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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently mowing around 6 acres or so every week at our farm. Most of the acreage we are mowing is reclaimed pasture and is extremely rough in places because of old tractor ruts, etc. There are several trees and various obstacles to navigate, but there is currently no fencing in this area.

Currently, I am mowing the majority with a Woods 84" RFM pulled by a 52 HP Kubota HST tractor. I mow around the house, outbuildings, trees, and ditches with a 42" John Deere LX266 lawn tractor. Combined, I will spend around 3 hours to finish on most weeks.

I have only had this particular tractor and RFM for 1 year. The problem is the roughness of the ride. There are some places where I am just waiting for the horn to blow signalling that I have stayed on for 8 seconds. This is obviously not a defect in the equipment, but rather the incompatibility of the equipment with the terrain. I mistakenly thought that because of the longer wheelbase of the tractor the ride would be smoother than what I had used previously (the John Deere with a 44" Swisher pull-behind offset to the side). While the Tractor/RFM combo does save some time compared to that, the roughness of the ride is about to destroy my already faulty back.

With all that said, I am considering a ZTR mower. My fear is that it,too, will be a rough ride on this ground. It is relatively flat, just very rough in places. (Gently rolling at most.) I didn't seriously consider the ZTR last year because I needed to purchase the new tractor anyway. Although the Woods RFM wasn't cheap, it was certainly less than a separate ZTR would have been.

The only thing I feel relatively sure of is that I will need something heavier than a standard duty residential grade mower. (Those with more knowledge, feel free to correct me if that's wrong.)

Based on what I have read here and based on looking around at the local dealers, I would consider Ferris, Scag, Bad Boy, Hustler, and ExMark. The downside to the Scag and the ExMark appears to be the lack of suspension, so I would put them at the bottom of the list at this point. (Grasshopper might also be an option as the Scag dealer indicated it might be better for the type of ground I mow--they sell both.) Money is an object, but I haven't completely defined a budget.

There is a lot of crab grass here for what that is worth. The pastures were mowed for hay until about 4 years ago.

I am just curious to hear the perspective of those of you who do this every day. What is adequate for me? What is too much? What should I stay away from? Etc. Educate me please.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Since you have a very rough area to mow I would definately suggest getting a ferris with a suspension seat as well. This will offer you the smoothest ride between the 4-wheel suspension and the suspension seat. For you the bigger deck would be the best choice I would suggest something around a 60"-72" depending on your budget and storage space.
 

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I have a little experience with farms, specifically horse, and cow...
I'm not sure what reclaimed grass means, but I am thinking
that is what is used for grazing by a herd.

One of my current customers has a horse farm, basically mostly grazing grass
and then a half decent patch of lawn around the main house.

I also own a 60" Everride Warrior Ztr that I've had in for repairs more than
once due to me liking to take it into areas it ain't supposed to go :p
I have since quit doing this, bent blades and lost parts get expensive fast.

That having been said...
The Ztr isn't going to ride any smoother, and you won't have much better luck with any finish mower on what I call rough cut terrain.

Use the tractor for the rough cut, and a finish mower for the lawn part.

To ease the pain get yourself a decent backpack sprayer, order yourself up
some Round-Up equivalent and mix it up and about once a month spray a nice border all around, save you all that weed trimming so then all you got left is the cutting.
Careful with the use of weed killer where animals mill about, you may not wish to use it on the inside fenced areas where your animals are, however the stuff is no longer toxic after 24 hours.

Peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One more thing: As you make suggestions, pricing info would be helpful as well.

(I don't think animals grazed this ground. It was just pasture that was mowed for hay. I have been mowing it in one form or another for 4 years, so it is certainly doable. It is rougher in some spots than others, but much of it is decent.)
Thanks
 

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Oh, there is more...

I've mowed lawn before where a tractor tilled up the soil,
yes that is one rough ride, doesn't matter what the machine.

What I learned to do is find the best route, that is, usually in the same direction
as the original ruts is the smoothest ride, while going across them is the worst.

