First Ride-on (AL-KO) - Will I be able to get parts?

Hi,
This is my first post so hopefully I'm in the right place! I would appreciate some advice from someone in the know so here's a little background.
I'm in the process of choosing my first ride-on mower and have a very tight budget (500). I have stumbled across one reasonably locally that I believe is called an AL-KO 11/30. The seller (not private) took it in a part-exchange and doesn't know a huge amount about it including what model it is or how old. I can see it is an AL-KO but the model sticker is missing. I found a pic online that seems to suggest it's an 11/30.
Please see attached for a pic I took of the prospective purchase today.
It drives well enough and cuts grass well enough so I'm thinking of going for it. The mechanics look simple enough so I will do all my own maintenance and servicing.
My only concern is will I be able to get parts? The cutter blade has taken a few knocks and the seller says first gear can be a bit tricky in the cold (it was fine when I drove it). Could I struggle to get what I need.
Ps I will call AL-CO directly but thought I would ask on here to get the enthusiasts opinion.
Many thanks Mark
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On Thursday, August 1, 2013 5:11:37 PM UTC-4, YP1 wrote:

Personally, I'd be very reluctant to buy a mower from someone who doesn't know what model it is, how old it is, how much use it's had, etc. If this is a mower business and offers some kind of warranty, that would help, I guess. There should be a model # on the unit, did you look? If not, perhaps it was on a plate with the serial # and if it's not there, you can probably figure out why....
With the model #, you can answer your own question as to if parts are available. Just look online. Without the model #, ordering parts, at least online, is going to be impossible.
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YP1 wrote:

It looks good enough and has that grass catcher attached which is a bonus. Depending upon what parts you may need, a lot of parts may be generic ie. belts, blades, pulleys, tires, etc. You didn't mention how much they wanted for it. BTW, in the US that would be a tractor rather than a ride-on mower. Tractors come in two varieties, Lawn Tractors and Garden Tractors. Garden tractors are more versatile for attaching snow blowers, tillers, and other power implements. Either will tow non powered things, like aerators, thatchers, carts, etc.
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Well I made some enquiries with the parts guts at the Al-ko distributors today and going by the serial number it sounds like its actually a rebadged Murray rather than an Al-ko. Not a bad thing in It's own right other than Murray were bought out by Briggs and now parts for all the old mowers have been discontinued. Apparantly.
So I'm still pondering. The mechanics seem really simple. Just a couple of belts driving the cutter and rear differential plus the gear box which is the part that worries me. Only because I know 1st gear is tricky when cold.
He wants 500 and will deliver for that price. Came down from 650. Knowing what I do now about parts I'm inclined to revise my offer downwards again.
Maybe a brand new bottom of the range Mountfield for 1200 is money better spent? Although money not necessarily available!
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YP1 wrote:

That grass catcher is worth about US $300 alone (£ 196.) A google search will bring up tons of places selling Murray Parts. My Murray garden tractor with an 18 HP B&S twin cylinder engine is about 20 years old and looks like crap. I've only had to replace belts, 2 pulleys, and of course blades. I use it year round. In the Winter I have a front mounted 46" wide snow thrower that will go through a foot of snow. I don't think you would see that much snow in GB, though. :-)
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Well I've just gone the other way and bought an old Atco Royale B20 with seat etc..
I'm assured it's in 'perfect' working order and I'm paying 120. I think parts for this are possibly tricky to come by but at that price it's ALMOST a disposable item.
Let's see if I can get it in the back of a hatch back tomorrow!
.and fingers crossed it actually cuts grass!
I will provide an update tomorrow afternoon (with a bit of luck)
Thanks for taking the time to post.
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YP1 wrote:

If a tractor with mower attached, you may have to remove the mower deck depending upon how wide the deck is. My tractor will not fit in my 97 Nissan pickup truck with the 46" mower attached. I had to call the service center to come pick it up for service because the mower deck takes some time to take off and put back on (I'm lazy). He came with a 6' by 10' flat bed trailer towed by a full sized pickup truck.
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Well it's not actually a tractor mower it's a heavy duty self propelled type that pulls a seat and roller. It has a 3.5hp Honda engine but it goes like stink! and more importantly cuts well. It's also in rather good working order.
Stoked that I managed to get it for 120 - they are a few thousand new!
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