Have it narrowed down, need help making decision

philsphanatic

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Hello all, long time reader, 1st time poster

I have been doing tons of research on ZTR's to utilize on my own 2 acre fairly wide open property, as well as 3 or 4 other 1+ acre yards I will be cutting pretty regularly. This may grow into something more permanent/professional in the future. I am just outside of Philly in the burbs, mostly KBG and TTTF lawns. My own lawn is always soft, very high water table, probably putting close to 500ft of French drains in later this summer.

Because of the wet and soft, I have tried to find the lightest ZTR's with the widest tires for low PSI on the ground while still getting somewhat commercial build quality. This has led me to the following contenders, I am looking for opinions on 1. comfort for a larger operator, I am 6'2", 300Lb. 2. Cut Quality on these northern grasses, not a full time operator so I will generally be able to avoid wet grass, not necessarily wet/soft soil. 3. Durability/Ease of maintenance. 4. Bang for the buck.

The contenders w/ current quotes:

Scag Patriot - 61" 25hp Kohler Command Pro, regular non velocity+ Deck, ZT3400's, 10mph, 952lb, 24x12x12 tires, 3yr 500hr warranty - $6600+tax (would have to add hitch)
*Like that it has a gas gauge and a brake pedal, no floor flip access to spindles, gas tank mounted high on side, wasn't a huge fan of deck adjust set up, very little info on the cut performance of this deck.

Kubota Z421 - 60" 23.5hp Kawi FS730V, ZT3600's, 10mph, 904lb, 24x12x14 tires, 4yr 500hr warranty - $6550+tax (Can add full suspension seat for about $500)
*Like the very low and wide stance, brake setup and cockpit storage/features, low profile tires may ride rough, any reason to be concerned about FS Kawi, not sure about cut quality other than a couple reviews that say its good.

Deere Z740R - 54" or 60" 23.5hp Kawi FX730V, HC Pro (9Iron) Deck, ZT3400's, 10mph, 1046lb-1076lb, 24x12x12 tires or tweels for $800, 4yr 1000hr all Deere warranty - $8000+tax for 54" regular tires
*Like the handle integrated parking break and full suspension seat, love the option of 54" still with the wide tires, don't like how high up you sit, tweel option is a plus, will the HC Pro give the same legendary cut quality as the 7iron Pro?

Toro Z-Master 2000 74492- 60" 24.5 Toro 708cc commercial, TurboForce Deck, ZT3400's, 10mph, 920lb, 24x12x12 tires, 4yr 750hr all toro warranty (Extendable to 5yr with maint kit purchase) - $6700+tax or $7200 for the same unit with FX730v
*concerned about toro motor quality and small displacement, but 5yr warranty is very nice, not a huge fan of deck adjust or parking brake.

Toro Z-Master 2000 HDX w/ MyRide 74494 - 60" 24.5 Toro 708cc commercial, TurboForce Deck, ZT3800's, 11mph, 1036lb, 24x12x12 tires, 4yr 750hr all toro warranty (Extendable to 5yr with maint kit) - $7800+tax
*Same as above but love the idea of the MyRide assuming my weight doesn't overwhelm it.

Looking to make a decision in the next two weeks, finding it very difficult to get demos on the not quite full commercial units. The Kubota/Toro dealer is less than 5 min from my house, Scag is 10min, Deere is 20min, reputation is good at all of them but I have no personal experience.

Open to other options, but needs to be around 1000lb with 12" wide tires, all of these units have the same size front casters.
 

Heinz W

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I have a 740R, bought last year. I cut 3 bumpy acres and it cuts very nicely. No clumps, looks bagged after mowing. Really nice finish. I'm in western Pa. and have similar soil. Lot of clay. Very easy to tear up the turf if you mow a day after rain. But with all the rain this year it's been necessary to do just that. Have to slow down a bit and turn more carefully.

There are a couple places where I can run at or close to full sticks and it still cuts beautifully. Suspension seat is very nice too. I really love this mower, easily the best one I've ever owned.

Can't help you with the other brands, but they're likely all good machines at that price point. Good luck.
 

philsphanatic

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I have a 740R, bought last year. I cut 3 bumpy acres and it cuts very nicely. No clumps, looks bagged after mowing. Really nice finish. I'm in western Pa. and have similar soil. Lot of clay. Very easy to tear up the turf if you mow a day after rain. But with all the rain this year it's been necessary to do just that. Have to slow down a bit and turn more carefully.

There are a couple places where I can run at or close to full sticks and it still cuts beautifully. Suspension seat is very nice too. I really love this mower, easily the best one I've ever owned.

