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Posted: 8/8/2016 7:45:44 PM EDT
So the 10 old Craftsman lawnmower is starting to see it's last laps around the yard. The front end is loose, the tires are slick and the blade engagement cable is getting sketch again.  Time to move on.







I have about 3/4 of an acre with a bunch of trees and such on it and I want a ZTR.  I went to one of the local power equipment stores today and they had some that interested me.










I am not looking for a commercial grade model but a mid-grade name brand.










Here are three that I am considering (all Lowes links but I don't care where I buy them they are all MAP priced.)













John Deere ZTRAK Z355E 22-Hp V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 48-in Zero-Turn Lawn Mower with Mulching Capability $2999







http://www.lowes.com/pd/Hustler-RAPTOR-24-HP-V-Twin-Dual-Hydrostatic-52-in-Zero-Turn-Lawn-Mower/999958367










Husqvarna RZ246i 23-HP V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 46-in Zero-Turn Lawn Mower $2805












For what I have to mow, the Dixie Chopper, Grasshopper and Gravely were all way too much mower for me.






Thoughts or suggestions?



 
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:07:22 PM EDT
[#1]
I don't have any experience with any of those but after looking at them a bit I would go with the Hustler.

Kohler engine, 52 inch fabricated steel deck, looks well made.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:17:54 PM EDT
[#2]
I just found this one for the same money, $2999




eXmark 42200Quest E-Series (42") Zero-Turn Mower














I see a lot of the landscaper guys around here sporting eXmark Gear.  I do like the Kawasaki motors and 3 bogie wheels on the deck.


 
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:42:01 PM EDT
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I just found this one for the same money, $2999

eXmark 42200Quest E-Series (42") Zero-Turn Mower
https://cdn3.volusion.com/zsvae.zbfps/v/vspfiles/photos/122-QTE452CEM42200-2.gif?1469694701

https://www.arlingtonpower.com/product-p/122-qte452cem42200.htm



I see a lot of the landscaper guys around here sporting eXmark Gear.  I do like the Kawasaki motors and 3 bogie wheels on the deck.
 
View Quote


It says it has an eXmark engine. Not sure who makes it for them.

Plus the Hustler's mowing deck is 10" wider which would cut your mowing time.

eXmark does have a good rep and I see the commercial guys using them a lot around here also.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:46:03 PM EDT
[#4]
You really need a non stamped metal deck. Go as thick as you can in your price. Of your three choices the Hustler looked the best.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:48:55 PM EDT
[#5]
On the eXmark website it says it is a Kawasaki motor in some places.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:49:03 PM EDT
[#6]
Ive been using a Husqvarna 5224 with the kawasaki engine for 4 years now and am very happy with it.

Check out the prices at Mowers Direct-I ordered mine from them and it was no hassle.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:49:28 PM EDT
[#7]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


You really need a non stamped metal deck. Go as thick as you can in your price. Of your three choices the Hustler looked the best.
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Even better than the eXmark?

 
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:55:18 PM EDT
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Even better than the eXmark?  
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Quoted:
You really need a non stamped metal deck. Go as thick as you can in your price. Of your three choices the Hustler looked the best.
Even better than the eXmark?  

No I didnt see the Exmark , thats what way I would go but I am a biased Toro guy The Lawnsite forum might have some reviews on those choices. Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 8:59:44 PM EDT
[#9]
For 3/4 acre all will work. They are all residential grade mowers that a built lighter that the larger commercial zero turns. I'd avoid any of them that are Briggs powered. A Kohler or Honda would be my preference at your price point.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:00:33 PM EDT
[#10]
Kohler may make good commercial engines, but imo their box store models are cheap garbage. I made that mistake once. I won't do it again.

And I saw that John Deere ZTR in Lowes yesterday and couldn't believe how thin that frame looked. It's supposed to be a mower, not a lawn chair.

