proper grass cutting equipment

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ed K, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    I cut a few acres of grass at my place with three pieces of equipment all of which have some weaknesses; If possible I'd like to eliminate a piece or two of equipment and spend no more than $1500 to get myself the proper equipment to do the job. Here's what I have and what I use it for. I'll ask some questions at the end

    1956 850 ford tractor. I use this to pull a 6' bushog mower. After about a half hour of operation the hydraulics start to sag and adjusting the height becomes a constant problem. Also it's about as big as the tractor can handle and the tractor overheats in a half hour or so. Otherwise I'm happy with the quality of the cut for about 2 of the acres I cut once a month or so. 4" to 6" high grass is OK in this area.

    1970's gravely walkbehind with 30" mower I use this on the areas connecting the bigger grassy area described above to the formal part of the lawn around the house. It's weaknesses are a oil consumption approximately equal to its fuel consumption. Because of the oil use and smokiness I can only use it when the house windows are closed.

    1980's 21" lawnboy push mower I use this up close to the house. I have a rough stone foundation and no flower beds near the house so I'm cutting right to the edge of the house with this. The house is on a mound so some of the terrain is a little hilly.

    I've looked ionto the following

    48" walk behind mower (ExMark Metro 48") The problem with this is cost (About $2,000) and the fact that I don't think I could operate it close enough to the house (since it works like a zero turn)

    Finish mower for the Ford - a 6' one would have wheels on all four corners so my weak hydraulics wouldn't be as much of an issue. It has 3 high speed blades so it would make a nicer cut than the bushog and uses less horsepower so the tractor might not heat up much. Drawback is $2400 cost

    26" Exmark self propelled mower. This is nothing more than a professional quality self propelled lawnmower. It's size would allow it to replace both the 21" lawnboy and the 30" gravely. It's drawback is the $1,400 price.

    Finally my 12 year old is beginning to cut grass and my 8 year old is expressing interest. If possible I'd like the dream machine I'm asking you to recommend to be relatively simple to control and operate.

    I believe my less frequent and higher grass levels "country cutting" is what I want to do but that eliminates some of the cheaper suburban options I think.

    Your advice/suggestions please.
  2. Bearfootfarm

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

    Jul 12, 2006
    Eastern North Carolina
    That tractor should be able to ahndle that weight with no problem. Id concentrate on getting the hydraulics fixed. Its probably a simple repair. As for the over heating Id clean the radiator, and check the thermostat. I use a 54 NAA all the time and it never overheats even pulling disk harrows in 95 degree weather. Its a smaller tractor than yours. And for the lawn Id get a good riding mower the kids can learn to use safely so YOU wont have to do it all LOL

  3. Stephen in SOKY

    Stephen in SOKY Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    You might consider trading your (I assume) 3 pt. bushog for a trailer type. Around here the 3 pt. will be worth more than the trailer so you might come out ahead a little cash. Trailer types require less hp than 3 points as well. Then apply that to the walk behind lawnmower of your choice. As to z turn mowers, even the walk behinds, once you're accustomed to them, you'll cut as close or closer than what you currently have. Blowing out the radiator & replacing thermostat may indeed fix overheating with minimal cost.
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Be sure your bush hog mower is down in the front and as high as possible in the rear, this allows less blade contact with the grass but still gets it cut, and its easier for the grass to exit from under the mower deck. Installing a pair of auxiliary coolers might help, one for the hydraulic system, another for the engine oil.

    You will find any mowing that is done sitting down is much more pleasurable than walking.
  5. Wildtim

    Wildtim Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    Sell the Gravely, get a finish mower for the ford and install height limiter chains to deal with the leaky hydrolics. You should be able to find at least a 60" finish mower in used working condition for about a fifth of your $2500 and around her a TSC new king cutter finish mower is only $1500.

    Teach the 12 year old to operate the lawnboy or buy an MTD 20h.p. 46"cut lawn tractor for less than $200 and he could run that. When I was his age my dad had me earning my allowance buy the hour on an old Bolens. I was fourteen before he would let me run the Kuboda but he started me ar eight with the lawnboy.