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Think one of these bad boys may be necessary in the near future. I know how they work, and I have seen them work. Never rode one.

 

Probably mowing 2-3 acres with a lot of trees.

 

So what to look for, what to avoid?

 

Just looking for some info to make a wise purchase.

 

Thanks,

 

LDD

 

 

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Make sure the size deck you choose fits between all the trees. (life will be easier) Hydraulic deck is really nice, especially if you have one working with a button on one of the controls. Usually lifts deck for 30 seconds or so unless you release the button.

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Is your property level or have many hills?  Most zero turn mowers don't have brakes, controlled with the drive wheels only.

 

One upgrade worth having is a discharge chute blocker. I have one from Qwikchute.  Works well keeping clippings from blowing in areas you don't want them going.  I use it to mulch leaves in the fall too.

 

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12 minutes ago, J.S. Sooner, SASS #73526 said:

Is your property level or have many hills?  Most zero turn mowers don't have brakes, controlled with the drive wheels only.

 

One upgrade worth having is a discharge chute blocker. I have one from Qwikchute.  Works well keeping clippings from blowing in areas you don't want them going.  I use it to mulch leaves in the fall too.

 

Level, with some low spots here and there, but not even close to a hill.

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20 minutes ago, Smoken D said:

Make sure the size deck you choose fits between all the trees. (life will be easier) Hydraulic deck is really nice, especially if you have one working with a button on one of the controls. Usually lifts deck for 30 seconds or so unless you release the button.

Distance between trees varies, but you make a good point.

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9 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

Level, with some low spots here and there, but not even close to a hill.

High roots can pose problems for some zero turn mowers.  Ground clearance may be limited on drive wheels.  

 

If you have smooth turf with long runs, higher speed may help.  48" is large enough, I would not go over 60" for your lot.  My father in-laws neighbor did his lot when mowing, with a 60" Exmark, both lots total were 3.5-4 acres, lots of trees.  He could double cut both lots in about 2 hours.

Edited by J.S. Sooner, SASS #73526
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One flaw with zero turn mowers if one wheel hits mud or wet grass the mower will turn into the spinning wheel.

 

Do not buy one from a big box store. Buy from a dedicated dealer. The ones sold at big box stores are not made as well. Especially the mower deck.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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Uno purchased one recently, after doing much research.  I'll ask him to chime in.

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7 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

One flaw with zero turn mowers if one wheel hit mud or wet grass the mower will turn into the spinning wheel.

 

Do not buy one from a big box store. Buy from a dedicated dealer. The ones sold at big box stores are not made as well. Especially the mower deck.

Exactly right. I want a local store with a guy in the back with a greasy shirt and and tools.

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Echo the dealer.  Also be aware all the Covid and stimulus created massive lawn mower and compact tractor shortages and supply/labor issues for some manufacturers.  I would buy sooner than later.....

Edited by JD Lud
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Hah.  None of the Above.  Of an age, cutting grass is NOT grins and giggles.  SO:  Hired a "Service."  They provide the Mower, They run the Mower.  They maintain the Mower.  They haul the Mower away along with the clippings.  SWEET!!

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Lawn?  What is a lawn?

 

I'm petitioning the Feds to declare my place an indigenous plant life or weed sanctuary,

 

Everyone else is milking that cow, so why shouldn't I get in on it?

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"Pressed" deck will fatigue and crack over time. "Fabricated" decks cost a little more but last longer.

If possible get cutter bars with replaceable blade ends; this will save the broken spindle housings from needing replacement on occasion.

I have some experience.

 

Get several blade drive belt replacements to have on hand.

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A back-up feature, most will stop the blades if you back-up, a real PIA.  Also research the engine for the machine your looking at, there’s been problems with some.  I bought one with a twin cylinder Honda engine (Cub Cadet) it’s got a car oil filter and an air filter that’s easy to clean.

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 That "go-backwards-blades-off" feature was the first thing I fixed. Back-up then forwards and the blade-belt comes off .....

     ......... almost every dang time!!!!!!

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We have Skag mowers at work.

They are run by multiple operators and they are run by people who didn't spend hard earned money to buy them.

First ones were gasoline, newer ones are Diesel.

These are industrial grade mowers and built to last.

That being said, they do get hung up easily.

Very easily, have caution when mowing low and/or wet areas.

Wallaby Jack spoke most truly about pressed decks, and about having multiple replacement belts on hand.

I can't speak to any other brand having the blade cut-out when in reverse; the industrial Skag zero turns don't have that feature, likely because they're intended for professional rather than household use.

 

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Since 2008 I have had great service out of my Cub Cadet, zero turn mower, with the twin handles, that is. It has a 50 inch cut, twin cylinder motor. 

Still on the first set of belts for the blade. I use Mobile 1 in motor oil, and of course it has a twist off oil filter, to replace at regular intervals.

Just giving my own personal experience with this model, and brand. 

No problems with it, so far.

