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opinions desired

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rbig, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. rbig

    rbig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Our church has approx 5 acres of very rough but smooth looking lawn to keep mowed. It's time to buy a couple new mowers. The budget is up to $6K ea.

    Choices of mower types would appear to be

    a. garden tractors with belly decks

    b. ZTRs

    c. 3 wheel riders (like Scags)

    Am I missing any types that would be a contender?

    ZTRs and 3 wheel riders are generally faster than garden tractors because you spend a lot more time going forward on them, whereas you have to back up to manuver the garden tractors in tight spots.

    However, the garden tractors can also be used for other functions (such as trailer spotting/towing), whereas the others aren't really suited for this function.

    Whatever we get is going to have to be a strong piece of machinery to keep from getting beat up with the routine mowing. We've been using a JD 400 and a JD GT275. Both have frequent casualties. We'll be bringing in loads of topsoil and spreading it this spring to fill in the holes, ruts, ditches, bumps, etc. Until then, though, we've got to contend with rough stuff.

    Also, my impression is that the ZTRs have lots more moving parts in 'em, so, potentially more potential for breakdowns.

    Thoughts and suggestions welcome
  2. arborist-28

    arborist-28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    a belly mower on a jd 1050 or 950 would last forever ..
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    I would reseed the 5 acres after grading etc and then you would only need 1 ZTR mower and you would have the benefits of a smooth lush lawn. Also there would be no expense in the spring of the extra topsoil and work to move it. You might run a little over budget this yr but would make it next yr and then have a saving in subsequence yrs from not doing repairs as often on the equipment and it lasting longer before needing replaced
  4. True Cut Lawn Maintenance

    True Cut Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    Look into the John Deere X series, the X575 or X585 might be what your looking for, they are dirving by hydrostatic transmissions with foot pedals and once you get the hang of the foot petals you can zip around pretty fast
  5. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    Well JD 400 are a collector item. You can get $1000 to $3000 for one depending on condition. So you could add that to the price of a new ZTR.
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    The good news is that with only five acres to mow, one ztr (commercial if you want it to last) will be more than you ever need and if taken care of will last for years. You can get hitches for them although they are not as easy to drive with a trailer as a conventional tractor. As mac said, maybe use some of the money saved from only buying one unit to regrade or renovate some of the bad spots.
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    walker 26 hp efi with speed kit and 62 in deck. 1 1/2 hour mowing tops. switch decks to catch grass and leaves. youll use 3 gal of gas each time. put on snow plow in winter, too.
  8. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I am a commercial mowing guy, but would strongly recommend you consider a compact Kubota diesel tractor. Our church is similar sized and always has a project running. A small Kubota diesel tractor with a front loader, belly mower, or woods finish deck mower with a PTO and 3 point hitch. You can run log splitters, drag boxes, seeders, augers, etc. for the life of the tractor. Kubota and diesel are "LONG LIFE" machines. You can rent the attachments you do not need as often depending on the project. I think you could look at one of these units for $14,000 range.

    I am a commercial cutter and know the value of a ZTR. There is no better cutting machine, but the church may benefit long term with a multi-purpose piece of equipment. Check it out on their website. I believe they have pricing listed. They also have excellent terms.
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    5.5 Acres of "rough" land as he said cut in 90 minutes with a Walker????? PLEASE............
  10. moremowing4me

    moremowing4me LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Messages: 148

    not too much snow in pennsacola

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