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View Full Version : Buying home w/ 4 acres. need mower advice


osu9400
05-04-2007, 01:45 PM
I'm new to owning this much land and am really worried about keeping it mowed. I don't enjoy mowing and have always paid a service to keep my small yard mowed.

What type of mower can help me get the job done quickly? I need to keep the price of the mower as low as possible.

The land is 4 acres, it is flat, and there are several obstacles like trees and fences. Several means there are more than a few but not wooded.

I guess the ideal mower would be a fast ZTR, but I don't know what the best value is. I found a 48" Husky ZTR for $2799, but I don't know how fast it is. Can I beat that price on another brand?

Thanks for your help.

1cooltreeguy
05-04-2007, 01:48 PM
With 4 acres go with a 72" and at the minimum 60" - commercial if u can afford it. Husky is not the best. You really do get what you pay for.

twj721
05-04-2007, 02:00 PM
round up works great

osu9400
05-04-2007, 02:11 PM
thanks for the reply. Which brand do you think offers the best value? I doubt I'll go commercial unless there is an outstanding value somewhere.

I also saw a Craftsman ZTR for about the same price. Is this better than Husky?

With 4 acres go with a 72" and at the minimum 60" - commercial if u can afford it. Husky is not the best. You really do get what you pay for.

twj721
05-04-2007, 02:23 PM
have you looked on this forum under this heading MEMBERS ONLY FREE Equipment & Parts Marketplace lots of good mowers for sale and most would be alot better than a Craftsman or Husky .look here and see what you might find good luck and yes ROUNDUP DOES WORK GREAT AROUND FENCES .Twj

osu9400
05-05-2007, 06:56 PM
What are your thoughts on this Troy? If I buy by Sunday I will get a $200 rebate. Keep in mind this is not for commercial use. This is for once a week mowing -- and I will probably only do the back half every other week.

I like 50" deck. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=249880-270-17AF2ACP766&lpage=none

osu9400
05-05-2007, 07:48 PM
or do you prefer this Toro??? http://www.toro.com/home/zeroturn/timecutterz/z5000.html

dwbarg
05-08-2007, 10:13 AM
Stay away from the mowers from Sears and box stores. Look at brands like Hustler, Exmark. Scag, etc. Look at what the professionals use. Each one makes a homeowner model that will hold up better for you. With the amount of grass you have to cut, you may even have to go a notch higher than the homeowner model. These commercial manufaturers use better hydro pumps and engines. The frames are stronger and the decks are welded, not stamped. But you are correct in looking at ztr's. You get what you pay for. I have a Hustler 18/52 that we cut 3-3.5A with and we love it. About a $5000 mower, but it will last me forever. Hustler now has a 21/54 fastrak. Has a Kawasaki engine.

TAZ
05-08-2007, 12:32 PM
4 acres is allot for a homeowner that dosen't like to cut grass....lol

Is the property smooth or does it have some rough areas in it (ruts, bumps, tree roots)?

The reason I ask is that flying over bumps and tree roots is going to be hard on equipment which is one reason that people are telling you to stick to comercial units.

Are you set on new equipment?

Allot of LCO's trade off or sell their equipment on a regular basis. You can find a used piece of equip that will last longer than one of the box-store mowers.

I would also look really hard at something with a 60" deck and possiably a 72 if it's really flat to where you wont have scalping issues with it. Anything smaller than a 60" is going to get old as the season goes on.

-TAZ

Matt Bernatz
05-09-2007, 05:04 PM
I'd find out exacltly what you want, and wait for Memorial day sales at Sears, Lowes and Home Depot. Even 10% saves a ton of money.

Or get last year's model, I just did from Sears. I got an $1,800.00 model for $998.00. I only have 2 acres of land, and only need to mow about 1 acre. my first go around took me 1.5 hours:weightlifter: . I did by a lawn tractor (42"), not a zero turn.

Good luck, and if it makes you feel any better, I was in your exact boat (small lot with a service to take care of it, now I have 2 acres). I loved riding that mower:)

nmurph
05-10-2007, 08:08 AM
DO NOT BUY A MOWER FROM SEARS/HD/LOWES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you definitely need to look at mowers from Hustler/Scag/Bad Boy/Everride/Exmark/Toro. and with 4 acres you need to be looking at entry level commercial or top of the line homeowner models.
i am a Hustler fan i love the way their mowers are put together and the way Hustler stands bh them. the fasttrak 21/54 is a an excellent mower (f yr warranty, bumper to bumper). another mower that looks like a good deal to me is the Bad Boy that is carried by Tractor Supply. it is a 26/60. my only thought on the Bad Boy is that Tractor supply is not setup for service (same for Lowe's/HD). either of these mowers can be had for about $5k. i know this is close to double what you were thinking, but remember the old saying; don't be penny-wise and pound foolish. this is one of those times when this is especially true.
if you are unsure as to what brand to buy, re-read the first sentence.

