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Old 04-20-2013, 02:53 AM
wshuntoct wshuntoct is offline
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Zero turn or Tractor and finishing mower

We just got a two year contract on 104 acres of Park and Recreation complexes. I use to be a Parks and Rec Director for about 14 years. We used tractors with finishing mowers behind them, for large areas that needed cutting. This was before the Zero Turn campaign. My question is 72" and 60" Z or Tractor and 8' finishing mower behind it. Of course we will use Z's on fields. My Sons are for 72" and 60" Zero turns, instead of tractor. Comments would be greatly appreciated. One track complex area has about 17 pecan trees in the area to be cut....

Thanks guys.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:36 AM
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kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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I dont think you can beat a zero turn for efficient mowing around obstacles. They get stuck more easily with turf tires so that's something to keep in mind.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:48 AM
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dstifel dstifel is offline
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Zero turn or Tractor and finishing mower

Hustler 104 would be pretty sweet
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:38 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Without seeing the property to be cut, I would say a tractor with a 90" (or even larger) Woods finish mower would be better in wide open spaces because the ride will be better, and you can mow along at the same speed as the Z most of the time, but if you have trees and other obstacles to mow around a Z is best. Is it possible for you guys to get one of each?


I have noticed though, that rarely on a mowing forum like this will anyone admit that a tractor might be superior to the almighty Z. Most have no hands on experience but just go off their "opinion". You can also use the tractor for winter time uses too, as well as many other things. How wet or soggy the ground is should allso be taken into account. The tractor willl be heavier by quite a bit.

I own both a CUT and a ZTR, so I'm not picking any favorite here.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:41 PM
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goel goel is offline
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We have a JD tractor w 72 inch pto finish mower and a grasshopper w 72 inch mid mount zero turn and use them to cut some schools. Open, smooth fields the tractor laps, and I mean laps because it can drive so much faster and we don't waste any time cutting. However, its basically useless as heck for cutting fronts, sides, ie the smaller areas. This is where the zero is superior. The combination of the 2 is awesome.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:51 PM
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kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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Plus you can put a bush hog on the tractor and knock down stuff you shouldn't with a finish mower.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:26 PM
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Classic Cuts Lawn Service Classic Cuts Lawn Service is offline
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I would also say go with the tractor unless there are a lot of obstacles in which case I would go with the zero turn.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:40 AM
wshuntoct wshuntoct is offline
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There is a lot of open mowing, also 20 pecan trees, relatively spread out from each other though. We have JD 900 Series Zero turns, 60" and 54" that we could use on this, however, much more mowing time, if we use these two. Debating on tractor or 72" with 60" Z. Several ball fields, concession areas. Thinking of the wide open spaces for either tractor of 72", with the exception of the pecan trees, of course. We have skids, Z's, Bucket trucks, but no tractor. I broke in using them for wide open spaces, just like this and they bring multi-use purpose for us... More expensive though and we can always use another Z. Just want to make the most informative decision. Thanks, so much for your help! May the Lord bless each of you, for offering your honest opinions!
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:42 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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That many acres.

I'd consider a WAM unless you've got other uses for the tractor.


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Old 04-21-2013, 12:47 AM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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I have a 60" belly deck for my CUT, but it'll take the 72" as well, and that is a far better option (the belly mower that is) than the rear 3 pt decks. tighter trimming and ease of maneuvering around obstacles. Mine will actulaly turn extremely short and with one rear brake held down will do an almost perfect zero turn, but it will scuff a lot doing that.
I have a Z950A as well, and unless the space is tight I can mow about as quickly on my CUT as I can my Z.

Since you already have the 900's, go for the tractor for maximum versatility of your machines and their uses.

One other choice would be a front mount machine like the Deere 1445/1545 diesel units with a 72" deck. They can trim right up close, turn tightly, and they can take snow blowers, blades or brooms for winter time and/or cleaning parking lots of sand, dirt and gravel, plus they come in 4wd for slippery areas and hillsides.
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