Seriously, don't buy from a box store. Just don't.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:00:42 PM EDT
[#11]
I have a Hustler Fasttrak and it has been bulletproof for over 10 years.  I use it on 3-5 foot tall kochia so it gets plenty of abuse.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:04:22 PM EDT
[#12]
I just bought a Dixie Chopper. The Kawasaki motor was the deciding factor between it and a Kohler-powered Scag.

If a Kawasaki motor and welded/fabricated deck are an option, that should be your choice.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:04:55 PM EDT
[#13]
You are paying a green and yellow JD tax on a 1500$ mower that retails for 3k.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:11:02 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Kohler may make good commercial engines, but imo their box store models are cheap garbage. I made that mistake once. I won't do it again.

And I saw that John Deere ZTR in Lowes yesterday and couldn't believe how thin that frame looked. It's supposed to be a mower, not a lawn chair.

Seriously, don't buy from a box store. Just don't.
View Quote


This.
Kohler Command Pro
Kawasaki FS
Briggs Commercial Turf

Buy once, cry once.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:14:14 PM EDT
[#15]
Also, just so you know OP...





Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:36:01 PM EDT
[#16]
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:46:03 PM EDT
[#17]
Which brand has the best parts availability in your area?

This should be some thing to consider also.

Hustler Raptor SD owner.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:50:00 PM EDT
[#18]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Which brand has the best parts availability in your area?



This should be some thing to consider also.



Hustler Raptor SD owner.
View Quote
Damn near everything is available here. It doesn't seem like there is a shortage of types or parts here.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 9:52:01 PM EDT
[#19]
Get one with a fabricated deck.  Not stamped.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 10:26:09 PM EDT
[#20]
I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 10:31:38 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History



I see what you did there.

Just incase nobody else noticed.....Here is a link.
LINKY
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 10:32:08 PM EDT
[#22]
Pretty much everyone runs Snapper and Toro around here.
Link Posted: 8/8/2016 10:45:35 PM EDT
[#23]
I have the smallest JD z-trac, 225? and I mow a little more than you, maybe 3/4 acre?  and it does just fine, 20 minutes and I usually go over some areas twice.  Other than change oil and air filter, sharpen blades, it runs like a deere...
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 11:37:55 AM EDT
[#24]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I see what you did there.



Just incase nobody else noticed.....Here is a link.

LINKY
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So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 11:42:20 AM EDT
[#25]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.
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Quoted:



So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.
They're the same mower with different stickers and paint.



Get the welded deck.



 
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 11:46:44 AM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.


Toro has deck adjustments. (Knob under the seat) I own that one. Not sure what the Exmark changes are otherwise.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 11:47:36 AM EDT
[#27]
I run a n Exmark Lazer X E series 60" with Ultra Vac bagger at the commercial buildings I manage. It's built like a brick shit house. Rides like one too. Also, zero turn mowers are NOT zero turn radius, they do some stuff really well, and also suck for other stuff. Like going around trees. Also, use caution when striping your lawn, if you don't turn carefully, you'll tear the heck out of your lawn with the pivot tire. Many times I'd prefer a good lawn tractor, but you can stick this thing into 12" wet grass and it'll spit it out level, with no clumps. The blades are great and strong, caught a few large rocks and haven't had to replace them yet, just sharpen them once a month or so, depending.

 I've had to do zilch to it, just oil changes and air filters. Still original deck belt, looks good. I also take pretty good care of it, and it mows beautifully. It has the floating seat system and a comfortable seat at that, but it does ride like a brick.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 11:48:31 AM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.
View Quote


^^^QFT .   That will be very difficult to find.  Kubota offers a 42" ZT mower that has a Kawasaki engine with a fabricated deck.  It is a nice light duty mower but it runs $3,899.  Kubota does offer 0% financing for 36 months.  Might be worth looking at.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Disclaimer:  I am a Kubota dealer.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 8:56:44 PM EDT
[#29]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
^^^QFT .   That will be very difficult to find.  Kubota offers a 42" ZT mower that has a Kawasaki engine with a fabricated deck.  It is a nice light duty mower but it runs $3,899.  Kubota does offer 0% financing for 36 months.  Might be worth looking at.



