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  1. #1
    Silver Member amg280's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Posts
    186
    Location
    Central NY
    Tractor
    2011 Kubota B3000

    Default Advice needed for trim mower

    Hey guys. I have an 8 acre property I mow with my tractor. There are alot of trees and ditches and culverts that I cant get close to with the tractor (with roll bar). Im looking for a decent self propelled little trim mower to get into these spots. Should I go out and buy a cheap throw away model, or get something decent like a toro, snapper, or ariens? Since it would be going into a ditch, and at weird angles, someone suggested an engine with an OHV.

    Any suggesstions? So far Ive looked at cub (good prices), toro, and snapper.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Andy
    2011 Kubota B3000HSDCC, QA FEL, QA forks, 72"mmm, LP RCR1548 Rotory Mower, Ballast box, 72" front kubota hydraulic blade.

    1997 JD 345, 54" deck, Snowblower

  2. #2
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    6,468
    Location
    Greenwood Co., SC
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    i would go to walmart and buy the cheapest or next to cheapest mower they have. When i grew up we would buy these and they would last 6-8 years cutting our yard there in the city but a big yard much bigger than these tiny subdivision lawns now a days. maybe a 1/3 acre lot? The motor never tore up (cut maybe every 2 weeks to week) the deck always rusted out cause it was rarely hosed out on the bottom and the wet grass rusted the deck out. Reason i say these is they are simple and little to go wrong especially if you are a good general mecanic. $100 mover lasts 7 years just trimming ditches thats good you probly will get more like 10-15 for just ditches) i would not go out and pay $300 on one that would see limited use even if you keep it 30 years thats still $100/10 years about the same as the cheaper one, yet you fork out all your mony at one time, ave the other $200 today and it will be worth more in 10 years than the lawnmower will be. If im confusing you i guess cause i kind of an economist, think about is a dollor today the same as a dollar in 20 years?

  3. #3
    Veteran Member mostly_gas's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    2,300
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    in-between tractors

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    I would would go cheap if it were me. I have a '86 tecumseh 5 hp 20" cut Craftsman that I still use for trim. Change the oil and keep the air filter reasonably clean don't let wet grass sit underneath and it will run for years.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member alchemysa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,290
    Location
    South Australia
    Tractor
    Kubota B1550HSD

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    Go cheap but get the features you need and get a wide one if possible. You probably won't be using the catcher so look for one that has a good sized chute. Mine has a flap at the rear. It was not designed to be used without a catcher so I need to keep the flap open a few inches with a piece of wire or else the chute quickly clogs up and bogs down the engine. I also added some rubber to the flap to make it wider and lower, to prevent stones and muck getting thrown at my feet. It was a simple, cheap fix and works well.

    Also check how easy it is to push and pull when its not being self propelled. These things don't have reverse gear so it can get very tiring pulling them backwards - something you will do quite a lot when mowing. And they usually go too fast to turn tight corners 'in drive' so you will probably have to manually push it forward a lot more than you think. (I have 2 self-propelled mowers and one is significantly easier to push/pull than the other - but both are much harder to push/pull than an ordinary walk behind mower.)

    Big wheels are nice if you can get them.

    Most seem to be 4 stroke, but don't be afraid of 2 stroke. They rev higher and are more powerful which is a help in long wet grass. (I have one of each). Mixing oil for the 2 stroke is a bit of a pain but the extra power is nice. (But the 4 stoke goes further on a tank which is worth considering if you are doing large areas.).

    The drive on these things is usually just a rubber belt. Check to see what sort of protection it has and how easy it is to get at. My 'cheapie' used to throw the belt off the drive axle pulley when I hit bumps on slopes. I added a few washers to the rear axle mounts and slightly changed the angle of the axle. Again it was a cheap fix but a little frustrating til i worked it out.

    My cheapie has 2 levers. One puts it 'in drive', the other is for the engine brake. I'm not sure how common this 'safety' feature is. The engine brake lever is real pain on a self propelled mower. If its released the engine stops. So I keep it in place with a simple plastic hand clamp. Again its a home made fix but thats the sort of thing you might have to do.

