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Zero Turn Mower Experience?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by dpast88, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:00 AM
    #1
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    I imagine there are some guys on here with zero turn mower knowledge that could give me some advice. I just purchased a new home on a 1.25 acre lot and am looking at purchasing a zero turn mower. At my previous tiny home and lot it still took me over an hour in between the push mower, weed whacking, edger trimming etc. so I would like to not be mowing my new lawn for hours at a time. I am house poor with the new mortgage so would like to stay under $3k all in (with a mulching and bagger attachment). I am looking at the following:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Troy-Bi...-Turn-Riding-Lawn-Mower-Mustang-Z42/311633330

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cub-Cad...urn-Riding-Lawn-Mower-ULTIMA-ZT1-42/307458392

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Troy-Bi...-Turn-Riding-Lawn-Mower-Mustang-Z46/311633308

    I have also looked into Toro and John Deere but they put me out of my price range (Toro for some reason has really expensive attachments and John Deere is just more expensive to begin with).

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:07 AM
    #2
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer 'Screaming Buffalo'

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    I hate them!

    Give me a standard lawn tractor and/or a push mower... that's all I used at my last home and it worked out great. It was a basic Snapper rear engine mower and a Toro push mower. The fields were cut 2 or 3 times a year for hay.

    H2OsHome.jpg2021-03-11.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
    MDJK and dpast88 [OP] like this.
  3. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:17 AM
    #3
    Fotnot

    Fotnot SSEM #69

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    i ended up going with a kubota once we built on our 2.5 acres because my lawn tractor went out. kubota usually has a 3 year 0% financing as long as you pay it off within that time frame. I've been happy with it. something to consider if you're interested. i believe the sizes your picking of between 42"-46" is a good idea, especially if you're going to be needing to mow between "obstacles" like trees and all.
     
    dpast88 [OP] likes this.
  4. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:18 AM
    #4
    Blueknights75

    Blueknights75 040 IS THE FASTEST

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    For that price you should be able to find a decent used commercial grade walk behind with a sulky attachment. Had a Toro with a commercial Kawasaki engine that was a tank. I purchased from a landscape company locally that brings in new inventory every few years and sells their used equipment.
     
  5. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:22 AM
    #5
    SouthWestGA

    SouthWestGA New Member

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    I have a hobby dealing with buying and selling commercial zero turn equipment as a side gig for extra cash

    I’ll report back later with some details about mowers

    For now i will advise that big box stores alike Home Depot and Lowe’s only sell low grade disposable junk zero turn mowers
     
  6. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:23 AM
    #6
    Busa

    Busa New Member

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    We had a Toro ZTR 42" mower for a 3/4 acre lot. I would never have a "lawn tractor", they are limited in cutting into corners and having to shift to back up is a pain in the backside (many will not cut in reverse also). On our lot it took 1/2 an hour to mow. With your lot size I would buy the largest cutting width that will fit through any gate you may have. If not gates, I'd just go with the largest I could afford.
     
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  7. Mar 11, 2021 at 6:25 AM
    #7
    Fotnot

    Fotnot SSEM #69

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    ^^^this too is a good option.
     
    glowblue and dpast88 [OP] like this.
  8. Mar 11, 2021 at 7:27 AM
    #8
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    I have looked at specific dealers in the area and it still appears that they sell the same lawn mowers just at higher prices. Am I missing something? I imagine I could get better customer service and a local store for repairs and maintenance if I go that route.
     
  9. Mar 11, 2021 at 7:29 AM
    #9
    The Simple Engineer

    The Simple Engineer New Member

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    If you're set on going the new route as opposed to buying used commercial grade as others have mentioned, I would personally recommend Cub Cadet. Compared to some of the other entry-level zero turn brands it's hard to beat the bang for your buck. The Kohler 7000 series is an established engine and people, myself included, seem to be quite pleased with it. I purchased a Ultima ZT1 54" for my 3.5 acre lot and I can cut it in ~2 hours. In my experience, once you use a zero turn, especially if there are many obstacles on your property, there's no going back to a lawn tractor.

    https://www.cubcadet.com/en_US/view...refn1=series&prefv1=Ultima Series™ ZT&start=0

    I would also echo what's previously been said to stay away from big box stores. Go find a standalone dealer and purchase from them. Not only would you be supporting small business, but the customer service, parts inventory and expertise at one of those places is a huge advantage given that big box stores of course don't offer any of those things.
     
