Lawn Tractors/Mowers

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I'm in the market for a new riding mower/lawn tractor. I mow about 3/4 acre of grass in a flat yard with few obstacles. The only thing that I will do with this mower is cut grass and pick up leaves in the fall. I may buy an airator in the future and possible a cart, but that's it.
I may buy a cheaper model from a box store, but prefer to go with something a little better built from a dealer that can service and repair the unit in the future. For me, that means Toro or John Deere - I'm not sure if there is a Cub Cadet or Simplicity dealer in my area. I know many people love their Deere's, but I'm not sure that I want to spend the $$ to get into the LT series and am unsure of the L series' quality and general "Deereness". The Deere dealer told me that the biggest issue with the L series is that the front axles need to be greased frequently. Considering that I can get an L110 with 42" cut and a 17.5 hp kohler for $1800, and a LT150 with a 15hp engine and 38" for $2500, greasing the front axle everytime I add gas doesn't seem like that much of an issue. I would appreciate other's opinions.
I don't see many people posting their opinions or experiences with Toro riders. I have worked with the dealer near me and have been satisfied with his service. The only model that he carries in my price range is the 16-38HXL. It is on sale for $1900 right now.
This is from the Toro website: http://www.toro.com/home/tractors/xl/1638h.html
Please advise.
~ Wyatt
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I wouldn't hesitate going with the L110 - greasing is not a big problem - first thing in the spring and last thing in the fall should do it unless you start to mow neighbors yards or brush hog with the it. I like Kohler engines and the 42" deck better than the 38". I would assume the local JD dealer sets them up and services them for the box store but you might want to confirm this since it is not a sure thing. No big deal if it is some other good service outfit.
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(Wyatt Wright) wrote:

Three-quarters of an acre will wear out one of the box-store riding mowers in only a few years. Those things are *not* built for extensive use. So you're right to be looking at Toro or John Deere.
But they *are* pretty pricey.
Have you considered buying a used JD model from a JD dealer? That's what I did a few years ago when my MTD bit the dust. Paid less for a used JD than I would have for a new MTD, and it's held up pretty well -- still has a few more years of life left in it, I'm sure.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Murray built, garden tractor/mower has been running for over 10 years and I have a 1 acre plot of land ( minus buildings, pool, and driveway). In the spring, and wet summers, I have to mow twice a week. My land is not flat, and I climb 30š slopes on both sides of my driveway. Additionally, the tractor serves as a platform for an attached 48" snow blower, and is used throughout the winter, cleaning my 100', 2 lane driveway, plus 3 neighbor's driveways. I live in NY.

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Speaking of BS, by what definition is sixteen hundred bucks a "cheap ass" riding mower?
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Doug Miller wrote:

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| > | You mispled Garden Tractor.
You funny!
Kate
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I suppose THAT would depend on your perspective. Bigger deck, more HP, better features... it is more along the mid range for home use lawn tractors. I paid $2700 for my Husky this spring. 22 hp, 48"deck, three cutting blades, hydroglide tranny and a damn fine beer holder.
I suppose if you were determined to prove the point, you could compare the $1200 bucks to the cost of a Kubota 4x4 lawn tractor weighing in at around $7000 - $9000. Or maybe a zero turn mower.....
So, $1200 would be considered somewhat "cheap" in the world of mowers, lower HP, smaller deck, less features. Something like the KIA of the lawnmower set. BUT that depends on your needs and desires.
Personally, I need the power, and I want all that I can get. Next time, I AM going to buy that Kubota. When the Husky wears out that is.
Kate
wrote:| >Doug Miller wrote: | > | | >>Three-quarters of an acre will wear out one of the box-store riding mowe| >rs in | >>only a few years. Those things are *not* built for extensive use. So you| >'re | >>right to be looking at Toro or John Deere. | >> | >> | >BS. My cheap ass ($1600), | | Speaking of BS, by what definition is sixteen hundred bucks a "cheap ass" | riding mower?
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Wyatt Wright wrote:

Craftsman mowers from Sears. The first one I had was an 18hp Kohler which blew a rear seal from excessive blow-by after 12 years----I rode that baby hard and sometimes put her away wet. I replaced it with a Craftsman with a 22hp Briggs and it seems to work better than the old one ever did-----I went from a three blade deck to a two blade deck and the cut looks a lot better. For a winter project I may overhaul the old Kohler. For what you want to do I think your present choice of mower is going to cost you an extra $1000. A lot of the newer Cub and JD stuff is made with a lot of the same parts as MTD and Craftsman----you're going to pay a lot for that Yellow or Green paint. Sears parts are both available and reasonable in cost, not very hard to fix.
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Just a question to the group - does anyone use the rototiller option wit their tractor? We'd like to invest in the tractor/mower, snowblower and rototiller - don't really want 3 machines to house!
Thanks Cathy

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Not yet - but I always have my eye open for a deal - that would be something I couldn't pass up at the right price.
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says...

