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  1. #1
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    Aug 2008
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    Default Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Hey guys, we're in negotiations for a new property with ~5 acres. Most of it would get mowed. There's a mix of trees and open area. All flat, coastal sandy soil. No plans to till. Only reason I'm not sure on a zero turn is that I dislike a single use machine. Last time I did this I picked up that l'il kubota with the BM/FEL for $7500 and it was schweet. If I go with a tractor this time, my tasks will include mowing, shuffling boats around (some are pretty big ~10K#'s), hanging/moving outboards, possibly some light driveway work, lots of brush work initially, yadda yadda..
    My bud that runs a boat dealership near here says hydrostatic is very nice for shuffling boats. I know from my last experience that 4WD helped a lot with resale, although I don't think it's necessary around here or for what I plan to do. Size suggestions?
    Was thinking a smallish unit with a belly mower, FEL w/forks would do the trick. I'm a wheeler-dealer in the boat biz so making the deal happen ain't a problem. It's just been long enough that I've forgotten what to avoid and always appreciate informational assistance in making a decision on things I'm not that familiar with. Buying new just goes against my nature. Hehehe. Thanks.!! d:^) Schneeks..

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2010
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    1,649
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    Piedmont, NC
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    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Well, you've been down this path before, so you know something about what works for you. The hydro is indeed very handy for the kind of work you describe, and 4wd makes it possible to use a smaller piece of equipment. If those 5 ton boats (how big does it have to be to be called a "ship", anyways?), are being moved around your lot you don't need anything really big; if you're running them up and down the ramp into the water, you'd need something much bigger, of course. Something like the kubota B series would even be enough, although your mowing and other work would get done better and faster with a larger setup, such as the size of the Kubota L models.

    Lots of good brands... Kubota, Deere, New Holland, Kioti, Mahindra, Massey Ferguson and others. All would be suitable for you; you may favor one based on your preferences. Since you're looking used, it's more important finding one in good shape than what make it is. Just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    10,517
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Yep. Something in the B sized kubota, 2x20 john deere, ck kioti, or about any other 25-30 hp tractor of reputable brand.

    I think you are indeed going to want 4wd with a loader. Without it, you will literally be stuck on a wet leaf unless you have weight hanging off the back.

    But when it comes to mowing, especially 5 acres, nothing is going to beat a 60" or 72" ZTR.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
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    (4) Sachs-Dolmar 116SI Ported
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  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2008
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    110

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Thanks fellas. Just got back from a run to the tractor dealers up around Burgaw(read: excuse to take the Goldwing out on a beaut of a day instead of doing boat work). One in particular I've dealt with before, M.C. (Punk) @ Nash in Burgaw. We chatted about it like the last time. After pricing guesstimations and the associated PITA of finding a used setup just like I want, we came to the conclusion that I'd prolly be better off with a gently used "low-commercial-end" ZTR and a tractor with just the FEL/Forks.

    'Course in true salesman fashion he just happened to have a reasonable-lookin Gravely 250 with just under 500 hrs there for $2K. I don't know much about ZTR's except that this Lowe's John Deere the previous owner of this place left to take care of the property seems to be cheaply made and doesn't cut very well even right after a sharpening.

    So I gotta research this angle as well. And it might be the way to go even if not with this particular ZTR. If somethin decent can be had under $2500 it may be better than havin to hassle with the belly mower. Plus I could go ahead and start mowing now with that and take the rush off of getting something to shuffle boats & motors. I can get that done with a truck and cherry pickers like I do now. It's just more labor intensive and slower.
    Whatchyathink? d:^) Schneeks..

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Grandad4- Yup, it's a big honker of a boat. Not a lot shorter than a tractor trailer with a full grown F350 out front. And the guy drives it like he's in his car!! I won't be using this rig to launch. Just mov'em around the yard when needs be.

    LD1-Good point on the 4x4 with the FEL. My last tractor was a 4x4 and I hadn't thought of that. Not sure what all I'd do with a bucket, tho'. Mostly worried about forks for shuffllin pallets around. d:^) Schneeks.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Jun 2010
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    250
    Tractor
    Oliver 1655

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Gravely (Ariens) makes a good mower. The Gravely 250 has a 50" pressed out cutting deck. This would be ok as long as you are mowing an established yard. If you are trying to tame a yard, the deck will not hold up as well as a welded together deck. It probably has a 23 hp Kawasaki or Kohler engine. 500 hours on these engines is not that much. $2,000 dollars is about half price of a new one. If it is in good shape I wouldn't be afraid to get it. However, if you could find a used mower with a larger deck, 60 - 72" for a good price I think you would be happier.

    You mentioned sandy soil. Is it firm or will you need to consider a traction tire instead of a turf tire?

  7. #7
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Location
    Central Ohio
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    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Yep. For 5 acres, I'd want a 72" deck. 60-61" bare minimum.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
    Kubota L3400GST W/LA463 FEL
    2005 Dodge 3500 4x4 Diesel
    8N Rebuilt and restored
    Bushhog 306
    3 Homemade wood hauling trailers
    Dolmar 6400 84cc ported
    Sachs-Dolmar 120SI Ported
    (4) Sachs-Dolmar 116SI Ported
    Dolmar PS540
    Sachs-Dolmar 115i
    Sachs-Dolmar 117
    Sachs-Dolmar 112

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2008
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    110

    Default Re: Another sortof noob lookin'. Zero turn/Tractor debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver1655 View Post
    Gravely (Ariens) makes a good mower. The Gravely 250 has a 50" pressed out cutting deck. This would be ok as long as you are mowing an established yard. If you are trying to tame a yard, the deck will not hold up as well as a welded together deck. It probably has a 23 hp Kawasaki or Kohler engine. 500 hours on these engines is not that much. $2,000 dollars is about half price of a new one. If it is in good shape I wouldn't be afraid to get it. However, if you could find a used mower with a larger deck, 60 - 72" for a good price I think you would be happier.

    You mentioned sandy soil. Is it firm or will you need to consider a traction tire instead of a turf tire?
    I reckon I'd call it established. Whoever the realtor's landscape service is they're running a ZTR. It pretty much looks like my current yard. Flat, sandy and full of weeds. Traction isn't much of a problem, but decks take a good blasting every trip around the yard.
    The motor on this Gravely is a Kawasaki 1601V. The most worrisome thing I saw was all that hydraulic hoopla for running the deck. Looked like a lot to go wrong for something that just hasta raise and lower a deck. d:^) Schneeks..

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