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View Full Version : Mower help: 3-6 acre property


JDeere
04-27-2009, 02:40 AM
I have a 22 acre residence and need something vastly better than a 40" Deere garden tractor with a belly mower.

Scag, Hustler and Exmark are the three supported product lines in my area. If I look around, Toro is probably on that list too.

There are a couple acres of manicured lawn up around the house, about two acres of rough that needs to be trimmed up and down the driveway (half mile long), and for another 5-6 years, there is 5 acres in young fir trees that need to be mowed between. Over this time the trees will grow up and together, eliminating that 5 acres from mowing. The property is fairly flat to mild slope. There is one long, narrow strip of wicked side slope that scares the daylights out of me on my 30 and 60-horse tractors, but the neighbor uses the same equipment to mow this stretch and is still alive. Everything but the 2 acres up around the house is a little bumpy. Not bad, just not smooth. No potholes. The little Deere mower doesn't scalp.

Beds are fairly wide spaced, nothing is tight. No gate problems. Up around the house I like to cut short. Farther away from the house I cut at 3" to 4" depending on the moisture.

Your suggestions for commercial quality mowers would be much appreciated. What deck width and manufacturer would you use?

Like you, I'm not impervious to the new economic reality that's unfolding, but going cheap is always a mistake. I may keep an eye on craigslist for used equipment and, if so, will probably have to show a little more flexibility. There is a Hustler Super Z 60" with Triton deck for about $7,000 with under 100 hours.

I've seen a couple of JD F935's for sale, but not sure if a ZTR wouldn't be better overall.

The grass here tends to be wet and heavy. Fescue blend. It rains a lot in Oregon--sort of similar to the NE, just wetter.

So when in doubt, ask the pros! Your experience is appreciated.

Thanks,

John

I.M. Green
04-27-2009, 07:53 AM
The super Z sounds like it might be a good deal depending on the particulars. Any of the manufactures you mentioned would be find I'm sure. However I would go with 72" and because of the moisture you mentioned I would try and get one with a Kubota engine on it. Me personally I'm an Exmark guy and prefer it over the others

Herrick
04-27-2009, 08:05 AM
A front mount mower (like the F935)would help immensly with the pine trees... much easier to get up and under them eliminating a lot of trimming. Otherwise any of the ZTR's you mentioned should work ok also.

WH401
04-27-2009, 08:24 AM
I would go with a front mount mower as well, there ability to get right up close to objects is great. Try to find one of the older Kubota F series mowers, such as the F 2400's or such. Search "Kubota Mower" on Ebay and you should get a whole bunch of choices. Those things are made very well and will run forever with the proper care.

ALC-GregH
04-27-2009, 08:25 AM
A front mount mower (like the F935)would help immensly with the pine trees... much easier to get up and under them eliminating a lot of trimming. Otherwise any of the ZTR's you mentioned should work ok also.

I'd consider a front mount as well.

topsites
04-27-2009, 09:00 AM
So is it 3-6 acres or is it 22?

newtostone
04-27-2009, 11:48 AM
I think its called lastec......83" deck? Not someone else will know better, so if anyone could help clear up that thought for me that would be great.

David Haggerty
04-27-2009, 01:06 PM
I'll chime in with everyone else on this thread and say Kubota F series. It's front mount 72" or 60" plus it has 4 wheels with individual wheel brakes to help on the steep stuff. Maybe you could even find one that's 4 wheel drive, but it won't turn as sharp as the 2WD.
They run forever in residential use. Just put a Donaldson filter on it once in a while & change the oil. Easy ride, good trim capability, mow good on uneven ground.

JDeere
04-27-2009, 01:09 PM
Guys, this is very useful feedback. To answer some questions:

1. It's 22 acreas, but only the lesser acreage that I mentioned needs mowed. Horses handle the rest.

2. Let me see if I understand, a "front mount" mower is like the JDeere F935 or the Kubota 2400 mentioned above? A ZTR isn't a front mount in the vocabulary of the trade? I mean obviously a ZTR has the mower deck up front, but it isn't referred to as such?

3. I've been wondering if something like the Kubuta 2400 or JD F935 would have an adequate turning radius verses a ZTR. The Deere looks long, long, LONG! I've also been wondering about the comparative cut quality of a ZTR versus the front mount like the JD F935. Anyone care to enlighten me??

4. Okay, really stupid question time: should I worry about having a mulching deck?

5. Sounds like nobody's afraid of 60" as a minimum? Thinking about scalping problems on the nice grass up by the house...

Guys, your help means a lot. You will undoubtedly save me big money and time (compared to my trying to figure it out without the benfit of experience).

