Recommendation for a lawn mower/tractor!


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Old 04-28-14, 07:56 AM
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Recommendation for a lawn mower/tractor!

We just put an offer on a house and they accepted it on Saturday! Awesome!

It's on a 14 acre lot, but most of it is wooded. The front yard looks about 2 acres. Not too much hills and a couple of trees.

My question is what do I need to cut my new lawn? I'm pretty sure a regular lawn tractor will take too long to cut it? What do I need, a zero turn cutter, diesel lawn tractor, or what can I get away with?

I was looking at a Toro Reelmaster 5200D, which I'm thinking they use it a lot for golf courses. I like the idea because it has a 8ft cut and the price is about $2200 on craigs list.

I've been also looking at the lawn tractors by Kubota, John Deere, and Cub Cadet, but the prices are crazy, about $6k-12k!! I know they are rugged, but they offer other attachments such as a front end loader and other bells and whistles. I'm primarily looking for a mower.

The property itself is pretty nice, and it does have an inground 500 gal diesel tank/pump.

Any recommendations is greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 04-28-14, 09:15 AM
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Personally, I would stay away from used commercial equipment like you mentioned. Generally the reason it is available is that it too expensive to continue to maintain.

A 60" ZTR may be a good choice, but if you are in an area that gets snow, you may want to consider a lawn tractor which can handle a snow blade attachment.

Your drive looks fairly long to be hand shoveling.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 09:30 AM
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My personal opinion is that zero turn mowers favor lawns that require a lot of trimming and turning which a tractor is better for more open spaces and rougher/steeper terrain. Because of their small front wheels I also find that zero turn mowers ride rougher than a tractor though that may not be an issue if your lawn is smooth. Driving a tractor is more intuitive for most people which a zero turn can take some practice which might be intimidating at first. Still, it's not hard to learn.

I have nearly identical mowing tractors a Deere X485 with a gasoline engine and a X595 with a diesel. They are both beyond the prices you've mentioned but the difference between a gas and diesel is very apparent. The horsepower rating of the engines is very similar but there is a huge difference in the mowing power of the diesel. I run a 54" deck on the gas and a 62" on the diesel and the diesel is able to cut heavier grass, faster and take a wider cut. If you ever let your lawn get away from you it may be an issue but a gas engine is sufficient for regular mowing tasks.

Both a $2k and a $12k tractor will be able to cut your grass. A big difference is in durability. The less expensive tractor is constructed much lighter. If you catch the front of the deck on a rock or stump it may bend the deck of the less expensive one while the more expensive will rip the stump out of the ground and keep on going. My expensive mower goes year after year with nothing more than blade sharpening and oil changes while my neighbor has already had to replace his inexpensive mower. It worked the first couple seasons but then spindles went, then the various linkages & bearings. The motor still ran but everything else on the tractor simply wore out.

The Toro is a great mowing machine but I would not choose a reel type mower. There is more maintenance keeping reel mowers operating and blades sharp and they do not handle sticks & debris as well as a big spinning blade. The same with a traditional deck out front is a mowing machine and can produce beautiful results as the cutting is done before the weight of the tractor bends the grass blades. The footprint of the machine is large and driving with rear wheel steering will take some practice as most people are not accustomed to having the back end kick out when turning. They can turn very sharp though and there is a reason they are favored for golf courses.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 10:00 AM
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and it does have an inground 500 gal diesel tank/pump.
Its a no brainer to go diesal. And my opinion ,If it were my home, is a tractor with full attachment capabilitys.

Also 4 wheel drive for snow removal..

For say a john deere just tractor and mower deck is around 14k... Now add the attachments you will need. cost of fuel...etc... May be into 25K just to get started.

Or calculate to pay for people to do it. Lawn care and snow removal and do the math. Whats cheaper? Whats less back breaking?
 
 

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