Longevity of a 9 series ZTR
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Thread: Longevity of a 9 series ZTR

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    Longevity of a 9 series ZTR

    New property. Haven't ever had more grass than a push mower could handle in an hour.

    I now have 1.2 acres of grass (yes I mapped it, ha). I am pretty much settled on a 540m. I really don't need a fancy mower and I take good care of my equipment. But for some reason I have this nag to buy a commercial grade mower with the thought process being that it will last me forever. Is that a realistic expectation? How long can I expect a 9 series to last me? Im thinking 15 years would justify the purchase. Will it outlast a 540m by a large margin?
    Old Cajun likes this.

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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    I had a 970 that was built like a tank. I think with good care a 915 would last along time. I have a garden tractor I bought in 92 and I mowed and plowed snow with it till last year and when I moved up my son took it to his place and uses it every week. Good luck
    2018 2038R 220R FEL, 72" Mower, Radial tires, wheel spacers, dual rear SVCs, CtA grapple, single point for FEL, 60" broom with front hitch;2018 1025R 54"auto connect, HDAP tires, Quick Hitch, Ballast Box, Etc...;1967 1020 3cylinder gas, #47 FEL, 72" Landpride Grooming Mower, 6ft box blade, For Sale(no Hurry); life Member NRA since 1974

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    IMO, for 1.2 acres, buy the 540m. In 15-20 years or so buy a the newer version.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD,
    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

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    Cropgun, it's "night and day" difference between the residential and commercial grade mowers. I was one of those that wanted the "best" and ended up getting the third rate ones. I own a Z710A aka "estate mower" in the eyes of the Consumer Reports people. It has the same larger frame materials, transmission motors, and all the good things that they install in the commercial grade tractors.

    In the past forty years I have own four John Deere lawn tractors, all considered residential grades, and my last was a 1999 345 water-cooled Kaw 20hp engine. I paid $6,699 for it NEW, and since these 19 years I have spent about another $4500 on repairs. The Kaw engine is the greatest in this 345 and hasn't spent one time other than oil and filters. It's the other things John Deere put into the tractor... like one bad 54" mower deck where I bought 17 mower deck belts in three years...plus the very expensive spindles...at $89.00 ea. totaling 12 in all. Plus all the idler and deck pulleys that I have replaced.

    The Z710A is a 2012 year model with a 23hp Kohler. I'm running the same factory install drive and mower deck belts, same deck spindles and pulleys. I changed the transmission filters and fluid at 50 hours, and just changed the filters and fluid last month at 350 hours.

    So, get you a commercial grade model and you won't look back that you made the wrong decision.

    BTW: I mow 10 acres. 3 acres with the 1999 345 -54" deck and 7 acres with the Z710A with 54" deck.
    Last edited by kbeaag; 03-11-2018 at 10:44 AM.

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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Think I would go the extra coins for a commercial grade mower even for just 1.2 acres.

    Speed and good dependability are hard to beat.
    Last edited by Old Cajun; 03-11-2018 at 04:43 PM.
    Neil

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Buy it once and buy it right.
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    ky_shawn's Avatar
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    I have a z920 with over 1500 trouble free hours on it. It's built like a tank but rides like one too. I have owned multiple zero turns and in my honest opinion it doesn't matter how good of a mower you buy your only going to run it X amount of time before you just want something different. My z920 has been amazing and although mechanically sound I noticed last fall that most of the linkage in the deck has ALOT of wear and slop in it. The mower has over 1500 hours and there's no way I'm going to start throwing certain parts at it now. I'm going to run it another summer or so then it's being traded in or auctioned off at the local farm auction like the mowers it replaced. If I was mowing under 2 acres I personally wouldn't invest in a higher dollar mower. A high grade residential mower will give you years of service and by the time it's shot I'm sure you will be ready for something different anyways. From all the zturns I have owned it doesn't matter how much money you spend to purchase it, certain parts are going to be worn completely out while the drivetrain is still rock solid. By the time those parts wear out the mower will have enough years and hours behind it that you'll be cautious about dumping money into it replacing those items, a new mower will be far more appealing. The only exception to this I would say is if you cough up enough money to purchase a really high end commercial mower with a diesel on it. A mower that nice/expensive is worth replacing all the worn linkage and other parts to run the mower another 2-3 thousand hours or so to get your monies worth out of those parts/repairs. I am certain if I replace everything on my z920 that's now or soon to be completely shot, within a couple of summers after spending that money I will be looking at needing a new engine, hydro pumps, or drive motors. I have already been down that road with a JD zturn before and learned my lesson.
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 03-11-2018 at 10:50 PM.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ky_shawn View Post
    I have a z920 with over 1500 trouble free hours on it. It's built like a tank but rides like one too. I have owned multiple zero turns and in my honest opinion it doesn't matter how good of a mower you buy your only going to run it X amount of time before you just want something different. My z920 has been amazing and although mechanically sound I noticed last fall that most of the linkage in the deck has ALOT of wear and slop in it. The mower has over 1500 hours and there's no way I'm going to start throwing certain parts at it now. I'm going to run it another summer or so then it's being traded in or auctioned off at the local farm auction like the mowers it replaced. If I was mowing under 2 acres I personally wouldn't invest in a higher dollar mower. A high grade residential mower will give you years of service and by the time it's shot I'm sure you will be ready for something different anyways. From all the zturns I have owned it doesn't matter how much money you spend to purchase it, certain parts are going to be worn completely out while the drivetrain is still rock solid. By the time those parts wear out the mower will have enough years and hours behind it that you'll be cautious about dumping money into it replacing those items, a new mower will be far more appealing. The only exception to this I would say is if you cough up enough money to purchase a really high end commercial mower with a diesel on it. A mower that nice/expensive is worth replacing all the worn linkage and other parts to run the mower another 2-3 thousand hours or so to get your monies worth out of those parts/repairs. I am certain if I replace everything on my z920 that's now or soon to be completely shot, within a couple of summers after spending that money I will be looking at needing a new engine, hydro pumps, or drive motors. I have already been down that road with a JD zturn before and learned my lesson.
    Outstanding post. That was my point in my post but not in so many words. You did good.
    We had a commercial Z-Master 150 with ~1500 hours on it, never had a problem with it, traded it in before we did.
    I know hydro pumps and/or drive motors are big $$$.
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    Keith

