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Posted: 4/1/2006 4:52:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2006 12:05:52 PM EDT by Hokie]
Before someone posts the Tactical Lawn Mower thread....

I need to buy a new one.

John Deere? Cub Cadet? Toro? Any others brands that are good or bad?

I'm looking for a basic 42" mower deck maybe with a leaf sucking attachement. I'll go for a trailer/mower combo package. The mission objective is that I'm starting a landscaping business on the side. I've got a "name Hokie's company" thread going on right now....some awesome names in there!

But for mowers....I of course look first toward John Deere, but what about those Cub Cadets? I'm a pro at cuttin' grass but a newb at riding lawn mowers.

Any info on engines you guys could share?

All info, comments, or bullshit welcome!

H
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:56:41 AM EDT
It's got to have a tactical gimp rig...

And beamz.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:02:38 AM EDT
Will it double as a BOV?
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:03:51 AM EDT
I've had a 42" John Deere for about 5 years. It runs great. However, I am working on replacing the deck this weekend. I've mowed a lot of stuff with it that I should not have and cracked up the deck.

I like it and would go with John Deere again. I think a 42" John Deere runs about $1400. That is the only down side.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:04:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:17:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:
Before someone posts the Tactical Lawn Mower thread....

I need to buy a new one.

John Deere? Cub Cadet? Toro? Any others brands that are good or bad?




Kubota, damn expensive but you get what you pay for.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:20:43 AM EDT
I've had a Deere L110 for 2 years ZERO FTF or KAbooms......friend at work bought a cub cadet last year and no lie he has had nothing but problems with it........Nothing Runs Like a Deere
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:22:45 AM EDT
Hokie,

I live in FL where there are more landscape and lawn service companies than you can shake a stick at. A riding lawn mower from Lowes or HD is not the way to go. John Deere isn't made by JD and most people I know that have purchased them hate them.

In a landscaping company, your money is made in volume. You want a mower that is reliable and fast. Go with a Dixie Chopper (about the best you can get), TORO is another popular brand. You definately don't want a "tractor" style mower, Too much maintenance and they are too slow. Scag makes some excellent mowers as well.

As far as type of mower, you need to consider a propelled walk behind or a riding Zero Turn radius mower (steer like a tank basically). 42'' deck is a minimum. Don't forget your blowers, weedeaters and edgers.

Hope that helps.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:24:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:25:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 5:26:00 AM EDT by BangStick1]
For an ARFCOMMER only high speed and low drag will do, so I suggest one of these.....








Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:32:56 AM EDT
tagged to add tractor pics
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:40:22 AM EDT
For serious lawn mowing chores I highly recommend my dad's choice: SCAG.



This is one bad-assed lawn mower, cut our mowing time up at the farm by about 1/3.

Mike
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:44:42 AM EDT
Do not buy a "tractor" type mower for landscape work!!! Spend the money and buy a good ZTR type of machine. Find yourself a local dealer that you like and do business with him. If possible, find one that carries the hand held equipment you like along with the rider you intend to buy. This stops you from having to drive all around town to get parts and service for your equipment. Believe me, you will need service. I'd try to limit my business to no more than two shops at most.

I don't know much about your area, but most shops here carry several lines. Finding one that has both the hand held equipment and the big stuff you like under one roof shouldn't be too hard. My shop handles Dixie Chopper, Gravely, Dixon, Great Dane, Echo, Shindiawa, Husqvarna and Snapper. There should be shops near you that carry similar lines.

In Florida there is BIG money to those that work hard and charge enough for their work.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:56:38 AM EDT
When it comes to JD, there are two levels... the Home Depot level, which I almost don't like to call a John Deere (it's the one you see at all the "trendy" homes in the plastic mansion neighborhoods), and the REAL JDs like you see at the actual John Deere dealership. My Dad bought one of the "real" ones a few years back, and it was over $8000. Very nice, but too rich for my blood.

All I needed for myself was a lawn mower. After doing some comparisons, I ended up with a Cub Cadet. Mine is on the same level as the Home Depot JD, but I liked it better. CC also has a high-end line. Again, $8000 for a lawn mower seemed a bit extreme for my purposes.





