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Old    Adam R (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       07-20-2010, 11:36 AM Reply   
I am in the market for a zero turn lawn mower and looking for advice. I want a mower that will last a long time and allow me to get the job done quickly so I can spend time with my family on the lake. My needs are as follows:

1 acre
20 trees
50-52" cut
might pick up a few yards for some extra cash including my church which is about 1.5 acres
$6000 max

Brands I am considering:
eXmark
Gravley
Cub Cadet

I looked at eXmark last year but didnt pull the trigger. I saw a used one that was 52" w/ Kawasaki motor 4 years old w/ 1200hrs for $3000. That seems like alot of hours to me but it is half price from new? Thanks in advance!
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       07-20-2010, 8:21 PM Reply   
I'd reccomend cub cadet, something in the Z force or tank series, The kohler command or kawi are both good engines.
Old    Ben B (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       07-20-2010, 8:24 PM Reply   
Cub Cadet Z Force will definitely do the job, as they're the top end of CC's residential/light commercial line. If you're gonna start picking up lawns, the Tank might be a better choice. I've used a Z Force 44" for the past 4 years, mowing probably 40 to 50 lawns per week each summer, and its still running and cutting fine. ExMarks i've heard mixed reviews about, but have never used one so i dont have an opinion there.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       07-20-2010, 8:56 PM Reply   
SCAG baby!!
Old    Jake Stewart (jstewart319)      Join Date: Oct 2008       07-21-2010, 5:30 AM Reply   
If I were ever to get a zero turn lawn mower it would have to be a Dixie Chopper they even have CNG, Diesel and Propane models.
Old    Manzo (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       07-21-2010, 7:42 AM Reply   
Haha, I was kinda laughing to myself at the excessivness of a zero turn for 1 Acre. Now I am really laughing at the recos of SCAG and ESP the Dixie Chopper for 1 Acre.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       07-21-2010, 8:19 AM Reply   
"Haha, I was kinda laughing to myself at the excessivness of a zero turn for 1 Acre. Now I am really laughing at the recos of SCAG and ESP the Dixie Chopper for 1 Acre."

You overlooked this in his post:

"might pick up a few yards for some extra cash including my church which is about 1.5 acres
$6000 max"
Old    WakeboardSTL (jmuthafnp)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-21-2010, 8:40 AM Reply   
I have an ExMark with Kawasaki motor and lover it. As long as it was serviced properly, there should be nothing to be scared of hours wise. Great mowers at a great price. I have had mine for 5+ years now and have yet to have a problem with it.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-21-2010, 11:53 AM Reply   
Exmark. Great machines
Old    Coinless (bruce)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-21-2010, 9:57 PM Reply   
Fastrak Hustler. Awesome, reliable, easy to work on, and much cheaper than $6000. Craigslist is where I got a slightly used one for 2,500ish.
Old    paul. (imx)      Join Date: Jul 2009       07-22-2010, 1:53 AM Reply   
I can't help you with domestic mowers but we use among our commercial fleet, Exmarks and Walkers , both very good, powered by Kholer engines. One piece of advice when looking, pay close attention to the cutting deck quality of construction as this is what does all the work and gets all the knocks.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-22-2010, 10:41 AM Reply   
^ agreed... a stamped deck is trash.
Old    Taylor M (lftaylor)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-24-2010, 7:11 AM Reply   
I own a commercial lawn business and have advised MANY of my friends on this issue before but most do NOT listen until it is too late. We have used many different brands but found for our needs the Exmark are the best no questions in all around conditions. The $3k is not bad if condition is good. Was that 1200 hours of a commercial cutter or 1200 hours from an individual/homeowner? Because there is a big difference.

THIS IS JUST MY THOUGHTS:

Do NOT buy anything less than a 60 inch mower full blown commercial unit. Exmark has 2 series now and we run the LAS which is about a $1000 less that their "cadillac" version and is perfectly fine.

Zero turns are zero turns? NO NO NO NO
Buy a brand that professionals use. ie exmark, toro, scag. If WE can use them 12 hours a day, Johnie homeowner can use them for the rest of their life. Here is y I say buy nothing less than a 60inch mower:
When you are done with that mower or want to trade in 5-6 years if you pay $9K for that mower, and put 300 or so hours on it it will have EXTREME value to other landscape cutters and it WILL holt its value. If you buy the $3000 unit u mentioned that will have little value to commercial cutters. ALSO if u buy the less than commercial units your value will drop greatly. Basically spend/finance the extra if need be to buy the better mower it will actually cost you less or save u in the long run
Scott
Old    Taylor M (lftaylor)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-24-2010, 7:17 AM Reply   
Also we do not have any units in our fleet less than a 60". we bought one walk behind that was 52" and it was the biggest mistake cuz it will not fit in a 48" gate and we should have bought a 60" where we were cutting 8" more of grass every swath. Basicaly we have very few places we can NOT get a 60 in where we could have got a 48 and absolutely NO places where we could get a 52 and not the 60. The 52 is a very bad size I would suggest avoiding this size. Again I would highly recommend the 60
Old    Taylor M (lftaylor)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-24-2010, 7:19 AM Reply   
If you mow a church or tax exempt entity then Exmark gives you the municipality discount of around 25% which is HUGE
Old    Adam R (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       07-29-2010, 7:42 AM Reply   
Well I went with the Gravley and it is awesome! 52" cut w/ 24HP Kawasaki, it scoots. I had to go with the smaller deck b/c I have 17 trees whose muclh lines are about 56" apart and I have some other tight places in my front yard to deal with. So far very happy, thanks for all of your input!
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Old    paul. (imx)      Join Date: Jul 2009       07-30-2010, 6:43 PM Reply   
Looks like a nice rig. One tip, when you are replacing the blades look for Boron blades. I am in Australia so can't help you too much as to where to look but I can tell you the blades we use on our Kubota out fronts are about half the price of factory and last a little over twice as long but we cut in some harsh conditions here(lot of sand). They are made in Spain if that is any help and there are blades for most manufacturers.
I am assuming that you are running solid blades here, not flick tips, which are a lot cheaper and a lot of guys over here use. We trialled them for a short while but after having a tip bolt fail and watching the blade fly clear of the deck at about 150mph across a road and smack into a wall we would much rather have the peace-of-mind that solid blades give. Oh yes, where is your PPE.
Old    Adam R (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-02-2010, 9:42 AM Reply   
Ppe?
Old    paul. (imx)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-03-2010, 1:50 AM Reply   
Personal protective equipment.........glasses etc

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