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    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ky_shawn View Post
    I have a z920 with over 1500 trouble free hours on it. It's built like a tank but rides like one too. I have owned multiple zero turns and in my honest opinion it doesn't matter how good of a mower you buy your only going to run it X amount of time before you just want something different. My z920 has been amazing and although mechanically sound I noticed last fall that most of the linkage in the deck has ALOT of wear and slop in it. The mower has over 1500 hours and there's no way I'm going to start throwing certain parts at it now. I'm going to run it another summer or so then it's being traded in or auctioned off at the local farm auction like the mowers it replaced. If I was mowing under 2 acres I personally wouldn't invest in a higher dollar mower. A high grade residential mower will give you years of service and by the time it's shot I'm sure you will be ready for something different anyways. From all the zturns I have owned it doesn't matter how much money you spend to purchase it, certain parts are going to be worn completely out while the drivetrain is still rock solid. By the time those parts wear out the mower will have enough years and hours behind it that you'll be cautious about dumping money into it replacing those items, a new mower will be far more appealing. The only exception to this I would say is if you cough up enough money to purchase a really high end commercial mower with a diesel on it. A mower that nice/expensive is worth replacing all the worn linkage and other parts to run the mower another 2-3 thousand hours or so to get your monies worth out of those parts/repairs. I am certain if I replace everything on my z920 that's now or soon to be completely shot, within a couple of summers after spending that money I will be looking at needing a new engine, hydro pumps, or drive motors. I have already been down that road with a JD zturn before and learned my lesson.
    You know - you really made me think. I am planning on a new zero turn in the next couple years - some things have to align themselves first.

    When I was mowing commercially my last machine was a Deere 757 commercial zero turn which I loved. Now when I am passively looking at machines for use at home I automatically go to the commercial units. I just have this unobjective opinion that residential units are junk.

    But thinking about it - I now am lucky if I mow 35-40 hours a year - not 35-40 hours a week like I used to. I mow around 3 acres. A higher end residential unit will probably be fine for me now. And with a Deere or Kubota unit I know I will be able to get parts quickly if I need them.

    just a side note - please hit your enter button once in a while - your post is a wall of text to me and I can't read it.
    Old Cajun and ky_shawn like this.
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    ky_shawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    You know - you really made me think. I am planning on a new zero turn in the next couple years - some things have to align themselves first.

    When I was mowing commercially my last machine was a Deere 757 commercial zero turn which I loved. Now when I am passively looking at machines for use at home I automatically go to the commercial units. I just have this unobjective opinion that residential units are junk.

    But thinking about it - I now am lucky if I mow 35-40 hours a year - not 35-40 hours a week like I used to. I mow around 3 acres. A higher end residential unit will probably be fine for me now. And with a Deere or Kubota unit I know I will be able to get parts quickly if I need them.

    just a side note - please hit your enter button once in a while - your post is a wall of text to me and I can't read it.
    I apologize for the lack of spacing in my reply. When I know without doubt I have experience in what I'm typing my fingers go faster typing than my mind can keep up with and I forget to space.

    I have ran residential mowers to 1500+ hours and commercial mowers to 1500+ hours and they both did it with close to the same wear and tear. I'm not taking about cheap residential mowers, I'm referring to those that share many of the same components as commercial mowers.

    The differences I saw between residential and commercial mowers for my use is the commercial mowers hold up to trailering better. My mowers ride ALOT of miles being beat and banged around on trailers and the residential mowers would end up with cracked welds and so forth that required some welding here and there, the commercial mowers have held up to that abuse. If I was to stop with all the mowing I do and maintain only my yard there's no way I would cough up the money required to buy a commercial mower. I would buy a high end residential mower knowing it would only be trailered occasionally and run the snot out of it until it was worn out then repeat with a new mower. Mowing 50 hours a year on a mower that's capable of 1500 hours is 30 years of service, not bad if you ask me.
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 03-12-2018 at 10:23 AM.
    3520 (cab, eHydro, R1's, 300x fel, forks, grapple) Frontier 5' cutter, 7' Tufline disk, 6' Gill pulverizer, 6' box blade, 6' rear blade, TSC post auger, 6' Woods rfm, 8' JD rotary hoe, 8' Brillion cultipacker, 6' field cultivator, Tarter spreader, Fimco 3 point sprayer, subsoiler, ken's bolt on hooks & clevis, JD Z920 ZTR

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