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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2013
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    Free Union, VA
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    Default HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I recently moved to a rural property and need to purchase mowing equipment. I have ~6 acres of lawn to mow (half landscaped yard/half shoulders of a mile long drive into the property). I have received two conflicting recommendations and am looking for additional guidance. The two options are:

    1) Tractor + finishing mower attachment
    --Advantage is it could also use it for tilling the garden, plowing snow on the road, bush hogging our pastures, but we have a local farmer we currently hire to do most of this so it is not high priority but would be nice
    --Disadvantage is it will be slower than the Zero Turn and potentially harder to maneuver

    2) Commercial Zero Turn Mower
    --Fast and good looking cut
    --Limited alternative uses and less durability

    I would be willing to spend a little more on a multi-use tractor+implements but am concerned I will do so and then decide I still need a mower. Any advice or alternative suggestions as well as brand/model recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Platinum Member jpm1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    560
    Location
    Panther Lake, Oswego County New York
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810 HST, Kioti DK35SE HST

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I mow about 33 acres at my place a week when the grass is growing and have 3 different mowers i use. I have a 72" rear discharge finish mower made by King Kutter which has mown about 4500 acres with with a total cost or replacement parts of about 41 dollars. Not bad i dont think. 2nd i have a Scag 66" cut zero turn which works nicely but is a gas hog some what, but it does a nice job and its quite fast. 3rd i aquired a 15' Jabacson 5 gang rough finish mower from a golf coarse, this is a mowing machine but very heavy to pull so i took off 2 gangs and pull it with the kubota RTV 900, this way my wife can ride with me, see she has alzheimers and likes to be close to me as much as possible, i like it too! Mowing with the Kubota, Kioti or Mahindra my fuel consumpsion is very low probably 4 gallon or so. With the scag about 12 gallon, just some input from threee different mower types. . . John
    Lord, Help me to be the man my dog thinks i am . . .John. Mahindra 2810HST, 108H loader with Quick tach buckets and forks. Kioti DK35SE HST with loader, Hyd. top link and second set of rear remotes, 60" and 66" buckets, Kubota 900 RTV and a bunch of other good stuff
    Buy more equipment, It makes life easier.!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    699
    Location
    Germanton, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    How do you want the mowed areas to look? There will be a difference between a finish mower on a tractor and a commercial grade zero turning radius mower. The ZTR will look better. You might be better off with a real good ZTR mower and a used tractor for your other uses.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,220
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Tractor
    B2620, Toro Z-Master 45 3 (2 3hp Kaw asaki, 52" deck.Kubota RTV 900)

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I probably won't help you-I have both. If you want the fastest way to mow-especially if the lawn is fairly smooth-there is no comparision to a quality commercial Z. How much would you use the tractor?

    I mow a total of 9.5 acres regularly with a Z, and mow an additional 4 acres bi-weekly with a tractor and finish mowing. That land is wet and rough-I let it grow until Memorial Day and bush hog for the first cut. I also use the tractor for bush hogging hunting land, sriveway maintenance, and snow plowing-I put 100 hours yearly on it, and around 120 hours on the Z-so both make sense for me. Will you put that much on a tractor/

    Will

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    47,157
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    since the tractor is a multi-task tool.. it serves to reason it will be more usefull.

    you will have 6zc. that's a decent pice of land.

    you ever plan on doing anything with it than mowing it?

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    54
    Location
    Louisiana
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2516

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I mow 7 acres. I had a kubota zd326p and it was a grass cutting animal. The issues I had with the zero turn is it was very rough riding and when you got off you had to go straight to the shower. The tractor is much easier on the older body and I can come in and sit on the couch after mowing as all the clippings and dust go out the back. I cut along the edge of a highway incline and the tractor is better at that and also on ditch banks. Once a zero turn starts to slip in a ditch there is little you can do to prevent it. I also have a garden and don't know how I ever made it without a front end loader for hurricane cleanups etc. I can also cut when it is wet on the ditch banks. Just put the tractor in 4wd and no slipping. It does take about an hour longer to cut but I am not as tired and beat up as the zero turn. If you are young and have a smooth yard with a lot of things to go around and only want to cut grass the zero turn may be for you. You will be surprised to see how close you can trim with a rfm with a little practice, especially backing up. You can also get under trees and over ditches . I would never consider going back to a zero turn. Also, the tractor is surprisingly easier on the lawn. Of course, if grass cutting is a major use get a HST transmission.

  7. #7
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    7,033
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I think a tractor would be the way to go. What else can you really do with a zero turn other than mow grass? A tractor could be used year round were a zero turn would be used 6 months a year. A tractor will hold its value better.

  8. #8
    Silver Member shucksters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    153
    Location
    TN
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HST+ FEL C/A Kubota BX2370 + FEL/60"MMM

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    Easy (but not practical) answer- you need BOTH!!!

  9. #9
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,763
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    I've been mowing anywhere from 2 to 7 acres over the past 23 years. Having a tractor with a loader and other attachments is very handy. I don't feel at all undergunned with a RFM on a tractor. The current tractor (L3200/HST/Filled R4's) with a 6 foot rear discharge Landpride finish mower is perfect for me. It comfortably does 2 acres an hour. I love the size. It's big and beefy without being too cumbersome.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    6,254
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota's, John Deere's

    Default Re: HELP: Tractor+Finish Mower or Commercial Zero Turn?

    Quote Originally Posted by jameythompson View Post
    I recently moved to a rural property and need to purchase mowing equipment. I have ~6 acres of lawn to mow (half landscaped yard/half shoulders of a mile long drive into the property). I have received two conflicting recommendations and am looking for additional guidance. The two options are:

    1) Tractor + finishing mower attachment
    --Advantage is it could also use it for tilling the garden, plowing snow on the road, bush hogging our pastures, but we have a local farmer we currently hire to do most of this so it is not high priority but would be nice
    --Disadvantage is it will be slower than the Zero Turn and potentially harder to maneuver

    2) Commercial Zero Turn Mower
    --Fast and good looking cut
    --Limited alternative uses and less durability

    I would be willing to spend a little more on a multi-use tractor+implements but am concerned I will do so and then decide I still need a mower. Any advice or alternative suggestions as well as brand/model recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Tractor, you will have more use for it.

    Worry about your lawn, in a few years after all your "landscaping" is done. By then, the tractor may be paid for, and most of your "landscaping" done. Then all you have to worry about is cutting the grass.

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