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Need recommendations for ZT mower. UPDATE: My new mower was delivered today. Login/Join 
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Very good info. I have a Toro TimeCutter SW4200 with a 24.5hp Toro engine that I use on a half acre. I would suggest one with the levers rather than a steering wheel like mine, if that was a thought, I thought I'd like the wheel better. It's been a good machine overall.

However, I'm looking for a different one. Mainly because I want one, not need one. I'm liking the idea of a standup for storage reasons and I'm not planning to alter my gate to fit a larger mower. On my yard, it's smoothish and well fertilized and grows pretty fast so I have to mow twice a week or it takes a lot longer.




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Posts: 6481 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mark123:
I've got suggestions but need to know what's important to you. Do you want the fancy stripes? Will the area be fertilized? Are you going to keep up with it or just mow when it starts to really look bad?


No fancy stripes needed. I will fertilize the area around the house only, not the entire lot. Will mow as needed (probably every other week or weekly during the summer).
 
Posts: 687 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am in interested in the stripes and I cut it regularly.

I can get a stripe kit for my mower but I'm not sure how well it would work.




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Posts: 6481 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Walkinghorse said it back on page 1..."Nearest dealer or service guy that takes care of you right!" I have a Toro Proline that will begin it's 23rd season once the snow is gone, and sure, it's needed a little tlc at times, like the year before last when I replaced the coils and last year when I replaced the head gaskets, but that's only a few bucks and a few beers worth of time, so, overall, very pleased with the Toro. But I will need to replace it one of these days, so I've been looking. Meanwhile, my local Toro dealer has changed hands, and not for the better, but I've heard nothing but praise for the local Ferris dealer, so Ferris it will be. As far as cutting width, I mow close to 3 acres, so a 61" sounds nice, but you need to be mindful of getting into all of the places that need to be mowed, so I will go with a 52" deck in order to fit around all of the wife's flower beds.
 
Posts: 451 | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by barndg00:
I've been following this thread and would be interested in your opinion. I've got a 1 acre lawn, like the fancy stripes, and do fertilize. I mow regularly in season, but sometimes get delayed due to work schedule. What would you recommend?


quote:
Originally posted by kingfish007:
No fancy stripes needed. I will fertilize the area around the house only, not the entire lot. Will mow as needed (probably every other week or weekly during the summer).

Well, I'll give a couple different suggestions then.

Take this knowing the fact that I mow for a living. Half of my lawns are fertilized, half aren't. I mow 40 lawns per week. I'd say I do a little over what a homeowner does in one year every week. I would eat up a homeowner model mower in a month or two. They are also agonizingly slow after riding a pro version for so long.

Considering the suggestion to buy a used professional mower, I'd say don't. I'm going to be straight with you, we use our mowers up. We ride them hard and put them away dirty and wet. We wrench them only as needed and, while the oil is changed regularly, there's just not a whole lot of life left in them if we are selling them.

If you can swing it, get a brand new pro mower, mowing only your property once per week means it's going to last you for a long, long, long time. Parts are easy to get and replace and you get a warranty. All the big manufacturers offer special financing. You can get one for monthly payments of $200 with no interest.

Walker was mentioned, they do hold to the hills nicely and they are quick but I don't like their quality of cut. It seems to have something to do with the deck not being well baffled. Toro/Exmark also offers a standing mower that has all the benefits.

A stander is probably not what you're going for though. Especially if you want a bagging system for fall leaf pickup.

For brand, in my professional opinion, I choose Toro. The Turboforce deck is simply the best on the market. You can get the same deck on the Exmark (it may be a little different) but it's just more loot for no real benefit. The Turboforce deck has an adjustable discharge flap that seems to me to be marketing hype. The difference seems negligible and dubious.

Concerning the Toro with the Turboforce deck, if they still make them AVOID THE 40" DECK. It's a horrible design. If it had two 20" blades it would probably work, but the three 14" (or whatever they are) blades do not have enough lift and it simply leaves a mess. Avoid the 40" with extreme prejudice.

