Do I need more horse power?

DueEast

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4WD
Mar 9, 2021
39
30
18
Washington
Are your rear tires loaded? If yes then they may be adding too much weight.
Have you tried with the FEL off? Do that first just to see how much better it is.
How about when you try and mow downhill? Is that better? Can you do it at PTO rpm? If yes then that tells you the hills are just too much.

If you arent willing to take the FEL off when you mow anyway then the answer is you need more HP. With the hills, added rotary cutter weight, and the PTO HP needed to run the cutter your machine just cant handle it. I recommend you go with L3901 or better the L4701 or MXseries.

The L2501 is super popular, but once you put all of that weight on it and mow uphill it just cant handle it.
Yup, rear tires are loaded. Sometimes I drop the bucket before I mow but I’ve never removed the loader. I should give that a try, it might be enough to help me out.
 
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DDCD

Active member

Equipment
1964 MF135, L2501
May 8, 2021
126
113
43
Oklahoma
I wouldn't plan on a 6' with a 3901. I mow with a 5' heavy bush hog brand on my 45/38hp pto tractor and it slows itself down in 6' grass uphill sometimes. Also the big heavy 6' mowers are very long and heavy.

Also are you dragging your mower on the front skids? I do that sometimes to get a really nice cut but it really puts a big load on the tractor.
 
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Rdrcr

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501 Turbo (Current), B2601 (Sold)
May 7, 2021
302
260
63
WA
Sounds like you could use more power or another option for your mowing duties.

I see three options; Replace your tractor with another tractor with more power, modify your L2501 (most members here don’t agree), or buy a ZTR for your mowing duties.
However, it’s difficult to recommend anything without knowing how much you value your time or your potential budget.

If you decided to go with a new tractor, I wouldn’t suggest trading your tractor for an L3901. It’s not worth it.
I’d recommend going to either the Grand L or Mx series tractor.

If you decide on going with a ZTR and your property has steep hills and hillsides like mine, I’d recommend something like the Cub Cadet Pro Z 560S like I have. The Pro Z does an amazing job, it’s fast, super safe and built like a tank.

Mike
 

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Rdrcr

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501 Turbo (Current), B2601 (Sold)
May 7, 2021
302
260
63
WA
Yup, rear tires are loaded. Sometimes I drop the bucket before I mow but I’ve never removed the loader. I should give that a try, it might be enough to help me out.
Try that first…before doing anything else.

Mike
 
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DueEast

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4WD
Mar 9, 2021
39
30
18
Washington
Sounds like you could use more power or another option for your mowing duties.

I see three options; Replace your tractor with another tractor with more power, modify your L2501 (most members here don’t agree), or buy a ZTR for your mowing duties.
However, it’s difficult to recommend anything without knowing how much you value your time or your potential budget.

If you decided to go with a new tractor, I wouldn’t suggest trading your tractor for an L3901. It’s not worth it.
I’d recommend going to either the Grand L or Mx series tractor.

If you decide on going with a ZTR and your property has steep hills and hillsides like mine, I’d recommend something like the Cub Cadet Pro Z 560S like I have. The Pro Z does an amazing job, it’s fast, super safe and built like a tank.

Mike
That’s a sweet mower! If I could justify something like that it would be great, but I would tear up anything but a rotory cutter or flail mower on my property.
 
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UpNorthMI

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3200, L3901, MX5800, SVL75-2, KX040
May 12, 2020
763
493
63
Up North, MI
Moving from an L2501 to a L3901 will give you another 50% power over what you currently have. I would not worry about the DPF. The extra power is significant and you will definitely notice the difference in hill travel and cutting speed. I would comment that you should stay with a 60” rotary cutter. If you want to run a 72” cutter with decent performance I would suggest a further increase in HP and size, L4701, MX or grand L.

I own both a L3901 and a MX, with the right size rotary cutters you will not be disappointed with performance.
 
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SDT

Well-known member

Equipment
multiple and various
Apr 15, 2018
2,482
525
113
SE, IN
Yup, rear tires are loaded. Sometimes I drop the bucket before I mow but I’ve never removed the loader. I should give that a try, it might be enough to help me out.
You will certainly notice the difference in both performance and maneuverability.

SDT
 

SDT

Well-known member

Equipment
multiple and various
Apr 15, 2018
2,482
525
113
SE, IN
I wouldn't plan on a 6' with a 3901. I mow with a 5' heavy bush hog brand on my 45/38hp pto tractor and it slows itself down in 6' grass uphill sometimes. Also the big heavy 6' mowers are very long and heavy.

Also are you dragging your mower on the front skids? I do that sometimes to get a really nice cut but it really puts a big load on the tractor.
Bingo.

A 6' mower with a 3901 is pushing things, both HP and weight unless conditions are ideal and cover is light.

