10 acres per week, $5k budget

HobbyFarmerMO

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Currently have a home grade 54" mower, 23hp, 4mph max speed, 1/2 acre per hour. Mower is great but takes FOREVER to mow the 10 acres a week that I mow on mine and my mom's acreages.

I'm not a commercial mower but feel that quality would probably be best on the farm. I've seen a lot of ads for Bad Boy and Spartan mowers, are they any good? Would a used Scag or Hustler type be better?
 

keakar

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your problem is you are still thinking in terms of using a mower when that is way way too much for a lawn mower

get a tractor with a larger then average bush hog so its cutting about 8-10ft at a time and thats the proper tool for the job. for right around the house and driveway you can use your mower for that stuff but use the bush hog for the rest
 

bertsmobile1

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All depends upon how many obstacles & what space you have between them,
An old commercial with a big deck 60" to 90" will serve you better but of course you need a big trailer to move it from one property to another.
I see a lot of really cheap Great Danes out there with 61" decks that would suit you fine.
Two older, cheaper mowers are always better than one new expensive mower and if it is an old tired mower then no need to keep it under cover , just a small one over the engine will be fine.
My landlord sits on 1000 acres , around 600 of these are pasture that require regular mowing after the cattle have finished eating the grass to knock down the weeds
He uses 3 2000 series Cub Cadets with 48" & 54" decks and it takes all 3 of us 6 days of full on hard yakka to knock it over
He also has a 1962 40Hp Inter with a 10' flail mower that will do the whole pasture in 3 days that we use for heading the seeds in fall because the mowers can not cut high enough to leave feed for the cattle.
For the paddocks with a lot of Tussock grass then there is another , slightly newer Inter ( 1968 ) with a 10' slasher on the back.
Old small farm tractors are a dime a dozen over here and I would imagine it would be the same 10 fold in the USA as cost pressures have forced small farms to combine into big farms with corresponding big farm equipment.
So as others have suggested look at some big equipment for the broad acre stretches and use the little stuff for trimming around the fence line.
If the ground is fairly well level the look to old fariway mowers retired from golf courses when you can get 12' to 20' cut in a single pass.
Cutting a wide swathe slowly will do a better job and is better for the grass than trying to race over the 10 acres quickly .
And go for something with a fabricated deck
 

gch

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I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I’m not a commercial guy either but I have a few acres to mow. I started looking at the big stores and my brother told me to look at commercial used mowers.
I started looking and everything had a ton of hours but I happen to find a rancher that had a 2013 JD Z920m 48” and needed a 60”. So he bought the same mower in a 60” and he sold me the 48” for $5500. He said it has 239 hours and was in great shape. So a bought it and brought it home and as it turns out the hour gauge has a decimal point and it actually has 23.9 hours. It is so much better quality then store bought. The new z920m start at $10,000. So you may want to look around for a good used commercial mower.
 

bertsmobile1

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It is also worth remembering that most commercial operators actually do regular maintenance on their mowers .
So a teamster selling a mower with 15,000 hours would be a better buy than the same mower from a private owner with 1/3 of those hours.
Even worse are 3rd hand machines.
What is a problem for a contractor is often nota problem for the home owner.
Just finished doing a referb on a Great Dane with 22,000 hours on it and it is still a lot better mower than the Toro Titan I did the week before.
Although the Titan is a lot easier to change drive belts on .
The Dane gives a better cut & is a lot easier & more comfortable than the Titan despite being 10 years older.
 

Hammermechanicman

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I would look for a used commercial grade ZTR. 10 acres a week is really nothing for a commercial Z. A new homeowner grade is still in the 3K range and will last a couple years. A decent used commercial machine is around 7K and will last many years if taken care of. Many times dealers will lease machines to schools or large commercial cutters. When they come off lease is a good time to pick one up.
 
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