Help me pick a ZTR! 1 acre, very thick lawn, looking for best QOC possible!

d5coupe

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OK, so I currently have a 2001 MTD 38" tractor. Gives me an OK cut but cannot mulch (without making a huge mess), and bagger always getting clogged. Takes 2 hours, and turning is a bitch, trimming beds impossible so alot of time with trimmer and blower also.

I've had enough... time for an upgrade. Help me pros! I am a pro-sumer. I like to buy high end and take care of it so it lasts as long as possible. Primarily looking for QOC and time savings. This takes me to Zero-Turn. Cannot justify over $5k for a lawn mower...only doing my lawn for the April-October season.

I am limited by a 4' gate..... so I think I am stuck on 42" deck; otherwise I would love bigger.

I have a power equipment close to home. He recommended Toro SS4200. My research begins here. I have looked at basically everything from Cub Cadet low end to Grasshopper high end. I find myself (limited by 42" deck) always with the highest-residential or lowest-commerical models.

I have narrowed it down to a few:
Toro MX4250 - smaller wheels and GT-2200 hydros
Hustler Raptor SD - hear alot of complaints about broken bolts/thrown belts & clogged chute
ExMark Radius E series - very expensive, very heavy,

What about the SWX4250, now discontinued - does it pay to hunt down an old model with steering wheel?
I really wish the Toro came with Serviceable GT-2800 hydros like the others I am looking at.

What do you guys recommend????


Gravely, BobCat, Dixie - no local dealer
 

bertsmobile1

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A Walker.
Even a used Walker.
Best cut and best bagging system on the market.
Anything else is a very looooog way behind.
If your yard is rough get the 4 wheeled one, if your yard is reasonably flat get a 3 wheeled one which will turn 360 in it's own length.
having the deck out in front of you makes close cutting a breeze and the deck will cut up to 3/4" against a wall so a lot less trimming.
 

cruzenmike

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OK, so I currently have a 2001 MTD 38" tractor. . . . .I am a pro-sumer. I like to buy high end and take care of it so it lasts as long as possible.
I am not sure if either your MTD or your sub $5000 budget constitutes either high end or pro-sumer. The issue you have is that anything with 3 blades requires a powered bagger unit which restricts you to a 46" rider or a 42" zero turn(minus Ariens Icon X or Gravely ZT). There are very FEW 42" zero turns that will give you the quality of cut you desire in your price point while still lasting you the 18 years you got out of your MTD. The MX4250 is a good start because it does have the HP to cut through your thick lawn but with non-serviceable transmissions you will be lucky to get 10 trouble free years. Also, these "residential" lawn mowers for the most part have narrower tires and in soft/wet turf they will rut and on any slope they lose traction quite easily.

So, not to rain on your parade but I just wanted to prepare you for the reality of either spending over $5k to get a nice Radius E 44" or spend only $2700 on a Toro SS4225 and have another $2300 to put towards the bagger or another SS4225 in 10 years.

Some might tell you to go for a used commercial mower which would not be a bad choice either if it fits through your gate.

I am just a consumer like to you and have been in your situation. I settled on a Cub Cadet LX42. Having some issues with my specific mower but at $2000 it likely steers better than your MTD, has a wider deck, has 22hp, has a 3 year warranty, has two different bagger options and the list goes on. The point is that you don't need to spend a lot to cut your grass but expectations and what you are willing to spend must align.
 

4getgto

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I'd seriously consider making your gate wider. Makes your options better. Just my opinion...!
 

d5coupe

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A Walker.
Even a used Walker.
Best cut and best bagging system on the market.
Anything else is a very looooog way behind.
If your yard is rough get the 4 wheeled one, if your yard is reasonably flat get a 3 wheeled one which will turn 360 in it's own length.
having the deck out in front of you makes close cutting a breeze and the deck will cut up to 3/4" against a wall so a lot less trimming.
wow would love the walker, but way out of my price range.
 

d5coupe

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I'd seriously consider making your gate wider. Makes your options better. Just my opinion...!
i have thought about it, wouldn't be too big of a deal. paver-walkway wouldn't match as nicely - maybe one day but the fence is only 1 year old. It stays for now
 

d5coupe

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I am not sure if either your MTD or your sub $5000 budget constitutes either high end or pro-sumer. The issue you have is that anything with 3 blades requires a powered bagger unit which restricts you to a 46" rider or a 42" zero turn(minus Ariens Icon X or Gravely ZT). There are very FEW 42" zero turns that will give you the quality of cut you desire in your price point while still lasting you the 18 years you got out of your MTD. The MX4250 is a good start because it does have the HP to cut through your thick lawn but with non-serviceable transmissions you will be lucky to get 10 trouble free years. Also, these "residential" lawn mowers for the most part have narrower tires and in soft/wet turf they will rut and on any slope they lose traction quite easily.

So, not to rain on your parade but I just wanted to prepare you for the reality of either spending over $5k to get a nice Radius E 44" or spend only $2700 on a Toro SS4225 and have another $2300 to put towards the bagger or another SS4225 in 10 years.

Some might tell you to go for a used commercial mower which would not be a bad choice either if it fits through your gate.

I am just a consumer like to you and have been in your situation. I settled on a Cub Cadet LX42. Having some issues with my specific mower but at $2000 it likely steers better than your MTD, has a wider deck, has 22hp, has a 3 year warranty, has two different bagger options and the list goes on. The point is that you don't need to spend a lot to cut your grass but expectations and what you are willing to spend must align.
great, first - thank you!