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Disclaimer:  I am a Kubota dealer.

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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.




^^^QFT .   That will be very difficult to find.  Kubota offers a 42" ZT mower that has a Kawasaki engine with a fabricated deck.  It is a nice light duty mower but it runs $3,899.  Kubota does offer 0% financing for 36 months.  Might be worth looking at.



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Disclaimer:  I am a Kubota dealer.

I am trying to keep this under $3500 out the door.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:01:20 PM EDT
[#30]
I have a Raptor. It is better built than anything else I found in its price range. I am very pleased with it.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:11:24 PM EDT
[#31]
I run a lawn service in central Florida. I use a hustler raptor 42 inch. It runs several hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, 9 months out of the year. I've had it for 3 years and no problems (other than normal wear and tear- belts, tires etc)

My 2 cents
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:20:18 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.
View Quote


Scag Liberty Z
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:43:32 PM EDT
[#33]

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Scag Liberty Z
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Quoted:



Quoted:

I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.




Scag Liberty Z
If I had 5 acres sure, but that is $1000 over my cap.

 
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:45:34 PM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Scag Liberty Z
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Quoted:
I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.


Scag Liberty Z

Not a Kawasaki engine.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:47:45 PM EDT
[#35]

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Not a Kawasaki engine.
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Quoted:


Quoted:

I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.




Scag Liberty Z


Not a Kawasaki engine.
The Kawasaki isn't going to be the hill I die on most likely.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:53:09 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
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The Kawasaki isn't going to be the hill I die on most likely.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
I am looking for a unicorn here, Kawasaki engine and Fab deck for under $3200.


Scag Liberty Z

Not a Kawasaki engine.
The Kawasaki isn't going to be the hill I die on most likely.

For 3/4 acre, I don't blame you.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:54:09 PM EDT
[#37]
All of those have very similar level of components- wouldn't call them mid-grade by any means.


I'd go with the Hustler of those choices.
Bad Boy also makes a very comparable mower- might be worth checking out.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 9:58:04 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Damn near everything is available here. It doesn't seem like there is a shortage of types or parts here.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Which brand has the best parts availability in your area?

This should be some thing to consider also.

Hustler Raptor SD owner.
Damn near everything is available here. It doesn't seem like there is a shortage of types or parts here.


Everything may be available brand wise, but parts availability can be a very different animal. Our local Toro dealer absolutely sucks in that regard.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:00:55 PM EDT
[#39]
Bad Boy has a sale on the Magnum model.  You can get a 48" with a Kohler , and a fab deck in your price range.  I bought a commercial Bad Boy recently.  I'm really impressed with that mower!
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:07:34 PM EDT
[#40]
I am enjoying the hell out of my Dixie Chopper.

Zee2
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:09:05 PM EDT
[#41]
Where are you buying it from? For any large purchase from a big box store I buy discount giftcards from cardpool.com. Those with a 10% lowes new address coupon and you can save a good chunk of $
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:18:32 PM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I just found this one for the same money, $2999

eXmark 42200Quest E-Series (42") Zero-Turn Mower
https://cdn3.volusion.com/zsvae.zbfps/v/vspfiles/photos/122-QTE452CEM42200-2.gif?1469694701

https://www.arlingtonpower.com/product-p/122-qte452cem42200.htm



I see a lot of the landscaper guys around here sporting eXmark Gear.  I do like the Kawasaki motors and 3 bogie wheels on the deck.
 
View Quote


I have a 50" Quest, with the Kawasaki engine. I've had it for about four years with no complaints. I did replace a belt and one spindle. The spindle was probably my fault trying to loosen a blade bolt. I broke the bolt.
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:20:42 PM EDT
[#43]
In arfcom fashion increase budget around 13 k and get a 72" bad boy mower with the cat diesel.  My brothers step cousin owns a mowing company and he wont buy anything less.



