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Riding Lawn Mowers?

Old 04-29-06, 05:35 PM
  #1  
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Riding Lawn Mowers?

Considering getting a riding mower. Anyone have any experience with them? Here's what I'm considering:

John Deere 125 (Home Depot or Lowe's)- $1799
Cub Cadet 1045 (HD or Lowe's)- $1699
Toro (HD) - $1499
Husqvarna YTH20F(Lowe's) - $1699

All are 20HP, with 46" decks (the JD has a 42"). The Toro and JD have 2 year warranties while the Cub Cadet has a 3 year warranty. The Cub has a hose attachment to pressure wash under the deck; don't know if the other two have that.

Both Lowe's and HD are doing one year no interest on these things through tomorrow (who knows what they'll do after that) and HD, at least, gives you a free cover with any tractor.

Unfortunately, I don't have any HD or Lowe's coupons at the moment, but I might be able to get one of those 10% off ones to sweeten the deal. Or I may just decide we'll hire the neighbor kid....

Yeah, yeah... gas, pollution blah blah. Don't need comments on that, I know them all and I'll just igore them.

Biking link: less time spent mowing this big yard means more time to ride.
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Old 04-29-06, 06:05 PM
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Get the Cub Cadet.

That's what my school uses.
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Old 04-29-06, 06:19 PM
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Where's MERTON?
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Old 04-29-06, 06:29 PM
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They should all be fairly comparable. John Deere and Cub Cadet have a stellar reputation based on the mowers they sell at their dealers, but those cost $3000+ and the one's at Home Depot and Lowes aren't the same. They're still a lot better than the riders you can get from Walmart or Ace, which typically only last a couple of seasons. The midrange Craftsmen mowers should be comparable, too, so you've got more options there. Plus, the salesmen at Sears are usually able to tell you a little bit about the engines and decks between the different mowers. I think all the stores will try to sell you something similar to the Repair Protection Agreements we were always supposed to push when I worked at Sears. They have some value, but if you're reasonably mechanically inclined and take decent care of it, it's not worth the cost.

How big of an area are you mowing? Is it reasonably smooth? Does it get mowed regularly, or is it sometimes allowed to grow really tall before being chopped down?

Pollution...bah. A riding mower on a big lot uses maybe a gallon of fuel a week for less than half the year. 2-strokes usually burn a little dirty, but that doesn't increase their greenhouse gas emissions any, just particulates. If you have a lawn big enough to justify a rider, you're probably not in an area where particulates are a problem.
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Old 04-29-06, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MERTON
i had a craftsman push mower... i really liked it. it seemed reliable.

if they make a honda rider or a rider with anything honda on it.... get that one.
I don't think Honda makes a riding mower, but I've been pretty well impressed with the Honda push mower my dad had for about 10 years. We got our money's worth out of that one. Actually, it still runs fine to the best of my knowledge, but the handle broke and had to be repaired.
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Old 04-29-06, 06:58 PM
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I've got somewhere between 3/4 and an acre of mowable yard.
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Old 04-29-06, 07:45 PM
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Look at MTD's too....
they make a lot of mowers that are rebadged for Lowes,
Sears and those type places.
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Old 04-29-06, 09:17 PM
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If you can afford it get a ZTR hydrostat mower. As cool looking as the little tractors are, they suck unless yo have the kind of yard you can mow in a continuos circle. The ZTR can forward and back with no gear change and turn on its wheel center. I use an old SCAG hydro, that I ressurected, to mow an acre and a half. It takes about an hour to do all the mowing. (Not counting trimming and a steep bank that requires a push mower)
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Old 04-29-06, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
If you can afford it get a ZTR hydrostat mower.
yuummyyyyy... i love hydrostatic mowers... i used to use a Toro Greensmaster 3250-d at the golf course i woked at, and that thing was amazing...
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Old 04-29-06, 10:01 PM
  #10  
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Old 04-29-06, 10:03 PM
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get the john deere, then get a matching hat
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Old 04-30-06, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
Look at MTD's too....
they make a lot of mowers that are rebadged for Lowes,
Sears and those type places.
To be honest, I'm not sure who all MTD makes mowers for, but I do know that the Murrays and the Ace's are from MTD, and those are the mowers that you don't really want. If they make mid range mowers marketed under more respected names, they should be fine, but from my experience with MTD's, I wouldn't intentionally seek them out.

Rev. Chuck has a good recommendation for the hydrostatic transmissions. The ordinary mechanical transmissions in the lower end mowers aren't very much fun. Hydrostatic is a pretty common feature on Craftsman mowers, too. I'm not sure at what price point they become available on Deere or Cub Cadet, but they are available.

