Riding mower

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Frugalegal
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Riding mower

Post by Frugalegal »

What’s a good brand to go with?

Looking for riding only, at least 40 inch deck. Reliable engine.

We were considering cub cadet.
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Padlin
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Padlin »

I think the best you can get these days is a Deere, but not the ones they sell at the big box stores. A good, maintained Deere should last well over 20 years.

More affordable would be Husky's, Cubs, and the like. You can probably just pick the color you like, $ for $ they are pretty much the same.

If it were me and the price mattered, i'd get a Husky from the equipment dealer in town. Besides spending locally, it may help with service.
Regards | Bob
Somethingwitty92912
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

Anyone else have any opinions, I am really interested in this topic.
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Nicolas »

I bought a new White Outdoor 18 seasons ago, haven’t had any engine problems.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KansasDoc
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Re: Riding mower

Post by KansasDoc »

Hustler.

When I was a kid I mowed lawns for a side gig and used excel hustler.

Now for my own lawn I wouldn’t think of anything else.
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galawdawg
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Re: Riding mower

Post by galawdawg »

It depends on your needs and budget. Most big box mowers are manufactured by MTD. I believe that includes Cub Cadet, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Bolens, Huskee and Yard Machines. Toro, Husqvarna and John Deere make both consumer grade mowers sold in big box stores and commercial grade sold by dealers.

What is your budget? How large is your yard? Level or hilly? Is it open space or full of trees, garden beds, fencing and other obstructions? How many years of service do you hope to get from your mower?
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Frugalegal
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Frugalegal »

Top end of our budget is 2500. We have an acre and a half of land. Half of the yard is on a hill that leads to a creek, other part of yard is level. No fence yet but plan to fence whole property. Will have a decent sized vegetable garden and some flower gardens. We are new to buying these but hope it to last at forever.
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ironman
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Re: Riding mower

Post by ironman »

Lawn characteristics are key to answer this question.

Nearly all the manufacturers make a consumer (Lowes, Home Depot) model that works fine for 1/4 acre suburban lots. Stamped steel vs welded deck construction is a major factor in durability, as is the blade spindle quality. If you can stand on the model and feel the frame flex, you are dealing with a consumer mower. If the rear wheels are held on by a c-clip and keyed shaft, you are dealing with a consumer model. Honda and Kawasaki engines are typically used in higher quality machines.

For reference, check out the Scag Liberty series (prosumer grade) vs the Toro Timecutter (consumer grade). Scags are $5k and up; Toro Timecutter start closer to $2k.

I have cut with both and the difference is night and day in build quality. I bought a Timecutter for my yard and am happy with it. My dad's $10k Scag Tigercat would be overkill.
Makefile
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Makefile »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:36 pm Top end of our budget is 2500. We have an acre and a half of land. Half of the yard is on a hill that leads to a creek, other part of yard is level. No fence yet but plan to fence whole property. Will have a decent sized vegetable garden and some flower gardens. We are new to buying these but hope it to last at forever.
With that acreage/budget you probably will want to stick with a "riding mower" i.e. the ones that look like a scaled-down farm tractor.

As others mentioned, most of the retail-store models of those are made by MTD. You might find a wider selection at somewhere like Tractor Supply. Nothing wrong with them, they are just not the high-end product.

Make sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations as far as maximum ethanol content of fuel, using fuel stabilizer if recommended, not letting stale fuel sit in it all winter, etc.

As mentioned, there are fancier mowers like a "zero turn radius mower" (engine behind operator, has two huge levers to steer, what a lot of landscapers use) and stand-on lawn mowers. Among other things steering around obstacles is much easier than those, but you get out of the $2500 price range quickly.
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galawdawg
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Re: Riding mower

Post by galawdawg »

I'd recommend you look at the Toro, Husqvarna and Deere commercial mowers at your local dealers. A zero-turn would likely work well but a commercial one of those may be above your budget.

You may also be limited in your selection if you need a 40" cut. A 42" will open up more options.
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Frugalegal
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Frugalegal »

We would like a riding, not a zero turn. About 40 for the deck size.

We would also be using it to haul a wagon and attaching a snow shovel
Last edited by Frugalegal on Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MildlyEccentric
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Re: Riding mower

Post by MildlyEccentric »

I bought a Hustler Raptor zero turn mower at Lowes a number of years ago to cut my large lawn in a rural area. The Hustler brand seemed to be in the "pro-sumer" niche. I didn't have any problems with the mower. I don't believe Lowes carries the brand any longer, but it seems to be available from other dealers. My prior mower was a "Statesman" lawn tractor and there was no comparison between the two. I got the 52" deck and cut my mowing time in half.
Psu4lif
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Psu4lif »

I bought a used Simplicity Regent with 250 hrs from a local dealer earlier this spring that I have been happy with. Also had a few used commercial grade mowers and Deeres that they were selling.

