My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Deciding on a tractor for mowing a little over 1 acre (after I deduct the house and pool from 1.4 acre lot) of flat land with beautiful St. Augustine grass from lot line to lot line (we've only lived hear for a couple of months so haven't had time to ruin it!). About a dozen trees but each has a 6' mulched circle beneath which makes turning radius not as much of a problem. No roots to miss. I have two narrower areas to mow through measuring about 48" wide but there are ferns on the sides so if I mowed into them it isn't an issue. Now my question... I want as short a mow time as possible (duh) but not sure how large a deck to move to. I was think a 44" would be ok but willing to go bigger if I can. I have a wide shed to store it in with double doors opening to about 68". Want to mow, occasionally tow a spreader and airator and small cart not too loaded down. Is it possible to go TOO big on the deck? Are their other considerations I should take into account? Going from 44" to 52" mathematically decreases mow time by about 20% or so.Can you over do it and regret the huge thing later on?

Thanks for any comments!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
smaller (42"-44") = better for trees or irregular ground height
bigger (46"-54") = better for just plain flat ground
biggest (over 54") = is really golf course stuff

At least that's what I deduce after cutting my 3 acres.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks nobog. Did some measuring and what I have is slightly over an acre to mow with the YT/GT. Also have the privilege of needing a push mower for the fenced area around the pool which is just big enough to be a PITA. Not a bunch of tight spots or anything so I would think I could go bigger than the 44" I was looking at but if I had to stick with that it would be ok. Again, just wondering if the bigger decks brought other issues that I wasn't aware of. Probably overthinking it..I'm sure it's the first time this has ever happened to someone deciding which tractor to buy... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
if the grass gets reasonably long. deck size doesnt make much difference. small deck-go faster. large deck-go slower. horsepower is the biggest factor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Not a bunch of tight spots or anything so I would think I could go bigger than the 44" I was looking at but if I had to stick with that it would be ok.
smaller (42"-44") = better for trees or irregular ground height
bigger (46"-54") = better for just plain flat ground
biggest (over 54") = is really golf course stuff
How many gates do you have? How wide are they?
I could do with a 48" deck but with the bagger on... 48" won't fit.
(And once you've had a bagger you'll never go without)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I used to mow my acre lot in NY with a JD 212 with a 47" deck. Took me about 45 minutes to do the whole thing... no trimming needed.

I know there was a comment made regarding HP, but I have a problem with that. The reason being; my Deere 212 had a 30 year-old 12HP Kohler in it. My neighbor bought a newer "yellow" tractor with a 22HP engine in it. He could NOT pull my roller with his tractor to save his life... bogged it down completely! My 212 could pull that roller, up the hill in my yard, at an idle!!! So, I have a problem when manufacturers come out with these insane high-HP mowers, because most of them don't have half the power a decent older low-HP tractor has. I'm not trying to start an "oil war" here... just saying that HP isn't everything...
 

·
That Guy
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Rgoers, that isn't a horsepower issue- that is a transaxle issue. All that horsepower isn't worth a thing for puling if you're not getting it on the ground. However when it comes to mowing the horsepower plays a much larger role.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
How many gates do you have? How wide are they?
I could do with a 48" deck but with the bagger on... 48" won't fit.
(And once you've had a bagger you'll never go without)
Gates aren't an issue as I don't have to go through any. Storage shed opens straight to the part of the yard I have t mow. Have a 12' gate across the driveway entrance for access. Had a JD bagger back in the day and remember not liking it. Not so much te JD but the bagging in general. Grass needs to go back to where it came from instead of to the curb!

My real worry should probably move from deck size to what trimmer I am going to get because I have A LOT of weed whacking. 1500' of fence line, 350' of driveway and sidewalk, pool area, etc. Of course the more/better I do with the mower the less left over. Does larger deck size affect ability to get up close and decrease need for trimming at all? Can't imagine that a jumpfrom say 44" to 42" woul impact it much. Again, excuse my stupid questions, just never ridden a larger deck machine...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Another thing to consider is bagging or not. If you want to mulch, then smaller is probably better (if long). The larger decks sometimes need help pulling the grass out of the deck (like an assist fan running of pony motor or belt sheave from deck.

Anyway enjoy the hunt!
-gh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Grass needs to go back to where it came from instead of to the curb!
To the curb? I filled those 2 bagger bins 5 times over yesterday!
Clippings go into the woods.

But when it's hot and after the spring rain growth? I agree.
Memorial Day w/e gets the mulch plug installed.

The other, and even better reason for the bagger is leaves.
I hate raking. Blow 'em from the edges then suck 'em up.

I have A LOT of weed whacking.
1500' of fence line, 350' of driveway and sidewalk, pool area, etc.
You need a teenager.

Does larger deck size affect ability to get up close...
How close to the fence posts can you get now?

