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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Dorado

Riding Lawnmower DTS

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John Deere/ Scotts. Served with me 18 years. Fought In 21 engagements with the Comanche and the Kiowa. Cheerful in all weathers. Never shirked a task. Splendid behavior.

Lord, my rider is gone . . .

 

Ok, need a new one. 1 Acre + of bumpy ass cow pasture masquerading as a lawn.

Who's got what these days. 

I'm pondering the ZTR's but how the hell can you drink your coffee and smoke your cigars on a ZTR ?

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I feel your pain.

I mow about the same bumpy ass lawn and blow snow from a 150 foot driveway with my 25+ year old Ariens lawn tractor....

I've rebuilt the engine and the steering.

I don't know what I'd replace it with.

 

But that's because I'm charlie cheapa$$.......

Good luck

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Troy-Bilt pony.

 Nothing to write home about, but with the 21hp Kohler engine, and 42" cut, it goes. Get "Gator blades", the ones that come with it are flimsy.

I've been mowing 8 acres with mine for the last 2 years, I brought it from New England where it mowed 3 acres of grassy rock for a year, to the Caribbean where it spent a year mowing cricket, and soccer fields for the local govt., and I'm just about to re purpose it as a just around the door yard mower. I'm getting another 10 acres, and I'm thinking a Scag with a 6' mower is more betterer...... That and the 5' brush hog.

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Now a days I just have the mow-blow-and go guy show up every other week...  don't have enough lawn to justify a lawn mower let alone a tractor.. 

But if I did, Toro or Honda would be my choice... these the two brands  I see the most of on the landscapers trucks

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I have what I call a "ceremonial lawn"......its two patches, one a strip about 25x8 and the other about 20x6. Since I retired, I sold my push mower and I now pay a gardener to have it mowed. I do have lots of plants.....just not much lawn. B)

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Whatever you get, go for the real deal, not the licensed, Chinese built Home Depot/Lowes versions.  I abuse my HD Cub Cadet pretty badly.  Only real complaint is I have to buy parts through Amazon and it requires more maintenance than I would prefer (lube deck every 10 hours, etc).  With a 42" deck, it's not that good in deep grass. Requires 2 passes. 

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Just bought a house with 2.6 acres of ex cow pasture. 1.5 of it is fenced for the Sheps. The droogs will loose their fuzzy minds. 

In desperate need of a riding mower. The property is infested with palm trees, so I'll likely need a zero turn mower. And a towing hitch for dragging a lawn sweeper or a small trailer. And it'll need a gimbaled drink holder. Need to stay hydrated.

What yah guys got?  John Deere? 

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I have a lot of lawn to deal with. The biggest thing is to go with a brand that has service near you. 2nd would be yes, do a zero turn. You'll go so fast it will blow you away. 3rd, you need to look at the hydros and deck. These are what do the work. Stamped decks suck. You want welded thick stuff. Cheap hydros suck too. Look for something that has Parker commercial pumps or similar. Mine has a bigass EFI pushing it around. I recommend Kohler or Kawasaki. I've not had much luck with Briggs and Stratton for anything.

I have an Exmark. I'm not getting in brand arguments. If it's super lumpy, you may want to consider a Ferris for comfort. They have suspension systems.

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Thanks Aus. Hadn't thought about servicing the thing. Just a dumb-ass city boy. 

For whatever reason, there's a huge ass John Deere Zero-Turn in the property's garage.  I tried to get the owners to throw in the mower as part of the purchase, but no deal. 

Hydros? Automatic transmission?  Hydraulic PTO? 

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I have mine professionally serviced every year. Can I do it? Yeah, I can. But just like my car, I like to have pros go over the machine and like OEM parts for things like if a spindle broke or something.

It costs about $270/year for service but when I'm using a $10K+ machine that I want 20 years out of and drive it like I stole it, I like the peace of mind.

One more thought. Those blades need to go at the maximum speed allowed by law. I think it's like 19,000 feet per minute which is over 200 mph. I don't remember for sure. I haven't been in the badass mower market for about 7 years. I moved to town and just have a Toro 21" FWD push mower for that since it's just a town sized yard. The Exmark is a whole different league. I can get a beautiful pro finish cut at 8mph with that thing so long as I keep the deck clean.

The Toro just looks like a mowed lawn. The Exmark looks like a golf course.

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Cub Cadet ZTR with Kawasaki motor. Going on 11 years mowing open field / grassland. 2.6 acres and all but the bottom 1/4 acre gets cut. Have 100+ oaks to go around. 50" cut.

