zforce SZ48 Commercial series, 48" deck, which has a lot features I like, from mowing height of 5" max (there's a reason, but not important here) to true commercial grade hydraulics and motor, heavily built, good seat and so forth, which would cost me $3445 w/ tax, vs. a new Husqvarna MZ 52 (52" deck) which also has better hydraulics, a Kawasaki engine, semi-commercial build, and they will throw in a spare set of blades, filters, etc., for $4876. 4 year warranty, being new. It's just not as seriously built as the Cub, but not a big box grade machine, either.

I actually think the steering wheel Cub Cadet is better for our use, especially my wife (be nice if she would mow from time to time) and it sure seems to be better built. My concern is that in searching reviews of the Cub I came across one owner who had real problems with the drive belt idler, so bad he got the dealer to take it back. I realize that one problem, out of hundreds of machines, shouldn't be a major factor, but since I am buying used, I will be on my own IF there are issues. Right now, it runs just fine.

I have no doubt about either one being built well enough for me to potentially get another 500 hours of mowing use, and by then, if I even make it, I will be well into my 80's and not likely to be taking care of our property any longer.

So, anyone with informed opinions is welcome to offer them! Thanks in advance, Forum members.
 
   #2  

4get gto

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I have using this IMG_20170804_164619.jpg for 20 years. 900 hours. But I said for many years you can't beat a steering wheel. You will cut your mowing time alot. They do ride rougher than than a tractor. Good seat is a must. Can't comment on which to buy.
 
   #3  

coolreinfarm

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I'm also from northern Maryland (Harford) here's my story, I have a cub cadet zforce 50 I bought new in 2007, it has 500 hours on it I replaced 2 idler pulleys and the mower drive belt. It has hydrogear z2800 hydro drives that I change the oil and filters every 200 hours, it has never let me down I mow 1 1/2 acres every week. In the fall I use a cyclone rake to collect leaves, plenty of power to pull a full load of leaves. I looked at the steering wheel models too much linkage and cables for me the lever style works best in my situation. If the zturn your looking at has a Kohler courage engine I would steer clear that motor has had its problems. If it's a command engine I would go for it. All the zturns I have driven ride rough, short wheelbase and small diameter front tires not like a tractor style that is longer and larger tires. I have cut the mowing time in half using this mower, I also went from a 60" mower to 50" and it's faster and easier to maneuver around trees and bushes, well that's my 2 cents.
 
   #4  

txdon

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Kawasaki motor, a 4 year warranty, 4" wider, better hydraulics, I have to go with the Husqvarna. I had a lower class hydraulic and it was the first to go on a craftsman and the the JD 48" I had just didn't seem wide enough. The Hustler Fastrack I ended up with sounds a lot like the Husqvarna.
 
  
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#5  
OP
varmint

varmint

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More info: the Cub has a Kohler Confidant engine, and both mowers use the Hydro-gear ZT 3100. Both have the same size 22" rear tires and 13" fronts. The Cub seat may be a bit better, but neither sports a true suspension seat. I might be able to get the dealer to assign the remaining warranty to me- it was 4 years and 500 hours on the Cub, and I am guessing it might be 2 years old, if that?? I am also thinking that the 52" deck might make more sense, but that isn't a deciding factor...
 
   #6  

Sawyer Rob

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IF you want a good riding zero turn, try a front deck GrassHopper, they ride very good.

SR
 
   #7  

txdon

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More info: the Cub has a Kohler Confidant engine,

I have never owned a Kohler engine but in the Hustler line the top of the line models had the kawasaki motor and the mid line had the Kohler engine. I drove both and preferred the Kawasaki. Have you test driven both?
 
   #8  

4get gto

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IF you want a good riding zero turn, try a front deck GrassHopper, they ride very good.

SR

Sawyer, the picture I posted above is a grasshopper in disguise and my ***** and back would tell you differently. :laughing:
 
  
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#9  
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varmint

varmint

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Guys, I have driven them both, but unfortunately, only the Cub on grass. It was a fairly rough area, and although the "ride" wasn't cushy, I think it was better than my garden tractor. I liked the Husky, too, but it's another $1450 or so, and I don't know if it has any advantages at all, beyond the 4" of cutting width.

Like I said, the Cub's steering wheel seems like a better choice for us- my wife likes it a lot better, and anything that gets her mowing is a plus.

I didn't exclude the more commercial mowers, but they are either out of my price range, or so used that I figure they will need regular repairs/maintenance. Remember, I am searching for something that will give me maybe 500 hours of mostly hassle free use over 10-15 years, at most. Belts, filters, oil changes, and blade sharpenings are fine, but more serious repairs are not something I want to deal with.

A guy in the business tells me that now not all Kawasaki engines are necessarily built to the same high standards. Made in USA vs. made in Japan- who knows?? Yet another question.
 

coolreinfarm

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More info: the Cub has a Kohler Confidant engine, and both mowers use the Hydro-gear ZT 3100. Both have the same size 22" rear tires and 13" fronts. The Cub seat may be a bit better, but neither sports a true suspension seat. I might be able to get the dealer to assign the remaining warranty to me- it was 4 years and 500 hours on the Cub, and I am guessing it might be 2 years old, if that?? I am also thinking that the 52" deck might make more sense, but that isn't a deciding factor...

I doubt that the warranty is transferrable from the manufacturer but may have a dealers warranty. I would want to know why it was traded in, did the previous owner have problems with it, didn't like it etc. otherwise the specs look good.
 
 
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