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zero turn options

562 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Alien5044
looking at zero turn mowers in the home owner 4 k max range not happy with my Simplicity courier
I don't need professional grade , looking at Husky, Toro
Any suggestions ?
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How big a lawn will you mow?
Any slopes?
How many obstacles?
How much time do have to mow?
Any physical restrictions like a bad back, etc?
Material collection? Bagger, lawn vac, dump from the seat….

Lots of things to consider that affect a recommendation on Manufacturer, size, features. Gas or Diesel? Maybe give a little more information for a better recommendation.
I bought a Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 with Kawasaki FR730V engine and Hydro Gear ZT2800 transmissions. It listed for $4,299 but I got it for what turned out to be about $3,900 new from HD in April 2021. (Their ads misstated the machine's transmissions, so they offered a 10% discount or return, I chose the discount).

It is pretty robust except for the standard mower blades that are just too flimsy and not hardened enough. Mostly fixed that with the CC Mulching blades that are holding up much better even though I only discharge not mulch.

Otherwise, the engine, being a Kawasaki, is testimony enough for a quality. The transmissions are high homeowner low commercial grade and are fully serviceable with filters. The rest of the machine is OK. I say that because I beat it hard with 4 acres of hilly land mowed weekly at least. End of 2nd season about 145 hours on it, and it is doing just fine.

CAUTION: Unfortunately, Cub Cadet has changed their Ultima ZT line since I bought mine, and in my opinion, downgraded these ZTs to slightly less desireable Kohler engines and I believe, a lower capacity, non filtered TufTorq transmission model. The prices are up too. Currently, this same Ultima ZT2 with 60" deck, the newer, I think less robust transmissions, and the Kohler engine is now going for $5,299. at the HD store I bought my CC ZT at in April 2021. Since April 2021, that is a 23% increase in price with lesser engine and transmissions (my opinion).

Do your research. In my opinion, the real value in anny yard machine is the engine, transmissions, followed by the build quality. I do my own welding, so I concentrate on the engine and transmission first.

Shop your budget but be fully aware of what you are getting in engines and transmissions.
Good luck.
One important consideration is dealer support which the box stores don't offer, they are not in the aftersales service business. Do you have a local dealer with a good reputation? My first choices would be Toro and Kubota for this reason, CC a distant third. I have dealt with them both as a supplier rep and a customer, experiences didn't leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.
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$4k will actually get you a decent used commercial grade machine that would be for all intents and purposes bulletproof for “most” homeowners no matter the terrain. They’re built to shrug off daily abuse. Toro, Ferris, Wright, Scag, etc tend to have pretty good dealer support used to working with demanding business owners whose livelihoods depend on their machines, provided there’s a dealership in your area. They’re good well supported machines but dealers can be few and far between.

I went with a Wright because it was a smoking good deal on a miniature Abrams tank of a machine with a brand new engine, but my closest dealer is about an hour away and I find myself needing some parts most likely only available at the dealer.
I’m on the same page. Buy used commercial and the machine will run for a long time with very little effort or cost. However, the $4K will only give you a smaller unit, $5-6K, a bigger lower hour used unit. Toro, Ferris, Wright, Scag, + Kubota, older Deere, Great Dane, etc.

That’s the reason I posted the questions earlier about use. When I was looking, $$$ was my driving item, but when I bought the 757 it was very low $$$ and I knew I might have to repair or have repaired at additional $$$ which still kept me in the price range I was okay with. That gave me a commercial grade 60” zero turn with large tires for a smoother ride, and faster than my X738 54” tractor.
$4k will actually get you a decent used commercial grade machine that would be for all intents and purposes bulletproof for “most” homeowners no matter the terrain. They’re built to shrug off daily abuse. Toro, Ferris, Wright, Scag, etc tend to have pretty good dealer support used to working with demanding business owners whose livelihoods depend on their machines, provided there’s a dealership in your area. They’re good well supported machines but dealers can be few and far between.

