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  1. #1
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    Default OT: Zero Turn Mowers

    Gentleman I have a small yard third of an acre with a house on it in a subdivision. I have a Honda push mower that is good and I can mow in an hour not including weed whacking, weed pulling etc.... if there is no interruption. In which their usually is. That said I’m over it! I’m ready for a zero turn and busting it out in 20 minutes.

    So what do you guys like for brands of zero turn? Ideally I am looking for something that will last me 20 years with routine maintenance. I hope such a beast exists. I am concerned about ease, price and availability of replacement parts.

    Let me know your 2 cents. I appreciate it.

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    We have 3 acres, I bought a small Kubota Diesel (G1800S) 26 years ago, still works fine,
    but was needing more parts & maintenance than usual.
    Kubota recently had a 48 months 0% promotion, I bought a ZD1211, our first Zero turn.
    Took me a while to get accustomed to operating the thing, but now I love it.
    If the ZD1211 lasts as long as the smaller Kubota, I will be long gone……..

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    I think a zero turn sort of overkill for 1/3 acre.
    The lower price and smaller ones are not so robust.
    Due to the needed guts they have to cost more than a conventional
    I'd go for a small rider.
    Whatever you buy for this size yard make sure it fits between all obstacles. Otherwise out with the push mower or weed wacker to finish up spots.
    If you have 0.125 features in a part a 3/8 endmill leaves a lot of cleanup work to be done.
    Ever programmed your lawn as a tool path in Mcam or such?
    Bob

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    My wife is ANAL about our lawns. She gets on her John Deere zero turn lawn mower at least three times a week at this time of year. She mows around FIVE acres of lawn, with one of the first John deere zero turns that came out, and it just keeps going. I was thinking of buying a new Diesel Kubota last year, at around 14K. Me being a tool junkie, NOPE wife figures lets get another year out of the John Deere. She LOVES the zero turn aspect of the mower. It gets into tight corners, is easy to go around trees. She BLASTS through our yard on it. I got sick of mowing our 21 acres, and bought a used Toro 580D Grounds Master Mower. Does 18 feet at one time. I'm busy, and my wife just gets on her zero turn, and blast through most of what I should be cutting with the giant mower.

    I think the new Kubotas, look pretty well made. Much heavier than the little John Deere we've been using. BUT it's been a great mower. We've had ZERO problems with the more complex drive axle. Our John deere was around 5K new, ten years ago. I have put a new engine in it once, when the original literally exploded. A brand new engine was around $600.00, so not awful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I think a zero turn sort of overkill for 1/3 acre.
    The lower price and smaller ones are not so robust.
    Due to the needed guts they have to cost more than a conventional
    I'd go for a small rider.
    Whatever you buy for this size yard make sure it fits between all obstacles. Otherwise out with the push mower or weed wacker to finish up spots.
    If you have 0.125 features in a part a 3/8 endmill leaves a lot of cleanup work to be done.
    Ever programmed your lawn as a tool path in Mcam or such?
    Bob
    I like spiral clearing better than zig-zag....

    On topic--- I personally like Exmark or Scag.
    They are built more like a Mori Seiki, Okuma, or Mazak than a Haas.
    I wouldn't be afraid to buy a used one since they are so well built.
    Also, get a 42-48", not a 60". Too much corner cleanup like Bob said.

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    5th year on a 48" Exmark. About an acre of really shitty grass/terrain to mow. Lots of zigging and zagging. I think about $5+ grand. No problems, little maintenance, no grease fittings, Once year on the two post lift to sharpen the 3 blades. Easy peasy. Hearing and eye protection a must. They all ride like shit........Bob

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    I agree a ZTR is bit overkill for 1/3 acre. It'd be smarter to buy a cheaper riding lawnmower/tractor and plenty fast.

    I also agree Kubota is gonna be better the John Deere.

    For flat smooth grass a ZTR is great. For anything that is bumpy, plan on having your butt bouncing in the air half the time. Also not good for pulling anything.

