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pmikler
07-14-2013, 08:51 PM
In the next month or so I am going to upgrade from a lawn tractor to a zero turn. Looking at 50 inch +/-. I have about an acre with most of it wide open space.

I am not looking at commercial. Any tips or advice would be appreciated

GoinBoatin
07-14-2013, 08:59 PM
My dad just bought a John Deere 445 I think was the model number. It's not a commercial grade but a step below it I think. Seems to be a really nice. His last one was a tractor style and is 15 yrs old and still working fine he just needed something bigger. IMO JD makes a long lasting good mower and half the cost of an ex mark.

joey414
07-14-2013, 09:02 PM
I Have a 48" badboy I bought at Tractor Supply. I Love it 27 horse but has a thickdeck like a commercial mower. Ihave a little over 3/4 of and acre and can cut the grass in lessthan an hour including trimming.

HartlandX1
07-14-2013, 10:05 PM
Second the bad boy. Have 50" zt.

CC2MC
07-14-2013, 10:19 PM
John Deer is a great mower. I found my dad a 50" at Home Depot for a discounted rate. It is sold as a used mower bc it had some kind of warranty issue. They ended up sending it in bc it wouldn't start and had flat tires. Turned out that it needed a new battery and they fixed the tires. I believe they knocked $1000 off or so for that. Just ask someone at HD about a warranty returned product. They do this for trimmers, chainsaws and push mowers and anything else they sell. It is really hit or miss on what they have in stock though. They do the same thing with John Deer, but they rarely see them in there bc they are so well made. Oh and my dad has a Toro ZTR, 50" 22hp v-twin. He has about an acre and it can get cut in less than an hour. He was a little concerned that the 50" was going to be too big but he is pleased with the deck size. Good luck.

russlars
07-15-2013, 02:46 AM
Just wondering if most of your acreage to mow is open space, why do you want a zero turn mower? I mow about 3 acres but we have a lot of trees and tight spots to mow around. I didn't want a zero turn mower because they are pretty limited to just mowing whereas you can use a lawn tractor for other duties. I decided to go with a John Deere X324 mower. It has 4 wheel steering and will mow a tight 9" circle but also works great for straight stretches and other lawn tractor duties. I think mine has a 48" deck on it.

crank
07-15-2013, 05:44 AM
A zero turn is much quicker, but as quoted, not as versatile for other towing duties etc, as always it is a balance, but jd gear is nice,

timvan
07-15-2013, 06:39 AM
Scag or Exmark, Scag is a bit heavier duty

charrison327
07-15-2013, 07:55 AM
it all depends on your budget really. you can get really nice residential mowers fairly reasonable or spend as much as you would on commercial. a lot of the price is in the motors and steel that is used. you will hear a lot of people complain about briggs and say only get a kawasaki (i don't even think JD uses kawasaki anymore - not 100%) but as long as you take care of your mower like you do your MC, i don't think you will have a problem. i've even heard good things about craftsman zero turns.

bigmac
07-15-2013, 08:09 AM
My dad just bought a John Deere 445 I think was the model number. It's not a commercial grade but a step below it I think. Seems to be a really nice. His last one was a tractor style and is 15 yrs old and still working fine he just needed something bigger. IMO JD makes a long lasting good mower and half the cost of an ex mark.

I've had that same mower for about 3 years. It's been completely reliable. The higher blade speed means you can mow well at a faster speed. I found that that 445 gets my yard mowed in about 1/2 the time that it took me with my JD garden tractor.

Couple of points to consider...

--attachments are problematic (there really aren't any). I had to keep my old garden tractor for the snowblower attachment. This ZT mower is just that...a lawn mower.

--the zero-turn aspect is one of the key advantages of such a mower, but be aware that with every zero-turn 180-degree turn you are pivoting on the inside rear wheel. That will have a distinct tendency to severely scuff your lawn right down to the dirt where that inside rear wheel pivots.

pmikler
07-15-2013, 08:27 AM
Just wondering if most of your acreage to mow is open space, why do you want a zero turn mower? I mow about 3 acres but we have a lot of trees and tight spots to mow around. I didn't want a zero turn mower because they are pretty limited to just mowing whereas you can use a lawn tractor for other duties. I decided to go with a John Deere X324 mower. It has 4 wheel steering and will mow a tight 9" circle but also works great for straight stretches and other lawn tractor duties. I think mine has a 48" deck on it.

Mostly speed. I watch my neighbors to the left and right of me mow in half the time as it takes me with roughly the same size decks. I do have some tight spots in the back yard which are a pain with my tractor. I hadn't thought about the "other duties" thanks for bringing that up- ill need to consider that.

76S&S
07-15-2013, 08:28 AM
I've had a Gravely going on 3 years now. I bought it used with a little over 100 hours on it at an auction. I've been extremely pleased with the mower and it cut my mowing time from about 1 1/2 hours to 30 minutes.

