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Thoughts on best value for homeowner ZTR?


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#16 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 03:34 PM

Your going to be using this mower for a long time so it might be prudent to ask if a demonstration could be arranged at your location when you make a final choice.

 

Both dealers I've visited offered me test rides.  Problem is neither has a lawn to mow.  Not sure how much of a comparison there is to parking lot vs. my rough lawn.  I will test drive before making a purchase though.



#17 IHCubGuy ONLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 03:58 PM

Simplicty should be good machines.  Briggs and Stratton power products own them and Ferris so it is likely a Ferris design with Simplicities name on it.  I own a 36" Hustler Raptor, so far has been a good little machine for me.  You can get a 42" or a 52" or move up to the next line.  They have a wide selection of engine choices and deck sizes and all their decks are fabricated.  They have suspension forks that can bought as an option and they really make a difference.

 

https://www.hustlerturf.com/


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#18 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 05:28 PM

I think most dealers have demonstrators. Trying it at your home would probably be the best option. 



#19 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 06:54 PM

So I think I'm down to either the Simplicity Courier 48 or the Hustler Raptor 52.  My comparisons:

 

They both have fabricated decks and Hydro-Gear EZT transaxles.  Both have 3 gallon fuel tanks, cup holders and 11X4 front wheels.  Engines are similar (23 Briggs professional on Simplicity, 24 Kohler 7000 on Hustler).  Neither has an hour meter.

 

Simplicity advantages:

- Taller, wider tire (20X10-8 vs. 18X8.5-8)

- Mesh seat is definitely more comfortable and water will run through it so it'll dry quickly.  Concerned about longevity though....

- Adjustable coil spring over shock suspension at all 4 corners on a pivoting axle vs. rigid structure.

- Pin set deck height so it always lowers to the same position vs. hand lever in a sawtooth slot.

- Foot pedal to raise deck so you can lift the deck to clear obstacles while moving,  Automatically locks up if you push all the way.  On the Hustler it's a hand lever so you have to release the control bar, then you have to make sure you return it to the correct position.

- Limit screws on the control bars so the top speed can be dialed back for newbies.

- Slightly smaller so easier to fit into the shed.

- Wash out port on the deck (none on Hustler)

- 50lb. capacity cargo deck above the engine.  Might come in handy to carry something instead of having it on the foot platform.

 

Hustler advantages:

- Wider cut (52" vs 48") and better reach beyond the tire track.

- Heavier construction (although the Simplicity is plenty strong).  I think you could repeatedly bash this monster into a brick wall without denting or bending.

- $700 lower price ($2,999 vs. $3,699).

 

Overall I prefer the Simplicity.  I think sitting on the Hustler for an hour without moving would get uncomfortable where I suspect the Simplicity probably really eats up the bumps.  I just have to decide if I prefer it $700 worth.  Given how many years I expect to own I suspect it's worth the extra coin.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Courier.JPG

Edited by MiCarl, April 27, 2016 - 07:17 PM.

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#20 IHCubGuy ONLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 07:48 PM

So I think I'm down to either the Simplicity Courier 48 or the Hustler Raptor 52.  My comparisons:

 

They both have fabricated decks and Hydro-Gear EZT transaxles.  Both have 3 gallon fuel tanks, cup holders and 11X4 front wheels.  Engines are similar (23 Briggs professional on Simplicity, 24 Kohler 7000 on Hustler).  Neither has an hour meter.

 

Simplicity advantages:

- Taller, wider tire (20X10-8 vs. 18X8.5-8)

- Mesh seat is definitely more comfortable and water will run through it so it'll dry quickly.  Concerned about longevity though....

- Adjustable coil spring over shock suspension at all 4 corners on a pivoting axle vs. rigid structure.

- Pin set deck height so it always lowers to the same position vs. hand lever in a sawtooth slot.

- Foot pedal to raise deck so you can lift the deck to clear obstacles while moving,  Automatically locks up if you push all the way.  On the Hustler it's a hand lever so you have to release the control bar, then you have to make sure you return it to the correct position.

- Limit screws on the control bars so the top speed can be dialed back for newbies.

- Slightly smaller so easier to fit into the shed.

- Wash out port on the deck (none on Hustler)

- 50lb. capacity cargo deck above the engine.  Might come in handy to carry something instead of having it on the foot platform.

 

Hustler advantages:

- Wider cut (52" vs 48") and better reach beyond the tire track.

- Heavier construction (although the Simplicity is plenty strong).  I think you could repeatedly bash this monster into a brick wall without denting or bending.

- $700 lower price ($2,999 vs. $3,699).

 

Overall I prefer the Simplicity.  I think sitting on the Hustler for an hour without moving would get uncomfortable where I suspect the Simplicity probably really eats up the bumps.  I just have to decide if I prefer it $700 worth.  Given how many years I expect to own I suspect it's worth the extra coin.

