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Old 03-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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HALP!! Need a new mower

Before the new house, I just paid the kid in church to mow the lawn... BUT Now with 10 acres, 7 which is cleared, I have a little bit of grass to mow. Considering what is being farmed I will have about 2 acres to mow that happen to have roughly 30 fruit trees. SO those of you that do a lot of mowing, what ya using?

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Old 03-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
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i bought mom and dad a john deer 5 years ago, they mow about 3 acres ... they never have any issues with it.

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Could tow this behind the Jeep

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Old 03-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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John deere z track 60" is what I got and its been great.
I have 2 acres and it take 1 hour
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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My buddy cuts his 5 acres with a kubota, they cost some cash but I think he is real happy.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Get a zero turn mower, you'll be glad you did as it will cut much faster for you. Some tried and true mowers in my area are the Grasshopper and John Deere zero turn mowers, there are some others as well but can't think of the brand names right this minute.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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Zero turn is the way to go. However if your yard is uneven a large deck 60" will scallop or scalp it. So buy a deck size according to your lay of the land. I have a 42" deck Toro which works out good on 3 acres of uneven terrain.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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ExMark

The ExMark zero turn is what I use on 3 acres and the best I've ever had. That's the brand that all the professional landscapers around here use, so that tells you something about its reliability. Don't scrimp on the "residential" model, get the LazerZ. It's so much more heavy duty and will work well for you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
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yep, that exmark is what i was trying to think of earlier, damn good mower.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBones
My buddy cuts his 5 acres with a kubota, they cost some cash but I think he is real happy.
We have a few, one zero-turn that cuts about 15 acres every week, April-October. We've had that for about five years. We've had another for almost 15 years - no problems with good, regular maintenance.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #11
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i had this dilema in 2009 buying 6 rural acres and built a house on,
$-wise forced to sell in 2011 so now i have just a small yard in suburbia,
but here's what we did at that time, not having yet owned any large mowing gear.

zero turns and such, they come in 2 ranges, consumer and commercial,
consumer ones cost around $3grand, commercial ones start at $5grand.
everyone else i knew who had a plot like ours said get one, but i couldn't afford at that time so that's all i know of them atm.

big question - what is this land like? is it flattened out like a suburbia yard or is it rural and rough? you can not ride a regular riding mower on rough land, it'll destroy the machine in one season if it lasts one season.

Our land was rough except the small patch of sod surrounding the house, so we used a regular suburbia mower for around the house.

i couldn't afford any tractor and then a bush hog to go behind it, as my Dad used to own for his land (he had 50 acres, about 25 trees on hills and 25 needed cutting). Tractor+bushhog is infact the way to go for rough land if you have the money.

all i had was 6 acres and i just needed it cut down to keep insects at bay, make it look nicer and more useable for recreation. my street was all rich people who had their entire 5 acre flattened down so they were able to use riding mowers and zero turns; i could not afford to get the land processed that way, nor could i afford those mowers, but that is the way to go if you have the money. lucky for me there was no HOA or requirement on mowing, so we were okay just making the 1 acre around the house look like suburbia and the rest was rough looking - although mowed down.

Here's what i did: bought a used Kawasaki Bayou 250cc atv for $1500, they're around $3grand new and they're fantastic vehicles and well worth it. treated it rough and it just kept on working. only 2WD and that's all you need for this work, 4WD atvs get super expensive.

I bought a swisher rough cut mower i think about 48" wide and pulled behind that atv, new that thing was only $1300. it too ran like a champ and was not treated nice at all by me.

that mower was not wide so it took forever to mow 6 acres, probably between 20 to 30 hours total i'm guestimating, 2 weekends or 3. But it's not hard work, the only hard part was getting a wheel of the mower stuck and having to yank it out or something; it simply took a lot of hours to do is all.

being rough land it only needed to be mowed several times during the year, not every 2 weeks or every week like a suburbia yard in rainy season.

so, time intensive but low cost. i wasn't planning to continue that forever but was gonna do that for about 5yrs then get better equipment. I sold that gear with the house so the next guy had a turnkey setup, he too was coming from suburbia and owned no big mowing gear.





remember how much you'll be spending on gas too!


fwiw i looked into reel mowers, i figured if i'm pulling behind an atv it's not going to be physically hard; but i quickly found out those only work on super smooth land, like a golf course or baseball diamond, you can't use them on anything remotely rough. They also only spin fast if you have room to make the momentum, you can't get odd locations cut because the blades won't even be spinning. i learned this when using the smaller versions in suburbia, total pita and you still had to own a normal mower to complete the task. They do though make gigantic reel mower configs for pullbehind an atv, but take a close look at what applications they work, they wouldn't work for rural land at all.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:52 AM   #12
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I am a property manager for a multi-millionaire here who owns a farm and a lot of grass that needs mowed sometimes twice a week.

