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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need recommendations from those more experienced please to purchace a new ride on mower , which will no doubt be a much bigger investment than my vehicle . My fathers days of working on our mower are dwindling at age 80 , I need a ride on mower that can deal with some rugged hilly terrain that will also be easy maintenance and almost indestructable as it will be lady driven by myself . I am a single lady and not so young anymore and will be responsible for the maintenance myself . Need some higher clearance lift on some of this terrain than a regular lawn tractor . My budget is going to have to adjust to a machine that actually will meet these needs and get the job done.

I will be mowing over some brambles and small sprouting saplings , on hilly terrain and I would rather spend a little more time doing a few more passes than have a particularily wide deck due to terrain .

Please give me your recommendations and warnings on buying a ride on mower that will meet my needs , this is a big purchace for me I am going to have to live with .

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Your place is gorgeous. From most of the pictures I see, a finishing mower would be fine. If cutting on an incline is a concern, maybe look in to a zero turn, as they are low and broad based. As far as the brambles, saplings, rugged ground, I would want a topper (two bladed) or flail mower. A finishing mower can be used in brambles and saplings, but it won't last as long.
 

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We use a Kubota BX 2360. Ours is about 10 years old and is as handy as a pocket on a shirt. For the rougher stuff get a shredder from somebody like Farm and Home. Mine was about $500.00 cheaper than a factory model.
 

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NRA Life 1971
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You may want to consider a product that offers a service dealer in your area.
Ariens Makes B series 4 WD tractor. I've had an Ariens conventional unit for 10 yrs that has given me good service. One of the reasons that I chose this brand was because a stocking/service dealer was close by. I like to repair and maintain my own equipment but it's nice to know help is available if needed. Made in Wisconsin.
 

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That looks like a maintenance nightmare. Just mowing near a fence is difficult, then add a slope and it's 10 times more difficult. I would do things to make mowing easier, like remove that pile of rocks and other obstructions. Most of that looks like it would be best to use a hand push mower. Any kind of larger tractor can't mow those tight spaces. A zero turn might be the best for a riding mower, but I would still streamline that landscaping a bit.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I love my zero turn Wright mowers.

More of a finish mower than what you're after...?

They're built like tanks!
I need something built like a tank ! But I got concerned about zero turns when the Bob Vila article said that zero turn tractors are better and safer on grades under 10% as they can tip backward heading up a steep slope and these pictures are deceiving, the slope is steeper but the only pictures I have representing that well shows more of our home and family than I care to make public . There are a couple of places on a 30 - 45% incline which is no fun at all and I am scared stiff going up and down .
 

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We got mom a Grasshopper 928 with 28 horse Kubota Diesel and front mount mower. Best mower I’ve used. The front mower is great with getting under bushes and mowing fence line. You can even get a hydraulic lift for raising the deck. It just isn‘t cheap.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
That looks like a maintenance nightmare. Just mowing near a fence is difficult, then add a slope and it's 10 times more difficult. I would do things to make mowing easier, like remove that pile of rocks and other obstructions. Most of that looks like it would be best to use a hand push mower. Any kind of larger tractor can't mow those tight spaces. A zero turn might be the best for a riding mower, but I would still streamline that landscaping a bit.
The pile of rocks is about a two foot high retaining wall so won't be mowing over that, I just wanted to show I have to drive on a slope around the edge and down to the next level in tight spot . :) Tractorfarmer123 you are so right, I did not show my vine yard slope I mow but at the bottom of the slope it is fenced and when the ground is damp I have slid forward and sideways at different times right into the fence, Anytime I get stuck like that it requires help to dislodge the mower , and once we had to dismantle a fence.

It works well with my beasties and planting but as you can see there are added obstacles and it is not a gentle slope it looks like in these photos there is significant drop to it :

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Well I don't have the tractors some have but I have 15acres of near swamp with rocks and giant anthills, i use a Husqvarna lawn tractor, and beat the snot out of it, haven't needed a new battery in 5 years, and its like the energizer bunny. I only mow about 2 acres but I use it to expand that every season and now I have trails through the higher ground
 

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You might want to look at an ExMark. - Very over-engineered, but that makes them tough as nails. They are zero turn type and have several price ranges. Stay away from zero turns from Lowes another big boxes. They are cheaper, but there's a reason for that - the store gets to spec the price and the OEM (John Deere, Huskvera, etc) have to come in to their price. You think you're getting a deal and 3 years later, it's broken and you can't get parts or service for it.

As far as hills vs zero turns are concerned, Mr. Vera obviously never used one very long or he would have figured out that you can adjust your path to go UP an easier way, and come DOWN the hill slowly and carefully, therefore vastly eliminating the possibility of an upset. When I first got mine, I was very intimidated with hills and lateral mowing. You are sitting on top of the machine and it feels like it is a long way to the ground and you're going to tip over any second. Once you have learned the machine, proper speeds, etc, it's like any other common sense machine.

Good luck - and have fun - zero turns make mowing a pleasure, not like work!
Ya'll shoot straight and stay safe out there.

WW

WE ALL WANT TO BE FREE, BUT VERY FEW OF US WANT TO BE BRAVE. FOR ALL OF US TO BE FREE, A FEW MORE OF US, ESPECIALLY NOW, MUST BE BRAVE, AND THAT'S THE HISTORY OF AMERICA

K. R. Carleson - Navigator B-24J
 

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Fow mowing a zero turn will beat a ride on any day. As for tipping backwards my engine sticks way out the back..theres no way its flipping over backwards. Semi commercial mowers are built far far better and stronger in every single way over box store mowers of any type. Your not going to pay 2x the price for a quality semi commercial model either.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have an old massey ferguson 135 that seems almost indestructable but intimidates the heck out of me and frankly I don't want to driving on my lawn with it in a wet spring ( coastal BC rainforest climate ) nor traversing my hillside . I have a blade and tiller for the 3 point hitch , and I have a honda snow blower and a snowplow mounted on a truck that my tenant owns to clear our driveway .
 

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Fow mowing a zero turn will beat a ride on any day. As for tipping backwards my engine sticks way out the back..theres no way its flipping over backwards. Semi commercial mowers are built far far better and stronger in every single way over box store mowers of any type. Your not going to pay 2x the price for a quality semi commercial model either.
This ^^^^^^
zero turn is way faster and so much more maneuverable then any ride on .
I’ve used bobcat and a scag I think .
The only thing I ever flipped over backwards was a big ride on mower , I was mowing a area to steep for cutting side to side .
I started heading up the hill that was about 50’ to the top , it was wet and cold my foot slipped off the clutch and up it went , dame thing dropped on top of me and I don’t know how I pushed it off .
It a miracle no one saw this , I was cutting a apartment complex with 150 windows looking my way .
The ride on has a couple scuffs that the boss notice a few weeks latter.
i never told him about it 🥺
 
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