I use a 52" Z Master and a 21" Toro walk behind for the smaller stuff. The 60" will cut some time off of your mowing but for one lawn the difference won't matter as much.

If you really are going to get a pro mower, realize that you are going to get sticker shock. We're talking $8k + $2600 for a bagging system.

For the stripes, I don't use a striping kit, I just have the deck pitched forward properly and it gives great results from the stock Turboforce deck. The technique is as important as the equipment. Practice keeping it straight and overlap as little as possible. You're not going to get great stripes on warm season turf as you can on cool season turf. You also have to mow at the proper height to get the stripes. Too low and it won't show very well.

For a homeowner model, you can look at the Toro Timecutter homeowner models but it's not going to be anywhere near the speed or cut quality of the Z Master series. For homeowner models you can also look at something like Simplicity, they stripe nice because I believe they all come with a roller behind the deck.

For pro stuff I always suggest Toro. If you have a bumpy lawn some will suggest Ferris for the suspension but you're not going to notice so much mowing one lawn as I would mowing all day. They're a good secondary suggestion.

If you don't care about stripes or quality of cut, you just want a quick mow and go, something from Snapper Pro (they also have suspension) or just about anything.

I think I've been a bit random on this post but you can ask specific questions here or drop me an email.

This was with a Toro Turboforce 36" walkbehind:


This was with a Toro Turboforce 52" Z Master:
 
Posts: 39845 | Location: Pennsyltucky | Registered: December 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another couple of points I though about.

The wider the deck the better the chance of scalps and gouges. It's simple geometry. I find the 52" to be the best size for me, even on the multi acre lawns. I also have a 36" backup that uses the same blades.

There's also no point running balls out. Take your time and avoid having to go over parts of the lawn.

This is my current rig.
 
Posts: 39845 | Location: Pennsyltucky | Registered: December 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you Mark123. Very helpful information. I intend to buy a new commercial model. Do I need the bagging add-on or is mulching sufficient for the lawn?
 
Posts: 687 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by kingfish007:
Thank you Mark123. Very helpful information. I intend to buy a new commercial model. Do I need the bagging add-on or is mulching sufficient for the lawn?
I only use the bagger to pick up leaves. I do not bag lawn clippings. Removing the clippings is detrimental to the lawn.

I side discharge and if the clippings are too thick or clumpy, I'll just go over them with the deck raised about half inch.
 
Posts: 39845 | Location: Pennsyltucky | Registered: December 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mark is giving good advice. Once you settle on your mower I'd recommend a set of Oregon G6 gator mulching blades. Turns your clippings into good mulch and turns leaves into dust.

https://www.oregonproducts.com.../products/oep/G6.htm


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Posts: 2304 | Location: Sunnyside of Louisville | Registered: July 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by doublesharp:
Mark is giving good advice. Once you settle on your mower I'd recommend a set of Oregon G6 gator mulching blades. Turns your clippings into good mulch and turns leaves into dust.

https://www.oregonproducts.com.../products/oep/G6.htm
I use Oregon blades as well. I use the regular high lift blades and not the toothed "gator" blades. The Oregon blades seem to keep their sharpness approximately twice as long as the OEM blades. IIRC, the G5 blades are lighter with the same benefits of the G6 (I'll have to look that up again). I think I am going to experiment with them this year.
 
Posts: 39845 | Location: Pennsyltucky | Registered: December 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I currently have a bad boy 28 HP diesel. It is built like a tank, but if I were buying again, I would consider a Ferris or Scag with a diesel.
My brother had his own mowing business for about 10yrs and I worked for him for 1 year. He ran Kubota ZT diesels. They worked great too.
Like discussed above, I would see who sells what close to where you live. Not sure there are any Scag dealers close around here, so I would consider Ferris or Kubota with a diesel.
Diesels seem to be able to dig down and get more power when taxed. They also seem to use less fuel to do the same job. My brother had a guy who worked with him on occasion and he used more fuel in his Kawasaki gas than brothers Kubota diesel. My diesel is a cat.


