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 01-19-2002, 08:36 Post: 34706
Mrwurm



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 One machine or two

Ok, what do you think of this scenario. I currently own a 25hp Gravely zero-turn mower that I bought for $7,000 two years ago. I use this machine to cut 3 acres of rough and bumpy lawn. I need a tractor with loader to work my lot, do landscape projects, and move snow on my 400 ft driveway. I can afford a new 'New Holland TC30 Hydro' and to keep my Gravely zero-turn machine. Or, I can afford to sell my zero-turn (with 60 hrs on it) for about $5,000 to $5,500. This would enable me to purchase a TC33D Hydro with belly mower and super-steer. I guess it comes down to whether I want two adequate machines or one deluxe machine that does it all. Economics, function, philosophy, this question has it all!






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 01-19-2002, 14:05 Post: 34714
Roger L.



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 One machine or two

With three tractors you wouldn't even have to change implements....roger






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 01-20-2002, 07:34 Post: 34768
TomG

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 One machine or two

I keep using a 12HP riding mower for almost 2-acres of finish mowing and use my 24HP Ford for everything else except the 10% of so of heavy work that is contracted. My issue is that the lawns have a lot of trees and bushes and it's simply faster to do it with the riding mower. There would be too much time maneuvering and too much trimming to do if I used the Ford.

Maneuvering may not be as big an issue here, and the 33/ss may perform as well as the mower. How I'd think about it is figuring how busy one machine to do everything would be. A 25HP machine used to mow 3-acres isn't going to get that many hours on it and there are maintenance costs even for machines that just sit.

While I don't believe that 'one size fits all' in tractors, the two machines are of fairly similar in terms of power. The advantage of my two machines is that they do very different types of work and really aren't substitutes for each other in any job I do. That arrangement expands the range of work that is mechanized rather than overlaps it. However, there’s always handwork at the lower end and contractors at the high end of the work. I just try to keep the range of mechanized work as wide as possible given the amount of money I'm willing to throw at equipment.






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 01-20-2002, 08:20 Post: 34771
Mrwurm



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 One machine or two

Tom, you make an interesting point. The zero-turn mower is used for 1 hour each week and the rest of the time it just sits idle. I have $7,000 invested in a machine that is not being fully utilized. I live in Michigan and our mowing season is mid-May to mid-October. If I sell it and put my money into the full-featured TC33D then at least I will be using it all year round. There is something to be said for the spontenaity of having a dedicated mower. 'When I'm ready to mow, I's ready to go'. Meaning, no swapping decks on or off and no taking the FEL off. Just start and go. Another thing on the other end of the spectrum is that I would prefer to mow with a machine with larger tires like the TC33D because I think it will soak up bumps better and be easier on my back.






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 01-20-2002, 18:59 Post: 34799
John Mc



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 One machine or two

Mrwurm -

I've got a 20 HP Craftsman garden tractor (gas) with 50" mower deck that I bought used/reconditioned (100 hours on it) from Sears a couple of years ago for $1500. When I moved from flat NW Ohio to hilly Vermont and bought some land, I started using it like a brush hog. Eventually I put Ag tires on it for better traction. This was beating the heck out of it. Knowing I had a lot more serious work to do as we turned the land into a homesite, I bought a TC33D last summer. The Craftsman has barely been run since then.

I do not have a finish mower for the TC33D. I get decent results with my 5 ft Woods BrushBull, as long as the blades are fairly sharp. But then, I'm not picky about manicured lawns. I've got R4 tires (filled with Calcium Chloride for extra weight/traction) and I leave the FEL on all the time. I can see marks in the "lawn" if I mow when the ground is wet/soft, but they seem to go away in a couple of days. Unfilled tires (or removable wheel weights) and taking off the FEL would help with the lawn. Turf tires would help also, but I would never get them for my needs. I also did some mowing before I had them filled and without the loader and saw no signs of marking.

Once the house is built, I figure the Craftsman will see more use, mowing up near the house on the "real" lawn, and around obstacles elsewhere. Larger areas I'll continue to do with the brush hog; it excells at the rough rocky ground, and I've got a LOT of it to mow. I don't ever see myself buying a finish mower for the TC33D. For that price, I could buy another garden tractor.

This is similar to your set-up, except my mowing machine is not nearly as high end as yours. I don't know your situation, but for me, I'd consider selling the Gravely and getting some extra toys... er ... implements for your tractor. If swapping the mower on and off gets to be a hassle, you could pick up a garden tractor or lawn tractor (both basically glorified riding mowers, in comparison to a compact tractor). In this case, If you will be doing a lot of mowing with the lawn/garden tractor, get the biggest deck you can, and get a hydro tranny if you've got a lot of obstacles. If you do get a finish mower for your Compact Tractor, check in to whether it will interfere with other attachments you want to use (either the FEL, or rear attachments)

I've not driven the TC30, but I have used an old Ford 1710, which is similar, from what I hear. Personnally, I'd go for the TC33D if there is any way you can swing it. I've you've got some back troubles (as I do, and you hinted at) The seat is fantastic! Smooth ride, and you can angle it 20 degrees or so to either side, which helps whe nyou need to look back a lot. The deluxe 3 pt hitch (standard on the "D" models) is also well worth it. With the telescoping arms and other adjustments, I've never had to fight to get an attachment on; I just back it up fairly close, and then move the hitch to the implement rather than fight with hammers and prybars as I've had to do with other hitches. For my uses I did not need the supersteer, and don't miss it a bit (even though one of my favorite pasttimes is clearing trails which snake through the woods). Even without the supersteer, it turns about as well as other CT's on the market. Your milage may vary, however, and others who have SS love it. I think you'll NEVER regret going for a "D", but even though the TC30 is a great tractor for the money, you may find yourself wishing you'd stepped up a notch at times.

