Zero Turn Lawnmowers

Discussion in 'The Tiki Bar' started by wish2fish, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    I did a search and couldn't come up with anything recent.

    I'm thinking about getting a zero turn mower for my place at the river. I'm not looking to break the bank so I'm wondering if anyone has bought one of the home owner grade available through local dealer or big box store. I'm thinking the smaller 42" version of cub cadet or toro.

    Anyone have experience?
  2. alwhite00

    alwhite00 Active Member

    May 31, 2010
    1997 250 Sundancer
    5.7 EFI/ BIII
    I bought a gravely 32" about 7 or so years ago and i did quite a bit of research and the reason i went with it was because of the way it was built. The deck is where you you want to look. My gravely has a 10 gauge fabricated deck and the whole machine is built like a brick outhouse and made in the USA.

    The engines are all pretty much the same but look at everything before you buy, don't just buy the cheapest. Most of the "homeowner" machines have a cheap stamped deck and everything else.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  3. quality time

    quality time Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    2003 480DB
    Ditto on the deck. My Exmark is welded steel plate and tough as can be. My GM at work bought a Cub Cadet and the deck is like a tin can that is trashed after just a few years of use.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I don't have a ZTR mower but do have a rider from Husqvarna. It's pretty solidly built but there are a couple of things I don't like about it. This is the first one I've had that doesn't have the "automatic" transmission. It has a foot pedal accelerator and has a funky "cruise control" that doesn't work worth beans. My prior mowers all had the kind of throttle that, as you moved the lever forward you'd increase your speed. That's a much better setup.
  5. alwhite00

    alwhite00 Active Member

    May 31, 2010
    1997 250 Sundancer
    5.7 EFI/ BIII
    The ZT's are nice because if you have a lot of turns to make you have very little arm movement compared to a traditional tractor style. 99% of them are hydrostatic but some have a cheap cone drive so stay away from them also. Look for cooling fans on each side by the transmissions. (hydro)

  6. susanandlance

    susanandlance Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Feb 10, 2011
    2005 Fountain 27, 496HO power, towed by Chevrolet Duramax HD 4x4
    496HO, 425 HP
    I have a 2 yr. old Husqvarna 25 hp 54" cut hydrostatic tractor, and I gotta tell you, it's the biggest POS I've owned. On the other hand I have a old sears prob 15+ yrs old 48" cut hydrostatic tractor that is 10 times the better machine. I guess oldies are goodies, also have a Cub Cadet 42" 19 hp hydrostatic tractor, it's quality falls short of the Sears also, but maybe a tic better that the Husky.
  7. hblock72

    hblock72 Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 11, 2009
    Salisbury, NC (High Rock Lake)
    2007 185 sport w/wakeboard package
    4.3 TKS
    I have a John Deere EZtrak Z445 that I've had for about 6 years now and I've been very happy with it. I've only ever had to change oil, filters, and blades on it. It's very easy to operate and priced pretty well. It's tough to beat John Deere equipment, even the "cheaper" versions like they sell at the big box stores. On that note, the same John Deere mowers they have at the box stores are available at the dealerships for the same price, so I'd recommend buying from the dealer, so you're actually dealing with someone that knows what they're talking about and you have a relationship established at the dealer in the event you ever need service. As boat owners, we all know how important that is ;-)
  8. JimFromMD

    JimFromMD Active Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Annapolis, MD - Middle Chesapeake Bay
    2005 300DA, Garmin 740s w/Vision Charts and GMR18HD RADAR
    5.0MPI w/BIIs, Kohler 5E Generator.
    +1 on another Husqvarna bad experience. My dad has a Husqvarna self propelled lawnmower and has had to replace the gears in it twice in 5 years. The propelling gears are all either nylon or plastic and inside the rear (i believe) wheel housing. Turning corners at the end of each stripe mowed causes stress on the gears and they just wear down until one breaks off and hoses the rest. The toro he got to replace it is much more sturdy. Said he'd never buy a Husqvarna anything again, or go back to the store where he bought it.
  9. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    The phrase "You get what you pay for" is never more true than it is with lawn mowing equipment. To hit those low price points that big-box stores demand, the manufacturers have to leave something grease-able spindles, a stamped steel deck instead of a welded steel plate one, low hp engines, cheap aluminum block engines, no hydraulic filtration, etc. I think you are just going to have to get up close and personal with what is sold in your area and see what features are available and what you can live with and what you cannot. I have had John Deere, Kubota and Woods ZT mowers and all were good. I use a Kubota in the yard (6 acres) now and a Woods to cut around the pool because it has a dump box catcher on it. My next door neighbor had gone thu a Sears, a Cub Cadet and a Toro since I've had the Kubota...but part of that is because of abuse and part is a lack of maintenance.

