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mowing 17 acres hills & trees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by twinsprings, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. twinsprings

    twinsprings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I'm looking for some advice: I am completing mulching of small trees and underbrush with a bushhog on 17 acres of sloping land. Grass is beginning to grow and I need to figure out the best way to mow.

    The sloped creek beds want a tractor for stability, the numerous trees want a zero turn for maneuvering. The amount of land wants a fast machine. My wife would prefer a wheel rather than levers.

    What are my best options in your opinion? Cub Cadet makes a zero turn tractor (the best of both worlds?). Is this worth considering? All your help is appreciated, I will hopefully be using this mower for a long time.
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If you have a large budget, cub cadet makes a zero turn mower that has a steering wheel instead of the levers. It is not the tractor, but a ztr with a steering wheel. It is a little pricy but has the same manuverability. For the amount of area you will have to mow, a residential tractor like you mentioned, will not last long at all.
  3. twinsprings

    twinsprings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the response: I'm understanding that you recommend a commercial mower for the acreage. That means the Cub you mentioned is Tank series s-6031 (msrp 14K) not the fmz50 (msrp 5k). You weren't kidding when you said "large budget". At that point wouldn't I would consider other ZTR's such as Scag, Hustler, etc? The sloped land is my biggest concern. I could put a finish mower on my tractor, but I'm looking for speed and maneuverability.
    Thanks again for your input.
  4. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 758

    Take a good look at some diesel powered compact utility tractors by Deere or Kubota, 4-wheel drive is also VERY helpfull when using large 3-pt attachements such as a flail mower when on hills.
  5. twinsprings

    twinsprings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks, hadn't thought about a flail mower. It might be the right next step after bush hogging, before ZTR. I thought ZTR so that I could get some help from the wife. The mowing machine I visualized would be her "tractor".
    Thanks for the help.
  6. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    twinsprings, how often will you be mowing that acerage? I'm thinking you're looking more at keeping brush knocked back than maintaining 17 acres of "yard"? I'm in a similar situation, I have 20 acres, I'm planning on buying a flail mower to clear and maintain it, already have the tractor (Kubota L3240). My ground is uneven enough, with enough brush, stumps and rocks, that I think a lawn type mower would be torn up pretty quickly.

  7. twinsprings

    twinsprings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    you're right, it's not 17 acres of yard, but maintaining some grass, fallen branches, pine straw, vines, etc maybe once or twice a month.
    I'm still using the bush hog, but am thinking there's a faster way once it's more under control with more grass. I don't have rock, but do have plenty of flush cut stumps.
    A commercial ZTR sounds good for speed, but will lack the stability of a tractor and 3 point mower. Also the 3 point works great for backing into the trees and down the slopes for all the "dead end spots"
    Good luck and let me know if you find any answers.
  8. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,151

    Have you checked out companies like Ventrac or Steiner? They make small, articulating 4wd tractors with alot of different attachments, including front mounted mower decks. You might also consider a front mounted deck-rear steer 4wd machine, like a Kubota, John Deere, Toro or another brand Wide area mower.
  9. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    It may help to start with what you have today. Tractor size and horsepower, if you don't have a budget limitation, time limitation(how long it takes) you will get plenty of ideas on how to spend your money:)
  10. twinsprings

    twinsprings LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Great help.
    The articulating mower seems like a good solution for stability on the hills.
    The Ventrac looks good, but the Lastec with articulating deck looks awesome.
    Does anyone have experience with this machine?

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