View Full Version : Need Advice

05-11-2010, 05:05 PM
To make a long story short, I bought a house that was supposed to come with a John Deere riding mower with a 72" cutting deck. The previous owners sold the mower out from under neath of me after it was too late to do anything about it.

Now I have a 5 acre yard that I need to mow but no mower to do it with. Obviously with it being this time of the year, I don't have time to wait on lawyers/courts to get this whole thing straightened out because the grass would be over the roof by the time it was done.

I didn't plan on purchasing a mower so I don't really have to money to do so. Anything new is definately out of the question. To be honest, I really need a tractor with a mowing attachment because I also own an additional 16 acres of empty/vacant land as well. I have been letting a local farmer cut it for hay each year so I don't have to do anything with it right now. Unfortunately I think even a used tractor with a mower attachment is going to be more than I can afford right now.

Right now, $4,000 is stretching my budget to the MAXIMUM.

I have been searching Craigslist and found a couple options:

1)John Deer ZTrack F687 60" with 981 hours on it. $2,600
2)1963 Ford 2000 Tractor with Woods RM59 Finish Mower (rear tires are almost bald) $4,815
3)2006 Cub Cadet Z-Force 60" with only 55 hours. $4,000
4)Bad Boy 61" cut with 122 hours. $4,000
5)John Deer 937 with 72" Deck 2,400 hours - $2,475
6)Kubota diesel GF1800 60" 1,368 hours - $2,250
7)Bobcat Zero Turn 60" 756 hours - $3,900

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated.


05-11-2010, 08:37 PM
Looking at those choices (hours and brand), I'd be looking hard at the Bad Boy and the Bobcat.

For the 16 acres....wow. That screams tractor to me. There's no way around it other than to save and get one later if you really want to end up mowing that. I mow maybe 5 acres with my zero turn and we use a John Deere 4120 for the rest of the 15 or so acres of rolling hills. They're not cheap, for sure. An option would be to look for a reliable 1950'ish Ford tractor. If you find one in good shape, those babies are bullet-proof. My in-law grandpa has one and it goes and goes and goes and gets the job done. Plowing, disc up garden, bush hogging, etc.

05-11-2010, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the advice. I know I need a tractor I just can't afford one right now. That is why I was looking at the Ford Tractor from 1963. I wasn't sure how much trouble it would give me though as far as maintenance, repairs, and finding parts would be. Also, I don't know how much those tires cost to replace but I'm guessing they can't be cheap and the ones that are on it are pretty warn down. Maybe I could put some turf tires on it who knows.

The Bobcat and the Badboy look like they are in pretty good condition. I will post some pictures of all of them to help give a better idea and maybe get some more feedback.


05-11-2010, 11:06 PM
Alright, well the Bad Boy was removed from Craigslist by its author so I am assuming that it sold. I have attached pictures of the other 5.

Let me know what you think.


05-11-2010, 11:13 PM
oh, sorry.... I forgot the picture of the John Deer F687.

05-12-2010, 12:17 PM
I'm looking. It's real hard to tell by pictures. There are plenty of factors to consider. Looking at the mower from top to bottom first hand is first most. Starting the mower looking for smoke, oil leaks, and just lessening to the sounds is a must. Then operating the mower for a test drive. It really would be of benefit to have a mower mechanic to look things over. There's nothing worse than yard art. There are several brand named mowers that are in the estate class that would mow your 5 acres, and the additional 16 acres at or close to your price range. You should be able to mow 5 acres in about 3 hours. That being said, 21 acres could be mowed in 7 hours. Say you have 16 more weeks of mowing. That's 112 or so hours per this season left. Say you get no less than 1000 hours out of your estate class ztr. That's close to 9 to 10 years of service. So you do that for a year or 2, then get a second hand tractor for the 16 acres, the estate class ztr mowes the 5 acres for 20 years of service.

Think about it.


05-12-2010, 12:38 PM
Sorry, but you lost me. What is an estate class mower?


05-12-2010, 12:43 PM
Like this one,


05-13-2010, 07:38 PM
Since you want to ultimately get a tractor I'd recommend trying to go that route, unless there is some other reason to get a ZTR.

I can't comment on the tractor you have listed here but I'd be concerned with the age of it and is there anything else what besides the tires needs to be fixed? Suggest checking out tractorbynet.com and see what those folks can tell you about the one you are looking at.

Another thought would be to take advantage of promotional financing and get a new compact tractor, right now Kubota has several 0% financing options, up to 60 months on some models. You can finance any accessories you get at the same time. Barlow Equipment http://www.barlowequipment.com/ is in Somerset KY and has a good reputation.

BTW I'm not associated with Kubota or Barlow. Deere and other manufacturers also periodically run promotional financing if you don't like orange :)

05-28-2010, 11:02 AM
I don't know if i would go with the kubota gf1800 or not, its a great mower but the deck is somewhat weak around the gearbox (due to vibration), and could possibly break. I currently own a gf1800, I obtained it because the gearbox broke through, and just finished the repairs yesterday, it was murder making sure everything was perfect, but it cuts very very nice with alot of power, personally i would go with a tractor with 3pt attachments.

05-28-2010, 12:21 PM
I think you're in a pickle....mowing 5 acres doesn't require a tractor and would really be better served with a ZTR and a ZTR mowing 16 acres just sounds silly. Why not allow the farmer to continue to hay the 16 acres, buy a nice ZTR for the home and worry about the other spot when you really need to? Unless you have something pushing you to have to mow the 16, I'd back burner it until you have the resources to buy what is appropriate for each place...or maybe you never need to buy something for the 16....things change, right?

As another here posted, the old Ford 8N and 9N tractors are cheap and plentiful. Parts are abundant both new and used and they are nearly bullet-proof, but you need to know what you're buying so some education from someone who knows these units is a must. Plenty get sold around me all the time for $2000-$3000 with a loader, belly mower or brushhog.

05-28-2010, 01:23 PM
I am with biggziff on this one. You will want a tractor on the 16 acre plot. I imagine, if it has been hayed, it is probably rough as a cob.

05-31-2010, 08:22 PM
I have both, a JD 650 tractor and a JD 997 zero turn. I used to mow my 5 acres with the tractor which worked well, but since my father started feeling the affects of old age, I took on his farm as well. Doing this 9 acres with the tractor was a pain around trees and buildings. I decided it was time. I wanted the diesel 997 and found a descent used one for $5700. I cannot imagine mowing with anything less.

I have a front end loader on my 650, that combined with my 3point attachment makes it a versatile machine winter and summer. I would be lost without it too; snowplowing, landscaping, gardening... I need that machine.

But the fact is, I can mow both mine and my father's property using the zero turn in about the time it used to take me to mow just mine with the tractor. I would never mow with a tractor again.

But here is your dilemma, You've got 16 acres? Mowing it all? That's a lot to ask of anyone. I would get a tractor with a three point and loader and farm some of it. Then there would be less to mow. Either that or plant a nursery and let nature takes it's course.

Just my two cents. Sounds like you need to make an investment!