    Edit. I see that some self propelled mowers are front wheel drive. I haven't used one but I'm guessing they would be absolutely hopeless on slopes. And check out how many wheels actually do the driving. You don't want it to turn into one wheel drive on the slightest bit of slippery ground.
    Last edited by alchemysa; 05-08-2010 at 02:43 AM.
    .

    TIME IS RUTHLESS.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    124
    Location
    Loudon, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Agco ST35

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    For mowing rough country I'd suggest a walk-behind string trimmer. They operate much like a standard lawnmower but will cut much taller grass and weeds and won't break the blade if you hit a rock. I have an old MTD unit and have it loaded with Stihl .105 commercial square line. It will cut some serious weeds and grass.
    Several companies make these units, one is the Husqvarna HUS625HWT that sells for about $350.

    If you're going with a traditional lawnmower I'd suggest a simple push mower, not self-propelled. I think you'll want the mower to be light and cheap, a throw-away. It will probably come with a B&S engine, and whether it's an OHV doesn't really matter. All the small vertical crank Briggs engines (push mower sized) use a splash system for lubrication (non-pressurized w/o an oil filter), and you shouldn't run them at extreme angles for an extended time, but people do. Keep it full of oil and change the air filter once in a while and it should give you 5+ years of service.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member alchemysa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    1,290
    Location
    South Australia
    Tractor
    Kubota B1550HSD

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    Quote Originally Posted by jhwentworth View Post
    If you're going with a traditional lawnmower I'd suggest a simple push mower, not self-propelled.
    I don't know anything about walk-behind string trimmers but I sure disagree regarding self propelled mowers. A cheap self propelled with a steel deck and no catcher is not heavy. I would never go back to using a normal mower for mowing rough areas, long grass or inclines.
    .

    TIME IS RUTHLESS.

  7. #7
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,194
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    Quote Originally Posted by amg280 View Post
    Hey guys. I have an 8 acre property I mow with my tractor. There are alot of trees and ditches and culverts that I cant get close to with the tractor (with roll bar). Im looking for a decent self propelled little trim mower to get into these spots. Should I go out and buy a cheap throw away model, or get something decent like a toro, snapper, or ariens? Since it would be going into a ditch, and at weird angles, someone suggested an engine with an OHV.

    Any suggesstions? So far Ive looked at cub (good prices), toro, and snapper.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Andy
    Sears has a couple mowers that are self propelled, no bagger and large rear wheels for $200. However wouldn't a weedeater string trimmer for the trees, ditches, and culverts be a better tool?

    http://www.consumersearch.com/string-trimmer-reviews

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,466
    Location
    Midwest
    Tractor
    Ford 1210 / Ford 1710

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    I would have to second the string trimmer on wheels. They are a beast and will cut through almost anything. The two I have are both 22 inch cut and will do just what a mower will do. Plus, when things get out of hand and stuff gets tall they will do what a mower would never be able to do.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,560
    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    Even though I drool over commercial stuff like this> http://www.ingersolltractors.com/ima...s_011007LR.PDF Anymore, I'd go as cheap as possible for a trim mower. A Walmart special with a pulsa-jet carb'd Briggs classic. If you want, strengthen it up with a set of steel wheels and some big washers to keep them from ripping off the deck. If you have a "City" lot, by all means go out and buy a $400+ job.

    Joel
    Last edited by JTKub; 05-12-2010 at 10:34 AM.
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Millheim, PA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20HST, JD GT235, Scag

    Default Re: Advice needed for trim mower

    I use a 30 year old lawnboy to do my trim work. I found it in the bone yard of a small equipment dealer. It did not take much to get it running like new. 2 cycle has many advantages over a 4 cycle, less weight, no oil changes, and the old ones do not have the safety stuff that add weight and make hands ache holding the blade brake or engine kill switch while mowing.
    Dave G

    CK 20HST
    JD GT235
    Lawnboys

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