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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I bought a Kubota Z-411 48 inch cut with a 23 hp kawasaki engine. Have had it going on three years now. It has the serviceable 3600 drives fabricated deck. It the entry level commercial unit. Think I paid close to $7000 with a 5 year Warrenty unlimited hrs. I bought the additional insurance. It covers theft fire collision this is Kubota insurance. Been well pleased with it.
 

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I’ve got a Scag Tiger Cat (52” cut) with 27hp Kohler Command Pro that I’ve mowed 6 acres with every week since I bought it new 2010. Never turned a screw on it, except regular services. Have not even put a belt on it yet. If I was buying another one tomorrow there is only 2 things I’d change. I’d get the bigger Turf Tiger for more leg room and a commercial Kawasaki engine. I’m 6’1” and I can’t stretch my legs out on the Tiger Cat without having my feet off the floor pan. The Kohler engine has been fine but you have to shut it off at 1/2+ throttle or let it idle for a few minutes before shutting it off or it will backfire every time and I don’t like that.

Whatever you do, if you’re going to be using it over rough terrain or a large yard, buy a commercial mower. Well worth it in the long run. Brand is more a Ford v Chevy thing I think. My dad has 2 commercial ExMarks that he swears by.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He will be buying commercial. Ya'll have now brought up several brands I didn't know existed so that's more research I have to do.

The two that I looked at yesterday were the Husky M-ZT61 and a Deere Z930M (I think the Deere is out of his price range, but nosing around looks like actual prices people are paying is substantially less than MSRP)

The Deere Z915E has a Kohler CV742 Command Pro motor. It's priced quite a bit lower than the Z930M, but I don't know anything about Kohler engines.

As I understand it, some new regulation passed that required manufactures to change the way they report HP, so the new engines show fewer horses than old specs, but the engines are actually exactly the same.

As someone said early in the thread, local support is probably something to look at, although I rarely if ever let anyone else work on my stuff. At least during warranty period local would be good, and the only local dealers are Husky and Deere.

I'm a big fan of older Husky and Deere, but I think they, so so many others, aren't what they used to be. Deere especially ticked me off with the way they've done their computerized farm equipment, making it where no one but Deere can effectively work on their stuff. They also pushed out a lot of the really old family owned dealerships and took them over at a corporate level. Nothing like that pertains to one of these mowers but it still gives me a very negative view of the company.

I'll look into some of these other brands yall have mentioned and see how far I would have to go to check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I bought a Kubota Z-411 48 inch cut with a 23 hp kawasaki engine. Have had it going on three years now. It has the serviceable 3600 drives fabricated deck. It the entry level commercial unit. Think I paid close to $7000 with a 5 year Warrenty unlimited hrs. I bought the additional insurance. It covers theft fire collision this is Kubota insurance. Been well pleased with it.
Kubota seems to be the Honda of the small tractor world. Dang near bulletproof.

They're on the list for sure.

Guy who mows around town has a Ferris, said he's very happy with it. Looks like they do have models with Kawasaki engines, and boast a smoother ride. I have a feeling that smoother ride will mean "more maint required" as the machine ages. I'm a "Keep it forever" type of person and would rather have a stiffer riding machine that would be bulletproof than a cushy ride that requires work.

Still figured I would give them a gander. Anyone here have any experience with Ferris?
 

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Kubota seems to be the Honda of the small tractor world. Dang near bulletproof.
10-4 on that! I've got no complaints with my 4wd, sept , I'd like to have a couple more!!

Old saying around here ?? How much did that green and yellow paint cost ya....
 

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i bought an Exmark,, 50" cut. it does fairly well. the mower deck bearings went out in a couple of year's, plus the paint was falling off. they were good about fixing it. they replaced the bearings, looks like the whole assembly, top and bottom. the deck bearings are going out again. no zerks, the 1st time, no zerks the 2nd time, again. the paint job was better, though..
exmark ztr, ran $4,300.oo with tax's..
Pete, a friend paid $7,000. for his Gravly. it is bigger that what i got. he cuts a neighbors field with it, in the country, far as i know, he aint had a problem with it. some of that ground aint a bit level. level, is another concern, you might want to think of. and your parents maybe should test drive, one of these.
it do steer, different.. :smile
 

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Husqvarna,exmark or John Deere is what most people use around my area.I have a Husqvarna lawn tractor TS 354D with the Kohler 25hp.
 

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The Kohler Command Pro is a good engine that will last you a long time. I just don’t like having to turn mine off a certain way to avoid the backfiring.

Something else to consider are the hydraulics. Used to most machines used individual wheel motors and a pump. A lot of the machines these days have went to transmissions instead. If that matters to you. I’m old school, so I like the simplicity of individual wheel motors and a pump.

Scag also uses heavy duty greasable spindles with tapered roller bearings. The bolt that attaches the blade passes all the way through the spindle.

I’d also get the most horsepower available in the engine I wanted. Most of the time, if the grass is dry, I can mow at full stick (appx 6mph) with my 27hp and 52” deck. But if it’s wet or it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve mowed, I have to slow down to keep from bogging it. I’m cutting a country/farm yard (former pasture) though with a lot of weed grasses. I’m sure it also has a lot to do with the deck.

Around here, when I bought mine, most dealers had a demo they’d allow you to try out before you bought. Not sure if that’s still the case or not since they have gotten so popular but it might be worth asking about.
 

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KoolBreeze , the separate pump and motor deal made my mind up to go with the higher level mower , the home owner version Husqvarna has a sealed pump/motor on each side , not serviceable , no filter , the next level up has separate pumps and motors

also I had the 2006 Husq' with a Kohler and after it got hours on it , it would backfire if you killed it from a high throttle and not let it cool down first , the new one I just got has the Kohler Confident and I had to try it , so I killed it after running hard and at high throttle and it never backfired , but it is brand new and the manual tells you to let it cool down at an idle before shutting down , I have learned to do this , even with my Dodge 4500 6.7 Cummins , I will let it idle for a 30-60 seconds after putting it in park , I have heard this allows the turbo to cool down and extend the life
 
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