Thanks! :)

JDeere
04-27-2009, 01:15 PM
So David, I didn't mention I see a Groundsmaster 325 for sale. It's gas, therefore I might pass. Judging from the size of the photo, it looks great for wide open spaces but will feel big up around the house. True, or...?

WH401
04-27-2009, 01:34 PM
2. Let me see if I understand, a "front mount" mower is like the JDeere F935 or the Kubota 2400 mentioned above? A ZTR isn't a front mount in the vocabulary of the trade? I mean obviously a ZTR has the mower deck up front, but it isn't referred to as such?

A ZTR spins on the point of it's rear wheels, meaning you can pretty much spin in a circle like a top and it will hardly move, hence the name "zero turn". A front mount mower is like a tractor with a rear finish mower, except it is turned completely backwards in it's forward movement, so that makes the mower stick way out front of the machine as opposed to under the seat of the driver like on a ZTR.

Here's a Kubota F 2400
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kubota-F2400-4WD-Commercial-Mower-Diesel-1-361-Hours_W0QQitemZ170324891214QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item170324891214&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A4|65%3A3|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A200

Here's a Kubota ZTR
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kubota-ZD-21-Zero-Turn-Mower-with-Bagger_W0QQitemZ330325453483QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item330325453483&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A4|65%3A3|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A200

See what I mean?

3. I've been wondering if something like the Kubuta 2400 or JD F935 would have an adequate turning radius verses a ZTR. The Deere looks long, long, LONG! I've also been wondering about the comparative cut quality of a ZTR versus the front mount like the JD F935. Anyone care to enlighten me??

The front mower mower won't have the "zero turning" capability of a ZTR, but it comes very, very close. Even with a ZTR you still tend to create a turning radius because if you just pivot completely in one spot then you'll tear up the grass that is under the wheels as the machine turns. The front mount has its steering mounted in the rear, so it drives like a forklift. They turn very quick and very tight, still much tighter then any tractor will.

4. Okay, really stupid question time: should I worry about having a mulching deck?

No, and don't think of it as being a stupid question, we all have to learn some how.

5. Sounds like nobody's afraid of 60" as a minimum? Thinking about scalping problems on the nice grass up by the house...

A 60" mower is a great "all purpose" size for a mower. It's not super wide to the point like a 72" where you may encounter scalping problems, but it's still wide enough to take a big enough swath out of the grass on each pass. But the cut time between a 72" and a 60" is noticeable and as long as your careful with the 72", you shouldn't encounter scalping problems. You'll learn where and how you can and can't cut with the 72" to avoid that.

lifetree
04-27-2009, 09:37 PM
JDeere -- Be sure to let us know what you decide to get !!

JDeere
04-28-2009, 12:48 AM
Will do. Thanks for the help, guys.

jdhardcab
04-28-2009, 06:25 AM
It you get a front-mount mower, make sure you test drive it on your property or somewhere with hills. I owned a 72" Gravely ProMaster front mount mower and it would not go up the hills on my property unless I raised the mower deck a few inches off the ground to put weight on the front wheels. I was also using wheel weights. The Gravely was 2 wheel drive, so you might have better luck with a 4 wheel drive unit. On the positive side, the riding comfort was excellent, as was the cut.

delphied
04-28-2009, 06:30 AM
I like Exmark for cut quality and they are tuff machines. Grasshopper makes a great front mount. I wouldnt have a Kubota but Im probably more patriotic than most. Since you plan to keep the mower for years, I would buy new and avoid someone elses problems. Over a span of 15 or 20 years it would be money well spent.

David Haggerty
04-28-2009, 11:22 AM
So David, I didn't mention I see a Groundsmaster 325 for sale. It's gas, therefore I might pass. Judging from the size of the photo, it looks great for wide open spaces but will feel big up around the house. True, or...?

Are you sure it's gas? I have two of them and they're both diesel. One has 3900 hours, the other 4200. Never needed anything but belts & blades.
I use them to trim for my big 455-D. They trim much better than a ZTR (considered a mid mount) because of the deck extending out in front. I seldom use anything smaller than the Toro325-D to trim. Though I do things like sweep the corners of shrub beds and use landscape stone in blind corners where the mower won't fit.
My wife loves it. She mows our 3/4 acre lot with the one I don't take to work. It takes her 10 minutes. It really looks good too. She's perfecting her pattern cut.
The Toro's a better mower than the Kubota. The Kubota's danmed fine, but the Toro's just perfect. So east to operate it's fun to run. I've owned several of them over the years. It would be the best thing you could get for your use at home.