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Advice for Church

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jefflarkin, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. jefflarkin

    jefflarkin LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 1

    Hi. New member here with a question. I am helping a small church who has volunteer parishoners who take turns mowing the church grounds. It is a small church on a large tract of land - approximately 9 acres of which approximately a third is finished/lawn area and the balance is unimproved pasture. Currently, we are using a donated Kubota tractor with belly attachment that is an ongoing maintenance challenge. Between fundraisers and donations we have saved up for a replacement. I have been asked to identify options.

    We have nearby John Deere and Husquvarna dealerships, and both have recommended a 60 inch ZRT mower. According to both, their "premier homeowner" models (the Z665 Deere or MZ6128 HV) would be servicable, although both sales people said to step up to the entry level commercial (Z720 Deere or PZT-6128 HV) would offer a heavier unit with better reliability. Unfortunately, money is a consideration as the commercial units are 50% ($3K) more.

    To me, the assessment is not a matter of hours since the mower would not be used more than once a week. However, for the pasture mowing (monthly during the growing season) to me qualifies as "extreme duty" since there are places the ground is bumpy.

    Here are my questions -- (1) given our needs and money, do you view the commercial units as necessary or luxury? (2) Does anyone have any recent practical experience with any of the models listed above that can offer recommendations. Costs and features are very similar.
  2. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Personally I would opt for the commercial grade unit. I went the commercial grade 6 years ago for a 1 3/4 acre yard and have not looked back.

    With 3 acres a premium homeowner unit would probably be ok if well maintained. 9 acres is probably pushing it and I suspect the extra dollars for a commercial unit would be worth the extra cost. If I had that much I would try for a 72"deck and as much power as I could get.

    Thats my $2 worth.
  3. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    I would secure the first model you mentioned, and fence off the pasture areas or lease. Horse, cattle need to eat. Use the proceeds of te lease funds as a replacement fund for new equipment. Win Win!
    easy-lift guy
  4. I agree
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I agree that land should be used for some actual benefit... it is such a waste just to burn up machinery, time and gas to do 9 acres of mowing... an orchard would benefit the congregation or most anything else, other than mowing...
    Whenever I hear of large tracks of ground being taken out of production, by city-slickers, I think of Soviet Russia and their collective farms... :)

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