Very disappointed with my Raptor SD 54"
I bought this unit in June 2019 after owning a few Walkers and a Hustler Fastrack SD 60" over the last 30 years for cutting various of my own residential properties, and the occasional free community mowing job for the local school. I previously owned a garden equipment dealership for 25 years and so I am familiar with how machines work, having started the business by servicing clients machines myself..
Well, I sold my last Walker and bought the Raptor SD 54", and never have I been so disappointed with what I was expecting to be a sensible de...cision to go with what I thought was a 'quality' brand! From day one I noticed the trouble that it had discharging cuttings if the grass was more than 100mm long, or even very slightly moist. I tried various blades with higher lift to no avail. The cuttings clog up under the deck until it sounds like a helicopter and it needs the blades disengaged and stopped to dump it out, leaving a huge mess on the lawn or driveway. There is a fundamental design flaw with the deck that Hustler need to address. Either it needs holes in the top of the deck for more airflow, or a very high lift blade, or a closer clearance of the blade to the top of the deck, so cuttings don't build up. They obviously tried a cheap 'fix' by cutting back around the discharge opening of the deck to try and help the cuttings clear out, but have exposed the blade, which is downright dangerous and a liability, not to mention a good 'ringbarking' tool for trees and fenceposts!!! They should call in some airflow engineers, to sort their issues with this area, before it bites them. I am sure that this problem contributes to the high fuel usage and low power complaints on a lot of reviews, as the cuttings are circulating around under the deck, or rubbing on the blades, and then they come out as mini hay bales and leave an unsightly mess! Not a pretty sight for someone who likes a tidy lawn. The other major design fault is the 'balance' of the unit. The drive wheels cannot get enough traction to turn the mower efficiently, even when I let the tyre pressure down very low. When doing a right angle or 180 degree turn the drive wheels turn in opposite directions to each other and the mower continues in a straight line! Either the castor angle needs to be greater to allow them to swivel easier, or the drive wheels need to be further forward to put more weight on them. There are other little things missing that you would expect on a 'quality' mower, like a simple cable on the deck height pin to save losing it, and height adjustment bolts in the armrests (there is a hole there already).
Purchased in June 2019 for A$8,000.00.
The deck is a complete junk!!!
They had a recall out on a bolt falling out, dealer didn't fix it. Deck fell off and actually tore the cheap metal and horrible welds they used. Over 3k and refused to warranty anything. Never did fix the left/right control to get it straight. Nearly every year this junk needs deck work without ending. Just junk, two years old and scrap other than the motor, which thankfully they didn't make.
Purchased in July 2018 for A$3,000.00.
Needs more power
I bought the Hustler SD Raptor with the upgraded 54" deck, choosing to change brands from our prior John Deere 48" in June 2019 and has approx 30 hours on it. My first impression was and still is of a fantastically built commercial grade zero turn that drives very well. The problem that irks me is the seemingly under powered engine, although the engine is, on paper, second to none. We have around 5 acres of easy flat mowing with a mixture of winter green couch, blue green couch and buffulo grass. I regularly mow the lawn fortnightly taking unde...r 2 hours. Frequently the mower gets bogged down in the thick buffulo grass (around 10cm high) to a point close to stalling. Even backing right off the forward drive and edging through aiming to maintain high revs, drops the revs substantially. I bought this mower under the impression that it should just power through moderate level grass but am very disappointed. I returned to the source of purchase and questioned them regarding the lack of power of my mower or of any previous owner concerns regarding similar. I was only greeted with raised eyebrows. In hindsight it would have been best to have a trial run on our property prior to purchase to have had a greater insight into this problem.
Purchased in June 2019 for A$7,500.00.
Hustler Raptor HD 36"
Just bought the Hustler 36"....love it....the drive and steering is strong and preceise, the cut is awesome, and it is so much faster than my old lawn tractor. Cant wait to use it in my new mowing business
Purchased in July 2019 at armadale mower world for A$7,000.00.
