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Hello folks. Opinions/advice needed. We currently have a 3038e with a Frontier RC60 that we have been using on our 5 1/2 acres plus. This was the right solution 2 1/2 years ago when we bought this land. The land was uncared for and had lots of brush and debris. That is all gone now and "natural" grass has come in it's place. We now "finish" mow with the 3038e/RC60. It's not a total of 5 1/2 acres as there is one section that is heavily treed-probably about an acre. We have a trail in that section. And then there is my son's house that he built and then another old stone house. Maybe 3 1/2-4 acres. There is an unused road right of way through the land that likely adds at least a 1/2 acre and then we mow the highway frontage which has to add another 1/2 acre. So approximately 5 acres of relatively flat land with lots of tree's and other obstructions. Using the tractor is cumbersome and it probably takes about 4 hours of tractor mowing that consists of lots of manuevering and then another 1 1/2 hours of push mower and string trimmer to get 'er done. We think we want a zero turn and are looking at a Z500 series-probably the Z540M or R or if I had my druthers the Z915e. We have not looked at them up close yet. The commercial grade is probably the right tool as the land still has rocks-we intend to pick them up and get the land "Z friendly"-it's RC friendly now-but there is a big difference. I'm amazed at how much abuse the RC has taken and has kept on ticking. The question is if adding a Zero turn to the arsenal will effectively reduce our mowing time. I've seen many comparisons between the lawn and garden tractors versus the ztrack's and the ztracks are substantially faster-but what about the 3038e/RC60? The 3038e/RC60 does a pretty good job of cutting and is fast in the open spaces. Just irritating around obstructions. We would still use it for some of the frontage cutting-some of the frontage is wide and flat and beautiful grass we would use the z track for that-other frontage is "ditchy". Thoughts? And would we be happy with a 500 series? Or even a 300 series? I know the 915e would be awesome to have-but the money-$8500 plus is getting beyond the feeling of would it be stupid to spend that much money for a mower to be used on 4 acres on a weekly basis feeling. I'm posting the same question in the Ztrack section as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
ZTrack Z540 M or R as compared to a 3038e with RC60 rotary cutter.

Hello folks. Opinions/advice needed. We currently have a 3038e with a Frontier RC60 that we have been using on our 5 1/2 acres plus. This was the right solution 2 1/2 years ago when we bought this land. The land was uncared for and had lots of brush and debris. That is all gone now and "natural" grass has come in it's place. We now "finish" mow with the 3038e/RC60. It's not a total of 5 1/2 acres as there is one section that is heavily treed-probably about an acre. We have a trail in that section. And then there is my son's house that he built and then another old stone house. Maybe 3 1/2-4 acres. There is an unused road right of way through the land that likely adds at least a 1/2 acre and then we mow the highway frontage which has to add another 1/2 acre. So approximately 5 acres of relatively flat land with lots of tree's and other obstructions. Using the tractor is cumbersome and it probably takes about 4 hours of tractor mowing that consists of lots of manuevering and then another 1 1/2 hours of push mower and string trimmer to get 'er done. We think we want a zero turn and are looking at a Z500 series-probably the Z540M or R or if I had my druthers the Z915e. We have not looked at them up close yet. The commercial grade is probably the right tool as the land still has rocks-we intend to pick them up and get the land "Z friendly"-it's RC friendly now-but there is a big difference. I'm amazed at how much abuse the RC has taken and has kept on ticking. The question is if adding a Zero turn to the arsenal will effectively reduce our mowing time. I've seen many comparisons between the lawn and garden tractors versus the ztrack's and the ztracks are substantially faster-but what about the 3038e/RC60? The 3038e/RC60 does a pretty good job of cutting and is fast in the open spaces. Just irritating around obstructions. We would still use it for some of the frontage cutting-some of the frontage is wide and flat and beautiful grass we would use the z track for that-other frontage is "ditchy". Thoughts? And would we be happy with a 500 series? Or even a 300 series? I know the 915e would be awesome to have-but the money-$8500 plus is getting beyond the feeling of would it be stupid to spend that much money for a mower to be used on 4 acres on a weekly basis feeling. I'm posting the same question in the Ztrack section as well.
 

