Rough,Bumpy lawns - What's best to mow them with?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by matesusa, May 30, 2003.

  1. matesusa

    matesusa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hello everybody,

    Thinking about expanding lawn care at one of the islands here.
    The thing is at least 2/3rds of lawns over there are not exactly city kind of lawns that we like to normally do. They are bumpy,rough,uneven,old, laid on mostly clay soils.Turf qualities miserable, lot of weeds,etc. Most property have hills to mow. Most owners don't care about their lawns that much. Every lco there uses tractors on their trailers (jd 300 line etc.) and 21" mowers.

    Are those lawns really best done with tractors only?
    Would I beat ZTR and WB to pieces eventually trying to mow these lawns? How do tractors compare to ZTR's and WB's for these kinds of mowing conditions?
    Has anybody got similar working conditions on their lawns?

    Let me know your opinions, thanks!
     
  2. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    For what you have I would prescribe a walk behind without a sulky. For an area THAT rough and with some hillsides, nothing will touch a walk behind. If you're walking you wouldn't notice the bumps much I wouldnt' think. Or, for the areas that aren't steep could try a hydro walk behind and a pro-slide sulky (no wheels it's a drag plate) I hear they have a smooth ride! Tractors aren't necessarily better either so don't let that fool you. They CAN give a smooth ride if equipped with certain types of tires such as Dico Turf Trac R/S (the Wheel Horse we have rides fair on rough ground with these tires, better than firmer tired machines do) but I really don't think that they're enough smoother to make up for the lack of zero turning. Speed probably isn't an issue since it's rough, but operator comfort would be. I think a walk behind may be just what you need, possibly with a Pro Slide sulky.
     
  3. matesusa

    matesusa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Since you pay ferry fare to get to the island according to you total vehicle length, i'd have to buy and keep the big mower on the island and keep one trailer with it on the island.
    As I'm still exploring that territory I'm finding there's a lot of rich pottential customers to grab there. What I'm trying to figure out is if there's a way to beat those tractor lco's with using more efficient equipment.
    FrankenScagMachines, what brand of WB you think could stand up to those harder working conditions? Speed is not appear to be an issue since you can't open it up on those lawns. I worry about deck bouncing too much with WB or ZTR comparing to tractors where deck just hangs in there.
     
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    If the ground is very rough with lots of undulations, a floating deck might be good, but if it's just bouncy type rough then a fixed deck would not bounce as much (a floating deck would hop up and down on it's carrier frame but a fixed deck has no carrier frame). Most floating decks are heavy enough that this isn't a major concern unless you're going at high speeds with a sulky though, but I've ran floating decks with sulkies at higher speeds or exceptionally rough ground at walking speed and have had them hop around alittle, where a fixed deck wouldn't hop around but the whole machine would bounce, giving probably the same cut. I'm not sure if any of what I just said made sense. But I guess I would still vote floating deck. Lots of brands are good but for your situation I might think about an eXmark just for the fact that they're awesome, and you can buy a full width deck roller for the 52" and larger ones I think, which will let you set it to give a smoother cut on this rough ground. Something like a full size Turf Tracer (not HP series, because the full size has larger tires) 52" deck with ECS would be a nice choice (they also come in 60" decks if we're talking properties that large). Or you could get two somewhat smaller ones if the smaller deck would cut better than a larger one.
     
  5. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,154

    one of those 12-15 mph mowers:)
     
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I'd forgotten about those GP! That guy does NOT look like he belongs on a mower! :p :rolleyes:
     
  8. Forget what FrankenScagMachines 15 year old kid posted.

    A ZTR would work perfect.

    A WB while walking behind it, you will chance spraining your ankle, and you don't need that.

    BTW if real ruff ground and a WB is the choice a fixed deck WB is better suited.

    In the past I have done some bushhogging with ZTR's on very ruff ground, no contest to a WB.

    I like the rider due to no chance of snake bites, and the bugs stay off you more, no cutting up legs etc.........
     
  9. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 565

    ditto LGF
     
  10. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 486

    Not trying to sound like a smart arse but are these worth buying an extra piece of equip. for? They sound like a pita.I use a grey market tractor to mow similar type grass on a roadside and works good for long areas that you don't have to turn much.It's a 21hp and very compact;may work for you.
     

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