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  1. #1
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    Default Help first time buyer!

    Hello. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me with this.

    We live on about .50 acres, our land is flat in the front and in the back - but on both sides of our home there is a hill. So to get to the front or back you will have to go either up or down a hill. My husband was interested in purchasing a self propelled walk behind mower - I think a ride on would be better.

    I am concerned about the hills though, What kind of HP do you need for the hills? Can you do it with a walk behind?

    Any help would be much appreciated. I know you guys are the pros - we are doing this for the first time.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
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    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    I don't know how steep your hills are? But if you did go with a walk behind I sure would have it self propelled. You can go with a rider and if you grass is dry you should have no problem going up and down the hills with it. For a half acre with a house in the middle you would not need much HP. I am thinking 13 to 17 rider would be fine. But again not knowing the steepness of the hills it is hard to say. And how much excersize do you want per week. I was told once to keep your mower sized to get each mowing done within an hour.

    murph
    "This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks."

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    With a acre, a walk behind mower is fine... In fact, it's healthy as walking behind a mower will be a bit of exercise.

    As far as self propelled vs. a push type...depends on those slopes. Self propelled does help going up slope. I guess it would depend upon what your hubby wants to do (unless you're doing the mowing).
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    I have to disagree with Roy, but this dissent is stipulated:

    First, it depends on how much of the 1/2 acre is actually cutable. In other words, how much landscaping, tree areas etc. If it's pretty clear, then I would definitely get a riding mower.

    Secondly, with 1/2 acre the hills can't be THAT steep. My reasoning is based on the fact that your house has to sit well on grade and that grade had to pass some kind of inspection from someone. It can't sit in a valley, not on half an acre, there just isn't THAT much room...or so I'm lead to believe, could be wrong though. Blind deductive reasoning (no pics) can be a crapshoot.

    Lastly, my last home was on 1/3 acre in a sub-division. I pushed it ONCE. To heck with that crapola. It get's too hot in the summer for that and I'm not "old" by any sense of the word. Granted, it wasn't a self-propelled mower, it was a standard 22" cut, powered by umph. (My drive belt broke on my Craftsman rider, thus I had to borrow my neighbors).

    As for the rider, there are great deals going on at Sears, Home Depot and Lowe's. I have a 16 hp Craftsman. It has a 42" cut and is the cat's meow for cutting, short of a tractor with a mid mounted finishing mower .

    Why can't I have a wife like you? Mine is always trying to talk me out of upgrading, not into it!

    Please call my wife, she needs pointers!!!!!!!!!!


    Spend a grand and surprise him. You don't have to get fancy, just electric start, and manual transmission. Oh my mower is 6 years old this month. Has only had routine maintenance, battery and new belts.

    Podunk

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    "My reasoning is based on the fact that your house has to sit well on grade and that grade had to pass some kind of inspection from someone"

    That depends... In PA, there is no inspection for slope of the property. In fact, I've never heard of such an inspection (not that it doesn't happen somewhere).

    When I first moved to PA, my property was steep enough that the mower could starve for fuel when mowing across the slope. It was too steep to mow up and down slope. There are several towns in my area built in such areas as the land is not good for agricultural use.
    Even where I live now, there is a small area too steep for the tractor..and almost too steep for a walk behind mower.

    If I wasn't a tractor nut, I'd probably mow my acre of finished lawn with my walk behind mower (it is self propelled) just for the exercise.

    As far as HP for a mower, 5 HP would easily do the job on ½ acre.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    Roy,
    Florida has a certain grade (rise over run (slope)) that has to occur going away from the house. It's for water runoff (since FL is so close to sea level). The ground has to slope so many inches per so many feet away from the house before they'll pass it on inspection and it may just be just an inspectio which occurs inside city limits, I'm not sure. If the house is financed, mortgage companies and insurance companies usually want to know their investment won't end up in a sink hole the first time it rains. No worries Roy

    I misused the word grade in my post and it was misleading.


    Papablue,
    Where are you located? Also, would you post a picture of you property? It would be really helpful and would also show the slope.

    THANKS.


    Podunk

  7. #7
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
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    Minnesota SE
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    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    Roy,

    Minnesota you have to have the grades approved also, but just for water retainage/removal. Most lots have to also be capable of holding water in large storms. Don't know if that really ever works but it is part of the code.

    But for 1/2 acrea I would go with the walk behind. It would be good excercise. I would be out there longer periods of time in lieu of being here on my dead butt with the computer.


    murph
    "This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks."

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Grrrr's Avatar
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    Devon, UK
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    John Deere!

    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    Well, if I was going to go with a walk behind mower I would definitely get a self propelled one especially if there were any hills. If I was going for a rider, I would consider getting ag tires for it to give you a bit more grip going up and slowing down when coming down.
    Jake

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Thornburg, VA
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    JD2305

    Default Re: Help first time buyer!

    My last house was on a 1/2 acre lot and I used an 18HP Craftsman, which I still have. With a mulching deck, 18HP is not too big if the grass is thick and high. It also had two banks which were too much for the rider - one was the bank off the road to the lot, the other down the left side of the house. They both fell ~10' in ~15' of forward movement. Way too much to even push a mower sidehill. I had to use a trimmer on both. Talk about work?!!??!?

    Please show us some pics...

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