I have about 200LF of chain-link (3 sides of the dog pen)...
On the post side I used a hoe to remove some sod then hit the dirt with Round Up 2 or 3 times a season. I can get pretty close on the other side of the fence with the mower but it'll still need to be whacked 2 or 3 times a year.

Bottom line? No choice is perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well the teenagers are all growed up! Wife and I moved to what will hopefully be our retirement home in Florida. No leaves just fire ants and palm fronds! Really want to mulch year round. We have been paying the previous owners lawn service since January when we moved in. They do a great job. Great to the point it scares me. 4 guys descend on us every Tuesday and when they leave 2 hours later the lawn and landscaping are perfect. I just hate paying what we pay. Can buy a lot of equipment for $300 a month over the long term. There is the time and effort factor but we like to do it. Sort of. :)
Just obsessing on buying the right machine, deck size, etc. to make it as enjoyable as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
when i said horsepower i more meant power in general. newer motors are rated at higher rpm and have a lot less torque. true working horsepower at a practical rpm is what really matters. i was also making the assumption that we were talking about real garden tractors and not newer lawn tractors. it was just poor wording on my part and i do agree with you
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
22,350 Posts
Reduce the trimming!

Lay bricks, patio stones, pressure treaded lumber, or whatever, flush with the ground along fence lines. Then it becomes an edging chore once or twice a year instead of a trimming chore every second mowing.

For raised flower beds with 3x5 landscape timbers for the sides, I use a 2x8 or 2x10 for a base that extends 2"-4" flush into the lawn so the mower deck can do the trimming.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,765 Posts
I know you're only cutting an acre, back when we bought our 6+ acre place, I used my folks 36" sears (murry) to cut 4 acres I think I would spend nearly 8 hours cutting grass, the following year we bought a 210 Deere with a 46" deck, cut my mow time down to 4 hours 45 minutes. in 04 we bought a 420 deere with a 60" deck, mow time down to 2 hours 45 minutes. I could cut grass & never stop for fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Reduce the trimming!

Lay bricks, patio stones, pressure treaded lumber, or whatever, flush with the ground along fence lines. Then it becomes an edging chore once or twice a year instead of a trimming chore every second mowing.

For raised flower beds with 3x5 landscape timbers for the sides, I use a 2x8 or 2x10 for a base that extends 2"-4" flush into the lawn so the mower deck can do the trimming.
Thanks for the hints. Already thinking along those lines. Luckily the previous owner or maybe the landscape guys have nicely degrassed small channels under or around a lot of the trouble areas. However, they need to be edged on occassion but I think that it is much less of an effort to keep up than breaking out the weed eater every other week. We are going from a New York City condo to 2 acres of property to we are starting from scratch on the equipment. The list grows quickly! Mower, weedwhacker, edger.....pole saw.... on and on.....I'm tired already. Maybe I should rethink the whole deal and keep paying the landscape guys!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I know you're only cutting an acre, back when we bought our 6+ acre place, I used my folks 36" sears (murry) to cut 4 acres I think I would spend nearly 8 hours cutting grass, the following year we bought a 210 Deere with a 46" deck, cut my mow time down to 4 hours 45 minutes. in 04 we bought a 420 deere with a 60" deck, mow time down to 2 hours 45 minutes. I could cut grass & never stop for fuel.
That is a LOT of grass. And I guess the point of my post. want to go as large as possible without getting stupid. Last thin I want is to find myself overdoing it and staring at a tractor/deck that needs to go bback to the dealer because it is too big to be managable. Again, probably over thinking the whole thing! The Broadmoor I have in mind at this point is 44" which I think ould put me in the hour range for an acre?? Not many difficult turns, curves, nooks or crannies to negotiate. Just mostly good wide open areas covered with grass fence line to fence line.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
22,350 Posts
For about an acre of grass with no serious obstacles, I'd suggest the widest deck available for whatever you want to buy for a tractor. Time on the clock has real meaning down the road. Project your expected time for mowing with a 42" deck and a 54" deck times the number of cuttings per year times 10 years and figure in maintenance costs and life expectancy of major components.

Recommended engine oil and filter change intervals are 50 hours, air filters may be less, depending on local conditions. A hydro will have to be serviced at least every 300 hours, if it is serviceable, sooner if it isn't. (That may not make sense until you realize that a serviceable hydro has a filter and an entry level hydro doesn't. The entry level hydro is about a $600 throw away component when it fails.)

The fewer hours on the clock after 10 years means a better chance of using it for another 10 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bobstraktor

·
NE Indiana
Joined
·
121 Posts
One thing that I considered was how far the deck stuck out past the tires. This helps getting closer to stuff so there is not as much trimming, it also cuts the mowing turning radius somewhat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Check where the "cut line" is... my (new to me) Troy-Bilt had this giant mulching contraption mounted to the right hand side of the deck. It contains another blade and some sort of a powered fan in there. It also added a good 12" to the width of the deck which did NOT actually cut any grass... needless to say, I removed it and put a discharge chute on it.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top