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I’m looking at replacing our riding mower with a zero turn next season. We mow about 1 1/2 acres. I need something that the wife and teenage daughter can run. It needs to be a bit robust because no matter what I say if the daughter can drive over it, it gets mowed…..opinions on brand, model, size, anything would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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You need figure out what your budget is for this new purchase. You can spend from $4k to $20k or more on a ZT mower.
The more you spend the better machine you get.

Also, thinking of wife and daughter, there is a bit of a learning curve on ZTs so be prepared for some practice time in open areas to get the feel. After you do, it is no problem at all.

Folks can make some recommendations but need to know what you are spending.

Good luck they are pretty cool machines.
 

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I’m guessing around $7000 or a little more…? I don’t want a cheap box store model but I also probably don’t need a commercial unit that can mow fast. Is there a good quality brand I should start looking at? Thanks
 

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Cub makes a good machine and the blades are one of the better designed in the industry. A 42 inch zt2 would be adequate for your needs. You can go larger but the smaller the deck the easier it is to get a good looking cut.
 

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EXMark, Gravely, Hustler, Scag, Dixie Chopper, Ferris. These come to mind as they are commonly seen on commercial lawn service trailers. Those have to work, and work hard.

As you do your research, you should be very skeptical of the "Top XX Zero Turn" type results. They are promoting cheaply made ZTs of "consumer" grade.

Good luck, there will likely be some good suggestions coming along soon.
 

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I have a Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 60" deck. Kawasaki engine and HydroGear ZT2800 transmissions. So far ok but it is of light construction. Not at all impressed with the OEM blades. Blade material is poor, they are "flexy", they bend easily, do not hold an edge, and they are subject to severe thinning of the lift wings. I've switched to the CC mulchers that are slightly thicker material in hopes of getting more wear from those. Only 12 hours on those so far. We'll see how they hold up.
 

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I'm thinking an Ariens Apex or equivalent Gravely model - they're made by the same company - would be worth a look.
They have serviceable hydros, from what I am reading, equivalent to the Tuff Torq k66. That's important for durability.
 

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Just my experience - I bought a used John Deere 757 60” knowing they were known to have issues with overheating. The mower was selling very cheap so I figured I could have it serviced if needed. It started and ran very good, cut well, and was faster than I needed. It was an early commercial unit. It had about 750 hrs. on it. I did find it had a lot of oil leaks and had it serviced at a significant cost. All in, I’m at a little over $5000. It mows about 2.5-3 acres/hr on good, wide open lawns. It gives a great looking cut in most every type of grass and gives a decent ride. The finished look depends on the driver. Straight lines can be a challenge until you figure it out. The machine is heavy, but it floats over soft ground without leaving ruts like I’ve seen with small lawn tractors. However, if I make too sharp a turn, it will tear up the sod. I would personally get a commercial unit if you can. I think you will have a lot less problems.

Know the warranty! Some won’t transfer to another owner (like Scag) and others force you to deal with engine and transmission manufacturers (like Bad Boy).
EXMark, Gravely, Hustler, Scag, Dixie Chopper, Ferris. These come to mind as they are commonly seen on commercial lawn service trailers. Those have to work, and work hard.

As you do your research, you should be very skeptical of the "Top XX Zero Turn" type results. They are promoting cheaply made ZTs of "consumer" grade.

Good luck, there will likely be some good suggestions coming along soon.
Exmark, Ferris, and the others listed are very good machines if you get their better models, but so are Kubota, and a few others. Decide if you want gas or diesel. Gas is fine. Kawasaki engines are strong.

My 7Iron deck is fantastic, blades are nearly double the thickness of many blades and last very well. They wear like a commercial type should without having to keep sharpening.

Used can save you money, but remember they got traded in for a reason. Sometimes by municipalities because they are on a schedule for replacement, not because they are bad. They just need equipment that’s up and running. Grass doesn’t stop growing because your mower breaks! Try several even if you don’t think you can afford them, just to see the difference. My brother had. a Kubota ZD21 diesel 61” deck and loved it. I would have bought one if I could have found one. It had a built in jack to lift the front to access the underside of the deck for cleaning and blade service.

Higher end units have a better ride, better power for cutting heavy grass, and disperse it better. The higher up the chain you go, $$$ increase, but give you more features. Try as many units as you can and on your property if possible. Be particular if you intend to have it a long time. You didn’t say how handy you are with wrenches. You will need to keep up with maintenance.
 

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I’m looking at replacing our riding mower with a zero turn next season. We mow about 1 1/2 acres. I need something that the wife and teenage daughter can run. It needs to be a bit robust because no matter what I say if the daughter can drive over it, it gets mowed…..opinions on brand, model, size, anything would be appreciated. Thanks
Well, here is what I ordered In October 2021, A 2022 Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 KW Zero-Turn Mower | Cub Cadet US finally Came In March/April 2022. I ordered it to take over the mowing of My Cub Cadet XT3GSX Garden tractor, so I can use the Garden tractor for other jobs then mowing. The SX series has Twin Hydro-Gear ZT3100 Commercial Transmissions. It will work On Hilly properties Very well and if you're In a snow region it will handle a 58-inch Front Blade.

I really don't like the traditional Lap Bar Zero turns. A majority of them are rather uncomfortable to ride on and also Can be hill sliders compared to the Cub Cadet steering wheel Zero turn models. I am at 49 hrs On it so far this year, Mowing 2.2 acre of My 3.9 acre place Twice a week.



The only traditional lap bar Zero turns I will consider is Simplicity or Ferris which is basically the same manufacturer, Toro came out with a Zero turn recently that may be as comfortable as a Simplicity or Ferris that has full suspension. The Toro My Ride suspension system. I haven't tried one myself, I have Used Toro/Exmark standard Zero turns Before, and they cut great. But there Ride is Terrible.



The Other Zero turn I had been considering was a Walker B series Walker Model B Lawn Mowers and they are very versatile, can do a Lot of Landscaping Job's and Heavy snow removal Jobs as well. You use one Hand for the Twin Levers and another Hand for speed control, which is like having a Cruise control. Only reason I didn't go with it was, not Many dealers In My Area of Illinois More In Western, Illinois Toro Does Buy some Walker models and re-label them Toro as well. But they cost far more under the Toro Name (y)
 

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"My 7Iron deck is fantastic, blades are nearly double the thickness of many blades and last very well. They wear like a commercial type should without having to keep sharpening." RT3360.

Agree 100%. Blade material and thickness makes all the difference in the world.
 
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