Opinions Please. ATV or Lawn Tractor?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jlxian, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    I need you folks to give me your opinions on how best to solve our predicament.

    We have a pull behind, gasoline powered, mower we use to mow the majority of our lawn. We have been pulling it with a little Ford lawn tractor we got from my dad when he died in 1992. The Ford tractor has just about bit the dust and we think it needs a new engine/overhaul.

    So we are thinking about how best to pull the mower this season (and in the future) --- should we get an ATV/UTV/4 wheeler type rig, or should we just get another lawn tractor? Our experience with lawn tractors is that they last 3 or 4 seasons at most and then die.

    Not being made of money, either of these (ATV or lawn tractor) is not going to be easy to do. If we spend the $$$, we want it to be worthwhile. OR, should we just rebuild the old Ford? And if you suggest the ATV/UTV/4 wheeler --- what is the difference in those things?

    (Myself --- I would just as soon cut waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy back on the amount of lawn we mow.)

    What would you folks do? TIA!!!
     
  2. Sand Flat Bob

    Sand Flat Bob Guest

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    I don't know how many acres you are mowing, or how many things you have to mow around, but I would look at zero turn mowers and forget about the pull behind mower. If mowing is all you are doing? You can buy a good ZT mower for what a 4 wheeler will cost. Much faster mowing and only one engine to maintain and buy fuel for.

    Just a thought,

    Bob
     

  3. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

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    If all you want is something for the lawn, get a goat. When the goat gets fat, you can eat your "lawnmower." Now that's recycling.


    .
     
  4. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    That's a good point Bob --- only one engine to maintain and buy fuel for.

    As far as acres --- I don't know for sure --- but probably 4. We also have a regular tractor and brush hog for the rest of the place.

    This is why I'm asking --- I knew you folks would point out the good and bad about the issue.
     
  5. Witterbound

    Witterbound Well-Known Member

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    I've got an atv that I use to pull my swisher mower. Works fine, but my hand/thumb/wrist gets tired keeping the accelerator lever pressed. I like it because it cuts a wider path than my old snapper mower, but I dislike it because it's hard to comfortably keep the atv going at the correct speed. But you can do a lot of other things with an atv when you aren't mowing. I bet your DH is pushing for the atv . . ..:)
     
  6. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    Yes! He and my 15 year old son think the ATV would be super.
     
  7. Sand Flat Bob

    Sand Flat Bob Guest

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    I also have a big tractor and brush hog for all the mowing except around the buildings etc. where I can't get in with my big tractor. I have a ztr mower that works great and mows at least 3 times as fast as the old lawn tractor mower I had. Also uses much less fuel. I do also have a ATV, but that is another story.

    Bob
     
  8. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    ATV's ARE super....but NOT for mowing with! LOL
    I'd buy a good dedicated mower and forget the ATV (for that purpose)
     
  9. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    thats what I would do, and use a push mower, milk goat, or milk cow.
     
  10. Seeria

    Seeria Well-Known Member

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    You could kill the lawn and plant low height clover and similar plants so you don't have to mow the lawn ever again. Or turn it all into a pleasure garden (flowers, arbors, yadda yadda). Or a goat.
     
  11. Hooligan

    Hooligan Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, (and it wouldn't be because you would never catch me mowing 4 acres :) ), I would first see how much it would cost to get the Ford back up and running. You might be surprised.

    If that turned out to not be an option you might look around for and old Cub Cadet from the IH days. I see them from time to time for cheap. I have one from the early 70's that I use to keep the area around the garden mowed down. They are basic and rock solid.

    But,

    If your husband and your boy are angling for an atv then you most likely will be getting an atv. :)

    An atv should work ok just make sure you get one that is either 2 wheel drive or can be switched to 2 wheel drive. All time 4x4's will tear up your lawn on the turns. You also might need to put some turf tires on it which could be an issue when you want/need to use it for something else.
     
  12. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Is the ford tractor one of their mini diesels? Those are excellent tractors if so.

    Regardless, I bet that there is a ford tractor enthusiast that will pay you decent money for the remains of the ford tractor.
     