But in truth.  Any of the ones op lined up would work for op.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/9/2016 10:30:59 PM EDT
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.
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Quoted:
So is the Toro the better mower or the eXmark.

Pay close attention to the engines if you look at the Toro models. I have seen them with Kohler, Kawasaki and Toro branded engines.
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 9:02:03 AM EDT
[#45]
I have discovered a few things in my search for a new lawn mower.










  • Lawn Mower Dealers are NEVER FUCKING OPEN.


  • Dealerships are open M-F 8a-5p and Sa 9a-12p, Closed Sunday


  • There is almost nothing in stock to look at in the dealership, all of it is ordered in within a few days.


  • There are no real off season/out of season sales.


  • The models don't change so there is no obsolete last years models


  • There is no in-house stock to "blow out inventory reduction" sale


  • Chinese motors are everywhere and it is a $1500+ upgrade to get a non-Chinese motor


  • The more leg work I do on this the less exited I am about actually getting a new mower, I feel like I am voting for Trump here.



 
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 9:47:55 AM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I have discovered a few things in my search for a new lawn mower.

  • Lawn Mower Dealers are NEVER FUCKING OPEN.
  • Dealerships are open M-F 8a-5p and Sa 9a-12p, Closed Sunday
  • There is almost nothing in stock to look at in the dealership, all of it is ordered in within a few days.
  • There are no real off season/out of season sales.
  • The models don't change so there is no obsolete last years models
  • There is no in-house stock to "blow out inventory reduction" sale
  • Chinese motors are everywhere and it is a $1500+ upgrade to get a non-Chinese motor
  • The more leg work I do on this the less exited I am about actually getting a new mower, I feel like I am voting for Trump here.

 
View Quote


The fact is, you aren't going to get what you want in your budget unless you buy used.
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 9:58:07 AM EDT
[#47]
Just here I laugh that people are legit buying zero tirns for 3/4 of an acre
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 10:18:06 AM EDT
[#48]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Just here I laugh that people are legit buying zero tirns for 3/4 of an acre
View Quote
I have the hustler in the op for about that much acreage.   Most of my yard is covered by giant oak trees and the leaves became a super labor intensive project every few weeks that I didn't have time for.

 



I got the bagging system with the mower ( which is extremely overpriced BTW ) to make this much easier and it did  




I bought the hustler because it was made locally and had the best dealer support,  and the place I bought it from seemed the most knowledgeable  I have experience with the commercial John Deeres but even the local dealer told me not to bother especially if I needed a bagger with the residential models  




What sucks is a couple of years ago that hustler did have a kawasaki engine on it.  I won't say the mower isn't built well,  but it definitely isn't built very heavy.  It's fine for my yard but honestly I wish I would have spent a couple grand more and moved up to an entry level commercial mower that would last 15 years.  My old man has a mower with a liquid cooled kawasaki engine on it and it's 20 years old and still runs great mowing 5 plus acres.   It also cost 8 or 9 grand 20 years ago IIRC though .  
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 10:23:14 AM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I just bought a Dixie Chopper. The Kawasaki motor was the deciding factor between it and a Kohler-powered Scag.

If a Kawasaki motor and welded/fabricated deck are an option, that should be your choice.
View Quote


You can get a Kawa powered Scag.

OP..."too much mower"?  Really?
Link Posted: 8/14/2016 10:37:15 AM EDT
[#50]
I am researching ZTR mowers as well. My 16 year old Craftsman is dying. Looked at $4-5K mowers.

Hustler has the Raptor SD with dual 2800 Hydro. Bad boy around the same. Exmark I have to step up closer to 5K.

The big box mowers are low grade. Most are.sealed hydro systems and not serviceable. Local dealers said mowers sold at box stores they will not work on. Box stores send a guy out.

I am leaning towards a Hustler Raptor SD in 48/54" cut. Overkill for a 1.2 acre lot but hopefully I get 10-15 years out of it.
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