In the market for a zero turn mower...what to get? - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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In the market for a zero turn mower...what to get?

Actually I'm not in the market, but Dad is.

He's been mowing for years with a 1983 John Deere 750 (3 cylinder Yanmar) with a grooming deck on the back (think it's around a 60in deck).

Mom has been on his rear about mowing more often, but she can't drive the tractor, so he said he thinks he's going to get her a zero turn, so she can either mow or shut up, and also with the understanding that they'll both be too old to mow much longer and then I'll be responsible for mowing their yard, my yard, and my sister's yard with the mower.

I'm currently limping along a 1985 Deere 112L and a 94 Deere GX75, both of which have Kawasaki engines on them. They're both getting a little rough, but both still run fine. Those old Kawasaki engines were TOUGH.

I looked at Husqvarna's line of zero turns, and it looks like they offer models with Kohler, Kawasaki, and Yamaha engines on them now. I've always been a "Japanese makes best engines" guy, but am not sure if Kawasaki makes them like they used to, and while I know Yamaha has a great reputation, probably only second to Honda, I don't know anything about their line of mower engines.

So, anyone recently bought a zero turn, and if so, what did you get, and why?

I'm planning on going commercial grade. I take care of my stuff, and in my experience commercial grade will last a long, long time if you take care of it .
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeepwm69 View Post
Actually I'm not in the market, but Dad is.

He's been mowing for years with a 1983 John Deere 750 (3 cylinder Yanmar) with a grooming deck on the back (think it's around a 60in deck).

Mom has been on his rear about mowing more often, but she can't drive the tractor, so he said he thinks he's going to get her a zero turn, so she can either mow or shut up, and also with the understanding that they'll both be too old to mow much longer and then I'll be responsible for mowing their yard, my yard, and my sister's yard with the mower.

I'm currently limping along a 1985 Deere 112L and a 94 Deere GX75, both of which have Kawasaki engines on them. They're both getting a little rough, but both still run fine. Those old Kawasaki engines were TOUGH.

I looked at Husqvarna's line of zero turns, and it looks like they offer models with Kohler, Kawasaki, and Yamaha engines on them now. I've always been a "Japanese makes best engines" guy, but am not sure if Kawasaki makes them like they used to, and while I know Yamaha has a great reputation, probably only second to Honda, I don't know anything about their line of mower engines.

So, anyone recently bought a zero turn, and if so, what did you get, and why?

I'm planning on going commercial grade. I take care of my stuff, and in my experience commercial grade will last a long, long time if you take care of it .
I may be in the market for one soon, too. Been checking out https://www.badboymowers.com/

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Others in the family: '04 TRX250TE, '85 TRX250 Utility (X2), '05 TRX90, '06 TRX500FA, '95 TRX400FW,' 88 TRX125
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:40 PM
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Spend as much money as you can afford. Pick a brand that has been in business for a long time and buy from a place that has parts close by. Secondly, do not buy a kohler engine if it's the "courage" line. In fact try to stay away from them completely if there is a Kawasaki available. I don't know about Yamaha. It sounds good but at this point I've yet to see their engines on anything other an occasional generator.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Spend as much money as you can afford. Pick a brand that has been in business for a long time and buy from a place that has parts close by. Secondly, do not buy a kohler engine if it's the "courage" line. In fact try to stay away from them completely if there is a Kawasaki available. I don't know about Yamaha. It sounds good but at this point I've yet to see their engines on anything other an occasional generator.
Well I know the Kawasaki engines in the 80's and 90's were awesome. Just wasn't sure if that is still the case.

He's willing to pay for quality, just don't know enough about these things to know what is the best bang for the buck.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:08 PM
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I went with another Husqvqrna cause I have a 2006 that has been good for 14 years , it has the 25 Kohler and been good , the new one is the 2019 MX54 with a Kohler and it is a 23 HP , the Kawaski 23 was $300 cheaper , part of the $300 was the seat with the Kohler you get arm rest , the economy version with the Kawasaki doesn't have arm rest ------ I posted in my other thread it was a 25 , I messed up with that , it is a 23hp , he told me they recently changed the HP ratings and a 25 is really a 23 now , I don't know

Mister Clean , the Kohler engine is a Confidant ZT730 , don't see Courage any where on it or the paper work ---- thank goodness

Seen 4 versions of the Husqvarna , from home owner to professional series , and the decks can be different on different models , so there are a lot of different combinations , the dealer I used says all the ones he brings in are fabricated decks , he won't sell a stamped deck ----the deck on mine has a lifetime warranty , 4 years/ 300 hours on everything else except , tires , belts and blades --------- the professional series has 3 years and 400 hours warranty , it is pretty much $1,500 to go up every level , the home owner version has the pump and drive motor built into one unit , and the unit is sealed , so it is disposable , there are no filters on them either , make the jump up and it is a better system
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:48 PM
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I am not sure if there is "best bang for the buck". Most of the machines I'm familiar with pretty much tell me you get what you pay for. Every machine has it's minor pluses and minuses........in the end they all hold up well if you get the expensive/commercial mower. I do know that the "Ferris" brand has a very plush ride.........probably the best ride on the market but you pay for the suspension. They are slightly less rugged than the best of the best but don't cost as much as those either. It should be fine for your Dad.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 04:40 PM
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Our Motocross club bought a new Gravely ZT 60 HD several years ago, darn good price, the thing gets used HARD and put away very wet ! We have not managed to roll or break the darn thing yet !

After seeing what We have put it through if I was in the market for a zero turn I would check out Gravely !
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 04:49 PM
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I will give a second vote on the gravely ';s
many of the landscapers I know hers wear by them and they get abused by a lot of folks that don't care if they break up(think part time teenagers and young adults summer workers, that have nothing vested in damaging them)
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 05:10 PM
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Money I am sure is a consideration in the purchase , if you really want to go first class I know people who have $30K zero swings that have Catapillar Diesel , enclosed cabs with ac/heat Stereo , windshield wiper/washers and run 22mph ----so like MC says , bang for your buck is what it is all about
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 06:11 PM
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Buy the Hustler brand. Excel Corp (who mfg's the Hustler's) invented the zero turn mower. I've owned two models of Hustlers over the past 20 years. Reliable machines. My first was a Hustler 340 with a 4 cylinder Kubota diesel. I now own a Fastrac Super Duty with a Kawasaki engine. No issues in 4 years of ownership.
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