My dad has been looking for a new Deere and has found the local dealers are already out of the lower end models and do not expect any more deliveries until next season.
We're both in Philly suburbs.

Good luck.
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Padlin
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Padlin »

Might rethink using a lawn mower to push snow, they are too light.
Regards | Bob
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galawdawg
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Re: Riding mower

Post by galawdawg »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:57 pm We would like a riding, not a zero turn. About 40 for the deck size.

We would also be using it to haul a wagon and attaching a snow shovel
If you need a lawn tractor, scratch the Toro. I believe all they make are zero-turns.

For the Husqvarna, if you must have a 40" or below, they have the LTH17538. But if you can use a 42", you'll get a more powerful engine. In that case, look at the TS142 or TS142X.

I don't believe Deere makes anything below a 42". For that size, look at the S220.

Good luck!
mortfree
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Re: Riding mower

Post by mortfree »

I would find mower shops in your area. This way you can get it serviced in the future.

See what brands they carry.

Research the mowers.

Email a few of the shops for some info and their recommendations.

With that size yard I would want a really good mower (longevity).

I have a 42” Ariens ikon x zero turn.

You may want to stretch your budget a little too
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Fletch
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Fletch »

Deere here, from a Deere dealer who will service as you wish. Had an LT155 for about 17 years, now an XT350 for over four, both with 42 inch mulching decks. Very happy.
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ellsbebc
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Re: Riding mower

Post by ellsbebc »

With that much turf, you don’t want to skimp with only a 40” deck. I would recommend a 54” John Deere x-series. I bought a used 2010 x340 54” last year for $1,200. With more than 700 hours, it is still bulletproof and been incredibly happy with its performance.
Last edited by ellsbebc on Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I'm going to bust your budget, but recommend a Kubota BX series compact tractor. They're 4 wheel drive, 3 cylinder diesel. You can get parts from any Kubota dealer or service if you don't work on stuff yourself. With turf tires, it'll do a lawn without damage. It'll last 10 times as long as any big box store garbage. Plowing snow will not work well unless you are talking a short driveway and small amounts of snow. To get a driveway done, you want speed to broadcast the snow off the driveway. You're not so much pushing the snow as giving it a wedge to get it up and throw it to the side. If you get a lot of snow or have a long driveway, the Kubota BX has a front PTO (power take off) and you can attach a front mounted snow thrower. These work far better than a walk behind snow blower because you have a lot more torque to spin the augers and throw the snow.

I have a Kubota. I use it mainly to move firewood in the bucket and a pull behind trailer and to clean up and move snow. I do the main snow plowing with my Jeep and a Curtis snow plow. I've got an 800 foot driveway and 200 foot circle and a turn around to do. My lawn is small so I use a Honda self propelled walk behind mower and it only takes me about half an hour to do. Makes no sense for me to have a mower on the Kubota and I run Ag tires for traction in the woods and in snow. I'd suggest a set of chains with turf tires for you to do winter stuff.

Probably about 5 times your stated budget. If you get one, go back and look at the big box tractors. You'll laugh.
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squirm
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Re: Riding mower

Post by squirm »

depends on what you're mowing. small level yard, maybe a half acre the cheap big box deere's will handle, but they're pretty cheaply built. The real JD and the likes you'll need to go to the dealer.
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Re: Riding mower

Post by squirm »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:34 pm I'm going to bust your budget, but recommend a Kubota BX series compact tractor. They're 4 wheel drive, 3 cylinder diesel. You can get parts from any Kubota dealer or service if you don't work on stuff yourself. With turf tires, it'll do a lawn without damage. It'll last 10 times as long as any big box store garbage. Plowing snow will not work well unless you are talking a short driveway and small amounts of snow. To get a driveway done, you want speed to broadcast the snow off the driveway. You're not so much pushing the snow as giving it a wedge to get it up and throw it to the side. If you get a lot of snow or have a long driveway, the Kubota BX has a front PTO (power take off) and you can attach a front mounted snow thrower. These work far better than a walk behind snow blower because you have a lot more torque to spin the augers and throw the snow.

