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Unrealistic expectations? Mowing at 4.5"+

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by tractorsnowman000, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. tractorsnowman000

    tractorsnowman000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello all,
    I am new to Lawnsite, but have been reading and searching for the past few weeks. I appreciate all I have learned.

    I am only maintaining my own property. I have mixed mowing needs, an acre or 2 around the house that is pretty standard fare, decent lawn, smooth, can be mowed quickly at 3". Problem is that I have a lot of other areas to mow (say 8+ acres) that are rough, and I want to be able to mow high with a decent (not homeowner, development type quality). Need to mow high cause it is rough as I have been reclaiming land and forests. Also have some steep hills, so traction is important. I have been mowing with my Bob-cat Z219 (no suspension, 19hp kawi).

    I have a Kubota ZD331 60" here now that I am demoing and I like the machine. Nice ride compared to what I am used to, tons of power and torque etc, problem is I am not in love with the cut on my mixed field grass etc at higher mowing heights. very happy with the 3" cut but take it up to 4.5" and get it on mixed grasses (clover, alfalfa, timothy, rye, fescue etc) I get two streams where it appears to have blown more than cut. Probably not enough suction at higher heights.

    I care about 1) smoothness of ride (Kubota seems pretty good compared to what I am used to), 2) traction and stability on hills (Kubota might have a bit high COG) and 3) decent cut at high levels.

    So my question to all the experts (and I mean that seriously) - is it possible to move quickly and mow at 4.5"+ and get a uniform cut?

    I have dealers close by for Exmark, Hustler, Kubota, BadBoy, Scag. Are any of these particularly good at mowing at high heights? If you all tell me that it is not possible to do so I might keep the Kubota I have here as it is a demo from May with 50 hours and I can keep it for $9K. My neighbor has the ZD331 72" and finds when he runs it high 4"+ he too finds that the cut is far from even.

    Thanks for your thoughts and how I might develop realistic expectations.

    Kind Regards,
  2. tilawn

    tilawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    If you are normally cutting at 3 inches and you want to go up to 4 or 4.5 inches you will have to "train" the blade of grass in order for it to get a good smooth looking cut. I have the ZD 326 and have had Zd's from Kubota for about 8 years and I have found that they perform excellent for me at 3 inches or 5 inches. I have to disagree about the center of gravity with you though. I have taken my Kubota's on hills that you can not even walk up. IMO the Kubota is an excellent machine for what you are doing.
  3. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    kubota is the best for u. training the grass like he said will result in a cleaner cut. the turf has to be kinda thick at the cut hight to cut good and it will. 4.5 is a little tall, but this spring i cut some of my bigger stuff on that height because of rain and it was good, but still had to be cut twice due to really tall starting height and wet conditions.
  4. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    I will disagree with the Kubota on hills....while I love that machine and the quality it stands for, it is worthless on hills. In every other aspect I really cant give it enough credit. We had 6 of them in SC and loved them to death for everything but hills. My hustler mini is my hill machine.

    That being said we would go 500+ hours on the Kubotas doing nothing but oil, grease, and blades and we had no issues. The Exmark--cuts good, but really you have to have the hands of a midget to work on it effectively. The Hustler--solid machine, decent cut (Exmark might have the edge here) and easy to work on, Bobcat decent machine--a bit simple in comparison to Exmark and Hustler--In regards to Toro--just don't go there--owned them in two states and more problems than I want to deal with or go into here.

    1. Kubota
    2. Hustler
    3. Exmark
  5. tractorsnowman000

    tractorsnowman000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    thank you for your comments. Do not mean for a moment to throw water on the Kubota. I like the machine. have found that the uphill side wheel tends to loose grip a little sooner on hills than I would like and was thinking that a lower COG might help with that. Moving to lug tires would help as well. I already aired down to 10 psi. Might be worth demoing the Hustler just to have them both here side by side.

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