Zero turn to B series

JasonW

Member

Equipment
L3800HST MX5100DT ZG127S
Jan 29, 2015
99
15
8
Mobile, AL
Anyone ever go from a zero turn to a B series tractor with a MMM?
After having small issues with my zero turn I've had the idea to upgrade, would like a diesel zero turn but can’t justify the cost.

Currently mow about 2.5 acres and don’t foresee ever mowing more acreage, not to finish mower quality anyway.
Another thing is where I store my boat I am having to move it with a 4wheeler(definitely overloaded) as I cannot hook to it with my truck where it sits. So a smaller tractor with a hitch on the 3pt would be just right.
With summer about to hit I’m using my boat more I don’t want to ruin my 4wheeler by moving the boat twice a week with it.
Just a quick search I could get into a B series for a few thousand dollars factoring in selling my current zero turn.
Looking at older models HST with R4s and MMM. No front end loader.
Thoughts/opinions?

Sorry for the long read
 
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Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
550
283
63
Knoxville, TN
It will add time to your mowing in that they are slower, but the cut quality with a mmm is very good. I would strongly suggest that if you do invest in a B, get the loader. At the very least it will be the very best wheel barrow you've ever used, but you'd be amazed at how much 'stuff' you can accomplish with a loader. Buying a tractor without a loader is like buying a 4 door sedan and welding the rear doors shut.
BTW, what issues with your ZT. Personally, I mow with my ZT and use the big B for tractor stuff.
 
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JasonW

Member

Equipment
L3800HST MX5100DT ZG127S
Jan 29, 2015
99
15
8
Mobile, AL
I thought I typed it in but I guess I didn’t.
I have a MX5100 with a loader, and my dad has my old L3800 with a loader. So that area is covered
 

JimmyJazz

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Aug 8, 2020
800
432
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
I agree with Freeheeler. Went from a Steiner mowing tractor to the B2601 a year ago. You will learn to love the versatility of the B series tractor even at the cost of a somewhat slower cut.
 
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johnjk

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B3200 w/loader, Woods RC5 brush hog, 4' box blade, tooth bar, B1700 MMM,
Apr 13, 2017
869
245
43
West Mansfield, OH
I bought my brother in laws B1700 a couple years back. No loader but it has the 3 point hitch. Good machine. Not as fast as a zero turn but for my country lawn it does a great job. I’m mowing around 1.5 acres in about an hour. Keep the blades sharp and you will be happy with the cut. Don’t miss the FEL but I have that with the B3200 when needed
 

Dieseldonato

Active member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
300
150
43
Pa
You'll miss the zero turn the first time you mow. Mowing with a mmm doesn't even come close to a decent zero turn. Speed, efficient cut and maneuverability are all sacrificed. Kinda like my leatherman. It does a lot of stuff ok but nothing truly spectacular.
If your patient and look around there are many older B series that can be had at reasonable prices.
 

ve9aa

Active member

Equipment
tg1860, bx2380
Apr 11, 2021
317
167
43
NB, Canada
I don't know if your specific zero-turn has any kind of suspension on it, but I notice a H-U-G-E difference between my TG1860 and BX2380 in "comfort" when mowing. My ~2 acres of "lawn" is old farm field, so kinda bumpy, even after driving on it for 17 yrs now. I have very little in the way of true topsoil.

The TG has 2 seat springs (duh...what doesn't?) but it ALSO has 2 shocks where pretty much the entire back of the machine moves up/down.

I would always choose to mow with the TG over the BX even though HP and SPEED are similar and mowing decks are both identical. The BX is harder to manouver and I imagine a B would be that much harder/slower, as well. (certainly not ZT fast)

Just something to consider. I know it wasn't the exact question you asked.

Good luck !
 

JasonW

Member

Equipment
L3800HST MX5100DT ZG127S
Jan 29, 2015
99
15
8
Mobile, AL
My zero turn does have a suspension seat. Some have brought up speed, I don’t cut at full speed, I would get beat to death if I did. I can’t due to ground conditions and even with new blades it’s doesn't cut everything at full speed. Next time I cut I’ll have to get an average speed.
 

OrangeKrush

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2680, LA344 with Piranha tooth bar, LP PF 1242, LP Rear Blade, KK 60" BB
Nov 15, 2020
810
342
63
Indy
Sold my old B and ended up with a zt and never looked back. Couldn't believe I went without one that long! I'm actually looking to get a deck for my BX for back up but not necessarily looking forward to the ride. Love my Gravely Pro! Same with the old B7510 but just not as nimble!
 
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Dieseldonato

Active member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
300
150
43
Pa
If you don't mind me asking what type of zero turn are you using? And if it's that bumpy why not fix it? Not being an jerk or anything just trying to get a grasp of the situation we're trying to advise you on. Sounds like you have some decent equipment that would make quick work of mellowing out a rutted meadow.
 

mikester

Well-known member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,553
572
113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
A ZTR is faster, more fun and has less bugs. Mosquitos, black fly and deer fly are a distant memory. A small MMM SCUT does a nicer job with less grass tear up.

My ZTR manual has a warning for operators over the age of 70. It says you are too slow to go on this ride, try something else.
 
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notforhire

Member

Equipment
Kubota L47
Dec 5, 2019
64
14
8
Meadows of Dan VA.
I'm also considering replacing my current zero turn and have thought about a B or BX too. My mowing conditions are much like the OP's. He doesn't mention any slopes.
I have a few slopes to mow. Anyone have with experience on both machines that can compare their stability mowing side slopes.
My Z has a very low center of gravity and feels stable. I have no experience with small tractors.
 

