Lawn tractor advice

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I have a Deere and have had no issues with it, it's about 4 years old now. I bought it at John Deere in W. Bridgewater, but now there is the dealer on 138 in Raynham which is a little closer.
 

Palladin

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guy up the street bought a Deere from a dealer, after his 3yo Deere from HD shit the bed...night and day difference, he spent about $2800 IIRC.

now me, I have a Craftsman I bought in 2003 for $900, 17.5hp, started it up yesterday after sitting all winter, on one turn of the key. Up until 3yrs ago, I plowed the driveway with it, I beat the shit out of this thing. I've replaced one battery and one front tire. Meanwhile the guy across the street is one his 4th MTD/ Home Depot tractor.
 
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My sister bought a Husky about 5 years ago. It was a very good deal and it's been fine for cutting the grass.

We have a John Deere Lx, bought it new in '94 and it runs great. I change the oil, grease joints, wash it and keep in garaged. Looks like it's new and runs very strong. In the 20 years, needed a few wear and tear parts but that's expected for the hrs it has on it.

John Deere's are very good machines and they have parts for them forever. If you look used, the dealership models are GT's, LX, LT and X. If you are only cutting grass, so it's a riding lawn mower, a Husky would probably be fine. It's when you use it as a lawn tractor, pulling things, pulling a trailer of dirt, etc. that you don't want anything but a deere or kubota, new holland, etc.
 

fencer

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i have a John Deere 345 that I bought new in 2001 for about 5k. I have a bunch of attachments for it and bought it with the "Powerflow bagger"

20hsp liquid cooled Kawasaki - Power steering- tilt wheel- cruise control. I mow just over an acre and some of it is very challenging terrain. The entire acre is irrigated

Last year I discovered a small crack on the engine block near the oil drain plug. I have always followed the maintenance schedule and it is well taken care of, but my buddy the small engine guy tells me that it is a pretty common problem with that engine.

After hemming and hawing I decide to replace the engine. The replacement is a 26 hsp Koehler and cost $1200 bucks. I will install it myself with a buddy.

I was not overly impressed with the new tractors on the market and a comparable Deere runs about 8k. I would love to buy a commercial stand on mower and would in a minute, but I haul firewood, dethatch, aerate, haul mulch etc and have a huge tow behind spreader for my tractor. Can't do all that with a Wright stander.
 

Michele

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I'm with Hoover, doesn't really matter what ya get, regular maintenance on it and it runs forever. I've got an 04 John Deere LT160 with 510 hrs on it and it will prob go another 510. Purchased from JD Dealer. Only used to cut grass.


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Woodstock

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The difference between lawn tractors and garden tractors can usually be seen in the rear tire size. Then as you look around and under it you can see that the other components are sturdier. I'm running a 1996 John Deere GT275 with a single-cylinder Kawasaki 17 horse engine and a hydro transmission. It mows a big yard, chops and bags the leaves in the fall, pushes snow and drags trailers around the place. It's got tons of torque. It's starting to get noisy and use a little oil, but it still gets the job done every week and it hasn't cost a lot to maintain. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. The same model with a gear transmission is the GT262, and there's a 14 horse GT242 model. If you can find one that hasn't been thrashed, grab it.
I haven't shopped the new models, but with a big yard I'd be looking at the heavier tractors. I think the older Ariens garden tractors were also hard to kill.
 

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I have an L130 from the despot with a Kohler v-twin 23hp. Cuts grass taller than the machine without a hiccup. New blades every two seasons and I cut 3 acres every week. First start of the season sucks due to methanol even with stabilizer in fuel but once it fires there are no issues.

-Proud to be dad every day, a licensed plumber most days, and wish I was a shoemaker on others.
 

calsdad

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I'm in the market for a tractor for a 1 acre property. I'm not interested in anything The Depot, Lowes, or sears has. I want one from an actual dealer. I'm leaning towards a Husqvarna. The Cub cadet's seem nice too. I was interested in John Deere but haven't heard good things about their lawn tractor line. I'm open to other suggestions too. Also looking for suggestions on reputable local dealers to buy from. I'm in Dighton MA. Thanks in advance.
Just about all of the bigger manufacturers - have a lower cost line of tractors that they sell to the big box stores - and then they have a higher quality higher cost line that their dealers sell. I know that John Deere, Husquvarna, and Cub Cadet all do this. There are other tractor manufacturers out there - like Kubota, and I think New Holland, that only sell thru their own dealers. I don't know about all the brands out there - but if you go with a higher end garden tractor you're getting a quality piece of equipment. The Deere and Kubota stuff should last for many years. Kubota even makes garden tractors with diesel engines. Makes a difference because you won't have to deal with crappy gas quality issues after leaving the thing sit all winter.
 

calsdad

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I'm in the market for a tractor for a 1 acre property. I'm not interested in anything The Depot, Lowes, or sears has. I want one from an actual dealer. I'm leaning towards a Husqvarna. The Cub cadet's seem nice too. I was interested in John Deere but haven't heard good things about their lawn tractor line. I'm open to other suggestions too. Also looking for suggestions on reputable local dealers to buy from. I'm in Dighton MA. Thanks in advance.
How much money are you looking to spend on this?
 

