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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Belly mower tractor or zero turn?

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7lazy77

06-01-2010 15:57:33
199.253.135.17



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I have 5 total acres that I need to mow (including grass down the driveway) & am undecided between a small tractor or a zero turn. I am leaning more towards a zero turn, but had a few questions. Are there zero turns that can handle rough cutting along a driveway & pasture, but yet do a fine cut for the yard? What are the pro"s & con"s of each?




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James22

06-02-2010 10:56:41
207.179.239.228



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
I was in a similar situation. Already had a rebuilt Super A and a new Woods belly mower that would fit a JD850. So would have needed to buy or make the attaching brackets. After much thought decided to buy a diesel JD F935 with a front mount 60 inch mower. Not quite a zero turn but very similar. The household "queen" liked the traditional steering wheel better than the sensitive levers of a true zero turn. Since we have several trees odd shaped areas to mow the "zero turn" was a much better choice.

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OliverGuy

06-02-2010 07:37:58
75.149.65.181



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
Hard to beat a zero turn for mowing. We mow 1/2 acre up to a 25 acre field with them. By the time I would get a larger tractor, pay for a folding bush hog, haul it there, etc. we"d be done with it. A zero turn will mow a finished lawn perfect, but just raise it a little and mow your rougher areas. Many varieties like ours have plenty of engine for a 60" or 62" deck. We have one 72" with a 26hp Kohler and it mows tall grass down to 4" at full speed (8mph or so). It mows better than the 72" 3pt. finish mower for our 57hp Kubota. Might as well sell that, because now we just use Z"s!

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dixon boy

06-02-2010 05:50:45
67.142.166.20



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
i have customers that use them for both. when they are in the rough cutting they simply raise the deck up some. i have even tried some my units in mowing my hay field. suprise what they will do when you have 30 some horse in lawn mower.



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Dean

06-02-2010 04:43:50
68.46.208.21



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
Lazy:

Do you plan to use the mower for anything else?

A good zero turn will mow faster than a compact tractor with belley mower especially around obstacles.

A compact tractor is better for EVERYTHING else.

Dean



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herbert johnson

06-02-2010 03:11:24
64.90.214.183



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
Last summer I went from a Kubota diesel with a 60" belly mower to a 60" zero turn. I mow 3 acres with 26 trees. Couldn't understand why I didn't get a zero turn a long time ago. I do the edges of the gravel drive with a push mower.



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FiremanKyle

06-01-2010 21:09:27
75.51.96.50



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
I have a John deere Spin Steer they act like a Zero turn but look like a typical rider (just has front Caster Wheels - think that model type is off the market now). The big Factor is terrian levels, I have had my tractor in the ditch a few times for mowing too close, (the gravity pulls you in). So if you have considerable inclines that will limit how you mow when you utilize a zero turn, as you will need to go up & down hill verses side to side.

Good Luck! :-)

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IOWA NORTHEAST

06-02-2010 05:13:12
206.72.18.89



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to FiremanKyle, 06-01-2010 21:09:27  
Fireman, When they first came out, I told our local JD salesman they could not work in our normal yards. He insisted they had been tested by JD..... I said if you were to add 200 lbs behind the rear axle, maybe they had a chance.

Now at the coffee shop, he admits he hasn't sold one that worked except for a level lawn.

Pack some weight over the rear axle, enough to make the front end almost balanced on the rear axle so gravity has no pull on a side hill.

They are a nice machine to ride no doubt, with the good JD service and parts, just needs a little shade tree logic added. Tractor lug type tires would also improve their side draft problem.

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Dean Olson

06-01-2010 19:23:09
76.31.42.124



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
I have a 6' cut zero turn that I use to mow around 4 buildings and about 40 trees all on 2 acres. Takes about 45 minutes. I have another property that has 2 acres 5 buildings and 20 trees and 4 acres of pasture. I use a 45hp tractor with 6' brush hog for the pasture. I originally had a garden tractor,for all 8 acres, that sucked. I borrowed a tractor with a belly mower thinking it would do it all, it did and was much better, but not great. I got the dealer to bring a demo zero turn out and was hooked. I kept the demo and sent him a check. At the time I had more money than time so justified 2 different machines. The next step is to be able to afford someone to operate them for me:)

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aFORDable

06-01-2010 19:20:57
208.137.161.151



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
Depends on what the 5 acres is like as far as how rough, trees/shrubs or things to trim around. I use both and can compare. The Z is much faster when it comes to mowing an area with trees, brush, flowers, etc. I use a 6ft. finishing mower behind my 35 mf when mowing in an open area on another plot. That plot is a little rough but has no trees so the ride is better on the tractor. In an open area like this one there isn't much difference in speed and I can use the tractor for other things if needed.