FYI... I've also used the TC33D with a Box Blade for putting in drainage swales, maintaining a 900 ft gravel drive, and various misc lanscaping. I'll probably go for either a snow blower or rear blade for plowing snow in the future.

Sorry for the long ramble. Feel free to email me if you want to get into any of this in more detail, or want to talk about what my decision process was. The best advice I can give you is to drive 'em all, and go for the one that feels best to YOU.

John






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 01-21-2002, 18:43 Post: 34825
KYFARMER
2002-01-21 00:00:00
Post: 34825
 One machine or two

Keep the ztr mower. Regardless of what people may tell you, the boomer with mower will not do the job mowing the ztr will. You will wish you had the ztr back.






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 01-22-2002, 19:58 Post: 34854
John Mc



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 One machine or two

Not having any experience with ZTR mowers, I can't comment with any authority on how they stack up against a compact tractor. (Personnally, I didn't want to tie up the $$ in a single purpose machine). KYFARMER may be right. The best way to find out is to see if your dealer will let you use the model you are considering for a demo mow on your property. Take a few passes to get used to it, then come back around and mow around some obstacles. Look at what the Boomer left behind that your ZTR would have got, and see whether it's something you'd be willing to get with a riding mower or push mower -- is it worth $5000 to you?






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 01-23-2002, 06:42 Post: 34859
TomG

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 One machine or two

Yes, I certainly do appreciate my riding mower when all I have to do is just hop on and start mowing. Half the time during the summer my forklift is on the 3ph, and it's a pain to take off. That's part of the reason why using the riding mower is faster than the tractor. Similar to Kyfarmer's point, my riding mower probably gives a better finish cut than most mowers I could get for the tractor, and it doesn't tear up wet turf like the heavier tractor. My finish mowing also is over bumpy ground, and some 3ph-mower types probably would work poorly.

There are points on both sides of the idea. I already had the riding mower when I got the tractor, and the mower didn't cost much, so I just keep using it. If I ever got a mower for the tractor, I'd probably get a rotary cutter so I could brush with it as well. I tend to want things that I can use for several type jobs rather than something specialized that does a great job at only one thing. Of course, the idea works for me because we're not so particular about the lawn that 'bush-hogging' it wouldn't be acceptable.






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 01-23-2002, 07:04 Post: 34860
BeeFarmer



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 One machine or two

This is an interesting conversation that I can relate to. A couple years ago I was in the market for a lawnmowercompact tractor. I have 15 ac and 5 of it requires a finish type mower and the rest is pasture, trees and what have you. I have many trees on the five ac to cut around so I needed something to get around all the trees "Many Fruit" I wanted badly to make a one time buy of a mower ractor! Well.. after testing the NH 33 with supersteer, and found that the NH 33 was a great compact but not the fine finishing mower that I needed. I couldn't cut around the fruit trees as I would tear down branches if I wanted to get close. The supersteer is nice but if getting close to the tree means tearing down limbs then this wasn't going to work, even with the ROP down.

So I decided that I would get a good finishing mower "JD 935" one that would last me a long time... My wife now drives 3 hours every weekend during grass season. And a compact at a later date.. I bother in law tried to use his NH 33 with super and belly a one in all lawn keeper and utility tractor and it just didn't work.. Now saying that... both he and I are very meticulous with our lawns. You can get by with a 33 and super steer but it won't be as manicured as with a well design finish mower like you have. One thing about having a smaller cutting deck vice a 6ft belly the NH 33 deck really does't float that well and tends to dig in in sloped areas where as your unit has a smaller cutting area that floats and follows the landscape better.

If you have lots of trees and you like it well manicured, sure the NH 33 swivels but with anything if you are cutting grass in an area with lots of obsticals you would rather be facing forward and not looking back at a 3pt finish mower. If it is all open ground and you have a 3pt finish mower you really don't need to be looking back.. I couldn't even consider a pull behind with over 100 trees!

Also, you might consider the tires on it. If you put turf tires on you don't leave the marks you will with the others. However, you then limit yourself to are traction you get in other areas.

There are a lots of considerations to take when spending all that money. Will you let your wife drive the NH33 does she feel better on the zero turn. Do you have kids that will cut the grass do you feel good about them on the NH33 or the zero turn. Can you wife be doing the grass while you are enjoying your new NH33 : )


Just my experiances.. you will have ideas from everyone. And everyone will have an idea!






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 01-23-2002, 07:25 Post: 34863
TomG

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Dang, my grammar checker didn't warn me about my quadruple negative, or something like that. The grammar checker probably has repeated stress fatigue and has given up on me. Anyway, brush-hogged lawns would be OK for us. We tend to like 'meadow gardens' in the middle of lawns and grass that gets along with wild flowers. Mostly we cut the lawn just to keep down the bugs, and a 'hogged' lawn would accomplish that just fine.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > New Holland Tractor Review Forum

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