I picked mine up at Tractor Supply. Check the CC website for specs. The last time I looked they had quite a good model/feature comparison.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:10:43 AM EDT
I bought one of the Cub Cadet Tank models. Zero turn and commercial grade. 54" deck. I mow about 2.5 acres and it cut my time in half. I was using a front deck 54" JD I borrowed from my dad after my homeowner model died. I don't even think my wife can tear up the Tank. It is built like one.

I know they are expensive an $6900, but After buying 3 or 4 of the others and replacing them, I hope I have got it right now.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:22:23 AM EDT
(This is probably intended for homeowners reading this thread more than anything else):

You know somehting? I've got a 42" Yard Man, and it cuts 2 acres of grass just fine.

I don't do this for a living. If my mower breaks down (and it hasn't), it's not costing me money. I just pull it into the garage and fix it. It's a damn lawn mower - don't spend too much. I bought mine for like $700 at Wal Mart.

Seriously, I've seen more homowners freting over their lawnmower breaking on them. Pussies. Fix the damn thing, ladies! For $8000, you could have bought a $1000 mower, $3000 worth of small engine repair classes and enough parts to maintain 4 mowers for the rest of your natural life.

"But what if it breaks down?" Waaaaa. Waaaaaa! Fix it.

It's got a motor, a frame, wheels, and a couple of blades that whack blades of grass. Don't spend too much. Oh, and parts for Briggs engines are everywhere, knowledge about them is abounding, and they're good and cheap.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:27:03 AM EDT
There's always the arfcom way. Get Both!!!

We have a Cub Cadet that I use and a John Deere that my wife uses. It really cuts down on the mowing time.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:29:40 AM EDT
Buy some goats instead.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:33:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
(This is probably intended for homeowners reading this thread more than anything else):

You know somehting? I've got a 42" Yard Man, and it cuts 2 acres of grass just fine.

I don't do this for a living. If my mower breaks down (and it hasn't), it's not costing me money. I just pull it into the garage and fix it. It's a damn lawn mower - don't spend too much. I bought mine for like $700 at Wal Mart.

Seriously, I've seen more homowners freting over their lawnmower breaking on them. Pussies. Fix the damn thing, ladies! For $8000, you could have bought a $1000 mower, $3000 worth of small engine repair classes and enough parts to maintain 4 mowers for the rest of your natural life.

"But what if it breaks down?" Waaaaa. Waaaaaa! Fix it.

It's got a motor, a frame, wheels, and a couple of blades that whack blades of grass. Don't spend too much. Oh, and parts for Briggs engines are everywhere, knowledge about them is abounding, and they're good and cheap.



Basically a good point but living where one has to cut grass every five days, most box store mowers wouldn't make two years before repair costs equal replacement costs. The engines hold up fine, but the rest of the tractor goes away pretty fast. I'd suggest staying away from ANYTHING MTD and go with Sears/AYP/Husqvarna line of tractors.

Nothing runs like a Deere, and nothing smells like a John.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:46:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Basically a good point but living where one has to cut grass every five days, most box store mowers wouldn't make two years before repair costs equal replacement costs. The engines hold up fine, but the rest of the tractor goes away pretty fast. I'd suggest staying away from ANYTHING MTD and go with Sears/AYP/Husqvarna line of tractors.

Nothing runs like a Deere, and nothing smells like a John.



Interesting. I mow mine every 5 days (except in winter, obviously), but I can see how a mower would be used far more in Florida. Still, I can't imagine repair costs being that high on non engine parts. There's nothing to them at all. Short of bending the frame, rolling it into a ditch, or something major, I just don't see how much can go wrong with the frame/body. They are mind numbingly simple machines. I broke the hitch on mine, but 20 minutes with a MIG took care of that in short order. What repair costs do you see on a cheap mower after a few years? I'm just not seeing them. It's all Mickey Mouse shit.