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  10. Mar 11, 2021 at 8:50 AM
    #10
    Shuffler

    Shuffler New Member

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    I bought an Ariens 48" 6 or 7yrs ago and it's been awesome. Kohler engine, low maintenance, good cut. My transaxle belt shit the bad last year & was kind of a hassle to replace ... but I figure that will happen with any machine, eventually. Been mowing between 1-2 acres with it.

    Check this place out ... I've purchased many items over the years ... snowblowers, pressure washers, pumps, mowers.
     
  11. Mar 11, 2021 at 9:12 AM
    #11
    don3032

    don3032 New Member

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    I have a 60 inch cub cadet sero turn for about 3.5 acres. It works great along as ground is level and smooth. I bought a used lawn tractor that cuts better and works on hills and ruffer terrain.
     
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  12. Mar 11, 2021 at 9:14 AM
    #12
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

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    I guess it’s that time of the year for lawnmower posts!

    Are there any Hustler dealers in your area? They’re a step above the big box store variety. Probably a little more expensive, though I haven’t looked lately. I have just enough trees and tight spots on my property that a smaller deck made more sense, so I bought a 42” Raptor. I believe I was right at $3k after tax.

    6 years of mowing March to October and zero issues.

    If you’re not experienced on a ZT, prepare for lots of bald spots in your yard until you get the hang of it.
     
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  13. Mar 11, 2021 at 9:20 AM
    #13
    Hightide

    Hightide Kinda’ new, but old

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    Lots of do-dads.
    DO NOT PURCHASE A BIG BOX STORE MOWER!!!

    .

    .

    .
    Determine your budget, go to a local commercial dealer and find something in your budget.
    You will get much better service with knowledgeable people.

    Exmark, Kubota, Scag, Bad Boy, Hustler... any of the mowers along this line or type will last 10+ years in commercial usage.
    It will last a homeowner a lifetime.

    Most of these places also have fairly aggressive financing programs.
    They don’t know if you’re going into business or not.
    You’ll get the same programs as a commercial buyer, many with 0% financing.
     
  14. Mar 11, 2021 at 9:36 AM
    #14
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    Wow thanks for the great responses everyone. I have a list of 4 local vendors I will need to visit over the next couple of weeks while there is still a little bit of snow on the ground.
     
  15. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:01 AM
    #15
    I_Am_Thee_Walrus

    I_Am_Thee_Walrus New Member

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    If you have relatively flat land, they’re awesome and you will save a ton of time.

    I’ve had a Cub Cadet zero turn for 15 years and it’s been beat on pretty hard. Still runs strong and I assume I will get at least 7-10 more years out of it. All I’ve done is change the oil and filters.
     
  16. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:05 AM
    #16
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    General question to all. I am not familiar with some of the other brands (which I assume are more in the commercial realm). I only found one hustler dealer (but no scag, bad boy, etc.). Is paying premium for one of these brands worth it? Looks there are several good Cub Cadet and Toro reviews on here. My dad even had a Craftsman that lasted him 15 years so that is making me question if some of these brands are worth the extra costs.
     
  17. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:11 AM
    #17
    I_Am_Thee_Walrus

    I_Am_Thee_Walrus New Member

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    They are definitely worth the money but honestly, for just over an acre, probably not worth it for you.
     
  18. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:16 AM
    #18
    jonclark96

    jonclark96 New Member

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    I cut about 1.5 acres with some elevation change with a John Deere garden tractor (a couple steps up from the ones you get at the box store). I needed to get it serviced last year and borrowed by neighbor's zero-turn. They cut pretty fast and are easy to use once you get used to them, but i found that my neighbor's tended to tear up the grass if I had to turn when not on flat ground. Just some food for thought if you don't have a flat lot.
     
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  19. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:27 AM
    #19
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

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    The Hustler is built different. It’s like an HD mower. Its frame is welded together much better. It’s made to last. I have an acre and some change with several trees, a creek, and two sheds. I can cut my grass in half the time with it vs a tractor. If my lot were wide open and flat, I’d probably have a tractor with a wider deck.

    I can mow at top speed, and it cuts great. The damage, like others have said, is when you turn too tight, particularly on sloped ground. If you have to turn on any kind of incline, shut off the blades, raise your deck, and make your turn in a larger radius.

    Even on flat ground, the zero-ier the turn, the more damage done to your yard. You’re taking a tire with a bunch of weight on it and just spinning it in place. This twisting motion rips your grass out of the ground.
     