I have a Kubota. I use it mainly to move firewood in the bucket and a pull behind trailer and to clean up and move snow. I do the main snow plowing with my Jeep and a Curtis snow plow. I've got an 800 foot driveway and 200 foot circle and a turn around to do. My lawn is small so I use a Honda self propelled walk behind mower and it only takes me about half an hour to do. Makes no sense for me to have a mower on the Kubota and I run Ag tires for traction in the woods and in snow. I'd suggest a set of chains with turf tires for you to do winter stuff.

Probably about 5 times your stated budget. If you get one, go back and look at the big box tractors. You'll laugh.
Those little Kubota's are built like a tank! YI think the BX you can add a belly mower to it too.
rmdashrfsplat
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Re: Riding mower

Post by rmdashrfsplat »

I agree with pursuing a used implement-sold (eg x-series) John Deere. Long-term you will be happier than with a box store entry level mower. And one more plug for zero turn. Occasionally I have to mow a multi-acre yard with a belly mower and it's torture trimming in that thing.
Cox3497
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Cox3497 »

I have to second Jack’s recommendation of the Kubota BX as an outstanding machine. I just splurged and bought one myself, and I am continually amazed at what a little tractor like that can actually accomplish. Unfortunately, it is well outside your stated budget (mine too when I started looking, but the budget expanded when I saw how cool the Kubota was - ha).

There are lawn tractors and garden tractors. Lawn tractors are what you buy at a big box store. Garden tractors are typically mainly available at dealers and have beefier frames and significantly heavier duty transaxles that will last quite a bit longer than the lighter duty lawn tractors. They also typically have higher quality power plants as well. What you really need to ask yourself is what kind of terrain am I mowing (is it mainly flat or sloping with steep grades), and do I intend to do any ground engaging roles with the tractor (I would probably include snow pushing in that category myself). If you have more challenging terrain or intend to work the machine for anything other than mowing the yard, you need a garden tractor. This would include such models as the Deere X500 series or Cub Cadet XT2 or XT3 series. The Deere’s are more expensive and you’d likely need to consider used, but a well cared for used machine can still last many years. If you’d like a good resource for research, check out mytractorforum.com.

Last point, zero turns are faster if you mainly intend to use the machine to mow, but in my opinion the tractors allow a little more variety in implementation.
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Sandtrap »

Our Husqvarna zero turn died after 9 years of very hard use.
We looked at and tested most out there for sale.
We just bought a prosumer/commercial 60” Toro
Zero Turn. Over $5k. Outstanding quality and very solid. Welded steel deck vs stamped steel, large V twin engine.

Use:
We live on large acreage and use a John Deere tractor and 6-7’ PTO mower to keep the pastures under control then the zero turn for 1000s of feet of fence line and around the buildings. The ground can be rough in some areas so the equipment has to be tough.

Suggest a Husqvarna with the Kawasaki engine.
Buy something that has easy to get parts like deck pulleys bearings various blades etc.
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Watty
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Watty »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:36 pm Top end of our budget is 2500.
Be sure to also plan and budget for a place to store it. They can take up a lot of space and it may not fit in your garage along with your cars.

If you will need to build a shed be sure to also consider if humidity will be a problem. We have a inexpensive metal shed and mildew tends to be a problem but it just has a wood floor, in retrospect it would have been better to have put in a concrete floor.

If you will also be using it during the winter that will complicate figuring out what to do about winterizing it.

It may vary with model but you may need to plan on replacing the battery about every three or four years. I got tired of futzing with it so I would just replace my battery in the spring when it was three years old.
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Nate79
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Nate79 »

I'm approaching 10 years on my John Deere riding mower purchased from Lowes (most basic model, 42") mowing about 1/2 acre of hilly, rough yard over the years and it's still running great. Only annual oil/filter change, grease fitting, blade sharpen/replacement, and installation of a fuel shutoff valve. I wouldn't want to put it through 1.5 acres but it would do it for many years.
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Wricha
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Wricha »

Zero turn is only way to go for grass cutting. I have Scag kinda of expensive but it’s very solid.
Tiger85
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Tiger85 »

100% agree on getting the zero turn.

We moved to almost 2 acres in 2018 and I got a 54" Cub cadet tractor (was thinking we may use other features, like the wagon you mentioned). Biggest regret is not getting the zero turn instead.
Nysinvestor
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Nysinvestor »

I have 42 inch Toro time cutter for an acre of grass. Cutting takes about 50 minutes to an hour. For an acre and a half I would Go for at least 50 inch as long as landscaping allows. A garden tractor will be much more versatile, but not as good/efficient at cutting grass. With a garden tractor you can use other attachments, lawn rakes, etc, which you won’t be able to do a zero turn. Again zero turn much better for cutting grass.

