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Thread: forums to learn about ZTR's?

  1. #1
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    forums to learn about ZTR's?

    My brother is needing about a 60" ZTR, seven acres to cut. Looking at probably a commercial grade unit. I kind of like the Dixie Chopper myself, think they are made not to far away and they are hydraulic motor driven, no transmission which I think can be a weak point on some of these. Of course the Dixie Chopper has the wheels bolted directly to the hydraulic motor shafts so if you bend an "axle" you have probably ruined a motor.

    Anyway, while I certainly welcome advice from anyone here that is familiar with these beasts what I am mostly looking for is a forum or two to read up on them at. I thought one of my old sites had a lawn care forum but either it is gone or I confused which site it was on.

    Thanks for any assistance!

    Hu

  2. #2
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    I've got a Ferris is700z, which has front and rear shock/coil suspension. The model up from mine has all independent suspension, which I wish I had went with, but it's much better than one without any. I had originally wanted the Kawasaki engine, but ended up with the B&S engine, Ferris is owned by Briggs and Straton, so figured they would use a better engine than they provide to other manufacturers. I've been happy with it so far, just hit about 55 hours on it. It also had a 4 year warranty on it that covered everything as long as it was for residential use.

    Skag mowers is another that provides some form of suspension on their mowers, mostly the operators carriage is riding on springs.

    The Magnum version of the Dixie Choppers uses a HydroGear 3200, which is a little thicker axle than the Zee 2 model, which has the HydroGear 2800. Also if he's pulling a lot of hills I'd go with the larger transmission since it has a bit more pull.

    GrassHopper brand makes a nice model with the mower in front that allows for easy blade sharpening.

    I had looked at Big Dog mowers, which are built like a tank (1/4 steel in many places), but being that they were relatively new around here and they only had 2 year warranties, I passed on them.

    I also looked at John Deere, but found that the color of the paint was an up-charge.

    Most of the manufactures, unless your getting into the larger commercial versions will use B&S or Kawasaki engines, and almost all use the Hydrogear transmissions (these vary, so check what models are being used to compare apples to apples), so look at the other features and their warranties to see what fits your needs.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    Darren,

    Appreciate the info. I did find one site, lawnsite.com. Looks like a lot of options. I also see that some of the hydraulic motors are rebuildable and some aren't. I think separate motors would be best since Mike is basically planning this to be a run it forever machine putting probably 800 hours a year on it or less.

    Looks like Dixie Chopper might be in some kind of a transition or disappearing, I guess I'm not looking at them. Kinda inclined to find something that doesn't ride rough as a pig too since I often do more of Mike's grass mowing than he does with him traveling and me retired. Want a ROPs both for the protection and to hang a canopy off of, a canopy is nice with temp's in the nineties or higher. Mike has found out all about the upcharge for green and yellow paint owning a compact Deere! Handy little tractor but anything at the dealer's that fits in the palm of your hand is fifty dollars minimum, if it doesn't fit in your palm the prices start at 100!

    Hu

  4. #4
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    I have a Skag and its been great. No issues after 4 years now. Its a commercial grade, very heavy. Best part is how easy it is to remove the blades, no crawling under the deck to get them off. I believe its a 24 hp briggs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayer Fancher View Post
    I have a Skag and its been great. No issues after 4 years now. Its a commercial grade, very heavy. Best part is how easy it is to remove the blades, no crawling under the deck to get them off. I believe its a 24 hp briggs.

    The name sounds horrible but this seems to be one of the premier brands! Of course it is pretty obvious they aren't marketing to old geezers like me when I read the names, Bad Boys, Hustlers, etc. From what I am reading the main criteria are going to be which hydraulic motors the machine uses and the deck design and material. I think he wants five or five and a half inches of deck height to get the vacuum. I think it is Kawasaki motors that has three different levels of motor so it isn't enough to know what brand of motor they are using, got to know which model! With all the trimming around trees and such the machine will probably see three to four hours run time to cut the seven acres. A moderately steep hillside too. Toss in that the place is in Bahia, an old hay field, and he is going to need a good quality machine like the Skag.

