Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902

   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #1  

Shoresy

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I am older, think Medicare age, with ZERO experience with tractors or landscape equipment. I have a 50 acre property in the Va. hills that I started mowing 8-9 acres on. A lot of it is flat, but there are several acres with a 20 degree-ish slope on it. I have a quote from Kubota for an L3902. I am visiting the Ventrac dealer next week. I thought I would also look into a Toolcat, though I think it may be too pricey for my blood.

I have mowed most of it with a small Gravely ZTR, but I was VERY uncomfortable on the hills. ALMOST had a serious accident, but I got very LUCKY and didn't get hurt. I want my butt as close to Mother Earth as it can be, and I am concerned the Kubota may have too high a center of gravity to do what I need, even w/4WD. I love a lot of what the Ventrac can do, and I would never have to worry about what I could mow, but I can't get satisfied with no PTO or rear functionality at all.

So I called my buddy in Kentucky who runs a grading/landscape mulching/backhoe business, and I asked him if he could only have ONE piece of equipment to maintain my property he told me "A ToolCat, but I have never operated a Ventrac." So here I am digging in the Toolcat forum. But I am not finding much info about mowing on hills.

Last thing, I have seen my neighbors bush hog the property, and also cut and bale hay (small round bales) with 2WD tractors, but they were raised up mowing in the mountains. I cringed just watching them. But it can be done. My wife thinks I am nuts, and I'm gonna kill myself, but my most satisfied moments in life these days are spent messing around on that land. I should have done this 20 years ago.

I am thinking a Toolcat is super heavy, and can crabwalk, so it should be fine on my hills. But I have thought a lot of things in my life that turned out to be dead wrong. "People will never buy water sold in plastic bottles" wrong. Thanks ahead of time for your thoughts!
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #2  

ruffdog

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You are asking about 3 very different animals in your post title. First thing, be sure to drive the different products before you buy. The Toolcat is a very capable machine in a small package. It has very good visibility out the front to the lift arm, the suspension smooths bumps that will upset other machines, and the controls and creature comforts are nice and thought out. But, it is not a tractor and does not lift high.

It works good for me but it won't for everybody. That is why you must get some seat time.
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #3  

Code54

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I am over in WV, so I spend 99% of my time on slopes, and often steep slopes. I don't think the L series would do well, I had an L and it was a great tractor but not a great slope working tractor. Around our place, a ZTR was not the way to go, and I say this as a guy that did professional mowing for 4 years.
I bought a little BX with the 60" mid mount deck, and it is GREAT. I can cut all our slopes and even mow ones I really shouldn't. I mow an elderly neighbor's yard that has one slope that you have to keep the front wheels turned uphill and digging to get across (nope, not good for the grass, but it is all weeds anyway, and they don't care, they just need help and this keeps it looking decent). The BX is fine - the wide mid-mount deck makes it VERY difficult to tip over, plus it is already low to the ground. Now it is not a 40hp unit so if you need that kind of HP it won't work but something else to possibly consider.

On another note, several people around here do use Ventrac machines and like them but they seem to only use them for mowing.

I am in Hurricane WV (If you are up this way from VA) and you want to see a BX on slopes shoot me a PM. I can even let you mow my yard on it if you want - LOL
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #4  

cqaigy2

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Sounds like you are comparing one slope capable mower with two other machines. You might want to look at Power Trac too.
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #5  

tacticalturnip

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Have you discussed your concerns with the Kubota dealer? Have they suggested ways to combat the slopes- wheel spacers, filled tires, the addition of weights, and other such things? I don't have the ability to picture your slopes in my head, so I can't even promise these items would offer you a solution, but they may help.

Also, I'd strike up a friendship with the seatbelt and ROPS.

You've got a fun journey ahead of you; well, if you're the type of person that gets a thrill out of the whole buying process.
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #6  

tacticalturnip

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Sounds like you are comparing one slope capable mower with two other machines. You might want to look at Power Trac too.

I think PowerTrac recently went out of business; they're great machines, but it's something to be aware of.
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902
  • Thread Starter
#7  
OP
Shoresy

Shoresy

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"I bought a little BX with the 60" mid mount deck, and it is GREAT. I can cut all our slopes and even mow ones I really shouldn't. I mow an elderly neighbor's yard that has one slope that you have to keep the front wheels turned uphill and digging to get across (nope, not good for the grass, but it is all weeds anyway, and they don't care, they just need help and this keeps it looking decent). The BX is fine - the wide mid-mount deck makes it VERY difficult to tip over, plus it is already low to the ground. Now it is not a 40hp unit so if you need that kind of HP it won't work but something else to possibly consider."

That is good to know! Anything on top of mowing is just gravy. I have watched a neighbor down in the flat lands of NC move HUGE sections of trees I couldn't wrap my arms around with the tiny lil bucket on that BX model with the backhoe. So, the midmount mower is better than pulling a bushog behind on hills? (I split time between NC and Va)
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902
  • Thread Starter
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Shoresy

Shoresy

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"You've got a fun journey ahead of you; well, if you're the type of person that gets a thrill out of the whole buying process."

You have described me to a T
 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #9  

Diggin It

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There might be a perfect mowing machine, but it's single purpose ... no loader, PTO, etc. Kind of pricey at $23K, but if you're even considering Toolcat it might be in the ballpark for safety reasons and leave you enough for a smaller tractor for other tasks.

 
   / Total noob. Mowing with Toolcat on a hill vs Ventrac vs Kubota L3902 #10  

Raul-02

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Check out the youtube page GoodWorks Tractors. He has quite a few very very worthy videos on how not to kill yourself on your tractor and how not to destroy your tractor.

Things like that are how I started learning the front from the back of tractors. And I can't count the times I was thankful I saw someone else showing me how not to screw up. Then there's your dealer and esp the service techs. Just get 'em chatting they will tell you things that only someone in their shoes would know or some grizzled old guy who spent a lifetime farming and lord knows I got none of them in my circle.

The Ventrac is sold especially for hills. It's a bit pricy and I'd not consider one because it doesn't open as many different cans as a utility tractor but if that's what you want and little else well ~ ~ ~

I've never been near a ToolCat but to my eye they seem top-heavy.
 
 
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