Finally picked my Garden Tractor: My process

To do: 2 acres of grass, and towing a 5x9 trailer on the property for misc tasks. Budget: <2500 Location: Ontario, Canada
Process:
Went through the same phases pretty everyone who does a serious research goes through: 1- Listen to uncle and granpa who only recommended John Deere. Then, to friends who recommended Cub Cadet. 2- Read a lot of reviews and Googled a lot to come to the conclusion that today there are 2 manufacturers of lawn/garden tractors in my price range: MTD and AYP. They make virtually everything under $2500, that includes Husqvarna, JD and Cub. That explains why we hear as many good and as many bad things about the "reputable" brands as about others.
The large quantity of complaints I read were mainly about transmissions and engines:
Hydrostatics: Most owners manuals mention that the transmission is sealed at the factory and unserviceable. It is also sensitive to things like purging, feature a (plastic) fan for cooling (when those do not clog with grass and overheat, they dry out and break). And from what I read, it breaks a lot more than the manuals. And I plan to drag a fair size trailer with it. I'm screwed. Oh wait! Look, Sears has a 26hp/54in with a manual!
Engines: I read of a lot less problems with the engines than with transmissions, but everytime I read the word Kohler, is it is said to be superior and more durable to whatever else it was compared with. Hey Look, Sears has a 26hp/54in with a manual And a Kohler!
So the criteria of "reputation" and "superior build quality" being out the window, I started looking for ease of maintenance and availability of parts, and price/features. Sears happen to have a great sale right now with a wide variety of 54in tractors.
Last but not least: I live in Canada 1 hour from the border. Sears Canada want $3999 for this tractor with a hydro. The one with the manual in the US (unavailable in Canada) is currently $2199, and they will accept my 15% rebate coupon on top of that. The warranty will not be valid in Canada, but buying their most robust tractor, I'm not too worried. And if I keep as long as I wish, the tractor would be covered for 20% of its life anyways. And if the engine explodes within 2 years, I can still hook the good ol' trailer and take it the to US.
Wal-Mart US sells a Reese trailer hitch locking pin for $1.78 and Wal- Mart Canada sells the same pin for $7.87. Wal Mart US sells a FL820S Motorcraft engine oil filter for $2.92, and the Ford dealers in Canada sell them $8.60. And THEY PAY them $6.50 from Ford Canada. Why would Sears Canada not join the gang rape gang??? Hey, they all get away with it! Let's sell that 26hp/54in hydrostatic to Canadians for $3999. Yeah, take this Canada!
My tractor will be a Craftman model number 28745: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07128745000P
Thanks all for reading!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since I live in Michigan, cold but not as cold as Canada. Ontario is well ... almost a stone's throw away from Michigan :) If your mower has lots of plastic parts, storing it outside during those cold winters are very hard on those rubber belts and plastic parts. If you have an attached garage, store it there.
Are the mowers the same in the US and Canada? Many companies taylor make their products for that countries environment.
I went through two $2000 riding/mowers in 3 years before I learned. I went for the $7000 commercial mower, now going on six years. However, I mow six acres. I keep my mower in an unheated pole barn.
On the political side. Yes those trailer pins are cheaper in the US. However, I pay through the nose for my Health Insurance. My meds in the US runs $55/month in the US. I buy the same meds in Canada for $15. The odd thing is my meds are made in the US, shipped to Canada and back to the US at much lower price .... hmmm. Yeah, take this US!
Enjoy Life ..... Dan
snipped-for-privacy@hawk.igs.net wrote:

--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.