Mower Type

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by TBLC, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. TBLC

    TBLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Hello. I Live in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

    I am looking to buy a New Mower for the 12 acers of Baseball/Soccer fields I take care of. I have done the search on here and non of the answers I saw gave me what I wanted.

    So, for the most part money is no object. I personally like the Toro 4500 D. Other people I work with want a Zero turn mower. Toro or other. There is no hills, just flat ground. Striping Is the probably the most inportant part, then the quality of cut. Also speed is kind of inportant, but with only 12 acers I dont think its a big deal.

    Im just looking for some thoughts. Its kind of a broad question. I just want to see if i have missed any other types of mower that the Toro dealer hasnt told me about. haha

    Right now we are mowing with a 16 foot Jacobson mower. Great mower. Can mow lots of grass in a little time. Its a little older and being used more and more in the wood lines, and being beat up.
    I will try to answer any follow up questiong if you have them.
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,070

    That is quite a mower! I have heard great things about them from a golf course superintendent friend. I was not able to find the overall weight of the machine, but that would be one of my concerns in terms of getting back on the fields after a long period of wet weather. Depends on your drainage and soil type.

    I don't think it is suitable for infields on your baseball fields - much too big. If your infields are not grass, then this is not a concern.

    The full-time four wheel drive might be overkill on your flat site. I would be concerned about handling and with tearing the surface, despite what the product literature says.

    With a machine this big, it will be tempting to find a direction or mowing pattern that works easily and use the same one every time. I would avoid that at all costs and determine if this machine can handle a standard four direction mowing pattern or not. Stripes look good in many directions :) What would be important to me would be quality of cut ahead of striping, but this machine is going to handle both.

    My main mower is a Toro 52" Z but I do not do any sites as large as yours. Whatever I use has to be trailered. I have used the Toro 62 and 72 Zs extensively and honestly believe the 52 is the best machine of the three.

    There are many more positives than negatives, IMO. Not many 12 acre facilities are in a position to get a mower of this caliber. It is a great opportunity you have.
  3. brookviewlawncare

    brookviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    We have a Toro 4500 and I would think that it would be a bit overkill for only 12 acres but that type of mower does cut nice. Have you looked at the 3500d which has the same type of decks as the 4500 but only three. We have ran some of those also not quite as fast as a zero turn but will far outlast and the after cut appearance is much greater
  4. OP

    TBLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32


    That is one of my Main thoughts, is it has alot of Bells and Whistles that we dont really need for 12 or so acers of flat ground. Some type of Z mower was another option. The toro dealer told me about the 7200 Groundsmaster with a Striping Kit. I think we are going to demo this. We will see what happens. Size and Weight arn't that big of a consern, but it is something we have to keep in mind.


    We did demo the 3500 and my co-workers felt it was to Slow. But they are used to mowing at 12 mpgs on a Jac 16 foot mower.
    But that is one of the options.

    Thanks guys for some thoughts. Keep the ideas coming.


  5. Bliss

    Bliss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    We mow 6 Soccer fields and 2 baseball fields with a Toro 3500d. We have had no problems with the machine and the kabota diesel motors are one of the best in the industry. We did demo a new 4500d and we all agreed that we will be replacing the 3500 with the 4500. The 3500 does put down a crisper stripe then the 35, but the speed and comfort of the 4500 make up for it. The weight of the 4500 was right around 4500 pounds I belive they said. I would opt for the 4500 so you can cut faster and more often. Either one you can't go wrong!
  6. Grassman08

    Grassman08 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Here In Minneaota,we have two 3500D Sidewinders, Love them. Maybe even check out the John Deere 7400 and/or 8800 Terrain cut mowers.
  7. Blazerfb

    Blazerfb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    We have a 4500d, 3500 and also 2 72" groundsmasters (no stripes as we use them for utility and roadside purposes). The groundsmaster is very fast and cuts better than any Z we've had (including all toros, exmarks, hustlers, kubotas, etc). These mowers are awesome for many conditions, but they do not have the cut quality of the other rotary mowers.

    If price is no object, however, I'd consider the 3500 or 4500. The 4500 seems overkill for THIS field complex. If you have future plans to obtain more contracts or currently have other areas you could use a mower of this size, it may be your best choice. If this complex is your sole focus, I like the 3500 due to the fact that it allows you to change your direction of cut more easily within the size parameters you are working with. On our municipal field complex, our guys use the 4500d for times they need to "get it done" and don't necessarily need a certain directional course. For times they need to cut in a directional course leaving shorter lengths and more turns, they use the 3500.

    Assess your current situation AND possible future situations before making an investment of this magnitude.
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