Ready to take the plunge and buy my first lawn tractor, adn I think we have
decided on the White Outdoor brand.
My question though, is what exactly is the practical difference between two
models where the only discernable benefit is an added 1.0 HP?
For instance, I can get the 42" cut, 17.5 HP White Outdoor for $999. The
42", 18.5 HP model retails for $1,199. This seems to apply to most other
models I have looked into as well. (Poulan, Craftsman, etc.)
With all other things being equal, which they appear to be from the specs I
have seen, is the 1.0 HP bump really worth an extra $200?
FYI: My lot is a pretty regularly shaped 1.1 acre lot with a dozen or so
trees to be manueverd around...
thanks in advance
is the cost difference also over different brand of engine? the
tecumseh engines dont hold up , briggs is a little better,
kohler,kawasaki and honda have the best engines. as far as hydro vs gear
transmission, the hydros on the cheap tractors dont hold up, so i
reccomend gear trans. ..... so id go the extra for a better brand of
engine ,or a 2 cylinder over a one cylinder. lucas
they were slower in climbing, towing and mowing (had to keep the
choke/throttle wide open). The 18.l5 and above units will run fine at lower
choke settings with enough power to the rear wheels to climb the slopes, tow
the equipment, etc..
A 1-hp difference is NOT that much more for your yard. The extra hp is
mostly for extra equipment (electric PTO vs. manual), pulling/towing, speed,
etc. If you're just cutting grass, the smaller hp mower is fine. But, if
you're planning on towing a trailer or other equipment (with 1+ acre, you
definitely will want to do that!), get the 18.5 hp machine. You have more
options to choose from too.
Hi Mike -
There is a LOT more to a lawn tractor than horsepower. In fact, if you look
at some of the most expensive lawn or garden tractors out there (Deere, Cub
Cadet) you'll find that their horsepower ratings are in the high teens or
low twenties. Then look at some of the cheaper tractors and you'll regularly
see in the low to mid-twenties.
Look for things like:
- whether or not there is an oil filter with pressurized system - "yes" is
- single or twin cylinder - twin is better, much quieter, generally more
- frame thickness - smaller number is thicker (i.e., 12 gauge is thinner
than 11 gauge). Not necessarily much of an issue with just mowing, but if
you look at the link below you'll find some examples of cracked frames on
- hydrostatic transmission is usually better but I noticed that someone
replied to you and said that hydro on the less expensive mowers aren't as
good. I'm not sure.
- welded frame versus bolted - welded is better, but usually only available
on the higher priced mowers.
Don't be fooled by "cast iron" front axle. Most tractors now have them.
Finally it's the transmission that is often what makes the difference. If
all you're going to do is mow, than a regular duty transmission is better.
Heavier duty, serviceable transmissions will last longer.
Check out this forum, which I've found an excellent source for information.
I got a ton of advice before I bought my tractor about a month or so ago.
You might also check the John Deere and Cub Cadet websites and look at their
specs - not necessarily to consider buying, but because there's a lot of
info there. When you start diving into the details you'll see the specific
things that make a difference. Then you can make a decision based on your
needs and budget, whatever brand you go for. One thing that I've found is
that you'll usually get what you pay for, so be careful about trying to save
too much money. The flip side is true as well, though. Don't get sucked in
to buying more than you need. Used might also be an option to consider -
I've heard that it's a good time of year to look at the Deeres and Cubs and
others at dealers. (I only focus on those two because I just went through
the excruciating exercise of researching tractors before pulling the trigger
myself. On the forum you'll see a lot of people talking about Husqvarnas
and Craftsman too, made by the same company.)
Good luck! Hope this was at least marginally helpful. Let us know what you
end up with.
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