My machine has 22 hp Kohler engine which runs very nice. It was an upgrade on the residential line, and machine was maybe $2200 new about eight years ago. Still runs good it must be maintained. For residential use a commercial machine is overkill.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Nate79 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:40 pm I'm approaching 10 years on my John Deere riding mower purchased from Lowes (most basic model, 42") mowing about 1/2 acre of hilly, rough yard over the years and it's still running great. Only annual oil/filter change, grease fitting, blade sharpen/replacement, and installation of a fuel shutoff valve. I wouldn't want to put it through 1.5 acres but it would do it for many years.
Have a similar age Deere from HD but a couple of steps up from the base model at the time. 1.5 acres with some small but steep hills. Have replaced the blades, belt, and spindles a couple of times, but it does get bounced off some pretty thick roots at times. Have also replaced all four tires (actually wheels w/tires.) Have pulled it out of the mud a couple of times. We're in the southeast US so mowing season is March thru October. It is still going strong after all of that abuse; not sure that I could have expected much more from it.
Colorado Guy
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Colorado Guy »

My dad preferred the zero turn mowers, with a very flat lawn. My yard is a bit more challenging, so I went with more of a garden tractor type. I tend to agree that the big box mowers look nice, but not necessarily built to last.

For window shopping, check out this web site.

https://www.mowersdirect.com/

Several options a little more than your price range, but quite a selection. I sought out replacement tractor specifically with a transmission that would last, and provide a heavy duty locked read axle option when required (steep hills, very wet conditions, etc.). (That is, there is a control on the dashboard that will lock/unlock the axle) Ended up purchasing a Husqvarna tractor, which had the options I wanted: a lockable rear axle and heavy duty transmission, a large welded deck, and could pull some implements (but not a Kubota class tractor).

This is my second tractor, and quite a safety improvement over my 20 year old previous one (which is still going strong, gave it to a neighbor's son who is using it for his lawn business.) The only issue I've had with this tractor is I've had to replace the battery once after leaving it connected through the winter. My error.
BH_RedRan
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Re: Riding mower

Post by BH_RedRan »

Interesting discussion! Do any of the manufacturers have better suspension or seat shock absorption than others? If you have a rough lawn or a field that masquerades as a lawn it can be hard on the ol' back/neck.
mancich
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Re: Riding mower

Post by mancich »

John Deere, from a dealer. I've had an LA115 42" since 2008, never any issues. Just change the oil regularly, change or sharpen the blades regularly, air filter, etc, and no issues.
2Scoops
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Re: Riding mower

Post by 2Scoops »

I've had a Deere D140 for about 10 years with no issues mowing 1/2 acre relatively flat lawn. Annual service for blade sharpening, oil change, etc and it's good to go. That said, if I were doing 1.5 acres I would likely upgrade to something a bit closer to commercial grade and definitely zero turn. For that size lot I wouldn't go less than a 48" deck.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Riding mower

Post by RickBoglehead »

I had a Craftsman that lasted around 14 years, on my second for 11. I echo the don't buy an MTD consumer model. I do my own maintenance, and these are just like a Husqvarna, except without all the upgrades. My first one I cracked the frame, then learned that the top ones had a brace there. I replace parts every few years.

Want to plow a driveway? Get a snowblower. Not one that attaches to the mower. My Craftsman snowblower is still going strong 25 years later because I do my own maintenance. And it gets used only a handful of hours a year.

You mentioned a vegetable garden and a flower garden. Why? No mower for $2,500 will do anything beyond pulling a trailer, and that will cost hundreds of dollars. Bagger, lots too.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Sandtrap »

BH_RedRan wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:27 pm Interesting discussion! Do any of the manufacturers have better suspension or seat shock absorption than others? If you have a rough lawn or a field that masquerades as a lawn it can be hard on the ol' back/neck.
I've installed 2 of these rotary spring absorption units so far. The installation can be tricky depending on the machine seat plate mount design. Amazon is great with returns if they don't fit but expect some modifications per lot's of online input and resources on using these things.

Upgrading the seat as well as installing the rotary shock absorber is also a good move.

There's a huge difference in ride and shock absorption. Our ground is very bumpy and rough in a lot of areas so there's a day and night difference in spine impact.

