Lawn Tractors/Mowers

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Wyatt Wright) wrote:

I would first recommend a tractor with a cast iron engine or at least cast iron sleeves like the Kohler. They will last forever. Second, I would recommend a brand with a local dealer and parts department. They are easy to fix and there are accessories that one wants to add once in a while. I have owned a Wheelhorse (pre Toro) for a long time, about 20 years and it does an excellent job and has proved very reliable. I have the rear discharge mower and love it. It doesn't throw grass in the road or in flower beds and can be used with an inexpensive sweeper. I used a friends Simplicity once and think they probably do the best job of mowing of any product on the market. They have very fine control of the height and leave a manicured appearance that the others don't. My neighbors have John Deere, Cub Cadet, and Husqvarnas. They do a good job, but no better than my Wheelhorse and some don't have a read discharge mower available. The new Toros are virtually identical and have interchangeable parts.
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S. M. Henning wrote:

Not quite forever...mine crapped out after 7 years. Kohler wanted something like $1600 for a new one. I bought a Tecumseh for $600+. More HP too...
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That is very unusual for a cast iron Kohler to fail if you changed the oil and kept the oil topped up. I had a cast iron Kohler on a tractor that I used in fields to chop brush and an occasional rock. I mowed 2 acres of grass for 20 years with it. I mowed an embankment where I had to get off the tractor and walk on the flat so that I could hold the tractor on the embankment so it wouldn't fall over. I plowed snow with it. I even plowed the road in front of our house and the neighbors houses with it. It was still going strong when I sold it. It had replaced a Tecumseh that didn't even finish the second season before it got a warped head and was junk. There are good cast iron Tecumseh's but mine wasn't cast iron.
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http://www.whatsthebest-lawnmower.com/index.shtml
Check the forum. There are many knowledgeable folks there who can offer solid advice.
John
John Davies TLCA 14732 http://home.comcast.net/~johnedavies / '96 Lexus LX450 '00 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Spokane WA USA
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Wyatt Wright) wrote in message

<snip>
I've expressed my concern with the price of the L series.. JD seems to have this line to compete with the big box store offerings, and I'd be concerned about, as you put it, the 'Deereness' of the product.
My advice on the John Deeres is to make sure you buy what you want; with the possible exception of the L series, a John Deere in a residential setting will last for decades, if it's taken care of.
We have a 214 that I bought in 1990 used.. had to put a couple batteries in it (because it uses car sized batteries I usually pick which car has the oldest battery in it, replace that battery, and install the take-out in the 214). Couple of belts, other than that haven't even tuned it up.
Currently having some problems with the belt tension system for the mower deck drive, and as I am currently out of commision with double hernia surgery we asked the daughter to take care of the lawn this time around. Mentioned daughter tried to mow with the push behind, but gave up and called her boyfriend, who brought over his family's old mower, a JD 430. Watercooled 22hp diesel, 60" deck, Hydrostat trans, differential lock, full hydraulics front and rear. Looks a little rough, but mowed the yard without a problem.
They just bought a new mower to replace this one.. got a nice zero turn radius JD. I asked what they planned to do with this one (the 430). They planned to sell it.
For $300
I took some pain meds, went and looked at it and told the wife, who told him to unload it, we'll take it.
Sometimes you've just got to be in the right place at the right time..
Regards,
Jim
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**snip** | Sometimes you've just got to be in the right place at the right | time.. |
Mark THAT a bargain! Kate
| Regards, | | Jim
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wrote in message

Been reading everyones posts about the driving tractor mowers. We are building a house in the country with a huge front lawn(not our idea, it's required by the community), and we are trying to decide how to handle it (lawn service or mower) After reading some posts regarding these things having "automatic transmissions" and how they make the job easier, I am curious..I am sure they don't have transmission like a car which shifts gears and such, but was wondering how they work? Can you slow down, stop and go without having to disengage the gears and such? My guess is a standard one with a clutch you would be clutching and going to get around flowerbeds and such...Seems the auto is the way to go if your gonna have one..But just curious as to how they actually work...
Thanks so much! John
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John wrote:

Agway/Murray garden tractor has a Hydrostatic Automatic drive. It has a throttle handle on the dash that stays in whatever position it is set. An L shaped rocker type foot pedal on the right operates the mower's speed either forward or in reverse. Push more, faster. Push less, slower. It does not have cruise control, so the foot has to be kept on the pedal when moving, like a car. The mower engine speed is not affected by the foot pedal. The engine's rpm stays at whatever the throttle is set at, no matter what the foot pedal position is. When going down hill, lifting the foot from the foot pedal causes the mower to go into a sort of braking mode, so the mower does not freewheel down the grade. There is no shifting of the mower transmission that I can hear. A brake pedal is on the left side.
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A lawn tractor must run the engine at a constant speed to keep the mower running at a constant speed. To change the tractor speed you use a different gear. My garden tractor has 6 forward speeds (gear selections). The highest is primarily for going from point a to point b in a hurry. The next is slower for mowing under normal conditions. The next is even slower for mowing around objects or in heavy growth. The next three gears are really creeper gears for snow blowing, very heavy mowing, etc. If your lawn has few objects, then the automatic transmission won't be doing anything. The advantage of an automatic transmission is it is easier to slow down when mowing around objects. It acts more like the gas peddle on a car but is operated by your hand. You push a lever one way to go faster and you push it the other to slow down or go backwards. With the automatic you only have a brake pedal. With the regular you have a clutch and brake. However, you don't have to worry about how you let out the clutch like in a car. You just put it in the gear you want to use and let the clutch out. Tractors are like that. You stop when you want to change gears. With a little practice you will get so it starts smoothly, but you don't need to master the fine skills of using a clutch to use a tractor.
Mechanically, the regular transmission has metal gears that last forever. The automatic transmissions have belts that can break. For reliability a regular transmission is best. For convenience an automatic transmission is best.
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wrote:

Have you ever heard of a hydrostatic transmission? Many better mowers have them. They vary the ground speed hydraulically and are extremely dependable.
Barry
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Yes, but hydrostatic transmissions are not automatic transmissions. They are manual infinitely variable transmissions. Automatic transmissions shift automatically with the load, not with a lever. The automatic transmissions are belt driven on cone pulleys. My Kawasaki Mule has an automatic transmission, not a hydrostatic transmission.
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wrote:

Right! But why would anyone want one of those when they can have a hydrostatic drive? There are an awful lot of hydrostatic drive mowers on the market.
Barry
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On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 00:06:28 GMT, Bonehenge

For one reason a hydrostatic drive is much more smoother, and it does adjust itself automatically according toload on a lot of models, but its by applying more pressure, and no difference in shifting is felt as it does not shift, it just applies more pressure for more torque when needed. Put it in drive and go and forget about everything else. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Roy) wrote:

That is called the governor and it is on the engine, not the transmission. The governor keeps the speed of the engine constant. All tractors have engines where the speed is controlled by a governor. The throttle just adjusts the spring on the governor.
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wrote:

Bullshit again dude.....my engine is run at a constant speed, as power erequirements change the flow out of the hydrostatic unit is changed automatically , similar to a auto tranny would use that to shift gear ranges, and only when I get it really loaded down does my engine rpm change. You can even atch the governor linkage it does not move.,..........so now I guess you will tell me its out of adjustment.........Perhpas on a cheap assed Murray or Stanely that may be how they woprk but the Cub Cadets and JD and Kubotas certainly don;t Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Roy) wrote:

That is what a governor does, it maintains the speed of the engine constant. When there is a heavy load, the constant speed is putting out more power so the engine needs more power. That works the same with a standard transmission or a hydrostatic. No difference.
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wrote:

I agree the governor holds the engine at a preset speed, and prevents over reving, but on the hydro I have that motors governor does not fluctuate and the hydro will vary in ouotput all due to its load governed by a pressures senseing valve in the tranny, that automatically adjust hydraulic flow independant of engine speed..........do your homework! Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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Because some people don't have to keep changing the speed of their mower. They let out the clutch and mow until it is done without shifting. A hydrostatic would be a total waste. Why pay extra for something you are never going to use. The dealers push them because they make more money on them. Not everyone needs one.
I have arranged my 2 acres so that all obstacles have a nice round edge that are easy to mow or I have a mow pattern that makes it easy to mow all sides without backing up and slowing down.
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wrote:

Now if this ain't the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard............Yea right, most folks put it in gear and lug the tractor down, or mow at a snails pace or go to fast because they are just to freaking lazy to select gears as needed. If it only needed one gear why do manufacturers use 4 , 5 or 6 speeds, it wold even save lots of money again in making them and buying them.......... Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Roy) wrote:

You obviously never used a farm tractor. You don't drive a garden tractor like a car. The mower speed is not controlled by the transmission. It is constant. Hence if you go too fast, the mowing quality goes down. If you go too slow it takes too long. You select the gear that does the best job. The other gears are for going fast when you are not mowing like going back to the garage or going slow like when using a snow blower.
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