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I have 7.5 acres. The area surrounded by trees is 4 acres. 2 acres is grape vineyard. I have been mowing with a 54" Cub Cadet garden tractor. Takes about 1.5hr-2hr due to running up, down and around the grape rows. The land is basically flat but not smooth. The land to the right is our future winery. For now it is a hay field and I only mow the outer 6-8'. I am thinking a ZTR would be helpful getting around the grape rows better than the tractor??? At 54", I have to make 2 passes per row and most of the time that works, but sometimes when the grass grows closer to the vines, 54" each way can leave a uncut strip down the middle of the row. So, moving up to a 60" would be ideal.

Looking at buying new to get a warranty. I am looking at the Gravely ZT HD 60. There is a local dealer that would cover any warranty issues. I don't see a ZTR being something I would buy at Lowes, but maybe I'm wrong? I don't have any issue maintaining a mower and doing repairs, but from what I've seen, used models aren't much cheaper, so may as well buy new. Local price is $5300. Are prices on these negotiable? Just wondering if I should haggle for a deal on last years inventory?

Is there another brand that would be in the same price range that is considered better than the model I'm looking at? I believe Cub Cadet, John Deere and Big Dog are available locally. Scag and Kubota are also available, but I imagine they are a bit more than I need and more $$$.

Thanks for any advise. Maybe, I should just stick with what I have. It gets the job done. I won't be getting rid of it because we use it for other things. Main things am looking for is faster cut time, better cut and more comfortable ride.


 

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A ZTR will mow, maybe faster and with a better cut than others. But that's ALL it will do. It won't do or help with any other yard/garden tasks. If you have need for dirt or snow work, they aren't your best choice unless you want more than one machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will keep the Cub Cadet GT1554VT to plow snow, tiller attachment, pull around the sprayers, haul a mini trailer... Also have a JD LA105 that may go if we get a ZTR. The ZTR would just be used to mow.
 

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Yeah, that sounds like a reasonable selection. I've got a Gravely ZT XL 42, and it's worked well for me, the ZT HD is much beefier. It should do a good job for you.
 

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Sounds like a big ZTR would be best I have the gravely ZT HD 60in with a 24 horsepower Kawasaki. I do like it a lot. I started with the Gravely ZT XL 42in but was too small for my 6'4" frame and 3.5acres of grass. I upsized and it made a huge difference.

also look at Hustler Raptor has a mower in that price point and Toro Time cutter has a pretty nice one around 5 k.

All are considered a light commercial mower little heavier weighted than a regular homeowner model. Not as heavy built as a true commercial mower but also not $8,000.
 

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Nice place. Yes, I think a ZTR will fit the bill nicely. You have about 30 rows of vines so with one pass per row at 6-8mph, you'll be done in under an hour.

Make sure whatever you get has a decent suspension system. Any orchard or vineyard I've been through either has plant roots or tractor ruts to navigate between rows.

I've never bought a ZTR new. Having said that, my experience in general is that most dealers won't budge on the price much like they do a car. The negotiation comes when buying a $30,000 tractor with implements (I'll throw in a tiller for free...kind of thing). Others opinions/experiences may differ. If you can write the purchase price off as a business expense, you could consider that your discount...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm contradicting myself here, but took a look at what was available used and found an Exmark Radius S-60 demo with 55 hrs on it. Looks like a better machine than Gravely. It's about $1000 more than a new Gravely but it still has warranty since it's a demo. Looks like the suspension system would make it a much more comfortable machine. What is a good price for something like this?
 

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It is a better machine but also 50% more money. MSRP on the Emxark website is $8400 so ~$6300 with 55hrs sounds like a good deal. I could never swallow such a price for a mower, but that's me. Again, if this is a business expense there may be a tax advantage for you.
 

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I'm contradicting myself here, but took a look at what was available used and found an Exmark Radius S-60 demo with 55 hrs on it. Looks like a better machine than Gravely. It's about $1000 more than a new Gravely but it still has warranty since it's a demo. Looks like the suspension system would make it a much more comfortable machine. What is a good price for something like this?
I would get the exmark for only that price difference it is a true commercial machine

https://www.exmark.com/products/mowers/zero-turn/radius/radius-s-series

note that there are two variations of the 60 in exmark. one has the 3100 hydro the other has the 3400 (better).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
To follow up on this. I ended up buying a Hustler Fastrak 60" with the Kohler 27hp fuel injected engine. I also had them add the flex forks. I was very close to buying a Scag Patriot, but the local dealer didn't have any in stock and wanted me to pay $300 to order one.I am really really enjoying it. It was $2k more than I expected to spend. After comparing and researching, that is just the price for the level of mower I wanted to purchase. The Scag has better hydros and larger rear tires, but the rest was pretty similar. The suspension seat is wonderful! Having a analog fuel gauge is nice. I don't know how much the flex forks help, but they appear to be working as designed. The ride is 500% better than my Cub Cadet garden tractor. The speed is rated at 8mph and I can mow at 3" at full speed and it does a great job. The clippings are spread fine enough that you don't notice. I was torn between the Kawasaki engine and the Kohler. Most things I read on the internet leaned toward Kawasaki for reliability. I ended up choosing the Kohler for the higher hp and the fuel injection. I starts without a choke, runs very smooth and is much quieter than my garden tractor. Even being fuel injected, it does seem to burn up the gas. I am probably saving 30-45 mins and walk away without feeling beat up.
 

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Hustler makes a great product. Lots of commercial mowers use them.

I had a hustler Mini-z for several years.

Good Choice.
 

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I tried a Hustler today 54 inch not sure of the model, had a carbed Kawasaki. Might have saved me a 1/2 hr on 2 1/2 hrs. of mowing. I think my X485 is more comfy & uses less gas.
Maybe I'm trying to talked myself out of buying it.
I was really uncomfortable mowing my road ditch.
 

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I tried a Hustler today 54 inch not sure of the model, had a carbed Kawasaki. Might have saved me a 1/2 hr on 2 1/2 hrs. of mowing. I think my X485 is more comfy & uses less gas.
Maybe I'm trying to talked myself out of buying it.
I was really uncomfortable mowing my road ditch.
Yeah they take some getting used to mowing ditches. My ditch has to be bone dry or my Z just slides down into the bottom of the ditch. Fun ride but I will never go back to a GT for mowing.
 
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