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  1. #1
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    Default pros & cons of a decent ride-on mower

    hi all, haven't been in here for donks due to all sorts of shenanigans & henanigans but thought this may be an 'honest' a/venue to air a can of invertebrate longissimus.
    doesn't appear to be much on offer if you do a keyword/s search either. the industry specific forums are a laugh & have the obvious conflict of interest thing happening.
    so: what say ye all about zero turn ride-ons? for that matter ride-ons in general? the neighbour is about to blow a small fortune & given i'm a greenfield convert (older 20 horse vee twin E2000 w/- no brakes ... slightly better than the 750 alchemy , don't want to lose a good neighbour & I may be in the market for a newbie myself shortly so all commentary, recommendations or even the odd scurilous gripe greatly appreciated.
    he's/ we've both tested & seriously bagged (the shop dudes give an on site demo) a base model grillo (7.16), zero turn walker & dixon grissly, a mid range huskie (pretty useless), & we've yet to get the greenfield & 4wd boys to come to the party.
    terrain is hilly & well tree'd, a few gully's almost nothing dead flat at all, a few fences down the bottom of inclines oh ... & dirt / gravel access driveways.
    i can see him using reverse a fair bit & i'm not impressed so far with the dealerships/ manufacturers inability to even offer the owner/ user practical instruction. can understand why, but an owners manual and method of operation is one thing, an hour or so teaching someone the right and wrong way to approach an incline ... priceless & lifesaving maybe. big problem with every dealer seriously degrading the competition which in turn sends alarm bells out as to what to believe. cheers for now.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    NUBEENA TASMANIA AUSTRALIA
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    Default

    The problem with all "mowers", is they are "lawn mowers", if you live in the country, you either have a bush block, or converted cow paddocks.
    Both of which have tougher vegetation issues than those lovely "lawns" that most "mowers" are designed for.
    There use to be a 4wd, all hydraulic mower available once. But, A it was very expensive and B I have not heard anything about it for 10 years or more. I think they were hand built in Vic somewhere with your choice of engine, etc.
    I have a newish John Deere and am reasonably happy with it, but I "must" cut our converted cow paddock as soon as it is needed, or I have to struggle for several days to get the growth down.
    None of this helps your question I know. But any thing that is labelled as a "lawn mower", is just that and no more.

    Paul.
    I FISH THEREFORE I AM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Boyne Island, Queensland
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    How much area has to be mowed?

    I started on 3 1/2 acres of cow paddock with an old B4200 Kubota compact tractor. Virtually un-stopable but slow due to only having 44 inch cut width on the mid mounted mower deck. But, it also had a front end loader bucket and 3pt linkage if need be.

    Newer Kubota and John Deere models come with mid mount mower decks up to about 60inch. Costly but more versatile than a dedicated mower.

    Currently I have a small Mahindra tractor with a 5ft flail mower on the back and a bucket on the front. Mowes anything but not the best choice for lots of hills and gullies.
    Dan

  5. #4
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    Dec 2008
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    Orange
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    What They Said.

    I have a Hustler Zero Turn that I use to mow about 1.5 acres of "lawn", it's brilliant as long as the grass does not get any higher than about 4-6 inches, after that it struggles badly and chockes up. It's a lawn mower.
    I let the other 4 acres get to about 500 high at which point the Hustler has no chance and I use a Kubota with a slasher. Mostly just paddocks with a couple of trees. Does not like trees a lot, the whole thing is quite long and unwieldy.
    I quite like mowing with the Hustler as it is fast and easy, I was a firm believer in Cox mowers before (had 3) but I would never go back.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Default

    We have a 28hp Zipper brand zero-turn mower and have had nothing but trouble with it. Belts break if the grass is even a little bit thick, more than the 4-6" mark as mentioned above. It's been a big disappointment. We're back to doing it with a 40hp tractor and a 5' slasher. If it's a lawn, ride on is ok, anything rougher/thicker go the tractor.

    Cheers
    Michael

  7. #6
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    Boyne Island, Queensland
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    As far as zero turn mowers go, I notice the local contractors that mow the traffic islands and some roadside grass use Toro mowers. Seem to chew through it fairly well. I have an uncle in Cooktown that did contract mowing for the council up there. He used a couple of Kubota (diesel) zero turns. Mate from work has just bought an Ariens and seems happy with it.
    Dan

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    You have 2 seperate issues to confront. First is choice of type and second is quality.

    As has been asked how much area are you mowing ?

    Is it flat, sloped, hilly, stoney ? Is the grass thick ? is it dotted with trees and if so how low do the branches hang ? Do you want to do other things with your mower ? What's your budget ?

    For smaller blocks like mine (1 acre) the cox stockman were the ducks guts (not anymore rubbish since the takeover) with greenfield a reasonable second. I've got a rover ranger xc which you can't kill with a brick. It'll happily plough through whatever my block throws at it BUT it's a 5 speed not heel and tow so a pain to manouver, 30" cut isn't the quickest.

    I am hoping for a time in the future, after I've moved to a larger property, when my father in law is willing to move his kubota B1750 on. They are worth about $10k in good order with loader and mid mount finish deck, which I THINK is 48" but could be wrong. He's got an air cooled same which I'd have in an instant. Obviously overkill for a small block.

    Remember a lot of name brand stuff nowdays have moved production to india, china and other places and quality might no longer be what built the companies reputation. I believe deutz/same are now built in india for example.
    I'm just a startled bunny in the headlights of life. L.J. Young.
    We live in a free country. We have freedom of choice. You can choose to agree with me, or you can choose to be wrong. Me.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Pirie SA
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    I disagree about modern Cox's being rubbish I have a Lawn boss 18hp 32"(has flywheel blades not slasher blades)on 10ac she'll cut through just about anything I can drive over... including box thorns and my trees!
    1~2' of blade grass is nothing for it and carpet weed barely slows it.
    Its done three seasons so far, only had the punctures to deal with so far.
    Cox is still made in Adelaide
    ....................................................................

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default all replies appreciated

    Ta all, anyway you look at it, it's going to be big money by the looks ($10,000 or more). I'm definitely sticking with my trusty greenfield for now, bear in mind it's taken a while to get to know the ups and downs of it all, toe heel operation was initially a freak out (much like my 42 WLA with gear change on the tank & a foot operated clutch ) & the manual diff lock is great. Does the job with our 45 degree + slopes, doesn't like the dam much and ripps through lantana growth a treat. Parts are a bit x'y but at least you can do all this yourself.
    Tractor is no go, as is decent size quad power plant with tow behind mower/ slasher. Evidently reversing is worse/ almost impossible compared to the greenfield with trailer/ attachment on the back
    The trusty neighbour will site test a Razorback & Masport Crossjet in the next days. At $16,000 it's a no brainer, along with the Grillo, for me there's too many electronics, auto this & auto that plus all the non UV rated composite plastic is a real worry. Sure, metal rusts eventually but have you ever had to replace the fairing work on a modern day motorcycle? the plastic is worth more than the power plant!
    Probably worth a few home brews & a chinwag in deciding, for my money I'm betting he'll go with the 'out front' zero turn Walker. No problem with belts as it's a shaft drive ... might take him a while to get used to the controls but the boys promised me that they'll spend some time with him planning a mower route and make sure he's confident with the operations of the machine ... now thats a plus in my book. cheers.

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