Just started having an issue with backfiring and loss of power, have two head gaskets on the desk next to me to replace. I only mow until it turns brown and stays down. Great product, well built. I can mow one handed as the levers only move a small distance to turn. Cigars are optional and can add to your motion sickness. Yep, get it once in awhile when mowing fast and smokin a stoogie.

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Have a pretty good slope as well. Had to upgrade rear tires to some ATV knobbies for better traction. Best advantage over regular mowers is you are looking over your toes at what you are going to cut instead of looking at the hood of a garden tractor. I also use the deck in front of me to pick up rocks and branches as I mow. Easy to drop deck and slide out to replace blades. I only found out about that feature last year after fucking with crawling around on the ground for 10 years.

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Remember that pretty much anything you get for under $5K is going to be an MTD tractor with different paint, and different stickers, and probably a different motor...... Other than that, it's just like deciding whether to get a Buick, a Pontiac, or, a Chevy.

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Guitar

Does that ZTR beat you up very bad on bumpy ground compared to a normal lawn tractor.

This one died with 99.5% of the yard done on the last mow day of the season here . . .

So far it's the Cub, Husq. and Toro on the radar. Trying to stay below $4000

 

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1 hour ago, dorado said:

Guitar

Does that ZTR beat you up very bad on bumpy ground compared to a normal lawn tractor.

This one died with 99.5% of the yard done on the last mow day of the season here . . .

So far it's the Cub, Husq. and Toro on the radar. Trying to stay below $4000

 

Go used from a successful contractor. Hours are high but you get a commercial machine that probably got serviced every day. Down time is no income. Some of those guys take exceptional care of their stuff but buy new every year just in case. It's hard to kill a commercial machine with residential use, even with lots of hours.

Think about it. You'll use it 20x/year. It was being used 6-8 hours a day, every day before. That's what they're built for. I know guys out here that will go through 30 gallons of gas per day and blades every week on the stuff in their trailer. If I were to do it over, I would have bought used from a highly regarded landscaper.

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Would you care to rank those commercial machines for me from best to least best?

It seems to me that they'd be pretty worn down by the time they let go of them. But you are right I would not be putting more than  50 hours a year on them

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9 minutes ago, chinabald said:

Look into the zero turns that use a steering wheel instead of the two handed controls. Beer and cigars won't be a problem. 

What are you, a memeber of MENSA......?

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I have a Kubota tractor loader/backhoe that has a deck. But I have to drop the backhoe and put on the 3point hitch to make the mower work (had the smaller version where the deck had its own lift but it got crunched).  Finally got lazy and bought a small, used Toro zero turn - trade in by a pro who had lost an arm and needed a wheel steerer. It's a beast.  Mowing my office and the office next door, and my yard. Decent job mowing7 gauge welded deck 25 hp Kawasaki motor. Very fast. Worth it. It had 300 hours on it when I bought it. 

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2 hours ago, dorado said:

Would you care to rank those commercial machines for me from best to least best?

It seems to me that they'd be pretty worn down by the time they let go of them. But you are right I would not be putting more than  50 hours a year on them

No, they take good care if you get it from a high end landscaper. It's like the big farms here. They turn their machines over yearly and sell them to lowly folks like me who get another 20 out of them. They can't risk downtime when they have 40K acres to plant and harvest.

As far as ranking, that's kinda like asking what the best sailboat is. What's your goal? Price, comfort, quality of cut, durability? It depends.

If I were buying used, I'd go Scag. Not the best cut, ride or fuel consumption but those things are tanks. I  bet you could spend a week driving one into a concrete wall while sucking steel bolts into the deck and you'd need a new wall and some fresh blades.

Most commercial mowers are impressive though. I just liked the Exmark because the finish is fantastic. The deck floats really well and the deck design is great for mulching. They did a good job managing turbulence under there. That goes out the window if I don't keep it relatively clean though.

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1 hour ago, chinabald said:

Look into the zero turns that use a steering wheel instead of the two handed controls. Beer and cigars won't be a problem. 

I did that today

Saw a good vid of a Cub RZT S46, but right after that saw the vid that shows what you have to do keep that 4 wheel steering/trans adjustment synched up after all the many parts start wearing.

Too high of a clusterfactor down the road. Simple is better.

 

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8 hours ago, austin1972 said:

No, they take good care if you get it from a high end landscaper. It's like the big farms here. They turn their machines over yearly and sell them to lowly folks like me who get another 20 out of them. They can't risk downtime when they have 40K acres to plant and harvest.

As far as ranking, that's kinda like asking what the best sailboat is. What's your goal? Price, comfort, quality of cut, durability? It depends.