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Hello folks. Opinions/advice needed. We currently have a 3038e with a Frontier RC60 that we have been using on our 5 1/2 acres plus. This was the right solution 2 1/2 years ago when we bought this land. The land was uncared for and had lots of brush and debris. That is all gone now and "natural" grass has come in it's place. We now "finish" mow with the 3038e/RC60. It's not a total of 5 1/2 acres as there is one section that is heavily treed-probably about an acre. We have a trail in that section. And then there is my son's house that he built and then another old stone house. Maybe 3 1/2-4 acres. There is an unused road right of way through the land that likely adds at least a 1/2 acre and then we mow the highway frontage which has to add another 1/2 acre. So approximately 5 acres of relatively flat land with lots of tree's and other obstructions. Using the tractor is cumbersome and it probably takes about 4 hours of tractor mowing that consists of lots of manuevering and then another 1 1/2 hours of push mower and string trimmer to get 'er done. We think we want a zero turn and are looking at a Z500 series-probably the Z540M or R or if I had my druthers the Z915e. We have not looked at them up close yet. The commercial grade is probably the right tool as the land still has rocks-we intend to pick them up and get the land "Z friendly"-it's RC friendly now-but there is a big difference. I'm amazed at how much abuse the RC has taken and has kept on ticking. The question is if adding a Zero turn to the arsenal will effectively reduce our mowing time. I've seen many comparisons between the lawn and garden tractors versus the ztrack's and the ztracks are substantially faster-but what about the 3038e/RC60? The 3038e/RC60 does a pretty good job of cutting and is fast in the open spaces. Just irritating around obstructions. We would still use it for some of the frontage cutting-some of the frontage is wide and flat and beautiful grass we would use the z track for that-other frontage is "ditchy". Thoughts? And would we be happy with a 500 series? Or even a 300 series? I know the 915e would be awesome to have-but the money-$8500 plus is getting beyond the feeling of would it be stupid to spend that much money for a mower to be used on 4 acres on a weekly basis feeling. I'm posting the same question in the Ztrack section as well.
We were in a similar situation YEARS ago.
IMO, GET the commercial mower.
Our 5' rear finish mower did a good job but...
The commercial ZTR is faster
The ZTR does a better job
The commercial ZTR will last forever for a homeowner
A ZTR does NOT need to be attached to a tractor where/when other duties are required of said tractor
My wife mows our horse pasture plus the lawn with our ZTR, ~ 6 acres.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Gizmo-

I see you have the 915B. What motor is in the 915e? I'm not partial to B&S. Like Kawasaki first and Kohler second. I like the idea of the 930 EFI-but now we are adding another couple of thou!

Thanks for the response. Two many choices and two many fun choices on the JD lot!
 

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My 4' ZTR will run circles around my 60d. I cut about 2-3 acres and save 1 hour using the ZTR, not to mention it cuts back on trimming.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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Have you considered a used garden tractor or Z turn? Sounds like the 3038 does the job for about 75% of the problem and you simply need something for around obstacles etc. I used to cut about a 5 acre practice field with a 425 garden tractor in about 3 hours with a 54 inch deck. It was all open though with only a few obstacles.

I would think a used mower would be a better fit if cost is a concern for the moment. Once you get the entire property Z friendly then get a new one and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you considered a used garden tractor or Z turn? Sounds like the 3038 does the job for about 75% of the problem and you simply need something for around obstacles etc. I used to cut about a 5 acre practice field with a 425 garden tractor in about 3 hours with a 54 inch deck. It was all open though with only a few obstacles.

I would think a used mower would be a better fit if cost is a concern for the moment. Once you get the entire property Z friendly then get a new one and enjoy.
Hmmm! Maybe-what kills me is I sold a L130 about 3 years before we bought this property. I would love to have it back now. My son wants to get a low end or used Ztrack. I'm not a fan of that idea. But maybe it is a good temporary situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Thanks Gizmo-

I see you have the 915B. What motor is in the 915e? I'm not partial to B&S. Like Kawasaki first and Kohler second. I like the idea of the 930 EFI-but now we are adding another couple of thou!

Thanks for the response. Two many choices and two many fun choices on the JD lot!
25HP Kohler.
John Deere
 

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Another good option would be a 5' or 6' Caroni Flail from Agrisupply. They are tough as nails, much easier to maneuver that a bush-hog style, and actually leave a really nice cut. Also, one less engine to service, and 6-7000$ left in your pocket.

Just a thought.

-J.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Another good option would be a 5' or 6' Caroni Flail from Agrisupply. They are tough as nails, much easier to maneuver that a bush-hog style, and actually leave a really nice cut. Also, one less engine to service, and 6-7000$ left in your pocket.

Just a thought.

-J.
This is interesting. This is why I post here. I have no idea what this is-I've heard of flail mowers but do not know much. I will look into it.
 

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This is interesting. This is why I post here. I have no idea what this is-I've heard of flail mowers but do not know much. I will look into it.
Haha - I didn't either, 8 years ago.

Looks like a rototiller. 60-100 "hammers" flail around a horizontal shaft. They're very versatile for thick stuff, light brush, and even nice grass. You can get different hammers for different purposes, but I've tried that and I'll be sticking with the standard hockey stick lookin' ones from now on. They don't throw things out dangerously like a bushhog style. They're FAR more easy to maneuver. They're often a lot more expensive - if you buy a woods or JD or land pride, but the Caroni's are reasonable and very good value (I've owned one, and it's still going strong across the road from me at my neighbors). As for quality of cut, unless you're running a golf course, or you're Mar-a-lago's lawn, it'll be just fine. They have a roller on them and leave nice streaks.

Flail Mower, Rear Flail Mower TM1900 | Caroni

DO IT
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha - I didn't either, 8 years ago.

