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Heavy Duty Lawn Mowers - which one?

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,922
157
Portage
Guys,
For you lawn mowing Gentlemen....
I'm beginning my research for a camp lawn mower for the next 20+ years.
I typically make it to camp to mow about every other weekend so the grass is typically high upon arrival. To make matters worse sometimes its wet or raining on those weekends. My long term plan is to obtain a commerical mower to hand the task rain or shine. What's my best investment for the long run? I'd probably favor today's zero turn in some of the name brands I'm somewhat familiar with such as Scag, Textron, or Kubota.
Inputs, ideas, thoughts?
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
135
I ran a Bobcat skid steer for several years on the farm. I loved that thing. I really liked that the ass end was pretty small compared to others so it was mobile.

How much are you mowing? How fast?

Oh I like John Deere too!
 

Gern186

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,231
156
NW Ohio Tundra
I have done some commercial mowing for the last 3-4 years.....

I have a Ferris IS2000Z and I would highly recommend it. Very good engine and the thing is built like a tank. The deck steel is very thick and it has independent suspension at all 4 corners. High grass is no problem at all, you won't even have to slow down.

I have also mowed with grasshopper mowers and they are built very good also. Gravely makes a nice mower from what I've seen.

I am not real impressed with the deck thickness on John Deere or Country Clipper mowers.

I think Phil could give you some advice also.
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,922
157
Portage
That's guys. I'm sure Phil will chime in later or this weekend when he get's off his mower. I'm sure he's seen the best and worst.
 

Beentown

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,757
142
Sunbury, OH
I have two zeros right now. A Woods Diesel that I cannot kill. It is a front mount that I got for a great price $4500 with 270 hours on it. It now has 1800 hours and no issues at all except having to bypass the seat shutoff because when my wife mowes fast it constantly kept shutting off.

I also picked up a Troy Built from Uglykat on here and after a tune up it has ran like a champ for my parents (mowing 5 acres weekly). It is no commercial unit but unless you are really planning to put some major hours on it they (residential) are more than tough enough for smaller/limited jobs.

IMHO unless you are mowing a hell of a lot (commercial) or REALLY rough on equipment you are wasting money on commercial units. Why spend upwards of $10k on something that can be accomplished on something that costs a fraction of the price ($3k or under) and does a great job? Now if you want the best because that is what is in you...I understand that also.

This is also coming from the guy who just bought a $300 trimmer because my less quality ones kept crapping out. As another aside, I like these small engines the most:

1) Kawasaki
2) Honda
3) Kohler

Oh Phil!!! What say yee?

Good luck in your search,

Beentown
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,640
212
NW Ohio
What's your budget? lol

Is it going to be left at the camp or transported between your place and the camp?

If you are looking for something stout, yet economical, a used walk behind mower with a Velke can usually be found under a grand. Holds hills pretty good, heavy deck, and commercial series engine. Just a thought. You don't even need a velke (also called sulky) if you don't mind walking. I never use ours. I always walk. It will mow as fast as you can walk.
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,922
157
Portage
Thanks guys. My ambition is to locate a slightly used $ 10k model for the $6-7k price tag. Perhaps after this season would be a good time to pick one up and/or I'll keep my eye open for auctions. The mower would be ideally left at camp for the remainder of its or my life. I just came off the Scag website and they do look impressive. This is day two of my one year plan to acquire something.
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,640
212
NW Ohio
Well, now that is a different story. I have one close to what you describe, but not quite. We do have a 2004 Dixie Chopper with 60" deck and 28HP fuel injected Kohler motor on it for sale. It is used, but not beat. It is probably at half life which would still last a long time given your intentions. It has 1800 hrs which i would say is more than slightly used. However, I am under your budget. We currently have it listed at $4900. I told a guy yesterday $4500 would buy it. Not trying to push it on you by any means, but it is available right now. Only reason we are selling it is to buy a new one and rotate the mowers. I have run it and so has Drake if you have any questions. He would be pretty unbiased as he has jumped on board to help us out the last few days in his spare time.
 

DJK Frank 16

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,359
121
Hardin County
Well, now that is a different story. I have one close to what you describe, but not quite. We do have a 2004 Dixie Chopper with 60" deck and 28HP fuel injected Kohler motor on it for sale. It is used, but not beat. It is probably at half life which would still last a long time given your intentions. It has 1800 hrs which i would say is more than slightly used. However, I am under your budget. We currently have it listed at $4900. I told a guy yesterday $4500 would buy it. Not trying to push it on you by any means, but it is available right now. Only reason we are selling it is to buy a new one and rotate the mowers. I have run it and so has Drake if you have any questions. He would be pretty unbiased as he has jumped on board to help us out the last few days in his spare time.

Yeah I ran this mower a few times this past week and it runs and mows great. That was the first time I'd ever been on a Dixie Chopper and I was pretty impressed.
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
10,930
166
Mahoning Co.
I have a Steiner zero turn. Really like it, it has almost 3000 hours on it and starting to use some oil. Steiner isn't making zeros any more so if I was to replace it I'd probably get a Dixie Chopper.
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,640
212
NW Ohio
My buddy has a 1999 Grasshopper on ebay right now. Kubota diesel with 72" deck. I think he has a starting price of $6500. It shows 80 hrs on the meter. I think the meter has been changed. However, it does look to be a very well maintained unit. Just throwing something else out your way. Not too many commercial guys use these, but there are a butt load of them out there. People that have them seem to like them.
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,922
157
Portage
Thanks for the intel guys. I recently purchased a Kubuta L3400 4 x 4 diesel tractor with a bucket so I'll need to replenish the funds for the next toy....the mower. I'm in no hurry for the mower meaning it should come into realization probably next Spring. I'm doing my research and due diligence so I know which mower would best suit my needs when the opportunity presents itself.