If I were buying used, I'd go Scag. Not the best cut, ride or fuel consumption but those things are tanks. I  bet you could spend a week driving one into a concrete wall while sucking steel bolts into the deck and you'd need a new wall and some fresh blades.

Most commercial mowers are impressive though. I just liked the Exmark because the finish is fantastic. The deck floats really well and the deck design is great for mulching. They did a good job managing turbulence under there. That goes out the window if I don't keep it relatively clean though.

I'm on my second Scag. When I sold the first one with a rusted-out deck and lotsa hours on it, I nearly caused a riot by asking $800. Turns out, it was worth quite a bit more.

The one I'm using now hasn't been used to mow in salt water so I expect the deck to last a bit longer.

I'm not allowed to ride it right now because of my broken hip so I had a lawn service come over. The owner rode his mower and his son rode mine. From the conversation I overheard afterwards, I expect their next one may be a Scag.

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Dorado.............. 1 acre? I bet you could mow that in 20 minutes with a 42" Home Depot/Tractor Supply Cub cadet or Troy-bilt.... They're all the same (Even the smaller John Deeres, except the green paint costs more.) Pick the one with the Kohler or Kawasaki engine, and get out of there for $1,999.00

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Another concern with the 2 handle zero turns. If you have bushes or trees with lower branches. That you are used to pushing out of the way with one hand while driving by, hard to do with both hands on the controls. 

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1 acre.  I have approximately the same. I have used  a JD LX 178 for 20 years. 2 oil changes a year. Give the blades a grinder tune up sharpening once a year. Grease the  deck and steering twice a year. This is a well engineered machine.  Big horsepower means more weight, means more soil compaction. If you don't get a Deere, get a machine with zerk (grease) fitings at all the important points, steering, mower spindles etc.  This is the liquid cooled Kawasaki V-twin with the mulching deck. Liquid cooled means quiet compared to the aircooled machines. The JD LX 278 of a few years later is a couple more horsepower.   When I had a box store rider, a buddy said someday you will own a Deere, why wait!

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I don't know what keeps my old sears rider going. 18 years now mowing 2 acres on the old place and 1.5 on the new place.

Hit so many rocks it's just miraculous. Was mowing yesterday and hit one so big it took a chunk out of the mower deck that bent down and stopped the blades from turning. A few minutes with a channel lock and wiggled the chunk of metal out. Back to work it went.

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Landscaper here...  been doing it my whole life

the ZTRs will have a more bouncy ride  as a result of the short wheelbase, and even though you are supposed to run lower pressures, 15 psi or so.  the front caster tires are still pretty hard.  usually the sticks on the ztrs are close enough together that you could "one hand" operate while moving some branches out of your face.

anything larger than a 52" deck makes for a poor cut, unless your land is plenty flat..I have just found that the 52" to be fairly versatile.  if you have lots of flats  then look into a 60 or 72"  also keep in mind that ZTR do not handle hills very well.  straight up or straight is fine,  but when you try to traverse the hill sideways, the casters will always want to try to turn the machine the down the hill.  a regular garden tractor does not have this problem as you control the front wheels.

at work we use Scag ZTRs  they are bullet proof,  I have also been very pleased with exmark(which I owned when I had my own company in florida.) for my own property I use a Walker Mower 42" deck with the GHS.  (i have a 48" gate to get through) . going on 20 years old and still able to get parts and keep it running.

buying from a landscape company.  Some companies will only sell a mower once it is near the end of its useful life or has begun to exhibit problems that they no longer want to deal with.  So be careful.  I would not buy a commercial unit with more than 3000 hours on it.  Also keep in mind, that these machines are generally kept outside for the entire season if they run open trailers, and have basically been bounced around in the trailers over curbs and otherwise likely abused by the employees.

 

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1 hour ago, Marcjsmith said:

...

buying from a landscape company.  Some companies will only sell a mower once it is near the end of its useful life or has begun to exhibit problems that they no longer want to deal with.  So be careful.  I would not buy a commercial unit with more than 3000 hours on it.  Also keep in mind, that these machines are generally kept outside for the entire season if they run open trailers, and have basically been bounced around in the trailers over curbs and otherwise likely abused by the employees.

 

This comment made me wonder so I looked at my hour meter. Just under 3,200.

But it lives indoors, never cuts wet grass or otherwise gets wet, and the other day was the first time anyone but me drove it. Oh, and it's not for sale.

I agree that if a landscape company is done with it, it's done.