JoeT

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I too will be looking for a lawn or garden tractor. Assuming the engine has been cared for - what's a reasonable # of hours that one can get out of an old Deere or similar unit? I saw a used Deere GT235 with ~ 500 hours for a good price & with numerous attachments. Seemed like a decent deal but perhaps not if the motor is on it's last leg.
The short answer is that "it depends"... Has oil been changed? has the owner done the routine maintenance?

I look at it this way. A landscaper will put on average 1000 hours a year on a machine they use daily. And the guys I know in the business get about 4 years on equipment before they upgrade. But they're changing blades once a day, and oil once a week. Hydrolic fluids are flushed on a routine basis as recommended.

The "average" homeowner will put 30-50 hours a year on their machines. Maybe they change oil once a year, maybe not..

When I lived in Northbridge I had a 10 year old Bunton 48" walk behind. I bought it for $1000 with 2000 hours (2 years old) on it and put another 200 hours (in 8 years) on it and sold it for $1000. I cut less in 5 years than the original owner did in a week

so 500 hours isn't bad for a maintained machine. tractor motors are simple pieces of machinery. Taken care of, they will outlast you
 
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Thanks everyone for the info. I'll check out all brands and models mentioned here. I'd be looking to spend $2500-$3000. It would mostly be used for lawn mowing. I'd like it to not be limited to only that though. I guess the bad things I've heard about Deere are the models sold from Home Depot. I'd be buying from a dealer anyway. Thanks guys!
 

calsdad

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As an example of what going to the "good" stuff from Deere or Kubota (other manufacturers are probably similar) - the price of the entry level Kubota T1880A - is $3598. That's the "retail" price. Going to a dealer will likely get you a discount from that sticker price.

I'm sure a comparable Deere - from one of their dealers - is going to be an equivalent amount. Deere seems to be the dominant player in that sector of the market. Once you have an idea of what model you're interested in - I would go online start looking to see what other people have to say about them. Check out www.tractorbynet.com - and just do a general search on the model number. There's a number of sites out there with tons of information about this stuff so you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what you're buying before you put your money down.
 

rkwjunior

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Thanks everyone for the info. I'll check out all brands and models mentioned here. I'd be looking to spend $2500-$3000. It would mostly be used for lawn mowing. I'd like it to not be limited to only that though. I guess the bad things I've heard about Deere are the models sold from Home Depot. I'd be buying from a dealer anyway. Thanks guys!

I think i paid around $3200 in 05' for my Deere `X300, i went to NH to save the sales tax.
 
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Just about all of the bigger manufacturers - have a lower cost line of tractors that they sell to the big box stores - and then they have a higher quality higher cost line that their dealers sell. I know that John Deere, Husquvarna, and Cub Cadet all do this. There are other tractor manufacturers out there - like Kubota, and I think New Holland, that only sell thru their own dealers. I don't know about all the brands out there - but if you go with a higher end garden tractor you're getting a quality piece of equipment. The Deere and Kubota stuff should last for many years. Kubota even makes garden tractors with diesel engines. Makes a difference because you won't have to deal with crappy gas quality issues after leaving the thing sit all winter.
I have a G series Kubota with a 21 HP diesel, i had a gas version, didn't have it long. got tired of dealing with crappy gas
 

white feather

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Same here. 15hp Kohler engine. Routine maintenance and go. No issues in 10 years.
Ditto only I managed to crack the deck mounting attachments. (I like to get close to trees when I cut.) The 42" deck is the weak link in this tractor although it has a pretty good vacuum which sucks up all of the grass and blows it out the chute. Blades (2) are only good for about one season but they are relatively cheap. Husqvarna YTH 15 was a good buy at $1500 ten years ago.
White Feather
 
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I'm in the market for a tractor for a 1 acre property. I'm not interested in anything The Depot, Lowes, or sears has. I want one from an actual dealer. I'm leaning towards a Husqvarna. The Cub cadet's seem nice too. I was interested in John Deere but haven't heard good things about their lawn tractor line. I'm open to other suggestions too. Also looking for suggestions on reputable local dealers to buy from. I'm in Dighton MA. Thanks in advance.
Is this just for mowing? If so, Snapper Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mowers.
 

dustoff22

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Unless you don't mind spending a whole bunch of hours mowing, you need atleast a 60" deck. I have a Deere X748 which is big bucks but it's built like a brick shithouse. I had a Deere LT150 (from JD dealer) and it ran flawlessly for 9 years with a yearly tuneup and new blades. Whatever you buy, I'd recommend staying away from the junk that Home Despot sells. That is unless you plan on replacing it every couple years.