First off--DO NOT invest your money in a residential grade mower. Holy hell do they suck...we have one here at the house. Every time we mow our 1 1/4 acre yard (which is smooth), something new breaks...usually the front tire pops off the rim (we're on our second or third tire now), the blade deck fell part-way off one day, the muffler has fallen off twice now...our neighbor was nice enough to weld it on for us this last time. Piece of junk...it's not even 3 years old yet.

I would highly recommend a zero turn mower...especially if you have a lot of trees to mow around. You'll get dizzy, but it'll take half as long as any other type of mower. Check out Dixie Choppers...I have a 60" at work. Just bought it last summer to replace our older model Dixie Chopper. It wasn't cheap...cost us around $10,000, but you can get a used Classic model for less than half that probably and they are easy to work on and very durable.

We also have a 60" Grasshopper...both are great mowers, but you're gonna pay out the ass for the Grasshopper name. The Grasshopper has a lot more parts available though...like leaf pickup systems and such. The Dixie Chopper we have has the blade deck centered underneath you and the Grasshopper's is in front of you. I'm kinda partial to the Grasshopper...but I bounce back and forth between the two mowers a lot.

I also do a lot of mowing with a John Deere 6420 and a Bush Hog 2715 Legend....but that might be a little out of your price range. John Deere prolly costs about $50,000 used...and we just bought a second Bush Hog and it set us back around $20,000 brand new. I can do about 50 acres in probably 4 hours though... lol
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:04 AM   #13
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At least do yourself the favor of looking at the Skag line of mowers. I have had mine for 11 years and mow about 4.5 acres. It'll be the last mower you ever have to buy.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:56 AM   #14
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I have an acre to mow so I bought a Toro ZTR 4200. If I had bigger lawn to mow it would no doubt be a Hustler. #1 rated ztr on the market.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #15
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i use a john deere rider w/ a 48" deck to cut 3, and occasionally up to 5 acres. it works great, goes decently quick and in the 5 years we have had it, not a single problem. zero turns are nice, but ive yet to see one you can pull a trailer behind, and that was a requirment for us. it even has a cup holder
point is, commercial grade is great and all, but 9 times out of 10, you dont need it. just a lot more extra money for very little, if at all any benifit. a good quality residential grade mower will serve you well provided you take care of it. just like any car.
will a residential grade mower be as fast as a commercial? i doubt it, but who cares, plug in some tunes and cut away. with only 2 acres to mow, a super fast mower is not going to save you as much time as if you had all 10 to cut. with my deere, it takes me 2 hours to cut 3 acres. this includes all the "detail" work dealing with the flower beds, all the trees/gardens, etc.

a little advice for when you start cutting it, play around a little. took me a couple weekends to figure out the fastest way to go about cutting everything. what works for me is to break all the yards up into shapes/sections and do oen at a time.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #16
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I have 25 acres and own a Ford tractor with a brush hog mowing deck as an attachment. It works great but it takes forever to do 25 acres. I solved that problem buy letting the state park the mowers they use on the interstate at my place when they do our area. When they pull in at the end of the day, they drop the decks and make a few circles around the field. When they leave, they make a few more circles around the field and lift the decks and leave for the interstate. With 4 tractors parked here 3 or 4 times a year, they make my chore a lot easier.

Is this an option for you? Most likely not, but I love telling people how hard it is for me to mow my place.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #17
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small bit i forgot to note,

i had a ton of really hardcore thorn bushes around the entire perimeter, i was getting popped tires frequently until i started using that slime green stuff in both the mower and the atv tires, that stuff completely solved the problem.

if you will be rolling over thorns i highly recommend it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #18
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #19
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:52 PM   #20
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And quite tasty when cooked right.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:08 PM   #21
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