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Do you just want a mower, or do you want the versatility of a tool that has a PTO and a 3pt hitch with a bucket loader? 

a 48" flail mower on a Kubota BX series will mow acres around/under vines and handle anything other than high tensile trellis wires. 

 

Put a spinner on the wheel and you can one hand it, using the other for beer or to point the sprayer for the tank that sits in your bucket. 

 

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

This comment made me wonder so I looked at my hour meter. Just under 3,200.

But it lives indoors, never cuts wet grass or otherwise gets wet, and the other day was the first time anyone but me drove it. Oh, and it's not for sale.

I agree that if a landscape company is done with it, it's done.

Tom, 

even if I wasn't having a problem with a machine  I sold it around the 3000 hour mark... I like to be in control of purchasing.  in that  I don't want to be over the barrel and strapped for time or in a pinch where I had to make a purchase under duress when an old mower decided it was time to take a shit....

my current Walker mower has over 7000 hours on it before the hour meter stopped working.  Its on its second engine, and its second engine has had a "freshening up" a few years ago, and i put a new blower unit this past winter.   I just put new seals in one of the drive units, and It looks like I'm going to need to put new seals on the deck gear boxes this winter. and the starter gave up the ghost the yesterday and stripped the starter gear.  New one will be here on wed.    It would cost me about 50 bucks per cut to have a contractor do it., figure about 35 cuts per year.. its adds up quick  but keeping an old mower alive also adds up quick....   I will keep my eyes open for a newer walker this season and if I see something within a couple hundred miles that looks good and priced right  I'll make the trip and maybe find a newer machine.

FWIW  I went all battery power on my  handheld tools  so no more fuel mixing...have been thrilled.   If had the smarts  I'd figure out a way to repower this old walker with batteries and an electric motor.  I only need about one hour of run time for a full cut...  Just not sure how many batteries I would need and what size motor, how many amps, ect...

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The electrics are awesome now. Especially if you stay in-brand and can swap batteries. But, I have an Echo weed whip that refuses to die (no idea how old it is) and Stihl blower and saws. I'll use them until they die, then electric all day.

I can't imagine what a rider would weigh if it was battery powered. Maybe someday they'll get it. Put it in Elon's suggestion box.

The new 21" electric mowers are pretty good from reviews I've seen. I love the way they fold up and hang on a wall.

I had a Kubota GS1800 diesel 4 wheel steering garden tractor and I think the Exmark rides better. But as you say, it can tear up side hill cuts a lot more than the Kubota did if it's wet. It's OK, it's just a ditch. The yard itself is flat.

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If you want to cut grass - without question, the good zero turns are the best thing to have. good zero turn = welded deck, chain suspended, brakes. commercial engine. Harry Homeowner = residential anything, like my Cub Cadet RZT50.    that said, my little cub has done OK for the past 500 hours, aside from tweaking the deck mounts every 3rd time I bump up against a tree. 

If you need to drive implements?  get a diesel tractor - JD, Kubota, New Holland, they're all decent. 

 

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Further complicating the issue is the fact that the commie pinko fascist fuckapples of the

California Air Resources Board require extra crap on a mower to be sold here.  Maybe 1 in 10 of the

mowers that Good Americans can buy are available here. I swear, this is depriving me of the right to the

pursuit of happiness felt when you get the mower you want instead of the one that the commissars allow you to have.

 

I'll probably have to hook up the trailer and drive over to fly-over country and smuggle one back home.

Bastards ! <_<

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I have a 52" Toro walk behind mower you can have for pretty cheap..... Hydraulic this-n-that, motorcycle throttle and clutch/brake.....

 Might suck to drive to North Florida for it, but you could always get shrimp, conch fritters, and beer battered Red Drum while you're visiting....

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57 minutes ago, dorado said:

Further complicating the issue is the fact that the commie pinko fascist fuckapples of the

California Air Resources Board require extra crap on a mower to be sold here.  Maybe 1 in 10 of the

mowers that Good Americans can buy are available here. I swear, this is depriving me of the right to the

pursuit of happiness felt when you get the mower you want instead of the one that the commissars allow you to have.

 

I'll probably have to hook up the trailer and drive over to fly-over country and smuggle one back home.

Bastards ! <_<

Get an older Kubota and run it on filtered waste veggie oil. Their 3 cylinder motor will eat anything. Maybe a little smoky but smells like French fries. Carbon offsets! It's a net 0 producer if you run veggie oil.

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1 hour ago, dorado said:

Further complicating the issue is the fact that the commie pinko fascist fuckapples of the

California Air Resources Board require extra crap on a mower to be sold here.  Maybe 1 in 10 of the

mowers that Good Americans can buy are available here. I swear, this is depriving me of the right to the

pursuit of happiness felt when you get the mower you want instead of the one that the commissars allow you to have.

