Toro vs. John Deere mower

I'm looking at two models of riding mowers, the Toro LX420 and the JD 125.
Both have the same deck size (42") and similar engine power (18HP, the Toro has a Kohler engine, the JD a Briggs & Stratton). Both have an automatic transmission, manual PTO, etc. Pretty comparable machines, except the JD is $1799 and the Toro is $1299.
The question... is th JD $500 better than the Toro? I sat on both at the dealer, they feel equally comfortable. Looking at construction, I can't really see many differences in material quality (though maybe I don't know where to look... I was looking at things like thickness of the steel deck for example).
Thanks.
-jav
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You might check into the availability of repair parts over time. Sears used to advertise customers would be able to get parts forever. Well, that has changed. Now you can only obtain them for 1 year after purchase.
Javier wrote:

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Woa! Where did you see that?
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Wait till you get the price for parts for the JD. I went to get a new belt and I thought they was pricing a new mower.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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It seems like Green paint is expensive. Forget it and get a Dixie chopper
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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First beware that neither of these machines are the type of models that gave JD & Toro / Wheelhorse their good reputations. These are cost reduced models. From their websites I see the JD has a *twin* cyl motor - that would account for some of the dollar difference - and actually one place listed it as 20hp rather than 18. This is a little overkill for a machine that is pretty much limited to mowing (no ground engaging attachments.) The Toro lists a pressure lube feature that is better on hilly terrain. I see big discounts on leftover 2005 JD's. I would lean toward the Toro because their site was easier / quicker to navigate - but neither site listed the weight of the machines and buying buy the pound is not the worst way to decide.
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Javier wrote:

I would choose the Toro. If they are wise enough to use a Kohler engine over a Briggs then it's likely that other parts are higher quality also.
--
Art

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I have 2 Ariens ZTRs. One with a Briggs and the other with a Kohler. The Briggs out preforms the Kohler in every condition. Starting, fuel consumption and power.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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How come you settled for an Ariens when you could have gotten a Dixie Chopper ?
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Or a Gravely or Grasshopper?
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There was no Dixie Dealer close when I bought and they dodn't make one small enough to get through my wife's flowers at the time or you can bet I would have. I have no problems with my Ariens but they are no in the same class as a Dixie. They make a small model now which will be my next mower when I need it.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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I work at HD.. Been there in Garden for 5 yrs. I buy what I DONT see coming back. I am the one who they call at returns when someone brings something back. The JD is obviously made by JD and is warranted through JD exclusively. The Toro, Yard Machine, MTD and Cub Cadet are made by MTD, so take it anywhere to get repaired. JD is the only "Lawn Tractor" with one piece frame from front to back, where as everything else is several pieces bolted together. With that feature alone, the deck and tractor stays level longer because you don't get the "sag" after a while where you cant keep the deck level. If you sat on both, Where were your control pedals and what do you have to do to operate the machines? The brake pedal is in the way over the motion pedal and you have to shift a lever for fwd/rev and you have to turn the key back and push a button to cut in reverse on the Toro. JD, not so much aggravation. The JD is Post delivered by a JD mechanic where as everything else is assembled by an assembly contractor at HD and Lowes. The Briggs engine is made to specs by Briggs, for JD and is pressure lubed as well. I bought a L-118 last year and I love it. 22 hp Briggs, 42" deck, high back seat and over-width rear tires to lessen compaction. As for ground engaging tools: You can "pull" anything you want that HD/Lowes stocks. Even a special order 46" pusher blade or a power 42" snow thrower on JD, Toro, and Cub Cadet. Ground engaging means pull behind plows, tillers. As for the decks, ease of removal, hidden baffles clogging up, belt/blade replacement, and finish add up to a good look. The JD is better. Ability to rebuild the front end, battery maintenance, grease points, and who will come to your house to repair are things to consider. Anyway , good hunting, but at my store we promote the "Drive-before-you-buy" aspect. Ask to drive first. That is one thing I do see at returns.."I didn't know it wouldn't do whatever so I don't want it". Well now you're screwed because before you get a refund we have to send it out for repair to see if you damaged it, and well, you know the cuss-fest that comes with that... But above all else, cutting grass should be fun!
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Well said - but I heard the same thing from our local HD a couple years ago about a Scotts machine.

See "ground engaging" commenys below

The JD site does not list "pressure lubed" in their specs. But they do imply there are different engines in the HD version and the dealer version.

Exactly - and I specified "ground engaging" - ie **pull behind** plows, tillers. Picky - but you don't *pull* a pusher blade or snowthrower. And since this is just an over-powered *lawn* tractor (rather than a garden tractor), the blades and snowthrowers don't attach the same way they do to a *garden* tractor.. Aside from that, the original poster indicated he was just looking to mow his lawn.

Can't say about the new ones, but I have an older JD an a few older WH's and the removal, replacement aspects are about equal.
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