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What zero turn for my mom and step dad

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My mom and step dad are needing to buy a mower for a new house with over an acre yard. It's fairly sloped and they want one that will last them out if possible. They are 59 and 60 and I'm mowing it for now until they get something. He (step dad) seems almost dead set on Kubota or maybe Ferris because he wants something from the local dealer that they will service. I'm having a hard time getting him to consider anything different. He also says he would rather have a gas engine. He was also originally thinking something in the $7k range but he said he knows he might have to spend $10k or so... I don't want to suggest anything too expensive. I was trying to find a used Grasshopper with the liquid cooled Kubota gas engine but they don't show up often.

I was thinking the ZG222 or ZG227 but those engines are made by Kohler and I hear they are junk engines. If they had the liquid cooled Kubota gas engine this would be perfect.

The Z724 with the Kawasaki FX 23.5hp engine, Parker HTG14 transaxle and 54" deck sounds good. $11,550

Or the Z421 or Z422 with the Kawasaki FS730V 24hp engine, Hydro-Gear commercial ZT-3600 transaxle and 54" deck for $8,400

How well will the Z421/422 hold up longevity wise compared to the Z724? Any other mowers I should try to suggest?
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If the property has a good slop, you might want to consider either a tractor or a zero turn with steerable front wheels, as the more common zero turns with caster wheels, when on a steep enough slope, have more difficulty maintaing a straight path (other than straight up and down). Or, if possible, asking to try out a zero turn on the property, to make sure it can traverse your slopes would be a good idea (but more difficult to do now, as new machines are scarce, you might even need to wait until after this mowing season is over before you receive a new unit, depending on your dealer).
...and you might want to consider what, if anything else, they might want to use the machine for (or if they will have another machine to do them), stuff like leave cleanup, hauling landscaping stuff around (mulch/dirt) if they want to fix up/modify how it looks, snow removal if that's a thing where they are, rototiller if they are into gardening.

Edit: and traction goes down both when it's wet and when it's really dry on slopes. Different tires can help with this (say ATV-style tires), but depending on conditions and your driving style, they can leave marks in the grass (regular lawn tires can do this as well, but less so).

And you don't want to actually do "zero" turns (ie, stop one wheel, and use the other one to spin you around 180 degrees to do another pass), as the tire that is stopped will make a hole in the grass. You want to make a 2 or 3 point turn, so you always keep both wheels moving, but at different speeds until you are facing the other way.
Ditto what Dave said about the Z turns on hills. You really would want to try one [any one] out to see if it works for you. Other then that Ferris makes a darn good mower!
I think your step dad is wise to want a local dealer if he wants it serviced by them. The transportation to and from every year is not getting any cheaper. Also the two mower brands he is set on, both make mowers that will out last them to mow one acre if maintained. I'm a big fan of the Kawasaki engine and the Hydro gear transmission. Have had 3 mowers with hydro-gear transmission and one of them I plowed snow with in the winter for 5 years also. Bullet proof Transmissions.

The Z421/22 would out-last them and checks all of your boxes. They would be happy with that purchase. No need to spend more than that on a yard that size, complete waste to do so if you ask me, if just mowing it.

If, as Dave mentions, they want to do more than mow, then that's justification for a tractor.

As far as a ZTR mowing slopes. I have mowed with a Z since 2007. I have mowed slopes and ditches and I could mow a ditch in front of my house with one of my Zs that I wouldn't mow on a GT or my SCUT. My Z is lower center of gravity, wider and could hold the hill just fine as long as it wasn't wet. Wet it is a entirely different story, I just never mowed the ditch when it was even remotely wet.