 

I'll probably have to hook up the trailer and drive over to fly-over country and smuggle one back home.

Bastards ! <_<

You lette me no whatyou wante, Ille buye it hearre and drive it theire.  Nobodey stoppe me!

:)

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1 hour ago, dorado said:

I spose we could meet up at that little park in Kansas and mow it for them while we're there B)

Sine me up cheifey.                 :)

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On 6/11/2017 at 4:43 PM, Innocent Bystander said:

Whatever you get, go for the real deal, not the licensed, Chinese built Home Depot/Lowes versions.  I abuse my HD Cub Cadet pretty badly.  Only real complaint is I have to buy parts through Amazon and it requires more maintenance than I would prefer (lube deck every 10 hours, etc).  With a 42" deck, it's not that good in deep grass. Requires 2 passes. 

+1.  Cub Cadet 2166.  Mine is on its last legs.  I hope to squeeze one more season out of it, but I have my doubts.  The parts bills are adding up to the point where it doesn't make sense anymore.  

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 5:02 PM, Owen said:

Cupholders sound useful of course, but

Coolest-costumes_004.jpg

Now that takes "Stay offa my lawn!" to a whole new level.:P

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 7:55 PM, Snaggletooth said:

Sine me up cheifey.                 :)

Alvin Straight, is that you?

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1 hour ago, dorado said:

No, it's the Don Garlits model.

I thought this is what Big Daddy rode on

5409667355ecc9d3b1f7.jpg

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You're looking at the wrong husqvarne. Let's try to keep up with the times guys.

h320-0679.ashx

Combine with a robotic sentry gun and your lawn maintenance and vermin problems are solved.

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On 6/12/2017 at 8:09 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

I'm on my second Scag. When I sold the first one with a rusted-out deck and lotsa hours on it, I nearly caused a riot by asking $800. Turns out, it was worth quite a bit more.

The one I'm using now hasn't been used to mow in salt water so I expect the deck to last a bit longer.

I'm not allowed to ride it right now because of my broken hip so I had a lawn service come over. The owner rode his mower and his son rode mine. From the conversation I overheard afterwards, I expect their next one may be a Scag.

Hmm...

I don't experience mower-envy very often but spotted this driving to town the other day.

track-mower.jpg

I wonder how much those tracks tear up the lawn?

In other news, my neighbor just bought a 61" Scag with the upgraded engine. It mows at 15 mph. Makes mine look like a toy, and damn well should for twice the money.

 

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I've been using a Scag Tiger cub for a couple of months now. One you get used to the joy sticks, it really is a great mower. Borrowed a neighbor's red machine (Can't remember the brand) before I got the Scag and thought I was going to lose a kidney.... Almost kept me from going zero turn. But my better instincts told me that unless I wanted to brush hog the whole 18 acres every week, I'd better get something that could whip out a couple of patches of acre lawn here and there w/o killing my back, or the lawn mower..... Now my little Troy Bilt sits in the garage waiting for a chance to pull the garden cart, and kick up it's heels a bit.

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2 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Hmm...

I don't experience mower-envy very often but spotted this driving to town the other day.

track-mower.jpg

I wonder how much those tracks tear up the lawn?

 

maybe that's the idea: tear up the lawn so you don't have to mow it again!

I like the remote controls mowers they use on the highway embankments. those look it would be a fun toy to have.

identvelikosti-scicon-268-22-v1.jpeg

http://www.slope-mower.com/

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Driving down the road with a friend, we passed another friend's house, and noticed him mowing his lawn...... Very slowly..... Like at turtle speed..... My friend said: "Huh! I wonder why Jim is mowing his lawn so slowly on such a beautiful day, when he could be out on the boat."......

 I said: "Notice the car in the driveway with the New Jersey plates?"

 Friend said: "Ah...... Mother in law is visiting......"

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8 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

I've been using a Scag Tiger cub for a couple of months now. One you get used to the joy sticks, it really is a great mower. Borrowed a neighbor's red machine (Can't remember the brand) before I got the Scag and thought I was going to lose a kidney.... Almost kept me from going zero turn. But my better instincts told me that unless I wanted to brush hog the whole 18 acres every week, I'd better get something that could whip out a couple of patches of acre lawn here and there w/o killing my back, or the lawn mower..... Now my little Troy Bilt sits in the garage waiting for a chance to pull the garden cart, and kick up it's heels a bit.

