Best Riding Lawn Tractor?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, May 28, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    cutting up to 5 acres lawn that grows fast.
    What do you have, and do you like it? How is it for wet grass?
     
  2. duke3522

    duke3522 Well-Known Member

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    My John Deere 425 AWS is the best I have ever used. Cuts wet grass no problem. I also like it because it has a 60" deck that really cuts down on mowing time.

    Duke
     

  3. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I love our small Kubota tractor with shredder attachment. Gets the job done in a hurry.
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    we have a 2 acre lawn that has China Lake water table running right under us...our lawn grows fast...and stays green even in dry summers.
    We have a lawn tractor from Sears...Its red, 20hp hydrostatic trans. with a triple bagger on the back....when the grass is real wet we unhook the bagger and just leave clippings to be sucked up when we use the bagger at a drier time...
    We use grass clippings in the garden...to help warm the soil early till...to kepp the weeds down in the garden after its planted and in the goat poop pile to really make things "cook". Green gold you might say.

    Anyway the tractor was $2000 brand new including bagger on sale.
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Sears, green, 18.5 HP, I think. Double bins. Ditto on the clogging if the grass is juicy.

    We had about a 30 year old John Deere riding mower that still runs, but we just use it to pull the little trailer when trimming bushes, trees, etc.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    IMO the best lawn cutting device is not a lawn tractor. A commercial zero turn lawn mower will cut circles around a lawn tractor. With a good 25 hp +- zero turn it doesn't matter whether the grass is tall or short, wet or dry. I can mow now in 1.6 hours what took me 4 hours with the lawn tractor. The zero turn does have 7 HP more than my previous lawn tractor had however.
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    What brand of zero turn do you use? What is the size of the deck? Does it have bagging capability?

    My cutting is mostly open range and not that much around obstacles, though I guess 'zero turn' has it advantages either way, right?
    With a 46" deck it usually took me cutting average 4" grass about 2 hr/acre...something like that. It was a husquvarna 18 hp (toast now from the garage fire, sadly)
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I have a Toro 27 Hp Zero turn with a 62 inch cut deck and I use mulch blades. With the mulch blades there is no reason to bag. The size of the discharge cuttings are around 2 inches long. The cut area appears well groomed regardless of the height of the grass being cut. This machine can cut 28 acres in 8 hours according to the ads. Obviously that is under optimum conditions which no one has. Yesterday I mowed, at a reduced speed, some very tall and thick fescue that would test a tractor with a brushhog. On several occasions I have had people to stop and ask how I got the appearance that the finish cut creates. The Gator mulch blades do a nice job blending the residue and creating no windrows leaving a smooth continous appearing manicured lawn. This machine is one of the few "toys" that I have ever treated myself to and I thoroughly enjoy it. It is one of my best buys ever!
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............Snapper....has been recently bought out by Briggs!! Now , if you want a Kohler motor on your snapper , they will charge you a BIG extra Fee for that conveinence . I've never been a Big a Briggs fan obviously so I'm just wondering IF Snapper iss going to start making..."Medicore" mowers to match their Medicore engines !!?? I bought a Snapper 1433 , in Dec-95 with a 14 HP Kohler engine and it has alot of "Butt Time" with me in residence and It has never failed me yet so we'll see if the quality of Snapper products suffers , fordy.. :)
     
  10. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a craftsman 25hp garden tractor with 48" cutting deck and 3 bin bagger. I love it! I find it only clogs if the grass is very wet and taller than the front wheels. We have the Kohler engine, it does smoke on startup if you park it facing downhill and it backfires when you turn it off if you don't throttle down a little. We have the manual transmission because we use it for plowing too - now we want another one because we don't like switching over attachments as much as we like using them!
     
  11. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    I have about 3 to 3 1/2 acres and I use a garden tractor with high/low 6 speed tranny. Made by Husquavarna (spelled right?) it has a 52 inch deck I can cut it in about 5 hours, I got hills, stuff to cut around, rocks, ect. shadowwalker
    P.S. I sat on the seat of one of these for the first time in my life when I bought this one.
     
  12. victoriafarm

    victoriafarm Member

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    VERY INTERESTING... What are your thoughts on acquisition and operating costs? Also, might this be a machine less than ideally suited for a 57 year old 130 pound lady? Sounds like a good bit of metal to push around!
     
  13. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    Kinda off topic, but I like the sound the mower blades make when you drive thru a water puddle! :)
     
  14. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in Minnesota a 'Grasshopper' brand zero turn mower is the way to go. we have a Sears, Kohler engine, 2 bin bagger. But, if you want to do some mowing, forget the bags (let the clippings be the lawn fert), get a Grasshopper & mow some grass, a lot less fuss, a lot easier, 1/3 the time with one of those good zero-turn deals. Won't ever want to go back.

    Takes about 1 mowing to learn how to manuver it, and then you won't ever want to go back......

    --->Paul
     
  15. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ??????

    Cost 2 - 3x as much, last 2 - 4x as long, so it's the better deal to get a good one....

    Steering wheel vs joystick, don't understand the last question? Can drive around a whole lot faster with the commercial type....

    This is a popular brand around here: http://www.grasshoppermower.com

    --->Paul
     
  16. fmkjr

    fmkjr Member

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    Hello... we have 2.5 acres to cut and we are looking at the jazee, cub cadet (zero turn) or a john deree 22 hp the kind you find at home depot... any thoughts on either of these?
     
  17. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Skag 27 hp 60" deck ZTR about 9k$ built like a tank. all manual no hydraulics except the drive. You use your feet to raise and lower the deck. Did I say built like a tank. Knee high 7AM wet grass full speed and no clumping. Can mow about 5 acres an hour.


    mikell
     
  18. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

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    Anything that doesn't say JOHN DEERE on the side of it. Deere used to make a quality product and stand behind it...it doesn't any longer. BTDT. I'd look into Cub Cadet, Kubota, or Husqvarna.

    Stacy
     
  19. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I second the zero turn idea. My oldest son and I have a lawn business and once you run a zero turn you'll throw rocks at any other mower. For a homesteader, even with several acres to mow, you'll probably never have to buy another mower if you maintain it properly. IMHO if you can get liquid-cooled it's worth the extra money. Diesel is even better. We run Grasshoppers with the Kubota diesel engines.

    fordy, I know I'm probably gonna make some folks mad with this but Snapper has always made a mediocre mower. In a Consumer Reports article a couple of years ago they ranked number 1 in customer complaints in every category of mower that they build.
     
  20. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Each to their own. I would have no use for 5A of lawn nor desire to buy some fancy dan lawnmower for mucho dinero. If you dont have endless plantings/trees to mow around get a 25 to 30 horse preferrably diesel tractor, put a woods belly mower on it or just get a bush hog. Tractor can serve lot other uses on homestead than just cutting grass. Heck as a kid, remember school janitor mowing huge schoolyard with an old Ford 8n pulling a gang of reel mowers. No pto needed. Did pretty fair job mowing lawn also. Reel mowers are for lawn only. Thats the old school way of mowing large areas of lawn. Now they have the very overpriced zero turn mowers that only do lawns and useless for anything else. Unless one is in the buisiness and can write it off on taxes, multi thousand dollar mowers seem rather silly use of limited resources.