Used CUT?

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by thebobcatkid86, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    I have a client who has recently purchased a home that I suppose would classify him as 'an estate owner'. He knows that I know equipment and asked what I think he should buy to maintain this property, which is roughly 3.5 acres in size, half grass with trees, half woods. He wants something to cut the grass as well as plow the large horseshoe drive in the winter.
    I immediately told him that he should have a sub-compact utility tractor e.g. Deere 2210, Kubota BX24 etc. with HST so his wife can drive it when hes out of town. However he has a very limited budget say $2500-3000 absolute max. So a new one is out of the question. Can a decent one be had used for that kind of money? As far as Ive found 5Gs seems to be the minimum for even a used one.
    Or the other options would be a regular garden tractor with a plow or get a residential grade ZTR and one of those Blizzard mini plows for his Grand Cherokee in the winter.
    So my main question to you guys is this, should I try to convince him that he needs to increase his budget because he NEEDS a CUT or is a used CUT going to just be one headache after another? Should I start helping him shop around for garden tractors and ZTRs? Any size tractor, he seems to have his heart set on good ol' green and yellow. Any input would be helpful.
  2. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,279

    2-3 grand is not going to go far if you are talking a diesel cut, such as jd,kubota,mf or new holland. You need at least 5 grand for anything decent, to handle the tasks your client wants to take on. Diesel power,4 wheel drive cuts dont come cheap unless they are junk. You need to increase the budget by 50% or come up with a new plan.
  3. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    I agree! His budget for maintenance is 2-3k? What kind of "estate" are we talking about?
  4. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    As I said its roughly 3.5 - 4 acres half wooded, half lawn, and about 300 - 350 linear feet of asphalt driveway. My question is what do you guys think? The primary purpose of this machine will be to cut the 1.5 acres of grass on a regular basis as well as plow the driveway in the winter. The owner seems to think that a regular big-box store garden tractor will do the task. I think that is more that your typical Sears garden tractor is meant to handle and that he needs a CUT. Which one of us is correct?
    I understand now after doing some research that 5-6 grand is what is required for a decent CUT. If you guys think that this property is more that a Sears garden tractor can handle I may be able to convince him to increase the budget.
  5. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    I think you need to talk him out of his JD mindset ... you pay alot just for the JD brand name ... therefore, work with him to investigate other equipment configurations and options.
  6. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,019

    i have 3 acres of land thats about half woods as well. i have maintained this for 14 years with box store lawn tractors. the mowing part isn't a problem for the machines if they are maintained well. i have a JD L100. i believe it is the bottom of the line JD lawn tractor. your friend also wouldn't be the first to put a small snow plow on a garden tractor. i have seen on youtube a video of a lawn tractor plowing snow. we don't get that kind of snow where i live so i can't say how well they work. i have heard good things from others that do use them. the thing to remember is he is a homeowner and what will suit his uses are very diffrent than what a professional needs. if he needs any heavier work occasionally he can hire you to do it. i am still happy with my little JD.
    good luck
  7. meador56

    meador56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Having been in the farming business for most of my 50 years, I must take issue with the Paying for the JD name. We own most brands 3red 2 blue 5orange and4 green. We own a 4240 with 9900+ hrs on the original engine. Our Fords have nearly 5500 on them. After years of dealing with several different dealers of each color time after time JD has been worth the extra and its often not that much extra. We just bought a new 3203 with loader and pallet forks for 16500. Kabota was in the same money and New Holland actually wanted more. But neither one of these guys has Deeres ability to have my parts by 7:30 next day whether its a 400hp 9520 or the 33hp 3203.
  8. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,279

    Well said, im a kubota guy myself. JD parts support is by far the best of all the tractor manufacturers.
  9. banksl&s

    banksl&s LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I have a Craftsman GT. It is 24hp and a 50" cut. It is 7 years old and I have used it to push snow. It does a good job mowing, not as fast as a z. I used the 50" dozer blade and tire chains and it did just fine in the snow. You just can't backdrag with it.
  10. Buster57

    Buster57 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    If the client has an estate to manage he needs the budget to match. 4 acres is worth a lot of money and a more realistic budget would be $15,000. This would include a MMM and a FEL for many applications in addition to snow. I would not go used. For tax purposes and resale value new these days simply makes more sense.

    I have had three JDs and three Kubota tractors. John Deere makes a great product, but how bad do you really need the parts? Regardless of manufacturer (assuming one of big 3), how often do these tractors break down?

    How do you use them? Estate maintenance for a plot that size? I guess 100 hours/year. That normally would not require 24 hour parts availability. If you run them 8-10 hours a day then parts availability becomes more of an issue; so is the mechanic you probably need on your payroll.

    The price you pay for a tractor varies greatly where you are located in the country. Regardless, a general rule of thumb on the JD products is that they will charge a premium of about 10-15% over Kubota. This is more due to vertical integration of design and manufacturing then anything else. This has also been fairly consistent for at least the last 10 years.

    John Deere has advantages at times in making the right size machine for your exact needs. They also ‘hit it out of the park’ occasionally with simply terrific tractors like the JD-955. They also lay eggs…4X00 series when they first came out. Kubota has their lemons as well. BX-1850 with the optional cracking deck…

    Do your homework and pay a premium only if the features justify the price difference. Weather it’s a ZTR or a CUT, you will be talking big bucks.

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