I have a tiller for the rear of my Wheel Horse, and have used it a couple of times. It has both good and bad points. Good: The extra weight of tractor and rider makes for very good traction and stability. The way it mounts is very easy to flip the belt so that I can have forward or reverse spinning tines as well as all the forward and reverse speeds of the tractor, features that are available on only the most expensive stand-alones. Saves some money compared to stand-alone, since the tractor already has engine, drivetrain, and wheels. Bad: The length of the rig is twice what a stand-alone would be, which limits the places it can be used, needs lots of turn- around space. Have to remove mower deck to put on tiller. Not difficult, but a little inconvenient. Some high end tractors have independent PTO's and I guess you could theoretically leave the mower deck on in these cases. If the tractor dies, can't till either. Doesn't really save any garage floor space, as the attachment still needs to be parked somewhere, and is almost as big as a stand-alone.
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| Just a question to the group - does anyone use the rototiller option wit | their tractor? We'd like to invest in the tractor/mower, snowblower and | rototiller - don't really want 3 machines to house! | | Thanks | Cathy | |
That's something I would like to see, sounds like a great idea.
Kate
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I have all three, but the biggest drawback on mine (New Holland LS-55) is that you can't use more than one at a time. Of course that isn't a problem with the snowblower, but it is a pain to have to remove the mowing deck to use the rototiller and vice versa. If I had it to do over, I would make sure I could either use both at once OR that the attachments came off and on really easy. In fact, have the dealer demonstrate what has to be done for each implement to get them off and on, rather than taking their word for it.
DWW

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The Biggest Sears lawn tractor is identical to the Husky, only more expensive by a coule of hundred bucks in my area.
| Wyatt Wright wrote: | | > I'm in the market for a new riding mower/lawn tractor. I mow about | > 3/4 acre of grass in a flat yard with few obstacles. The only thing | > that I will do with this mower is cut grass and pick up leaves in the | > fall. I may buy an airator in the future and possible a cart, but | > that's it. | > | > I may buy a cheaper model from a box store, but prefer to go with | > something a little better built from a dealer that can service and | > repair the unit in the future. For me, that means Toro or John Deere | > - I'm not sure if there is a Cub Cadet or Simplicity dealer in my | > area. I know many people love their Deere's, but I'm not sure that I | > want to spend the $$ to get into the LT series and am unsure of the L | > series' quality and general "Deereness". The Deere dealer told me | > that the biggest issue with the L series is that the front axles need | > to be greased frequently. Considering that I can get an L110 with 42" | > cut and a 17.5 hp kohler for $1800, and a LT150 with a 15hp engine and | > 38" for $2500, greasing the front axle everytime I add gas doesn't | > seem like that much of an issue. I would appreciate other's opinions. | > | > I don't see many people posting their opinions or experiences with | > Toro riders. I have worked with the dealer near me and have been | > satisfied with his service. The only model that he carries in my | > price range is the 16-38HXL. It is on sale for $1900 right now. | > | > This is from the Toro website: | > http://www.toro.com/home/tractors/xl/1638h.html | > | > Please advise. | > | > ~ Wyatt | 3/4 acre is a nothin'. I mow 5 acres, sometimes with meadow grass, with | Craftsman mowers from Sears. The first one I had was an 18hp Kohler | which blew a rear seal from excessive blow-by after 12 years----I rode | that baby hard and sometimes put her away wet. I replaced it with a | Craftsman with a 22hp Briggs and it seems to work better than the old | one ever did-----I went from a three blade deck to a two blade deck and | the cut looks a lot better. For a winter project I may overhaul the old | Kohler. For what you want to do I think your present choice of mower is | going to cost you an extra $1000. A lot of the newer Cub and JD stuff | is made with a lot of the same parts as MTD and Craftsman----you're | going to pay a lot for that Yellow or Green paint. Sears parts are both | available and reasonable in cost, not very hard to fix.
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I'm going on 5 years with my Murray, 17 horse 46" 3-blade cut. No problems. Paid $1250 for it at Wally World. I'd buy one all over again. (Please not right now, I can't afford it. :)
--
Never trust a computer that you can lift. (from the Mainframe Forum)

