Paul Mullet is Excel Industries' president and chief executive officer.

Excel Industries introduced five new products for its Hustler brand of zero-turn radius mowers at its annual Hustler Days dealer meeting. The big news: the new Raptor, the company’s first zero-turn mower that will sell for under $3,000 MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). Excel says more than half of the residential zero turns sold are at this price point.

“We finally have a machine that’s under $3,000 — a whole new market segment we haven’t been in. It’s something new for our dealer base and something new they can capitalize on,” says Paul Mullet, Excel Industries president and chief executive officer.

The other new products are enhancements to existing equipment that fill gaps in the Hustler line. These products include:

  • X-ONEi
  • Super Z
  • Super Z HD
  • Super 104

“Starting with the Raptor, a sub-$3,000 machine that is going to be very popular with the dealer base and then we go all the way up to Super 104, a wide-area machine with a 104-inch cut that has good possibilities for the rural dealer. Then, in between, we have three families that are filling in the holes in our line-up today. From $2,889 to $28,000, we have the most complete line of zero turns to offer a dealer,” says Adam Mullet, director of marketing.

Raptor Selling Points

Adam Mullet is Excel Industries' director of marketing.

In addition to the $3,000 price point, Hustler detailed several key differentiators for the Raptor. It has a welded fabricated chassis, with a 42-inch or 52-inch fabricated deck. The fabricated components are more durable than competitors’ machines, which have stamped components that are riveted together, says Frank Nuss, Excel’s marketing and product specialist.

The mower has a Kawasaki V Twin engine (21.5 or 23 horsepower) and Hustler’s EZT hydro gear transmission. It also features Hustler’s patented automatic parking brake and other commercial-grade features, such as heavy duty spindle assemblies with double debris shields and a welded front axle beam. Excel offers customers a three-year warranty with no hour limit. 

“The Raptor is head and shoulders above what the competition is offering. The dealer margin is impressive and they’ll be able to compete really well in this category,” says Nuss.

Frank Nuss is Excel Industries' marketing and product specialist. Excel introduced its Raptor zero-turn mower at its recent Hustler Days dealer meeting. The mower is the company’s first model that will retail for under $3,000.

Stephanie Boehnel agrees. She’s the manager of David’s Chainsaw and Lawnmower of Kiln, Miss., which carries the Hustler line.

“Now we have the 52-inch cut we can offer at the same price as the big box stores. My customers can’t come in and say that I don’t have anything in that price point range. Now we do,” Boehnel says.

Other New Products

The X-ONEi offers an option between the existing FasTrak SuperDuty (residential) and the current X-One commercial model. It offers new cutting widths of 52 inches and 60 inches. The smaller horsepower engine and some size differences provide a lower-priced alternative to the X-ONE, while still offering a commercial cutter. The X-ONEi also features a new Parker transmission. Excel says the X-ONEi 52-inch model will have an “aggressive” MSRP of $8,870.

Hustler dealers check out Hustler’s Super 104. Wings have been added to the existing Super Z model to extend the mowing width to a 104-in. cut. Excel says it can mow up to 84 acres in eight hours at 10 miles per hour.

The Super Z is a commercial model that is a step up from the X-ONE. Its redesigned features include a commercial duty 21cc pump, a Parker TG series wheel motor with hot oil shuttle and a large-capacity oil cooler with 8-inch fan.

The Super Z HD is another new model that adds Hustler’s HyperDrive system to the Super Z. This system offers a faster ground speed, at 16 miles per hour, compared with 14 miles per hour for the Super Z.  Excel says the HyperDrive system is an industry exclusive industrial duty system.  It features slipper piston pumps commonly found in construction and ag equipment.

The Super 104 is another enhanced product, based on the Super Z. Wings have been added to extend the mowing width to a 104-inch cut. Excel says it can mow up to 84 acres in eight hours at 10 miles per hour.  The Super 104 has the HyperDrive system. Its MSRP is under $30,000.

“The Super 104 creates a new market — affordable, wide area mowers with the maneuverability of a zero-turn mower,” says Nuss.

What’s Next?

Nearly 400 dealers attended the Hustler Days dealer meeting, which included plant visits and demos at the company’s Hesston, Kan., headquarters.

Adam Mullet says dealers should watch for more new products coming soon, specifically on the turf side.

“We’re a very innovative company and have been since we introduced the first zero-turn in 1964. We have very groundbreaking, very innovative products that we’re working on. Dealers should expect to see those coming out in the next year or two,” he says.