Zero Turn Mower

General Discussion

  1. moparstud440

    moparstud440 Well-Known Member

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    Looking at getting a zero turn mower. I'm considering a 54-60" deck as I mow about 2 acres or so. Only have a handful of tree to mow around, but have several outbuildings and what not. Any advice as to gas or diesel or what brands are better than others? Not looking to break the bank, but looking for a solid mower that will last for years.
     
  2. badlilred79

    badlilred79 badred360 FABO Gold Member

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    John Deere 665
     
  3. 69DodgeMan

    69DodgeMan Well-Known Member

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    I've had a Toro MX5060 timecutter for about 5 years now. Has a rock solid 23hp Kawasaki engine with plenty of power. It has a 50" cutting width which is on the low side of your specs but certainly gets the job done. I've considered getting a larger mower since I'm now cutting more acreage (about 4) than before, but this Toro has just been too good to me to change. VERY FEW problems with it over the years and it cuts very nicely. Another BIG plus is that it cost 1/2 as much as the Deere's. Also, its a gas powered mower. I don't think I'd care for a diesel in a mower myself.
     
  4. 512Stroker

    512Stroker We are all here because we are not all there.

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    I bought a Hustler zero turn mower four years ago, Kohler powered, all made in the USA.
    Never looked back - no issues
     
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    • Bad Sport

      Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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      • dodgedifferent2

        dodgedifferent2 Well-Known Member

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        We (father and i) run a kubota diesel if I remember correctly zd71 and I want to say 84" deck

        We got a good deal as a contractor lost his contract.

        We have had it for about 15 years. Small ignition issue but got that fixed up. Replaced the tires awhile back due to rubbing up close to trees and such. We dont believe in trimmers.

        We cut about 2 acres every week (weather permtting) However we do find if the grass gets tall, as in over 10 inches, it's hard to cut ;-)

        The diesel is nice because all our tractors use diesel, so we rarely keep gas around the farm.

        Our neighbor also bought the same mower from same contractor at the same time. They painted theirs and we didnt.

        We found with john Deere you have to be careful where u purchase it. The local big box store john deer mowers cannot get parts for the mowers. John deere cant even help for those.

        If you need to have a green mower go to the dealer dont mess with the big box stores.

        Our farm believes "if it ain't red, leave it in the shed."
         
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        • sireland67

          sireland67 Well-Known Member

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          I have a cub cadet for several years now, it has been a great mower.
          Got it dirt cheap also, bought it at Tractor Supply in the middle of a snow storm in December, it was reduced down to $1200.00
           
        • mbaird

          mbaird mbaird FABO Gold Member

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          Back in the late 60s my neighbor Mr. Madsen was a bodyman and a mechanic for Anderson Cadillac in Mpls.... I used to hang out and watch him work on projects.
          One such project was a lawn mower.... a riding lawn mower.... one with 2 sticks to steer it ! I watched him build every aspect of it . Diamond plate deck , 10 hp Tecumseh , 4 blade adjutable cutting deck , boggy wheels up front and balloon wheels in back.
          It was the coolest mower I had ever seen !

          Some years later he told me someone stole his design and patented it. It sounded kind of conspiracy like ...which I thought odd because he was such a straight shooter and honorable man.

          7-8 years later I start seeing zero turn mowers that looked just like the one he built many years before.
          Hmmmm ... maybe ?
           
        • FISHYPETE

          FISHYPETE Well-Known Member

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          The zero turn mowers don’t work as well on inclines like road ditches and hill sides, great on level surfaces
           
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          • red67gts

            red67gts FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I have my second Husqvarna 60" and like it. Exmark also makes good mowers and is the brand most lawn care people use so that makes them worth checking into. I would stick with gas and also get the commercial grade and not buy from box stores.
             
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            • SLOPAR72

              SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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              I had a Cub Cadet and it was a great machine. My dad has it now and you couldn't pry it from him. My boss bought one last year and loves it. 48" deck and Kawasaki powered. Nothing competes with the Kawasaki IMO...

              I now have a Ferris 700 series with a Kawasaki and a 52" deck. She's a bad machine but the Cub would easily cut 2 acres and the same quality. Keep those blades sharpened.

              Ferris cost twice the Cub. Not worth it for a homeowner IMO...

              JW
               
              Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
            • jos51700

              jos51700 Well-Known Member

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              The company I work for makes a TON of parts for Husqvuarna. I have a Husqy push mower (with a Briggs motor) and it's a champ. Surprisingly, they're pretty USA-oriented.
               
            • jos51700

              jos51700 Well-Known Member

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              And no yard is too small for a zero-turn mower.
               
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              • 69DodgeMan

                69DodgeMan Well-Known Member

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                Man, that's a really good thing too, cause if you've got a Huskie you're gonna need a TON of parts. Especially if it has a Briggs V-Twin engine. :poke:
                 
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                • Tooljunkie

                  Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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                  I have to disagree,the husqvarna i have has had zero issues with the engine. 23 hp briggs. my buddy has 500 plus hours on his,including snow blowing in winter. Crank seal started leaking last summer.

                  As far as a zero turn, its already been said. Consumer brand (mtd) (ayp) made in many different colours are not very good zero turns.

                  deere, cub cadet,toro,grasshopper and the few others mentioned are more durable.
                  Buddy has a consumer brand zero turn(yellow?) and it has lots of vibration and blades and spindles are absolute junk. My husqvarna isnt much better. I found 2/3 spindle housings were broken when i serviced it mid summer. At 85 apiece i wasnt inpressed. It mows my front yard and not the rough back yard.
                   