Looks like a rototiller. 60-100 "hammers" flail around a horizontal shaft. They're very versatile for thick stuff, light brush, and even nice grass. You can get different hammers for different purposes, but I've tried that and I'll be sticking with the standard hockey stick lookin' ones from now on. They don't throw things out dangerously like a bushhog style. They're FAR more easy to maneuver. They're often a lot more expensive - if you buy a woods or JD or land pride, but the Caroni's are reasonable and very good value (I've owned one, and it's still going strong across the road from me at my neighbors). As for quality of cut, unless you're running a golf course, or you're Mar-a-lago's lawn, it'll be just fine. They have a roller on them and leave nice streaks.

Flail Mower, Rear Flail Mower TM1900 | Caroni

DO IT
Forgot about one of our criteria. We have two septic fields to go over-meaning we can't drive the tractor over them-especially if it's wet. Flail mower is out. But if we buy more property to clear-this would be viable. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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So this is sorta close to your situation but not exact. I was mowing a two acre hilly pasture, plus another 2.5 acres of yard filled with trees,rotating between a 6' finish mower pulled behind the Ford (which was eventually upgraded to a JD 4320) and a 757 ztrak with a 60" deck and the 757 won hands down, even in the open pasture. And then the 757 burned up because the design allowed grass to collect in the engine cowl and overheat so I upgraded to the 997. I suppose some would say the 997 was overkill for 4.5 acres but I cut my mowing time down by over an hour. And the tractor with finish mower just couldn't maneuver.

So, I would go with the ztrak. The turf tires don't do well in wet grass either, but if you don't spin, they do fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So this is sorta close to your situation but not exact. I was mowing a two acre hilly pasture, plus another 2.5 acres of yard filled with trees,rotating between a 6' finish mower pulled behind the Ford (which was eventually upgraded to a JD 4320) and a 757 ztrak with a 60" deck and the 757 won hands down, even in the open pasture. And then the 757 burned up because the design allowed grass to collect in the engine cowl and overheat so I upgraded to the 997. I suppose some would say the 997 was overkill for 4.5 acres but I cut my mowing time down by over an hour. And the tractor with finish mower just couldn't maneuver.

So, I would go with the ztrak. The turf tires don't do well in wet grass either, but if you don't spin, they do fine.
Very helpful! Thank you! I get the speed difference over a lawn tractor-I have no idea how fast the 3038e in low range is-but it seems pretty fast. So the more specific question you helped to answer is that the overall mowing time was reduced because of the Ztracks manueverability.
 

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Very helpful! Thank you! I get the speed difference over a lawn tractor-I have no idea how fast the 3038e in low range is-but it seems pretty fast. So the more specific question you helped to answer is that the overall mowing time was reduced because of the Ztracks manueverability.
With the 757, I would mow top speed all the time. Around trees, on the hills, around the fence and so forth. With the tractor set up, I had to back up, make wide circles and couldn't get nearly close enough to objects and then I had to trim way more. So just in mowing time, I saved an hour because I could maneuver so much more quickly. In trim time, I saved an additional two hours. And yes, I timed how long all this took. On the 4320, because I had a speedometer, I know I was going only 5mph because it was too dangerous to go faster. Even on flat out open areas, I would only go 7mph. With my 997? Um, I go as fast as I can go to the point I scare my wife. And I'm not being un-safe. These things are designed for commercial mowing and speed is critical.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
With the 757, I would mow top speed all the time. Around trees, on the hills, around the fence and so forth. With the tractor set up, I had to back up, make wide circles and couldn't get nearly close enough to objects and then I had to trim way more. So just in mowing time, I saved an hour because I could maneuver so much more quickly. In trim time, I saved an additional two hours. And yes, I timed how long all this took. On the 4320, because I had a speedometer, I know I was going only 5mph because it was too dangerous to go faster. Even on flat out open areas, I would only go 7mph. With my 997? Um, I go as fast as I can go to the point I scare my wife. And I'm not being un-safe. These things are designed for commercial mowing and speed is critical.
Sounds like we need to zero in on the Z915e. Thanks for the informative response. Love these forums as it helps connect people with the right information to make an informed purchase! Appreciate it!
 

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Sounds like we need to zero in on the Z915e. Thanks for the informative response. Love these forums as it helps connect people with the right information to make an informed purchase! Appreciate it!
I keep reading your statement... "but the money-$8500 plus is getting beyond the feeling of would it be stupid to spend that much money for a mower to be used on 4 acres on a weekly basis feeling."
We had the EXACT feelings years ago, we are now on our second commercial ZTR. Just Sayin!
 

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Forgot about one of our criteria. We have two septic fields to go over-meaning we can't drive the tractor over them-especially if it's wet. Flail mower is out. But if we buy more property to clear-this would be viable. Thanks for the suggestion.
A 9 series ZTR weighs 1300lbs, or more - on 2 tires. Your 3038e weighs 2100lbs, on 4 bigger tires. Your PSI on the tractor is going to be less.

Hey - far be it from be to dissuade anyone from spending there money. In fact, it's one of my favourite things to do!!!

What I will offer is that I just traded a 925efi cause it was underpowered with any degree of thicker grass, and when it was in mulching mode, it was hopeless.

-J.
 
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