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GoReds
05-04-2010, 02:54 PM
I'm considering a zero turn mower in the next couple of weeks and wanted to find out if anyone has any advice or experience to pass along.

I'm hoping to stay under $3k and have looked at Toro, Troy Bilt and Cub Cadet 42" and 50" models at Lowes and Home Depot. I have 1.5 acres to mow, reasonably flat and am tired of spending most of my Saturday mowing and trimming.

LoganBuck
05-04-2010, 04:11 PM
I'm considering a zero turn mower in the next couple of weeks and wanted to find out if anyone has any advice or experience to pass along.

I'm hoping to stay under $3k and have looked at Toro, Troy Bilt and Cub Cadet 42" and 50" models at Lowes and Home Depot. I have 1.5 acres to mow, reasonably flat and am tired of spending most of my Saturday mowing and trimming.

I might be mistaken but I believe Toro, Troy Bilt, and Cub Cadet are all made by the same company. A bunch of consolidation in the lower end residential market.

I would suggest that you look into some local equipment dealers before you buy something from HD or Lowes. Those models are cheaply made. If you are going to do that you are better off going to Sears and buying a Craftsman, equal quality, lower price especially if you watch for deals. I would suggest looking at local dealers that sell Gravely, Grasshopper, Dixon, Dixie Chopper, or John Deere. (The John Deeres at Lowes and Home Depot are not the same as the Deeres at an actual dealership.)

You can also find good used commercial machines off of lease at this time of year. As long as they have under 1000 hours, and look like they have been taken care of, you may be able to get a real deal on a mower that you could never afford new. With your size yard, you would never wear out a good used commercial machine.

Unassisted
05-04-2010, 04:13 PM
My parents have had Dixon ZTR mowers for ~30 years and they love them. They mow over half an acre and have quite a few trees and other obstacles to trim around.

The main trick I remember from operating them is that you can create divots in your lawn if you change directions too quickly. I guess it's the mower's way of telling you "just because you can go from forward to reverse without stopping, doesn't mean you should." :D

LoganBuck
05-04-2010, 04:15 PM
Forgot to add that my parents have 3 acres of yard, and bought a Grasshopper 26 HP with a 60" deck a couple of years ago, off lease, that was used at the Logan County fairgrounds for around $3900. It has been a great mower for them. I believe that a similar machine sells new for around $7000.

SunDeck
05-04-2010, 04:19 PM
Is the lot flat or hilly? If it's flat, you might be able to save money by getting one with a hung deck, rather than a roller deck (if they still make them without rollers).

What size deck are you looking for? Lot's of residential ztr mowers out there are 42", which to me seems on the skinny side. And from the quick look that I did, it seems like the under $3,000 models are all relatively light on horsepower. One solution is to get a walk behind. For $3,000 you'd be able to buy a really nice residential model or a good used commercial model. I like the walk behind option because you get more mowing for your money when you don't have to buy horse power to carry you around. But if you don't want to walk, you can buy a stand on, which doesn't burden a low hp motor as much as carrying a rider.

LoganBuck
05-04-2010, 04:27 PM
Another option might be a John Deere All Wheel Steer mower. These have been out for over a decade now, and may be available at a good bargin. Drives similar to a conventional ride on, but with a much shorter turning radius, think pie plate.

GAC
05-05-2010, 04:41 AM
I'm considering a zero turn mower in the next couple of weeks and wanted to find out if anyone has any advice or experience to pass along.

I'm hoping to stay under $3k and have looked at Toro, Troy Bilt and Cub Cadet 42" and 50" models at Lowes and Home Depot. I have 1.5 acres to mow, reasonably flat and am tired of spending most of my Saturday mowing and trimming.

I'd go with the Toro. My neighbor has had a 50" model for 3 years now and loves it. And he doesn't only mow his yard, but since he retired, uses it as part of his part-time business mowing other yards.

Also - Toro bought out Wheel Horse several years ago. I've checked his mower out. I like the fact that it's design has accessibility in mind, and makes it easier to work on, get to the fluids, belts, etc.

My brother bought a Troy Bilt at Lowes. I've ridden it. It's junk.

At Lowes, Home Depot, and any of the other major outlets, it may say John Deere, Troy Bilt, or Cub Cadet on it, but they didn't build it. It was made by MTD.

If you can afford to spend a little more, I'd check out a Dixon or even go to a John Deere dealership.

ABEsolutely
05-05-2010, 07:13 AM
I might be mistaken but I believe Toro, Troy Bilt, and Cub Cadet are all made by the same company. A bunch of consolidation in the lower end residential market.

I would suggest that you look into some local equipment dealers before you buy something from HD or Lowes. Those models are cheaply made. If you are going to do that you are better off going to Sears and buying a Craftsman, equal quality, lower price especially if you watch for deals. I would suggest looking at local dealers that sell Gravely, Grasshopper, Dixon, Dixie Chopper, or John Deere. (The John Deeres at Lowes and Home Depot are not the same as the Deeres at an actual dealership.)

