My Tractor Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
'66 Sears Suburban 12
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had many houses/properties being in the military. This one is my most challenging so far. I've had a few 1/2 acre lots before, but this one is only about 1/4 acre of grass, but the whole lot is on a hill top and sloped steep. The front yard is broken up by landscaping into three different elevations- the side and front of house, then below the retaining wall is another large swath of grass, then I drop onto the driveway and head down to the cul-de-sac where I have to cut about a 1/3 of it on either side of the sidewalk.

I have a '66 Sears Suburban 12 garden tractor with a 42" deck- I don't think it'll handle the slopes and transitions at all. With the deck skids, that thing gouges even flat lawns. I had a JD LT160 that I sold to my folks, that would probably get the job done... I tried using my self propelled push mower and it took 45 mins just to hit the grass and I was constantly fighting the side slopes, getting the mower stuck in the landscape edging/fence thingies. My rule is 20 minutes tops for grass.

I was going to get a compact zero turn, but I read they are scary on down-slopes. Maybe I just need a small lawn tractor. But I'm thinking I might need a differential lock or 4wd to not tear up the grass with the elevation changes.

I was hoping to only spend $2k, but a tractor would would probably be $4k+. What about a real walk-behind mower, like the commercial guys use?

I already have the Sears as a garden tractor with all the attachments (plow, snow blower, blades, etc). I just need a grass cutting machine about twice as fast as my 21" push mower.

Ideas?
 

·
Retired Super Moderator - Deceased September 2015
Joined
·
26,672 Posts
Walk behind would probably be what I would look at. You should be able to rent one to try and see how well it works for you.
 

·
'66 Sears Suburban 12
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been doing some research- the Toro timemaster or something similar is intriguing. 30" dual blade deck, electric start, and rear wheel drive. That would be so much better than my craftsman 21" front wheel drive POS.....
 

·
'66 Sears Suburban 12
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No sure what a "RER" is... rear engine rider?

Here's a shot of the main section of my grass. There's also grass down low at the cul-de-sac and also up above the retaining wall and wrapping around the side of the house.

It's steeper than it looks in the pics....



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I've been doing some research- the Toro timemaster or something similar is intriguing. 30" dual blade deck, electric start, and rear wheel drive. That would be so much better than my craftsman 21" front wheel drive POS.....
If you get another walk-behind mower, you'll definitely want to get something with rear wheel drive. As I'm sure you've discovered with your Craftsman mower, anything with front wheel drive will literally just spin its wheels when the terrain gets steep.

Those Toro Timemaster mowers are neat. I wonder if you could demo one before buying it outright? I'd personally be nervous mowing steep hills on a zero turn, because they will slide while trying to turn, and can tip over unexpectedly. An older, heavier tractor such as your Sears will probably handle the inclines fine as long as you go up and down instead of across while mowing, but you have a point about your deck scalping up the lawn.

If you want a full-blown commercial mower that will get the job done, we sell these at the dealer where I work. This is the heavy-duty Exmark version of the Toro Timemaster:

http://www.exmark.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProductType=108

While this mower will probably be at the limit of your budget, it is built stronger than the Toro and has the commercial-grade Kawasaki FJ180V engine. That said, if you're not planning to use the Toro commercially, it will likely last for years with no trouble.

Another option you might want to consider is a compact midsize mower, such as this one:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202691...ct-2-_-203068788-_-202691274-_-N#.UdF959hFYYo

The bigger cutting deck will cut the same swath as a smaller riding mower, but a mower like this will be more stable on your hills.
 

·
Rider on the Storm
Joined
·
905 Posts
I've had many houses/properties being in the military. This one is my most challenging so far. I've had a few 1/2 acre lots before, but this one is only about 1/4 acre of grass, but the whole lot is on a hill top and sloped steep. The front yard is broken up by landscaping into three different elevations- the side and front of house, then below the retaining wall is another large swath of grass, then I drop onto the driveway and head down to the cul-de-sac where I have to cut about a 1/3 of it on either side of the sidewalk.

I have a '66 Sears Suburban 12 garden tractor with a 42" deck- I don't think it'll handle the slopes and transitions at all. With the deck skids, that thing gouges even flat lawns. I had a JD LT160 that I sold to my folks, that would probably get the job done... I tried using my self propelled push mower and it took 45 mins just to hit the grass and I was constantly fighting the side slopes, getting the mower stuck in the landscape edging/fence thingies. My rule is 20 minutes tops for grass.

I was going to get a compact zero turn, but I read they are scary on down-slopes. Maybe I just need a small lawn tractor. But I'm thinking I might need a differential lock or 4wd to not tear up the grass with the elevation changes.

I was hoping to only spend $2k, but a tractor would would probably be $4k+. What about a real walk-behind mower, like the commercial guys use?

I already have the Sears as a garden tractor with all the attachments (plow, snow blower, blades, etc). I just need a grass cutting machine about twice as fast as my 21" push mower.

Ideas?
It might on the high end of your price range, but the Husqvarna R322T AWD would probably fit the bill (and it's MTF's machine of the month for July 2013!!!) : http://www.husqvarna.com/us/products/riders/r-322t-awd/

Here it is mowing part of my 18* steep yard:


And here, battling the Blizzard of 2013:

 

·
'66 Sears Suburban 12
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow that is super awesome. My dad is offering to let me buy-back my John Deere LT160 (only has 65 hours on it). I'm going to pick it up this weekend and do a trial mow and see how it does on the property. It'll actually fit through my 64" gate, and should just squeeze into my rubbermaid sliding roof shed. If it does, $1000 and it's mine (again) and he gets a new Z235 zero turn.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top