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Old 04-05-2014, 11:41 AM   post #1 of 6 (permalink)
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Default Big Dog (Hustler) Alpha 52"?

I'm looking at a 2014 Big Dog Alpha 52" selling for $3,700 plus tax.

Hydro-Gear ZT3100 hydro motors.

23 hp Kawasaki engine FR691V.

The manufacturer website does not appear to be updated yet for the 2014 model.

3 yr engine warranty; 3 year hydro warranty; 7 year other warranty.

When I asked, the dealer told me that the hydro units were fully serviceable.

Any and all feedback on the mower, engine, hydro units would be greatly appreciated.

Also comparable units.

Many thanks,

Bill NC
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:22 PM   post #2 of 6 (permalink)
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Hey there! Hustler makes high quality mowers, and they have a good reputation in the industry. The Kawasaki engine is a reliable unit and should provide good service. Hydro-Gear transmissions have a good track record, and, since the pump and motors are combined, they don't have as much leak potential as traditional units. If the Hustler dealer is nearby, and seems honest and willing to provide warranty service, I would definitely go for the mower.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:32 PM   post #3 of 6 (permalink)
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Hey Bill, I sell Scag Freedom Z's at work and those mowers have been utilizing the 3100 trans for a few years now and they are completely serviceable and have done well thus far.

They do react differently from traditional pumps and wheel motors but once you get used to it, they are great.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:00 AM   post #4 of 6 (permalink)
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Motorhead & Raintree,

Many thanks for the feedback! There is a dealer just a few miles away.

I typically change motor oil on farm equipment twice as frequently as recommended. I'll do this with the engine.

Any recommendations for changing the hydraulic oil? Brands of oil?

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Old 04-07-2014, 11:46 AM   post #5 of 6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what Hustler recommends as far as hydro change intervals but Scag (and I guess Hydro Gear) recommends 400 hour hydro change intervals after the first 100 hour break in change.

When we do a hydro oil change we use O'Reilly's Brand non detergent 20W-50 motor oil. I don't think the brand matters so much as long as it is non detergent.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:34 PM   post #6 of 6 (permalink)
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Raintree, thanks again. Turns out that Big Dog has last years specs online, and the model for $3,700 has the EZT non-serviceable transmission. Apparently the dealer I spoke with really had not looked into the new model specs when we spoke.

I did find a knowledgeable Hustler salesperson. Their Raptor SD 48" model has the ZT2800 trans and 23 hp Kawasaki engine for $3,899.00.

Any downside to the ZT2800 vs the ZT3100?

Thanks again.
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