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Old 03-23-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
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Box store mowers vs quality??


Been trying to research on getting a new zero turn in the next couple weeks. Searching forums and I keep reading about how cheap the quality of "X" brand mowers are at big box stores. I find the same models at big box stores as I do at "X" brand dealers or online retailers? Are they all the same or do big box stores get a cheaper version of same model? If so, how do you tell?? Looking at cub cadet 54" rzt and z-force. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:58 PM   #2
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Mowers of the same model number are the same mowers no matter where you buy them, but depending on the brand, there are different engine options. If would by a quality zero turn, not the one the box stores sell. Most important things are HP, deck and wheel motors. The big box stores generally have stamped decks, and small hydro motors. I even saw one that had mechanical levers instead of hydro. Don't know what your budget is but the commercial guys seem to think the best bang for the buck is Bad Boy ZTs.
When you compare prices on the same model, make sure you are comparing prices on the same engine.
I started with a Gravely, nice mower, then went to a JD zero turn, and now have a Scag, which imo, there is no better mower for my needs.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:32 PM   #3
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The only big box store I've heard of doing that is Wal Mart. They'll have a product made with inferior quality in order to sell it cheaper, even though it is allegedly the same thing you'll find elsewhere.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:44 PM   #4
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Buy one at the box store and where do you get it fixed?
Any dealer would put you last on the list if you did not buy it from them.
What's your budget?
Going to get lot of different ideas on this one.
I owned a John Deere for many years and mowed at least 8 lawns a week.
Every week I have to remove the deck and beat out the dents because it was a stamped metal deck, spindles would only last a few months. Had it in the shop 4 times because it would cut off and not restart if it went over a bump, guide wheels on the deck only had one thin bracket on one side so it stayed bent, no bushings in the wheels so they wore out every month.
Sold it and bought a Massey Furgison.
World of differance.
Rides better, steel plate deck with reinforsments, two brackets on the guide wheel, cooling fins on the hydrolic motors, bigger spindles, even the shoot is made out of 3/8 thick rubber with fiber in it like a tire not a cheap piece of plastic.
Little things like a sticker with the belt #'s, filter numbers right under the seat.
Came with a fuel filter all ready on it.
Two years and all I've had to do was change oil , filters and blades.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:59 PM   #5
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You get what you pay for. Even in the better manufacture's lines, there are different levels of quality so they can hit the various price points. If you buy a John Deere garden tractor from a dealer, it will probably last a lifetime. The box store JD's are cheaper models that may be fine. All depends what you're cutting. If you have a half acre of very smooth ground to cut, the cheaper machine may do fine. I cut two acres of rough ground. Box machines would fall apart here. I use a 4' Skags walk behind. Built like a tank. Got it through my local lawn equipment dealer. Over the last 30'years, I've bought just about all my equipment from them. The rest is all Stihl. I wouldn't buy power equipment from a box store. No backup there.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:29 AM   #6
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Currently have about .75 acres of grass. It is somewhat rough with gentle 2-3 foot inclines where the yard is sloped for drainage. Have about 30 trees to go around. Budget right now is capped at $4k so in the middle price range from what i've seen. Ive heard a lot of good things about cub cadet and know a couple of people with older riders, but havent driven the zero turn in person yet. I have been looking at the RZT 54'($2999 +tax) and also the z-force 48" ($3599) models.

Im also confused as to why the z-force 48 KH is listed as $3499 MSRP on the cub wesbite but the distrubutors are actually selling it for more in all cases. Isnt that backwards??
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerbalm2424 View Post
Currently have about .75 acres of grass. It is somewhat rough with gentle 2-3 foot inclines where the yard is sloped for drainage. Have about 30 trees to go around. Budget right now is capped at $4k so in the middle price range from what i've seen. Ive heard a lot of good things about cub cadet and know a couple of people with older riders, but havent driven the zero turn in person yet. I have been looking at the RZT 54'($2999 +tax) and also the z-force 48" ($3599) models.

Im also confused as to why the z-force 48 KH is listed as $3499 MSRP on the cub wesbite but the distrubutors are actually selling it for more in all cases. Isnt that backwards??

I would guess that's because there are 4 Z Force KH models, and you may not be comparing the same models. There are two L48 models,an L54 and L60
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the response. What are the two KH models? The only differences I see are a regular paint scheme vs camo (roughly $400 more). I guess what I was saying is that I cant find anyone that prices a z force L48 at or below the MSRP of $3499. Cars are priced below MSRP 99% of the time. Are mowers different??
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:37 AM   #9
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I had borrowed and neighbor's John Deere once and hit a bump - because I didn't take my hands off the steering wheel during this time, I ended up breaking the steering wheel. I fixed it with some JB Weld and since it was underneath, my neighbor never knew.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerbalm2424 View Post
Thanks for the response. What are the two KH models? The only differences I see are a regular paint scheme vs camo (roughly $400 more). I guess what I was saying is that I cant find anyone that prices a z force L48 at or below the MSRP of $3499. Cars are priced below MSRP 99% of the time. Are mowers different??
That's right, the only difference in the two l48 models are paint. If someone is charging over msrp, they are tacking on a set up charge, which is bs. I was just at my dealer the other day, and the mower on Cubs website for 8,499, was 8,499
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