If comfort is what you want, Ferris is the way to go since they have suspension. My yard is lumpy and the Exmark I have isn't too bad. My buddy has a Scag Turf Tiger and it's about the same ride except I think you could drive the Scag through a concrete wall.

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I wonder if those tracks on the one I posted would smooth out the ride or make it worse?

My neighbor has a swamp track machine and you don't want to ride it above about 3 mph unless on soft swamp that would eat any other vehicle. It'll go 70 across sawgrass. Not that it's legal to do so much of anywhere any more.

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14 hours ago, austin1972 said:

If comfort is what you want, Ferris is the way to go since they have suspension. My yard is lumpy and the Exmark I have isn't too bad. My buddy has a Scag Turf Tiger and it's about the same ride except I think you could drive the Scag through a concrete wall.

It is built like a tank, no doubt about that. The Cub has springs under the seat. Not much, but better than the solid seat on a slab of the Gravely.

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16 hours ago, austin1972 said:

If comfort is what you want, Ferris is the way to go since they have suspension. My yard is lumpy and the Exmark I have isn't too bad. My buddy has a Scag Turf Tiger and it's about the same ride except I think you could drive the Scag through a concrete wall.

+2 on the Ferris - our band's Drummer bought one this spring - and that is THE Zero Turn machine - fast, comfortable, excellent cut whether you're going thru lawn grass or scrub. 

 

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I looked at Ferris when I was buying. It actually came down to them Scag and Exmark. Scag won on burliness but lost on weight because it can be pretty soggy in the spring. I knew it would get stuck in the ditch. Ferris won on comfort but lost on finish cut quality (I'd probably rethink that now; it's a farm, dammit). Exmark clearly had the best finish cut and ability to process clippings into dust. The loss on that is how fast you can go before it starts bogging. The deck holds on to clippings longer to chop them up more.

They're all high end mowers that anyone would be happy with. I'm impressed with the quality of the engines, hydros, spindles, deck construction and the thought these guys put into serviceability on these machines. Coming from a Kubota GS1800 (a good machine), it's a world of difference. These commercial ZTRs don't have to make very many compromises since they really only have one job to do.

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19 hours ago, austin1972 said:

I looked at Ferris when I was buying. It actually came down to them Scag and Exmark. Scag won on burliness but lost on weight because it can be pretty soggy in the spring. I knew it would get stuck in the ditch. Ferris won on comfort but lost on finish cut quality (I'd probably rethink that now; it's a farm, dammit). Exmark clearly had the best finish cut and ability to process clippings into dust. The loss on that is how fast you can go before it starts bogging. The deck holds on to clippings longer to chop them up more.

They're all high end mowers that anyone would be happy with. I'm impressed with the quality of the engines, hydros, spindles, deck construction and the thought these guys put into serviceability on these machines. Coming from a Kubota GS1800 (a good machine), it's a world of difference. These commercial ZTRs don't have to make very many compromises since they really only have one job to do.

I finally got my Scag out for the first cut since Irma yesterday. It's 12 years old and has almost never seen moisture in its life. I cut when it's hot and dry or I don't cut.

Or, I cut when I finally get a chance after a hurricane. And it's a little damp. Going through the thickest, wettest parts, I was down to speeds I haven't had to use since my old mower. Way below human walking speed and it was still choking and spewing out wet clumps. I got about half done before rain drove me in. Now I have to clean up the underside of the deck. I've gotten the part my wife cares about so I'll finish the rest when it's hot and dry.

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I prefer to cut when the grass is damp from dew. Cutting when it's bone dry whips up a dust storm that can be seen from the ISS.

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I have shady areas where I create a dust storm in the dry season. I hold my breath and blast through at top speed.

Where the grass is thick, it isn't a problem.

All the dust stays pretty wet this time of year in the shady areas and doesn't blow around much when I fly by.

But we have sand and you're probably dealing with that orange clay stuff.

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3 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I have shady areas where I create a dust storm in the dry season. I hold my breath and blast through at top speed.

Where the grass is thick, it isn't a problem.

All the dust stays pretty wet this time of year in the shady areas and doesn't blow around much when I fly by.

But we have sand and you're probably dealing with that orange clay stuff.

Sand. No clay. Dig down 3 feet, and you get powdered lime.

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I'd think sand would be tough on spindles and blades. I don't have that problem. My issue is that my lawn is constantly being sprinkled with cow poo dust from the feedlot and lime dust from trucks driving down my lane. I should mow 3-4 times a week but only have time for 1. Well, except for right now. We're in a drought.