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Posts: 1337 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mark, have you ever looked at Gravely? Just looking at them for the first time and comparing specs on their ProTurn 200 series it looks like a nice piece with Hydrogear ZT5400 drive, 7 gauge steel fabricated decks, large wheels, full air ride suspension, etc. https://www.gravely.com/en-us/...ers/pro-turn-200-xdz


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Posts: 4251 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought the Kubota z726xkw-60 and it was delivered by the dealer today. I wanted to buy the Ferris IS2100Z for the suspension feature but the Ferris dealers in the area were not very helpful and reliable. The Kubota dealer, on the other hand, was very friendly and great to work with. At the end of the day, I think dealer support is very important thus went with the Kubota. Man, this thing is fast... Can't wait to try it out Smile



 
Posts: 687 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That things looks sa-weet!
 
Posts: 3739 | Location: 7400 feet in Conifer CO | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice ride......now get a set of Bose wireless noise canceling headphones to connect to your phone to cook the tunes while your 'working'.
Mike




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Posts: 904 | Location: Kalispell Montana & San Miguel de Allende, Mexico | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You went first class! Good choice!


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Money will buy you a fine dog but it takes love to make that dog wag its tail.
 
Posts: 2304 | Location: Sunnyside of Louisville | Registered: July 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice machines guys. I just took my 2003 vintage Cub Cadet out of storage, ordered a belt & hydro filter from Amazon.

This CC has been mostly trouble free over the 14 years. We have the 5 acres, with about half mowable.

I hope to keep mine around a while longer.
 
Posts: 2859 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mark123:
quote:
Originally posted by doublesharp:
Mark is giving good advice. Once you settle on your mower I'd recommend a set of Oregon G6 gator mulching blades. Turns your clippings into good mulch and turns leaves into dust.

https://www.oregonproducts.com.../products/oep/G6.htm
I use Oregon blades as well. I use the regular high lift blades and not the toothed "gator" blades. The Oregon blades seem to keep their sharpness approximately twice as long as the OEM blades. IIRC, the G5 blades are lighter with the same benefits of the G6 (I'll have to look that up again). I think I am going to experiment with them this year.


You're correct about the blade geometry between the G5 vs the G6. FWIW, I get slightly better results with the G5 blades on my 52" Turf Tiger. I figure it has to be the weight difference. come to think of it, I should have a new 6-pack of G5s waiting for me when I get home today.

Yay! Maintenance time!

-Rob




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Posts: 14223 | Location: Maryland | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mark123:
Another couple of points I though about.

The wider the deck the better the chance of scalps and gouges. It's simple geometry. I find the 52" to be the best size for me, even on the multi acre lawns. I also have a 36" backup that uses the same blades.

There's also no point running balls out. Take your time and avoid having to go over parts of the lawn.

This is my current rig.

Nice Bagger Big Grin

Great choice kingfish007. That should last for decades.



I am not BIPOLAR. I don't even like bears.


 
Posts: 12406 | Location: Western WI | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
Exmark is probably the easiest to get parts for. Nobody makes their own engines or hydro unit, so it really is a function of price and support.


Untrue. Kubota offers many models, mostly on the higher end that designs and builds the entire mower including the engine, their own hydro and driveline. That's why they are so damn reliable. When you design and build a product entirely in house with performance matched components, quality control and reliability goes through the roof.

I've ran Kubota ZDs with 3,000 hours on them that still feel and have drive control like they are new. Any other brand - at 3,000 hrs it's like herding cats down a mountain bike trail.



I am not BIPOLAR. I don't even like bears.


 
Posts: 12406 | Location: Western WI | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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