I'm not knocking anyone who spends a few thousand bucks on a mower, it just never made much sense to me.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:56:08 AM EDT
For commercial use, I would buy a commercial mower. Do yourself a favor and don't listen to the knuckheads around here and go to a JD dealership. They sell the EXACT same mower as Home Depot and Lowes for the EXACT same price. I know because I have one. They also have a commercial line that is about 3 times the price......but you are mowing 50 times more than a home owner.....

Go to the dealers and get an education.

jj
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:00:51 AM EDT
Find a nice used Scag if you can. They are easy to find where I am because a lot of landscapers decide to quit the mowing business. I got a nice 52" walk behind for $300.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:10:22 AM EDT
Hard to beat a Kubota.
Brother in law has one and he just loves it.


vmax84
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:19:49 AM EDT
As I stated earlier, a commercial mower is the only way to go. It cost more, but is a depreciable expense. You need a fast mower as well. Cruising around a lawn at 2mph won't get too many lawns done in a day. Landscapers make their money by volume. Get as many done as fast as possible for the best price.

A JD or Cub Cadet simply won't do. Far too slow. Great for mowing your own yard once a week, but for cutting 10 to 12 lawns a day...you would be cutting from dusk to midnight.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:32:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 10:38:12 AM EDT
Even if you're not going into business a commercial mower is the only way to go. A low-end used commercial walk-behind is still head and shoulders above any regular rider.

I got a used Toro walk-behind, belt drive not ZTR, with a 52" deck and a 12HP Kohler for only $1000. Even if you have to replace the engine (they're about $600) you are still so far ahead of the game. I can cut my acre (and I mean solid acre, not including the house, driveway etc. so equivalent to 1.5 acres) in only 45 minutes including bagging the grass. You'd be in the $3-4K range on a rider to do that, and the rider would not be as reliable. A commercial unit in residential service lasts forever.

aa
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 10:45:16 AM EDT
JD
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:36:02 PM EDT
I picked up another Cub Cadet on the way home today. A 2160 16hp v twin b&s 46" deck, low hours. It was sitting in front of a guys house with a sign for $350. I got it for 325, it runs great. It needs new blades though.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:39:02 PM EDT
A lot of pros around here seem to have 'Dixie Choppers' or something, the zero-turn-radius kind...
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:41:49 PM EDT


Originally Posted By julenissen:

Originally Posted By Hokie:
Before someone posts the Tactical Lawn Mower thread....

I need to buy a new one.

John Deere? Cub Cadet? Toro? Any others brands that are good or bad?




Kubota, damn expensive but you get what you pay for.



+1 on the Kubota and +1 on the John Deere
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:48:13 PM EDT
All the Toro's, Deere's and Cub's sold at any big box store are made by MTD, all the same models and specs, just different body panels, paint, and names, along with that the price varies slightly by name... While fine for mowing for a homeowner, and a good value with a warranty, you would be severly disappointed in using them for commercial.

If you are mowing commercial, get a commercial mower. Period. Either a commercial zero turn or a Commercial walk behind. Speed=Money.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:58:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Basically a good point but living where one has to cut grass every five days, most box store mowers wouldn't make two years before repair costs equal replacement costs. The engines hold up fine, but the rest of the tractor goes away pretty fast. I'd suggest staying away from ANYTHING MTD and go with Sears/AYP/Husqvarna line of tractors.

Nothing runs like a Deere, and nothing smells like a John.



Interesting. I mow mine every 5 days (except in winter, obviously), but I can see how a mower would be used far more in Florida. Still, I can't imagine repair costs being that high on non engine parts. There's nothing to them at all. Short of bending the frame, rolling it into a ditch, or something major, I just don't see how much can go wrong with the frame/body. They are mind numbingly simple machines. I broke the hitch on mine, but 20 minutes with a MIG took care of that in short order. What repair costs do you see on a cheap mower after a few years? I'm just not seeing them. It's all Mickey Mouse shit.

I'm not knocking anyone who spends a few thousand bucks on a mower, it just never made much sense to me.



Every five to seven days year round here, trust me, most box store stuff is shot in about two years. I guess buying a deck every second year is worth it to some but with other repairs it isn't worth it to most.