I'm really happy with the prairie restoration project. Those plants are flowering like crazy and don't seem to notice that it hasn't rained in a month. I've read their roots can go up to 12 feet deep, so they're probably tapping water that grass has no chance at.

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Sand affects blades in a way that I never would have expected.... Growing up (and beyond) in New England, I was used to grinding edges that had encountered stones. Occasionally a blade would get tortured into an unusable hook shape. But I could usually get two seasons out of a set. Here, the sand  rounds over the cutting edge very neatly, and evenly, and the trailing edge of the blades are sand blasted to a super sharp feather edge in one season. I switched to heavy duty Gator blades, which hold up slightly better than the stock replacements..... All that said, after the second mowing of the season, I basically bludgeon my lawn in to submission.

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I ran one set until the trailing edges had holes worn in them. The front edges were just plain round.

I brought those with me when I went to get a new set, just to see if they'd ever seen any that worn. They hadn't. Rolled eyes and informed me that I won.

I used to try to keep them sharp, which mattered a lot more with my old machine. This one has a higher blade tip speed and it matters a lot less whether that tip is sharp. I haven't sharpened a mower blade in ten years.

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Watch that Tom. If your mower is like mine (likely), the tip is going 213 MPH. You don't want that breaking loose. I've heard horror stories from landscapers here - not for the operators but stuff/things/people around them. I'm running at 34 HP with a 61" deck and 3 blades, which is probably close for you too.

They're not push mowers. I sharpen the blades if I hit something. They get replaced every year.

Gators are probably a good call for your type of weird, not soft kinda grass. Zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine whatever...It's not Kentucky blue.

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Mine usually get replaced twice a year. The summer months kill a set and the rest of the year kills a set.

Except this year will probably be three sets. I just put on new ones and used them to chew up all the billions of small branches scattered by Irma.

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Carpet grass here, mostly (Anonopus fissifolius) except where someone planted some fescue at some point.

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During the build of the new shop I ran a corner of my old rider over with a bobcat. Some sweat and a big rebar bender got it running again. 

 

That thing will not die.

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a bit off topic but applies to all mowers...years ago a service guy told me he installed a cut off valve on the fuel line and that I should when shutting it down turn the valve to off and let it run dry.....I have done that for 30 years with never a starting problem...I don't even use the electric start ...hand crank and it fires up like a champ ! after a few easy pulls to prime after the valve has been open....I do that with outboard motors too

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On 6/11/2017 at 4:10 PM, Dorado said:

Guitar

Does that ZTR beat you up very bad on bumpy ground compared to a normal lawn tractor.

This one died with 99.5% of the yard done on the last mow day of the season here . . .

So far it's the Cub, Husq. and Toro on the radar. Trying to stay below $4000

42017_700x700.jpg

Only when hauling ass. I have a drag harrow I use to smooth out the bumps.

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Funny..... A neighbor who is a fireman, brought me a section of chain link fence with a couple of posts attached at either end...... Apparently it got snagged on the bumper of a fire truck at some incident, and he figured I could use it as a drag after broadcast seeding my cover crops..... It works great.

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babygoat.jpg.98704d1bd2e399e1a6a06b198f04dc65.jpg

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On 6/11/2017 at 6:57 AM, Dorado said:

John Deere/ Scotts. Served with me 18 years. Fought In 21 engagements with the Comanche and the Kiowa. Cheerful in all weathers. Never shirked a task. Splendid behavior.

Lord, my rider is gone . . .

 

Ok, need a new one. 1 Acre + of bumpy ass cow pasture masquerading as a lawn.

Who's got what these days. 

I'm pondering the ZTR's but how the hell can you drink your coffee and smoke your cigars on a ZTR ?

kubota is the Honda of tractors

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Just stole this from a fb post:

We have the standard 6 ft. fence in the backyard, and a few months ago, I heard about burglaries increasing dramatically in the entire city. To make sure this never happened to me. I got an electric fence and ran a single wire along the top of the fence.

Actually, I got the biggest cattle charger Tractor Supply had, made for 26 miles of fence. I then used an 8 ft. long ground rod, and drove it 7.5 feet into the ground. The ground rod is the key, with the more you have in the ground, the better the fence works.

One day I'm mowing the back yard with my cheapo Wal-Mart 6 hp big wheel push mower. The hot wire is broken and laying out in the yard. I knew for a fact that I unplugged the charger. I pushed the mower around the wire and reached down to grab it, to throw it out of the way. It seems as though I hadn't remembered to unplug it after all.

Now I'm standing there, I've got the running lawn mower in my right hand and the 1.7 giga-volt fence wire in the other hand. Keep in mind the charger is about the size of a marine battery and has a picture of an upside down cow on fire on the cover.

