Need mower for 2+ acres in Florida

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by john146, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. john146

    john146 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Hi folks. We bought a 5 acre property in Central Florida, about 3 acres of it is currently pasture, and the other 2 acres are part of the house. The terrain doesn't have any steep hills, but is not smooth by any means.

    The turf here is primarily what seems to be weeds and argentine bahia grass. I think once upon a time there was St. Augustine, but it's barely visible anymore.

    I'm looking for something that can mow this yard quickly for me. I don't really care if the cut is even (as long as it can cut the grass). We're also going to probably increase the home yard beyond those 2 acres eventually (we bush-hog it currently). I've been looking into ZTRs, and also 3pt finish mowers - though I hate attaching the bush hog to the tractor.

    The prior owner had some kind of kawasaki branded ZTR which he said got the job done in 45 minutes (but he had more pasture) but also said that he felt the terrain was a bit too rough for it.

    I'd like to stay below 5k if possible - even if that means buying used. I understand that here in Florida we need to mow about once a week in the summer, so I'd really like to spend as little time as possible doing that.
     
  2. Mow-Daddy.com

    Mow-Daddy.com LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,138

    Hi john,
    Not trying to be wise... but if your wanting to spend as little time as possible mowing, and aren't fussy about cut quality, that tells me your not really into lawncare. Nothing wrong with that. Also willing to spend $5000.
    You could solve everything by getting a couple quotes from licensed lawncare company's. They would be in and out once a week, mow and trim everything and edge everthing. Then you have no hassles, no mower to buy, no mixing gas for trimmers, no sweating in your yard when its 95º and 90% humidity.
    Plus no maintenance on equipment.
    Go enjoy your weekend let someone else do the grunt work.

    But to answer your question, if your land is very bumpy get a large stander mower, or a walk-bewind and sulky.
    Standing will save your back on really bumpy turf.
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  3. john146

    john146 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thank you -- I wasn't implying I didn't want to do grunt work (I enjoy it actually), but that when reading some reviews here on other mowers, I see issues with scalping, striping, evenness, etc. -- and while I would appreciate a nice cut, I'd rather put my money towards speed. Knowing nothing about lawnmowers though, they might go hand-in-hand.

    How long would it take to mow that size of property (how long would I be standing for?)
     
  4. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    Look at the Hustler lineup sold through Lowes. Lot of choices from $2500 up to $4500 and they're pretty well built machines. Lowes typically puts out a $100 coupon in the Spring and get a Lowes card for an additional 5% off (or if you're a veteran get 10% off). You'll now hear all about how these machines are junk and no man would ever own one but research for yourself.

    https://www.lowes.com/pl/Gas-riding...iceHighToLow&refinement=4294730469,4294605506
     
  5. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,126

    Once upon a time, I was the Outdoor Power Equipment Sales Specialist at Lowe’s. Unless things have drastically changed, the residential mowers are warrantied for one acre or less per week of mowing. You show up a repair/warranty issue with an hour meter that shows you were doing more than that, and you could be looking at a voided warranty and on the hook for a large repair bill; negating the money you saved had you bought even an entry level commercial machine with a commercial warranty. Just something to consider before you go that route.
     
    JLSLLC likes this.
  6. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    Look in the specifications, they tell you the recommended acreage for each machine. Warranties are given by the manufacturer, not Lowes, read them.

    And remember, a 3 acre plot with a house and landscaping and drive and walkways typically leaves closer to 2 acres to actually mow.

    Anything else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  7. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,126

    No, thank you for setting me straight. I will bow out and yield to your vast knowledge of big box retail mower sales and I will forget all times that I had to tell customers the manufacturer was not honoring their warranty. You clearly know more than I do on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  8. Wye Oak Tree

    Wye Oak Tree LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,880

    JLSLLC likes this.
  9. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Messages: 620

    You're going to want something in the 52" to 72" size range for a mower deck. The fastest mowers are obviously the most expensive. You're better off not going balls to the wall. Unless you have a smooth lawn as you will add extra wear and tear to your machine and your body. Try to find a machine like the one posted above because you are going to need a strong, well-built mower because it sounds like you plan on beating it up quite a bit.
    Go on you local Craigslist and post your five favorite mowers below and we could help point you in a decent direction. Just remember, it's not our fault if something mechanical is wrong with it after the purchase.
     
  10. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    So you've actually had a warranty denied because of the hour meter AND actually used the machine purely for residential use? Manufacturers deny warranties for a LOT of reasons. Mostly they are issues with gasoline (using gas with ethanol).

    Please elaborate on the specific reasons those warranty claims were denied.

    And for the record, I've had claims denied until I personally called the manufacturer and discussed it with them. Some have been over turned and others not. NONE ever questioned the hours on the machine if I could produce a sales receipt with the date of purchase.

    Just looked at the Raptor site, the Raptor SD is warranted for 3 years or 3 hundred hours. The Raptor and the Raptor Limited is 3 years and NO hour limit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018

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