SDT
 

Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
622
384
63
Knoxville, TN
To get up those hills you need either more HP or less weight. The old B2650 or the new LX version has about the same hp and lifting capabilities as your L, but weighs a lot less. Mine goes up hills easily with the BH on, loaded rear tires, and a full bucket of gravel. I agree with the folks suggesting you lighten up by removing what you can for mowing. Personally, I would use the tractor to clean and smooth the area that needs mowing once, to make it feasible to then use a ZTR to mow it.
 

nota4re

Active member
Premium Member

Equipment
Case 580M Turbo; Kioti DK4210SE-CH; Kubota L2501 (Traded-in)
Aug 16, 2019
124
41
28
Newhall, CA
When the tractor struggles mowing up grade you should be backing off the pedal not putting it to the floor.
If you're new to HST, this could also be a big part of the problem. It's kind of counter-intuitive. I recently did some work which required me to go up and down a steep concrete driveway. In the first attempt, I was in Mid-range and gave it the beans until it almost died about 1/3 of the way up. At this point I stopped, went to Low range and went the rest of the way. The second time I did it, I just kept it in Mid-range and BACKED-OFF the throttle as I hit the steep part.... no problem at all. With an HST, sometimes less is more.
 
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Rdrcr

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501 Turbo (Current), B2601 (Sold)
May 7, 2021
302
260
63
WA
That’s a sweet mower! If I could justify something like that it would be great, but I would tear up anything but a rotory cutter or flail mower on my property.
Thanks!

My property is pretty rough too. I have to replace blades every year as I move further and further into undeveloped forest with a combination of clearing and ZTR maintenance.

Mike
 

bucktail

Well-known member

Equipment
L1500DT, 6' king kutter back blade, boom, dirt scoop ford disk JD212
Jun 13, 2016
1,176
111
63
MN
By rotary mower I assume your using a brush mower. As long as you're just cutting grass and weeds, the extra rpms shouldn't hurt anything. If you're mowing saplings towards the upper end of the rated capacity, hitting rocks or stumps, etc. then you shouldn't as those things put your mower out of balance temporarily. As stated previously, the tractor should be fine running wide open.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,919
1,629
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
sigh, I'm impressed anyone has the patience to mow 4.5 ACRES of grass, probably every 7-10 days in the summer !I couldn't sit for the 4-5 HOURS doing that, again, and again and again and .....
If you 'landscaped' with a dozer, got the ground reasonably flat, a high priced zeroturn coulddo it in less than an hour. Neighbour does his 2 acres in 23 minutes.
 
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DueEast

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4WD
Mar 9, 2021
39
30
18
Washington
sigh, I'm impressed anyone has the patience to mow 4.5 ACRES of grass, probably every 7-10 days in the summer !I couldn't sit for the 4-5 HOURS doing that, again, and again and again and .....
If you 'landscaped' with a dozer, got the ground reasonably flat, a high priced zeroturn coulddo it in less than an hour. Neighbour does his 2 acres in 23 minutes.
I do it about every 2-3 weeks in the summer sometimes let it go if it’s really hot. I could let it grow up a ways but I have some noxious weeds that need to stay cut to keep under control. Next year I plan on buying a 3pt sprayer and spraying to kill off most of that and hopefully establish some more grass. If it was just grass I probably would only need to mow every month or so. We don’t get a lot of rain in the summer.
 

Rdrcr

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501 Turbo (Current), B2601 (Sold)
May 7, 2021
302
260
63
WA
sigh, I'm impressed anyone has the patience to mow 4.5 ACRES of grass, probably every 7-10 days in the summer !I couldn't sit for the 4-5 HOURS doing that, again, and again and again and .....
If you 'landscaped' with a dozer, got the ground reasonably flat, a high priced zeroturn coulddo it in less than an hour. Neighbour does his 2 acres in 23 minutes.
I went from 3 hours mowing with my tractor to an 1 1/2 with my ZTR.
The ZTR was definitely worth the investment!

Mike
 

thirdroc17

Active member
Dec 25, 2013
185
33
28
Michigan
I've run tractors from 8 to 95 horsepower, and at one time or other, they've all needed more horsepower. LOL
 
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DueEast

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4WD
Mar 9, 2021
39
30
18
Washington
To follow up on this old thread, I’ve been dropping the loader before I mow and it’s a totally different machine. I can climb my hills in M gear. Cuts my mow time in half so I can easily get the whole field done in one shot. Also saves a little fuel, which this year is a big deal.
 
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GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,919
1,629
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
Nice to hear you found a GREAT solution !

When I bought my BX23S, 1st thing dealer said...'do you want the MMM' ? I laughed and said NO, it's a TLB and for the price of the MMM option, I can buy THREE 'riders' to CUT GRASS.
I use it to dig and move stuff NOT 'lawn care operations'.
 
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