Mowing options for 2 acres <$4,000

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by caleqs, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. caleqs

    caleqs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Yes, another, "Which mower should I buy?" question. Sorry. I've read all the other threads on this site regarding ZTR options and I'm still confused on what to get in my price range.

    Background:
    I currently have 1.5 acres (about 1 acre to mow, the rest is pool and house) for which I use a Sears LT1000 lawn tractor with 42" deck. It cuts like cr#p. It also handles like a hog. If you can't tell, I hate it (it came with the house). The only good thing about this whole scene is that my 9-year-old is now big enough to drive it around so I don't have to use it much to cut the grass.

    The issue:
    I'll be moving to a new house on 2 acres (about 1.33 acres to mow, rest is pool, house, and beds). The new yard is level, but has a lot of trees and beds to cut around. The thought of continuing to use the Sears lawn tractor to mow this new yard is unbearable. So I would like your opinions on the best course of action.

    I saw a lot of information on ZTR mowers that cost upwards of $6k. That's just not possible for me. Period. I understand they'll last "forever", but I won't. =)

    I would like to get a great mower for mowing the lawn and then buy a used ATV for towing a cart, spreader, etc around the yard. So the mower mows and the ATV is the workhorse.

    Here's the basics:
    Need mowing option for circa $3,500
    Only interested in new
    Need something my 9 year old son can handle too
    Cutting ~1.3 flat acres with multiple trees and beds

    What say ye?

    Looking forward to your sage suggestions. Thanks in advance.

    Jeff.
     
  2. Moe Fish

    Moe Fish LawnSite Member
    from Fla
    Posts: 72

    so you can afford a new house on 2 acres with a pool and all and you can't afford a good mower to keep it up?
    IMO for the price you want to spend look for a "good" used mower (if you can find one) or go back to sears
     
  3. caleqs

    caleqs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Heh, the reason I can't afford $6k for a mower is because I'm buying a house with 2 acres and a pool. I'm sure the return on the money I put into the house will outpace the money I would invest in a mower.


    Thanks for the help. :sleeping:
     
  4. Moe Fish

    Moe Fish LawnSite Member
    from Fla
    Posts: 72

    Well come on now are you wanting investment advice or a good mower to take care of your 2ac. yard? and the first thing someone sees when the come up to buy a house is the yard.
    A MTD or Sears will cut it fine for a few years maybe even 10 years or so but if you want a good long term mower you will have to pay for it....Heck I am just a home owner and I mow my 1 acre yard with a Kubota bx1800 that has a 60 deck...

    Sounds to me (but who am I but some bob on the net) that you are buying too much house or at least a house with too much land
     
  5. caleqs

    caleqs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    No, I simply don't want to spend $6k on a friggin' lawn mower. If that means I'm back to a Sears model, then that's that.

    I'm hoping others here will have a more pragmatic view on the situation.

    And I think the term you were looking for was "boob".
     
  6. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    I was in a similar situation, but I went from an acre to 4 acres. I had a 52" walk behind mower and bought a 60" Lazer. Recently I just moved to a house with an acre again, sold the Lazer I bought a 48" walk behind.

    I understand about tractors cutting like crap. This is why I sold the Wheel Horse and got a professional mower. $3,000 is tight but you might be able to make it work.

    A suggestion is to get a new belt driven 48” walk behind with a stand-on sulky. You will be able to cut at speed with a quality cut. Another options would be to look for a used professional ZTR. All professional mowers are built strong and could last 2000 hours. A used one with 1000 hours will still last you for years.

    If you had a few extra to spend look at the Hustler Fastrak. It’s a homeowner ZTR with commercial quality. Stay away from the Toro Timecutter. Here’s the link, http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/products/fastrak.html

    Hope this helps...
    Pete
     
  7. Moe Fish

    Moe Fish LawnSite Member
    from Fla
    Posts: 72

    I know you don't like what I said but you know it is true and you know 3500 new is not going to get much of a mower for your 2 ac. yard. You might be able to get a ZTR at tractor supply for less that 6k but I don't think (here is Fl anyhow) you could find one under 4k....
    Your yard in an investment just like the house. You want these yard care guys to tell you what mower to use on 2 ac yard. Go look at the stuff they use. Their mower for that yard will cost close to 10k to do it right and last. Some of the mower shops may have a good used mower if I were you I would look around and see what you find then ask the guys what they think about it and the price you find.
     
  8. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    Moe Fish,

    I guess I don't get it. Back in 2002 I bought a new Exmark 60" Lazer for much less then $10,000. Why does he have to spend more then $10,000 for equipment for his lawn? He just has 2 acres.

    Heck, I just bought a 2004 48" Turf Tracer HP for $3500. This would cut his property, wouldn't it?

    Pete
     
  9. AGL

    AGL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    How about a fellow homeowners perspective?

    Last house I owned was about 1.3 acres minus house and pool.
    Similar to you it came with a Craftsman riding mower. Cut like crap, and always needed maintenance.

    Couple of years later (and way too much wasted money on that piece of crap), I bought a John Deere GT 235 for less than $4000.00. My budget was also less that $4000.00, and I did not want to buy used because I didn't want to get ripped off and the warranty was reassuring to me.

    My son was 9 years old and was able to handle the JD just fine. However, he is my only son and I was never comfortable with him cutting without me nearby. I mean really nearby.

    The JD held up fine and you could add attachments. Never needed the warranty. However, I was never really excited about the quality of cut. It cut well, just never looked like the yards that the pros cut.

    Last year I sold that house and built a new one. 1.7 acres including house (no pool yet). Traded in my JD for an Exmark HP 52" with striping kit and mulching kit. Easily mows around trees and landscaping. Unbelievable results. People stop in front of my house when they drive by and admire the cut.

    How much? $6500.00. Too much? I understand... I was there not too long ago.

    Now the "free" advice! Buy used. These mowers will last forever. They are designed for commercial use, and a low hour used one will probably out last you (or your posterior). Find one that is $4000.00 and eliminate the intermediary steps, wasted money and the poor results.

    BTW - my son will be eleven in June and while I'm still not comfortable with him cutting unsupervised, the Exmark ROPS system goes a long way to reassuring me.

    REGARDS
     
  10. Moe Fish

    Moe Fish LawnSite Member
    from Fla
    Posts: 72

    He said he did not want to spend over 3500. Now from what I have seen and I could be wrong most 3500 mowers are going to cut about the same.
    Anyhow what does a house on 2 acres with a pool and all cost? and we are worried about the price of a lawnmower? Ple you are right he does not need to spend 10k but he seems to want new and I "assume" he wants something that will last and that could get the job done in a timely mannor so that ever saturday is not all day yard work

    Now caleqs I am not trying to bust your chops but think about what your asking here. Have you asked around at some mower shops to see what they recommend? I find it best here in FL because for sand and heat to go bigger what "they say" but then again we mow almost all year here you may not.
     

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