wide area mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by therainman, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    anyone using wide area mowers on big props.

    have opportunity to bid a 100 acre industrial site.

    15.7 acres finish cut and currently rest is bushogged every 5 weeks.

    I was thinking I could mow much faster with a w.a.m than with a bush hog of any size.
    the terrain is very smooth for this type of account.

    I also was wanting to know if i cut @ 5inches will the mower keep up with only cutting every five weeks.

    was thinking i could still mow every 2 weeks fast than time to bus hog

    any help would be great

  2. SLC1234

    SLC1234 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    We are using Hustler 4600 Rangewings, great machines, fast and give a excellent cut. I would go used if you are buying it just for this account. When we started with big places we bought a used one then started getting more and more accounts that we needed that is when we went with new ones. There are many brands and many price ranges Toro, Jacobson, Ransomes, Howard Price, ect. we are happy with the hustlers and we will probably stay with them. Just my two cents

  3. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    thanks for reply. I am famiar with howard, toro, and jac.
    I acct. have more of a golf background. have run these mowers many many hrs... all weekly or more freq. mowing though. main quest. is how well will they cut the long growth. my family all run courses so finding a used on is what i had in mind i know the costs of these mowers. never mowed anything tall with one.

  4. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I would think it depends on the mower. If you want to cut tall stuff, you definitely have to go high horsepower. If you set your height high, you should be able to go about once a month. Remember, the turf is not as dense and you're probably not throwing much fert on it. Heck, I've used a Toro 224 in 12"+ grass and pushed it down. I had to go slow, but got the job done.

    I'm in the golf course biz too, and I love running the big mowers. This should be the time of year to find some good trade-ins or equipment off of leases. I would suggest the Jac HR 5111, the machine is almost legendary on golf courses. The HR 4600 is a good machine if you want something a little smaller. Ransommes would be ok, but not as good as the Jac. I would stay away from the Toro 455D, though.

    Here's a decent dealer in Northern Ohio.
  5. D.J. VS

    D.J. VS LawnSite Member
    from Mich.
    Messages: 8

    I would definetly contact Jim @ Used Equip. He has some really great equip. I just sent him a great HR5111 with low hours.

    Hope this helps.

  6. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    We have 6 Toro 4000D which are good machines. However in heavy grass they tend not to have enough power to keep your speed up. If looking at Toro check out the 580D which is a larger unit. Also John Deere makes a 1600 series WAM which has more hp than the Toro 4000Ds.
    My suggestion would demo all potenial mowers on that property at the same time. That way you don't have to remember back a few weeks as to how the last demo unit performed. Usually you'll find that most vendors support this type of demo. They like mow offs because the can prove their unit is better than the other guys unit. Also the vendor that spouts the most bull will leave with his tail between his legs, normally.
  7. JDRep2

    JDRep2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I believe that you need to think twice about letting it grow for 5 weeks and then trying to take a WAM in there. How much will the grass grow in 5 weeks? If it's already at 5in. then grows another 5in., that means the water grass and fescue will probably be laying down when you return. Most traditional mower decks could struggle under these conditions, i.e. the need for double cutting.

    You're definately going to want to make sure that the mower decks are fully open in the rear or you'll be making hay.

    Secondly, a decent used WAM is going to set you back approx. $20K, you need to demo the units out at the site. That's too much money to trust to a sales speach.

    Last, but not least, you might want to consider this site as two different jobs. One at 15 acres, finish cut, and the other at 85 acres, rough cut. If you already have equipment and staff to handle the 15, the 85 acre decision may seem easier to justify with a rotary cutter.
  8. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    thanks all,
    this is a two bid prop. 15 and 85. that is not a problem. thanks for help and will let everyone know how it goes
  9. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Grass doesn't get that out of control when you let it go. At a golf course I worked, we let certain parts of our rough go and cut them only once a year. In November we just hit it with a Toro 72 set at the highest height (5" or 6", i forget). Most of the turf will grow to a certain height and stop, then it will lay down until we cut it. In my opinion you can certainly get away with going every five weeks, as long as you consider a couple things.

    First is turf type. If it is utility turf and tall fescue, it should be tall, but not dense. Second, is the machine. You'll need hp, and rear-discharge decks are a plus. Finally is weather. Obviously, it's alot easier to cut when it's dry.
  10. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Turf type is very critical. Is this an old field area that was never actually seeded in anything specific. If so in Illinois this could grow several feet in 5 weeks. I've seen some grasses grow as much as 3 feet in a little over a months time during May and June. Be very careful on this. You might find yourself having to invest in a rough cut mower just to get the job done. 85 acres is alot of acres without the proper equipment.


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