Time stood still.

The first thing I notice is my pecker trying to climb up the front side of my body. My ears curled downwards and I could feel the lawn mower ignition firing in the backside of my brain. Every time that Briggs & Stratton rolled over, I could feel the spark in my head. I was literally at one with the engine.

It seems as though the fence charger and the piece of crap lawn mower were fighting over who would control my electrical impulses.

Science says you cannot crap, pee, and vomit at the same time. I beg to differ. Not only did I do all three at once, but my bowels emptied 3 different times in less than half of a second. It was a Matrix kind of bowel movement, where time is creeping along and you're all leaned back and BAM BAM BAM you just crap your pants 3 times. It seemed like there were minutes in between but in reality it was so close together it was like exhaust pulses from a big block Chevy turning 8 grand.

At this point I'm about 30 minutes (maybe 2 seconds) into holding onto the fence wire. My hand is wrapped around the wire palm down so I can't let go. I grew up on a farm so I know all about electric fences.....but Dad always had those POS chargers made by International or whoever that were like 9 volts and just kinda tickled.

This one I could not let go of. The 8 foot long ground rod is now accepting signals from me through the permadamp Ark-La-Tex river bottom soil. At this point I'm thinking I'm going to have to just man up and take it, until the lawnmower runs out of gas.

'Damn!,' I think, as I remember I just filled the tank !

Now the lawnmower is starting to run rough. It has settled into a loping run pattern as if it had some kind of big lawnmower race cam in it. Covered in poop, pee, and with my vomit on my chest I think 'Oh God please die... Pleeeeaze die'. But nooooo, it settles into the rough lumpy cam idle nicely and remains there, like a big bore roller cam EFI motor waiting for the go command from its owner's right foot.

So here I am in the middle of July, 104 degrees, 80% humidity, standing in my own backyard, begging God to kill me. God did not take me that day.....he left me there covered in my own fluids to writhe in the misery my own stupidity had created.

I honestly don't know how I got loose from the wire... I woke up laying on the ground hours later. The lawnmower was beside me, out of gas. It was later on in the day and I was sunburned.

There were two large dead grass spots where I had been standing, and then another long skinny dead spot where the wire had laid while I was on the ground still holding on to it. I assume I finally had a seizure and in the resulting thrashing had somehow let go of the wire.

Upon waking from my electrically induced sleep I realized a few things:

1- Three of my teeth seem to have melted.

2- I now have cramps in the bottoms of my feet and my right butt cheek (not the left, just the right).

3- Poop, pee, and vomit when all mixed together, do not smell as bad as you might think.

4- My left eye will not open.

5- My right eye will not close.

6- The lawnmower runs like a sum..... now. Seriously! I think our little session cleared out some carbon fouling or something, because it was better than new after that.

7- My nuts are still smaller than average yet they are almost a foot long.

8- I can turn on the TV in the game room by farting while thinking of the number 4 (still don't understand this???).

That day changed my life. I now have a newfound respect for things. I appreciate the little things more, and now I always triple check to make sure the fence is unplugged before I mow. 
The good news is that if a burglar does try to come over the fence, I can clearly visualize what my security system will do to him, and THAT gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, which also reminds me to triple check before I mow.

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ah hell, that was funny.

 

Anyway, nothing to add about the tractor, except make sure it has a cup holder....

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15 hours ago, Raz'r said:

ah hell, that was funny.

 

Anyway, nothing to add about the tractor, except make sure it has a cup holder....

Serious question?   My ZTR seems to kick up a lot more dust than any tractor I ever had.  Any good ideas for keeping the muck outta my beer?  

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3 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Serious question?   My ZTR seems to kick up a lot more dust than any tractor I ever had.  Any good ideas for keeping the muck outta my beer?  

actually, yeah.  Pet store has some plastic can covers for the dog food cans. they have different ring sizes. Snap on top, kick up some dust, snap off for a swig.

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

actually, yeah.  Pet store has some plastic can covers for the dog food cans. they have different ring sizes. Snap on top, kick up some dust, snap off for a swig.

I've got some of those - will give it a go.  I'd been dumping it in a water bottle, but, the straw still has to be swished

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Touble with drinking beer while mowing really is...... Even with a Yeti, the beer gets jiggled flat. It may still be cold, but it loses it's fizz..... And with Sierra Nevada Torpedo, that just isn't an option.....

 

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Jameson and water .......in a travel mug.

No foamovers, good buzz and hydration.

Mowing trifecta.

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