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  1. #41
    Silver Member electrarc's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    102
    Location
    QLD, Australia
    Tractor
    Foton 82 hp with loader,Ferrari Cobram 65 & Shibaura D23F

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Go the Zero Turn. I cut many acres and unless I'm climbing very steep land I use my Ferris 2000 zero turn. It cuts the time down to a third compared to either of my tractors. On a plot that small with trees and such you will drive yourself nuts on a tractor. IMO
    Foton 82 HP,Ferrari Cobram 65 RS, Shibaura D23F, 5' Verge Mower (Flail),7' Side Shift Flail mower,Brush Hog, Finishing Mower, Rotary Hoe, Box Blade, Rear Blade, Land Leveler, Pipe layer, Carry All, Spreader, Auger, Ripper, Tipping Trailer, Ferris IS2000 ZTR.

  2. #42
    Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Suwanee, GA
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    None Yet

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch445 View Post
    I agree with comments about the loader, for raw digging, a 1000 series cut will be better. if your work
    load for the front loader is mostly moving loose materials, mulch/firewood etc, then the 700 series loader would be fine.

    A couple thoughts, why are you looking at 4wd machines where you have no snow removal? are there steep
    hills?
    Thanks for your comments - I appreciate you weighing in. Snow removal would be very rare where I live, so that's probably not a good reason for 4wd. No steep hills at my new house, either. But, from watching YouTube videos of guys with X700 and loaders, it looks like there's a lot of wheel spin happening even with 4wd.

    I really want a diesel engine for longevity and fuel efficiency, which is a point for the bigger / more expensive machines.

    I sure wish I could see and drive an X700. May have to broaden my search.

    OTOH, it don't think I'd be disappointed with the 1026. Seems like a great tractor.

  3. #43
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2010
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    567

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Quote Originally Posted by ritmatt View Post
    Hi there,
    I am moving my family to a house on a 1.5 acre lot soon, and I'm in the market for a small tractor or mower for the first time. The new lawn is mostly weeds right now, but there are lots of small trees and shrubs planted around the perimeter of the property. Over the next several years, I hope to get the place looking like a park!
    First off, congratulations on the new house. It sounds like you are very much looking forward to making some landscape improvements.

    I was in a VERY similar situation 3 years ago -- almost 2 acres, residential area, and landscape-wise the prior (elderly) owners had "let things go" for about 10 years. So in my case I could walk just about anywhere on the property, swing a yardstick around, and hit something that could be improved.

    I too vacillated between a landscaping service, a ZTR, a lawn tractor, and a small utility tractor. From strictly a financial standpoint, the landscaping service had the highest cost -- but would require the least of my time. So there is a tradeoff, as all of the other options are "DIY" and require some seat time. This is an important factor for some folks, who may value their time at work, or with their spouse, or with the kids, or at the beach, or at the range, etc much higher than sitting on a machine going in circles.

    In the end I decided that in 4 years I could either have a shoebox full of reciepts from the landscape company or I could purchase something outright and hopefully win on the depreciation/maintenance economics. I am not the type to make a purchase on a whim and then part with things quickly, so whatever I invested in I would be with for the long haul. And, I would want year-round use of the machine, so versatility was a key factor to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ritmatt View Post
    First and foremost, I think I need a really good mower.
    I also want a wagon for hauling firewood and shrubs around the yard
    I could get a loader, a spreader, and a sprayer.
    Those things would all be handy to have as I create my "park".
    I could dig trenches for my sprinkler system, clear out a parking pad and a garden area, move big rocks around for building steps and walkways, dig up and replant shrubs
    These are the exact factors that I considered, and in addition I had one more -- clearing snow.

    In my analysis I considered a ZTR a "purpose built" tool -- that is, if I only wanted to mow grass it was clearly the fastest way to do it. But, any additional tasks would be limited by the limited towing/spraying/etc options available to a ZTR platform. This seemed to me to be a significant tradeoff, at least for my anticipated needs. Of course, for a professional landscape guy who cuts a square mile of grass per week, a speedy, highly-maneuverable ZTR makes perfect sense. But for my acre and change of grassed area, I did not think the time-vs-versatility tradeoff tilted the scales to the ZTR. Finally, the ZTR was going nowhere from late November to March --for that timespan it is a dead asset.

    The lawn tractor approach similarly had limitations. It would have none of the time-saving advantages of the ZTR, and none of the better capabilities of a bigger utility tractor, and finally very few lawn tractors have 4WD which (combined with the light weight) pretty much negated any type of usefulness in the snow. Moreover, typical lawn tractors have limited lifespans; the last thing I wanted to do was purchase a tractor and throw it away in 5-7 years because the engine or transmission or deck has reached it's designed-in end.

    This process of elimination is what led me to look at SCUTs. With one I would get the versatility, lifespan, and year-round utility I was looking for. Would it cut as fast as a ZTR? No. But I could do a lot more with it than a ZTR, and that would in the end save me time, money, and/or aggravation (e.g. dealing with rentals etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by ritmatt View Post
    So at this point, I really don't know what I want. What to do, Internet? What to do?
    Get a subcompact utility tractor. How's that for decisiveness?

