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Zero Turns.

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
36,258
235
With the new property comes the need for a zero-turn mower. It's only 2 acres but I have 27 trees in mowable areas on the back acre alone so a traditional riding mower just isn't gonna do. I don't know shit all about zero turns. Not really looking to buy new as I despise initial depreciation. I see a lot of them out there from cub cadet, toro, Xmark Deere etc but have no idea regarding the reliability of brands. I have been doing some reading and a forged deck is a must instead of stamped as our dirt is really just sand so the deck and blades get constantly sandblasted. What should a fella look for when going to take a look at one? Hydro's, deck pullys mounts etc?

Brand reliability
How many hours are too many hours
How to price used ones as they seem all over the place.
Brands to stay away from.

I appreciate it fellas.

Kinda strange that you guys are freezing your balls off killing slob bucks and I'm still need to cut grass. It's like I'm stuck in the twilight zone. 😅
 
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Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,549
110
Guilford County
I have a toro ss5060 that father bought, it has about 1400 hours on it. The only item I have had to replace is the safety interlock and spindle assemblies. I would advise getting a forged deck for sure.
 
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hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,462
212
NW Ohio
We run commercial grade Toro mowers. We try to trade in around 1200hrs to avoid repairs. Honestly should have traded in this year but wanted to wait another year. It cost me a couple grand in repairs this year. Ours are used differently than yours though. They mow in the rain and mud. They get leaves packed around the engines and pulleys daily. PTO switches might go out. Fairly cheap. We did replace a PTO clutch this year around $400. Dealer told me they sold a lot of PTO clutches, belts, and pulleys last year and this year due to the excessively wet year last year. Hydros seem pretty solid. Knock on wood. We have been thru 5 units and not had an issue. We did have to go thru a gasket set on an engine this year. Again, leaves and mud heats them up and sometimes they will leak. Tear it down for oil pan gasket and you may as well do them all.

Toro decks are stout. Xmark is very similar to Toro. May have an even tougher deck. Dixie Choppers are crude but built like a tank. When we ran them we had head gasket issues on the 25hp Kohlers and lots of hydro/wheel motor issues. Skag is a well built machine. Crude but tough. Grasshopper has a loyal brand following in the farming community. I don't have a ton of experience with them though. Seems the older ones were prone to wheel motor/hydro issues. Beware of the used one with rear bogey wheels. If it seems cheap, it won't if you have to drop $1700 plus labor on a hydro. That has been my only experience with them. Wright and Hustler seem to be a regional thing and we just don't have any dealers around here. In the south I believe a lot of the commercial guys love the Hustler mowers. Values. . . .I would think if you shopped you could find one under $3k with 1000-1200hrs or less. You might even check out the home owner lines. Some of them are pretty durable and they throw out zero percent financing. You may be able to find an end of season deal on a home owner model with 50" deck or so. New. Some of the home owner models don't look much different than the commercial ones. Maybe a little less motor and probably slightly lighter hydros/wheel motors.
 

"J"

Bass Whisperer
Supporting Member
48,224
249
North Carolina
Scag liberty 48” with a Kawasaki 18hp is what I’m running. Pretty much bullet proof and I’m mowing not your typical landscape....
Stay away from any mower sold at a big box stores if you plan on having it for a while. Count of a couple sets of blades per season where you’re at depending on the amount of use. That sandy area will eat them up.
 

Wildlife

Member
Supporting Member
3,814
148
USA
A commercial 54-60" deck Toro or Xmark with less than 1000hrs. Kawasaki motors are best around 27-29 horsepower. Duel hydro pumps with fans. Price range used of a decent one around 2-3k. New can be expensive. Good luck from a former lawncare business owner that owned several.
 

Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
11,513
142
Gods Country
Picked up a Hustler a few years ago. Got it for a steal. Origanal owner only had 300 hrs on it and only paid 3k for it. Haven't had any issues with it. It runs way faster than I can mow. Deck is a 7 gauge plate steel, that I think weighs just as much as the mower itself.

Other than that I can't offer much help.
 
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Big Weff

Junior Member
1,027
78
Athens
I have 2 Scag’s right now with the 31 horse Kawasaki. Built tuff but lacking a super comfortable ride. I have never owned a mower that, “had it all.” Things to look for right now are definitely a Kawasaki motor, I’ve heard of a lot of issues with the Kohler command motors they are using right now. grease fitting on your front casters and all spindles. I know gravely has awesome rebates every spring. I will admit I’m not a huge fan but they also seem to have a cult like following. I’d stay away from diesels, I’ve had 2 kubota diesels and while the motors will last a long time, everything else starts to fail around 1200 hours just like a gasser.
 

Quantum673

Black Hat Cajun
Supporting Member
5,244
156
Jamestown, OH
Depends on your yard. I am a huge fan of the front deck zero turns. Grasshopper is the main Front Deck option. My main reason is because you can mow under low hanging branches and stuff like that. If you don't have that issue on your property then it is a mute point. I like the longer wheel base as well but you do need more storage space.
 
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CJD3

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
13,743
166
NE Ohio
My Scag is a fucken tank. Love it every time I get on.

I'm happy to bla bla bla about it. Everything above is valid but don't forget to test drive. The seat and air pressure in the tires can make all difference.
 

"J"

Bass Whisperer
Supporting Member
48,224
249
North Carolina
My Scag is a fucken tank. Love it every time I get on.

I'm happy to bla bla bla about it. Everything above is valid but don't forget to test drive. The seat and air pressure in the tires can make all difference.
I lowered mine too the minimum. Aids in ride as well in traction.... which for Joe probably won’t be an issue but me it helped.....
 
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Cogz

Cogz
1,204
59
TX
If you go deere get commercial. The residential ones tend to have carb issues if you dont baby them.
A friend who owns golf courses buys scag
 
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