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OT: Zero Turn Mower Suggestions Wanted

ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,671
There are a lot of yard aficionados here so I thought I'd ask for mower suggestions. I've had a yard tractor style riding mower for years. It works ok but it's aging and I'm kinda tired of fixing it. I'll use it for the rougher stuff by the road and use the ZT for the nice part of the yard. On 10 acres, around 2 acres of regular mowed yard, the really rough stuff gets the pull behind brush hog mower behind the ATV.

Anything I need to know, look for, when buying? I'm wanting dual hydrostatic, around 54" or less, comfortable seat, around $5k +/- budget, will be local dealer so I won't have a huge problem fixing it. Getting suggestions/brands/models to look at or avoid right now. I've read in the past to go for a welded deck but those seem to be commercial models and expensive. 
Aledo, Texas
Large BGE
KJ Jr.

Exodus 12:9 KJV
Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

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Comments

  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 10,514
    I bought one of these last year. I’m pleased. Paid $100 over the 48” price. There are better ones I’m sure, but like you said they get into commercial grade. This has a fabricated deck. Under 5k. 
  • SouthGaSmokerSouthGaSmoker Posts: 89
    I just purchased a Gravely that replaced my old lawn tractor.  Great bang for the buck(~$3300) and impressive improvement in the quality of the cut.  For $5K, you could get a beast.
    St. Mary's, GA
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 711
    edited May 1
    I have an ExMark I purchased about 18 years ago. I upgraded to a 22HP Kawasaki V-Twin on it last year from a 19 HP Kohler which was on its last leg

    One of the best purchases for ROI I have ever made.

    I cant speak to the new one, but the older ones are built like tanks.
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
    LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • AppStateDDSAppStateDDS Posts: 48
    I bought a Bad Boy mower last summer, a larger "commercial" one.  Definitely has a heavy, well-build deck on it.  I do a lot of mowing though.  They have different levels of mowers, residential to commercial, all sizes.  Maybe something to consider.  There are many other good mowers out there of course, and no doubt others will chime in.  
    Stuart
    Burlington/Alamance County, NC
  • sheetmetalpetesheetmetalpete Posts: 202
    edited May 1

    I bought a Toro Timecutter SS5000 the other year with a Kawasaki.  It's a great runner but I'm not thrilled with the hydraulics.  It's super touchy on wet turf.  If it's not completely dry turning with a bit of weight transfer or slowing from high speed will lock up a wheel(s) and skid through the turf tearing it up.

    If I look past that, for less than $4K I got a 50" zero turn with a bagger.

    Glencoe, Minnesota
  • ColdspringColdspring Posts: 11
    I bought a Xmark about 3 years ago, it is the low end of the commercial class. The one thing I would change would be to by the upgraded seat (they called it a "air ride" then) my yard is not real smooth and it will beat you to death on rough areas. Be sure to check the width of gates etc. the cutting width is not the same as the overall width. I think it was in the 5k range. Scag is also very popular in our area but  you sit lower and it was harder to get out of and at 75 I know that getting up and down is not going to get any easier. Being lower is nice if you need to mow under low branches.
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,720
    We mow 20+ acres on 2 farms weekly and I have had several different brands. For the money the eXmark is currently as dependable as you can buy for the money spent. One caution is steer clear of the John Deere. Most of my tractors are green but their mower is a piece of junk.
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    If full commercial, you'll have a hard time getting a 52" at $5k or under.  Might have to go to the "almost" commercial of the larger names or buy a used commercial mower.  

    For a full two acres, I'd go with a 60" deck.  Right now, I have a Toro Z Master 450 series (it's a 2006 model) and with my yard plus our land that's about 2 acres, takes a while.  

    When my brother drops his Exmark Lazer Z 60" deck on that two acres, it's a difference between night and day between the two.  There's a big difference in price too, mind you.  

    Lawn mowers are like these grills.  Who's your dealer and will they service "the little guy", that's the question.  Find a great dealer and you really cannot go wrong with the big names like Toro, Exmark, Scag, Hustler, Wright, etc.  

    Go to your dealer(s) and see if he has a demo mower or mowers to try out, then base your buying off that.  

