Husqvarna lawn tractors


Went shopping today for a new lawn tractor. Stopped first at the big box stores and Sears. Funny how all their offerings really looked the same - just MTD's with different labels.
An independent dealer tried to convince me that Husqvarna's are a quality product. If so, does it offset the 50% + premium over say Craftsman?
My lot is 1/2 acre so I don't need a major commercial level machine. Just prefer not to wind up with junk.
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It will probably last 50% longer and run 50% better. Compare features and engines. Have the salesman point out the differences. If he is at all competent, he should be able to give specifics of why one is better. Material, drive design, etc.
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Is John Deere better and alot more expensive, I thought they were best from farmers that use them. A motor running 3600 rpm only lasts so many hours, there is no magic.
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The new JD mowers are not made by JD and are crappy with one of the highest complaint records of any mower on the market. However the agricultural products are made by JD and still have a pretty good rep.
Red
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Not entirely true, the LA series or Depot Deere is made back east, & is as much a piece of crap as the others it sells beside. The X and LX series are still made where and like they have been for years
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See: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/deere.html
While the vast majority of complaints center around the LA & LT 100 series, there are other models with troubles. Note that all complaints are recent, not in the past. Also note how many people say JD customer service ignore their problems. Then check other brands of mowers recent complaints and compare the numbers to JD's. JD quality sucks and their product supporters are relying on past experience rather than current experience.
Red
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All I can say is; I've had good experience. Parts are high, I've never used customer service, could suck, maybe not, doubt I'll ever find out. I do like that they put the parts catalog online with drawings, so I can pick my own parts. The one I have right now is a 2002 GT235, it looks nearly like my neighbors 2008 X300. the biggest problem I have is, people keep offering me deals I can't turn down, & trade me out of them. I have had a 330 diesel, traded for a crane, & a 165 Hydro, sold for nearly double my investment. I also have had a Craftsman, steering went, an MTD steering went out, I still have a Cub Cadet, which runs ok, but you can't get the rear wheels off the axle, been rusted fast for a long time. The trans went out, & I had to take the new Trans apart to include the old axles with wheels still attached in the swap. So I didn't come to this decision accidentally, I've earned my stripes. John Deere's lawn tractors may suck, but they suck much less than anything else out there. I'm not a tractor snob, I just don't want to allow the time to fight something that is supposed to make my life easier.
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APY Industries. A lot of the accessories are the same (Craftsman to Husk). Two years ago I had to make the same decision and after the comparisons I went back to Craftsman, which I had had in the GT-18 for the past 24 years. I needed a tractor for the new cabin so it has gone into partial retirement now that I have the new GS6500. But, that was two year ago and now is now. So much can change. THis new tractor has some new features but I don't think that it's built as well.
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I am to the point that if it isn't a john Deere I wait for one that is. But the things that are no compromise points are: A cast front axle, more tractors are junked because the steering is worn out than because the engine is, Lugs on the rear wheels, it becomes impossible to remove the rear wheels when they are mounted right on the drive axle. 4 gauge wheels on the mower deck, it just works better. The deck should also be quick release. Also grease fittings, the more the better. If you get all of that you should get years of service and easy maintenance.
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I agree about the cast iron front axle. The rest is just a matter of opinion. I have seen some really cheap John Deere mowers. The only thing better about a JD is the fact some of the older people only buy them, therefore resale may be a little higher.
If I only had 1/2 acre, any craftsman will do just as good as any JD for less money if it is maintained properly.
Hank
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Jim wrote:

Sears or MTD are fine for a half acre. High price isn't a guarantee of longevity, there are some pretty old cheap mowers out there. Like to pay all out? Get an Ingersoll. others: * Ariens * Black & Decker * Bolens * Craftsmen * Cub Cadet * Homelite * Honda * Husqvarna * John Deere
    New Holland
* Lawn-Boy * Neuton * Remington * Snapper * Toro * Troy-Bilt * White Outdoor * Worx * Yard-Man One is as good as another. Most all have Kohler or Briggs and Stratton and all have about the same lifetime.
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Thanks all for the info. Think I'll try to get my 20 year old 30" rider to last one more season.
One thing I found interesting was the sincere lack of merchandise even available, with Sears being the exception. Here it is September and in the N.E. USA plenty more weeks remain of mowing. Then several weeks of leaves to deal with. Yet Home Depot and Lowe's only stock snow throwers. Of course once the snow begins to fall all that will be found will be lawn equipment.
AAAaaaaggghh
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Husqvarna is quality with blowers and chainsaws. Not sure how long they have ben making mowers though. John Deer and Cadet are good mower brands. See which brands have authorized local service--you may need it or parts someday. Sears has been good to me for chipper/shredder parts.
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Around here in the midwest, Simplicity rules. I have 2 1/4 acre lawns and 3 acres of commercial, use two 10HP and one 20HP. Did it all with a 8 HP for about 9 years until the engine got too tired, but am still using the occasional part from it to keep the rest of the fleet in operation. The independent dealer service has always been superb. Haven't seen Simplicity in box stores.
Joe
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Joe wrote:

Simplicity is big in the Northeast too. Expensive but dedicated dealers. They too use Kohler or Briggs and Stratton engines.
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