[NAFEX] Subject: mowing orchards and pastures

Mark Angermayer hangermayer at isp.com
Sun Aug 31 17:39:07 EDT 2008


I don't know anything about Acreage Kunz mowers, but let me give this disclaimer, I have a very negative opinion of Swisher.  I've only owned one of their mowers and that was enough.  Here's the story.

About 4 years ago I was looking for a new ZTR mower.  I did some researching online and narrowed it down between two mowers.  A Cub Cadet or a Swisher.  I talked to several dealers, and a rep. from Swisher.  One dealer, who sold both Cub Cadets and Swishers told me he was no longer going to carry Swisher because Cub Cadet was a better mower.  This should have been a red flag but I dismissed it, assuming he had another incentive to sell me a Cub Cadet.  So I ended up with a Swisher ZTR 42" cut.  I bought it because it had wider back tires than a Cub Cadet, so I thought it would get around better.  When I went to pick it up, they started it and I thought it sounded pretty noisy.  Another red flag, but I was excited about my new purchase, so I took it home.  That's when I started to have to work on it.  After I ran it a bit, I realized it shouldn't be that noisy.  After looking it over, I figured out one of the idler pulley springs was loose causing the belt and pulley to excessively vibrate.  No problem, I tightened up the spring (although it should have be done at the factory) but the mower was still loud.  From looking the mower over, I realized it was cheaply built.  For example, instead of welding the frame together, they pretty much bolted everything together.  A problem, because after a while, some of the bolts rattle loose (so plan on keeping a wrench and plenty of locktite handy).  I also found out there are very few grease zerks on the mower to be able to grease moving parts.  That might not be an issue in some circumstances when good quality sealed bearings are used.  But Swisher used such cheap quality bearings, that I started having trouble after two years.  I had to replace some spindle bearings on the mower deck.  I showed the bearings to another mower dealer, and he said he'd never seen such small bearings on a mower deck.  The third mowing season, I had to replace more bearings.  On top of that, the steering linkage for the two steering bars was also made as cheaply as possible.  I was constantly having to tighten it back up and readjust it.  The mower never did cut good.  It would cut OK if the grass was cut every week.  But if the grass was the least bit tall, it would clog and gag the mower about every foot.  Also the underside of the deck would fill up fast with matted grass (fun to clean out).  The mower mowed at a much slower pace compared to other ZTRs, even in good grass.  And it never did get around good.  It would get stuck on a wet banana peel and I'd have to back up and go at it at a different angle.  The last straw was this season when the electric clutch went out.  I thought for such a small junky clutch, that only lasts four years, they would want much for a new one.  Wrong, $245 bucks for the clutch, without shipping.  Swisher should change their name to Swindler.

BTW- My brother-in-law bought a Cub Cadet ZTR about a year ago, and it is a much better mower.  It's a lot heavier built with much better steering linkage and a welded frame.  It mows at 7mph.  I don't know about reliability because he hasn't owned it long enough (and I've heard some negative things about Cub Cadet's reliability) but so far he likes it.  I bought a Ferris commercial mower ZTR, and so far I like it.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Toni Pralle
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 1:19 PM
  Subject: [NAFEX] Subject: mowing orchards and pastures

  Veering slightly off topic.....almost. I am looking at two mowers at an upcoming auction. I want to mow the rough spots in my pasture a few times a summer. My choices are Swisher 44" or an Acrease wing mower Kunz engineering inc. These aren't this year's models ;-)  I looked them both up on the net. I sorta thought the Kunz might be a better mower?? Anyone have any experience? The auctioneer thought they might go for $200/$300. I'll be pulling it on flat ground with a Colt Hydra Drive garden tractor, also not this year's model. ( a friend found it at an auction. I bid $80. I asked my friend how old it was and he said the serial number was in Roman Numerals) It runs and I'm happy. 

  Toni in zone 4 Iowa USA
  It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error. 
  -- Robert Houghwout Jackson,
  Chief Judge at the War-Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg


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