Ride on lawn mowers?

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  • Ride on lawn mowers?
  • tinybits
    Member

    So, I’m about to move into the country and I’m going to have a pretty sizeable garden, with just under 2 acres of flat grass. I’m going to want to keep it under control, and would rather it wasn’t covered in sheep shit so the nippers can still use it to play, so ride on mower it is.
    Any one have a recommendation? I’m coming from only having decking, so don’t have any type of mower at the moment. Speed is good, and only spending £50 is better (although I hope I’m a bit more realistic than that on price!!

    boblo
    Member

    I bought a Husky but I fear it’s similar to the common generic bottom end ride ons (you’ll recognise them once you start looking). It’s Briggs & Stratton under the bonnet and has never missed a beat. Picks up or mulches and has a 36″ cut so sorts my acre of Frenchy grass (herbe) in no time. I didn’t bother with the hydro watsit transmission and it’s been fine. Aftermarket belts are cheap (ish).

    Would have loved a Nonda or diesel Kubota but many, many ££££’s. Mine was about £2k as it is.

    Husky Rider here, mulching type saves having the hassle with the mowings.

    samuri
    Member

    £50 is how much a normal secondhand lawnmower costs. If you’re lucky.
    Sit on mowers are WAY more expensive.

    next door has a huge garden that I’d not consider mowing with a normal mower but the bloke does it with a standard, powered petrol mower. He is retired though. Takes him half a day or so. And that’s a normal garden.

    Get a goat or a sheep.

    timber
    Member

    Etesias are almost go-kart like.

    But if it’s 2 acres with no flower beds in the way, that sounds enough of an excuse for an old tractor and then the options go on and on. I have more fun driving an old Ford 3000 than I do in anything big and new.

    godzilla
    Member

    We have a Westwood T1600 and it’s a far better mower than the Husky it replaced, we’re looking to replace it next year and I’m fantasising about John deers.
    Edit – the Husky did have a better can holder.

    timber
    Member

    it’s even called Atilla

    WillH
    Member

    I’ve got one of these:

    which knocks off 1/4 acre of slightly-sloping, irregular shaped lawn, with various trees and a big trampoline in the middle, in about 30 minutes. On average I’d need to do two empties of the catcher, if I’m not mulching.

    Before I got the ride-on did it with my old 4-stroke push mower, took about three hours, most of which was spent emptying the catcher. Was good for fitness, mind.

    Maintenance has so far been a doddle, it’s not a very complicated bit of kit. Do try to have a test ride on a few different models, though. Forward/backward motion on mine is controlled by hand, using a lever next to the seat. Others are controlled by a foot-pedal, similar to a a car. I have been told the latter are better, but didn’t see much of difference myself. The steering is very light and easy to do single-handed. The main advantage of the foot-control seems to be that you can steer with one hand and hold your beer in the other 😀

    boblo
    Member

    @willh that’s same as mine, though I’ve had mine a few years so it’s the older model. Go all in and get a Kubota diesel twin. Yum! 🙂

    tomkerton
    Member

    I moved to a place with 3 acres 2 years ago.

    I have ‘bought cheap, bought twice’ with nearly everything mechanical. The Cheap ryobi stuff from B&Q strimmer hedge trimmers etc are really good, if you only need to look after a small garden and use them for 15 mins at a time. Look in the back of any tree surgeon, groundsman and they have got Stihl. It will keep on working. It’s what I invested in and it’s really good, makes the jobs so much quicker, quieter and more pleasant.

    As for the ride on mower, first you have to decide whether you want your patch as a ‘lawn’ or a ‘ paddock’ as you need to pick up the clippings to get a nice lawn where as you can have it mulching or side discharged with no capacity to pick up if you’re happy with the paddock effect.

    Secondly don’t scrimp on power, all that will happen is that ithe machine will get clogged all the time and it will be very frustrating to keep getting off to clear it – this is what happened to me with my cheap one.

    I bought a second hand machine with the cutters out at the front, really like it, doesn’t clog but obviously s
    Doesn’t pick up the clippings. If you can get a warranty or a good recommendation from a neighbour about a local place don’t be put off by second hand.

    sharkbait
    Member

    6 acres here(split into 3 paddocks) + biggish lawn. For the lawn I use a Countax 500 which has been pretty good and pick up wet grass as it uses brushes for collection rather than simply blowing the clippings (John Deere) which may not be as good.
    Two of the the paddocks are kept almost as short as the lawn during the summer with the other one being allowed to grow long but with a random curly path cut into it – nice for walking the dog.
    TBH after being here 11 years I wouldn’t even start to dream about cutting the paddocks with a sit on mower unless you really want to waste 2-3 hours every 10 days. Domestic sit on mowers simply aren’t really built for that kind of work and you’ll quickly get bored of going up and down cutting about 1.2m each time.
    You’ll also discover that grass grows quickly during May and if you get some wet weather you may have to delay cutting the paddocks by a week in which time it’s grown another inch – you’ll then find that your domestic mower can’t really cope and which delays you more while the grass continues to grow – which makes it still harder and so the cycle goes on.
    Also during the winter the grass will prob still grow a bit so come early spring you may have a big job on your hands.
    Oh yeah… you’re petrol mower will also use a load of [expensive] petrol every cut.
    So get a small agricultural tractor. They last forever, are simple to work on and will use less diesel than you’d expect. Plus you can prob find a farmer nearby who’ll sell you a few drums of red diesel for 80p/ltr.
    Stick a finishing mower on the back (not a topper as they make a mess) and you’ll be able to cut pretty much anything. I use a Major finishing mower with a 2.7m cut and can do 3 acres in 40 mins.
    Tractor is a 70hp Case 4230 which is bigger than I need but I bought it as a right-off for relatively little money and is powerful enough to run one of below mowers which I’m thinking of getting to offer a large area mowing service