To me the biggest difference other than the obvious (zt) is the blade speed which allows you to mow at a higher rate of speed. Since you are shopping ahead of time, it may be something you want to research on the residential grade of zt's. I wouldn't worry about the blade speed on the commercial grade mowers.

PT 1999 ProStar
07-15-2013, 08:58 AM
I had a used commercial grade 52" walk behind mower for years that I used to mow our acre and half lawn. It did a great job and the "lines" in the lawn looked great. It died about 4 years ago and I tried to find a decent used scagg zero turn but nothing look good for the price. So I went to H Depot and looked at the Club cadet 50" zero turn with a 22 HP Kawasaki motor! Kawasaki is one of the best if not the best lawn mowing engines. I haven't regretted it one bit. Does an amazing job and is fast. "Lines" look perfect!:cool: great product for the price. Quality built for a home owner!!

blakehardesty
07-15-2013, 08:58 AM
Im partial to a "Grasshopper". Commercial grade though and VERY expensive.

http://www.grasshoppermower.com/

Traxx822
07-15-2013, 09:22 AM
I know you said no commercials ...

I use BobCat FastCats. 48" deck and BobCat walk behind with sulky's 36"

I bought both of mine used. They have never let me down. They can beast through 48" tall grass and weeds and it is one of the most reliable pieces of equipment I have ever owned.

bobbyB
07-15-2013, 09:25 AM
We run a lawn care service and are also partial to commercial grade mowers. You cannot beat a Walker for quality of build and durability. BTW- Skag and other mowers of that style are all copies of the origonal Walker design.

About that scuff mark when turning. We ran into this same issue. When executing a 180, the inside wheel twists in one spot and it looks bad. We simply started turning just a bit wide in the radius so the inside wheel was turning not pivoting. Then 3/4 thru the turn you apply some back turn to that inside wheel to inside wheel to line up your next pass....eliminated the skid marks.

Good luck.

onejdgreen
07-15-2013, 09:29 AM
The Deere Z445 is a great mower residental zero turn mower. You can upto a 54" deck on it, list price is $4999.00, but I believe we are running some deals on financing or rebates. Check with your local dealer. If you want a bigger deck you can go up to a Z465 with a 62" deck. Its still considered a residental mower. We offer a few attachments, baggers, thatcher, etc. You can put a rear hitch on it to pull a small sprayer or cart. The Deere also has a 4 year/300 hour warranty. Good machine for the money.

bigmac
07-15-2013, 09:42 AM
The Deere Z445 is a great mower residental zero turn mower. You can upto a 54" deck on it, list price is $4999.00, but I believe we are running some deals on financing or rebates. Check with your local dealer. If you want a bigger deck you can go up to a Z465 with a 62" deck. Its still considered a residental mower. We offer a few attachments, baggers, thatcher, etc. You can put a rear hitch on it to pull a small sprayer or cart. The Deere also has a 4 year/300 hour warranty. Good machine for the money.

Yeah, by attachments I meant snowblower, tiller etc. I mulch, not bag. I do have the rear guard bar and hitch point. It works well for a plain old garden cart but not really robust enough that I'd trust it for anything very heavy whereas I put a 2" ball on my JD tractor and it pull everything from a snowmobile trailer to my boat. Nice for moving those things around.

Pulling a trailer or sprayer with a ZT mower does require some attention. You don't want to be doing any zero-radius turns while doing so.

PT 1999 ProStar
07-15-2013, 09:49 AM
I had a used commercial grade 52" walk behind mower for years that I used to mow our acre and half lawn. It did a great job and the "lines" in the lawn looked great. It died about 4 years ago and I tried to find a decent used scagg zero turn but nothing look good for the price. So I went to H Depot and looked at the Club cadet 50" zero turn with a 22 HP Kawasaki motor! Kawasaki is one of the best if not the best lawn mowing engines. I haven't regretted it one bit. Does an amazing job and is fast. "Lines" look perfect!:cool: great product for the price. Quality built for a home owner!!

This is very similar to mine:
http://www.cubcadet.com/equipment/cubcadet/zero-turn-riding-mowers/rzt%E2%84%A2-50-kw-rzt50kw-2013

skps190
07-15-2013, 09:49 AM
I've got a JD x724 with four wheel steering, and like russlars said, it turns pretty tight. I have about 3 acres to mow and it gets it done in a decent amount of time. I know not near as fast as a zero turn but for me being on the mower is a couple hours of therapy that I look forward to weekly. The only thing holding me back from a zero turn is that I have a 54" plow for doing snow and with a 200' long drive way it makes short work of clearing it.

onejdgreen
07-15-2013, 09:58 AM
Yeah, by attachments I meant snowblower, tiller etc. I mulch, not bag. I do have the rear guard bar and hitch point. It works well for a plain old garden cart but not really robust enough that I'd trust it for anything very heavy whereas I put a 2" ball on my JD tractor and it pull everything from a snowmobile trailer to my boat. Nice for moving those things around.

