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WAM vs tractor rough cut mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Gr8WhiteNorth, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Gr8WhiteNorth

    Gr8WhiteNorth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    Question to those with large site experience-

    If you had to cut 80 acres of grass that looks fairly rough on a regular basis, what would you prefer? What would be faster?

    I'm looking at a John Deere 1600 WAM with 11 ft cut vs 90 hp kioti tractor with 15-18 ft rough cut mower. A rough but is acceptable.

    The area I'm looking at has been cut with the tractor combination in the past. It's presently 2 ft high and rumored to have garbage hidden throughout. I'm sure I could get rid of any hazardous debris after the first cut and then keep it managed.

    I've never used either and am looking for comparisons on output and general knowledge
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    That's a job for a tractor.
  3. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Not knowing your other mowing needs and large property's potential. There is usually more information need to make this type of decision. So with what yo tell me I say go with the JD 1600. Reason there much more versatile, easier to maneuver and get in to close trimming. A used JD unit is not cheep but most likely about the same as a use traitor unit with a large bat wing.

    Unless you have other work lined up or this is a sure thing for more than one year/season I would be hesitant to spend this type of money without having other work to support it.

    Plus if your talking 2 feet deep every time you mow, a tractor unit would look more promising. I have had lots of time on a traitor & bat-wing. They are slow and the cut is usually ugly, but it is cut well. A WAM rider type has much more usefulness in the large property if the grass/weed are not to deep. AS I said I have lot of time on traitor mower, our city parks has a JD1600 and have watched it mow many times and feel it would be something I could use.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    tractor and a batwing
  5. Salcido Lawn

    Salcido Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I have a JD 1600 WAM and I've mowed properties that were 2'+ and it cut it with no problem! It will be a lot faster with the WAM! If you look around, you can find a good deal on one. I found mine on Craigslist, it only had 680 hrs on it! I talked the guy down to $10,500! It's easily worth $20k. Here's a picture of it: http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=372128
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    Assume this is the only job maybe tractor - can alway use a tractor. But if you have more and justify - WAM. I run TORO. I think toro or jacobson is your better bet for a WAM. I have two, I have had up to four wams but were more effecient now. There great. some upkeep, there a machine.
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,647

    Depending on the obstacles on the property, I'd take a tractor and 18'-20' batwing hands down. The 90 HP tractor can run either of those sizes easliy, and can mow at some pretty fast speeds while doing it. On top of that, the much larger wheels of the tractor will smooth out the ride A LOT. Tractors can also be used for so many other things. In my book, and unless the place is covered in small trees or something, it's a no brainer.
  8. Gr8WhiteNorth

    Gr8WhiteNorth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    For you guys with WAMs, do you use them in the snow season with broom or blowers?
  9. Salcido Lawn

    Salcido Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I've never used my like that. Not too much snow in Texas.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Tractor and batwing. You can always find other uses for the tractor.

    Tractors are great for moving snow. You can put a loader with snow pusher on front. Or add plow to the front or to the laoder. On the back you can add a backdrag blade or blower and use both ends of the machine. There are several possibilites with a tractor that a WAM will not offer.

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