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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some uneven and rough terrain to mow. Really do not want a brush mower (i.e. bush hog). Instead of a mid mount mower (MMM) I am considering a 3pt hitch mounted 72" finish mower. I think a 3pt mounted mower would be easier and quicker to connect. I will be using my JD 4200 CUT.

I looked at Frontier, Woods, and Land Pride mowers on the internet. I also searched topics on this forum. Any suggestions for a dependable cost effective mower (brand and model)? Or use a MMM instead?

Thanks for your thoughts/opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
3pt finish would be cheaper. Guess it depends more on obstacles.
I think cheaper too. Obstacles... mostly open areas but there are a few places that may be best accessed by backing into the area. Difficult to "mow to the edge" (especially corners) with a MMM in my opinion. Also, most 3pt mowers are rear discharge (semi mulch) which I like.
 

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Farmer52
I went with a 3pt finish mower. I talked to a JD Dealer near me told him my problem with my back. He said that, that Thursday he was going in for back surgery and he would buy a 3pt if he had the surgery before he got his MMM. That what I did, then I inherited a Gravely Z.
 

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A MMM is louder than a rear finish mower. Or maybe it just seems that way because your directly over it. If you have a lot of obstacles (trees) I'd go with the MMM. If the area is mostly open, I would opt for the rear mount mower. If attaching the rear mount mower is going to be a challenge due to back issues, get the MMM and be done with it. JMHO
 

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Green Gear: Deere 3520, Deere 5103, Deere 410C Backhoe. Not Green Gear: Ford 4400 Industrial Loader
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I have a 3pt finish mower (Bush Hog ATH600) and am pretty happy with it. The only thing I would/will likely change in the future is to buy a wider one. Farmer52 and John D 2 covered some of the advantages. The only disadvantage I can think of is that you need to pay more attention when you are close to obstacles than with a mid mount mower. PTO shaft installation can be a pain, but fluid film is your friend...goes a long way to making this easier.
 

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I use a 90" Frontier rear discharge grooming mower on my 5225 cab tractor. Of course the Mid Mount Mower isn't an option for me but I don't really find any drawbacks with the RD mower other than taking up more space in my barn when I'm not using the mower which pretty much stays on my tractor all summer long.
The grooming mower is not a brush cutter. I have brush cutters for that use. The areas I do mow are cleaned of rocks and other debris so I don't abuse the blades. I do remove and sharpen the blades on occasion just because even the dirt and dust you can pick up will eventually dull the blades. I would guess I run my mower 50 to 60 hours yearly mowing field borders and food plots such as clover and chicory.
If I wanted to I could drop my deck down and the mower would work well on my lawn except for the weight of my 4 WD cab tractor and the filled R-1 tires. I usually run at a speed of 4.8 to 5.3 MPH when mowing on smoother ground. We have a 72" Zero turn mower to keep our 4 1/2 acres of lawn mowed. My wife handles the lawn mowing duties and loves it. It's her quiet time away from everything and everyone else. Her phone stays in the house.
One advantage I can name using the 3 pt. mower is it hooks up and unhooks easily and is out of the way if I want to run ground engaging implements.
 

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Without a doubt a rear finish is quieter and all the dust and discharge is behind you. I know my 7 ft Land Pride mows much much more evenly than my 6 ft belly mower on the 3520.
Easier to service & keep clean too. I was convinced for 5~6 years I wanted no part of a rear finish mower but wanting to cut the mowing time I found a used one for a reasonable price. I did rethink a efficient plan of attack from what I did with the belly mower but now I'd never go back.
 

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2019 JD 4052M Hydro, JD 400E Loader, Frontier AP12F Forks, Frontier BB2072 Box Blade
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As said above, a RFM is much better if you don’t have many obstacles, and possibly cheaper. I run a Bush Hog RDTH72 RFM for many hours and you really cover a lot of ground. In my experience, you can mow some taller grass than you can with a mmm. A RFM does use quite a bit of power in my experience. I usually run it on a NH TC35D (30 pto hp) and the tractor bogs down easily. This summer I ran the mower on our 4052M and I was worried about hurting the mower long before running out of power. I think you’ll be happy with a RFM. I find that if I need to trim around something, I can get pretty close by going in reverse.

As far as brand, I hear a lot of good things about Woods RFM’s. Bush Hog is a good brand but damn expensive. Hope this helps
 

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i have both a MMM and a frontier rear finish mower-size 72 inch. when i bought my 2520 back in 06-the belly mowers for it-was on back order, so they gave me the finish mower to use.
i've used it quite a bit over the yrs. only disadvantage i have with either one-is not to llet the grass get too tall, then u have to go over it twice--then.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Plant Automotive tire

here's a pic of mowing on my great aunt's property, didn't make it here this yr. but i love my rfm for just this type of work.
 