You can also find good used commercial machines off of lease at this time of year. As long as they have under 1000 hours, and look like they have been taken care of, you may be able to get a real deal on a mower that you could never afford new. With your size yard, you would never wear out a good used commercial machine.

Good advise. I'd stay away from Lowes/Home Depot.

jimbo
05-05-2010, 11:51 AM
If you can afford to spend a little more, I'd check out a Dixon or even go to a John Deere dealership.

Best advice in the thread, IMO. I co-own a mobile lawn mower service business and we service several Dixon 0-turns and they are well built and easy to work on, and you just can't go wrong with a John Deere, but be prepared to pay top dollar. Over the long haul though, if you take care of them, the mower will justify the original high cost because of the quality.

Redlegs23
05-05-2010, 01:10 PM
Good advice. I'm actually in the market for the same thing and the same price range, just haven't started searching too much yet. I will probably do so sometime in late June.

GoReds
05-05-2010, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the help guys.

Part of the reason I am looking at Lowes and Home Depot is I will get 10% off during the Memorial Day weekend (DoD employee). That's not an insignificant factor.

SunDeck
05-05-2010, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the help guys.

Part of the reason I am looking at Lowes and Home Depot is I will get 10% off during the Memorial Day weekend (DoD employee). That's not an insignificant factor.

You're not mowing 6-8 hours, six days a week; no need to buy a commercial product for residential use. Just make sure it's not underpowered, because as my dad likes to say, "five horsepower for the mowin', twenty to haul my fat self around the yard."

GAC
05-07-2010, 04:45 AM
Thanks for the help guys.

Part of the reason I am looking at Lowes and Home Depot is I will get 10% off during the Memorial Day weekend (DoD employee). That's not an insignificant factor.

I bought a new mower last year at Lowes. My "po man's" Craftsman finally puked on me. I didn't purchase a zero-turn, but only because I couldn't afford one. But I did do some research on several models, and narrowed it down between a John Deere and Husqvarna.

I ended up buying a Husqvana, model YTH 2348.

http://www.lawnmowersworld.com/images/husqvarna-YTH2348.jpg

Engine: Briggs & Stratton Intek V-Twin
Horsepower: 23
Transmission: hydrostatic
Cutting Width: 48"

First off - it's made by Husqvana. The mower deck is made from 13 gauge steel and is durable. It also has a forced lubrication system, which helps if you're mowing areas that are hilly or have any incline. Mine is, and I mow an acre.

It retailed for around $2300, but I got it on sale for $1800. So far I have no complaints. The seat is very comfortable too. :p:

If you're mowing 1.5 acres, then you want nothing less then a 48" cut and 20 horse IMO.

To be honest, discount or not, you still get what you pay for when you go to places like Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably go to a dealership. For one thing - you're going to get far better service if you have any problems with the mower. Those that own/run dealerships not only KNOW their products, but also stand behind them better. It's what they do for a living. It's their business.

Places like Lowes are just concerned about getting you out the door while selling you one of their extended service contracts. And then when you do have to have some thing down to it, while it's under warranty, well, that's a lot of fun because THEY don't come out and work on it, they find (pay) some local "contractor" to do so :rolleyes:

I bought the extended 5 yr service contract for around $200. I normally don't have anything to do with them; but I bought this one because I was spending so much on a mower, and I wanted that extra protection as a precaution, and the $200 was worth that IMO in case something really bad occurs with the mower.

So personally, you need to weigh that 10% with what you're getting in the long run.

Have you tried going to a dealership and seeing if they might match that 10% just to sell you a mower? You never now. Even if you got 5% it's worth it.

Redsfan320
05-23-2010, 09:33 PM
My family just purchased a John Deere Zero Turn EZtrack Z425 with 54-inch deck. We haven't picked it up yet. Anyone know anything about these? Supposedly they can be a bit hard to get used to due to the handles or "Motion Control Levers" that you steer with instead of a steering wheel.

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LoganBuck
05-24-2010, 12:57 AM
It is so simple even a Caveman can do it! It makes perfect sense when you are on it. You won't believe how fast you pick up on how to do it.

Redsfan320
05-26-2010, 11:20 AM
It arrived today! :evil: 8.5mph speed :evil: 54-inch wide deck :evil: This gonna be fun! :evil:

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SunDeck
05-26-2010, 04:28 PM
It arrived today! :evil: 8.5mph speed :evil: 54-inch wide deck :evil: This gonna be fun! :evil:

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You're gonna like that puppy.

Redsfan320
05-26-2010, 04:55 PM
You're gonna like that puppy.

Oh, I do. I do. :)

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