riding lawn mowers

I'm going to buy a riding lawn mower for the upcoming year. I've been out of the loop as far as brand quality ic concerned. I'm willing to pay up to about 1500.00. A few questions I have:
1- When I last checked out mowers, John Deere used Kohler and Kawasaki engines. Now they seem to be using B&S. B&S didn't have a glowing reputation a few years ago. Has this changed at all? Do most major brands use Briggs? Its all I seem to see.
2- If you don't want to buy a Deere, what is the next most reputable brand?
3- Are the mowers sold at Lowes/HD different than the mowers sold at a dealer?
If anyone can answer any of these questions, I would greatly appreciate!! Thanks.
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If you are only going to spend 1500 you might as well just look at a MTD from about anyplace. Deere and Sears charges to much for the name. That way you can get more for your money. Almost everyone sells MTD. I like B&S as well as anything. I have 2 Ariens, one with a Kohler and one with B&S and I lkie the B&S the best.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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Mel M Kelly wrote:

BAck home here in Mount Pocono PA I enjoy riding my goats. Plus when I'm done with em they help eat the lawn too !!
--Joey--
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Muletrain, try asking your question in the newsgroup alt.home.lawn.garden they are really sharp when it comes to power equipment questions
Anthony B.
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On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 04:11:16 -0800, muletrain wrote:

Good day Muletrain. I can fully understand the stress that can be created when looking at tractors. It took me a few years and a few costly mistakes to figure it all out myself. $1500.00 dollars really isn't much now a days for a lawn tractor (it's still a lot to me though !!).
When it comes to engines I'm a big fan of the Kawasaki. These engines are found on many of the commercial mowers. If I'm unable to get a Kawasaki, I would go for the Kohler. My commercial 37 toro uses a Kohler and now has about 1600 hours on it with out a bit of trouble. B&S are o.k and tecumseh are complete junk ( imho ).
With all that said, the tractors that you'll find at the big box stores are the 'dumbed' down versions of the quality products that those companies make. JD and Toro are the worst as far as that goes ( imho ). The Toro's that you find at the big boxes are for the most part MDT's. Lawnboy was bought by Toro and Toro turned the lawnboy into the consumer line. They farmed out the work of building them to other factories (MDT and the like). JD no longer makes a commercial line. They make consumer mowers and commercial farm equiptment. My JD dealer wouldn't sell me a JD commercial 21, he said "I don't want to warranty the damn thing in 6 months". I got a honda instead...
If I was stuck with buying a big box store mower, I would lean toward a husqvarna. Second choice would be JD or cub cadet. Over all, look at the mowers at the big box stores, then buy it from your dealer for the same price. You will recieve much better customer service and if the mower breaks, the big box is going to send it to the dealer to have it fix anyhow. Cut out the middle man and shop locally.
I would also recommend a use commercial mower. It's very likly that you could get a used 36 walk behind or zero-turn for that price. The quality is much higher and it will last you many, many years as a home owner.
Good luck.
--
http://resources.ywgc.com


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muletrain wrote:

You are on the right track. What made Kohlers great was the cast iron cylinders or cylinder inserts. Now other makers use them and get good results also. I would insist either cast iron cylinders or cast iron inserts.

For riding lawn mowers the John Deere is still the most reliable, then the Snapper.
If you go up to a lawn tractor, then John Deer is still the most reliable, then the Craftsman Yard Machines/Yard-Man Murray Cub Cadet and then Toro.
The difference isn't big, but about 10% of Toros have more problems than John Deers.
In an article I saw a couple years ago, the best buy for under $1,500 was the Troy Built/Yard Man (same machines).

Lowes, Home Depot and Dealers sell some of the same products. You have to ask the Lowes/HD where they get their machines fixed. They don't carry parts typically and go through a local dealer. I have a Wheel Horse/Toro that I bought from a dealer that has retired and closed up. The closest dealer won't work on machines he didn't sell, so I have to go further to a dealer that will. It is a pain. I would make sure you can get parts and service. You probably will need it if you keep the machine long enough.
--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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Stephen Henning muletrain wrote:
I'm going to buy a riding lawn mower for the upcoming year. I've been out of the loop as far as brand quality ic concerned. I'm willing to pay up to about 1500.00. A few questions I have:
1- When I last checked out mowers, John Deere used Kohler and Kawasaki engines. Now they seem to be using B&S. B&S didn't have a glowing reputation a few years ago. Has this changed at all? Do most major brands use Briggs? Its all I seem to see.
You are on the right track. What made Kohlers great was the cast iron cylinders or cylinder inserts. Now other makers use them and get good results also. I would insist either cast iron cylinders or cast iron inserts.
2- If you don't want to buy a Deere, what is the next most reputable brand?
For riding lawn mowers the John Deere is still the most reliable, then the Snapper.
If you go up to a lawn tractor, then John Deer is still the most reliable, then the Craftsman Yard Machines/Yard-Man Murray Cub Cadet and then Toro.
The difference isn't big, but about 10% of Toros have more problems than John Deers.
In an article I saw a couple years ago, the best buy for under $1,500 was the Troy Built/Yard Man (same machines).
3- Are the mowers sold at Lowes/HD different than the mowers sold at a dealer?
Lowes, Home Depot and Dealers sell some of the same products. You have to ask the Lowes/HD where they get their machines fixed. They don't carry parts typically and go through a local dealer. I have a Wheel Horse/Toro that I bought from a dealer that has retired and closed up. The closest dealer won't work on machines he didn't sell, so I have to go further to a dealer that will. It is a pain. I would make sure you can get parts and service. You probably will need it if you keep the machine long enough.
-- Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
we bought a JD L110 about three years ago and have been very well pleased with it. we went for the one that was hydrostatic controls. here in canada they ran about 2400 dollars and taxes not sure where u are or the money equvalent but it might be one worth looking into.
http://tinyurl.com/bc668
there are a couple of different L110 model features u can get but hope this helps u some. sockiescat.
--
sockiescat

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