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I mowed with w 72" landpride AT2572 for along time they are a good mower. mine has a side discharge. I like the newer rear discharge. When i bought my 2038R I went with the 72" MMM. I like it and am happy with it.
 

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I should have remarked in my post my Frontier is actually a Woods mower with a green paint job. I checked with the local Kubota / New Holland dealer who sold Woods and I bought the Frontier from my JD dealer for less money.
In defense of the other dealer though I had just bought my new 2007 JD 5225 cab tractor and an RT 1170 tiller a week before shopping for the mower. I couldn't deal on a Kubota and am glad it worked out the way it did..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anyone know if the Frontier GM1072 is a Woods mower? Anyone own one? If so, thoughts? Thanks!
 

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I know my 1190 is a Woods because it says "Woods" on the gearbox. I can't help you on the 72" though. Hopefully your dealer could tell you. If you are buying used, look for the "Woods" in raised letters on the gearbox.
Ask BigJim55 (post #11)
 

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A few thoughts from practical experiences owning a 4200 w/ MMM:
  • Removing and installing a MMM on a 4200 takes some effort. It doesn't require any heavy lifting but there's a specific sequence that must be followed. And, it can be a little tight when hooking up all the bits. I only have a ballast box and MCS - I can pick them up much faster with the 3pt hitch. Removing the mower is about a 15 minute job; reinstalling takes a little longer because I alway ensure it is level.
  • The MMM is highly susceptible to uneven cuts if the tires are low. Not sure this is an issue for a rear mount mower.
  • If you search online for a used MMM, make sure you either have ALL the attaching parts or they are included with the mower. There's a lot of decks that will fit this machine available w/out any of the attaching parts. The attaching parts include the "lift kit w/ hydraulic cylinder", the rear lift "links", the front "draft links", the mid-tractor brackets (one for each side) and the front brackets (2)
  • I have the 60" deck and the 72" will also fit. I think the attachment parts are the same for both.
  • These decks are heavy - I have to use the loader to move it any distance when not on the tractor. I can see where a rear finish mower equipped w/ four wheels might be easier to move around.
  • My 60" has a few nooks and crannies where grass gathers and has to be cleaned out. For the most part, grass doesn't stick but there's a few places.
  • These decks are durable. They are very well made and everything seems to be well engineered to last.
  • This may not be a factor for you: I like the fact my MMM works well w/ my MCS. I can get rid of a lot of leaves in short order and with minimal effort.
  • I don't like the fact I have to remove a bunch of attaching stuff to use my snowplow and then reinstall it when I put the deck back on.
  • I like the fact I can use the loader with it installed as long as I'm careful to not run over large objects. And, given the weight, it is a lot of ballast that is close to the ground - right were it is very effective.
  • Deck works really well w/ Gator blades.
  • Even at 3.5 inches, deck might scalp on rough ground. The wheel base of the tractor has a larger effect than I initially would have expected.
Hope you find this helpful.
 
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Good report. My 3 pt. mower also adds a lot of ballast when using the loader. Like your MMM you have to keep an eye on tire pressures. They do tend to lose a little air now and then.
The only challenge to hooking it up is connecting the PTO shaft. You can't turn the shaft because of the resistance from the belt drive. You have to turn the PTO shaft on the tractor which turns hard. I wrap a rag around the splines and use a pipe wrench to turn the shaft so the splines will engage. It can be a little tricky at times. If you ever need a library of names to call it let me know. I've used them all and have made up some new ones.
 

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I have some uneven and rough terrain to mow. Really do not want a brush mower (i.e. bush hog). Instead of a mid mount mower (MMM) I am considering a 3pt hitch mounted 72" finish mower. I think a 3pt mounted mower would be easier and quicker to connect. I will be using my JD 4200 CUT.

I looked at Frontier, Woods, and Land Pride mowers on the internet. I also searched topics on this forum. Any suggestions for a dependable cost effective mower (brand and model)? Or use a MMM instead?

Thanks for your thoughts/opinions.
I used to have a 6' rear finish mower on a tractor about the same size and slightly more powerful than your 4200 (mine had 23 PTO HP, yours has 20 or 21) and I used it to mow my lawn several properties ago. There was a big sticker on the top of the deck that said in large, capitalized, bold letters "LAWN GRASS ONLY!" This is absolutely the truth, you only want to use a rear finish mower for mowing a lawn. You will destroy it mowing either material or terrain that you would not use a zero turn or any other sort of regular lawnmower to mow. Generally "uneven and rough terrain" does not equal "lawn" so I would be very careful in getting any sort of a finish mower for "uneven and rough terrain." If your terrain isn't really "lawn," then get a good bush hog and you will be happy. I now live elsewhere and have a much larger tractor running a Deere MX6 and it gives a surprisingly good cut quality along my gravel driveway and ditch where I would ding up too many finish mower blades to want to use my zero turn to cut. The 23 PTO HP tractor I used to have would run a 5' bush hog just fine so your 4200 should be able to run one such as an MX5 well.

