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  1. #1

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    Default Riding Lawn Mowers

    My trusty Toro walk behind mower went TU. I'm considering a riding mower to replace it. Any recommendations out there for brands or models to consider or avoid?
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  2. #2

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    My John Deer has been a champ. Not too expensive, model LA120 a couple of years old.

    Something about a Deer just makes you feel like a true American!!!

  3. #3

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    www.Consumereports.org has a review on riding mowers. You must have a subscription, I think. If you don't have a subscription and want the chart, send me an email address and I can send it to you as a PDF.

    They rank six of John Deere's models in the top seven.

    I have the JD X304 and have not had any problems. I use it to mow an acre of grass every weekend during the season. I've also used it to move heavy items as well.

    I have not had any problems with it. It is a very well built machine. I like the Kawasaki engine as well.
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    I got mine used. Go with a brand that you can easily get parts for and you can come out way ahead.

    I bought my Craftsman for $700 cash. To buy the same lawn tractor new would run me over $2400.

    So far, $60 for a new blade kit, $30 to replace a fuel line and $50 for a bad fuel tank.

    I bought a snow thrower attachment for the front and I have a tow behind aerator. Total cost of attachments has been about $1100. So even with all the repairs and other crap I got with it, I'm nowhere near the full retail price of the tractor alone.

    I found mine through a guy selling off lawn service equipment. Nothing wrong with it he just could not legally take the tax write off on the depreciation after 3 years. So to avoid any taxes on a profit he might get from the sale, he was selling for what the value was after the depreciation for 3 years. Hence, $700 for a tractor worth way more and with more capabilities than a new tractor for $700.
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  5. #5

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    John Deere, hands down the best in riding mowers.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  6. #6

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    John Deere x540 owner here and extremely happy. _Used a JD LA 140(?). before and it took much use and abuse. Also my road has many happy Simplicity owners and they are very, very loyal.

  7. #7

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    I am in the John Deere camp as well. I run an X700 Ultimate with a 62" deck. So far, not a single problem and we mow about 4 acres every week during the grass growing season.

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    Get a vintage J Deere or Cub Cadet w/Kohler engine & 12" wheels. The new stuff is junk.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeTim View Post
    I am in the John Deere camp as well. I run an X700 Ultimate with a 62" deck. So far, not a single problem and we mow about 4 acres every week during the grass growing season.
    You might want to check out the Dixie Choppers. (my next mowing machine)

    http://www.dixiechopper.com/

  10. #10

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    I considered zero-turn mowers, but I can get lots of attachments for the JD. The wife also uses it in the summer for pulling around a trailer with her gardening stuff. So much more versatile for our situation

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    You might want to check out the Dixie Choppers. (my next mowing machine)

    http://www.dixiechopper.com/
    Zero turns are like Mustangs, if you only want to go in a straight line really fast they are great.:tongue:

    I have too many ditches, uneven ground and fences to make the zero turn work. Plus, and this is key, really hard to drink beer and mow. Thats a deal breaker in my book.

    Also not a fan of the 62" decks. Too big for my applications, I took it back and went with the 54", much better job on my ground. YMMV


    I am so excited for mowing season to be here

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    You might want to check out the Dixie Choppers. (my next mowing machine)

    http://www.dixiechopper.com/
    I've been on these. Great mowers, I haven't used many 'lawn tractors' but mostly ZTR's. I've also used these - http://www.woodsonline.com/agTurfMain.aspx - and they we're impressive. If you are looking for a smallish mower, ZTR is the way to go.

    I just happen to use a $150.00 flea market special, works for my needs.

    Just saw your post, I was too late! I've been on a mower that used a joystick on the right hand, and had a cupholder for the left. I was too young at that time to know what to do with that cupholder. Put a beer in it!
    Last edited by codyc1ark; 02-19-2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Beer and mowing

  13. #13

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    I've got an old MF135 with a 7' "bush hog" mower and two 1970s Cub Cadet 1250s w/12 hp & 42" cut width. All too s l o w, you can flat out fly on a Dixie Chopper! They DO have drink holders but, from my sailing years.....I learned how to fasten a gimballed drink holder anywhere,and everywhere!(much better)

  14. #14

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    My dad has had a JD LX176 for the last 13 years. Everything is still original on it... engine (air-cooled 14hp Kawi), hydrostat tranny, deck... everything, including the tires! We used to mow for 3 hours once (sometimes twice) a week, and I think it takes him 2 hours where he lives now. It's been beat for sure.
    Ludicrous gibs!

