pasture mowing with ztr

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bcraig, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. bcraig

    bcraig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey all,
    I recently started looking for a comercial ztr. I have 5 acres of grass to cut. When talking to a local scag dealer they asked how much property I had. I told them I had 5 acres of yard and 8 acres of pasture. They suggested that I could get a 72" TT and cut it all. This idea sounds very appealing. I have an old 35 Masey/Ferg. with a 5ft bush hog that i use to mow the pasture. The tractor is nickel and dimeing me to death. For every hour I run the tractor I spend two hours working on it.
    I'm trying to decide if I should sell the tractor and get a 72" ztr or if i would be better off with a 48" or 52" ztr for the yard and keep the tractor for the pature.
    Does anybody out there use a ztr to mow horse pasture and if so how is it working out? Is it a rough ride,does it beat you to death. How is the mower handling it, is it beat up?
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,732

    I would not use a ZTR to mow a pasture that has horses or cattle in it. You will beat yourself and the mower to death. I have mowed a few like that and it was so rough that I could only average about 1 acre/hr. It will really be bad if you use the Scag ZTR. From my experience, the scag has the roughest ride of any ZTR I have ever been on.:(
  3. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    ...but I highly recommend you try the Exmark before you make a decision. I haven't posted for a while, but some of you know that I have only one client and that's my wife's horse/alpaca/llama/goat, etc, etc. farm. She wants it looking like a Kentucky Derby winner is being trained there so it's sometimes a demanding job.

    The number of acres I mow depends on where we have our animals and what we're doing with the grass, ie., using it for silage for a neighbor or cutting for looks. I average approximately 6-10 acres of cutting a week, most of it pasture, with about two acres of lawn for the house and playfield for the kids.

    I started a couple of years ago with a bush hog - no good! Went to a 72" JD F935 front mower but got beat to death. Tried limiting JD to lawn only and got a Woods 72" rear discharge grooming mower for pastures. Woods works good, but limited by PTO speed and ground speed of tractor. Lawn still didn't look as good as we wanted with JD.

    Had two different dealers bring Scag TT and Exmark LazerZ, both with 27HP Kawasaki LC engines out the same morning. Mowed half of playfield with Scag and other half with Exmark. LazerZ stayed and Scag went home. Scag dealer told me later that he was so disgusted with the comparison between the two that he has dropped Scag and gone to the KubotaZ exclusively [he was already a Kubota dealer also].

    I haven't even used the Woods this year. I serviced the gear box and put on a set of sharp blades, but when I was out mowing, I just kept going with the Lazer and that's been it. Yes there is some rough ground and yes you have to slow down, but wherever I can speed it up, that Z really shows it's stuff. I have also mowed some really high stuff [12-18"] that I didn't really plan on but just decided to hit while I was out there. When I went about half speed or less it cut it all and when I went a bit faster, but not full speed, it laid over the tall stuff and only partially cut it. I had to make two passes on that section, but believe I could have cut it in one pass using doubles. [Doubles is another story - I used them for a while, but found I didn't really need them to do what I wanted; I'd use them again if I was cutting the really tall stuff a lot.]

    To make a long story longer, I'd buy the Lazer again in a heartbeat. I may buy the suspension seat, as mine came with the regular and mowing the pastures it would really help. I just can't bring myself to buy one until I get the chance to try one out and none of the dealers in my area has had one, not that any of the dealers is particularly close, the closest being 35 miles away.

    Good luck with your decision but please give the Exmark a try before you make a purchase. Mine has really stood up to those pastures and although it's a bit dirtier than from just the lawn, nothing's come loose or been dinged or bent and I check everything and change blades each time I mow.
    Will M>
  4. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 173


    Yes we do,
    About a month ago my wife and I purchased a new Toro Z-Master 20HP with the 52-inch deck, love the thing, it is amazing.
    We keep about 4 acres of horse pasture mowed and 2 acres of yard. Prior to the Z-Master we mowed the pastures with a 5-foot finish mower, 3 pt behind my 650 JD.
    I have always mowed my pastures after rotating the horses and my pastures look almost as good as my yard, I always felt if the pastures look good they probably are, I know the horses eat almost every thing and it spreads out the manure piles, another story.

    Sure you may not be able to mow the pastures at 8 miles per hour but you will cut the mowing time in half, at least, AND when you mow the yard it will look great to boot. Our finish mower is now for sale.

    One last note, The Z-Master is also much easier to use compared to the big finish mower hanging waaaaaaaaaaay out behind the tractor.
    My daughters (15 and 11 yrs old) can now mow the pasture also. No regrets at all.

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I mow 5 acres total, only 1.5 is pasture - I have a 62" Toro and it is rough - but as stated before, I can still average an acre per hour. If there is a dealer in your area, you might try to demo a Ferris with 4-wheel suspension. Do some searches - sometimes they get good reviews, sometimes not but I wish I had tried one - the ride must surely be better.
  6. cbukfan

    cbukfan LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 3

    I know several people who use 72" Exmarks for pasture mowing. They are all very pleased. The Exmark is an unbelievable peice of equipment. I own two myself and have been very pleased with them.

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