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  1. #41
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    It is correct that Toro own Exmark. However, a dealer we worked with told us there is no comparison. The Exmarks are way better.

    SSG, check out someone like Arlington Power Equipment in Chicago. They trade in Exmarks that come out of the the commercial fleet. They do 1000+ annually.

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  3. #42
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    Last year my sister and I each got new Bad Boy ZT Elites, she has about 1.5 acre lawn and mine is about 3. Love those mowers, very stoutly buit, I think the sheet metal is all 3/16”.

    Commercial & Residential Zero Turn Mowers - Bad Boy Mowers

    We both got the mulching deck, my one and only regret is I went for the 60” while she went for 48”, and I just mowed for her and Hers gets it done just as quickly and a little easier too. 2 reasons I should have gone 48 is- my big lawn really needs leveling and the larger deck is not ideal for high and low spots and the second is the mulching set up on 60” eats the horsepower in thick areas by the creek. Both mowers have the same 26hp Kawasaki. Happy hunting.

    Edit: BadBoy also makes identical looking but lighter built models that Tractor Supply sells for a lower price than the bad boy dealers. Any warranty work on those would need to be through TSC. The models on their website are sold through dealers, in our case that was Brim Equipment whose main business is excavators etc.

  4. #43
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    For the $3k price range, look for a ZTR with Kawasaki motor, if possible. Kohler and Briggs/variants can be hit or miss...

    All the consumer-grade ZTR’s use the same wheel motors, so the primary differences would be the engine, maybe the deck.

    Some ZTR’s have full suspension, or at least suspension seats. But you’re gonna pay for the comfort...

    ToolCat

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I think a zero turn sort of overkill for 1/3 acre.
    Lawn mowing is like machining. You only have to cut it as fast as your time is truly worth.

    I vote and will always vote Kubota. Family worked for them for a long time and we country folk. No complaints risen.

    I have Z726X-60... Second year with it. mowing about 2 acres. What took 3 hours with a push mower takes an hour including an added acre feild. I also knock down 1/2"-5/8" dia brush in short order with it.

    Buy commercial level...will last forever. I also have a L4701 with loader, grading scraper forks etc to take care of the shop maintenance. LOVE it... And no, I didn't get any family discounts to promote.

    Kubota has smaller zero turns too... and are running constant 0 percent interest deals.

  6. #45
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    to the op:
    Get a bigger lawn.
    Lots of room around you, 5 to 10 acres nice and you could put a sweet house on that. Maybe some woods and wildlife.
    A creek or pond a nice add on.
    Bob

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    I bought a Husqvarna mtz-61 about 5 years ago. It has a 61 inch deck on it and I think it is rated at about 5 acres an hour. It was about $6,200 plus tax. I also had looked at Skag mowers but the same size unit with the same engine was around $11K. The Husqvarna is also a commercial mower with heavier duty drive motors and some other things. I'm not impresses so much right now.

    In five years and less than 300 hours I have had the following things go wrong.

    1. A bolt came loose on an idler on the mower deck and spun in the sheet metal until it broke off. A new grade 8 bolt was less than a buck but stopped my mowing until I got it fixed. This was when it was about 2 years old.

    2. Last year I got on it and went to start it and it wouldn't crank over. Battery was good but not so much as a click from the starter. I called the dealer and asked them if there was anything that I could check to get it going again and was told to bring it in. A few hours later it started right up. Random problems like this are very hard to diagnose. It only does this about once every few weeks and usually starts right up later that day or the next day.

    3. Couple of weeks ago I got on it and started it right up. Pulled the switch that activates the blades and nothing happened. I tried it again the next day and nothing. Now we are looking at heavy rain for a few days so hard telling when I will be able to get back on the mower as I live in a low area that takes a while to dry out.

    There have been a few other annoying things like the steering handles flopping from side to side when it should have dampers to keep them where you put them. A couple of nylon washers and a couple of belleville washers would probably have solved the problem but they didn't use them.

    I suspect that the problem with it not starting and the blades not turning on is a bad ignition switch from me leaving is sit outside for a couple of nights with the key out and dew getting into the ignition switch. The new switch comes tomorrow so I will know then.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that zero turn mowers are somewhat prone to spinning the tires when you turn around and damaging the turf.

  8. #47
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    I added wheel weights from a lawn tractor to mine to help stop the wheel spinning.

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    1/3 acre...concrete the whole lot over ....end of story.

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    If you cut one row, then the next adjacent to it, you have to make a 'K-turn'.

    If you have the room, make a wide turn and skip over 3 rows. You can make up the skipped rows when you work your way back. You'll end up going over the yard 4 times, but you won't have to make the sharp turns and tear up the grass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    I bought a Husqvarna mtz-61 about 5 years ago. The Husqvarna is also a commercial mower with heavier duty drive motors and some other things. I'm not impresses so much right now.

    Last year I got on it and went to start it and it wouldn't crank over. Battery was good but not so much as a click from the starter. A few hours later it started right up. Random problems like this are very hard to diagnose. It only does this about once every few weeks and usually starts right up later that day or the next day.

    3. Couple of weeks ago I got on it and started it right up. Pulled the switch that activates the blades and nothing happened. I tried it again the next day and nothing.
    I suspect that the problem with it not starting and the blades not turning on is a bad ignition switch from me leaving is sit outside for a couple of nights with the key out and dew getting into the ignition switch. The new switch comes tomorrow so I will know then.
    This is a systemic problem with all consumer-grade riding mowers. The lawyer/safety wiring has five circuits running through the start and PTO switches. A bit of corrosion on any one of these will randomly shut down the mower. Buying new OEM switches will last a year, but the plugs to them will then corrode and fail.