    One final point is that be careful if you need service for routine stuff. It does you little good buy a particular mower and your dealer doesn't have the capability to pick it up and return it to you for a reasonable price on a timely basis. You can't pick up a ZT mower and shove it in the back of your Tahoe.......and who is going to cut your grass when your service guy has an 8 week wait on service?
  10. Bob & Sue

    Bob & Sue Active Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Browns Point Tacoma WA
    Sold 1999 270DA Sundancer
    5.7l Mercuiser
    I have had a John Deere L110 since 2005 at that time a good zero turn was about about 3 grand more I also have a Honda 21" to get into the tight spots we have 1/3 of an acre in grass with a lot of gardens and trees to maneuver around that even a zero turn won't get into. If I were to buy one now I'd go with a John Deere like the new Z600 from a dealer you won't regret it. All I have done is change oil, filter, lubed and replaced power belt. I also have the Stihl combi with weed eater head, edger, tree trimming chain saw attachment great unit if you don't want one of each hanging in the shed to maintain. I even used the 10 cubic foot Deere poly cart to move 600 sq. feet of concrete for a patio it didn't even strain pulling it.
  11. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    My son has a lawn care company that put him thru college. He has had good results from Ferris and Toro. I would suggest going to a local commercial dealer and look at entry level commercial.. They are priced just above big box but are two or 3 times the quality. Also look at used commercial when your there. If you have a couple of hours a week you can get a lot of years out of a used commercial
  12. boltman

    boltman Active Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Flint/Swartz Creek MI, Ported in Whitehall/Montagu
    480 Sedan Bridge
    "Sea Ray's Best Boat Ever Made"
    700 hp MANS Diesels Thundering Cathedrals of Torque!!
    I have a 1995 Cub Cadet 1865, that is so solid and it still mowed for me now. The wife bought a 35hp laboratory and that thing is awesome no problems at all , we have worked that kabota hard these past 8 years and it keeps on fighting , the cub..... Needs some attention and ill send her in for lovin
  13. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    My timeline is moved up. A friend of mine was helping me by cutting the grass last weekend but didn't check the oil in the riding mower. He locked up the motor.
  14. Banagy

    Banagy Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Bay Port,MI
    2005 Sun Deck with Lowrance HDS 7 Touch Gen 2 GPS fish finder and Navman radio Bennett Trim Tabs.
    5.0 with Alpha 1 drive
    Have a cub cadet Z force 50. I mow about three acres at a time. It is my first zero turn, all others were tractor mounted mowers. The zero turn is a rougher to ride, so after three acres I am ready for a nap. Next time back to a John Deere riding tractor model.
  15. Budman

    Budman New Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    Florida panhandle
    2002 300 Sundancer
    Twin 350 Mag EFI Bravo III

    I bought a JD rider from the local dealer, there was a recall on something on the front end, they came to my house and fixed it. Great service.

    For a zero turn we bought an Exmark. All the commercial guys around here use them.

    As for used, decent used commercial units are either trashed or are priced near new ones.
  16. Passtime207

    Passtime207 New Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    N. Ga.
    1978 V 207;
    Electronics;None/waterproof map.
    Interior;Original two tone blue
    Pulled by: F-250
    Merc 223/Alpha one
    ++1 I have one also. It doesn't handle inclines well, leaks oil, and has thrown the deck belt twice. At least I've not had gear issues. By the way it is the commercial grade. I would choose something else if I were looking, probably a Kubota.

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