Here's the Amazon link:
Rotary 12530 Seat Suspension Only for Riding Mowers and Tractors
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

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jharkin
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Re: Riding mower

Post by jharkin »

I got the smallest dealer-grade Deere lawn tractor - S240. Same frame as the box store models but it has a heavier grade 42in deck, Kawasaki commercial grade engine, heavier transmission and cast iron front end. Like others above I do my own maintenance - oil change/plugs/filters annually; sharpen blades and grease the zerk fittings once a month. Its a very easy machine to work on.

I mow about 3/4 acres worth of grass in an hour or so.


If you are mowing only, +1 to consider a zero-turn. I got the tractor because I wanted to be able to pull some light attachments (dump cart, lawn sweeper). You really DONT want to be snowblowing or anything serious ground contact with these machines (i.e. no tilling, etc) - as it will kill the cheap hydraulic transmissions they use in no time.... but to pickup leaves and haul loads of mulch around the yard for spreading its been fantastic.
Ramjet
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Ramjet »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:20 pm What’s a good brand to go with?

Looking for riding only, at least 40 inch deck. Reliable engine.

We were considering cub cadet.
I worked for Cub Cadet for years, great choice.
VT & HFEA
T4REngineer
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Re: Riding mower

Post by T4REngineer »

To be the realist here unless you are going to buy well used/loved and able to do maintenance yourself you will not get something that will mow on a hill, push snow and last forever anywhere near $2500. You can have anything you want but not everything

Personally I would try to up your budget to the 3-5k range and get a used x500 serious Or similar , preferably the older units that’s till came with the liquid cooled Kawasaki engine.

Depending on how much you see your self using implements in the future the BX series or 1 series sub compacts are going to be amazing machines for the money but are in now way similar to a “lawn mower”. As others have said you have lawn mowers , garden tractors( dieing breed) and sub compacts all have pros and cons but aside from size the general con is cost but that comes with longevity, ease of use and capability.

I have a JD X738 which is the Cadillac of garden tractors ( bought used) but the implement swap between 54” blower and Deck is so easy , pulls a 3pt plug core aerator with ease - vastly over kill for my sub .75acre lot but it will last as long as I want to keep it and it makes yard chores a pleasure to do
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snackdog
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Re: Riding mower

Post by snackdog »

We have a 42” Ryobi battery powered zero turn. No fumes. No noise. No maintenance. They also make a 54” that was on sale for Memorial Day, I mow almost 3 acres in two hours on a single charge. I could mow a lot faster if the gophers hadn’t cratered the lawn all to hell and made the ride bumpy.
mkc
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Re: Riding mower

Post by mkc »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:36 pm Top end of our budget is 2500. We have an acre and a half of land. Half of the yard is on a hill that leads to a creek, other part of yard is level.
With that size land and slope, you want something that has traction assist (rear axle lock) like some models of Deere X-series. Given the budget, you'll need to look for gently used.
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lthenderson
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Re: Riding mower

Post by lthenderson »

Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:20 pm What’s a good brand to go with?
These types of answers on this forum are always guaranteed to get at least 20 different brand names that all function great with little to no problems.

The correct answer would be to go with a brand where you can get it serviced nearby and where they stock parts. Case in point. A friend of mine burnt up the deck belt hitting a high spot in a new area they were mowing. Four weeks later, they were finally able to get the belt delivered because none of the dealers in town stocked or serviced that brand of mower. The lawn was a total wreck by the time he finally got it mowed and it still looks more like hayfield stubble than a lawn two weeks later.

FWIW, he owned a Cub Cadet.
BH_RedRan
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Re: Riding mower

Post by BH_RedRan »

Sandtrap

Thanks for the link to the seat shock absorber. I've looked at those, and another brand like it on Amazon before but have not bought one because it is so hard to tell if it fits my lawnmower or if it would only be an exercise in futility. I have a J.D. X320, about 15 years old. What I wouldn't mind having is a BX. We have about 2 acres or so of various "grass" patches that moles have their way with.

BTW. If anyone is interested in a tractoring-oriented rabbit hole to go down, tractorbynet.com forum isn't a bad choice. I'm not affiliated with them but it was useful when I was looking for a sub-compact tractor years ago.
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Ron »

lthenderson wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:02 amThese types of answers on this forum are always guaranteed to get at least 20 different brand names that all function great with little to no problems.

The correct answer would be to go with a brand where you can get it serviced nearby and where they stock parts. Case in point. A friend of mine burnt up the deck belt hitting a high spot in a new area they were mowing. Four weeks later, they were finally able to get the belt delivered because none of the dealers in town stocked or serviced that brand of mower. The lawn was a total wreck by the time he finally got it mowed and it still looks more like hayfield stubble than a lawn two weeks later.

