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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Hi, we work on a lot of foreclosures (maintenance and lawn care) and are in the market for a new piece of equipment. We are looking for strong HP and good deck size.
    Mainly interested in a strong, dependable mower that can handle running for several hours and on tall grass up to 5-6 days per week. We stay busy but some weeks are busier than others.
    There are 5 months that we don稚 cut at all (November- March).

    Currently we run a 52 Grasshopper 220 Zero turn (20 HP Kohler) and a 48 Snapper Pro Belt Drive walk behind (15 HP Kohler) and we have too much down time with maintenance.

    We are in a semi rural area so the lawns we service range from subdivision lots to 1-2 acres lots. We have smaller mowers that can accommodate for any tight spaces.

    We are thinking that we are buying the wrong equipment....have ran tractors years ago on farm but not on this type of work. Alot of the yards we are getting have been let go for quite some time and can be as high as 6 feet. Even with the zero turn going slow, it gets bogged down. Have had some properties that are full of undergrowth that have to be reclaimed and have rented a brush cutter fairly cheap then finish it with mowers. I am wondering if I should look into a tractor...and buy attachments...belly mower, bush hog, etc. The yards that are killing us are the first time cuts because they are so overgrown, thick and tall averaging 36"-42" in height. Once we get those out of the way, we cut them biweekly and its no problem. We have about 10 lawns to do daily. Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts as to which mower or tractor they would recommend? maybe even a combination of two? Thank you very much, Phil & Sherry in Georgia

  2. #2
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,026
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    For the tall over-grown stuff;you need a small tractor with a pto driven brush-hog.I am familiar with kubota,but others make similar machines.These small units can be fitted for mid-mount mowing decks for finish work.So you will have dual purpose machine.
    Look at the BX line on the Kubota web-site.Small four-wheel drives and diesel.Should be more efficient than the large gas machines.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3,023
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    id say get you a 30 to 35hp tractor in the color of your choice an 5ft bushogg an belly mower.but i wouldnt use the belly mower to mow after the shredding.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,121

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    They are practically giving away 2wd gas tractors now days compared to a few years ago. I would look for a couple 1955 or newer Fords (or similar) in the 30-50 hp range and 5-foot, light-duty rotary-mowers. You may be able to find such rigs for around 2k each and they are easy to maintain and get parts for. Use these to take out the high stuff the first time, then maintain every couple weeks with your current equipment. This route will save you tons of cash upfront over buying a new diesel, and if you decide you dont like the tractors, you can often sell for the same or better than you paid. I would look for a matched set, like Ford 600's, etc., so you can canabilize parts if need be to keep going. Gas is also considerably cheaper and more readily available than diesel these days which negates much of the diesel's efficency advantage, so your operating costs wont be that much higher. Brand new diesels should especially be avoided since they must comply with increasing emmisions regulations which comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. If you go with a light-duty rotary-mower, the grass cut quality can be adequate for usage such as yours. The heavy-duty models by any make dont develop enough vacuum for a neat cut on grass. I downsized my own manicured lawn to what I can get done in an hour with a 42" deck, 12hp conventional rider, which is about an acre, but I cut 3-4 more acres around the house and barns every 2-3 weeks or so with a 43 hp tractor and 6-foot light-duty rotary-mower. The 6ft Rhino SE-6 I have now doesnt cut quite as neatly as my previous 5 ft, Bush-Hog Squealer, but it dont do too bad if I keep the blades somewhat sharp (grind at a 45 degree angle to a 1/16" flat or so).

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    16,059
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    For the tall over-grown stuff;you need a small tractor with a pto driven brush-hog.I am familiar with kubota,but others make similar machines.These small units can be fitted for mid-mount mowing decks for finish work.So you will have dual purpose machine.
    Look at the BX line on the Kubota web-site.Small four-wheel drives and diesel.Should be more efficient than the large gas machines.
    +1, great power and very easy to transport.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    For the tall over-grown stuff;you need a small tractor with a pto driven brush-hog.I am familiar with kubota,but others make similar machines.These small units can be fitted for mid-mount mowing decks for finish work.So you will have dual purpose machine.
    Look at the BX line on the Kubota web-site.Small four-wheel drives and diesel.Should be more efficient than the large gas machines.
    That is a good idea.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbull338 View Post
    id say get you a 30 to 35hp tractor in the color of your choice an 5ft bushogg an belly mower.but i wouldnt use the belly mower to mow after the shredding.
    What would you recommend to finish with?

