Maintaining a Dog Club & Park & home on 12 Acres

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by MacMitch, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    My Kabota L2900 tractor has served me well. At first I used mostly a 5" rotary motor & Ag tires on the original very rough terrain. I then bought a BEFCO 6" finishing mower and replaced the AG tires with turf tires, to mow the improved fields. After 15 years and I think about 1700 hrs on the tractor my finishing mower is about rusted out. My property is part of an old 100 acre pony farm, maybe half of it in reclaimed open fields/grass and 1/4 in open woods that I am clearing and leveling for park use. Some of my neighbors have asked me to mow another 3-4 acres for them (part of the same fields I have. I have been looking at ZTR, "Commercial grade" mowers 60". My favorite so far is a Bad Boy 6000 Lightning Z (26hp Kawasaki LC, liquid cooled). My local tractor/Landscaping vendor sells only the Bad Boys for ZTR's.

    I move large loads of wood chips with the loader on the tractor regularly. I have a sign up that I will take all wood chips, sometimes I get a load a day or even several. I use the chips to make paths and spread them in rough areas that the dogs tend to wear the grass off of. I am thinking that I might use the tractor, which has a 5" loader strictly for landscaping purposes and retire it from mowing.

    Our park has some 70+ members and most days there are from a few up to 20 people and their dogs wandering around playing in the fields, creek & woods. I would like a mower that is much quieter and less invasive for those who are trying to enjoy the natural sylvan environment. I would also like to be using a mower that does not beat me to a pulp by the end of a full day of mowing. I have more than I can get done most of the time so saving time becomes very important too. We envision grass areas much like a golf course but in an even more natural low lands, large creek valley, environment.

    Should a 60" gas ZTR, with liquid cooled engine, fill this role? I am also thinking about a diesel motor, but my fields are becoming flat and easy to mow, except for all the sticks the dogs drag/carry around. There are still some places where the terrain is relatively rough, but I tend to cover those in wood chips and flatten them as they rot. Thanks for any & all ideas, suggestions.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  2. eatonpcat

    eatonpcat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,636

    No help here, But with a 5" and 6" mower...You probably put the 1700 hours on the mower in just a couple of mows!!!! :laugh:
  3. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Actually mowing is less than half what I have used the tractor for. Have a 1300 foot road that we built through some very hilly areas. The road was dirt then gravel, now paved. All the fields had good size trees and brush in them that I cleared and leveled. There are trees that come down every season and have to be cut up & moved. I am still leveling and clearing new ground. We have had some very large gardens that we plow with the tractor. My loader gets used more than my mower. I pull, push, lift with blades, rakes, a fork lift and chains almost as much as I mow too. I am on my second clutch and second set of tires....I am creating more grass fields and cleared wooded areas though and those areas equate to more mowing and less of all the other chores.

    I am figuring I will end up with 5-8 acres I mow regularly. We have to have large fields 20-40 acres to do tracking in for dog trials and I may end up, occasionally, cutting another person's fields to get permission to use them, or just to have the grass at a reasonable height for tracking. I am just wondering if a ZT can handle that kind of volume?

    Most of what I see here is people cutting 1-3 acres. The BB 6000 I was looking at says it is for 3+ acres. It seems to me there has to be some point at which the speed and agility of a ZT starts loosing out to the sheer size mowing device one can pull with a tractor?
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,512

    From what you describe i would stick with a tractor with a finish mower. I don't think your land is ready for a smaller machine. The noise problem is a tough one. You may just have to deal with it. Mowers slinging debris at people is a bigger problem. Tractor mounted mowers are safer because of the chains hanging over the discharge. But they will throw things farther.
  5. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I was looking at some Hustler videos the other day and they had the rear discharging decks with the chains hanging. A rear discharging deck might be better in his situation if he goes the ZTR route, the cut will probably lack that of the side discharging deck.
  6. Popeye77

    Popeye77 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 244


    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    I was going to post last night before the motel lost the internet.

    You sure have good taste. I own the 52 inch Pup. The 60 inch Lighting was my dream. SWMBO shot that down. At that time the 26hp Kawasaki LC engine was the choice. It's a very good engine. But after being in the game for a couple of more years the 32hp Vanguard gets my vote. Less parts to deal with. No cleaning the radiator screen every 1/2 hour. More power.

    26HP Liquid-Cooled Kawasaki, 42.7 ft. lbs. @ 2400 RPM, 745 cc
    32HP Air-Cooled Vanguard, 59.3 ft. lbs. @ 2400 RPM, 895 cc
    my engine,
    30HP Air-Cooled Kohler, 47 ft. lbs. @ 2600 RPM, 725 cc

    Lightning Z
  8. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I should probably say that most of what I mentioned as work for my tractor refers to my past situation not my current one. The fact that the clearing and leveling of land has become minimal is why I am considering the ZT. I will continue to move lots of wood chips which means I need the loader on the tractor all the time. Mowing with a tractor with a loader on it makes for a long heavy rig. My idea is to use the tractor largely for moving chips, spreading seed & fertilizers....

    The areas I mow are not as level as playing fields yet, maybe not even as even as many nicer yards but they are getting there fast now. The park is starting to look & feel sort of like a golf course. Ultimately we will have a wider variety of trees, shrubs and other ground covers than a golf course but continue the feel of a comfortable place to take a walk or just hang out. There will continue to be some areas in wood chips or sand though: paths, areas where dogs run & chase balls, do agility, go in and out of the creek...

    I usually mow in increments of 1-3 acres in a day. None of the areas I mow regularly is more than 3 acres. I have three of these areas and there is a similar area I often mow for neighbors.
  9. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Wait till you get on one of these Z's. You will cut that in an hour or so!
  10. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Yep, that full suspension and Diesel engine would payoff in the long run, especially fuel wise! I think you find with these machines and the speed they run, that you could cut in early morning or early evening when there are less people on the property. You said 1-3 acres a day, that could be done in no time on one of these! This would give you the freedom to get that Diesel engine you want!

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