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    Sheep can do zero turns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Sheep can do zero turns.
    Plus they fertilize the landscape and you can make blankets.
    And when they make too many needed.....
    I do know people who bring them in to do this, sort of a real true green lawn service.
    Not real efficient but sort of neat.
    Keeping them inside 1/3 acre for lawn mowing is going to mean a really, really good dog.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Sheep can do zero turns.
    How many acres you got ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Plus they fertilize the landscape and you can make blankets.
    And when they make too many needed.....
    I do know people who bring them in to do this, sort of a real true green lawn service.
    Not real efficient but sort of neat.
    Keeping them inside 1/3 acre for lawn mowing is going to mean a really, really good dog.
    Bob
    My local council uses Bagot Goats (sorta all terrain zero turn mowers) on the coastal cliffs YouTube & YouTube I've seen em n think they kinda cute

    FWIW They're cheaper than vegetation cutting, (those cliffs are STEEP ) do a better job AND a bit of a tourist attraction to boot .

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    For relatively small yards, the old Dixon ZTR 36" was a nice small mower. You can find them used but they need to be low use or maintained. the cone design was pretty simple but needed rehabbing every few years. It is hard to find a ZTR less than 42" now that is built like the large ones. Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I think a zero turn sort of overkill for 1/3 acre.
    The lower price and smaller ones are not so robust.
    Due to the needed guts they have to cost more than a conventional
    I'd go for a small rider.
    Whatever you buy for this size yard make sure it fits between all obstacles. Otherwise out with the push mower or weed wacker to finish up spots.
    If you have 0.125 features in a part a 3/8 endmill leaves a lot of cleanup work to be done.
    Ever programmed your lawn as a tool path in Mcam or such?
    Bob

    about every single fucking time in my mind,,,that's what we do

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    My local council uses Bagot Goats (sorta all terrain zero turn mowers) on the coastal cliffs YouTube & YouTube I've seen em n think they kinda cute

    FWIW They're cheaper than vegetation cutting, (those cliffs are STEEP ) do a better job AND a bit of a tourist attraction to boot .
    There's a guyed radio tower near me that's on soft ground. About 5 acres around it are fenced in and a small herd of goats keep it neat as a pin. They're brought in at spring and removed in the fall. Win Win deal....Bob

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    For that small of lawn, a ztr is probably pretty overkill.

    That said, they are fast, effective machines.

    I have a Toro timecutter HD. I’m happy with it. I opted for the EZ ride suspension seat. Worth it. I can’t remember the deck size. 52”? I mow 2 acres in about 40 minutes. Took 2 hours on a traditional rider/tractor.

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    Or if you want really cute YouTube

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    You guys are an immense help! Now that I know I need to go with goats a few more questions come up. How many goats? Do they jump over fences? How high of a fence do I need?

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    Shop supply, somehow I don't see you as a goat or sheep farmer.
    High maintenance buggers.
    Zero turn mowers are so slick and fun but decent ones expensive.
    How much would it cost to have a lawn service come in once a week against 5,000 for a nice one of these. (Plus time, gas, storage, etc)
    (Yes I'm do it myself and hate to pay another at my home, shop and cabin.)
    Do like sheep and goats, so much better than cows when they poop.

    Tiny small ride around mower. I know it is just a gocart with a mower deck but do you need more?
    Would you buy a machining center capable of of 40 by 20 when all your parts are 3 by 2 and smaller? Have you seen that done?
    I think we have both been there. All with putting a quad turbo 427 in my lawnmower, That awesome, not practical but awesome.
    Maybe I could break into the fourteens or even twelves with my lawn mower. Thats gonna cut some grass.
    Bob

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    We've got a Hustler Raptor Flip-Up here at work, the deck flips up with a small electric actuator that makes tuning up the blades super easy. It's a nice mower, but the best option on it is the 'flex forks' on the front end that gives those small wheels some suspension and with some add on springs under the seat it rides noticeably smoother than a traditional zero turn unit.

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    I concur that it's overkill for 1/3 acre. I would definitely look at a robotic lawnmower. On 1/3rd of an acre, you can probably get away with one of the less expensive models.

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