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

3/4 acre is almost do-able with a walk-behind, but not enough to justify a real garden tractor, which pretty much drops you in the realm of vertical-shaft riding mowers, none of which impress me quality-wise.
Look at brands that you can readily get parts for, because it *will* need parts. How easy is it to replace consumables like belts, blades, tires, filters, because you *will* have to replace them. Ditto routine maintenance like oil change. Believe it or not, some of them have no way to drain the oil without getting it all over the deck and frame. How does the deck height adjust and how well does it track the ground? Loosely coupled decks with lots of wheels usually track the ground better than decks tightly mounted to the frame, but the links need more frequent lubrication. If your ground is bumpy you may need the former, but if it is flat the latter may serve you better. How easy is it to mount/remove accessories like bagger, becuase you *will* have to do this often. And how well do the accessories work? Baggers tend to plug up easily. Try it in heavy damp grass.
In general, is it comfortable and easy to operate?
I would try to avoid the variable-speed belt drives. They work okay new but the belt will wear "grooves" in commonly-used positions and start to act "funny". Prefer gear transmission or hydrostatic.
And a lot of the cheapos now combine hub and rim on the drive wheels into a single piece keyed onto the axle. By the time you need to repair or replace a tire, it will probably be rusted fast. Prefer a separate rim you can unbolt from the hub.
Don't be impressed by horsepower ratings. These things typically have at least twice as much engine as they need.
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Been using a 1994 Sears $895 44 inch on my 3/4 acre, all grass without any problems, except replacing the battery $44
10 years without a hitch I expect at least another 8 out of 'er

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We mow about 6 of our ten + acres. Three or four of those six we use the bush hog on, the remainder we use our Husqvarna. We bought it from the "Husky" dealer rather than a home store so it cost a little more. It has a Kawasaki 22hp engine and a 48" cut.
I just love my Husky! In particular I like the way the hydroglide transmission works. No notches to change from gear to gear, it just slides giving a very wide range of speeds and the ability to slow down in a hurry when you need to. The controls seem to be a bit more ergonomic than the others did. I suggest you try whatever you are looking at out. Drive a few of them at the dealership before you buy. See that it fits, if you like the location of the controls, what accessories are available and so on.
Though you are thinking you may only use it to mow, I would like to offer this suggestion. Think of buying a pull behind cart for it. I bought a two wheel dump cart for mine and OMG it is the handiest thing! Now I use my Husky to haul garden debris to the mulch pile, brush from under the trees, rocks, soil, fallen branches... the list goes on and on. I even haul a push mower, weed eater, rakes and shovels a couple of chairs and a water jug in that little trailer when it's time to go clear weeds down by the pond. It's one of the best $100 bills I have ever spent. Actually... I told my Hubby, "This is what I want for my birthday".... he's a good listener ;ŽD
Hope you find something great!
Kate
| I'm in the market for a new riding mower/lawn tractor. I mow about | 3/4 acre of grass in a flat yard with few obstacles. The only thing | that I will do with this mower is cut grass and pick up leaves in the | fall. I may buy an airator in the future and possible a cart, but | that's it. | | I may buy a cheaper model from a box store, but prefer to go with | something a little better built from a dealer that can service and | repair the unit in the future. For me, that means Toro or John Deere | - I'm not sure if there is a Cub Cadet or Simplicity dealer in my | area. I know many people love their Deere's, but I'm not sure that I | want to spend the $$ to get into the LT series and am unsure of the L | series' quality and general "Deereness". The Deere dealer told me | that the biggest issue with the L series is that the front axles need | to be greased frequently. Considering that I can get an L110 with 42" | cut and a 17.5 hp kohler for $1800, and a LT150 with a 15hp engine and | 38" for $2500, greasing the front axle everytime I add gas doesn't | seem like that much of an issue. I would appreciate other's opinions. | | I don't see many people posting their opinions or experiences with | Toro riders. I have worked with the dealer near me and have been | satisfied with his service. The only model that he carries in my | price range is the 16-38HXL. It is on sale for $1900 right now. | | This is from the Toro website: | http://www.toro.com/home/tractors/xl/1638h.html | | Please advise. | | ~ Wyatt
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SVTKate wrote:

Absolutely!! We use our garden tractor more for moving stuff with the cart - currently hurricane debris from the trees - than for mowing. Actually, I got weary of mowing 10 acres and now hire it done.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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