We joke that box store mowers are just an expensive way to move an otherwise good engine around the yard.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:04:54 PM EDT
One of the biggest things to remember when looking at mowers is, how much time do you want to spend remowing the same piece of ground? A ZTR saves all of the backing up and turning around to trim around trees and other objects. With a ZTR you will be able to cut down on all of your trim time.

As stated in an earlier post, a good commercial walk behind (36-52 inch) will be far better than ANY box store mower. Chances are you would want to get one anyway iof you're going to stay in the business.

Do not forget gates!!!. We get a lot of first timers wanting "the biggest mower we have" never giving thought to access. We usually try to sell them down, often can't get through though.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:06:50 PM EDT
We use a snapper that my parents bought new in the early 80's, never done anything to it but oil changes and air filters, maybe a spark plug every couple of years, the blades have only been changed once. I have no idea what the quality is like with new snappers though so YMMV.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:13:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 4:14:48 PM EDT by ScrubJ]
I posted this earlier, not sure you are following but, you will need service. Keep that in mind if you are serious.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:11:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Recorderguy:
All the Toro's, Deere's and Cub's sold at any big box store are made by MTD, all the same models and specs, just different body panels, paint, and names, along with that the price varies slightly by name... While fine for mowing for a homeowner, and a good value with a warranty, you would be severly disappointed in using them for commercial.

If you are mowing commercial, get a commercial mower. Period. Either a commercial zero turn or a Commercial walk behind. Speed=Money.




Wrong. Go to a Deere dealership. You'll get an education. They are not made by MTD.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:22:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jjrockbush:

Originally Posted By Recorderguy:
All the Toro's, Deere's and Cub's sold at any big box store are made by MTD, all the same models and specs, just different body panels, paint, and names, along with that the price varies slightly by name... While fine for mowing for a homeowner, and a good value with a warranty, you would be severly disappointed in using them for commercial.

If you are mowing commercial, get a commercial mower. Period. Either a commercial zero turn or a Commercial walk behind. Speed=Money.




Wrong. Go to a Deere dealership. You'll get an education. They are not made by MTD.



Though I am not a Deere fan, MTD does not make them or Toro. MTD owns Cadet and makes mowers for just about every box store there is. Deere does not make their small tractors, they are contract built. At one point Ariens was building them, I do not know if they still are.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:14:32 PM EDT
I work for John Deere,run a punch press making all the metal parts including mower decks.You may see me as being prejeduiced but every now and then Deere has a ride and drive for the employees where we go out to the test farm and hop on a mower and run it ragged.They also have the competitors mowers out there. The only one I felt was even close to Deere in quality was Kubota,the Deere's had a much more solid feel as well as everything being well laid out. The Home Depot and Lowe's John Deere's are in fact made by John Deere,they are last generation Deere's, the tooling is paid for and and the increased volume allows for a lower price but they are held to the same standards as the rest of the Deere line.And their's no bullshit about the standards,a small burr on a chute or a scratch in the raw steel and we stop and have the tooling sharpened or otherwise correct the problem.Go to a John Deere dealer and put your nose 6 inches from the tractor and look for defects of any kind ie. rough paint,tiny dent,ANYTHING,you won't find it.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 9:05:33 PM EDT
I looked at a Deere today at Lowes...looked for the MFG's tag to see where, and who made it....Guess what? it's made by John Deere here in the U.S. So, all you guys that think JD makes a "Lowes"mower or they're made by MTD, WRONG!! go look for yourself......A John Deere mower at Lowes is the same as the John Deere mower at the dealership.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 9:23:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Every five to seven days year round here, trust me, most box store stuff is shot in about two years. I guess buying a deck every second year is worth it to some but with other repairs it isn't worth it to most.

We joke that box store mowers are just an expensive way to move an otherwise good engine around the yard.