FWIW, he owned a Cub Cadet.
I would agree on the service component. All mowers (regardless of brand/type) usually work well in the beginning, but somewhere along the way there will be need for service.

In the last 25+ years, I've had many brands with a bit over an acre to mow, but with a lot of ruts, stumps, rocks, etc. in the beginning, until the associated properties were developed. During that time I've gone through various brands (Husqvarna, Sears, Cub Cadet, John Deere). I'm on my second JD, both being sold by a local JD dealer. The first was a low end model; my current ride is an X350 (It's the best mower of the bunch I've owned BTW).

Since we have a lot of agriculture in our area, my JD dealer handles everything from lawn all the way up to harvesting equipment and they have the parts available to fix from the smallest to the largest JD offering.

Whenever I've had a problem, they always had the parts immediately available, along with having a service trailer that will come to your front door to fix most problems that don't require for the unit to be in their shop.

For me, it's also convenient that they are only 2 miles from my home.

BTW, I also have a snow blower/thrower that is a JD. Purchased it from them over 20 years ago and it still runs like a champ.

FWIW,

- Ron
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Riding mower

Post by Doom&Gloom »

lthenderson wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:02 am
Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:20 pm What’s a good brand to go with?
These types of answers on this forum are always guaranteed to get at least 20 different brand names that all function great with little to no problems.

The correct answer would be to go with a brand where you can get it serviced nearby and where they stock parts. Case in point. A friend of mine burnt up the deck belt hitting a high spot in a new area they were mowing. Four weeks later, they were finally able to get the belt delivered because none of the dealers in town stocked or serviced that brand of mower. The lawn was a total wreck by the time he finally got it mowed and it still looks more like hayfield stubble than a lawn two weeks later.

FWIW, he owned a Cub Cadet.
Hard to argue with this viewpoint. And if you don't have a trailer or truck capable of hauling the mower in for service, ensure that the places equipped to repair the mower will pick it up and return it.
il0kin
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 pm

Re: Riding mower

Post by il0kin »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:07 pm
lthenderson wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:02 am
Frugalegal wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:20 pm What’s a good brand to go with?
These types of answers on this forum are always guaranteed to get at least 20 different brand names that all function great with little to no problems.

The correct answer would be to go with a brand where you can get it serviced nearby and where they stock parts. Case in point. A friend of mine burnt up the deck belt hitting a high spot in a new area they were mowing. Four weeks later, they were finally able to get the belt delivered because none of the dealers in town stocked or serviced that brand of mower. The lawn was a total wreck by the time he finally got it mowed and it still looks more like hayfield stubble than a lawn two weeks later.

FWIW, he owned a Cub Cadet.
Hard to argue with this viewpoint. And if you don't have a trailer or truck capable of hauling the mower in for service, ensure that the places equipped to repair the mower will pick it up and return it.
Totally agree with this - on some other forums I frequent w/r/t hunting, people often ask about tractor purchases for maintaining 20-100 acres for wildlife/recreation/hunting and the answer from the people who run actual farm operations is almost always "My personal preference is X, but whatever major brand has the closest service center."

I would strongly recommend getting a V-twin engine and max the HP available in your price range. V-twins have a much smoother application of torque versus single cylinder engines and will handle taller/wet grass much better.
slickracer
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Re: Riding mower

Post by slickracer »

John Deere from a real JD dealer. My LT160 is on its 18th summer and runs like new. It cost more upfront but cost of ownership on a yearly basis and and the pleasure of operation made it well worth it to me. Fighting with cheap outdoor power equipment is just not worth it, in my opinion.
hacker258
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:00 am

Re: Riding mower

Post by hacker258 »

Watch what is on the equipment trailers of the lawn service companies in your area. Mower performance/reliability and dealer service are essential to these guys. The professional machines will be bigger than what you need but it will give you a good idea of what the pro's trust. I have lived in two states over the past 12 years and seen many of the brands mentioned above. However, not once have I seen a green machine.
Utvolfan1
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:49 am

Re: Riding mower

Post by Utvolfan1 »

I have a Simplicity riding mower. Very dependable. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another.
Ramjet
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Location: Ohio

Re: Riding mower

Post by Ramjet »

Cub Cadet for sure. Good price and great warranty. Deere's are great but they are overpriced, the parts cost more than average, and their attachments cost more than average.
VT & HFEA
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