I read this alot in other posts but don't quite get it. Why does one want serviceable hydros? I see people complain filters & oil adds to the cost. Is the extra maintenance and cost really going to make the mower last that much longer? Also, when a transmission goes (assuming non-serviceable) then cant one just be replaced for another 10 years of use?

What does the exmark offer above the MX4250 that would benefit me? If the only difference is 20 yr life vs 10 yr life, then that's is OK because I would like a new toy in 10 years anyway!

I thought the larger tires would make it harder to maneuver around tight beds?

As far as used commercial mowers go - what should I look for? Most of the local guys use wright standers here. With this option I lose the ability to tow a cart. Do they give a better cut quality?
 

d5coupe

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Crappy experience at Toro dealer today.

The more I read I keep coming up with Ferris over & over again. Found a local dealer 5 miles from me I didnt know existed, will go check them out.

Will go look at 400S and IS600 - both have the serviceable hydros and larger wheels. Any cons I am missing???
 

bertsmobile1

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wow would love the walker, but way out of my price range.
To parraphrase a previous post.
If you can't pay for quality all you will buy is rubbish
Or as dad used to say
"he who buys cheap pays thrice"

This mower https://www.ebay.com/itm/NICE-48-GHS-WALKER-RIDING-MOWER-MTGHS-23HP-KOHLER-BAGGING-COMMERCIAL-ZERO-TURN/202660677389?hash=item2f2f84870d:g:Xi0AAOSw~RVaDcEa is not far over your budget and will serve you really well for the next 10 to 20 years.
And you will also not get a dust bath because the blower blows the dust a long way behind.
Grasshoppers are the next best bet but their service is nothing like that of Walkers.
When the chairman & 1/2 the board have the the same name as what is on the side of the mower, they take customer satisfaction and service really seriously.

I run a lot of mowers from the 60's & 70's
Back then they cost around 6 months average wages
40 to 50 years latter on that cost is nothing
Anything under $ 10,000 is basically a throw away item, with a design life of 5 to 10 years.

You don't have to replace a $ 5000 mower many times to make that Walker look really cheap.

As for servicable hydros.
There are 2 types of hydros,
Sealed for their life ( which is generally short )
Servicable which will run around 5 to 10 times longer if the owner understands the difference between routine servicing & repairs.

Got a customer with a 42" Great Dane ( another good mower )
He brings ir in for routine maintenance every 2 years where all replaceable parts get replaced, including the spindle bearings.
It is pushing 15 years old and has never missed a beat.
It costs him a budgetable $ 400-$ 600 every second year.
A customer with a 61" Great Dane thinks routine servicing is not needed because it is a commercial mower and he only mows his own 5 acres.
He spends around $ 1500 a year on average for me to replace parts that have failed then broken other parts .

The people who whinge & bitch here are usually of the latter type, most of which don't even have an owners manual for their mower, they just expect it to work because it is new, just the same as their smart phone always works.

or this one
https://bend.craigslist.org/grd/6861760141.html?lang=en&cc=gb
or this one
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/grd/6883668862.html?lang=en&cc=gb
A better one with a lot lower hours
https://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/grd/6876344218.html?lang=en&cc=gb
 

d5coupe

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To parraphrase a previous post.
If you can't pay for quality all you will buy is rubbish
Or as dad used to say
"he who buys cheap pays thrice"

This mower https://www.ebay.com/itm/NICE-48-GHS-WALKER-RIDING-MOWER-MTGHS-23HP-KOHLER-BAGGING-COMMERCIAL-ZERO-TURN/202660677389?hash=item2f2f84870d:g:Xi0AAOSw~RVaDcEa is not far over your budget and will serve you really well for the next 10 to 20 years.
And you will also not get a dust bath because the blower blows the dust a long way behind.
Grasshoppers are the next best bet but their service is nothing like that of Walkers.
When the chairman & 1/2 the board have the the same name as what is on the side of the mower, they take customer satisfaction and service really seriously.

I run a lot of mowers from the 60's & 70's
Back then they cost around 6 months average wages
40 to 50 years latter on that cost is nothing
Anything under $ 10,000 is basically a throw away item, with a design life of 5 to 10 years.

You don't have to replace a $ 5000 mower many times to make that Walker look really cheap.

As for servicable hydros.
There are 2 types of hydros,
Sealed for their life ( which is generally short )
Servicable which will run around 5 to 10 times longer if the owner understands the difference between routine servicing & repairs.

Got a customer with a 42" Great Dane ( another good mower )
He brings ir in for routine maintenance every 2 years where all replaceable parts get replaced, including the spindle bearings.
It is pushing 15 years old and has never missed a beat.
It costs him a budgetable $ 400-$ 600 every second year.
A customer with a 61" Great Dane thinks routine servicing is not needed because it is a commercial mower and he only mows his own 5 acres.
He spends around $ 1500 a year on average for me to replace parts that have failed then broken other parts .

The people who whinge & bitch here are usually of the latter type, most of which don't even have an owners manual for their mower, they just expect it to work because it is new, just the same as their smart phone always works.

or this one
https://bend.craigslist.org/grd/6861760141.html?lang=en&cc=gb
or this one
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/grd/6883668862.html?lang=en&cc=gb
A better one with a lot lower hours
https://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/grd/6876344218.html?lang=en&cc=gb
awesome post, thank you. I setup an appointment to get a demo. However, I would want the rear discharge and the whole kit im lookin at like 14 grand.

Ferris 400s is my current favorite.

You think the ferris will need replacing 3 times over the next 25 years?

The problem I have - these used mowers were beat to **** for 1000 hours. That's 20 years of use at my rate. Logic tells me its a bad idea....
 
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