If it's really not that rough or uneven, then a rear finish mower would be fine as long as you have wide open areas (several acres) with few or no obstacles. A rear finish mower makes a tractor pretty long and unwieldy to do any sort of mowing around obstacles. I also noted that only 23 PTO HP was not enough to run the mower well, I had to mow at a maximum of 2 1/2 MPH or I would bog down the tractor with 4-7 days of lawn grass growth. You have even less power than I did, so I would absolutely say avoid the 6' model and use a 5'er. A rear finish mower isn't hard to connect as it is simply a PTO-driven 3 point implement and hooks up the same way as any other. The one caveat to a rear finish mower is that it rides on its own four wheels so height adjustment requires lifting the mower and adjusting the gauge wheel bushings, which is kind of a pain in the butt if you ever change cut height. Some mid mount mowers are like that too, particularly on larger tractors. A mid mount mower makes the tractor a lot easier to maneuver around obstacles than a rear finish mower but they can be a pain in the butt to attach and remove, and makes your tractor difficult to do anything else with when it's installed. Mid mount mowers are also proprietary and notably more expensive than a rear mounted mower, you can buy 2-3 rear finish mowers or one decent enough zero turn for what one mid-mount mower costs.

I will close by saying that I generally don't recommend a tractor larger than a subcompact (which your 4200 is not) to cut lawn grass with. A tractor is hard on a lawn in causing ruts compared to an actual lawn mower like a zero turn due to its much higher weight. You also will tear up a lawn even worse if that tractor has anything other than turf tires. However, turf tires are notoriously bad for anything and everything else you'd use a tractor for. I recommend a tractor with fluid-filled ag tires for "tractor" tasks and a zero turn for mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I used to have a 6' rear finish mower on a tractor about the same size and slightly more powerful than your 4200 (mine had 23 PTO HP, yours has 20 or 21) and I used it to mow my lawn several properties ago. There was a big sticker on the top of the deck that said in large, capitalized, bold letters "LAWN GRASS ONLY!" This is absolutely the truth, you only want to use a rear finish mower for mowing a lawn. You will destroy it mowing either material or terrain that you would not use a zero turn or any other sort of regular lawnmower to mow. Generally "uneven and rough terrain" does not equal "lawn" so I would be very careful in getting any sort of a finish mower for "uneven and rough terrain." If your terrain isn't really "lawn," then get a good bush hog and you will be happy. I now live elsewhere and have a much larger tractor running a Deere MX6 and it gives a surprisingly good cut quality along my gravel driveway and ditch where I would ding up too many finish mower blades to want to use my zero turn to cut. The 23 PTO HP tractor I used to have would run a 5' bush hog just fine so your 4200 should be able to run one such as an MX5 well.

If it's really not that rough or uneven, then a rear finish mower would be fine as long as you have wide open areas (several acres) with few or no obstacles. A rear finish mower makes a tractor pretty long and unwieldy to do any sort of mowing around obstacles. I also noted that only 23 PTO HP was not enough to run the mower well, I had to mow at a maximum of 2 1/2 MPH or I would bog down the tractor with 4-7 days of lawn grass growth. You have even less power than I did, so I would absolutely say avoid the 6' model and use a 5'er. A rear finish mower isn't hard to connect as it is simply a PTO-driven 3 point implement and hooks up the same way as any other. The one caveat to a rear finish mower is that it rides on its own four wheels so height adjustment requires lifting the mower and adjusting the gauge wheel bushings, which is kind of a pain in the butt if you ever change cut height. Some mid mount mowers are like that too, particularly on larger tractors. A mid mount mower makes the tractor a lot easier to maneuver around obstacles than a rear finish mower but they can be a pain in the butt to attach and remove, and makes your tractor difficult to do anything else with when it's installed. Mid mount mowers are also proprietary and notably more expensive than a rear mounted mower, you can buy 2-3 rear finish mowers or one decent enough zero turn for what one mid-mount mower costs.

I will close by saying that I generally don't recommend a tractor larger than a subcompact (which your 4200 is not) to cut lawn grass with. A tractor is hard on a lawn in causing ruts compared to an actual lawn mower like a zero turn due to its much higher weight. You also will tear up a lawn even worse if that tractor has anything other than turf tires. However, turf tires are notoriously bad for anything and everything else you'd use a tractor for. I recommend a tractor with fluid-filled ag tires for "tractor" tasks and a zero turn for mowing.
Thanks for the input. Good points.
 
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