Very happy with my raptor sd I just purchased. It's solid, it has a great engine the Kawasaki handles pretty much anything you throw at it. I gave the hustler a run for its money, it did stall once but that was going a bit fast through very thick grass. I've got 5 acres, and about 2 of it was blackberry bush. In the first week I snapped two drive belts, both times reversing. My fault though, obviously I pushed it a bit far with the blackberry. When it came to the shorter grass, it just smashed it. Even after hitting granite rocks, the blades ar...e cutting like new. The finish on the manicured part of the lawn is beautiful. So even and flat. I am very impressed with the hustler, considering how hard I pushed it too. I can definitely recommend!
Purchased in May 2019.
Wrapped with my raptor
I make my living mowing lawns, the raptor has cut my time at each property by a lot (I was using a lawn tractor). I keep the blades sharpened for a professional finish and am really pleased with the results
I ended up getting the “sd” as it’s built tougher and has serviceable hydrostatic drives
With the 3 year warranty it was a no brainer.
Purchased in January 2019 for A$7,499.00.
Tough as nails , best ride on I have used
I have been mowing with the Hustler Raptor 42" for well over 2 years now and it has not let me down. It took a little while to get used to the steering but now it is quite intuitive and is fantastic around trees and garden borders. The fabricated heavy duty deck is indicative of the build quality, bits don't fall off, this was an ongoing issue with previous lighter gauged pressed deck ride on mowers I've had in the past. Just be mindful that due to the transmission configuration these mowers are not designed to tow heavy loads
Best mower I ever had!!!
I have own a Hustler Sport for the last 5 years, is the entry model now longer made but replaced by the Raptor. My mowing time for the of my acreage is now 3.5 hours from almost 5. I have replaced the standard seat with a suspension one, is kinder on my back!! It has been a super machine, has given me no trouble at all I have replaced a set of blades and a deck belt in the whole of 5 years. Uses no oil and fuel consumption is also very good. A fantastic machine that I truly recommend!!
- Verified purchase
Halve your mowing time with a Zero Turn
I have 2 acres and it now takes me 2.5 hours with my 54” Raptor SD compared to 6 hours with the 48” John Deere standard steer tractor. The SD cost $7499 and was $800 more than the 52” Raptor (but now on special for $5999 so maybe the 52” is the better deal now). The SD has an extra 2” of deck, better semi-commercial hydrostatic wheel drives, a bit faster and bigger tyres (smoother ride and better grip). This is the biggest unit that suits my yard and is so much better than a standard steer tractor. After 10 hours of use I’m like a pro driver, t...rees and posts are are done in one turn super fast. Changing the oil was a breeze, cut off about 20cm of garden hose, pushed it onto the oil drain stopcock, opened up the valve with a socket and oil goes straight into the pan underneath - no mess whatsoever and couldn’t see any reason to remove the hose so it’s still there for next time. Kids have been nagging me for years to get a new mower and they were right and I wish I’d done it sooner. Fuel economy from the Kawasaki motor seems pretty good and the fuel tank is easy to fill and a good size. Comfort is fine. I read the manual and it says not to wash down the mower especially when hot because it gets water into the bearings so I got a cheap compressor and blowing it down seems to work fine. The pulley guards did accumulate a bit of grass after 10 hours and were bolted on so I’ve put a wing nut and locking nut on the bolts underneath the bolt head and can now remove by hand (1/4” coarse thread).
- Verified purchase
Best thing ever!
The Hustler Raptor 42" has been a real time saver for me. I had the old Victa push around mower for a long time so bit the bullet and bought this and now the lawns are mowed so fast its great!! Powerful enough to cut long grass and good around tight spaces. I have had it about 9 months now and spent a lot of time comparing and researching all the models available and decided on this one. So easy to use my 11yo son often mows the lawns. Very comfortable ride and economical so very happy with the purchase.
