Self-Propelled Mower?

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I got a tiny little lawn (1k sq. ' at most) at my house in the midwest US, but it's on a hill, no retaining walls, lots of inclines and declines, and sink- holes to boot. Front yard declines maybe 40 degrees as it meets the sidewalk.
For about 10 years I've been running an old MTD 21" rear-bag mower with around a 5 hp B&S motor. Smokes like a freight train, it's about to roll over and die.
I am (gasp!) old and infirm. Running the mower over all the uneven surfaces is a painful PITA.
I've never owned a self-propelled mower. Your candid opinion is solicited: would I be better off with another push-only mower or with a self-propelled? I can't afford a super hi-end mower, but $300 sounds do-able.
If SP, front or rear-wheel drive? Would a rear-drive 6+ hp likely pull up a 40 degree incline? Etc, etc.
Thx, Will
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wrote:

Probably not on its own. Not because of power, but because of traction. It will make it easier if you are pushing it up now.
Hank
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Have you thought of hiring it out? In this economy you might have a price war and get the yard done for little money per week?
Rich

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Yeah, but there's *this* little detail (like cleaning up after the dawg) and *that* little detail, and ...
Also my "Old Rule": if I'm able, then I gotta.
Thx, Will

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wrote:

I have owned both front and rear drive mowers. I found rear drive mowers were far better. However neither would pull/push on their own, they just made it easier. But on the other hand, you have to be able to walk at the pace that the mower operates at. KC
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KC wrote:

The Toro "Personal Pace" mowers are really nice that way. They go your speed, up to the limit of the mower.
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That's a feature I can't stand. Parent's mower has it and for me, it's much easier for me to speed up/slow down than to try and keep up with the ever-changing pace of the "personal pace" mower.
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What?
Maybe it is broken or needs some adjustments. I have had one for years, and basically you just hold the handle and walk. The mower seems pretty much weightless. If there is a low hanging branch, I simply walk alongside the mower and guide it with one hand.
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wrote:

I have a Toro "personal Pace" mower that I can push wioth one finger. It adjusts speed automatically to your walking speed by sensing pressure on the handlebar. It also goes right up very steep slopes with no problem or help from me.
It's only 6 horsepower. Not $300, though. I figure that with an aluminum deck, it will last a lot longer than a $300 mower, so the real cost is probably quite a bit less than the 3 $300 steel decked mowers it will outlive.
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I was going to write that with front drive. If you want to stop for a moment, you push down on the handle. Much easier than trying to lift the back of the mower.
One mower I used, years ago. You could adjust the ground speed. The church custodian had it set to warp two speed, and I spent a lot of time pulling back on the handle. Until I found the knob that adjusts the ground speed.
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Christopher A. Young
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

Any self propelled is going to be on the heavy side. I like the suggestion of hiring someone. Just make sure they understand how to do your kind of lawn
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Heavy side?
First of all, the propulsion on self propelled mowers usually consists of 2 pulleys and a belt. 5 pounds? Second of all, who cares what it weighs? It's SELF PROPELLED.
Sheesh
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 06:10:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Plus a transmission, a drive axle and the controls. They end up being quite a handful when they stop "self propelling"
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 10:21:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Weight was one of my primary concerns.
There are several places where I have to guide the mower on 2 wheels (sometimes 1 front and 1 rear) to avoid blade/grade contact. One where I have to shut the motor down. Sink-holes, uneven concrete, etc.
Will
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 10:21:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Your self propelled mower must be 30 or 40 years old or a very poor design. Modern ones have as I said, a couple of pulleys and a belt. The "drive axle" is a piece of small diameter steel rod. Maybe it weighs a half pound. Probably less. I have a Toro personal pace, and it has no "controls" in the traditional sense. It has infinite speeds in forward and disconnects (neutral) when you stop applying minimal forward pressure to the handlebar.
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 14:10:40 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I guess you have never looked under the covers. If you look at the parts catalog there is certainly a transmission in there. Something has to do that transition from a vertical shaft to the horizontal axle.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I can attest to a transmission being part of a walk behind self propelled. Replacing the one in my two year old mower cost about $100.00.
EJ in NJ
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 15:38:18 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Big whoop. A small ring and pinion inside a little case. You can call that a transmission if you want to. I account for that in my original weight estimate. I included the weight of any grease, too, since you want to nit pick. With the aluminum deck, the overall mower is probably lighter than an average non-propelled mower.
The idea that a self propelled mower is significantly heavier than a non propelled model is nonsense. There just isn't any appreciable difference.
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 17:44:07 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Take the belt off, push it around the yard for a mowing and get back to us.
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on 5/16/2009 12:01 PM (ET) snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote the following:

That doesn't make it heavier, just a little harder to push.
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Bill
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