MMM v. RFM
Just realized there was a specific forum for JD tractors. Here's a re-post from the attachment forum:
(First time poster). I've decided to buy a John Deere 4310 for a small 16-acre horse farm (12 acres pasture, 2 acres lawn, 2 acres buidlings/barn/ring). I know that I need a front-end loader (for barn work, etc.) and rear bushhog for the fields. However, I am trying to determine whether to go with a MMM or RFM for my lawn.
I've browsed other postings and am aware of the typical pros/cons between the two. I will need to maneuver around both trees and fences on my lawn, which seems to favor a MMM. But what I can't figure out is how often I would actually have to detach a MMM to do my other work. Is it safe to mow pasture (grass, weeds, very minor brush) with the bushhog and still leave the MMM mounted? Ditto re loader work? Or would I need to detach the MMM each time for fear of damage?
I'm new to country living (but my wife isn't), plead ignornace, and appreciate any and all help. And regrets if this post opens old wounds in the MMM v. RFM debate...
Re: MMM v. RFM
It is so easy and fast to remove and reinstall the MMM on a JD that you can just take it on and off every time you are using the loader or rotary cutter. It takes no more than 5 minutes so long as you do it on a concrete surface. It will take longer and be more frustrating on rough ground or turf. Of course the first time on and off it will take a little longer, but you will soon get the hang of it. For some tractor and mower designs installing or removing a MMM can be an ordeal, but not on a JD. Since you have trees and fences to mow around, the MMM is the easiest to use. Go for it.
By the way, be sure to follow the Operators Manual instructions on the install and remove procedures as well as the instructions on setting the cutting height. The deck should be carried by the tractor with the gauge wheels clearing a concrete floor by about a half inch. JD dealers sell a handy gauge to stick under the deck to measure blade height. Some other MMMs are designed to be supported on the mower's own wheels.
Re: MMM v. RFM
Welcome to Club4310! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
Before I would jump on the MMM I would add up the cost. You MAY be better served with a Riding mower for the lawn. A 4310 is kinda heavy, and it might not do as well. You also get a second machine so HorseWife doesn't feel so bad when she's on the 4310, you get the rider (beats doing dishes [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]...)
But, then again, you might think my idea is stupid. That's OK. It is just another angle.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
BTW, a rotary cutter can do a pretty fair job cutting grass, no golf couse, but fair.
Be sure and consider the 430 Loader, it is better, and there are cool things that you can add for it, that may be well woth the $500 over the 420.
But if you decide to wait on the MMM, you srill might want to fet the hyraulics installed when you order. They cost less at orderm than later, because of the labor.
Re: MMM v. RFM
Thanks for all of the thoughtful advice. I'm leaning toward getting a MMM for maneuverability, and will use my little garden tractor to get the corners that I miss.
Glad to hear your views about ease on attaching/detaching. My dealer made it sound like it would take 20-30 minutes each time. Anyway, I'll probably also keep the MMM on for most of the time, except for when I will be dealing with obstacles that I could get caught on.
Sound like a reasonable plan? I don't want to go with a RFM and regret not going with the MMM down the road...
Re: MMM v. RFM
The MMM is definitely more maneuverable and, because it is directly underneath you, easier to see. With a RFM you will be doing a lot of looking back to make sure you clear around obstacles. I'm a little smaller operation, 3 horses, 3 acres of pasture and about 1.5 acres of lawn. Currently have a JD 755 with 60" MMM and 60" bushhog. I no longer use the bushhog on the pasture. The MMM, set all the way up or just a little down, does just as good a job and is easier to use. I mow the pasture about once a month in the summer. Just finished it up today before the next batch of rain scheduled to come through.