You also have a choice as to gasoline powered, or diesel powered, width of cut. Most of all, service after the sale. Are the one's that may need to work on it, qualified, and intelligent enough to fix it right, the first time? Look at the background of the business you are buying it from, and see what they are rated.

None of the riding, zero turn, mowers are cheap. Take your time, ask questions, and read up on the quality, service, value, performance, before you plunk down yer hard earned yankee inflated wallpaper money.  

 

My Two Bits.

W.K.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Linn Keller, SASS 27332, BOLD 103 said:

We have Skag mowers at work.

They are run by multiple operators and they are run by people who didn't spend hard earned money to buy them.

First ones were gasoline, newer ones are Diesel.

These are industrial grade mowers and built to last.

 

 

This is what I have. What a beast. Excellent mower, just excellent.

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I have a 54 inch. Mow 3-4 acres. It's dry here in Wyoming so it's not weekly.

With it being dry here it's very dusty mowing. I've replaced the blades twice in 5 years. Much faster than traditional type mowers. Mine is 25 hp and uses more fuel than the old lawn tractor. Hands can get numb from vibration, wear cushioned gloves.

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We mow quite a bit here too. A lot of money...but go with a commercial mower. We have had a Toro commercial for quite a few years. I would go with at least a 60 inch deck. We mow hills and a very steep ditch bank.

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Lots of good input here.  There is a difference between the commercial units and "pro-sumer" versions.  I have had commercial units for more than ten years. Probably closer to 15.  The bigger the deck, the more it can mow.  Bigger decks can bridge uneven areas and result in uneven lawns.  All of my decks have been 60".  I considered 72 " decks but then would have trouble mowing between trees and lawn "ornaments".  Gas vs. diesel?  Meh.  Diesel units are really expensive.  Not worth it in  my view and I do like a diesel.  I mow about 7-8 acres.  Every 4 days in the summer.  Get the mulch kit and good blades.  I go through about 1 set per year.  Change engine oil once a year.  Don't mess with the hydraulics unless you see leaks.  These are semi sealed systems.  If it has a stamped deck, walk away.  The com[ay I work for deals with all the makers.  Is one better than an other?  Depends on what you want.  I've had an Exmark for the 15 years I've had one.  Great machines.  I took a Ferris to absolve a debt.  It has a higher seat position which makes it more difficult to get under tree branches.  Get one that has a good supporting dealer.  No big box.  If they don't service, don't buy.  I've ridden about all of them.  Before COVID, I got to go to the major trade show GIE, in Louisville and ride them all.  Some of them look pretty but you are buying a mower not a sports car.  A ZTR should cut your mowing time in half.

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11 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Hah.  None of the Above.  Of an age, cutting grass is NOT grins and giggles.  SO:  Hired a "Service."  They provide the Mower, They run the Mower.  They maintain the Mower.  They haul the Mower away along with the clippings.  SWEET!!

No service out here. Not even cell service. :lol:

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I have run a Hustler 72 in. Mower for 4 years now to mow 5 acres at our house in town and 5 acres at our cabin in the country, pretty open and flat, takes a little less than an hour each place, really comfortable ride and a great mower, the hustler dealer is local and I turn the mower in at the end of the mowing season he services it and it’s ready to go each spring, very tough powerful mower and low maintenance. By the way I HATE mowing! This machine eases the pain.  SCJ

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What I found when shopping for one, price does reflex quality. Also a good seat with some sort of suspension and armrests make mowing less of a chore.

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I have 2 John deere zero turns I got from a John deere dealer.  I have the airless tires on the bigger one.  It rarely gets stuck anymore.  One is a z330 the other is a z930.  I have a lot to cut.  The kids use the little one .  It is so light it rarely gets stuck either I also have a lot of muddy areas so not getting stuck is important.   

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On 4/3/2021 at 9:53 AM, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

Exactly right. I want a local store with a guy in the back with a greasy shirt and and tools.

Exactly what I thought.   Went to local Green Power dealer (JD)   They sent me to Lowes because they are the same mowers as they sell, plus they did the set up and service for Lowes.    Not real big yard but usually get most of an hour riding time every 5 days.   Running the small JD Z335  picked up on sale plus military discount made me wish I had bought sooner retiring old Dixon zero turn      GW

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I have a Toro 50'' cut with a Kawasaki 23hp engine, replaced a few belts, my  blades [ 3 ] last about 3 years cutting 1  1/2 acres, fabricated steel deck is a must...once you use a Zero turn you won't go back to a steering wheel.....IMHO.

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Aside from just buying it, how far away is dealer/service center in case of any warranty or other work/repairs.  Most warranty’s don’t cover travel...so if you don’t have a trailer paying over 100 bucks an hour to drive to your place, pick up, take back to shop, drop back off to you isn’t fun.....

 

if you can get a reputable manufacturer extended warranty some cover travel.

 

consider long term relationship with dealer as well.

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