    Hu

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    I've got a Ferris is700z, which has front and rear shock/coil suspension. The model up from mine has all independent suspension, which I wish I had went with, but it's much better than one without any. I had originally wanted the Kawasaki engine, but ended up with the B&S engine, Ferris is owned by Briggs and Straton, so figured they would use a better engine than they provide to other manufacturers. I've been happy with it so far, just hit about 55 hours on it. It also had a 4 year warranty on it that covered everything as long as it was for residential use.

    Darren,

    While still flexible my brother is looking at the Ferris with straight front axle or a BadBoy. The engine can be the same, the hydraulic motors are the same, the big difference is the suspension and the Ferris is a thousand more. The full independent suspension is four thousand more than the other machine, three thousand more than the 700 Ferris he is looking at. The ten-thousand dollar machine does offer bigger hydraulic motors and some other features too but he doesn't want to move from six to ten thousand for the same cutting width.

    Neither of us have ever operated a ZTR so the question is on a medium smooth seven acres with some hillside and such, will the suspension on the Ferris gain us speed over ground? I have no idea how badly a ZTR bounces you around, I do know they are light in the front end. A lawn tractor bounces around enough on some of this ground that the rough ground does become a limiting factor.

    I realize I am asking you a tough question when you haven't seen the land but I'm trying to get some feel for the differences in ride quality between the 42" lawn tractor, the 60 inch no suspension ZTR and the straight axle ZTR with suspension. I think it may be 61 inches but that is splitting hairs.

    Thanks for any help!

    Hu

  7. #7
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    OH! A riding mower! Why didn't you say so?
    Cheers,
    Roger


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    Darren,

    While still flexible my brother is looking at the Ferris with straight front axle or a BadBoy. The engine can be the same, the hydraulic motors are the same, the big difference is the suspension and the Ferris is a thousand more. The full independent suspension is four thousand more than the other machine, three thousand more than the 700 Ferris he is looking at. The ten-thousand dollar machine does offer bigger hydraulic motors and some other features too but he doesn't want to move from six to ten thousand for the same cutting width.

    Neither of us have ever operated a ZTR so the question is on a medium smooth seven acres with some hillside and such, will the suspension on the Ferris gain us speed over ground? I have no idea how badly a ZTR bounces you around, I do know they are light in the front end. A lawn tractor bounces around enough on some of this ground that the rough ground does become a limiting factor.

    I realize I am asking you a tough question when you haven't seen the land but I'm trying to get some feel for the differences in ride quality between the 42" lawn tractor, the 60 inch no suspension ZTR and the straight axle ZTR with suspension. I think it may be 61 inches but that is splitting hairs.

    Thanks for any help!

    Hu
    Well, yes hard to say without knowing the property, but I will say that the ditches that go down two sides of my property are really rough, half the effort of mowing my 2.5 acres was spent on them when I had my little John Deere 214, they really knocked the wind out of you in some areas. I can now mow over those areas pretty quickly now with my is700z, I still have a few areas I know to slow down for, but most of it I can hit at mostly full speed. The straight axle suspension will help you in areas where the bumps aren't parallel to one another, but when hitting one that both front or rear wheels hit the same ruts is sure to cause some bounce. The seat does have some springs to help with shock too though.

    I know the Badboy has some larger tires on it also, which will help with riding over some of those. Also not sure what the tire pressure is on them, but may be a little lower on it to help with absorbing some shock. So as I mentioned before, the warranty was the winning factor between the two for me, but not regretted buying the Ferris and has worked well for the last two years.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
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    I hate to express my ignorance. However I don't know what a ZTR is. And from what I have read, I don't think I want to learn.

    Well learning might be OK; just don't expect me to do whatever it is that a ZTR does.

    Enjoy,
    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    I hate to express my ignorance. However I don't know what a ZTR is. And from what I have read, I don't think I want to learn.

    Well learning might be OK; just don't expect me to do whatever it is that a ZTR does.

    Enjoy,
    JimB
    Zero Turn Radius Jim which means you can set in one place and spin circles
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