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Kris Golden

06-01-2010 18:50:44
65.69.162.82



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
I use a Super "C" Farmall with a Woods L306 [6 foot- left throw] mower. It costs $1400 in 1989 at an auction and very little in repairs since. I think two sets of deck bearings, three belts, and three sets of blades. The tractor has only had a waterpump replaced. The deck is offset to the right for trim and my back tires are set out to the end of the axles. [approx. 7 feet on center] It will mow my roadbanks so steep that I have to hold the uphill brake to keep the narrow front from sliding downhill, and is extremely stable. The narrow front makes it a zero turn. I'm not saying I wouldn't like - or own a modern zero turn, but I am very pleased with this unit and it didn't cost nearly as much. I mow 5+ acres in three hours on 2.5 gallons of gas. I've not mowed my place with a modern zero turn so I an unable to compare. Good luck with your decision.

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Bob Bancroft

06-01-2010 18:27:03
72.173.160.58



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
I prefer my AC B w/6' belly finish mower for areas where maneuverability is not a concern. BECAUSE THE RIDE IS SO MUCH NICER. I have the smallest zero turn Ferris makes. It is very rugged, and has shock absorbers and springs. But I don't feel it rides any better than my previous one that had none of that. So much for their independent suspension. One of my past 50 year old hips tells me so. So your age is another factor.

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Brad Buchanan

06-01-2010 17:52:48
67.249.162.77



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
From what I have observed a zero turn is the best thing for flat lawns with some obstructions and if you have the money for basically a dedicated mowing machine that is for you.

Myself, I would have a hard time justifing that much money for a machine that will perform basically one task. I know there are attachments for these machines, snowblowers and the like but they are really built for turf primarily.

Me, I'd take a tractor hands down. (But you would look really cool using a ZTR!!)

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KEH

06-01-2010 16:44:17
67.231.174.8



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  

You won't want to hear this, but generally the best thing for trimming along a driveway is a push mower. However, it all depends on the space you have and the steepness of the road banks. A ZTR shines when there is a lot of turning to do on relatively flat land, like if you have a lot of trees and bushes to mow around. A ZTR will run rings around a tractor in that situation. If most of what you mow is open in that five acres, then a tractor with a 6 foot finish mower and enough horsepower to pull it, something like a 135 MF or a 3000 Ford or better yet, a 4000 with independent PTO will work fine and you will have a tractor availiable for other jobs. Having said that, a good ZTR would still cut rings around the tractor because it will generally cut faster, also you don't hav to take time to hook up. Bear in mind, none of these mowing options will cut tall grass and brush. They are lawn mowers, not bush hogs.

KEH

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Jiles

06-01-2010 16:29:51
71.207.239.111



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to barn E, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
If you have a large open lawn, go for the ZT. However, I have a Kubota ZD221 with 54" deck that I use on my open lawn but I use a 26 year old WheelHorse for the trimming around trees.

I came close to ruining my lawn as the ZT will pull the grass by the roots when mowing around trees but cut my mowing time in one half for the open yard. The last time I used the ZT around my trees, I was extremly carful and took extra time. The turf damage was less but slower then with regular mower.

Hence---I use both.

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Showcrop

06-01-2010 16:11:55
75.67.231.80



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to 7lazy77, 06-01-2010 15:57:33  
My ZT will adjust deck height on the fly, if that is important to you, and probably do the job quicker. But more important, since you need a full sized, real tractor, this is a rare opportunity to justify it to your wife.



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BillinCentralMo

06-01-2010 18:24:31
173.143.120.137



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 Re: Belly mower tractor or zero turn? in reply to Showcrop, 06-01-2010 16:11:55  
We cut several acres with our Hustler Z. It is alot faste than mowing with my MF135 or my IH806. It is not for rough ground though. We use the tractors on the rough stuff. And the Hustler does nothing but cut grass. You can do other things with a tractor. You know the answer. You really need both.



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