Excellent quality ride-on
I’ve owned my zero turn 42 inch Hustler Raptor for 5 weeks now. I’ve mowed 3 acres three times since purchase. The acreage has many grass types on it from long waist high grass to patches of lawn like grass. The property is fairly flat but gets rougher due to erosion the closer I get to the creek. If you’ve ever purchased a product and after using it think, “Why didn’t I get this years ago ?”, then you'’ll know how I feel about my Raptor. I bought it after weeks of research and learning what Hustler’s big brothers can do for two school grounds ...in my area. Reported to be highly reliable, low maintenance and efficient machines. I spoke to the groundsmen who were impressed with their upmarket models which were too big/expensive for my needs. The first thing that impressed me in the shop was the obvious strength and the build of the machine. Then I noticed its simplicity, especially the design of the deck. The controls were simple. Choke, throttle, PTO switch, steering controls, height lever. That’s it. No meters or warning lights. All engine parts are easy to get at except for access to the oil outlet. During its initial 8 hour oil change I found it a bit fiddly to get the hose onto the oil outlet hole. I’ll only be doing that every 100 hours so I might not ever get much practice at putting that oil hose on. This thing is very manoeuvrable as you’d expect a zero turn mower to be but its nimbleness amazed me. The controls are so light and sensitive. I wobbled it all over the place for the first 30 minutes - no straight line. Think - ‘drunk driver’. But now I just “think” where I want the mower to go and it does. It turns paddock into lawn at a faster than lawn tractor speed with the throttle between 1/2 and 3/4. I don’t believe I’ve opened the throttle fully yet in any height of grass and it all gets cut beautifully. The 4 stroke v-twin engine, a powerful Kawasaki 21.5 horsepower motor, purrs along beautifully and is not overly noisy. Starts without the need for choke. It cuts much better than the 2 previous lawn tractors I’ve owned. It often does a better job than the push mower. In long, tough grass it’ll require hitting the grass from two directions at 90 degrees or even performing the odd donut on top to knock it all down. Just don’t let it get too long again. The blades still look pristine even after hitting some hidden stones and small pencil thickness branches dropped by box gums. My previous mower blades would be showing extreme signs of wear by now. There’s no suspension but I find the seat comfortable. It takes 4 hours of non-stop mowing to do my 3 acres which I usually do in 2 x 2 hour shifts. I get out of the seat with minimal aches and pains. I’m 58 after all. The fuel efficiency is great. One tank using 95 RON petrol does the whole property. Putting on thrown belts was the bane of my existence with the last lawn tractor and when the Raptor threw a belt I was *annoyed* beyond belief. My fault. I backed the blades into a small ridge of dirt near the creek. To my relief putting the belt back on was a breeze. The deck construction is simple, logical, with few pulleys. Don’t know what I was fretting about. I find that the deck does not get much grass litter caught in its workings. For my piece of mind I’ll be removing the pulley covers after every 2nd mow to remove any litter. 4 screws. 10 minutes work. A quick spray with the pressure cleaner and it’s showroom eye candy again. It does a good job of staying stable on sloping ground. You know you’re on a lean but you feel bolted to the ground. Nice low centre of gravity. I’ve not yet got the knack of zipping around trees and cutting close in a single circle/pass so I’ll be poisoning a 30 cm donut around each tree to decrease cutting time. I thought the asking price of just over AUD $6000 a bit steep compared to the $3000 & $4000 I’ve previously spent on lawn tractors but I now have a machine that does the job beautifully and efficiently. I suppose you get what you pay for. I won’t say I actually enjoy mowing but I can say I hate it a whole lot less after buying my Hustler Raptor 42” zero turn. Highly recommended.
Questions & Answers
Machine shut down while i was mowing, wont start no power at key. Has the battery failed.oils and fuel all good.
Very loud transmission how to service, I live in the Bush. Thanks Chris.
I Have aRaptor 600V Very noisy transmission how to service
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