Just have them hire a landscaping company one time to mow it with ZTRs and then have your step-dad talk with them. It will validate much more than all of us guessing what a Z will do on the property. The key is making sure the Z has commercial grade hydros that can actually hold a hill. If your mowing with a homeowner Z that may not have the high quality hydros, all bets are off. I have no experience there.
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i'm using a cub cadet ultra zt1-50 on a acre each on 5 lots ,but wish i had been able to get a zt2-50 in the height of covid when non could be gotten, mine now has over 200 problem free hours on it,
the zt2 has the better more serviceable external filter tranies and few more goodies for $4.500.00 USD yet both share the same rock solid frame system, a kawasai fr691 -23 hp engine,
my first zero turn was a toro time cutter, a well liked/reveiwed machine that had a loncin.
/honda clone for power that did not last 1 season before it blew up
I wouldn't buy any Z-turn without first testing it for ergonomics and specific location use! I had the dealers bring me some units to try out before purchasing and then realized a z-turn wasn't good for my application!
After 1.5 seasons on my CC Ultima ZT2 6)" ZT here is my impressions so far, but not sure if I'd recommend it.

Runs very well owing to the Kawasaki FR730V engine. I have a Deere with similar FS730V and both are real high performing runners and easy starters. On the ZT, one down side is the deck's blades. Pretty thin if you ask me. I am looking for replacements after 1.5 (2021 and half of 2022 so far). They are cheaply made of thinner material. They don't hold edges very well and the lift wings are literally wearing thing in non sandy soils. It has the ZT2800 HyrdoGear transmissions with spin on filters which is nice for annual maintenance. Yes, I changed them and their oil after first season, and will continue to do so every season. I have slopes of 40 degrees or a little more and mow them mostly cross ways battling skidding if grass or soil is more than dry, or is too dry. This leads me to my biggest complaint. TIRES. These are standard turf tires and are prone to skidding, and once started skidding, they not stop skidding until reaching more level ground. The risk of roll over has not really presented itself even on some pretty serious slopes owning to its low CG, wide stance, and propensity for the turf tires to skid. You'd have to totally abuse this machine to get anywhere close to a roll over situation.

At 70, I'm still doing my 4 acres at least weekly with this machine. My first season of mowing put 100 hours on this new machine so maintenance is going to be critical for me. I paid just under $4,000 for it in April 2021 at the local HD store since the CC dealer in my area didn't have any stock...seemed odd to me but that is what it was when I needed a ZT.

I think I'd recommend a commercial or near commercial machine as these CCs are MTD products and are of slightly thinner materials than I'd like to see now having used it for over a year. I'd definitely opt for better tires less prone to loading up with dirt and skidding. Yes, when they are not clogged, the still skid. I'd go for the new ZT bar tires with the rounded off shoulders, and just be careful making turns and direction reversals.

"Better to have more capability than you need than to need more capability than you have" has never been a truer statement. Still happy with my CC but I'm running it at the far end of its capability.
I was suggesting a garden tractor but he is dead set on a zero turn and says he will weedeat the steep slopes by the basement retaining walls which are very steep. The backyard slopes downhill but it isn't too steep to handle, just want to make sure the transaxles will hold up because the entire yard is sloped. They are also going to eventually buy a tractor to do the other work so the mower will just be a mower. I'm going to suggest the Z421/422. The Kawasaki FS730V is a good engine and the ZT-3600 seems like a good transaxle along with the rest of the machine. It's also in the $9k ballpark so it fits the expected budget.
I can't tell what the difference is between the Z421 and the Z422.
Hydro Grear's ZT 3600 is considered a premium commercial grade trans, a good idea for sloped lands but are on the more expensive ZTs. My Kawasaki FS730V pushing the 60" deck, doesn't even notice steep slopes and barely notices thick, deep, wet grass. I mow at about 60% over the ground speed and slow to 40% or 50% in the heaviest of grasses. I have some places that will grow 3 inches in 6 days. It can make the FS730V work a little in heavy wet areas of over 3" or 4" of grass to cut. However, even with the 60" deck, I have never even come close to bogging down the FS730.
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I couldn’t see the differences between the Z421 and Z422. There’s only a couple hundred dollars between the two so it’s probably not earth shaking. I’d probably choose the
Z422KW-54, but the Z412KW-48 would certainly do the job as well. It depends upon how much time is acceptable for mowing. Either will have similar maneuverability so trimming should be about the same. You’ll have evaluate the spaces to go through. In general I’d lean toward the 422 because of hp. The 24 hp should be good for the 54” deck.
Z421 abd Z422 do look same in major considerations, engine and transmissions and deck size. Best ask the dealer for specific diffs.
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The two Kubota's spec's that are provided appear the same, may be the seat.