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by wolc123 View Post
    They are practically giving away 2wd gas tractors now days compared to a few years ago. I would look for a couple 1955 or newer Fords (or similar) in the 30-50 hp range and 5-foot, light-duty rotary-mowers. You may be able to find such rigs for around 2k each and they are easy to maintain and get parts for. Use these to take out the high stuff the first time, then maintain every couple weeks with your current equipment. This route will save you tons of cash upfront over buying a new diesel, and if you decide you dont like the tractors, you can often sell for the same or better than you paid. I would look for a matched set, like Ford 600's, etc., so you can canabilize parts if need be to keep going. Gas is also considerably cheaper and more readily available than diesel these days which negates much of the diesel's efficency advantage, so your operating costs wont be that much higher. Brand new diesels should especially be avoided since they must comply with increasing emmisions regulations which comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. If you go with a light-duty rotary-mower, the grass cut quality can be adequate for usage such as yours. The heavy-duty models by any make dont develop enough vacuum for a neat cut on grass. I downsized my own manicured lawn to what I can get done in an hour with a 42" deck, 12hp conventional rider, which is about an acre, but I cut 3-4 more acres around the house and barns every 2-3 weeks or so with a 43 hp tractor and 6-foot light-duty rotary-mower. The 6ft Rhino SE-6 I have now doesnt cut quite as neatly as my previous 5 ft, Bush-Hog Squealer, but it dont do too bad if I keep the blades somewhat sharp (grind at a 45 degree angle to a 1/16" flat or so).
    I have heard that the older ones are easy to work on?

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by georgiatwo View Post
    Hi, we work on a lot of foreclosures (maintenance and lawn care) and are in the market for a new piece of equipment. We are looking for strong HP and good deck size.
    Mainly interested in a strong, dependable mower that can handle running for several hours and on tall grass up to 5-6 days per week. We stay busy but some weeks are busier than others.
    There are 5 months that we don稚 cut at all (November- March).

    Currently we run a 52 Grasshopper 220 Zero turn (20 HP Kohler) and a 48 Snapper Pro Belt Drive walk behind (15 HP Kohler) and we have too much down time with maintenance.

    We are in a semi rural area so the lawns we service range from subdivision lots to 1-2 acres lots. We have smaller mowers that can accommodate for any tight spaces.

    We are thinking that we are buying the wrong equipment....have ran tractors years ago on farm but not on this type of work. Alot of the yards we are getting have been let go for quite some time and can be as high as 6 feet. Even with the zero turn going slow, it gets bogged down. Have had some properties that are full of undergrowth that have to be reclaimed and have rented a brush cutter fairly cheap then finish it with mowers. I am wondering if I should look into a tractor...and buy attachments...belly mower, bush hog, etc. The yards that are killing us are the first time cuts because they are so overgrown, thick and tall averaging 36"-42" in height. Once we get those out of the way, we cut them biweekly and its no problem. We have about 10 lawns to do daily. Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts as to which mower or tractor they would recommend? maybe even a combination of two? Thank you very much, Phil & Sherry in Georgia
    Do these subcompact tractors have oil pumps to lubricate the engine while mowing on side of hills? I personally have never owned a tractor but ran my father's Massey Ferguson Yan Mar Diesel 30 years ago. We used it to cut grass, drill post holes, push dirt, etc on small tract of land in Arkansas.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX 2660

    Default Re: Zero Turn vs. Tractor

    With the diesel engine, how do they hold up being started/stopped several times per day? I go from property to property up to 10 per day as opposed to a farm to where you may not have as much start/stop (cranking).

    Does this have any negative effects on the engine?

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