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Posted: 3/13/2006 11:01:38 AM EDT
I'm in the riding lawn mower market. I remember about 15 years ago we had a rear engine snapper that lasted a long time. We stored it in a non heated shed, did absolutely no maintenance to it and it kept running summer after summer. No oil changes, air filters, stabil, etc...

My parents bought a yardman 20 or so hp mower and it eats batteries and I just don't like the quality. It's a twin blade and also scalps their yard pretty bad.

I'm wondering the quality of the new Snappers and really like the looks (kinda retro) of the rear engine mower. I also like the ease of being able to store it upright which will save me some space in the garage as well as make blade sharpening and cleaning a breeze.

My yard is about 1/2 acre (mowable) so I'd prefer the single blade setup in the 30 inch diameter. It comes with 2 optional engines, which one has the better reputation?

11.5-hp Briggs & Stratton I/C OHV recoil (30")
12.5/13.5-hp Briggs & Stratton OHV AVS (30")

They also have "side discharge" and "hi-vac" models. I know what the side discharge is, and can you hook up a bagger for that or do you have to specifically get the high vac for that? I'd like to be able to bag every now and then, as well as hook up a small hitch on the rear to pull around an aerator and a small yard wagon.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:18:21 AM EDT

My yard is about 1/2 acre (mowable) so I'd prefer the single blade setup in the 30 inch diameter.

For a yard that small I'd opt for a 22 inch push mower. You can get a good one for $150. For most yards that size, by the time you drive the big mower around all of the obstacles in the yard, you could have already finished with the pushmower. I'd then spend the difference on guns.

If you do go riding lawnmower, then the Snappers are a good choice. Mine is over 20 years old. I have trouble with breaking belts and breaking blades, but otherwise it works. I usually use my push mower, but the two times a year I cut the three acres behind my house I use the Snapper. You just can't store it upright like you described. The gas would leak.


pull around an aerator and a small yard wagon.

Since you only do it once or at the most a few times a year, pushing a hand aerator around a small yard isn't hard at all. Also, you can buy a good wheelbarrow to carry as much as by hand that the mower can tow.z
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:53:35 AM EDT
Maybe it's more like 3/4 acre. With a push mower it takes me a little over an hour. With the neighbors 40+ inch Scag it takes about 15 minutes. It's a hell of a mower. I'd prefer the riding mower as my girlfriend, soon to be wife will also share the yardwork and chores. She can do that while I garden or vice versa. Also where I live in MO sometimes we have to mow the yard 2-3 times a week when we get a lot of rain and sun mix. I don't mind pushing, but I'd rather be walking the dogs to get my excercise than in the yard behind a loud mower.

I also have a few elderly neighbors that I will help out and mow their yard every now and then. I figure I could also charge some of the other neighbors on the street 10-15 bucks to aerate their yard with the aerator to at least break even with it. The tow cart is a must as with the gardening and other landscaping we'll be doing will need something to move around brush/stones/dirt.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 12:05:21 PM EDT
I always heard nothing but good things about Snapper rear engine riders...My brother even worked at the plant for several years just outside Atlanta. I bought one 2 years ago, spent the next year trying to get it fixed. Brand new, They replaced the drive rubber on it 4 times in the first year. Each time they told me there was nothing wrong with it. The dealership I bought it from got tired of me bringing it back and disrupting his entire business and decided to give me full purchase value on trade for a different mower. Just my personal experience, not bashing them. It was the 11 horse, 30 inch.

Bryan
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 12:05:23 PM EDT
I almost bought a the same Snapper last year but I wanted a mower with more bagging capacity than it had.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:40:43 PM EDT
What's the main difference between the regular and the hi-vac? I'm going to go take a look at them this weekend.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:03:01 PM EDT
Tag for more info..

I Notice they start at $1250 with an 11hp motor and 30" deck.. For Arround 1400 you can get a 20hp John Deer Tractor with a 42" deck.. Is the snapper really that nice for the obviously lower specs?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:18:40 PM EDT
I live on a farm and mow about 5 acres of "lawn" (gun range, camp grounds and yard.)

I used 30" "Snappers" in the past and wore them out pretty fast. DUH!

One thing I really didn't like about them was the fact that if you ran into a small tree,
that thing would literally climb it to the point where you could fall over backwards.

Kids, don't mow drunk

For your mowing needs you will like it.

I now use a ATV with a pull behind mower. I mow seven miles according to the odometer.

GM



Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:21:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sq40:
Tag for more info..

I Notice they start at $1250 with an 11hp motor and 30" deck.. For Arround 1400 you can get a 20hp John Deer Tractor with a 42" deck.. Is the snapper really that nice for the obviously lower specs?




Are you talking about the real John Deere's or the ones they sell at Lowes?
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:30:41 AM EDT
Go with a snapper and you won't regret it. There was an interesting news article where the pres of snapper told walmart to go pound sand because he wouldn't lower the quality of his product to meet walmarts price point. Thats my kind of company. That and I've got a snapper that is over 20 years old and still mows like a champ.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:55:40 AM EDT
Well I made my decision. I'm going with the Hi-Vac 28 inch deck and the 12.5 briggs anti-vibration motor with electric start/backup manual start. This sells for $1399. It's also a 2005 model, and on the Snapper website they are giving a $300 discount on the leftover 05's if you buy before May 31st.

The last dealer I went two was very professional and has a showroom full of them, vs the other two dealers who each had only one model sitting out covered in dust.

Though I would have liked the 30 inch deck it didn't come in the hi-vac model. My only choices for the high vac were 28 and 33. The 33 was out of my league at $2200 with at 17hp motor. I don't need all that.

I guess the hi-vac's have a patented rolled lip edge which creates a lot of suction and is great for bagging and mulching and the single blade (I feel) leaves a better cut than the twin blades that I've cut with before.

The bagger is another $300 and the mulching kit is $80 installed. Since the company isn't in the city the tax rate is only 4% (city tax is almost 10%).

They also have 6 months same as cash, so I can pay it all at once or whenever I want before 6 months is up.

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