Can't help you with the other brands, but they're likely all good machines at that price point. Good luck.
What size deck do you have on yours? How often do you have to scrape buildup out of the deck? Do you feel that the 23.5hp is enough power?
 

slomo

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How much? Does it come with a 4 door cab and air conditioning? LOL How about some of those dope purple beam headlights?

slomo
 

Heinz W

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I went with the 48" deck. Needed that smaller size; besides the bumpy areas I have some that are wavy. Smaller deck does the contours better. And obstacles. 3 acres, all of which is an oddly shaped, gently sloping hill. Deck is about 6" deep and similar to the 7 iron. When you step on it to get on the mower it doesn't budge a millimeter. Never scraped it, but my dealer services it each year. Use a blower to clean it off after each use, that's my maintenance. Of my 3 acres I probably have to push mow about 10%; the rest is about an hour on the ZTR. In a little over a year my machine has about 37 hours on it. The time saved is priceless.

I'm 6' 215 and have ample room and the suspension seat is very comfortable. Not sure about your "sitting too high" comment, I've no issues there. Maybe you're too tall? ;) Never had it bog down either and parts of my lawn are pretty thick. Never wanted for power. The deck lift and height adjustment controls are simple, intuitive, and easy to use.
 

slomo

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Think about this, that first year, it costed you over $6,000 to cut your grass. My opinion only, when you get up into multi thousand dollar 0 turns, it's cheaper to hire a lawn crew. You sit in your air conditioned house on the couch, watching the game, drinking some cold ones. All the while your yard is professionally mowed with zero mower maintenance on your part. Say it costs $1,000 a mowing season to have yours cut. That is 6 plus seasons on a 0 turn. Now that mower is welllllll used and not worth much. Eating belts, blades and hydro pumps $$$$. No nagging from the wife to cut the grass, priceless. You could be out fishing knowing the grass is getting cut.

slomo
 

Heinz W

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Hey @slomo, some of us like mowing our own lawns. May seem expensive to you, and these things are absolutely some serious money, but I bought a mower that will last me the rest of my life. You go buy a $2500 ZTR and use it on a rough, rural property and see how long it holds up. Buy once, cry once.
 

DK35vince

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Think about this, that first year, it costed you over $6,000 to cut your grass. My opinion only, when you get up into multi thousand dollar 0 turns, it's cheaper to hire a lawn crew. You sit in your air conditioned house on the couch, watching the game, drinking some cold ones. All the while your yard is professionally mowed with zero mower maintenance on your part. Say it costs $1,000 a mowing season to have yours cut. That is 6 plus seasons on a 0 turn. Now that mower is welllllll used and not worth much. Eating belts, blades and hydro pumps $$$$. No nagging from the wife to cut the grass, priceless. You could be out fishing knowing the grass is getting cut.

slomo
$1000 per season if you have a little tiny yard.
I mow an 8 acre lawn with lots of trees. Cost to have it mowed would be closer to $200 per mow at 25 mows per year would likely be closer to $5000 per season .
My $12,000 heavy duty commercial zero turn will last me 25 years, do the math.
So no thanks I'll do it myself .
 
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bertsmobile1

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If nothing else then at least take the unit out into the parking lot for a test drive.
Naturally you will not e able to turn the blades on but get a feel for the position of the controls.
Try to drive over a gutter or similar to get a feel for the comfort of the mower
And in particular raise & lower the deck a dozen or more times.
Some require you to have legs like Big Arnie to lift the deck and the height adjusting / locking mechanism is a PIA to change.
Remember you are expecting to be in this mower for the next 10 years or longer so little niggles right now become major hassels in a couple of years time.
And the extra for a suspension seat now is money you will not be paying a ciropractor / surgeon latter.
Engine size means diddly squat unless you are a contractor who has to mow as fast as possble in all weathers 10 hours a day.
I get really good price on FS651V engines ( 23 hp ) and have fitted them in place of engines up to 32 Hp and the only difference the owners have noticed is they are nosier & use less fuel.
The Toro brandd engines are Loncin's and they area very good engine designed off the GCV Honda and I have not seen any difference in them long term to any other engine.
The life of any engine is directly proportional to the effort you make in maintaining them.
Top speeds are a nonsence as they are traveling speeds , not mowing speeds unless you cut your grass as often as they do on a golf course.
Get SWMBO to try them out as well because should you fall ill or get injured she will have to operate it till you have recovered.
 

DK35vince

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Top speeds are a nonsence as they are traveling speeds , not mowing speeds unless you cut your grass as often as they do on a golf course.
I've owned 2 zero turn mowers and mowed with both at full speed when ever I can. ( I mow once per week, our lawn grows FAST spring, early summer)
My current zero turn (Hustler Super Z, 35 HP Kawasaki with 72" deck) has a top speed of 14 MPH and yes I can and do mow at full speed.
 
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