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zero turn mower?

Old 05-03-2011, 06:46 AM
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Default zero turn mower?

I have about 1.5 acres of thick green grass on top of rutted and very bumpy clay ground. I currently use a larger Deere garden tractor w/ 52" deck but am thinking about moving to a zero turn. Looking hopefully to upgrade ride to alleviate the wear on my neck and back from all the jolting and also shorten cutting time.

Shopped my Deere place and salesdude said their zt wouldn't provide a better ride and in fact would probably be worse. Their suspension/cushioning isn't any better than their tractors, you sit directly over rear wheels, plus I'd have to run zt as slow as a my tractor for comfort, defeating benefit of zt faster speed. All make sense.

I'm a Deere guy but am wondering if any other brands have better designs that might handle conditions better? Before I start running around, does anyone out there has any practical experience? Thanks.
Old 05-03-2011, 06:56 AM
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I've got a Bobcat 52" with their "ISO-Ride™ Comfort System". It's a lot better than the last Bobcat I had but with a bumpy yard, like mine, it still may be a little rough.
Old 05-03-2011, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
I have about 1.5 acres of thick green grass on top of rutted and very bumpy clay ground. I currently use a larger Deere garden tractor w/ 52" deck but am thinking about moving to a zero turn. Looking hopefully to upgrade ride to alleviate the wear on my neck and back from all the jolting and also shorten cutting time.

Shopped my Deere place and salesdude said their zt wouldn't provide a better ride and in fact would probably be worse. Their suspension/cushioning isn't any better than their tractors, you sit directly over rear wheels, plus I'd have to run zt as slow as a my tractor for comfort, defeating benefit of zt faster speed. All make sense.

I'm a Deere guy but am wondering if any other brands have better designs that might handle conditions better? Before I start running around, does anyone out there has any practical experience? Thanks.
i've logged plenty of hours on DEERE's ZTRAK and wouldn't recommend anything other. a bit pricey, compared to others, but you get quality, and reliability from the DEERE name. Maintenance is relatively low, considering the acreage you have to cut,

I actually know of 2 places, a shooting range and an annex---that retired their bush-hogs for the Commercial Deere Ztraks.

ride isnt smooth yet isnt bone jarring rough either. just like any other tractor/zero turn the seats have the springs underneath them. (safety feature)
Old 05-03-2011, 07:06 AM
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Save the $6g you spend on a new ZT mower and get someone to til it and grade it?
Old 05-03-2011, 07:20 AM
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i love mine (60" scag) but for 1.5 acres i'd spend the money on hookers & blow instead
Old 05-03-2011, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by starmonk View Post
Save the $6g you spend on a new ZT mower and get someone to til it and grade it?
Yeah, I hear ya. It's been considered. I'm just at the age where I don't want to start over on a lawn (after 14 yrs). Lawn looks awesome - best in neighborhood, it's just bumpy half the lot or so. Plan on being here no more than 5 yrs more. ZT can be sold, lawn can't.
Old 05-03-2011, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
I don't want to start over on a lawn (after 14 yrs). .

Can relate.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:04 AM
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Whatever you look at most have an option for a suspension seat. That is a must IMO. Hustler also created a flex fork for the front wheels as an option. Don't know too much about it but from what I read the folks that have them like them and they do not cause too much scalping of the lawn. And, for some reason I thought they were going to market them for all mowers and not just Hustler. There was also another mower out there with a suspension system - Ferris I think - but I do not know too much about them. I did look at them and didn't like them because everything was tight under the seat which seemed like it would make maintenance hard.

My take is it doesn't matter what color the mower is (Red - ExMark, Yellow - Hustler, Green - John Deer, etc.) as they are built with mostly the same parts. You can get a Honda or Suzuki engine, etc. on all of them. They all - for the most part - have equivilant hydraulic systems. I would think that the closest dealer with parts and service and the price point would be your main concern.

The only exception to this is the homeowner models that use one hydraulic pump instaed of two, etc. My understanding is that there is a difference in the quality of components on these. There was a couple of forums out there where guys talk mowers like we talk boats. They have a lot of great advice and I used them when I was looking.

