Mower recommendation, and grass help

ECreps

LawnSite Member
Location
NW Ohio
Hello all, I come to you asking for some assistance. Let me preface this, by saying I know very little about lawns/mowers, etc; I am trying to learn what I need to know.

issue #1)

I built a new house, and seeded the area last Fall. The area that is seeded is roughly 2 1/2 acres. some of it has come up, but it has not covered very well. I used the recommended 15lbs/5000sq ft. I used this grass seed:

https://www.menards.com/main/outdoo...lbs/32415/p-1444450690045-c-1463608034796.htm

I am beginning to discover this may have been a poor choice, it seems perennial ryegrass is not a popular choice. I am planning to put down some weed and feed in the next week or so, and then this fall rent a slice seeder and seed again. Any suggestions for seed or seed type?

Issue #2) My lawn is very bumpy/rough. It is also a clay/loam mixture, so it gets very hard, and doesn't drain especially well. It seems the only way to fix this is to top dress it all. Any other suggestions?

Issue #3) I have two lawn mowers that I got for free. An older John Deere STX38, and a Toro GT430. The John Deere seems to work fine, but it's obviously pretty slow to mow 2 1/2 acres with, and it gets kind of beat up since the lawn is rough. The toro keeps trashing deck belts, which then bend a pulley. To be honest; I'm tired of constantly having to work on them both. The Toro will mow it in a fairly reasonable amount of time with the 52" deck, but it just seems to not hold up to the yard. This brought me to considering a different mower. There is a Toro dealer local to me, and I went and tested out some of their mowers with the MyRide system. Seems like it would work well for what I have. I originally went in to look at a 60" Timecutter model, roughly $4000 for it I believe. The dealer recommended a Toro Titan 60" for me; it was roughly $6400 I believe. Bigger wheels, better hydro's, better deck. I can see where the money goes, just wondering if it would actually make a difference to a homeowner who will probably put 50 hours a year on it. They also had a Zmaster 200 series without the myride, but it did have a very nice suspension seat that I also think would probably be adequate. It was roughly $6600. Any suggestions here? I'm not stuck on toro by any means, just what was on my way home from work. I'm leaning towards the Titan with Myride, but the amount of zero turns makes this kind of an overwhelming search to start.

Thank you for any help.
 
OP
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ECreps

LawnSite Member
Location
NW Ohio
Small update to this:

I went and looked at Ferris today. I drove the is700z on some very similar terrain to my yard, and it was almost unbelievable how smooth it was. The toros I drove were also very smooth, but they were on a much smoother yard also. The only downside to the Ferris is that it is only available with the B&S engine. I can go to a different series and get a Kawi; are there any thoughts/experiences on the 27HP briggs?
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Ferris is the best riding mower in the industry period. The is700 is a fantastic mower. The engine choice is a solid engine choice. Take a minute to study the is600, is700 and isx800 side by side. Going from the is600 to 700 gets you into the icd deck, which is their top of the line deck. Going from the is700 to isx800 gets you more engine choices, and true four wheel independent suspension. Also its a beefier mower all around. I mow about two acres of bumpy lawn myself. If I were to buy a new ztr today for my personal property, I would purchase the isx800 61inch deck with the vanguard engine. After that the is700 would be my second choice.


Total side note, if you have other tasks that need performing at your property you might consider a compact tractor with mowing deck. Could be used for snow removal, moving dirt mulch etc with the loader, as well as mow the lawn. Ztrs are nice and fast however they are a one trick pony.

I look forward to hearing what you end up going with.
 
OP
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ECreps

LawnSite Member
Location
NW Ohio
Ferris is the best riding mower in the industry period. The is700 is a fantastic mower. The engine choice is a solid engine choice. Take a minute to study the is600, is700 and isx800 side by side. Going from the is600 to 700 gets you into the icd deck, which is their top of the line deck. Going from the is700 to isx800 gets you more engine choices, and true four wheel independent suspension. Also its a beefier mower all around. I mow about two acres of bumpy lawn myself. If I were to buy a new ztr today for my personal property, I would purchase the isx800 61inch deck with the vanguard engine. After that the is700 would be my second choice.


Total side note, if you have other tasks that need performing at your property you might consider a compact tractor with mowing deck. Could be used for snow removal, moving dirt mulch etc with the loader, as well as mow the lawn. Ztrs are nice and fast however they are a one trick pony.

I look forward to hearing what you end up going with.

Thank you for the input. I actually have a compact tractor (LS XJ2025H), but everything I have read about mowiing with them seems like it is as slow or slower than a standard riding mower. It also seems to love leaving ruts in the yard if it's even slightly damp out. I really considered it with either a mid mount or a 3PT finish mower; but I think I would tear up my yard with it. It also makes me nervous to drive it over my septic system. It would be like 3000lbs with the loader, me, and a mower on it.

I am going to go back to the ferris dealer again tomorrow; he said he would take my old lawn mower in on trade, but I need to show him some pictures, etc. I will see about pricing on the is600, and the 800. I was really hoping to stay in the 5-6K range, and from what I'm seeing the 800's are in the 8K ish range.

Any thoughts on buying a used IS3100 with almost 900 hours on it? One popped up locally for under 5K, but it seems like they are solid into the 2K ish hour range?
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Is3100 is two steps up from the 800. It is their top of the line full fledged commercial machine. It will make the 700 look like a toy in comparison. The 3100 was replaced by model 3200 about five yrs ago i believe. The 3100 is the superior machine. The obvious questions are how was it maintained? What type of shape is it in? Is warranty important? Etc...
 
OP
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ECreps

LawnSite Member
Location
NW Ohio
Is3100 is two steps up from the 800. It is their top of the line full fledged commercial machine. It will make the 700 look like a toy in comparison. The 3100 was replaced by model 3200 about five yrs ago i believe. The 3100 is the superior machine. The obvious questions are how was it maintained? What type of shape is it in? Is warranty important? Etc...

That's what has me intrigued. I've only seen pictures of it, but it looks like it was maintained decently. Says one owner, it's a 2014. That's roughly 120 ish hours a year, which seems like it was just used at someone's house.

Warranty would obviously be nice, but I suppose if I save 3-4 grand on the purchase price it may allow me some wiggle room for repairs.
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Plus you'll have a way heavier duty machine.

Check out that used one. I'm guessing its a homeowner mowing 8 acres weekly or something along those lines
 
OP
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ECreps

LawnSite Member
Location
NW Ohio
ferris.jpg ferris2.jpg ferris3.jpg ferris4.jpg

Here are a few, anything that sticks out as being a concern? It obviously isn't new, but seems in decent shape for being 7 years old with 900 hours I think; but I don't know that much about any of this yet.
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Looks nice! Here are a few questions you could have ask.

Did you buy a brand new? Was ever used commercially? Over a hundred hours a year seems like a lot for a personal yard do you have a huge property mowing? What maintenance has been done on it? Oil change interval? Hydro fluid changes? Other things that may have broken and been replaced? Other things that may have been replace due to wear such as tires etc.

Other than that it just a matter of checking it out and seeing if everything operates properly and if the engine sounds good.

I am guessing you will probably put 50 hours on to it a season. At that rate it lasts you 20 years. I look forward to your impressions after having driven it, I suspect you will find the ride even more comfortable then Is 700.

Having a super cushy mower you might not mind your uneven lawn so much.
 

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