I've been researching a mower I thought could mow my rear steep slope of about 3/4 acre which is about 25* slope in some areas or less in other spots. I cut it with a walk behind Scag now which does well cutting from side to side. I cut my front yard now with a JD LA145 which does well there but is pretty worn out and looking to sell it before I have to put money in it, its 12 yrs. old.
I wanted to hopefully find a riding mower that could cut the front easily but also could manage the rear slope. I've researched cutting techniques, safety concerns, etc. Have also talked to several people from this area in NC and they say they could cut it and do it from side to side instead of up and down. Anyway I wanted to put some good money out on the best mower possible without putting out $30K on a Ventrac. I also wanted to buy it optimized for the steepest slope possible from JD......then if it cuts it well, then great...if it doesn't or I don't feel safe doing it, then I'll cut what I can with it. Either way I didn't want to cut corners for the sake of a $1000 or so and end up regretting it.....if you know what I mean. So that all being said, here's what I need help with.
I believe my best bet is a JD X739, 4 wheel drive & steering, 54 HC deck, air-ride seat, HDAP tires, with quick-tatch front weights and either rear tire iron weights and/or tire fluid in rear tires, they also have the rear quick-tatch weights available. I'm a big guy, 6'-4" 250 lbs.
All that said, I don't have any experience setting up and balancing a mower like this so its balanced going up and down a slope like this. I know I need weights but how much and where? I've read the rear tires are the best place to maximize lowering the center of gravity. But I don't know how much weight is gained from tire fluid, the type to ask for, the cost, etc.? Also can I just add all the iron weights and the fluid weight on the rear? I don't want to put too much weight and wear out the mower either, such as bearings, axles, etc.
On the front, it looks like they have 2 weight bar sizes, the one that comes on the mower stock, it looks like it holds 4 weights. Then they have a 9 weight bar that's extra......which creates another option?
I don't know if there is some formula or math that is applied to balance these mowers out? Or do people just do it from experience and advice? Or is it a buy, then try and see method and add as needed method?
Hopefully I get some good advice back.......looking to make this purchase either this winter or next spring.....wanted to ask JD community also if there is a optimal time to buy these when the best deals can be gained?
Thanks in advance for all advice!!