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
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!