    Sometimes dealers look to off load their demo mowers too, and you can get a great deal on those, and still maintain warranty.  
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 11,898
    You won’t touch one for $5k but a Walker puts the nicest cut on grass I’ve ever seen. 
  • SemolinaPilchardSemolinaPilchard Posts: 1,042
    I know someone who is on blood thinners. He bought one, then had to sell it and get one with a shock absorber. The original mower had him urinating blood. He said it was ok if he drove it slowly, but then it took just as long to cut his yard as with the old tractor style mower.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    You won’t touch one for $5k but a Walker puts the nicest cut on grass I’ve ever seen. 
    I agree.  I love the look of a Walker cut lawn, however Walkers are really a niche mower. One thing I don't like about Walkers are their stripes.  I hate the tail wheel stripe.  Almost looks like a walk behind with Velke.   

    Ground speed isn't near what the others have, however for these high end lawns where you see them, ground speed isn't needed.  

    Going back to your needs for the mower and your dealer.  


    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,720
    Only go with a 60" deck if your yard doesn't have many dips and rises in it. If so you might consider a 48". 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    GrillSgt said:
    Only go with a 60" deck if your yard doesn't have many dips and rises in it. If so you might consider a 48". 
    I'll have to disagree with this.  The scalping doesn't really present itself until on the 72" decks.  

    My 2.25 acres of land was a corn and soybean field, with ruts, my brothers 60" cut doesn't scalp at all.  

    Majority of mowers you see on trailers will be 60" and guarantee they're not cutting silk smooth properties.   
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 711
    To put things into perspective, the Kawasaki v-Twin motor was $2,300..

    My wife had a hard time spending 23 hundy on something which was 18 years old..

    Still, a new one was about ~10K
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
    LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,720
    edited May 1
    GrillSgt said:
    Only go with a 60" deck if your yard doesn't have many dips and rises in it. If so you might consider a 48". 
    I'll have to disagree with this.  The scalping doesn't really present itself until on the 72" decks.  

    My 2.25 acres of land was a corn and soybean field, with ruts, my brothers 60" cut doesn't scalp at all.  

    Majority of mowers you see on trailers will be 60" and guarantee they're not cutting silk smooth properties.   
    You can disagree all you want but we've been mowing on 800 acres for 30 years. If the yard has some very "interesting" dips and dives a smaller deck makes that part easier. The fact that you are mowing in a former grain field tells me that it's fairly level. Of course any size deck is going to mow easily over those narrow furrows.
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    billt01 said:
    To put things into perspective, the Kawasaki v-Twin motor was $2,300..

    My wife had a hard time spending 23 hundy on something which was 18 years old..

    Still, a new one was about ~10K
    That's the beauty behind these mowers is items are easily replaceable when they do finally give out.  

    The mower I have now is 12 years old and so far still only has 450 hours on it, which for a commercial mower, it's still new (motor wise).  
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 711
    GrillSgt said:
    GrillSgt said:
    Only go with a 60" deck if your yard doesn't have many dips and rises in it. If so you might consider a 48". 
    I'll have to disagree with this.  The scalping doesn't really present itself until on the 72" decks.  

    My 2.25 acres of land was a corn and soybean field, with ruts, my brothers 60" cut doesn't scalp at all.  

    Majority of mowers you see on trailers will be 60" and guarantee they're not cutting silk smooth properties.   
    You can disagree all you want but we've been mowing on 800 acres for 30 years. If the yard has some very "interesting" dips and dives a smaller deck makes that part easier. The fact that you are mowing in a former grain field tells me that it's fairly level. Of course any size deck is going to mow easily over those narrow furrows.
    I ain't mowin' no 800 acres with a 0-turn...