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  20. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:31 AM
    #20
    Kung

    Kung Not so FNG

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    IMHO, it's not just about the amount of land; it's also about the type of land. Where we live in MO, the ground is pretty dang rough; and it will (and has) easily beat consumer-grade lawn mowers into submission. I used to have a Husqvarna 42" lawn mower and after 4 years - with constant replacements of small stuff - it gave up the ghost in 2016 or so.

    I bought a Big Dog mower (made by Excel Industries - same outfit that makes Hustler) and haven't had any issues with it. :thumbsup:

    (Hustler MOWERS, btw. :rolleyes:)

    Ditto. It's not like I leave divots everywhere, but lots of people love to mow with ZTRs at top speed (and I do too when I'm on the straightaway). You do NOT want to do that on a slope, obviously; and they'll flip easier on a slope. I think if the slope is more than 15 degrees you don't even want to get anywhere near it with a ZTR. As it is, I've got a 10 degree slope in the backyard, and I've got an extra 50# weight I plunk on the front when I need to cut it.
     
  21. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:43 AM
    #21
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

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    Yeah on straightaways and gradual turns, I’m wide open. :burnrubber:But I slow way down for tighter turns. And while I do turn tightly, I never make a zero-radius turn. I don’t want divots in my yard.

    I have one steeper spot in my yard that I cut with three quick passes of a Honda push mower. Now that little mower is AWESOME. It starts first pull every time, even after being in the shed for the winter.
     
  22. Mar 11, 2021 at 10:52 AM
    #22
    Kung

    Kung Not so FNG

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    Truth - I have - or HAD - a Honda push mower, and it didn't matter what the hell I did to it - started up first pull every time. With that said, all I've needed recently has been our ZTR, a weedwacker, and one of those string trimmers.
     
  23. Mar 11, 2021 at 11:20 AM
    #23
    ZPhilip

    ZPhilip New Member

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    I would see which local commercial brands are being sold and serviced in your area. And based on that, buy a used commercial zero turn for $3k. With routine maintenance and used for 1.25 acres per week, it can last 20 years.
    No sense buying an expensive machine for cheap if you can’t get parts quick or anyone willing to fix it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  24. Mar 11, 2021 at 11:23 AM
    #24
    Drainbung

    Drainbung Some days you are the show...

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    THIS! I scored a used 36" Scag w/16hp Kawasaki for 1100 off Craigslist.
     
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  25. Mar 11, 2021 at 11:46 AM
    #25
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    Damn I didn’t even think to check Craigslist. Great idea!
     
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  26. Mar 11, 2021 at 11:53 AM
    #26
    Drainbung

    Drainbung Some days you are the show...

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    The commercial walk behinds disappear pretty quickly.
     
  27. Mar 11, 2021 at 12:02 PM
    #27
    ZPhilip

    ZPhilip New Member

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    Facebook marketplace too
     
  28. Mar 11, 2021 at 12:34 PM
    #28
    dpast88

    dpast88 [OP] New Member

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    Is this worth taking a look at? A 2014 Hustler Raptor 42-in Zero-turn for $2200 bucks. I would prefer to look at something newer and more gently used but it doesn't look bad from the photos and it already comes with a bagger which is nice. Maybe I could offer $2000.
     
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  29. Mar 11, 2021 at 12:35 PM
    #29
    Drainbung

    Drainbung Some days you are the show...

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    I would say yes. Are you there yet?
     
  30. Mar 11, 2021 at 12:55 PM
    #30
    Maxtor

    Maxtor New Member

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    Yes paying for a commercial mower is worth it in my opinion but don't get too hung up on the brand. I have a friend that owns a landscape business with about a dozen mowers and has bounced between several brands depending on what kind of deal he can find. He told me to not worry much about brand name since most commercial mowers use similar hydraulic pumps and motors - such as Parker. Spindles are also common as are the engines. As far as I know all of them have their own version of heavy duty welded decks made from plate steel. As far as the engine, according to him Kohler kind of fell from graces a few years back, not sure if they are ok again but Kawasaki was his preferred engine. I traded my 52" Exmark with a Kohler when it cracked a cylinder head at 1200 HRS (rest of mower was perfectly fine) for a 61" Bobcat with a Kawasaki and I can say the Kawasaki runs quieter and doesn't seem to produce as much heat. 600 HRS on the Bobcat so far with just routine maintenance. As someone said, find out what is sold locally to you if you plan to have someone else service it.
     
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