It sounds like the mowers you're looking at fit your yard size.
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Old 04-30-06, 05:30 AM
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^^^ I beat the daylites out of my MTD rider, purchased for price alone..
At 999.00 for 18.5 horse, 42" blade it was waaay cheeper than anything
else and the only problem I ever had with it in three years was a battery
that went dead after I ran out of gas. But, based on the rider I bought
a 3.5 HP push to edge with and it was useless after 6 months. x2 !
the deck cracked from vibration and even big fatso washers wouldnt fix it.
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Old 04-30-06, 05:50 AM
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I would test ride all of them before you buy. We have several...Craftsman, MTD and olllld Snapper. The Craftsman is a POS it is jerky and eats belts. The Snapper is by far my favorite. You could also look for a gently used higher end unit. We sold my Grandmothers Cub for about $1500 with all the attachements it was over 10 years old at the time and still looked like new. I realize that you would miss out on the financing.

Aaron
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Old 04-30-06, 08:01 AM
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You're going ride that thing to work?
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Old 04-30-06, 08:32 AM
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You can't beat a John Deere:

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Old 04-30-06, 09:33 AM
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I did a little research on MTD... they're like the Pacific Cycles of mowers. They make the Cubs, Toro, Yard Machines and a bunch of others. Not sure if that's good or not; we all know it's not the greatest for bikes, but for appliances and stuff, that's the way it's been for quite some time.
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Old 04-30-06, 10:32 AM
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Nothing beats a Scag w/ Briggs motor. Nothing. They're expen$ive. Buy used if $'s an i$$ue.

https://www.scag.com/

Last edited by Prozakk; 04-30-06 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 04-30-06, 10:51 AM
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Get a reel mower, you wimp!

 
Old 04-30-06, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by explody pup
Get a reel mower, you wimp!


Real mower:

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Old 04-30-06, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by explody pup
Get a reel mower, you wimp!

Sure... bring that thing on over. I'll give ya, oh, I don't know... $50 to do my whole yard. Then we'll talk again....
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Old 04-30-06, 01:27 PM
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why not just hire a local kid or a local immigrant to use a non-gas mower? uses less gas, and probably cheaper.

or better yet, tear up your lawn and plant a garden or some fruit trees.
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Old 04-30-06, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
why not just hire a local kid or a local immigrant to use a non-gas mower? uses less gas, and probably cheaper.

or better yet, tear up your lawn and plant a garden or some fruit trees.
OK, smart guy... how much would you charge (or expect your kid to charge) to come over and mow an acre with a non-gas push mower? Let's see... with edging, trimming and mowing, it would probably take a whole day.

We had a kid doing it last year, but he wasn't very thorough, so I figure I'll be doing it myself this year. And as I move around, intend to keep a place with a big yard.

This place is a rental, of sorts, so there won't be any tearing up the lawn and planting gardens or trees. Even if it were mine, I have no intent of planting an orhcard or acre's worth of garden. And if I took your advice, there's still fertilizers, and the need for some type of equipment to haul the harvest from something that big.

So thanks for your opinion, even though it doesn't address my question.
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Old 04-30-06, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by skiahh
OK, smart guy... how much would you charge (or expect your kid to charge) to come over and mow an acre with a non-gas push mower? Let's see... with edging, trimming and mowing, it would probably take a whole day.

We had a kid doing it last year, but he wasn't very thorough, so I figure I'll be doing it myself this year. And as I move around, intend to keep a place with a big yard.

This place is a rental, of sorts, so there won't be any tearing up the lawn and planting gardens or trees. Even if it were mine, I have no intent of planting an orhcard or acre's worth of garden. And if I took your advice, there's still fertilizers, and the need for some type of equipment to haul the harvest from something that big.

So thanks for your opinion, even though it doesn't address my question.

OK, well if I was in your situation and I had time and resources to develop a framebuilding hobby, I'd build a pedal-powered riding mower.
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Old 04-30-06, 04:24 PM
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Well, honestly, they all seem to be pretty good options. I have had good experiences with both Snapper and Toro machines, and have froends who use and like their JD's and Cub Cadets. I myself am still using a 1987 Toro/Wheelhorse 211-5 (what, 11 hp?!). It is coming into that faze of life (or death...) where everything wants to be repaired (piston rings, solonoid, gaskets, filters, tires, oil X 100000, battery, ignition switch, etc.) But you must agree that, after almost 20 years of frequent use, this is expected and also a little surprising. The thing still works fine, but is currently buring a lot of oil due to worn piston rings..... In that light, I would say the Toro would be a very reliable and long-lasting machine. The guy I bought the machine from actually replaced it with a JD for himself. He bought that mower over a Cub based on advice form his neighbors and extensive web research. He was very thorough, and eventually decided that the JD was better in the long run. The Cub had more gadgets, like a self cleaning deck, but did not have the lunar performance record of the Jd's. He bought his JD from a dealer half a sate away, not from Ace.....

As far as Snapper goes, my dad's walk behing has performed very well. It's only about 5 years old, but it's done pretty well over that period of time. Very little maintenence, very few repairs. I also mow for a lady who has a old Snapper ride on, which is both quiet and capable. It's acted a little wierd before, but has really impressed me as to it's general lack of needed repairs.

Cheers, and good luck.
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