Need advice on buying first riding lawn mower

I have about 2 acres to mow. I live in a small town and the only mowers I have access to are those at a local Sears outlet and I can drive 30 miles to a Lowes. I just want the best buy for the money. If I could keep the cost close to $1000-1200, that would be great. Of the mowers in that price range, what would you recommend. THanks
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I live in a small town also, but have access to a half dozen brands. Did you check the local farm equipment stores? Garden supply shops? Outdoor equipment stores? I'd go for a John Deere myself.
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Slightly OT, but did you see the movie "Straight Story" ? (I think that was the name). Based on a true story about this 70+ yr old gentleman who traveled across 3 states on a 20 yr old John Deere riding mower (to visit his ill estranged brother, who was recovering from a stroke). It was a very good movie.
Them John Deeres just keep on plugging along.
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wrote:

I saw most of it, the last 2/3rds. I almost posted here myself, but forgot? I wanted to ask about what sort of brakes would be found on a tractor that size.
I enjoyed it a lot. Didn't know the name until you possibly gave it. (They used to announce the movie when they showed one on latenight tv, but the station here doesn't do that anymore. If you don't see the first minute of the movie, that's your last chance.)

I don't doubt the quaility of John Deere, but the phrase comes to mind, "A promotional consideration has been paid for the use of a John Deere mower."
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Most movies today are about ad and product placement. Don't let that be a bother.
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wrote:

It doesn't bother me when it's not too obvious, and it didn't bother me here.
Partly because John Deere could conceivably be part of the plot. It is the kind of brand he would have had, an old man who either bought the thing 50 years ago, or who wouldn't buy new-fangled or foreign brands. (even though in the past, he would have driven a generic tractor, one that didn't have a brand specific color and was so old the decal was ruined.)
And it doesn't bother me much when the brand named more clearly expresses the item than any generic description could.
But it sure bothers me when they practically have to interrupt the plot to mention the brand name. When the brand name isn't special and they are obviously paying.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Hi, Ditto, JD still has exemplary service.
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Consumer Reports shows these as Best Buys:
J Deere L111, $1800 J Deere L108, $1600 Troy-Bilt 13AJ609G $1400 Yard-Man 13AN791G (also known as MTD Pro 13AO791G) $999
I have a John Deere L108 and I think it's sort of overpriced. So I recommend the Yard-man in your price range.
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Do understand a push mower leaves nicer looking cut, because the riders wide tires push over the grass before its cut.
is your yard level? its important to alwats be aware when using a rider of the tip over danger, even on a minor slope it can and does kill people. use a regular mower for slopes and close trimming areas. How open is your lawn, if you have lots of bushes and hedges and obstructions they can be a pain in butt. same for scratch stuff like rose bushes and things with thorns that will flatten your tires.
Now that your questioning your new purchase consider spending a bit more.
rather than a rider a lawn tractor can add lots of functions like snow blower, tiller, no matter what get a pull behind cart and where will you store it? Lawn cart with vacuumn makes fall leaf pickup easier.
We bought a rider and between the lawn obstructions, flat tires from roses, our new fence being in the way, the kinda junky cut appearance, our cost cutting rider lawn mower rather than a extra few bucks for a lawn tractor, needing more exercise, our mower broke and I finally decided the regular walk behind was just overall a better choice.....
havent bothered fixing the rider, these are the things to consider BEFORE making that spiffy new purchase!
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jp,
The local library will have a consumer reports magazine with a lawn mower article. Ask at the desk. When I bought my house I bought a Sears tractor. It was a piece of junk. Though you live in a small town it is likely that there are second hand mowers available for under $500. If not the nearest dept store will be selling brand new MTDs for $1000. They'll be sending out sale flyers as soon as the ground thaws.
Dave M.
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMjuno.com wrote:

I like to buy my mowers from someone who will also service them and sell parts. this likely excludes Lowes. I suggest trying your local rental store. They will also sell new and used mowers, just ask. They may not have many new mowers on hand but will order you anything. These are the guys that stock parts and fix mowers all day long. My local rental shop carries the Toro brand which is highly regarded though likely out of your budget. I am a big fan of the zero-turn riding mowers if you can afford it. The lawn tractor does a good job of mowing (and is more versatile than a devoted mower) but is not as good as a machine specifically designed for mowing especially if you have slopes or obstacles. My other suggestion: double the budget.
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wrote:

Used mowers are at their greatest in the spring. Shops have been buying them or getting stuck with them, and repairing them, all winter. Others were repaired last summer and no one would pay the bill, and the repairman has waited long enough by now to declare them abandoned.
Two years in a row, I tried to buy used in mid summer, or maybe the start of the summer, and there were none. One place I used to drive by all the time started with 10 on display and gradually the number went down. After there were none, about a month after I first saw them, I stopped and talked to him and gave him my number, and he never called. I waited too long.
Another place not too far from here has about 30 of them out now of various kinds. Although in the past he had nothing that could be called a bargain or even a fair price.
HOwever in the past 18 months I've found 5 in the trash, 3 that looked like new, and bought one at a junk yard. Three of them are fixed now, so I shouldn't be shopping for a long time.
But I think that Spring is the time to buy a used mower.

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On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 22:54:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMjuno.com wrote:

2 acres is too much for a lawn. Find someone in your area with a bat-wing or sickle-bar mower, and pay them to cut the meadow twice a year. Then get a push-mower to do the 20-30 feet immediately around the house.
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMjuno.com wrote:

2 Acres is quite a bit. If you are interested you can also look at the sort of mowers the professionals use.
http://www.lawnserviceforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f '
This is a sort of GROUP for professional Lawn guys. The kit may be a bit more expensive than you were lookign for though. Names such as SCAG, Ariens, Snapper, Exmark come to mind.
Best, Mike.
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On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 22:54:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMjuno.com wrote:

You know my friend just bought 2 or 3 acres, and he plans to work something out with the sheep or horse owner on the street to graze his animal there. I guess not everyone has such a neighbor but it is a thought.
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