Learn this, and learn to rut it and cut it with that sense of direction, watching one job with and in regards to the other, it won't exactly make your job a dream but it should help.

That's about all you can do, besides having
much tolerance for certain parts of this ag industry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree with mowing in the direction of the ruts. That helps. The problem with the current arrangement is that I have to make passes around the property as opposed to just making passes back and forth in two directions. Obviously, the turning radius of the tractor/RFM combo is not the greatest and it would really take a lot of time to turn and reverse direction on every 84" cut pass.
 

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I agree with mowing in the direction of the ruts. That helps. The problem with the current arrangement is that I have to make passes around the property as opposed to just making passes back and forth in two directions. Obviously, the turning radius of the tractor/RFM combo is not the greatest and it would really take a lot of time to turn and reverse direction on every 84" cut pass.
I cut 15+ acres a week on my farm. I cut everything and anything the mower will go through. When I mowed this afternoon I cut through 2" of standing water in places and mowed three waterways through my soybean fields that I cut for hay usually once a year. You can believe that it is rough cutting and most zero turn mowers you could hardly stay in the seat in these areas.

I run a Hustler Super Z with flex forks and a flex seat base, until you experience it there is no way I could explain how much difference this makes in the ride and handling. I've run the Ferris 1500 Z on much smoother ground and it rides nowhere as good as my Super Z with me running much faster.

We've had so much rain lately I had to cut one of the waterways in the height nearest the transport locked position. I will go back Monday and cut it lower.

You need to demo but make sure you get the best to compare. The Bad Boy Lightning would also make you a very good mower with the 4 wheel torsion rubber suspension. It will not ride as good as my Super Z but you are talking about over $500.00 worth of add-ons to make the Hustler ride better. The Bad Boy with the big block Vanguard is virtually unstoppable in any type cutting. The Bad Boy deck and engine combination will cut big wet grass that would choke the Hustler down. I know this to be a fact because I have done this myself. There are pictures I posted on this site showing the Bad Boy cutting 30" tall signal grass with the rpm's falling very little. I will say my Super Z has 425 hrs. and has been flawless in every respect, it has never been babied, I run it for all it can stand every time it is used.
 

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ztr isnt going to be any smoother. Sounds like you are looking at the best mowers though. Have you ever thought about tilling it up and starting fresh, other wise just get a couple goats. No sence in beating the helll out of a new mower.
 

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Doing the same thing here. Was using a 72" finish mower and a Kubota 3410. I just bought a Hustler Super Z 60" with flex forks and suspension seat. I should have done it a long time ago. Mowing time cut in half and I am going to sell the little Toro I was using to mow around the house because I can do it all on the ZTR. It is much faster and a lot more comfortable over the ruts than my tractor set up.
 

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Doing the same thing here. Was using a 72" finish mower and a Kubota 3410. I just bought a Hustler Super Z 60" with flex forks and suspension seat. I should have done it a long time ago. Mowing time cut in half and I am going to sell the little Toro I was using to mow around the house because I can do it all on the ZTR. It is much faster and a lot more comfortable over the ruts than my tractor set up.
The problem is people cannot comprehend what you are saying in this post until they experience it for themselves. I know I personally would not believe the difference a Super Z with flex forks and flex seat could make without proving it to myself.

The time difference is another thing hard to understand, but you are not able to utilize the speed if you can't stay in the seat. Rougher ground is where other mowers would need a slower speed to keep from beating the mower all to pieces. The flex forks, suspension seat with the flex base and low tire pressure is absorbing a great deal of the shock allowing the Super Z to mow faster more comfortably while saving time and fuel.
 

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Do you happen to have a skid steer on rubber tracks? There is a mower that will fit on the front of any skid steer called Mastermow. It is made by Midwest Mower Inc.. It runs off the skid steer's hydraulics and comes in 61" and 76" decks. Look it up at www.mastermow.com

The main reason I asked if you had a skid steer with rubber tracks is that this drive system will go over ruts better.
 
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