  15. #15

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    I have a Craftsman DLT, what steered me was the cast iron front axle and the engine, Kohler. I wanted a Deere, but went for the best I could get a little cheaper. And while the Craftsman has some design flaws (belt guide placement), I worked through those by loosening the brake setting just so ( hey y'all watch this ). I did repaint my deck and my Craftsman has had 10 trusty years, with little maintenance, once initial belt tension setting was loosened. The newer models today would have different features, and depends on your yard size and type too, what you may be looking for. My enemy to my belts now are the gumballs. That, I just make sure to not brake much during the heavy gumball season times.
    If I did it all over again, I would do the same, Craftsman, being a tick cheaper, but still would recommend a Deere first.
    Buying used is cool too, make sure it runs ok, and looks maintained.
    You will be able to tell.
    Remember, they are selling it for a reason.
    there, you have to find the right reason too, and it matches the maintenance appearance.
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    Had a Husqvarna for eight years. The only problems I have had have all been self inflicted.

  17. #17

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    avoid cub cadet and home depot. Worst customer service ever. I had an engine go less than two months after getting a new rider and it took six months to get it fixed. I'm too nice, most people would have went nuts with that kind of treatment. Kohler said the mower was not handled right by home depot and home depot wouldn't even talk to me about it. Cub cadet eventually fixed it since home depot would not help. I knew I should have got the deere.
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  18. #18

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    Our H. Depot sells both Deere & C.Cadet. Big boxes aren't the best places to buy outdoor equipment.

  19. #19

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    If you get a mower with the deck in front of the wheels they cut better. The front tires of the tractors like to lay the grass over and it doesnt get cut or cut as short as the rest of the grass. Later on the grass stands up and you have long strips of grass. This also depends on how your grass is. If it is ligh thin yard it isnt a big deal. If you have a heavy thick yard that is when it starts to become a problem. Also how often you mow affects it as well.
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  20. #20

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    I'm on my second Deere. The first lasted about twenty years, and the second is on it's fifth year with no problems. Wouldn't have anything else. My wife also likes the trailer for her gardening. She fussed when I got my new mower saying we didn't need anything more than a push mower, but now she uses it more than I do.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by opus View Post
    Zero turns are like Mustangs, if you only want to go in a straight line really fast they are great.:tongue:
    Wow, being a Mustang owner and a big fan of zero turn mowers, I take issue with your comments.:tongue:

    Zero turn mowers are great for making short work of mowing. Biggest downside, tight turns tend to tear up the turf. You have to take longer sweeping turns.

    My favorite rider is my Kubota dragging an 11' Land Pride finisher.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooker82 View Post
    If you get a mower with the deck in front of the wheels they cut better. The front tires of the tractors like to lay the grass over and it doesnt get cut or cut as short as the rest of the grass. Later on the grass stands up and you have long strips of grass. This also depends on how your grass is. If it is ligh thin yard it isnt a big deal. If you have a heavy thick yard that is when it starts to become a problem. Also how often you mow affects it as well.
    We put high-lift blades on our underbelly mower and had no issues. Plus it throws the grass farther. The blade is designed to create more suction and airflow.
    Ludicrous gibs!

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthy View Post
    Zero turn mowers are great for making short work of mowing. Biggest downside, tight turns tend to tear up the turf. You have to take longer sweeping turns.
    Wait... Doesn't that essentially make the selling point of a zero-turn mower... pointless?
    Ludicrous gibs!

  24. #24

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    Not really. You just have to get the feel for turning without wheel slip. Once you get the hang of it, you can fly around the yard. If you don't mind a few skid marks, then you can just have a blast. Pound for pound a zero turn is way more fun.
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  25. #25

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    Honesty I think the biggest reason folks don't get a zero turn may be because they can't hold a beer while mowing.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthy View Post
    Honesty I think the biggest reason folks don't get a zero turn may be because they can't hold a beer while mowing.
    ....nothing an after market cup holder and a long straw won't solve. Maybe even one of those hats that hold beer cans with the hose comming down into your mouth....that would be a sight for the neighbors.

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