Check past 2 months issues of Consumer Reports magazine. #1 - John Deere,
#2 - Troy Bilt, #3 - Craftsman; there arevarious models, depending upon
what features you want.
Items to consider: budget, size of mowing deck (wider the better: 42-inch
vs. 48 inch), available accessories (attachement point to tractor (low vs
high)), manual gear vs automatic; horsepower (the bigger is NOT always the
better), ergonomics (easy to reach controls - levers, switches not in your
way), & is the seat back high enough to support your back (high back is
better than low back).
you willing to spend? How much is comfort worth to you? How about
ease of maintenance? Durability? Can your back handle a rough ride,
or are you willing to spend extra for a very good seat? Willing to
spend the extra for a quiet riding, liquid-cooled engine, or is a
noisier air-cooled engine going to be o.k. Many factors involved when
you are asking for "the best."
Watch out for warranty -- all sorts of wild claims out there. Some
offer up to three years, some offer a lifetime on certain components;
but in the fine print, you'll find that they may only cover parts or
labor but not both; they may choose to fix something by any method they
choose. Find a good, bumper-to-bumper 2-year full warranty.
Life cycle? A commercial mower with heavy-gauge steel construction and
liquid-cooled engine may last you a lifetime; any air-cooled engine
will be ready for the rubbish pile in less than 2,000 hours. Kind of
depends if you want a long-lasting investment or if you're willing to
spend the money again in 3 or 4 years for a new mower.
Finally, I personally believe the consumer reports are a bit rigged --
I notice that the brands they choose, happen to be brands that
advertise in their publications. Use the Internet or go to a reputable
mower dealer to get the real scoop.
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
Hhmm - 2000 hrs / 4 years - 500 hrs per year - that's enough for most
neighborhoods. I'd guess the average homeowner uses less than 20 hours per
season around here. I'm running air-cooled Kohlers that are over 20 years
old - a 30 yo B&S on a Wards sits in the weeds cause it is locked in gear
People are paying that much for 10 year old JD's around here. I bought my
110 for $850 about 5 years ago and I think it was 15 years old when I got
it - but I have had a tie-rod end break - and I do have to change the oil
and put gas in.
there on occasion here in Ohio. They keep adding names to their
machines like you said. More buildings going up.
I like them because they employ people that live around me, and
they make the most bang for the buck in small to medium sized
They also make some nice high-end gear with that cub line.
American made still gets my attention.
Biggest is not best. I have about an acre to cut with lots of gardens
and trees. My Sears lawn tractor plus mowing deck is actually too big
and doesn't turn corners as easily as a real riding lawn mower which has
a zero-radius turn capability. Horsepower is an illusion, also. The
number has been going up but I swear the "18.5 hp" models I see now are
the same engine as my 17 year old "12.5 hp" model. Mine can to up hills
that are too steep for safety, so I don't need any more power. In fact,
I usually cut the power down to keep the noise low.
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