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post #1 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Too little too late!

Hey everyone,
My name is Oscar and I’m completely new to riding mowers/tractors and having more than a normal sized lawn. I recently bought 5 acres and I made the huge mistake of purchasing not one, but two lawn tractors! Unfortunately I didn’t do enough research, with that said I have been snooping around the forum for a while and I now know I should have purchased a garden tractor to begin with. I look forward to being part of the community, and hopefully with time maybe give back as much as I receive when it comes to knowledge.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 10:40 AM
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Re: Too little too late!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OB8235 View Post
Hey everyone,
My name is Oscar and Im completely new to riding mowers/tractors and having more than a normal sized lawn. I recently bought 5 acres and I made the huge mistake of purchasing not one, but two lawn tractors! Unfortunately I didnt do enough research, with that said I have been snooping around the forum for a while and I now know I should have purchased a garden tractor to begin with. I look forward to being part of the community, and hopefully with time maybe give back as much as I receive when it comes to knowledge.
Welcome to MTF!

That may or may not have been a bad thing to get two lawn tractors. But that brings up the questions

What condition is the new property in? By that, I mean is it completely new or has it been established for awhile?
Same models of lawn tractors?
Bought from same dealer?
What are the future plans with the new property?
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 11:11 AM
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Re: Too little too late!

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Originally Posted by OB8235 View Post
Hey everyone,
My name is Oscar and Im completely new to riding mowers/tractors and having more than a normal sized lawn. I recently bought 5 acres and I made the huge mistake of purchasing not one, but two lawn tractors! Unfortunately I didnt do enough research, with that said I have been snooping around the forum for a while and I now know I should have purchased a garden tractor to begin with. I look forward to being part of the community, and hopefully with time maybe give back as much as I receive when it comes to knowledge.
Oscar,

There are a lot of us that have gotten by with Lawn vs. Garden tractors, it's not that expensive of a learning curve and you will be amazed at the difference once you get one. My first was 27 years old and my second was 18 years old, I don't know what I would do with something new!

It boils down to just how far you want to open up your pocket!

CCMoe

CCMoe

2000 John Deere 455
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-24-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Too little too late!

Hey guys,

Thanks for the encouraging words and sorry I didn't reply sooner, I'm good with wrenches but not keyboards. I could have sworn that I set up a notification to my email for when I got a response but I'm still figuring out how the site works. As for your questions;
1.- The property was severely neglected, several of the owners have come over to chat because they're probably surprised that someone is finally taking care of it. Some of the neighbors that have lived there for years said they had never seen across the property until I mowed it.
2.- One mower is a Poulan Pro PP20v46 purchased from the Navy exchange, and the other is a Troy Bilt Super Bronco XP54 purchased from a private owner with 29hours on it. He ended up buying a Zero turn since it better met his needs.
3.- For now I just want to be able to keep up with the property so its not an eye sore for my neighbors. I had severe flooding into the home due to the previous owners lying on the disclaimer about foundation issues, and now I need something capable of digging trenches for redirecting water (hence why I said I needed a garden tractor rather than a lawn tractor).

Again thanks for the warm welcome and for all the knowledge. Hopefully I will be contributing some wisdom to the website in the future.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-24-2019, 12:28 AM
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Re: Too little too late!

Yeah, buying a home especially something like that opens a whole new ball game. Is renting a trencher or small hoe a viable option for your water issues? That is an expensive piece of equipment unless you will have other work for it down the road.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-24-2019, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Too little too late!

Renting is an option but I'm debating whether its worth it. The issue is that I have to excavate, wait for rain, see how the water flows, where it stagnates, where it goes into areas I don't want it to go, reanalyze the situation, and then repeat. That means I would have to rent multiple times and it might not be cost effective. Ive already put in several hundred feet of French drains and even then the house still got some water inside. I really enjoy taking care of the property so I don't mind getting a quality product, but with all the home issues my finances are stretched a little thin. I would love a subcompact but for now it looks like the most I can afford is a used X500 and a Johnny bucket. The biggest issue is that I don't know if the Johnny bucket junior will be able to dig deep enough. I don't need much, a 4" gully would probably be plenty. I had my heart set on a Husqvarna TS352D but with all the bad reviews it's gotten here regarding the frame I'm very hesitant.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-25-2019, 01:45 AM
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Re: Too little too late!

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Originally Posted by OB8235 View Post
Renting is an option but I'm debating whether its worth it. The issue is that I have to excavate, wait for rain, see how the water flows, where it stagnates, where it goes into areas I don't want it to go, reanalyze the situation, and then repeat. That means I would have to rent multiple times and it might not be cost effective. Ive already put in several hundred feet of French drains and even then the house still got some water inside. I really enjoy taking care of the property so I don't mind getting a quality product, but with all the home issues my finances are stretched a little thin. I would love a subcompact but for now it looks like the most I can afford is a used X500 and a Johnny bucket. The biggest issue is that I don't know if the Johnny bucket junior will be able to dig deep enough. I don't need much, a 4" gully would probably be plenty. I had my heart set on a Husqvarna TS352D but with all the bad reviews it's gotten here regarding the frame I'm very hesitant.


