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There aren't many Wheel Horse 520-8s out there. And from the owners on Red Square Wheel Horse forum, the 60 inch deck with manual lift of the 520-8 is a bear to lift.
 

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Dad bought an old self propelled Toro reel mower from a golf course to get the engine and hydraulic parts. Before he dismantled it my brother borrowed it to see how well it worked. He said if he didn't cut the grass twice a week it would do a crummy job. I still have Kohler engine from the Toro. Also the pump, a coupler cylinders and 4 wheel motors.

Nothing wrong with belt driven decks Homie. Even the shaft driven decks like my 60's have belts. I like gear driven for the consistent ground speeds but IMHO hydrostatic is the best for mowing around stuff.

If my current setup (46 deck that goes between my 110 and 112) doesn’t suit me, I think im leaning towards a pull behind finish mower, or possibly even go to a gang reel setup. I just love the simplicity of a belt driven gear drive. I would probably end up building a pull behind finish mower myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I did some research on the WH 520-8s, and yeah, appears only 250 were made…. I think a pull behind finish mower would be the ticket. I agree that gear drives are not the best for mowing around stuff, but variators make it way better. Only things in the back yard is 2 trees, and soon to be my garage, orchard, and garden, so not much in terms of stuff to go around.
 

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A Wheel Horse 520H are hydraulic lift, an Eaton 11 hydrostatic transmission, 20 hp Onan engine, and they're a nice machine. I had a 1995 520H with a 48 inch deck. Sold it a few years ago.
 

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My brother has 2 Wheelhorse machines. On is a 14 HP one lung model that he bought new in 1993. The other is an Onan 16 HP twin. He parked both and bought a 420 with a cab and a 60 inch deck. He had a 2nd 420 which is now mine. He sold it to me after he bought a small CUT Cub Cadet. I don't recall the model or other info but it's about the size of a JD 755. It isn't installed but he has a cab for it. It's a nice machine.
 

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How new are you willing to go? My grandpa has an X500, obviously not a gear drive but it's manual steering and manual deck lift. The steering is honestly tons better than any of my old school manual steering tractors too, and the foot deck lift is easy to work. You can't get any bigger than a 54" deck, but I would bet on it at least matching or outperforming many of the older 60" deck machines.
 

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For a dedicated mower the used X495 all wheel steer with 62 inch mulching deck that I bought from a local cemetery was excellent at our small acreage. The foot ground speed controls, the power steering and the agility of AWS means you don't back up very often. As I recall, it left only about a 12 inch circle of uncut grass on a tight U-turn...so mowing around trees and other obstacles was quick and easy. I paid just $1900 for it because it had 2400+ hours -- but it was in great shape and only needed tires, seat, tail lights and a few small parts on the deck.

You may not prefer a newer machine, but the reliable diesel is very easy on fuel consumption and like all Yanmars is long lived as well... The pallet forks were very handy around the place as well.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle


Tire Wheel Plant Riding mower Lawn mower


Chuck
 

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I'm planning to get away from a finish mower. I maintain 5 acres with a JD 650, & a finish mower, we have livestock, so it is mostly just a top cut. The main problem is the corners, it keeps you busy mentally trying to plan the corner so the next pass will be low effort, and as the job progresses this is exponentially harder to do. When I do the lawn part of the property, with the GT235 /48" deck, that part seldom comes up. I theorize from this that I'd be much happier with a belly mower in the pasture. The only trade off is losing the ability to set the mower over a weed patch in a bad spot, and drop it to clean that up. My plan is to replace the 650 with something in the 30hp range with a 60 -72" belly mower.
 

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One school of thought on that is to leave the corners as "edge" habitat for wildlife, and plant critter food there...millet, sunflowers, clover, etc. for doves, quail, rabbits...as long as they don't harbor noxious weeds. I'd you want critters around that is...
Where are you in N Tejas? I'm NE of DFW, close to the river.
 

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Ok, so I might be getting ahead of myself, but the property I just purchased is just shy of 3 acres, and I’m a bit worried about my RF tractors handling the mowing. I’m thinking I need to go bigger to help them out. I want to stick with a conventional garden tractor, as I’m not a fan of zero turns. I’m also a fan of simple tractors. ie, non power steering, manual lift, and gear drive. What would be something that fits that criteria with say, a 60” deck?

Also I haven’t brought my RFs to the new property as I haven’t had a chance to finish repairing the oil leak on the 112 and the 110 is still at the old place to turn in the garden so it looks better when the house gets listed, so I may not need to go bigger.
I have about 3 acres. Originally mowed it with my '67 112, 46 inch deck. Took about 4 hours depending on how deep the grass is but more importantly it worked the HH100 really hard for a lot of hours. Decided after a few months to upgrade to a zero turn just for mowing. This lets me save my 112 for the future - still use it with a blade and for pulling a cart. Started with a 16hp Toro, 44 inch deck. That cut mowing time to about 2 & 1/2 hours. That mower lasted about 17 years before the engine was worn out. Upgraded to a JD Z540 zero turn with 54 inch deck. This will mow in less than 2 hours and is not working nearly as hard. I also have a JD400 with 47 blower, 56 blade, and Johnson work horse loader. This tractor gets used a lot and I'm sure would handle the 60 inch deck well but I prefer to leave it as a loader tractor. The power steering is awesome! I currently own the 67 112, 74 140H3, 75 300, 82 400. My suggestion is that you just need more tractors :)
 
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