Commercial zero turn mowers

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townlineterry
440 crawler
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Location: Pa.

Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by townlineterry » Thu May 02, 2019 6:00 am

Grass cutting time again. We have a cub cadet lawn tractor we got from Tractor Supply. Have had nothing but trouble with it. It broke down twice already this year. The wife decided she's had enough, she wants a commercial grade zero turn mower otherwise mowing becomes my job.
Anybody have recommendations? This is not a perfectly level suburban lawn so we need something sturdy.

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Stan Disbrow
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu May 02, 2019 6:18 am

Hi,

I have several friends with these zero turn things. Seems as if they flip easily. Two guys managed to do this this spring already. I never liked the things myself. Back in 05 I bought a Deere diesel powered conventional garden tractor with a 5 foot belly mower. It has a tiny 3-cyl Yanmar engine, and I love 3-cyl engines anyway so that was an easy choice.

I went with the specification that it be a garden tractor with a water cooled engine. No air cooled for me any longer. They just don't hold up. The larger machines can have a Cat 0 3-pt, small loader, dual PTOs, hydrostatic drive, etc. So, all that is what I mean by Garden Tractor. That, as opposed to Riding Mower.

As it is, I didn't wind up with the garden tractor options. Just the mower and the mounted bagger. I use this for mowing around the buildings where it is a little too tight for the 5103 (think 1520 or 2040 if that number escapes you, or the current 5045D number) with the 8 foot flail mower on the back. The bagger comes in handy for collecting grass clippings for placing around the gourd plants as we put them in in the Spring. In the fall, I use it to collect leaves to cover the compost pile. Handy.

Also, the upper part of the mounted bagger can hold a 15 gallon sprayer tank. I use one tank for herbicide and another for liquid fertilizer or insecticide. I mounter a two-nozzle sprayer to the back and it also has a wand. Also handy. So, in the end, it does do garden tractor work. Growing gourds is a lot like a truck garden. ;)

In the end, this thing will still be going after a half a dozen of those zero turns have died. Sort of the 420 of the garden tractor set. Mine is an x495, but Deere redid their model numbers and now it is x700 series. Then, they make a slightly larger version in their 1000 series. Same engine type, but everything a little bigger so it can sport a Cat 1 3-pt.

Actually, back in the 80s, Deere reused the 420 and 430 model numbers for garden tractors. Almost the same as mine, the 420 was gas and the 430 was diesel.

The cost of my x495 was $9k back in 05, but while that sounds high, in the end it'll be lower cost. Especially as it doesn't do that whipping thing that seems to like to flip the zero turns. Oh, and there were 4WD and 4 wheel steer options as well. I went with 2 WD and steer, but I bet the 4 wheel steer give a zero turn a run for its steering money.

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

B Town
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by B Town » Thu May 02, 2019 6:30 am

I run a Exmark, LaserZ 60". Bought in 2001, 800 hrs of use. 25 hp Koehler carbed air cooled. At the time the business was family owned built in Beatrice Nebraska. Now owned by Toro, still built in Beatrice. The deck is amazing, doesn't clump/plug. Of course I removed the discharge guard, like all other do. No gearbox, deck is belt driven.

Exmark, Scag, Hustler, Deere are all good brands.

Personally, I am becoming more and more frustrated with the change in Deeres business model. They were the best at supporting their models and no arguable near the worst. Lots of parts that are obsolete or no longer available for models that are as new as 20-30 yrs old.

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Lavoy
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by Lavoy » Thu May 02, 2019 11:52 am

I have a 757 Deere with a 60" deck. Pretty much bullet proof, will mow as fast as you can drive it. My brother went from this one to a Gravely, sold it in a year. Good quality machine, just not the deck of the Deere.
Lavoy
Parts and restoration for antique and late model John Deere crawlers.
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hydrogeo
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by hydrogeo » Thu May 02, 2019 11:58 am

My brother had a Husqvarna from a big box store that gave him nothing but trouble.

A couple years ago my 30 year old JD rider bit the dust so I went to a local mower shop that sells Hustler commercial equipment. The shop owner said that a few of his low budget landscapers customers run models from the residential line, and that they are really rugged. I ended up buying a 23 hp 42" zero turn residential model as a leftover. It was a few hundred more than the zero turns at the big box stores, but after a 2 years it has not given me any issues and it cuts fantastic. Its well built and I suspect it will last a long time.

It gets parked in my shed, and the damn mice built a nest over the winter last year in the engine shroud, and in the process chewed through a plug wire. So I did need to put a new coil pack on. I guess I can't blame that on the mower though, lol.

B Town
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by B Town » Thu May 02, 2019 7:42 pm

Couple other good brands that friends have - Kubota, Grasshopper, Dixie Chopper.

I believe in buying from a trusted family owned local dealer. That may influence your choice, b/c of what brands are in your locale. I have always been interested in what brand of engine is being used. We seem to all have our favorites. I like the welded decks better than stamped steel decks. Gear boxes for the deck are strong and can be rebuilt, but are $$$. I like the belt drive decks, easier to rebuild and less $$ than gear boxes. Zero flat front tires are a must for me. I'm not afraid of air-cooled. I don't have to be out mowing when it is super hot. Air cooled does just fine, as long as I treat them right and avoid the main heat of the summer day.

77 Ford
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Re: Commercial zero turn mowers

Post by 77 Ford » Wed May 08, 2019 7:13 am

I went with a bobcat, after my research has one of the best warranty in the industry (6 years). I purchased and had installed some synthetic oil, I forget the brand and it doubled the engine warranty.

https://www.bobcatturf.com/products/zer ... rz-pro-rs/

It's built like a tank and has been flawless it's first season and start of this one.
JD- 450C track loader
Serial #208336T

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