View Full Version : recommend rider mower for 3 acres of 10-40% grades
03-25-2010, 02:04 PM
We recently bought our first home on 3 sloping acres in southwest Tennessee. My wife and I have each broken a hip and have bad backs making a walk behind or string trimmer a tough choice. The entire property has uneven slopes on average 10-15% toward a manicured, completely grass lined 'creek' that is dry 80% of the time. It has 5-6 foot 'walls' at about a 40% slope. There is also a small pond with 2-3 ft of 25% sloping bank mowed right to the water's edge. Other obstacles are the house, garage, a shed, kennel, swing, pergola, fence, and extensive landscaping with small trees and shrubs. I have no idea how the previous owners did it, but we would like to maintain it in the current state. The Zero Turn machines are obviously attractive but I worry about their ability to track straight across such slopes and the difficulty(weight) of getting it out if it ever gets stuck in the creekbed or pond. A typical lawn tractor might work for most of it but not the pond edge or creek/ditch. I welcome suggestions of any specific model or combination of equipment that is known to work well on similar property. The goal is to minimize the amount of weed whacking or walk behind mowing and still reach all areas. For any professionals reading this, could you hazard an estimate what you might charge to maintain a lawn like I described? How would you do it?
I was thinking ideally I would like a mow deck mounted on a boom out in front of a 4wd ATV or small tractor. I could swing the boom out to the left or right, dip it down and angled into the creekbed and pond edge and watch it while the ATV rode safely on more level ground. Does such a thing exist? I thought the mow deck could just as easily be a pair or triplet of electric reel mowers with a catcher to keep clippings out of the pond. Does such a thing exist? If not is there anyone that could build such a thing for me? Please offer any reasons you think this might or might not work.
03-25-2010, 03:07 PM
Yes, they exist. Might check out Tractor Supply in your area for the trailing mowers. You can offset them either side depending on the obstacles. You can tow them with a Gator or 4 wheeler easily.
03-25-2010, 06:21 PM
Thank you, I've seen a few trailing mowers but really do not fancy the prospect of craning my neck around behind me for hours each week to see where the mower is heading while I should be looking ahead so I don't drive into the pond. That is why I wanted a boom in front.
03-25-2010, 06:27 PM
Bout 275$ you could get a kubota tractor or a Deere and put a deck underneath it.
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03-25-2010, 06:47 PM
With a mow deck beneath how would it reach into the creek/ditch or the pond apron? Is it safe to drive anything on a 40% grade? Especially something that heavy near water soaked earth. The creek is similar in size to a deep road ditch but a little narrower. The bottom is only a foot wide so it would be tough to drive a tractor in it.
03-25-2010, 06:51 PM
Take a look at QuadBoss www.quadboss.com
They make front and mid mount ATV Mowers.
The front mount is the Swisher one, They make the steering very heavy.
The Mid mount looks like a good idea, the power pack out back would add rear weight which would help going down hill. They are pricey though.
I've never seen one in use so I can't comment how they work.
40 Degrees is a pretty severe angle to mow on. I wouldn't use anything but a boom mounted mower on a tractor. Not really a option for a homeowner cost wise. Going rate around here for large boom mowers is $110 a hour.
Ferri is about the only one I know of who makes a small boom mower, But you need a tractor as well.
Why not just forget about mowing it and plant the severe slopes in a wildflower mix ?
03-25-2010, 08:15 PM
Those boom mowers look a lot like I was thinking only much heavier and after reading a bit about them hard to control cut height in operation and cost as much as a small house. The quadboss finish mowers look interesting. I think that I will start shopping for a run of the mill lawn tractor or possibly ATV with mower attachment because well, I just want an ATV and I might be able to talk the wife into it if it serves a real purpose. I'll use that to mow most of the yard, and rig up my own lighter weight boom system to hang a conventional lightweight $100 push mower off the side of the rig and just drag it along the ground beside me in the creek or along the pond edge. At some future time I may build a sliding rail mount for the mower deck so I can just pull a pin, push the mower deck out to the side and drop it where I need it. Of course that involves moving the drive mechanism and all that. If this actually works it sounds like something for youtube. At least its a project to keep me busy till I break down and pay someone with the right tools and a strong back to do it for me.
03-25-2010, 10:24 PM
Get a skid ster and put a mower on the front of it make sure you get a tracked one or you'll tear up your yard
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