Pulling a trailer or sprayer with a ZT mower does require some attention. You don't want to be doing any zero-radius turns while doing so.

Agree 100% with you. The ZT mowers are limited on attachments, but in his case, a snowblower probably isnt needed as he is from the southeast. We are working on more attachments for ZT mowers, i.e. snowblower, brooms, blades, etc...

bigmac
07-15-2013, 10:06 AM
Agree 100% with you. The ZT mowers are limited on attachments, but in his case, a snowblower probably isnt needed as he is from the southeast. We are working on more attachments for ZT mowers, i.e. snowblower, brooms, blades, etc...

A snowblower, or even a blade, for my 445 would be very cool (this is Minnesota).

Jason.H.
07-15-2013, 10:09 AM
I like the hustler zero turns

zsqure
07-15-2013, 11:05 AM
I'm also partial to Grasshopper front mount zt mowers. My family had one in the 80's and always wanted one. In 2003 bought a used '95 720k, been going strong now at 2200 hours. Mows circles around my neighbors shiny new Toro zt.
My kids mow 5 or 6 lawns with it each week, and used to plow snow with it in the winter. Being front mount there are a few attachments available for year round use. I would not hesitate to buy another.

bobx1
07-15-2013, 01:42 PM
I have 1.3 acres to mow. Over the last 15 years, I have had two Craftsman Lawn Tractors (decent and a good price but I wore them out). 5 years ago, I purchased a low end Toro ZTR and fell in love with ZTR's. Unfortunately, it started to fall apart after 3 seasons (I mow 9 months a year). Finally bit the bullet and after looking at all my options, I went with a Scag Freedom Z (which is their low end product fpr Home/Lite Commercial product). This thing is built like a tank and I have not had one issue with it. Also, I went with them because the local Scag dealer sells to the commercial guys and their repair turn around time is trememdous (the Toro guy took 3 weeks one time and 5 weeks the next time). At the time, I looked at XMark, Toro commercial, Snapper commercial, Bad Boy, Dixie Chopper, and a few others.

http://www.scag.com/freedomz/freedomz.html

mesquitethrasher
07-15-2013, 03:22 PM
Bought the Cub Cadet RZT 50" five years ago, Kawasaki motor. We have a 1 acre lot. Have not had any problems with it other than replacing the battery, and the blades this year. Paid 2999.00 for it at Home Depot.

Even though I have had no problems I find myself wishing I would have spent a little more and gone with a heavier duty, possibly commercial mower, specifically due to the quality of the deck construction. My neighbor recently bought a new Kubota residential model. It seems to be a nice product and I believe he paid just under 5k. Just my thoughts.

GNA001
07-15-2013, 09:17 PM
Another plug for the front mount grasshoppers. I bought my 720k used 14 years ago and haven't had any problems. Very reliable machine. Probably most surprising to me is how stable it is even when mowing my ditches.

pmikler
07-15-2013, 09:48 PM
Another plug for the front mount grasshoppers. I bought my 720k used 14 years ago and haven't had any problems. Very reliable machine. Probably most surprising to me is how stable it is even when mowing my ditches.

This brings up a question. low hour commercial or new residential?

For example saw a commercial cub cadet 24hp kohler with 360 hours for 2999 at a local shop

76S&S
07-16-2013, 08:36 AM
Personally, I would opt for a low hour commercial over a similarly priced new residential. I have a friend that mowes 5 acres; he bought a 72" exmark with over a thousand hours and loves the mower.

Traxx822
07-16-2013, 09:04 AM
My BobCat FastCat has over 5000 hours. It runs perfectly.

Go commercial used. I bought mine for $3000 and have only ever changed oil belts and blades. Oh and one tire but that was my guys fault.

All the commercial brands hold up well.

Once couple years back I bought a new cub cadet zero turn. The homeowner special. It is nothing like a commercial mower. Nothing. I returned it believe it or not and bought the used fast cat.

I bought a couple 36" walk behind BobCat's for getting into small gates. But also have one 48" deck for them and sulky. I bought those rigs for $1200 & $1500 and it will pull you on the sulky. Leaves great lines and won't tear up grass like the sit down does when you zero turn. I can walk behind it and cut an acre in about 25 min with the 36"

They have the power to mow 3-4 foot tall grass if need be.

I would imagine at homeowner use the machine would last forever.

Until we have robot mowers :cool:

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

stuartmcnair
07-16-2013, 10:31 AM
The Scag Freedom Z is a fantastic mower. Commercial grade but still in the homeowner price range. I mow over an acre two times a week and that thing is rock solid. Only takes me about 45 minutes each time and I have lots of trees and five sections of yard to mow.

I had a 52" Husqvarna but dropped down to a 48" in the Scag. The bigger deck has more problems if you have undulations in your yard, it will either scalp it or leave some grass too high so take that into consideration.