  13. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    Seedspreader --- The Ford is not a mini diesel. I believe DH said it is 18 hp, and it is gas powered. When my dad used it he mowed a lot of ground (with a different pull behind mower) and also hooked up a plow attachment for ground breaking in his garden. That was in the 80s basically.

    I'm liking everyone suggesting the ztrs. That makes sense --- if you are going to fork over the money, get something mighty fine. And I'm also leaning towards seeing how much it will cost to overhaul the Ford (not too keen on spending beaucoup bucks).

    Wonderful responses everyone. Thanks!
     
  14. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I have used an older lawn tractor, an ATV w/ pull behind mower and a tractor to mow the grass? at "The Place".

    When we first started camping (tent, then trailer) there, in an old hay field, used a weed whacker to knock down the high grass.

    Moved to a free garden tractor, did alright, but really slow and hard on it. Eventually just ruined the motor.

    Next came the ATV (I really wanted the ATV) and pull behind mower, work very well after the first cutting, but as was brought up, speed control, going slow (air cooled) was tough and hard on the ATV and mower both. Looks like it also, beat!
    Still use it for narrow trails.
    Also need a lot of room to turn and hard to cut close to stuff with out hitting it and bending axles etc.
    Did some brush hogging, but still hard on it.

    Next came the tractor with 72" brush hog/rough cut mower.
    Works well, fast, but after the first cut a zero turn mower would be better.
    Couple of neighbours bought old Ford 2/9-8 n tractors and have given up on them, for various reasons.

    I did it backwards, because of lack of funds.
    First should have been the big tractor, then the garden or zero turn mower.

    ATV is to play with, but tough to justify $5000 or better for just a toy.
    So...............
     
  15. Up North Louie

    Up North Louie Well-Known Member

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    My initial impulse is to rebuild the Ford. Then to replace it with something similar.

    ATVs are fine for a lot of things, but I don't think mowing is one of them.

    I have also seen what teenage boys can do to them, and unless you can afford to be without it and repair it, which is costly, well, you see what I mean.

    A tractor probably won't be such a source of temptation to become a member of the Wild Bunch...

    Good luck on whatever you elect to do.

    Don
     
  16. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Your statement "We also have a regular tractor and brush hog for the rest of the place" suggests to me to sharpen the blades on the brush hog and set the machine to where it does a fine job and do all the major mowing with the tractor. Get a push mower for the 15 year old for trimming.
     
  17. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    sounds like a Ford LGT 18 well worth investing in a new motor.
    you can also find the heavy mower decks for these on ebay then off set the pull-behind and be mowing an 8 ft swath rather than a 4 ft cutting your mowing time in half .
    There are ton of attachments to make the little tractor a real asset on four acres eve a front end loader among others
    for pulling the self powered mower an ATV will be a real pain and depending on the model will likely over heat or cause undue ware on the ATV engine
     
  18. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    A fence and some cattle.
    A fence and some sheep.
    A fence and a horse.
    Lots of rabbits in tractors.
    I can think of a lot of better ways to mow 4 acres than an ATV or a lawnmower.
    If I had to choose, it would be a lawnmower though.
     
  19. Quint

    Quint Guest

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    As useful as ATVs are, pulling a mower isn't the best use for one. The pull behind mowers are expensive and you're running two engines. Even though a good liquid cooled ATV will pull one fine they're not the most efficient way to cut a lawn. A dedicated lawn tractor will do a better and faster job.

    The mowing job ATVs are good for is pulling a brush type trailcutter. No, they're not as good as a PTO brush hog on a tractor but you can get to areas you can't safely take a tractor and do the job quickly as safely.

    The ATV lawnmowers are usually bought so that a husband can justify the purchase of his new ATV. "see honey I can mow with it!" when the fact of the matter is that a riding mower will do a better job and for less money.

    Personally, I have a rider for the lawn and an ATV with a trailcutter for doing places I can't get with a PTO brush cutter. The ATV is simply indispensable on the farm.

    Oh and I generally never buy a rider new. I find older one that are being sold for a good price. The one I have now I bought used and it has lasted for several years. I've more than got my money out of it. I just can't justify spending 2000+ on a riding lawnmower.
     
  20. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

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    A new engine on the Ford would cost less than half of a high quality used ATV.