    Wrooster





































    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?-dscn6642.jpg   Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?-dscn5741.jpg   Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?-dscn0982.jpg  

  4. #44
    Silver Member electrarc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    102
    Location
    QLD, Australia
    Tractor
    Foton 82 hp with loader,Ferrari Cobram 65 & Shibaura D23F

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Nice
    Foton 82 HP,Ferrari Cobram 65 RS, Shibaura D23F, 5' Verge Mower (Flail),7' Side Shift Flail mower,Brush Hog, Finishing Mower, Rotary Hoe, Box Blade, Rear Blade, Land Leveler, Pipe layer, Carry All, Spreader, Auger, Ripper, Tipping Trailer, Ferris IS2000 ZTR.

  5. #45
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    8,826
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    wrooster, very nice work

  6. #46
    Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Suwanee, GA
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    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Wrooster,

    You absolutely win the gold medal for compelling responses. Very nicely done - thank you!

    And your yard is a LOT like what I have in mind for my place someday. I love what you've done. I bet you get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing the results of your labor. Love, love, love it!

    Thanks!

    Matt

  7. #47
    Elite Member
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    Dec 2003
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    3,957
    Location
    NC
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    Kubota Grand L3830

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Very nice Wrooster. I don't think you could have done all that with a ZTR. Why do I see a flagstone walk leading to the Barbecue or outdoor fireplace?

  8. #48
    Platinum Member
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    567

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gator6x4 View Post
    Very nice Wrooster. I don't think you could have done all that with a ZTR. Why do I see a flagstone walk leading to the Barbecue or outdoor fireplace?
    See saga here:
    Taller tires on a BX? - Page 4

    Wrooster

  9. #49
    Gold Member BleedGreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    471
    Location
    Iowa
    Tractor
    John Deere LX178

    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Quote Originally Posted by ritmatt View Post
    Now THAT is a cool idea! Does JD give factory tours? Is the X700 made in the Georgia plant?
    The X700 Series tractors are made at the Horicon, Wisconsin factory.
    I can run a D100 and a 9560RT (and most of the models in between) all in the same day!!!

  10. #50
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Lawn Tractor, Zero Turn, or Sub-compact?

    Quote Originally Posted by ritmatt View Post
    And your yard is a LOT like what I have in mind for my place someday. I love what you've done. I bet you get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing the results of your labor. Love, love, love it! Thanks!
    Matt,
    Good luck with your decision and new home. Looking back, almost everything I have done landscaping-wise has been with the assistance of my tractor. Nearly every piece of fieldstone and bluestone, and every yard of gravel and mulch that you see in my pictures above was moved by my SCUT. In the beginning, you will think that the FEL is the most expensive wheelbarrow ever and a tractor with a TPH/PTO as a luxury -- but eventually you will come to learn of the utility and the ease at which you can make projects happen. Of course my wife thinks that it is all a rouse to get more seat time...

    By the way, returning to the economics subject on three fronts...

    1) Monthly, my "0% interest for 4 years" payments are currently costing me less than the landscaping services that quoted me on annual cut-n-blow. So that is a nice feeling, although as an "owner-operator" I have to do my own PM (oil/grease/etc) and servicing. But I am a propeller-headed engineer and I don't mind that kind of stuff.

    2) Some operations with a SCUT and FEL will naturally take longer -- sometimes a lot longer -- than if you used, for example, a rented skid-steer. A competent operator in a skid-steer with a large bucket will outpace a competent operator on a SCUT w/ FEL ten times over, just like a mini-Ex will outdig a backhoe five times over. So, you have to find the right balance. Above, you noted that you would like to trench in sprinkler pipe. Don't use a SCUT for this. Rent a vibratory plow -- such as a smaller model from Ditch-Witch -- that makes a knife-edge slit in the ground while pulling black poly pipe. Afterward you irrigate the area you passed over and seven days later you'll never even know you were there. I installed sprinklers in my youth and know what I speak of here -- you are not going to win against a Ditch-witch pull plow. There is a reason the pros use one.

    If you trench with a SCUT backhoe, the cleanup/reseeding operation is far more extensive. The money you spent on the SCUT-attached backhoe and "saved" on the rental will be hugely disproportionate. Summary: there will be times when spending $250 for a day's rental of the right tool will be far, far better than anything you can do with the wrong tool -- no matter how expensive the wrong tool is.

    3) Some of your "savings" will be lost through acquisitions. Let me explain: a TPH without anything attached just sits there, mocking you: "feed me, feed me". Gradually you will begin scouring Craiglist for TPH attachments. It will become an obsession, you'll end up using SearchTempest or similar to find ALL the nearby deals. A PTO-driven generator, "like new, includes shaft", good price, 100 miles away? A TPH aerator, "used once, father passed away, will sell for cheap", 85 miles away?

    "Honey, get in the truck -- we are taking a drive to the next state to talk to a guy we don't know about an attachment for the tractor that I probably don't need -- but it could be fun... "

    Wrooster



    ETA example ditch witch vib plow:
    Last edited by wrooster; 08-14-2012 at 04:42 PM.

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