Instead of waiting for Mother Nature to show you the various drainage paths you have and want to change, Id suggest buying a laser transmitter and receiver with a grade rod. Probably pick up a rolling measuring wheel as well. Then plot out a grid, on paper, of your house. You can make the grid 10, 20, 50 or what size youd like.

Take your laser survey system out and plot the numbers down at every grid intersection. You can use Excel or another spread sheet if youd like. After its done, if you use Excel, you can actually plot your elevations and see them on a grid chart. And it will show you exactly where water will pool up, low points to aim the water to, etc.

Even if you dont make a line chart, when you look at the grid numbers it will make sense where your high and low elevation points are at.

For a side job, I had laser controlled scrapers for 30 years, as well as a setup for an old bull dozer and motorgrader. Every job I did, Id survey with a grid system, regardless if it was a 100 by 100 shop pad, or 640 acres. That way we could estimate time, costs and amount of materials used.

I would do the surveying I described above, regardless if I bought or rented a machine to do the work with. As I mentioned earlier, I had an old bulldozer and motorgrader, as well as an old backhoe. If the job I was on was small, or not needed in a hurry, Id run my equipment. But if I needed production, a tough project, etc I definitely rent equipment. Especially when you consider renting something like a new Cat or Deere backhoe. You can get more accomplished in an hour with a full size machine that you can all day with a garden tractor size hoe. I used to own a 25hp Mitsabushi with a loader/hoe setup.

Just some thoughts to consider




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post #8 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Too little too late!

BMP4510,

Thanks for the advice, you had me at laser but lost me at Excel haha. It sounds like something that requires some expertise, while i'm sure id figure it out eventually I'll probably go the dumb route. I was able to get a Brinly moldboard plow for a great price, the ploy, disk harrow, and full set of rims and AG tires off of a deere 318 for $230. Ive seen videos of people digging trenches for water with the plow so I'm gonna try my luck with that.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 03:18 PM
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Re: Too little too late!

You can also set a grid system with nothing more than a few stakes some string, line level and a tape measure or just use a ancient device called a water level. They were used thousands of years ago with great accuracy and should still work today. You will be way ahead knowing were to dig and how deep to dig.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 03:28 PM
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Re: Too little too late!

Clearing the land is more than half the battle. I did mine with a push lawn mower and a battery sawzall. It had been neglected for over 10 years.
Getting the plow is a step up, did you also get the sleeve hitch that is needed to attach to the mower? Take a look at the lay of the property from several points to see how it generally slopes and find the high point(s). Water always seeks the lowest point. If you use the plow to cut across this flow of water, you will then spread it out across a wider area.

You likely should look for some chains for the rear wheels for increased traction when using the plow. Just be aware that the transmissions of lawn tractors are not as robust as a garden tractor. That is not to say they can't do that, it's just that the transmissions will not last as long. Since you do have two lawn tractors, select one for use with the plow and other heavier jobs then use the other for mowing and lighter work.
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Too little too late!

Flaken,

I forgot to mention I got a Craftsman DGS 6500 for $400 that I plan on doing some work to, and the AG tires should fit on it. It has 800 hours but it fires right up and seems to move fine. I did a preemptive tune up since I don't know the history of the machine, new air and oil filter, new spark plugs, and new fuel filter. The old fuel filter looked like it was the original, I'm surprised it still runs as well as it does. I plan on dropping the transmission and changing the fluid with 5W50 synthetic and giving it hell. I got a sleeve hitch but the mounting brackets are too far apart for the hitch frame assembly to rest on both of them, only one side will slide onto the slot. I'm out of town so I haven't been able to mess with it unfortunately. Once I get home I'll take the brackets off and try to bend them a little to make them seat properly. If that doesn't work I guess I'll be starting a new thread about craftsman sleeve hitches that don't fit craftsman mowers.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 08:11 PM
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Re: Too little too late!

Thanks for the update!
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 08:32 PM
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Re: Too little too late!

I will admit to walking around my property during more than one heavy rain storm [ not thunderstorms !!! ]. It's the only way to really see what is going on. On the last one I actually got out a shovel and mattock and laid in a storm water diversion trench to protect my trillium patch. You know you are getting things right when you are doing the work while it's raining cats and dogs

Yes, I am the weird neighbor !! hahaha.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-27-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Too little too late!

Yeah I've definitely been out there during the storms, it gets the the point where a rain poncho is just a formality. On the bright side I found a forgotten french drain that was still somewhat operational. I stuck my arm shoulder deep into it and pulled out a root network that was about 7' long. The water really started pouring out after that, and I'm pretty sure the neighbors rather have the crazy poncho guy walking around than the couple that never took care of the property.
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