I will say that I went from a 50" Gravely Lawn Tractor to a 60" zero turn and could not be happier. I would never buy anything but another zero turn mower.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:29 AM
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Good info everyone.

Port Monster I checked out the Hustler website and those Flex-Forks look like they might be the ticket. There are two Hustler dealers close to me also.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:34 AM
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Can you roll it after some rain to smooth it out? I think the solution would be to fix that problem rather then a mower with good suspension. I love my exmark zero turn but it mows faster so would only enhance the bumpiness.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:35 AM
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Shop around - I bought my Hustler down in Maryland as no one in DE or SE PA could touch the price. If interested PM me and I will try and dig up the name.

Also - don't forget the Suspension Seat - it was an add on when I bought my mower but may be standard equipment now. They are adjustable and really do make it easier on the back.
Old 05-03-2011, 08:36 AM
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I had the opportunity to test out a Kubota Diesel zero turn 60" mower for 2 weeks. It made all the others look like a toy. Very well built, but very pricey ($10K)
Old 05-03-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by westbootie View Post
I had the opportunity to test out a Kubota Diesel zero turn 60" mower for 2 weeks. It made all the others look like a toy. Very well built, but very pricey ($10K)
And heavy as hell - but truly a tank in the zero turn market!!
Old 05-03-2011, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
Can you roll it after some rain to smooth it out? I think the solution would be to fix that problem rather then a mower with good suspension.
I looked into that and was told rolling would only help a little and only temporarily. The issue is that my grass has grown in clumps over the years, leaving small spaces in between clumps. I've aerated and over-seeding many times and it's helped some but water lays in those spaces and the clay cooks in the summer and freezes in the winter. To fix it really I need to top-dress and seed over two fall growing seasons. As I said I don't want to start over to only sell the place in the next few years (economy considered).
Old 05-03-2011, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Port Monster View Post
Shop around - I bought my Hustler down in Maryland as no one in DE or SE PA could touch the price. If interested PM me and I will try and dig up the name.

Also - don't forget the Suspension Seat - it was an add on when I bought my mower but may be standard equipment now. They are adjustable and really do make it easier on the back.
Thanks. I'm gonna try one out this Friday in PA dutch country. They have a test area with similar ground and are outfitting one with flex forks so I can try em out. If you can find the name where you got yours I'd appreciate it.
Old 05-03-2011, 09:29 AM
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American Service Ctr Inc
315 W Pulaski Hwy
Elkton, MD 21921

(410) 398-0801

Also, not sure if PA charges tax on a purchase like that - if they do have it delivered to DE!! lol
Old 05-03-2011, 09:41 AM
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I have a Hustler and it is awsome.
I bought it used from a lawn service cause they had some electrical issues. I got it home and fixed the issues and I can knock out my grass in no time. It will pull wheelies! When I first got it I would rip around the yard and power slide around some trees. The wife was a little pissed with the ruts so I had to slow it down a bit.
Old 05-03-2011, 10:03 AM
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The Z turns that have the deck out front ride MUCH better than the ones with the "under" decks. The reason you don't see the out front decks much is because they take up too much room on a trailer for commercial mowing. My Hustler 3400 27HP Kubota diesel weighs 1800lbs and is almost 9' long, rides like a dream. JD also makes them and you can find them lightly used. My mower was $14K new. I bought it with less than 300hrs on it and I had about $3K in it.

Ferris makes the best riding Zturn http://www.ferrisindustries.com/
Old 05-03-2011, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
The Z turns that have the deck out front ride MUCH better than the ones with the "under" decks. The reason you don't see the out front decks much is because they take up too much room on a trailer for commercial mowing. My Hustler 3400 27HP Kubota diesel weighs 1800lbs and is almost 9' long, rides like a dream. JD also makes them and you can find them lightly used. My mower was $14K new. I bought it with less than 300hrs on it and I had about $3K in it.

Ferris makes the best riding Zturn http://www.ferrisindustries.com/
I will add that the Z's with the deck out front does make it a lot easier to cut under low hanging branches.
Old 05-03-2011, 11:24 AM
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$6K will get you a hell of a lot of lawn service .

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