zero turn mowers...opinions plz

matt87

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hey guys looking to buy a residential zero turn mower. so many options out there! i have a about a 1/2 acre to mow so figure a 42" will suffice. looking to spend about 2500.00. leaning towards ariens but am totally open to any and all advice. thanks!
 

Screw-Rice

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Ariens is a great mower, as is Toro and Wright. I do this professionally and run the piss out of mowers, lol. Are you wanting a riding mower, stander, or a walkbehind? All are zero turn, and the walkbehind you can ad a stand behind it to ride on.

I'm not a fan of buying from box stores for a variety of reasons, so find a Toro dealer near you to demo one. That said here are a couple options
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-Tim...Riding-Mower-with-Smart-Speed-74730/205626836
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-Tim...th-Smart-Speed-74720/205626790#specifications
 

matt87

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oh shoulda said that i want a sitting zero turnmower. thanks again!
 

Junior00

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Mowers are a sore subject for some, much like brand loyalty in cars. I originally purchased a Toro for our 1 acre lot and occasionally cut some of the neighbors yards. First pump went at a hair over 700 hours, second one shit the bed at 1100. Wasn't very pleased with the bill nor the amount of hours and sold it. We have 80 acres of work and went through 2 Dixie Choppers (tried to talk them out of that one) which were nothing but problems, an Exmark which wasn't bad, and finally landed on a pair of Scags with recommendations from the landscapers. Bar none, they have been the best mowers we've ever had with nothing more than usual maintenance and replacement of seals/tires. Going on 4k hours on one and 2.5k on the other and run like tops. Their residential line would probably be a great offering, might be too much for your budget as they tend to be around $4k. Just food for thought.
 

matt87

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wow, just looked at scags website....ya those are no joke. look really nice but ya most likely to much $$$ for my budget. been looking at the used market on craigslist too. what are some smart basic questions to ask besides basic service and hours?
 

Screw-Rice

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Mowers are a sore subject for some, much like brand loyalty in cars. I originally purchased a Toro for our 1 acre lot and occasionally cut some of the neighbors yards. First pump went at a hair over 700 hours, second one shit the bed at 1100. Wasn't very pleased with the bill nor the amount of hours and sold it. We have 80 acres of work and went through 2 Dixie Choppers (tried to talk them out of that one) which were nothing but problems, an Exmark which wasn't bad, and finally landed on a pair of Scags with recommendations from the landscapers. Bar none, they have been the best mowers we've ever had with nothing more than usual maintenance and replacement of seals/tires. Going on 4k hours on one and 2.5k on the other and run like tops. Their residential line would probably be a great offering, might be too much for your budget as they tend to be around $4k. Just food for thought.

Brand loyalty is definitely the same as cars for those that use them a lot. Just like cars when you need them to work, they have to work. Maintenance is a big thing for any mower, and usually what is skipped the most. Then depending on size of what you're doing, you need either a stout resi or preferably a commercial mower for large properties. Scag is a nice unit but comes with a price just like the commercial husquarvana.

I've destroyed a couple mowers but so far my Toro's have survived and I just bought two more this season. Also friends with a few other landscapers and all have their preferences.
 

Screw-Rice

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wow, just looked at scags website....ya those are no joke. look really nice but ya most likely to much $$$ for my budget. been looking at the used market on craigslist too. what are some smart basic questions to ask besides basic service and hours?

Yeah double your budget for a stout mower, haha. The Toro will do well unless it's all field type (thick) grass/weed.

As for used, check the blades are in good shape, filter is clean, and service history. Also hours, don't bother buying one with a ton of hours. Specify you don't want it started, that it has to be cold when you get there to make sure it starts after 1-2 pulls. Buying a used big mower can be great unless it has issues then it's not cheap at all. Gravely and Walker are considered the standard in landscaping. Only thing is that hydraulics suck when they blow, where as a belt driven one is a simple fix typically.

Side note: As stated, go to a dealer that repairs as well as sells. Far better service than buying from HD or another box store. They have a 2-3 year warranty, and buying from a smaller place will ensure a speedy repair if it has issues. I know where I buy all my stuff they will repair things quick, and if I can't bring it to them for any reason, they will come pick it up, repair and bring it back.
 
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01GTB

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One of my friends has a Toro Timecutter and it has needed very little in the 8 or so years he's had it. Think his is a 50". He's got about an acre.

Also the Hustler Raptor is worth a look. They are in the $25-3000 range.
 
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Torchy

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We had a 60" HD Commercial Gravely and cut about 20 acres with it regularly due to trees. Couldn't get the 15' batwing through it. Never had a issue and I put it through a lot. Hit tons of huge tree branches (3inch thick) and it just took it lol. Scag and Hustler are great too
 

MissionMan

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1/2 acre? get a timecutter push mower, I wish I would have. I mow exactly a half acre (all lawn) with a 42" rider and it's total overkill. sure it is nice to be done in 35min but I could have saved a few hundred $$$ getting a wide pusher.
 

rotor_powerd

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I have a 60" Gravely 260z with the 25hp Kawasaki engine. It's a little overkill for what I use it for but I've never had any trouble with it. Very well built and tons of power. I mow just up around the house with it, probably 1/3 to 1/2 acre worth. I used to mow all 5 acres with it but then I bought a 7' finish mower for my John Deere and I generally use it to do all the wide open stuff.
 

03slow6

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Stay away from Cub Cadet. I got one in a trade and the thing has been nothing but problems. Uneven cut, never wants to start, the cable that raises and lowers the deck has snapped twice. Finally had to replace with 2 pieces of chain.
 

Screw-Rice

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1/2 acre? get a timecutter push mower, I wish I would have. I mow exactly a half acre (all lawn) with a 42" rider and it's total overkill. sure it is nice to be done in 35min but I could have saved a few hundred $$$ getting a wide pusher.

I run 2 timecutters (30") and they are awesome machines. Run about $1100. Was my first suggestion the last time a similar thread came up, but the guy was hell bent on a rider, so just avoided mentioning it this time. Could easily do it under an hour with a 30.

Stay away from Cub Cadet. I got one in a trade and the thing has been nothing but problems. Uneven cut, never wants to start, the cable that raises and lowers the deck has snapped twice. Finally had to replace with 2 pieces of chain.
Agreed, they are notorious for issues.
 

Anthony K

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look at what the contractors use

exmark

i bought a 60" fabbed deck quest. its bad ass. traded in a deere 325 garden tractor.
 

R.D.P.

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I have a Cub Cadet with the Kawi v-twin. Only paid $1900 on a Craiglist deal with 200hrs on it. So far so good. No matter what brand you get, def get the kawi v-twin. I'm keeping mine forever lol, unless I can't get part for it down the road. I love how fast I can cut my grass now. I have about 3/4 of a acre total and about 30 trees to cut around.
 

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