    Don't do this at home! For information only! Over the years, I've had to rewire two Cub Cadets and a Toro. They were otherwise sturdy mowers, but were undependable electrically. The only lasting solution was to pull out all the factory wiring, buy industrial switches and wire a an Off/On switch for the ignition, push-button starter switch and an Off/On for the PTO. After that, they always started and ran.

    jack vines

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  14. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    For the $3k price range, look for a ZTR with Kawasaki motor, if possible. Kohler and Briggs/variants can be hit or miss...

    All the consumer-grade ZTR’s use the same wheel motors, so the primary differences would be the engine, maybe the deck.

    ToolCat
    I like the Kawasakis, however, if you get a Kohler, look for the Command series. The Courage series is failure prone.

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    Yea...my neighbor next door has a ZTR. We have very flat land, and when it rains you learn not to mow for a few days after. You learn that, if you have brains. He's not so big on brains....so I've probably had to use my Kubota tractor to pull his stuck ass out a dozen times over the years. It's flat ground, but the combination of rain (wet) and tall grass (letting it grow too high) brings his ZTR to a wheel-spinning stop.

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    I just got the higher end Cub 52 inch from the local shop and so far I like it. I was coming from a 20 year old JD rider that spent it's life before me under a tarp in the woods. It's an upgrade to say the least.

    It certainly ins't the same level of the Exmark I've used before but it's about half the price. It cut my mowing time down to about 30 minutes for an acre with a bunch of gardens and trees.

    Some of these mowers take up about 1/3 acre by themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielG View Post
    I concur that it's overkill for 1/3 acre. I would definitely look at a robotic lawnmower. On 1/3rd of an acre, you can probably get away with one of the less expensive models.
    Robot lawnmower is an excellent suggestion. Husqvarna and Stihl both make models. Probably others out there too.

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    get one the right size, if too big it will ruin the grass. you have to lay the wire, but that you can do yourself. put the station somewhere in the middle with open access for the robot, the algorithms for parking are a bit stupid. you will have to change blades twice a year. preferably dont let it work when its raining, the new ones might have a sensor for this.

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    Do you have any low trees to mow under? If so a o turn with the cutter deck under the operator is useless, you sit so high you are in the branches when you are 3' from the trunk. I have a Ransomes Bobcat forward deck, 62" cut 25 hp Kohler command V twin, operator rides on a sulky behind the engine / drive section. It steers by a single wheel under the operators butt. It never tears up the lawn like a o turn that uses the main wheels to drive and steer. With the forward deck you can mow about 4' under low hanging branches and shrubs. I mow about 3 acres that at one time was mostly clear till the wife decided it needed to be reforested. I can cut around a 2" tree in one lap and leave hardly a blade of grass. It will mow at about 7 mph. It is also about 3x the machine the OP needs for 1/3 acre.

  20. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    This is a systemic problem with all consumer-grade riding mowers. The lawyer/safety wiring has five circuits running through the start and PTO switches. A bit of corrosion on any one of these will randomly shut down the mower. Buying new OEM switches will last a year, but the plugs to them will then corrode and fail.

    Don't do this at home! For information only! Over the years, I've had to rewire two Cub Cadets and a Toro. They were otherwise sturdy mowers, but were undependable electrically. The only lasting solution was to pull out all the factory wiring, buy industrial switches and wire a an Off/On switch for the ignition, push-button starter switch and an Off/On for the PTO. After that, they always started and ran.

    jack vines
    My Husqvarna does this, and can get it to start by jiggling the wires coming off the ignition switch. But to do that, have to have one foot on the brake, one knee on the seat, and bend over to reach the switch.

  21. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    This is a systemic problem with all consumer-grade riding mowers. The lawyer/safety wiring has five circuits running through the start and PTO switches.

    jack vines
    You would bypass the safety switches? What kind of normal man would do this?,,,,,,
    They are in place to protect you from something.
    The Op may have a big ole grade and the mower goes upside down and chops of his head if theses bypassed. One has to flip a mower to get this fun.
    I thought that normal and a life experience. Many things upside down in my world.

    Lawnmowers like combines do not care what they chop. On the second there is that small deer and the oh-shit, run you dummy, I'll give you time.
    Bob

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  23. #60
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    I Guess none of you guys bag- I have to bag about 2 acres, because otherwise we track it in everywhere. We have a bunch of buildings on the farm, and are always walking in between the house, the two main shops, the two small offices, and the storage sheds. So I bag.
    And Zero turns are crappy at bagging. None of them are designed for it, as they were aimed at more of a landscaper market originally. I considered a kubota ZTR with a bagger- but the dealer talked me out of it- a place that sells nothing but Kubota, from little mowers to big excavators and row tractors.

    I have been running John Deere riding lawnmowers with power blowers and baggers for 25 years now- the current one has four wheel steering, and it will turn as tight as a ZTR, but it will also bag 14 bushels into 3 bags.

    If you dont ever bag, a ZTR is fine.
    If, like me, you bag a couple acres, and then mow another 3 or 4 without bagging, I would look at the Deeres.

    Not cheap, but pretty sturdily built.


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