Commercial Operator Feedback Requested

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by skipslade, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. skipslade

    skipslade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I have three acres currently mowed with another three waiting to be incorporated into my lawn. Terrain is not smooth, is rather clumpy with some ruts, roots, and depressions. One significant hill.

    This forum has already provided real guidance for me in my attempt to find a mower that will not beat me up, that will handle hills, and that will not cost an arm and a leg. I again thank everyone that has offered constructive comment.

    After a lot of running around in this very rural area, I've come up with four possibilities:

    - Snapper Pro 200XT with Suspension seat, 28 hp Vanguard, 61" cut ($6850)
    - Scag Wildcat, 27 hp Kohler, 61" cut ($7699)
    - Bunton Missile, 26 hp Generac, 52" ($6199)
    - Grasshopper 223, 23 hp Kohler, 52" ($7699)

    Interested in operator comments regarding several things:

    - I've been told by three separate dealers without my bringing the subject up that generally Bobcats/Buntons are very poor on hills and uncomfortable. Indeed, one of these dealers sold Bobcat. The fact that these mowers are now equipped with standard suspension seats suggests that the manufacturer might well know he has a comfort problem. In the field, do Bobcats and Buntons hold hills well? Do they beat you up?

    - As a practical consideration, will the 61" decks really make a time difference while cutting three to six acres, or are we really only talking about a fifteen to thirty minute average differential? The lawn does have about ten to fifteen trees and flower beds that must be mowed around.

    - Is that a good price for the Grasshopper? I went to the dealer knowing that this brand would be more costly; however, I admit to being really surprised that the unit I saw was priced at least a thousand dollars more than comparable mowers within other brand lineups with similar engines and decks.

    I actually had the Grasshopper area rep demo a 220 on my lawn yesterday. That mower could be operated at three quarter speed over my rough lawn without mishap and with real comfort. It also handled the worst of my slope effortlessly. Very impressive. I haven't had as much luck in getting other mowers demoed. The fact that everything has to be transported for at least one hour to get to my house is a strong discouragement for most small dealers.

    I really have no idea how well the other brands would fare on my lawn. Any general comments about this would also be appreciated.

    As always, thanks in advance.
  2. alanauer

    alanauer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Six uneven acres with a hill? For the same price range I'd get a used compact 4WD tractor with front loader, rear blade or box blade, and rear mower. Order a truckload of topsoil, and use the tractor to put it in the depressions and maybe to scrape the tops of the hills.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    Have you looked at Bad Boy Mowers? I too mow 5+ rough acres. I have some grades, but no steep hills. I run a 52 inch Bad Boy Pup with a 30hp Kohler. One thing for sure is I've got grass. Bahia Grass that grows 6 inches a week. And seed shoots that grow 12 inches every week. I needed a tough mower with horse power that could handle rough terrain with grade that my wife could operate. That meant a tractor was out. Fact is a tractor cut is no where near a as good as a commercial mower. So any way, you need to look at Bad Boy Mowers. In fact, the Bad Boy Outlaw.

    It's Bad Boys answer to mowing rough hill grounds powered by a 31HP Kawasaki for about $7,499.

    Then there's the Lightning with full suspension.

    Both have 1/4" Thick Solid Steel decks.

    Worth a look.
  4. drumz2129

    drumz2129 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I agree with MS SURVEYOR, a tractor may be needed to smooth things out, but it is not the answer for mowing. I just bought a eXmark Lazer Z 72" w/ 31 Vanguard to replace my 72" rear finish mower for my JD 850. I did keep the tractor and all implements but sold the finish mower. The cut quality doesn't even compare and I now spend 1/3 the time cutting as I did before. My yard is just as described in the OP, with the exception of having more hills. I cut 6 acres, half of which used to be pasture and is bahia which grows like crazy.

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