I also plow with the X748 which is powered by a 24 horse 3 cylinder Yanmar diesel.
 

calsdad

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Unless you don't mind spending a whole bunch of hours mowing, you need atleast a 60" deck. I have a Deere X748 which is big bucks but it's built like a brick shithouse. I had a Deere LT150 (from JD dealer) and it ran flawlessly for 9 years with a yearly tuneup and new blades. Whatever you buy, I'd recommend staying away from the junk that Home Despot sells. That is unless you plan on replacing it every couple years.

I also plow with the X748 which is powered by a 24 horse 3 cylinder Yanmar diesel.
Yes - big bucks. I couldn't remember what those things were like - so I had to go look it up. They're right up there with the sub-compact tractors cost-wise.
 

Stryker

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I have a Husqvarna YTH1542XP for a few years and have never had a problem with it. Mowing a little over an acre. Change the oil, plugs, oilfield and air filter every year. Had it for about 5 years.
Have the same model for about 11 years now and it has been running fine - good for the acre lot I have.
 
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The Troybilt is a piece of crap. Look elsewhere.

One thing to consider with these mowers is that some are rear drive with an open differential. That's fine if you have a flat lawn. However, you want to mow across a slope, that means you'll have to fight a bit to keep it going straight. The Toro seems to solve this by being relatively light and also short.
 

ront02769

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I am from rehoboth and bought a kubota zero turn last spring....and cut my mowing time by about two thirds. Go to norfolk power equipment and look at what they have. THEY are the real professionals and have great prices ands a ton of choices. Ron
 
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I bought a used cub cadet lt1042 when I bought my first home a year ago and bought it with the mindset that it will last me a couple years so I can buy a zero-turn. I still want to but the cub cadet is making it difficult to get rid of, cuts great, drives great and this is after it had a rat living in the air filter for who knows how long.

the mower is probably 6 or so years old now and I dont think it was well maintained previously but it is more than holding it's own
 
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i just bought the new craftsman 19hp 46"deck vtwin 2600 tight turn. i paid $1600 and they assembled and delivered it for free. i have to mow about 1 acre of grass. this thing is a much more powerful than my last craftsman. the suction was great it looks like i dethatched when i haven't yet. this mower deck 46"does seem to have more vibration than my last 41" but nothing that bothers me to much. hearing protection is needed. i read the reviews as well. some good some bad. but i read this for all brands. i was really hung between the craftsman and JD. i ended up choosing the craftsman due to price and it just looked better built based on the same model of JD. it really comes down to what your doing with it. mine is simply taking care of the lawn only. sears attachments were less expensive with the same quality. I would say if your doing light to heavy farm work the more expensive JD models are the way to go. but the less expensive riding mowers really seemed to me you were dishing out $500-700 extra fro name only.
 
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Most will hold up OK if routine maintenance is done on them. As someone else mentioned AYP makes 90% of them. Even a lot of the big names like Husqvarna, Craftsman, Troybuilt and I have heard the smaller John Deere use AYP for their outdoor home care equipment.
i have had good luck with my AYP products. I have had a lawn mower and 2 Snow blowers made by them. The first snow blower lasted 25 years and could have gone more but I was over working on it and the lawn boy lawn more lasted 15 years and would probably still be running if I didnt run over a pipe in the ground.
You can pay 2 or 3 time more for a "Brand Name", it doesn't mean it will last 2 to 3 times as long.
 
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guy up the street bought a Deere from a dealer, after his 3yo Deere from HD shit the bed...night and day difference, he spent about $2800 IIRC.

now me, I have a Craftsman I bought in 2003 for $900, 17.5hp, started it up yesterday after sitting all winter, on one turn of the key. Up until 3yrs ago, I plowed the driveway with it, I beat the shit out of this thing. I've replaced one battery and one front tire. Meanwhile the guy across the street is one his 4th MTD/ Home Depot tractor.
I have the same machine you have, it's going on its 11th yr, I beat the bag out of it on my little over an acre property, I mow everything with it, use it in the fall to pick up leaves it has a thatching unit on the front of it and I thatch every spring, I cut anything I can drive over with it, in the 11 yrs I've replaced one belt but i do change the oil and filters every yr on it. I just noticed it was leaking a little oil so I called the small engine guy up the street and told him about it and if he thought it was worth fixin or if I should just buy a new one his comment was not a big deal bring it up he'll fix it and to run it till it dies. Guy acrosss the street has a JD and has had nothing but problems with it says his nxt ones going to be a craftsman.
 
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I have a 12 yo John Deere L110 I bought from Home Depot. I'm looking at replacing it shortly and have been looking real hard at the Simplicity line of riders and tractors. All steel construction, no plastic engine covers, my choice of mower deck size ( 48" is what I'm leaning towards) and many secondary accy's available as well. Retail for the one I was looking at was $3800 and right now they have a 0% finance deal as well.
 
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