                • RogerRamRod

                  RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was

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                  Be careful to not mow in the same pattern in the tight spots. You will get a dirt spot where the inside rear tire pivots if you keep turning in the same spots.
                   
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                  • my5thmopar

                    my5thmopar Life Long MOPAR Owner FABO Gold Member

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                    Me too. Commercial grade and absolutely no issues for 10 years. One belt last summer. I bought the last years model when the new ones came out. The commercial guys want the big ones but, I don't think a bigger is necessary for a small lot. I mow 2 acres with 25-30 large trees and a few buildings. Its only a 48" and I'm done in an hour.
                     
                  • Keystone

                    Keystone FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    So what in your opinion is the deal with the B&S twins?

                    I've been using a Husqvarna with a 61 inch deck and the Briggs "Commercial Turf" V-twin to cut about 2 acres for almost 6 years now. I'm right around 200 hours and it's been a very solid machine. One deck belt, one battery and other than that only oil changes so far.
                     
                  • Keystone

                    Keystone FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    To the original poster though... whatever you wind up getting, do yourself a favor and buy from a local small business and not a big-box store.

                    A buddy of mine worked as a mechanic for a lawn and garden type of store. He told me every spring like clockwork they'd get calls from people:
                    "I just bought this mower last summer and now it won't start. It's under warranty and I need it fixed right away" He'd say, alright, but I don't see your name in our sales list. Are you sure you bought it from us?
                    "No. I bought it from (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)" To which he'd reply, OK, we're really busy with customers who bought from us, but I can get you in 3-4 months from now.
                    The moral of the story being, the $100 or so you save really isn't worth it if you wind up needing a warranty repair.
                     
                  • famous bob

                    famous bob mopar misfit FABO Gold Member

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                    Not entirely true; I bought a john deere at lowes , altho I didnt have any trouble under warranty, the j.d.dealer will supply me w/ any parts I need.
                    We also have 72" j.d at our church we mow about 9 acers with every week. Has been great , and not much maintenance , even tho it was bought used .
                     
                  • 69DodgeMan

                    69DodgeMan Well-Known Member

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                    My father's Huskie has the 23 hp B&S "INTEK" V-twin engine. This may be a totally different engine than your "Commercial Turf" V-twin, I don't know what those differences might be.

                    However, the INTEK is an aluminum block, aluminum head engine. They tend to have a problem with the valve guides coming loose in the aluminum head which then causes an interference with the valves ending up with BENT pushrods which fall out of the rocker arms and leave the engine "dead in the grass" so to speak. His engine had one cylinder fail but it continued to run on the other cylinder for a while. By the time I found out about it and before I could get it into the shop, the other cylinder did the same thing and the engine was then of course completely dead.

                    The best theory I've heard to explain all the HUNDREDS of similar failures of this engine is that the cooling fins on the aluminum engine get plugged up with grass, oil, dirt, etc., over time and without regular maintenance (cleaning of the cooling fins) this creates a "HOT SPOT" in the head. When this happens, the expansion of the aluminum allows the VALVE GUIDE to come loose in the head and it pushes out toward the rocker. On the next opening of the valves, there is insufficient clearance between the guide and the valve retainer which results in the rocker arm being forced to stop too soon. This of course BENDS the pushrods and then that cylinder ceases to operate.

                    This is a WELL KNOWN problem with this B&S V-twin engine, there are videos all over youtube documenting this problem.

                    If this "hot spot" theory is indeed correct, then the probable root cause of the problem is due mainly to a "lack of regular maintenance". How many owners will actually take the time to periodically remove all the shrouds on the engine to blow out the debris and keep the engine cooling fins clean. Not very many.

                    So if your engine is also aluminum (chances are very good it is) I would suggest you clean the cooling fins at least once per year. And for the record, his engine has many more hours than your 200. Two hundred hours is just broken in, and not very old, so you MAY be headed for a similar engine failure in the future. Hard to say! But some of the people who have documented these failures are reporting some catastrophic failures including holes punched through the crankcase. Not good.
                     
                  • 69DodgeMan

                    69DodgeMan Well-Known Member

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                    Thank you for taking the time to explain your "disagreement". But you and your buddy might both want to check out the youtube videos about these V-twin failures and see if it pertains to your particular model engine. Hopefully yours doesn't have this problem. But I would say it usually takes around 500 hours or so to occur, of course conditions vary that these engine operate in and if the "dirt" is the culprit you might get by for quite a while, then again, maybe not.
                     
                  • SGBARRACUDA

                    SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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                    I mow 3 acres with a Gravely 260Z powered by a Kohler 25 hp. It has a hydraulic deck lift 60". Bought it new in 2002. It has been a super good mower. I just replaced the blade spindles this past April.
                     
                  • Tooljunkie

                    Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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                    Good to know. I blow the grass off quite often, as a burning lawn mower is not uncommon. Regular service to me is priority.
                    Except this fall. It went from bone dry to a month of rain then into the deep freeze.
                     
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                    • pishta

                      pishta I know I'm right....

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                      John Deere are notorious for not releasing maintenance manuals, sort of like Apple macs. IIRC there is a lawsuit demanding that they (closed source manufacturers) release maintenance manuals so other than factory service centers can work on them. My friend bought a push mower for his lawn, a 2X10 foot strip in his front porch!
                       
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