Matt Bernatz
05-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Let me start off by saying, I am not trying to be a smart a$$ or start an argument...

Why do Sears, HD and Lowes not sell a good mower? Is it the power, performance or the longevity that is the problem? Or perhaps all three?

$5000.00 seems like a lot of money to spend on a mower that you don't rely on to pay the bills. If it's your livelyhood, ya...buy the best. I am an electrician and always bought the best tools for the trade. I never told a homeowner to go buy Makita or Dewalt cordless drills.

I am a homeowner and I just don't know these things. Please be gentle with the responses.

nmurph
05-10-2007, 11:44 AM
ok, let me see if i can give you an analogy; if a homeowner came and ask for a recommedation for a drill, i don't think you would recommend a DeWalt Heavy-Duty 24V Cordless SDS Rotary Hammer with Chipping Function Kit. But i don't think you would recommend a $15 chinese cordless, either. maybe a craftsman tractor is more like a lower end B&D, serviceable but disposable. for limited use it may serve you well for a time. The difference is that a drill is $50 and you may use it once a month for a couple of minutes. if you decide you don't like it, no big deal. if it tears up, no biggie. now to mowers, is it better to spend 3k and have mower that will last 2,3,4,5 yrs and then begin to give problems that cost major $'s, or $5k on a mower that will likely last a homeowner 15-20yrs, w/o major money later down the road? if your $3k mower needs an $500 transmission in 3 yrs what do you do? will a MTD made troy-built mower from lowes do the job? yes, will it last? maybe. do i want to spend $3k on something i'm unsure of or $5k on much less riskey proposition? with that said, there are people on here that use craftsman mowers and sweat they are great and have given them no problems.
The original poster will likley put 2 hrs per use on his machine. somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 hrs/yr and will make the job tolerable, if not enjoyable. many of us actually enjoy the time we use slaughter the grass.

mpm32
05-10-2007, 11:57 AM
I have 6 acres about 2.5 of that is lawn. I used to use a 42" craftsman lawn tractor and it took me around 4 hours. I had a lock reel mower and that was much quicker but it's made for cutting nice grass, it left all the weeds standing up.

I bought a used scag sthm 61" 3 wheel mower for around $1,800. Now it takes me 45 minutes to cut the lawn. It has some hours on it but I'm only going to be using it an hour a week so it should last me quite a long time. If I was mowing commercially, I wouldn't buy a used mower. But a well-kept used commercial mower for a homeowner should be a home run. Plus it's just better quality.

osu9400
05-10-2007, 04:41 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. I bought a mower. Much to most everyone's dismay on this forum, I bought the Troy-Bilt from Lowes. It listed for $2800. I got 10% off that price, plus a $200 rebate, and 12-months no interest financing. It has a 22hp Kohler mower and a 50" deck.

I realize this is not a commercial grade mower, but when I thought about it, I couldn't justify spending $5k on a mower that I'll use once per week. Like I said, I'm not even going to mow the "back-half" every week.

Even if this totally craps out after 4 years (which is unlikely), I could buy another one and still be under the price of an entry level commercial model.

I haven't used it yet, but there are some things I don't like about it: There is no canopy!! I am a pale-rider, so I don't like the sun. I'll have to figure something out. There is no place to put a bagger. If I need to bag, I'll buy a pull-behind grass sweeper.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Big_Woods
05-11-2007, 04:46 PM
I have 6 acres about 2.5 of that is lawn. I used to use a 42" craftsman lawn tractor and it took me around 4 hours. I had a lock reel mower and that was much quicker but it's made for cutting nice grass, it left all the weeds standing up.

I bought a used scag sthm 61" 3 wheel mower for around $1,800. Now it takes me 45 minutes to cut the lawn. It has some hours on it but I'm only going to be using it an hour a week so it should last me quite a long time. If I was mowing commercially, I wouldn't buy a used mower. But a well-kept used commercial mower for a homeowner should be a home run. Plus it's just better quality.

