Belly Mower vs. Pull Behind
schmellba99
7:27p, 06/05/12
schmellba99
13296 posts, joined 12/04/2002
I'm debating on which type of mower to get for my little tractor so I can (theoretically) speed up the time I spend mowing the yard.

Belly Mower:

Pros - basically turns the tractor into a big riding lawnmower. Not as cumbersom to use in some places as a pull behind. Allows for additional implement to be used on the rear PTO without removing mower.

Cons - Expensive as hell, and you are pretty much limited to buying new if you need the bracket and lift linkage.

Pull Behind:

Pros - Much cheaper, easier to maintain.

Cons - I just can't see them giving quite as good a cut as a belly. There will be areas in the back yard that will be more difficult (but still doable).

So, what say you guys with far more experience? Is it worth spending an extra $1000 to $1200 for a belly mower (Kubota B2410 tractor) over a good brand pull behind finish mower?
BrazosDog02
7:59p, 06/05/12
BrazosDog02
17319 posts, joined 10/17/2002
I have a regular mower (belly) and a three point. I am going to get rid of my lawnmower and get a small compact to go with my full size. I have decided on belly mower. Pull behinds will cut just as well but you have to back is up to touch up. I'd rather have a 60" belly myself.
big ben
8:15p, 06/05/12
big ben
7428 posts, joined 05/09/2007
I'd go belly because the finished product will look nicer.

[This message has been edited by big ben (edited 6/5/2012 8:16p).]
schmellba99
9:27p, 06/05/12
schmellba99
13296 posts, joined 12/04/2002
I should clarify, but the pull behind will be a finish/grooming rig versus more of a cutter/hog type mower.
Ag97
10:42p, 06/05/12
Ag97
2747 posts, joined 10/11/1999
I've had both and currently have a 3 point land pride. If you have lots of trees and landscaping to mow around a belly mower is better. If you have lots of open ground it's a wash. Maintenance on the 3 point mower is much easier. Cleaning out clippings and changing belts and blades on a 3 point along with price made the difference for me. I also get a better cut with my pull type. I think I have better blade speed on my current unit than I had on my belly mower.
schmellba99
11:50a, 06/06/12
schmellba99
13296 posts, joined 12/04/2002
I have very few trees to worry about, mostly open and pretty flat terrain. Only pain areas with a pull behind will be some corners in the back yard, but I'm sure I can make do.

The biggest thing right now is the price - the pull behind is way cheaper, and probably what I'm going with. If in a couple of years I don't like it, then I may look at the belly mower option.

I'm looking at either a used 5' Land Pride finishing mower that might as well be brand new, or even going with the County Line brand from TSC.
MouthBQ98
11:53a, 06/06/12
MouthBQ98
85715 posts, joined 08/30/2005
I bought a used pull behind not long ago, but need to replace the belts. Craigslist. $400. It took some patience to find it, though.

[This message has been edited by MouthBQ98 (edited 6/6/2012 11:54a).]
schmellba99
5:47p, 06/06/12
schmellba99
13296 posts, joined 12/04/2002
Ok, here's a stupid newbie question.

I've found a couple of finish mowers - one is a 60" cut and the other is a 72" cut. Both are comparably priced and both are in really good shape.

Looking at Land Pride's website, both are listed as OK for minimum 15 HP tractors. What I can't seem to gather is whether they are talking about engine HP or PTO HP. My little tractor is rated at 18 PTO HP.

I don't want to spend serious cash on something that ultimately is only marginally operable by my tractor. I'd love to get the 72" cut deck, but if it is on the bottom end of acceptable for my PTO horses, I'd rather get the smaller deck and know I have a little more oomph when mowing.

How the hell (short of calling a salesman, which I rarely trust anyway) do you determine what is really the most economical size to run given your PTO rating?
big ben
6:27p, 06/06/12
big ben
7428 posts, joined 05/09/2007
We need canyonag77
Ag97
6:58p, 06/06/12
Ag97
2747 posts, joined 10/11/1999
Land Pride should be rated at engine horsepower not PTO horsepower. At 18 hp I would go with the 60 inch deck. With 18 hp you would have to creep along pretty slow in heavy grass. It's pretty miserable having to creep along if your grass is too tall or you have a bunch of Clover you have to mow down. A good rule of thumb for most compact tractors is one foot of width for every 5 hp. Finishing mowers don't require quite as much horsepower but you would be pushing it at 72 inches wide.
schmellba99
7:13p, 06/06/12
schmellba99
13296 posts, joined 12/04/2002
That's kind of what I was thinking - that the 72 in would be on the upper limit and really probably not useable. Sucks too, because it's a private seller versus a dealership and was actually priced a little lower. Figured I'd have more room for negotiation that way.
Ag97
7:15p, 06/06/12
Ag97
2747 posts, joined 10/11/1999
Also if you're buying a used mower deck make sure you check the blade Spindle shafts. Make sure the previous owner hasnt run into anything and bent one of the shafts. Check the pulleys as well. If the mower has been sitting for a while and the pulleys are rusted, they will eat through belts left and right till rust wears off.
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