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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    135
    Location
    Far Eastern Central MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    My wife and I just bought a new house with the typical builder's landscaping (read: all grass). The lot is only an acre and a half (postage stamp size compared to some of you folks) but its way more than I want to mow with the 21" Lawn Boy. I've been considering a tractor for years ("dreaming" is more like it [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]) and now looks like the time... I'm still doing the research on tractor sizes et. al. but I'm looking at a loader and a hoe for sure since I'll be doing a bit of dirt moving to "fix" what the builder left us with. Now it appears that I should get a mower as well.

    I've done a lot of reading in this forum about tractor/loader/hoe sizes and I'm amazed at the wealth of knowledge...what a great resource! I guess I'm in the range of a B2710/2910 or maybe a B21 but I'll leave those questions for another post... I have no no clue about mowers and I'm hoping that you folks can help to educate me.

    Do any of you have an opinion about 3pt finish mowers vs. belly mounted finish mowers? Ease of use, ease of maintenance, and ease of removal/attaching would be my primary concerns, quality of the cut is the big concern for my wife...

    Thanks in advance... Bill


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,490
    Location
    Hico, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    Sorry, but 1 1/2 acres is not postage stamp size. You can really do a lot on that if you have a little imagination. The 2710 and 2910 are sure nice tractors. I really like the features of the B21. It seems to be a really tough little machine that is capable of doing a lot of real work.

    Nice lawn appearance is primarily influenced by tip speed of the mower (higher is better), uplift blades (most now have), and sharp blades (up to you). The difference in belly mower and rear mower depends on how you like to do it. If your property is lawn quality, then either will work just fine. The only advantage I see to the belly mower is that you are working with a smaller tractor length and more likely to be able to maneuver where you need to mow. The rear mower can back into places that the belly mower can't reach. If your land is rough then it may be hard to get the belly mower high enough to clear rocks or stumps or ditches and you can get stuck.

    For installation on the three point adjustable links on the lower three point arms will get you a log of hugs [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img] and I believe they are now putting them on some of the newer tractors. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,219
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    I agree with what Wen said. I use a Bush Hog brand 60" rear discharge 3-point mower behind my B2710, and for me it's the only way to go. I can back it under some trees, into corners, etc. And it's one of the easier 3-point implements to hook up because it has four big caster wheels and can be rolled into position by hand pretty easily (of course, mine is stored inside on a concrete floor). And I like the fact that I can pick it up with the 3-point if I want to clean under the deck, sharpen blades, etc. (haven't had to sharpen the blades yet, but I'll put jack stands under it if I intend to get under it.) For some applications, naturally the belly mower is preferable, but not for me. You do have to remember with the rear mower than when you turn, it's going to swing out in the opposite direction, so it's easy to swing it into trees, fences, etc. until you get used to it.

    Bird

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    800
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    I agree with Wen and Bird and add the following points of consideration:

    (1) With the 3pt mower you have to run over the grass with all four tractor tires before the mower gets to it; with a mid-mower you only have the front two tires running over the grass.

    (2) In my opinion the mid-mower is more "wife friendly" in case you wife decides to play on the tractor.

    (3) If you decide to upgrade mowers after the initial purchase, the 3pt mower would be easier to get rid of since it fits most any tractor; the mid-mower is very limited to the tractors it would fit on.

    My personal opinion is that the mid-mower is the best option while it is in use and the 3pt mower is the best option when it comes to any maintenance issue (removing, installing, sharpening blades, etc).


  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    962
    Location
    Coldwater, Michigan
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota BX 1850

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    bcarter,

    I have been using a 5' Woods 3 pt. finish mower for about a year, bought it with my NH TC18 last June. I too struggled with the belly vs rear finish mower dilema! I get an excellent finish cut from my mower. I'm really glad that I went with the rear because it's easy to get rid of when you want to do something else. I've moved tons of fill sand for my barn foundation with a rear blade and rake and the mower wasn't under there to get hung up.

    It did take a little getting used to since I moved up from a 16 hp garden tractor with a 4' belly mower. I have 8 acres and mow about 2.5 - 3 of it. Hope to be cutting wild stuff in the field, another 4 acres, this summer when I get a rear rotary.

    I know you didn't ask about size yet but that never stopped me! I think if you haven't already, you should go look close up at a 2710 or a 2910 with a loader and hoe on it. In my opinion either is too much tractor for 1.5 acres. Ask who does finish mowing with a tractor that large, some use a small lawn tractor for finish mowing. No one's been able to get a "real" weight on the kubota's but 27-30 hp is a heavy tractor for maintaining a nice lawn. You can put a hoe on my TC18 or, I believe the B7500 or B2410 but not the JD4100.

    Just my $10 worth...2 cents won't buy much anymore! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    JimBinMI

    We boys and our toys!

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,662
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    bcarter, others know much more than I about mowers so I will not get into that. I did want to mention that the B21 can not use a belly mower if you want to go that way. I have and am a big fan of the B21 if you have any questions about them.

    MarkV


  7. #7

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    Having had both combinations of mower and tractor, it is an easy choice. If you have a loader do not get a belly mower--you will always regret it. Not enough ground clearance and the mower sticks out past the loader bucket. Removing mower is another real pain. I would never have a belly mower with a loader again! As far as finish mower go, get a 3 point with 4 wheels such as the woods with a gear drive system. They do a great job--high lift blades and will spread the grass as well as anything made. I would suggest side discharge for a better appearance. Rear discharge will have the mower wheel running through the cut grass and if wet will leaves clumps of grass behind you. I to have 1 1/2 acres. Almost too small for a frontend loader but it sure is fun to have and saves your back!


  8. #8

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    Your getting lots of good responses and I agree with most points. I prefer the rear discharge. I have a 3pt Land Pride FDR2572 and it does a great job. Side discharge has the disadvantage of always having to mow the same direction, plus it takes up more room in the garage because of the chute sticking out. I really like the convenience of being able to trim on either side. Having the caster wheels run over the grass after cutting has never been a problem for me. As far as belly vs rear, that depends on if you plan to use the tractor for anything else besides mowing. I've already used mine for more things than I thought I would, so I'm glad I can take the mower off real easy (just pull 3 pins and disconnect the driveshaft).


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    255
    Location
    Athens, Georgia
    Tractor
    B2410HSD

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    I've put several stone walls in my yard and with grass growing right up next to them, they make mowing an incredible pain in the neck if you use a rear mount mower. I still decided to go with a rear mount mower since it is easy to remove and costs less. To get around the nuisance of mowing with a rear mount mower I put in mowing strips, about a foot wide, made out of smaller stones. The mowing strips are at dirt level so I can drag the mower right over them. The next problem is that the 4 wheels on rear discharge mowers, like the Woods, are mounted on the corners of the mowing deck. This means I'd be dragging them over my bumpy mowing strip. Ultimately I bought a side discharge 5' kubota finishing mower. The wheels are mounted about 10" in from the corners, it is well made, the side discharge shoot can be folded back out of the way if it's stored in a tight spot, and best of all it comes in my favorite <font color=orange> color </font color=orange>.


  10. #10

    Default Re: 3 Pt Finish Mower Vs. Belly Mower

    You might want to take a look at a Land Pride FDR2572 rear discharge pull behind fininsh mower. The caster wheels are mounted about a foot in from the sides. This was one of the main reasons I bought it instead of a Bush Hog brand. The new Woods 72" rear discharge finish mowers are set up to mount the rear caster wheels either at the sides or about 20" in from the sides. But, you have to have a wrench to adjust the height. The Land Pride has pull pins to adjust the height. The color is light brown.


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