Ferris is owned by Briggs & Stratton, therefore you get a Briggs engine unless you go diesel.

CCMoe
422 has suspension seat
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That 24hp Kaw will toy with that 54" deck. I had same engine with a 60" deck on a Gravely and it took a lot to bog that engine down.
I was suggesting a garden tractor but he is dead set on a zero turn and says he will weedeat the steep slopes by the basement retaining walls which are very steep. The backyard slopes downhill but it isn't too steep to handle, just want to make sure the transaxles will hold up because the entire yard is sloped. They are also going to eventually buy a tractor to do the other work so the mower will just be a mower. I'm going to suggest the Z421/422. The Kawasaki FS730V is a good engine and the ZT-3600 seems like a good transaxle along with the rest of the machine. It's also in the $9k ballpark so it fits the expected budget.
I can't tell what the difference is between the Z421 and the Z422.
I love my Exmark. Look at what the local landscapers have on their trailers. There is a reason they tend to focus on specific brands IMO. I've never had an issue w my mower on "slopes" but I suppose that is somewhat of a relative term. If your step dad has never run a ZTR before, he should know there is a learning curve involved. He will likely tear up the yard a bit at first and he might not go in a very straight line, but it will get better with practice. Good luck with the search it may take some patience in finding the right machine if you are going the used route.
How many times can you have your lawn mowed for $7,000?

I have a couple friends that put the pencil to it & for what they pay, it's not worth buying and maintaining a mower
I think your step dad is wise to want a local dealer if he wants it serviced by them. The transportation to and from every year is not getting any cheaper. Also the two mower brands he is set on, both make mowers that will out last them to mow one acre if maintained. I'm a big fan of the Kawasaki engine and the Hydro gear transmission. Have had 3 mowers with hydro-gear transmission and one of them I plowed snow with in the winter for 5 years also. Bullet proof Transmissions.

The Z421/22 would out-last them and checks all of your boxes. They would be happy with that purchase. No need to spend more than that on a yard that size, complete waste to do so if you ask me, if just mowing it.

If, as Dave mentions, they want to do more than mow, then that's justification for a tractor.

As far as a ZTR mowing slopes. I have mowed with a Z since 2007. I have mowed slopes and ditches and I could mow a ditch in front of my house with one of my Zs that I wouldn't mow on a GT or my SCUT. My Z is lower center of gravity, wider and could hold the hill just fine as long as it wasn't wet. Wet it is a entirely different story, I just never mowed the ditch when it was even remotely wet.

Just have them hire a landscaping company one time to mow it with ZTRs and then have your step-dad talk with them. It will validate much more than all of us guessing what a Z will do on the property. The key is making sure the Z has commercial grade hydros that can actually hold a hill. If your mowing with a homeowner Z that may not have the high quality hydros, all bets are off. I have no experience there.
A 4x4 articulated - like a Stiener - might be a good choice.
Scag with a Kaw motor if it must be a ZT.
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FWIW I looked for a used Scag and was told their warranty only applies to the initial owner. I figure if they are that strict on the warranty, they may not be as good as they seem. Ditto on lawn care business usually using Exmark, but local schools around here use a fair amount of Deere ZTRs, use them a couple years and trade them in. Must be something there that lawn care businesses don’t buy into.
Scag with a Kaw motor if it must be a ZT.
Well the schools are spending other peoples money (The Tax Payers) so they really don't care about the costs.

Now the commercial guys are spending their own money and they are looking at the return on each dollar spent.
Just completely different markets and there is no comparison between them.

Just like a lot of commercial guys use step on mowers because of the small foot print. But I have rarely seen any home owner with a step on mower.
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