MattN03

Active member

Equipment
2011 B3200, LA504 FEL w/B2366 SSQA conversion, BH76 BH, EA Wicked 55
Sep 5, 2016
207
34
28
KY
I mow nearly 4 acres with a Toro Z-Master 60" cut and can't imagine how much longer it would take with my B3200. ZTR all the way IMO...
 

Vigo

Member

Equipment
B6100, B8200
Jan 9, 2022
71
19
8
San Antonio Texas
I've used a zero turn on my property and while the speed and maneuverability is fun, the speed isn't that useful since my ground is too bumpy and full speed just beats me up and has me flying over some of the grass im supposed to cut, and the maneuverability just isn't that useful because the land is mostly clear. I mow with a 50" rider but i have a 54" mmm im hoping to try on a larger Kubota L210 that needs fixing, as im hoping the ride quality will be a bit better that way until i tear up and smooth out this bumpy old hay field that's now my yard.

Factor in the whole 'never touch your tongue jack again' thing because you're picking it up and putting it down with the tractor and heck yeah, it all makes sense to me.

Im all about a zero turn in place that caters to its strengths, but i don't have that and it sounds like you don't either, or at least it's not a big factor.
 

Dieseldonato

Active member

Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
300
150
43
Pa
Back at the township we had three large parks that needed mowing every week. If we were slow on the road side I'd help out. We had a 12 foot progressive mower that was pulled by a t4.75 new Holland. Max mowing speed was 4mph. Did a beautiful job but very slow. The used to use ferris mowers. Very nice ride quality. Cut was good. They were pretty slow for a "pro" level zero turn. Very stable on slopes. Very expensive to maintain. The suspension components wore out often. The newest one would have been fantastic if the hydro pump/motors would have been decent. Constant seal issues. We demoed exmark laxer z and Scagg zero turns. They had suspended seats. Both were very fast, excellent cut quality, and were very stable on hard slopes. The Stagg hydro levers were a but touchy for our liking. Didn't seem to do slow very well. Ended up going with the exmark Lazer z with 72" deck. Max speed was 12mph. You could literally cut just as fast as the progressive mower with it. Bumps were handled fairly decently by it. Some areas you just learned to slow down. We did typically try to fix the rough spots though. The warranty was also very impressive on the exmark. 5 years I believe it was. None of the zero turns we used lacked power for tall or damp grass. (Tried to avoid mowing damp grass) I did like the Briggs engines better the kohler engines. The kohlers used some oil, which wasn't brought up when we demoed the exmark and Scagg. We mowed some pretty nasty sloped retention pond areas with them all and never had issues. Wouldn't have attempted them with a tractor of any size.
If your mowing wide open spaces there are other mowing options that may make more sense, but most of them are more costly. My father recently retired an old hustler forward deck model. I think it was a 330. 4 cylinder kubota powered and 72" deck. His 2 acre meadow would take about half an hour to mow. Rode fairly decent. No suspension on it. Hills were manageable. You sat up pretty high on it. He ended up with a cub cadet with mmm and it takes about twice as long to mow with a 60" deck. He has a 6 foot finish mower for behind his l245dt but it's slower to mow with. Ride quality is decent, but it's a slow go. That big finish mower has the 245 about at its limit.
 

Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
550
283
63
Knoxville, TN
Folks here are probably getting tired of me saying this, but ... "Ferris full suspension ZTR" is the answer if you want a fast professional cut that doesn't beat you up. I mowed my dad's lawn just this week with his BX. Next time I'll take the time to trailer my Ferris over to his place and back and still save myself about an hour.
 
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OrangeKrush

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2680, LA344 with Piranha tooth bar, LP PF 1242, LP Rear Blade, KK 60" BB
Nov 15, 2020
810
342
63
Indy
Folks here are probably getting tired of me saying this, but ... "Ferris full suspension ZTR" is the answer if you want a fast professional cut that doesn't beat you up. I mowed my dad's lawn just this week with his BX. Next time I'll take the time to trailer my Ferris over to his place and back and still save myself about an hour.
I never would have thought my ZT would be as comfortable as it is but I'd much rather mow with it. Seat is adjustable suspension and just the platform alone is so much easier to relax on.. legs and feet anywhere you want them!

I've got a lot of trees and trimming around them on my B was causing a huge ring around every tree.. no matter how easy/slow I moved with turf tires and 2wd, .. ZT doesn't do this!
My neighbor purchased a B2301 in 2019 and is now regretting it for mowing his 2+ acres only for the fact of the weight.. ground deterioration.

Summer months aren't too bad "ground dries quickly" but Fall.. around here your yard can get away from you quickly unless you don't mind the tire ruts.
 
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mikester

Well-known member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,553
572
113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
I'm also considering replacing my current zero turn and have thought about a B or BX too. My mowing conditions are much like the OP's. He doesn't mention any slopes.
I have a few slopes to mow. Anyone have with experience on both machines that can compare their stability mowing side slopes.
My Z has a very low center of gravity and feels stable. I have no experience with small tractors.
I used to use a SCUT. I have hills that even a 4WD SCUT and ZTR will "power slide" when driving along the slope.

The SCUT goes much slower and feels safer than with a ZTR. The SCUT can also cut up and down hills much better, the ZTR has to go across the slope to be stable. Down hill on a ZTR is dangerous, especially with wet grass. Bar tires are a must have on the ZTR if you have slopes. Once you lose traction going down a slope the ZTR will require you to adapt quick or get into trouble fast.

Get a SCUT with big front and rear tires if operator comfort is important to you.
 

Steve67

Active member

Equipment
B2601-fel, 60"mmm, 5' rear blade, balast box
Jan 20, 2017
256
56
28
St. Louis, mo.
I mow about 3 1/2 acres and I went from mowing with my b2601 to a z422 . Much smoother ride and better cut with the Z. Also if you go with the r4 tires they will leave ruts on soft or wet ground