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Old 09-07-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
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Am looking at new mowers


It's about time to replace my 20 year old Toro Proline, so am looking for something in the range of a 20-25 H.P. zero turn that is going to last. I have been very pleased with the Toro brand, but not so much with the local dealer, so have not ruled them out yet, but unlikely that I will go that route. The dealer that I would prefer to purchase from handles Gravely, Scag, and Snapper Pro, of which I am leaning toward the Snapper Pro, and my second and third choice of dealers handle Exmark. Just curious if anyone has any significant likes, dislikes, or other comments on any of these brands. Thank you.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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I have a friend who's been in the lawn care business for 25+ years who passes his wisdom to me..

Don't buy anything designed for a consumer.. If it doesn't weigh at least 900+ lbs, its a piece of lightweight consumer garbage that probably won't last past 600 hrs.

I have a Ferris IS2000Z and I am quite happy with it.. It will throw clumps in tall wet grass but since I just mow my own lawn, I am not forced to cut wet grass as a business owner is.
The comfort of my ride is superior to all other mowers.. That's one of the things about Ferris units.. Comparatively, they ride like a Cadillac compared to others. I have also found it to be easy to work on.. I had a defective fuel filter that the element broke off inside and let dirt past.. Removing and cleaning the carb was a piece of cake.
I also lost the port side ignition coil.. took less than 30 minutes to replace it..
I'm not crazy about changing the hydraulic oil however.. its a pain in the ass.. Normal oil changes are easy.


My lawncare buddy has been using Xmarks for the past 6 years but after he had a hydraulic failure that literally destroyed the rest of the system, he decided he needed a new mower. Because of his horizontal shaft setup, it took him 6 hours to replace an ignition coil..


He went and bought a Scag and he says its 50% faster (16mph) than his exmark and it doesn't clump at all in tall wet grass like the Xmark. He's been really happy with it. I took his for a spin and I was impressed with the speed.. Of course, keep in mind he has the 38 or something HP Vanguard engine which is pretty much the king of engines.

Overall, the absolute best advice I can give you is to stay way away from anything designed for consumer use.. Its all garbage that won't hold up over the years. Smaller spindles, lower quality engines, smaller tank capacities, etc etc..

Keep your blades sharp, your spindles greased, and your oils fresh and a good commercial mower will last a long time.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:54 AM   #3
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Yeah, I didn't mention it because I said Snapper Pro and usually only think of Gravely and Scag as commercial units, although I suppose they do make lesser priced models as well, but am looking at strictly commercial models. That said though, and although commercial is the right choice for my application, I wouldn't go so far as to say that all consumer models are garbage. I have definitely seen some less than desirable residential machines, no doubt about it, but I have also seen a lot of quarter acre or less lots that are flat and relatively smooth, for which I would not invest in a $5K plus mower.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
It's about time to replace my 20 year old Toro Proline, so am looking for something in the range of a 20-25 H.P. zero turn that is going to last. I have been very pleased with the Toro brand, but not so much with the local dealer, so have not ruled them out yet, but unlikely that I will go that route. The dealer that I would prefer to purchase from handles Gravely, Scag, and Snapper Pro, of which I am leaning toward the Snapper Pro, and my second and third choice of dealers handle Exmark. Just curious if anyone has any significant likes, dislikes, or other comments on any of these brands. Thank you.
Unless I'm mistaken, Gravely is the commercial line of Ariens. Scag has been around forever, and SnapperPro is basically a slightly beefed-up regular Snapper.

When my sons & I ran our sideline lawn-care business, we were pretty exclusively John Deere - mostly because of the local dealer. An excellent salesman and a top-notch parts department. We had a couple lighter tractor-type mowers, and a couple ZTRs. All of them were good for what they were built for.

I think the main question is what you want in a mower, what you want it to do, and how much you're willing to spend.

Also, note that most brands of mowers share a lot of components, from Kohler & Kawasaki engines, to TuffTorq hydrostats. In my opinion, the Kawasaki engines are probably the best on the market. You'll also want to look closely at how heavy the deck spindles are, size and routing of belts, etc.

It's not about the brand, but about the features and quality of the components.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:58 AM   #5
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I've been using Massy Ferguson ZTR 27 HP to mow at least 8 lawns a week for the past year. I've had 0 issues, just change the blades, oil and filters.
I have to use a 48" deck because I have to mow around landscaping in tight spots and playground equipment. It was the only Heavy duty 48" I could find.
I used to own a John Deere Z425 and there's just no comparison between the 2.
The Massy uses a steel plate deck, not stamped metal.
Has more power.
Has cooling fans on the hydraulic motor.
Spindles are bigger.
Two brackets on the deck rollers not one like on a JD so there's no way there going to bend.
They even added an extra steel band around the bottom of the deck for added strength.
I can blow through 8" high wet grass without the motor even changing speeds if I have to.
A simple common since idea they have is when you lift the seat there's a sticker in plain sight that shows all the part numbers for all the filters and belts. No more having to go find the manual and look it up.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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You're comparing a $7,000 mower to a $3,800 mower, Joe. You danged well better be able to see the difference!
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
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I paid less then $4800 and got interest free financing.
They even threw in a free light kit and arm rest.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I paid less then $4800 and got interest free financing.
They even threw in a free light kit and arm rest.
Nice. What's the model number?
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:02 PM   #9
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^ Also, what did you trade-in?
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