    Its gonna start with "bush" and end with a "hog"!
     "Don't listen to her, Bob.Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
                                                                                                     -Jane
                                                                                                     "Man and Superman"
    Have:
    LBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3), Blackstone 36

    Had:
    Lang 60D, Cookshack SM150, Stumps Stretch, Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • SSQUAL612SSQUAL612 Posts: 895
    Get @RRP to ask his neighbors gardener...they have 2 & I hear they’re fast  =)
    SoCal  XL BGE 2016, MES, 18.5 WSM,  36"&17" Black Stone, Adj Rig, Woo, Grill Grates, SS Smokeware Cap, KAB,  FB 300, Thermapen 
  • scdafscdaf Posts: 74
    I mow 2 acres with an Ariens IconX52 with a Kawasaki engine and a 10 gauge welded deck.  It has to be, by far, the best value in a semi-commercial mower out there @ $2995.   Great seat, great cut,  great buy.  Home Depot sells them, read the reviews.
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,720
    Hahaha. We mowed the roadways, barn lots, alleyways and yards that go with an 800 acre horse farm. We also used 2 different size batwing mowers in the fields to give it the best looking cut. 15’ and 20’, also used a 10’ single deck multi blade for great looking cuts around the stallion barn. 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • DuckDogDrDuckDogDr Posts: 691
    My buddy has a commercial exmark , swears by it and his dealer. He's done enough business they know him by name.

    My dad has a gravely mower...I like it but dont love it.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    GrillSgt said:
    Hahaha. We mowed the roadways, barn lots, alleyways and yards that go with an 800 acre horse farm. We also used 2 different size batwing mowers in the fields to give it the best looking cut. 15’ and 20’, also used a 10’ single deck multi blade for great looking cuts around the stallion barn. 
    Can I get your autograph?  
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,720
    If you sign your book for me.
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • gmacgmac Posts: 1,787
    I will be the one Exmark detractor. I have a smaller one, home grade can’t recall all the details but when I engage the drive it can drop power and essentially stalls out if you don’t shove it back into park. I’ve had it serviced, didn’t help. 
    Now, it doesn’t seem to want to run for more than about 2 mins before it quits. Maybe needs a carb kit, changed all the filters etc. with no improvement. 
    Im sure I just got the first one built on a Monday but I am looking to dump it and buy a new one. 
    Mt Elgin Ontario - just a Large.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    GrillSgt said:
    GrillSgt said:
    Only go with a 60" deck if your yard doesn't have many dips and rises in it. If so you might consider a 48". 
    I'll have to disagree with this.  The scalping doesn't really present itself until on the 72" decks.  

    My 2.25 acres of land was a corn and soybean field, with ruts, my brothers 60" cut doesn't scalp at all.  

    Majority of mowers you see on trailers will be 60" and guarantee they're not cutting silk smooth properties.   
    You can disagree all you want but we've been mowing on 800 acres for 30 years. If the yard has some very "interesting" dips and dives a smaller deck makes that part easier. The fact that you are mowing in a former grain field tells me that it's fairly level. Of course any size deck is going to mow easily over those narrow furrows.
    Didn't mean to get your little undies in a bind sarge.  

    It's not a grain field, it's was for corn and soybeans.  I ride that land every two weeks, and it's not level.  If only my back could talk to you.  Haha.  

    For what this fella has, the 60" will be well received over a 48".  I live it an breath it.  Mowed commercially for years too.  

    Now, where's my autograph! 
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • ryanttryantt Posts: 1,246
    The one piece of advice I’d give you is this,talk to the local dealers and see what they have to offer.   I have an exmark(non ZTR) and love it; however, if I didn’t have a great local dealer I’d have passed.   Nothing stinks more than needing work done and having to drive hrs away to get it taken care of.   Also look at the local landscape guys what’s on their truck and who do they buy from.   When your livelihood depends your equipment and the after the sales service you receive it speaks volumes for the company the trust.   



    XL BGE, KJ classic, Joe Jr, UDS x2
    Massillon Ohio 

  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    GrillSgt said:
    We mow 20+ acres on 2 farms weekly and I have had several different brands. For the money the eXmark is currently as dependable as you can buy for the money spent. One caution is steer clear of the John Deere. Most of my tractors are green but their mower is a piece of junk.
    Agreed with Deere and their mowers.  They get most of their fan base due to fleet programs.  

    I'm a Toro/Exmark guy too, but have been a fan of Scags too.  
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,308
    @GrillSgt check out what Wright has out these days.  Looked promising, though I'm sorta the type of if I can stand, why not sit though.  


    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • milesvdustinmilesvdustin Posts: 1,292
    I see lots of Scag around here with the mowing companies 

    2 LBGE, Blackstone 36, Akorn Jr

    Egging in Southern Illinois (Marion)

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