Zero turn advice???

sjohnson4382July 16, 2013

I am new to the zero turn market. I have borrowed a Gravely 260Z and an exmark laser-z series to cut our yard. We are cutting a yard that is about 2.5 acres with about an acre being centipede and the rest bahia. I have obviously loved cutting with the borrowed mowers, however I believe both are a little out of our price range.
Could someone give me some advice on their recommendations on what we should look at. Wanting to stay under 5K and would really like to stay just under 4K. The dealers we have that are within 60 miles or so sell Gravely, Ferris, Hustler, Dixie Chopper, Walker, Scag. Obviously, I'd look at other brands too, but I know that all of you seem to definitely recommend getting something where there is a dealer close.

Any recs and tips are extremely appreciated. Also, is there is significant mark down on mowers at the end of growing season (maybe Sept or Oct) where you can snag a really really good deal? Or do those prices stay relatively even throughout the year?

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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

In my opinion, most all the mfrs. you list have comparable residential grade models with the integrated pump/motor units at each rear wheel. Kind of a Ford vs Chevy vs Chrysler comparison. I think Walker only mfrs. commercial grade units and their starting prices are way up there. Probably best to visit each dealer (if you have the time) and see what fits you best, including price. The only mfr. of ztr's I am familiar with is John Deere since I own one (EZTrak 425) but you don't have that listed.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Larso1- thanks. What is your opinion on the EZTrak 425? I just hear so many people say stay away from the green machines, but I'm always open to look at them because years ago they made really good equipment and we had their regular lawn tractors growing up with very little problems

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:18AM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

Well I haven't heard anyone say to stay away from the green machines, but they do tend to cost a little more for that green paint. I do like the EZTrak 425. Mine is a 2007, 1st year of the model. No problems so far, I just do all the routine maintenance as suggested in the manual. It does have a separate pump and drive motors which are normally found on the higher end units. The one pain is the deck lift, it should have been provided with a spring assist to make it easier, but other than that I like it. The new models may be a little different, I haven't kept up with the changes over the years. Mine cost $4K back in '07 and the turbo bagger system was close to another $1K.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 10:35AM
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I have had a Lawnboy Precision, with the Honda GXV 390, since 2004. Love it... it cuts our 2.5 acres in 1/4 the time of our traditional rideon lawn tractor. It is a little less stable on the banks but if you mow across and then turn uphill for the next swath it works fine. There is a lot less traction with this unit as it is lighter in overall weight. It therefore get stuck on boggy ground or wet grass a little more easily. Only mechanical issues I have had is, it has been through 2 starter motors.. and this time once I got it up and started again it would not shut off... I little checking around.,. Ground fault at the main ground at the base of the engine. It was slightly loose.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Dixie Chopper is an excellent machine BUT they have started making a "residential" line which may not be any better than some of the others. Dixie Chopper was one of the first, if not the original one, to use separate pump and motor set up.

Scag is a good machine but not sure about one in the price range you specify.

My experience has been the cheaper models use pumps with fewer elements and thus are not as smooth in their reaction. So try them out.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:44PM
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