This is what I want to do. Someone in the Chicagoland area sell me a quality 40-50" used walk-behind mower.

Jay Ray
05-11-2007, 09:20 PM
I haven't used it yet, but there are some things I don't like about it: There is no canopy!! I am a pale-rider, so I don't like the sun. I'll have to figure something out. There is no place to put a bagger. If I need to bag, I'll buy a pull-behind grass sweeper.

I think you got a heck of a deal for a homeowner machine. But may I offer some advice?

The grease zerks for the spindles are under the deck. You need to rig an easy and SAFE way to hoist the mower, clean the zerks, and grease them religiously, probably more often than the maintenance schedule. Or buy a riding mower jack for a couple hundred. You are probably not going to want to pull the deck from the mower every time the spindles need greased or the blades need sharpened.

My neighbor has the Cub cousin (RZT 50") to your's and he uses an electric hoist. If you don't grease the spindles don't look for much longevity.

My neighbor's deck really throws and disperses the clippings nicely so he has his pull sweeper for sale. It takes a lot of time to go back and sweep a lawn. He really likes the performance of the deck.

A large brimmed straw hat and good sun screen helps with lack of a canopy which will likely get caught in tree branches anyway.

Hope you enjoy your new mower.

stu1
05-12-2007, 06:34 AM
Get a good used diesel commercial front mount 72" with about 1000 hours. Something ike a Ford New Holland CM274 or a JD 455. You can buy them on Ebay for around $4000.00 at a fractioin of new. You will never wear it out in your life time. 4 acres is a lotto mow for a cheap non commercial mower and you would wear it out very quick. Good Luck

nosteiner4me
05-17-2007, 09:54 PM
Best of luck with the toro but if you do not like mowing you especially will not like mowing 4 acres with a 52 inch gas guzzling residential mower. You will be going thru the gas and will take you 3 1/2 to 4 hrs to mow. You will hate to mow...You will hate to mow..... I have to mow 4plus acres and could mow it with a 72 inch deisel front mower in hour and ten minutes not trimmed but looked great even mowing at 8-10mph i was a lead foot on this machine....Anyway you spent couple thousand and its worth basically nothing in 2 years if it lasts that long or you last that long on it. You would be better off biting the bullet with a commercial used unit and use it for 4 years and could still sell the commercial unit later for good money...after you realize your mistake(i made the same one)Go spend stupid money on a kubota deisel compact tractor. These are very well made units, will last basically 20-30 plus years and the resale value of these used tractors are great. You will also get a better ride on a tractor vs a Zero turn and better traction and you may get some implements to use at other times of the year.
Just my 2 cents worth.....Good luck

lifetree
05-17-2007, 10:10 PM
I also saw a Craftsman ZTR for about the same price. Is this better than Husky?

I've heard that Husqvarna and Craftsman are both manufactured in the same plant ... I think that's why Sears sells Husqvarna now !!

huhnchadd
06-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Last year I bought a house on 18 acres with 4 acres of grass to cut. I looked at JD garden tractors and cub cadet z-force zero turns. My wife saw what I was looking at and gave me a spec. She said, "you travel for work, I don't want you out there for 3 hours on the weekedn with one of those POS, you have to get something that will cut it in about 1 hour."

I looked at Feris, Scag, JD zero turns, hustler fast track, and eXmark. I like the price and size of the hustler but I didn't fit on it, my legs didn't fit under the arms. I went with an eXmark AS 23hp 52" deck. I do it all with 25 trees on the property in about an hour. I was able to get an '05 leftover for $7000. I decided to spend the money and get something that will last me forever.

Now JD has some zero turns that are better then big box store ones and not quite commercial that would fit your needs for less than $4000. I don't know how good they are. I suggest you find a local dealers that sells the different brands listed above and drive them.

The eXmark AS doesn't have all the bells and wistles of the full commercial ones but, allows you to add the options you want later.

I even have a hitch for my eXmark to tow a sweeper and a dump cart around the yard. You just have to use your head when you pull something with it.

I love cutting my grass now....it doesn't grow fast enough for me.

Jay Ray
06-07-2007, 10:40 PM
Well, OSU has the Troy-bilt 50" z and he has to go with it. It won't be as fast as a commercial Z and he will have to watch the terrain closely and be careful with the deck. But he didn't pay much money and it does have a good sized Kohler twin.

So OSU let us know how it goes, especially when you get some hours on it.