I went with a Wright because it was a smoking good deal on a miniature Abrams tank of a machine with a brand new engine, but my closest dealer is about an hour away and I find myself needing some parts most likely only available at the dealer.
that really depends on the model,while some are kohler powered many are still KAWASAKI , one needs to carefully read the specs and choose acordlingly Zero-Turn Mowers - Quality Zero Turn Lawn Mowers | Cub Cadet US

like you i also have a ZT2-5, purchased from HD dead center the bug shortage , got a good deal and 2 years zero interest to pay for it.and love it, while the scag i have is showing that it has SOME cheaper grade driveline parts such as the kohler K7000 motor,
I bought a Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 with Kawasaki FR730V engine and Hydro Gear ZT2800 transmissions. It listed for $4,299 but I got it for what turned out to be about $3,900 new from HD in April 2021. (Their ads misstated the machine's transmissions, so they offered a 10% discount or return, I chose the discount).

It is pretty robust except for the standard mower blades that are just too flimsy and not hardened enough. Mostly fixed that with the CC Mulching blades that are holding up much better even though I only discharge not mulch.

Otherwise, the engine, being a Kawasaki, is testimony enough for a quality. The transmissions are high homeowner low commercial grade and are fully serviceable with filters. The rest of the machine is OK. I say that because I beat it hard with 4 acres of hilly land mowed weekly at least. End of 2nd season about 145 hours on it, and it is doing just fine.

CAUTION: Unfortunately, Cub Cadet has changed their Ultima ZT line since I bought mine, and in my opinion, downgraded these ZTs to slightly less desireable Kohler engines and I believe, a lower capacity, non filtered TufTorq transmission model. The prices are up too. Currently, this same Ultima ZT2 with 60" deck, the newer, I think less robust transmissions, and the Kohler engine is now going for $5,299. at the HD store I bought my CC ZT at in April 2021. Since April 2021, that is a 23% increase in price with lesser engine and transmissions (my opinion).

Do your research. In my opinion, the real value in anny yard machine is the engine, transmissions, followed by the build quality. I do my own welding, so I concentrate on the engine and transmission first.

Shop your budget but be fully aware of what you are getting in engines and transmissions.
Good luck.
I second the used commercial equipment.

If you really want to go for a new residential mower, I'd go for a Deere or Ariens. Get a zt2800 transmission or the tuff torq equivalent because it's serviceable.
property is flat and have a lot of "islands " to mow around looking for comfort ,getting older and enjoy my yard work
I do all my maintenace
I have a 3 year old ztr just not happy it has had issues and their design of it
The nice thing about going to a dealer is they will usually let you test drive a mower on the store's back yard just to see if it "fits" your needs. You can also ask a lot of questions and they usually have the answers. Big Box stores just don't let you test drive, and the guy in the isle has no clue about the machine on the floor.

Like Charles posted, I bought my CC ZT2 60" at HD. From my week long research, I knew exactly what the model had in terms of the engine and the transmissions. At the time, the HD store was the ONLY local place that had anything in stock, not even the local CC, and JD dealers had any available at the time. My newly acquired 9 acres with 4 acres of quickly growing lawn in April 2021 wasn't slowing down, so waiting for an order or something to magically show up in inventory, wasn't an option.
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AMEN allen
that bug shutdown caused me to shop away from the local CC dealer who was a amazed that i even found one, ESP one still in the shipping crate, as i did not want a half A'd box store assembly ,saw to many never checked/tightened items on the floor models, took out a HD credit card they took off $200.00 saved another $85.00 delivery by using the shops utility trailer we use to move the rhino for pickup, took 3 hours to slowly assemble and check each and every bolt for proper torque . crazy as to how many were not even close,

mine is only a 50 inch but serves me well and out shines my scag we use at the shop whose kohler 7000 motor has had head gasket issues even with the newer head gasket installed,
Charles, you reminded me that the Big Box stores usually hire an assembly contractor to build their crated machines. Sometimes they let the store employees do it. Both are equally poor and require the purchaser to go over the entire machine and all bolts and assemblies.

I agree with your last sentence, the CC has served well but I don't have anything to compare it to except it just does the job without much complaint. Good engine, and decent, maintainable transmissions seem to carry the day.

Have a great week.
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