Lawnmower Suggestion as a Housewarming Gift

I am looking at giving a gift of a lawnmower to a first time home purchaser. I can fully remember my first house and how relatives were very generous in giving us the help we needed in establishing a nice home. It's now my turn to be generous so hopefully I can get some first hand knowledge from the people of this group. Here are the details.
The property is four acres in size and hilly. It is in a northern climate and has a long driveway.
So.........I need a riding mower that can have a optional snow plow or blower attached to it. I favor hydrostatic drives over standard transmissions and because of the hills the mower should have a low center of gravity.
I have never owned a riding mower myself so fill me in on what may be a good choice and let me know what to stay away from.
Thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

that's a heck of a nice gift.
[....]

sears.
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Jim wrote:

In the end Sears did the right thing for me, after I insisted the one I had purchased was not right (deck height to low) they shipped me a new lawn tractor and picked up the old one. The new lawn tractor is great.
Are you just busting my stones Jim?
Clark
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Clark wrote:

I'd have said Wal*Mart before Sears, but Sears is right after that..
I've got a (used) Craftsman riding mower, it's ok and does its job. I wouldn't stress it with a snow blower or plow on its nose though, even if it was new.
That SCAG pointed out in another post is a nice "Pro" type of mower. The people who mow the drain culverts by my house use one like that. It's got a 45 deg angle to the slope and works fine.
I've always been a John Deer fan when it comes to mowers. But I like that traditinal sit down and steer look and feel of a mower. Not much for the levers you need to push or pull to turn.
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Scott Hildenbrand wrote:

SCAG builds a very very very well designed machine. serviced correctly, they will last a long long time.

a real JD is going to be another fine choice. the real ones are bought at real JD dealerships. don't be fooled by the green crap at lowes of homedepot.
I hope this new homeowner knows how blessed he is to have a friend like you.
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On Sep 25, 9:31 pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

That is very nice of you. I would recomend a SCAG zero turn. http://www.scag.com /. 4 acres is quite a bit.
Depending on the slope you may want to get a walk behind instead with a dolly if there is real steep terrain. What is a dolly? A dolly is a small trailler platform that you stand on and that the mower pulls. I have seen "pros" do pretty steep slops at the IBM corporate HQ in Armonk, NY. The mower tips, but that is O.K. because you are standing up on the dolly.
There are special steep slope mowers also:
http://www.kutkwick.com/superslopemaster.htm
http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/ProductPages/ProductPagesCont/ATZ/ATZPage/ATZPage.html
Note in each case the important thing is to have ROLLOVER protection. This usually consists of a steel frame and / or bar that will stop the mower crushing the driver in the event of a roll over. The SCAG zero turns all have roll over bar protection available and I would recommend getting that.
Best, Mike.
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with 4 acres youll need at least a 5 foot cut . i think a real garden tractor deere or cub ,with a heavy trans would be a good choice. there are all kinds of attachments for them. if moneys not an issue, get a 4 wheel drive kabota with a woods mower on the back and snow blower on front. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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I really nice one would be the John Deere 300 series.
It would handle the plow and other attachments. It's pricey but it'll last'em 20 years.

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