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797 w/72" deck too big for most yards?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AdamCByrd, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Hello everyone,

    I have a JD 7H17 48" walk behind and it is a great mower. However, I am getting big enough to need a ZTR. I am buying JD because I like their equipment and the dealer support is great in my town.

    I am bidding on a very large job and will, if I get the contract, need a much larger mower.

    I have two questions about the 797 with a 72" deck: first of all, is it too big for your average residential yards (assuming they have no gates)? Do you sacrifice some smoothness of cut for all that cutting width? I have several yards that are 1 acre and more, but what about those average suburban neighborhood yards? Any thoughts?

    Second, is 29hp enough for a 72" deck? Some of my accounts only want bi-monthly mows, so the grass can get tall in certain areas of their properties. Will the 797 take care of tall grass with a 72" deck?

    Thanks for your input.
  2. jaybird

    jaybird LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    we have a 72 inch sabre tooth tiger and i put it in some tight places. 31 horse plenty of power. we do some cutting that gets cut only once a month.
  3. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I also have a 72" sabre tooth tiger. Love that 31 hp diesel. Best mower I have for slopes. The 72" deck will trim under shrubs,and fences that my 52" and 60" can't reach. In fact my 60" isn't getting many hours lately. I use the 72" tiger in the open areas and the 52" tiger cub(with mulch kit) in the tight places.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I use a 60" in the mountains. So I see no reason why all you flatlanders don't run 72" mowers on open lawns. I say if it fits, use it, and the bigger the cut, the better. But if you mow close or have rolling terrain it could be an issue.... both with side scalping, crown scalping or what I call bellying out.
  5. adam71234

    adam71234 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I have a JD797 with a 60" cut. It does wonderful. Power is not an issue with the 60" deck and shouldn't be one with the 72". You may have to go slower in extremely thick stuff but rarely in any 1 or 2 week growth. Just keep the blades sharp.

    Scalping will probably be your only issue with the mower, or at least it was with mine. It was my first ZTR, so I had a learning curve that I wasn't quite expecting. But now, the 60" is fine unless the yard has a lot of slope and/or terrain. The 72" should only be worse on side scalping, not crown scalping. Also, I just bought a JD757 with a 60". It is amazing at how much difference a few inches on the frame makes when it comes to scalping. The 757 rarely scalps. But it doesn't have near the power of the 797.

    By the way, what part of La. are you from? I am around the West Monroe area. Just curious about your dealer.

    Good Luck,
  6. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Where I am the lots are all about 10000 sf and 5k of that is house and beds. Running a 72 inch mower on these not only looks bad you end up mowing the same area due to overlap. 36 inch mowers are the best for around here since getting between beds etc is more of a priority.
  7. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I use a sub contractor for far-away yards and he has a 60" Scag Turf Tiger. I thought that it would be too large for commercial (chain restaurants, banks, etc.) jobs, but it wasn't, and cuts just as smooth as a walk behind. The only reason I want the 72" is because I am bidding on an all-day job about 2 hours away from my house. I don't want to mess around and take more than a day to cut it.

    By the way I looked at a Kubota ZD28 72" yesterday. 28 HP DIESEL...72 inches. The price (taxes and all) was only 12,200. I was amazed as the John Deere is a good bit more than that.
  8. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    Over the years I have found that a 48" Z works best for the average residential yards. Yards that do not exceed .75 acres. It is easy to run around objects and won't scalp as easy as a 72" deck. And yes, we have done the absurd and cut a.25 acre lot with a Toro Groundsmaster 4100D in 3 passes.
  9. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    The Kubotas were very popular in New England when I lived there but don't see them here at all. They are a very good side discharge mower and those diesels run forever. You will cover a lot of ground in an hour with it. Don't plan on mulching with it though as I have seen what it looks like when someone tried it and it wasn't pretty.
  10. blair smock

    blair smock LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 108

    Scalping will be a problem, small hills or humps caused me problems. I found a 797 with 72 to big for residental yards.
    I think the 7 iron deck is one of the best in the biz. If I may suggest the 757 with 60" deck, fits well every where. take care. Bws

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