Garden/compact Tractor For Mowing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NORTHMAN, Jun 14, 2007.


    NORTHMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 313

    Hi,I know this is going against the grain of using ZTR(which i have) for mowing but I'm thinking about a garden/compact tractor for my accounts.Most of the lawns I mow are more weeds than lawns ,theres rocks,dips,holes,hills,etc. not ideal but I think I've found my niche,having a ZTR to mow fast is lost on me I just can't run fast.I need something I can use as a finish mower and a light brush cutter.The properties range from a 1/2 acre up.I'm trying to compare a tractor to a ZTR,I know the tractor will be slower but as I said thats not a big concern for me,the tractor will be more versitle.What about durability?I have a John Deere,Kubota and Kioti dealer in my area,any particular models to look at?i would think a hydro trans would be better for mowing than a gear trans,a mid mount mower would be more maneuverable,what about HP,any specific models?Thanks for any help.
  2. wildweasel7648

    wildweasel7648 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I would suggest John Deere. I have a 345 with a 48" deck. I ran this with a walker (also 48") and yes, the walker was faster on small lawns, but in wide open spaces, the JD ate it alive (easier on the back too!). The walker is now gone and I still run the JD with over a 1000 hrs on it. Hope this helps. JD is easier to work on as far as any repairs and there are fewer of them! Don't go under the "300" series though! Then you get into the "Wal-Mart" quality stuff.
  3. cntrline

    cntrline LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Unless you need a bush hog, I would go ztr. I used a JD 332/50" for several years on a yard that was several acres and mostly rough with lots of weeds, got a ztr and cut the time in half, plus it does a better job. Servicing the ztr is MUCH easier than the JD. If you are hitting the rocks, I would either mow higher, pick them up, or consider whether its worth while. If you use a finish mower as a bush hog it won't last long.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Ask Envy about lawn tractors and compact tractors. In some places there may even by an edge with a safety factor.

    The tractors you are looking at you can add a loader and they are generally equipped with a 3 point hitch so the amount of work you do is increased. Try that with a ZTR :)
  5. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I know you submitted this back in April, but I will answer it anyway. My Lawn Service has at least 1 of each type of mower I feel my Lawn Service needs. I have ZTR's, Hydro Walk-Behinds, A John Deere Compact Tractor, and yes even a 20 year old never reworked or overhauled Cub Cadet 1711 Super Garden Tractor with over 10,000 hours on the motor. The Cubs main function is to pull an aerator, but if a customer asks to have a garden plowed in a small back yard, then the Cub is indispensable. Also if my crews get behind then my wife heads out, and she is more comfortable with the cub on her trailer. The 44" deck has had all 3 of its spindles changed at least twice. The bottom line is, if you prefer the heavy duty garden tractors for mowing - GO FOR IT. Its your business run it the way you see fit.

    Good luck what ever you have or are going to do.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Is there TWO of this thread?

    I know I posted an answer.......
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I say if that's what you like go for it. Speed and maneuverability are strong points on ZTR's and they can handle complex jobs very well. But I can see where a tractor would come in handy. If you have a part time helper, wife, or what ever you can put them on the tractor with very little training when you get behind etc. Or like you say if you prefer the tractor and speed isn't a factor why not.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

  9. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    Yep -- kinda makes you think you're seeing double.

    NORTHMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 313

    I double posted,sorry.I double posted,sorry.

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