See, I still don't get it. What in the world is happening to a deck in two years forcing you to replace it? It's a stamped hunk of metal with some pulleys. For the life of me, I can't see why I would purchase another deck if something happened to it. As a matter of fact, I'm hard pressed to think of anything major that could go wrong with a mowing deck, forcing me to replace it. There's just nothing to them. I'm not trying to be combative, so please don't misunderstand me. I really want to know what goes wrong.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 2:44:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 2:45:41 AM EDT by jjrockbush]
Ladies and Gentleman! We are at Full Blown Pandora's box!!!!!!



jj

Proud owner of a JD built L115.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:23:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 5:45:41 AM EDT by Blue_Monkey]
John Deere L130 kicks ass my on 1 acre of lawn. Works fine for the average homeowner. If I had the $$$ I would have gotten a higher end JD model (X748SE for about $15k ) or a zero-turn.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:27:59 AM EDT
Dixon makes zero turn mowers and they work well, are reliable, have good optional eqpt and are reasonably priced.

http://www.dixon-ztr.com
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:41:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Basically a good point but living where one has to cut grass every five days, most box store mowers wouldn't make two years before repair costs equal replacement costs. The engines hold up fine, but the rest of the tractor goes away pretty fast. I'd suggest staying away from ANYTHING MTD and go with Sears/AYP/Husqvarna line of tractors.

Nothing runs like a Deere, and nothing smells like a John.



Interesting. I mow mine every 5 days (except in winter, obviously), but I can see how a mower would be used far more in Florida. Still, I can't imagine repair costs being that high on non engine parts. There's nothing to them at all. Short of bending the frame, rolling it into a ditch, or something major, I just don't see how much can go wrong with the frame/body. They are mind numbingly simple machines. I broke the hitch on mine, but 20 minutes with a MIG took care of that in short order. What repair costs do you see on a cheap mower after a few years? I'm just not seeing them. It's all Mickey Mouse shit.

I'm not knocking anyone who spends a few thousand bucks on a mower, it just never made much sense to me.


on the less expensive models the front axles and related items are extremely weak and will get very sloppy within a year or two of "normal" mowing...
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:03:57 AM EDT
Sitting here watching a movie about an old guy that traveled 300 miles on a lawn tractor. In the movie, he's got a John Deere, and I'll bet JD didn't mind a bit.

And I live in a town with an MTD factory. While I don't work there I see a lot of various brand name marked semi trailers come and go. Not JD but numerous store brands in addition to Cub Cadet and MTD brands.

Oh! Commercial work = commercial grade equipment. My two cents.

Don in Ohio
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:12:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JFP:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Basically a good point but living where one has to cut grass every five days, most box store mowers wouldn't make two years before repair costs equal replacement costs. The engines hold up fine, but the rest of the tractor goes away pretty fast. I'd suggest staying away from ANYTHING MTD and go with Sears/AYP/Husqvarna line of tractors.

Nothing runs like a Deere, and nothing smells like a John.



Interesting. I mow mine every 5 days (except in winter, obviously), but I can see how a mower would be used far more in Florida. Still, I can't imagine repair costs being that high on non engine parts. There's nothing to them at all. Short of bending the frame, rolling it into a ditch, or something major, I just don't see how much can go wrong with the frame/body. They are mind numbingly simple machines. I broke the hitch on mine, but 20 minutes with a MIG took care of that in short order. What repair costs do you see on a cheap mower after a few years? I'm just not seeing them. It's all Mickey Mouse shit.

I'm not knocking anyone who spends a few thousand bucks on a mower, it just never made much sense to me.


on the less expensive models the front axles and related items are extremely weak and will get very sloppy within a year or two of "normal" mowing...



Correct on the front axles. The decks are paper thin, they turn to Swiss Cheese by sand wear and rust. Spindles wear out so now you are looking at a new deck.

I understand your position, and I have a brother in law that can get years out of anything he buys, but believe me, two years and then they get expensive to own here in Florida. The cheap variable speed stuff usually goes bad too. Buy a pair of belts and pay our shop $65.00 an hour to install.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:19:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 6:20:35 AM EDT by andrew]
Who makes Husqvarna mowers, and where are they made???
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:30:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ralph:
I looked at a Deere today at Lowes...looked for the MFG's tag to see where, and who made it....Guess what? it's made by John Deere here in the U.S. So, all you guys that think JD makes a "Lowes"mower or they're made by MTD, WRONG!! go look for yourself......A John Deere mower at Lowes is the same as the John Deere mower at the dealership.