It would be more money but a Raptor SD would give you the foot pedal lift.  You can also get flex forks for the front to level out the bumps.  I can tell you there is things I like about my Raptor and there is things I like about the Ferris we have at work. One of the things I like about the Ferris is the suspension, I wish I had spent the extra money to get the flex forks on mine.  On the flip side of that there are places I mow that sometime one of the front wheels hang out in the air and there is no sag or scalping from the suspension working.  I am not super fond of the Briggs engine but they have a boatload of them out there working. (mine has a Kawasaki)  I think by the things you are saying you will be happier in the end with the Simplicity.

 

Just one thing on a side note.  My grandfather has a 2 year old Snapper lawn tractor (same as a Simplicity).  It has one of those mesh style seats on it and the thing is all but destroyed already.  I presume it is just him being overly abusive so it may not be an issue.


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#21 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 07:18 AM

If I went with the Raptor SD I'd be into more money than the Simplicity.  While the Raptor is tougher I think the Simplicity is more than tough enough.  As near as I can tell, the Raptor is a commercial grade machine with homeowner transmissions.

 

The only reason there isn't a Simplicity in the barn is the money.  With mulching kit and sales tax it goes North of $4,000 and I'm having a hard time with the idea of a stack that tall for a "lawn mower".  I have also learned that a new sleep sofa will be a required accessory for any "tractor" I purchase.

 

Right now I'm about 95% toward the Simplicity.  I'm hoping there will be a May promotion that will make the choice easier.


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#22 IHCubGuy ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 02:03 PM

If I went with the Raptor SD I'd be into more money than the Simplicity.  While the Raptor is tougher I think the Simplicity is more than tough enough.  As near as I can tell, the Raptor is a commercial grade machine with homeowner transmissions.

 

The only reason there isn't a Simplicity in the barn is the money.  With mulching kit and sales tax it goes North of $4,000 and I'm having a hard time with the idea of a stack that tall for a "lawn mower".  I have also learned that a new sleep sofa will be a required accessory for any "tractor" I purchase.

 

Right now I'm about 95% toward the Simplicity.  I'm hoping there will be a May promotion that will make the choice easier.

 

I bought mine in august as a leftover model that had not moved all summer.  The dealer knocked 200 off the price and I was out the door with a new machine taxes and all for under 3K.  My yards are not super big so I am happy with it.  It's rated at just over an acre and three quarters and hour.  It doesn't take very long to get done what I need to.  I know even at 36" I have already mowed a yard that was just over an acre with lots of obstacles in just under an hour.  And yes I agree they are basically built to commercial standards with a lower grade transmission and less of the creature comfort stuff than the higher end commercial machines.


Edited by IHCubGuy, April 30, 2016 - 02:04 PM.


#23 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:39 PM

Today I drove a number of Zero turns.  The larger tires and suspension on the Simplicity made even more of a difference than I expected.  The decision was made.

 

I made the dealer I've been working with an offer for the Courier 48 and mulching package.  I pretty much got shown the door.

 

We stopped later in the day at another dealer out in the country that I didn't even know carried Simplicity.  We were looking at a lower end Exmark when the sales manager came up.  I told him I had about a half acre of grass, am 55 and want to buy zero turn I'll be using for 20 years.  He said if I was going to be using it into my 70s I should pop the extra $300 for a Simplicity.

 

I cut him off and told him I was already sold on the Simplicity and if he wanted my business he needed to give me a price on the package that would keep me from buying it at the dealer in my back yard.

 

He came back with a price very close to what I'd hoped my neighborhood dealer would counter my offer with.  He's got a deposit in hand and I'll pick it up next week after the mulching kit is installed (I'd told him to figure no delivery into his price).


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#24 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:55 PM

Thanks all for your thoughts and input!


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#25 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:07 PM

I think you'll be happy.

#26 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 12:28 AM

Lots of pics after the first mow, please!

#27 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 06:58 AM

Lots of pics after the first mow, please!

 

Oh, it's too pretty to mow with.  I'm just going to bring it out nice days and admire it.


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#28 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2016 - 06:19 AM

 it was obviously a Simplicity designed machine, 20 H.P. Kohler Courage single with twin cams, so it says. 44" cut, I paid $2195 and was tickled. It's a bit of a pain to put a drive belt on every 2-3 years, but I mow 1.5 acres in an hour and 15 minutes, front is clear but bumpy, just a couple of trees and around the house and walks, back is full of trees and buildings and a septic mound. It goes up and over the mound with no trouble and has worked well. My long winded point is that brand isn't as important as build quality and suitability.

 

Thank you for putting me on the the Simplicity.  Did my first mow with the Simplicity Courier 48 late yesterday and it more than met my expectations.


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#29 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2016 - 06:21 AM

Lots of pics after the first mow, please!

Finished kind of late and had other things to tackle.  Only one pic......

IMG_20160508_1909461781.jpg


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#30 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2016 - 09:10 AM

Yep, that built in Simplicity striping!, My old gal still does that too.






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