pull behind mower question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mlc4163, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. mlc4163

    mlc4163 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Does anyone here mow large open areas with anything other than a ZT type mover. Looking at a large complex with 4 ball fields and other open non developed areas. Seems like a 10', 15', or even larger gang mower, pulled behind a tractor, would make short work of MOST of the complex. Any ideas or comments would be helpfull. This place even has a 1/4 mile drive with about 25' wide grass strip on both sides before it opens up. Just looking for ideas. Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    you are correct i would use a tractor for this type of job with a large gang mower or a batwing mower, get the biggest u can get in there and get a smaller mower for the little stuff.
     
  3. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    Ditto on the gang reel mower set up, They cost about 1400 bucks for an 8 foot and you will need at least a 17 horse tractor. but with an 8 foot swath, you could do about 3 acres an hour.

    Your only major concern is cost of a gang mower versus what you can make on this contract, do you already have the tractor to do the job? Do you have the gang mower? I used to do acreage, but gave it up because it really isn't profitable. If you already own the equipment great. But if you are going to have to invest a good deal of money in equipment to do the job then you want to seriously think it over, the job won't be so profitable then if you have to get equipment. Do you already have a 60 wide cut Commercial walk with a sulky? If so, I don't exactly remember how many acres per hour you can do at full speed but you would make more money in the long run by using it. Or invest in a lawn tractor with a 60 inch cut, At least the lawn tractor is useful for other jobs and you won't be so tired in the end.
     
  4. mlc4163

    mlc4163 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    I don't have the complex, yet!

    Just trying to come up with a better mouse trap. The turf mags I'm researching has all the great propaganda but I'm hoping to get more practical info here. I'm days away from buying a new Exmark60" but perhaps the 72" is how I should be thinking.
    I'm thinking the competition will be quoting with a ZT as the main mower for open areas. The idea of using the pull behinds just made sense. Brands I've seen in mag ads include "Progressive Turf Equipment", a rotary finish mower and "Kesmac" which is described as a fairway reel mower. Any advice on the different types would also be very much appreciated.
     
  5. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    A 72 incher, wow, that would be kewl. I thinks a 60 will cut about 2.8 acres per hour. I know that my 36 cut will do about 1.6 acres per hour at top speed. Unless you are doing golf course work or I'd stay away from the reel systems... More expensive to maintain than a rotary mower, the large ones generally have hydro powered reels and It will cost more to keep those reels sharp than rotary blades. Some of the pull behind gang reel systems just operate from the wheels rotation but that is a rather cumbersome system to haul around with you.
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Unless you have very uniform turf a reel mower won't work worth beans. We used to do a large commercial site that mostly just old pasture land. Dandelions and chicory in force. Once a weed got taller than the midpoint of the reels it would not get cut. The reel would simply push the weed over and then run over it. We bought a used three gang Jacobsen, thinking it would work wonders. No way! They are fine on golf courses where it gets mowed every couple days and the weeds are controlled, other than that it's not worth the hassle
     
  7. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    Amen to that, alan!
     
  8. mlc4163

    mlc4163 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Locally I have two options for the rotary finish mowers. Woods and Lands Pride.
    Both about $10K both needing 45 horse at the PTO.
    Used tractor at that HP would run about $5K and UP.
    This is for 11' and 12' widths. 15' increases about $3K and 500 pounds, then really go's up. Plus larger tractor.

    So I can figure $15-$20K for a large area set up.
    This may be something I investigate this year and go for, in warrented, in 2003.
    Also would have to invest in turf tires for one of these beast, Cost, haven't got that far.

    Any more info or practical advice is very much needed/appreciated
    Mike
     
  9. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    might be able to find a tractor with turf tires already, also theres a tire thatis a combo of ag tires and turf tires, thats what we had on the farm on our kuboto
     
  10. crew

    crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    If you have not done any large area with a lazer, you may be surprised at the productivity of these things. I have two 60s and we can cut some grass! Be careful with the 72. There are not many applications for that thing. It will quickly turn into a liability if you do any residential.

    What I was hoping you were getting at was the tow behind units that are maybe 52" and have their own motor and are a self contained unit you can tow behind anything. Ive been dying to see how those things work.
     

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