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I'm presently cutting about two acres with a JD 345 (48 in) that was purchased in May 97. Although it has been a great machine, I know it won't last forever. SO.....I'm researching the ZTR concept for a possible future purchase.

I know the ZTR System was in existence for "many years" before being adapted to the grass cutters. I remember Mustang ZTR Industrial machines being in around in the sixties.

Does anyone have any inside information about the ZTR Hydraulic systems used in today's ZTR Grass mowers that would convince someone of the "better brands"....???
 

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May I suggest the Grasshopper ZTR. They are I believe the pioneers. Made in USA Mine is the 722 with a Kohler engine. Very happy with it. It's not a cheap mower. Rather more expensive than most.
Covington, Louisiana
 

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There are quite a few brands around, both in the consumer and professional line. ExMark, Grasshopper, Dixie Chopper, Walker (pretty neat machine!) to name a few. Some of the commercial folks put a lot of hours on their machines in a season and need something dependable. Next time you see a crew mowing a lawn, stop by, ask a few questions, buy them all a coke, and hear what they have to say.
 

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Since retired in 1997 and moving to farm have had three John Deere Mowers, upgrading each time. Presently have GX345 with 54 inch deck. It took about 6 hours to mow the area I mow. In June purchased a Gravely 60 inch deck ZeroTurn. It cut almost 2 hours off mowing time. Still learning to drive it, but it a fun mower. Only problem with it is traction with the turf tires. Checked on several brands before made purchase and decided on the Gravely as it seemed the most mower for the dollar. It has the 26HP Kawasaki air cooled engine, giving it plenty of power. John Deere is proud of their Green. Yes, I have had several but you pay premium dollar for the Green. Do some research and ask owner friends before decide. Also most dealers will allow you a "test drive" at your home if you ask. At least they will here in this area.
Regards, Gil
 

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Aged parent bought an RZT 50 Cub w/ Kaw 22hp. It's been a good machine, but the difference between residential & commercial units is remarkable (no drain fitting or external filter on residential hydrostats). I wish he'd bought a reasonably low time commercial for near the same money. There have been three versions of the PTO clutch on this model since introduction. The newest is a heavy-duty Warner.
 

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I owned a home with approx. 3.5 acres that I mowed with a Weedeater 42 inch rider that I bought new in 1996. It took me around 6 hours to mow it. In 2005 I bought my first Zero turn mower. It is a scag Super Z 48 inch, about a 1997 model. (I still use it) It cut my mowing time in half. I must say the old Briggs & Stratton 18.5 in the Weedeater hung in there and was a faithful servant, but the 18 horse Kohler in the Scag was a needed improvement, providing more torque in the thick stuff. I since have owned a Great Dane 48" Zero Turn (which I didn't like as much as the old Scag), a Ferris 48" walk behind, a Cushman 72" diesel, and now a 2010 John Deere 997 72" diesel. (Oh, did I mention I sold the aformentioned home and now reside on a 100+ acre farm?) The rider will do the job you require adequately, but you will enjoy using a Zero Turn. If you can pick up a used commercial ZT with low hours for a reasonable price, I say go for it.
 

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I looked over all the local ZTR's a couple of years ago and finally bought a brand called Country Clipper. They used to only make models for other companies but decided to put their own name on and sell. The two big selling points for me were the swing-up deck for cleaning and maintenance and the single joystick control. I was concerned about the control until I used it and am now spoiled. It's so nice to have your off hand to push away branches and shrubs. I have the 52" Jazee Pro. Check them out here.

http://www.countryclipper.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
May I suggest the Grasshopper ZTR. They are I believe the pioneers. Made in USA Mine is the 722 with a Kohler engine. Very happy with it. It's not a cheap mower. Rather more expensive than most.
Covington, Louisiana
Hello Harry, Thanks for responding. Where did you purchase your Grasshopper ZTR....??? :)
 

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Hey Boudreaux,
Got the grasshopper at Circle D in Covington. Owners name is Larry
985 / 898-0905 Good luck with your decision
Note: I have no affiliation with them. Just a customer of theirs.
 

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No doupt about it, Grasshopper is the top of the line in ZTR. But you're going to pay for that priviledge... about twice what an Ariens/Gravely machine of the same size would cost.

Another thing to consider, Grasshopper puts its mower deck in front of the machine with the "drive" wheels in front of the operator. It's still zero turn. There are some advantages; if you mow under larger trees and bushes, you can shove the mower deck under them in front of you. Most "lesser" ZTRs put the deck under the operator with the drive wheels in the rear. Much more "GO-Kart" like. And some say; "more fun to ride".

Also, I don't think Grasshopper makes a "small" mower. I could be wrong.
 

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I have two Z Turns. One I use at my river house, a little over an acre, it is an older Hustler 251K. I has a removable backpack bagger unit that I can dump from my seat. I use the bag unit in the spring and fall for clean up, other times it rear discharges. My back up for it are a AC 914H and a Cub Cadet 124 with a Johnny Bucket up front. I would take me 1 hour and 15 minutes to cut with the AC (48" deck) takes about 30 with the Hustler.

The Zero turn I have at home is a Toro ZMaster. It also has a enclosed catcher on the rear, but it stays in place all the time. The Z Master is newer but I bought it used and it cuts great. I have a Case 222 as a backup.

I would look around for a used commercial unit. If you can find one with few hours it can be purchased a lot less than new. Most of the wheel motors in these units are good for a long time and as a homeowner if you only use it 1 hour a week it should last almost forever.

Yes, I have to work on them from time to time but that's part of the fun of it.

If you have over an acre, with things to mow around, a Z turn in the way to go.

Mike
 

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For those with bumpy yards and or bad backs, you might consider a Ferris ZTR. I have both and couldn't justify a $10k lawn mower. The Ferris has spring suspension on all four wheels and really smoothed out the ride quite a bit.
They have the big/expensive models, but I opted for the 500IS. It is between a consumer and commercial and is priced accordingly but still a well built mower.
 
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