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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > John Deere Review Forum

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 07-23-2003, 20:04 Post: 59997
Chief



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 I ve got ZTRitis

I have taken my first splash into the lawn cutting business and provided I can get more customers to justify the cost. I am thinking about trading the F525 in for an F687. That is one sweet mowing machine. Mower flips up 90 degrees to clean the deck bottom and service blades. The entire power train deck flips up 90 degrees for total access for maintenance and cleaning. 23 hp 2 cylinder Kohler air cooled engine(a little weak on the hp, would prefer a 3 cylinder 28 hp yanmar diesel), 6.8 gallon gas tank (10 gal. would be better) dual hydro motors (one for each drive wheel), dual boogy wheels in back for support, 18" offset 60" mower deck. Built for a fan driven grass collection system. This IS the "Grass Monster"! Guess I am gonna have to get counseling as this is gonna have to wait until next season.





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 07-23-2003, 20:13 Post: 59999
kwschumm



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 I ve got ZTRitis

I really want a ZTR mower too. My problem is that we don't have a lawn, so my wife would probably balk. Smile






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 07-24-2003, 05:30 Post: 60010
Mrwurm



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Yep, I looked at those myself a while back. I ended up buying a Gravely. I really like the maintenance aspect of the ZTR but I could'nt get past the under-sized motor and small wheels (20 inch). The dealer even admitted that they have trouble selling them because of the engine size. At one point they were offering a fuel system upgrade kit to squeeze a little more power out of it. I believe that this is standard equipment now.

All things considered, you will look 'way-cool' cruising on this lawn machine.

Jerry






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 07-24-2003, 10:03 Post: 60024
Murf



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Chief, colour appeal aside, look at the Kubota ZTR's they perform better, have more power and better hydraulics. Besides, they are cheaper too.

I have tried both, as well as the Gravely, Walker, Ferris and Ex-mark.

My seat of the pants testing (one week with each, and several experienced trusted employees on each machine) showed that overall the Kubota was the hands-down clear winner.

Best of luck.






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 07-24-2003, 10:22 Post: 60027
Chief



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Murf, I have been following Lawnsite.com and have noted that most of the operators there use Ex-Mark, Scag, Hustler, and a few other brands. Almost never see or hear much about John Deere, Kubota, or NH. A few use John Deere and love them. I wonder what the issue is......... price, reliability, or some other issue? I will have to check out the Kubota ZTR's. Thanks for the suggestion.






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 07-24-2003, 10:48 Post: 60031
Murf



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Chief, I don;t think that the sales numbers are ANY indicator of quality or performance.

In this industry there is two over-riding factors that dictate sales.

First and foremost is availability, not just of 'for sale' machines, but access to parts and LOANERS. Besides the fact that the 'other guys' have dealers EVERYWHERE, probably three to five times as many. Most manufacturers of commercial turf equipment now have a 'zero downtime' guarantee, if the machine breaks down and cant be fixed in 1 hour or leave with a loaner and bring it back when yours is ready.

The second factor is affordability, most of the 'other' manufacturers offer financing packages that are easy to qualify for, if you have apulse and can sign your name your financed, at a paltry 21% for 5 years or something ridiculous, but qualified none the less.

This is a powerful sales tool, when the best unit on the market costs $12k and the 'other' unit costs $79 a month, guess which one the 'little guy' is most likely to buy.

BTW, the little 'frills' they leave of the 'second tier' machines are the things that make the difference between 'cut' and 'cut professionally'. As an example our big cutters are equipped with a logic control circuit in the hydraulic system, if you try to go from stop to full speed, it will slowly bring you up to speed, likewise if you try to make a full-speed turn it will reduce power so as not to tear up turf doing so. Likewise, if it senses that the cutting blades are under a heavy load, it will limit forward speed to match the cutting load, as the load reduces the speed increase proportionately.

Ergonomics are another thing that seem to get forgotten on the 'other' units, especially if you are vertically or horizontally challenged.

Best of luck.






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 07-24-2003, 11:21 Post: 60035
Chief



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Murf, sounds like you have some experience in this area. I take it you are in the grass cutting business? I am in the "Rookie" stage and a one man operation. One the one hand I want a large machine to speed up my productivity but on the other, not too large for the yards that I am cutting. (kinda small so far, 1/4 to 3/4 acre with lots of trimming) I like the diesel as I can standardize my fuel except for the 2 stroke stuff and the push mower. I looked that the Kubota ZD Pro on the Kubota web site. Nice machine! That is cool the way they pivot the front axle to lift the mower. Wish John Deere would get their head out of their ass and start fielding a diesel ZTR. Do you own one of the ZD Pro mowers? If so, what kind of service have you had from it. I am currently trying to build a customer base and hopefully next season I can expand and justify a larger more productive machine such as this. Any info., pointers, tips, or suggestions you have; feel more than free to throw them my way. I am trying to learn all I can. Thanks for the heads up Murf.






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 07-24-2003, 12:06 Post: 60047
Chief



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Here is a good discussion on the Kubota ZD Pro.






Link:   Link to Kubota ZD Pro Discussion 

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 07-24-2003, 12:23 Post: 60053
Murf



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Chief, I suppose you could say I do have alittle experience with grass. My company builds new golf courses and does repairs, renovation and improvements to existing ones. Our family farm also includes about 400 acres of turf at any one time. I am far from being an expert but after doing it for 20+ I have learned a bit about it, Laughing out loud.

Far be it from me to tell you how to run your business, but here goes anyways.

IMHO, the best all-round machine you could get for a beginning lawn care business would be a Ferris ProCut 30 with a 61" deck, not the 6 footer.

With a 25hp Kohler this machine will have enough hustle & muscle to cut a LOT of grass fast, it only weighs about 1,000 pounds, and will cut 5 acres per hour in the real world, and yet it is small enough to be extremely manueverable. Being a front-deck style machine it will reduce your hand-mowing and trimming to the ABSOLUTE minimum (you can stuff the deck under trees, etc., that you cant cut with a ZTR, and do it for a price you will be VERY impressed with. They are about as close to 'fall off a log simple' as you'll ever get, and nearly bullet-proof in the dependability column.

I have one for cutting my own lawn.

It was 'retired' from the fleet 6 years ago with about 8,000 hours on it ... so far I have only had to put gas, spark plugs, oil, and filters in it ... from NEW.

If you were to do a cost/benefit analysis on all the grass cutters out there I doubt you would find anything that was as over-all as good a buy or performer.

Best of luck.






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 07-25-2003, 07:28 Post: 60099
Art White



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 I ve got ZTRitis

Murf,on a different note, do you use the Harley rock rake at all? We haven't tried one with the carbide teeth on the pro model. Have you tried one yet? Worried that the additional price might make it to high to sell?






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > John Deere Review Forum

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