    It will cost you more initially but it will make your life much easier and fun.
    Obviously YMMV but this is the route I’ve taken and not regretted it one bit.

    jumble
    Member

    I have a lot of paddocks to maintain and a number of different machines to cut the grass and collect it if necessary. This year we added a John Deere compact for yard work and it came with a 5 foot cutting deck. It is mighty impressive in whizzing round 1-2 acre paddocks and especially good at getting under fence lines which the big kit just cannot do – this saves huge effort/cost in strimming work. Anyone can drive it and the control of grass length is excellent.

    I guess I have different experience to Sharkbait :). Take your pick.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Jumble – you’re [presumably] being paid to do it….. that’s the difference!
    So what else do you use for say a 2 acre paddock?

    tinybits
    Member

    Hmmm, not sure what I want at all. OK, I know that £50 is completely unrealistic, it was meant as a Joke, however I’d rather not pay £5k if I can do the job for £1.5k. It’s pretty much all straight line work, and a tractor wouldn’t be completely unthinkable, but I’ll need some convincing that it’s the right thing!

    sharkbait
    Member

    You’ll get more for your money with agricultural kit plus it will last longer/be more reliable. But you need to think whether a tractor (even a small MF or Ford) might be too big – i.e. where would you store it, etc.
    You certainly could do the job with a ride on mower (a mate does about 0.75 acre with a JD regularly and enjoys it) – it’s just not for me and the area I need to do.

    jumble
    Member

    Jumble – you’re [presumably] being paid to do it….. that’s the difference! So what else do you use for say a 2 acre paddock?

    I am not a contractor if that is what you mean. But minimizing time/money is very important in our business.

    Like you I did not think that the deck mower would be any use in the paddocks. I was completely wrong. The time/money saved in not strimming fence lines alone will pay for the deck in a few years. It is worth pointing out that the setup is not your average garden mower.

    We have the usual suspects – flail, rotary topper and sweeper. Personally for larger paddocks I think the flail is the best, but it depends on the conditions and the grass length etc…

    The picture you posted is mighty tempting 🙂

    sharkbait
    Member

    The picture you posted is mighty tempting

    Yeah, proper piece of kit and on the bigger models the central mower is easily removed for use on it’s own in more confined areas.

    Flails are cool for longer grass that doesn’t get cut very often – my experience is as a home owner and work is carried out more often. Farmer next door uses a front mounted flail to trim the headlands and it looks good for that job, but not as tidy as a roller/deck mower. not exactly what the OP was after though!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    just under 2 acres of flat grass

    1.5 acres of pump track and a normal mower then 😉

    kona666
    Member

    Try a second hand Scagg or Great Dane super surfer. These are the type of machine your local council likely use and you can pick a second hand machine up for £500 that will out perform anything else for that money. They normally sell these machines cos the vibration gets too high for commercial use but if your only cutting a couple of acres that’s fine.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I’d go for a used Ferris or Scag 48/52″ mower. It would be too much for a small wife to use but if it’s you doing the job that’s fine. I have a 36″ that I bought used for £350 3 years ago and it’s had one service in that time, goes perfectly. I cut a 3/4 acre lawn fortnightly and it takes about an hour, so to be honest you’d get away with one that size if you can handle the machine for 2-2.5 hrs.

    They produce a good enough finish that you can have a ‘lawn’ rather than a paddock. They also go on forever. Kawasaki engine. Avoid the used machines for sale by a dealer in haverfordwest; they are stupidly expensive for used kit.

    core
    Member

    Get an old, diesel tractor and mower, ride on for 2 acres will be so mind numbing.

    I mow 2 lawns and 1/2 a mile of drive (both sides 3 – 4 passes) with a kubota ride on once a week in the summer, that’s at least a night a week (if i’m lucky), or half a day on the weekend gone, never to be had again.

    Ok it’s a novelty to start with, particularly if you’ve not had machinery of that size before, and when the weather’s nice it’s bearable and a decent distraction from work stress, family etc. But when it’s damp, mower’s clogging all the time, you’re picking up dog crap, thing goes wrong it’s major ball ache.

    marthall
    Member

    Bought a Toro online 7 years ago and then realised no one would look after me/it.

    My advice is buy locally then the dealer gives a shit about you and your machine, otherwise you’re on your own.

    My replacement 12 months ago (for what it’s worth) is a Husqvarna with 3 blades at the front, which is better than one with blades underneath but dearer.

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