My point, earlier on was that there are two levels: the Lowes/Home Depot level, and the more expensive level that you'll find only at the dealership. I never said the cheapers ones weren't made by JD; they just aren't as good. You get what you pay for. Same goes for the Cub Cadet... I KNOW I got the cheaper one. I just preferred it to the cheaper JD. It's just for my yard.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:32:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 6:33:39 AM EDT by ScrubJ]

Originally Posted By andrew:
Who makes Husqvarna mowers, and where are they made???



Most Husqvarna riders are made here in the US at the AYP plant. The only ones made offshore are what we call the Swedish rider which is the articulated rider. Expensive to buy and own the Swedish rider, but the regular tractors are a real good value.

They are made by Husqvarna.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:05:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MadBodhi:
The Home Depot and Lowe's John Deere's are in fact made by John Deere,they are last generation Deere's



Just like MadBodhi said, the JD sold by the box stores are the old models and are still good quality. They are exactly the same as the low end ones you buy at your JD dealer for the same price. There are however 2 differences...The first is the warranty repair. When your box store bought JD breaks down, good luck getting it serviced quickly. When you buy the same machine from a JD dealer, it WILL be fixed promptly....The second difference is actual cost. A JD dealer will not deal very much on the price if at all. You can always find discount coupons for box stores and pay less. And at the end of the season, you can usually get them for 35-50% off.


Who makes Husqvarna mowers, and where are they made???


ALL low end Husky riders are made by AYP. They are the EXACT same units sold by Sears and rebadged as Craftsman. An AYP product is built a little more sturdy than an MTD product. Husky makes their own HIGH end products.

As far as Cub Cadet goes, once again, the 1000 series are made by MTD. Only the high end machines are actually made by CC.

It is just plain supply and demand. The old companies saw the need for tons of machines to be sold to every homeowner in the country. They realized that 99% of these homeowners couldn't care less about what the lawn looked like, how long the machine survived, etc. They cared about quickly mowing the lawn, doing it on a halfway decent rider, and buying the machine for cheap money. What they decided to do was to outsource their money making machines, because other factories could do it cheaper, period.

If you are doing ANY sort of commercial cutting, do NOT get a box store rider. Get a used ZTR or walk behind if you can't afford new.

OH, and BTW, I have a 10 yr old Poulan (MTD) 14.5hp/42" that I have used to clear my 1 acre of trees, move the rocks from grading, move tons of topsoil, and mow every 4-5 days. I change the oil and plug once a year and sharpen blades as needed. It IS getting tired, but I still use it with no problems whatsoever. I paid $799 for it. Think I got my monies worth?

My next one will be a used commercial.


Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:28:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
Correct on the front axles. The decks are paper thin, they turn to Swiss Cheese by sand wear and rust. Spindles wear out so now you are looking at a new deck.

I understand your position, and I have a brother in law that can get years out of anything he buys, but believe me, two years and then they get expensive to own here in Florida. The cheap variable speed stuff usually goes bad too. Buy a pair of belts and pay our shop $65.00 an hour to install.



Now, I see what's going on. Folks actually pay $65.00/hr to have their lawn tractor serviced. That can add up quick. I don't do that. I don't even take my new cars to somebody else, much less a simple lawn tractor.

Axles are cheap. If a deck gets a hole, I can weld it up for the cost of wire and some spray paint. The hydrostatic transmissions are extremely simple, and can be repaired my most anyone who is reasonably intelligent.

I think I understand where you're coming from, and I suppose I'm unique when it comes to maintaining my equipment. I see my lawn tractor as a tool - nothing more. It needs sharp blades that spin fast enough to cut grass cleanly. That's it. When something fails, I take care of it (it really is cheap) and move on. I paid around $700 for my last one. The parts that can break are extremely inexpensive, and many can be fabricated in my shop. It would take ALOT of parts to equal even half my purchase price (other than a motor failure).

I'm beginning to think I'm the exception, here. It just isn't expensive at ALL to fix mine. I would never buy a new deck and pay somebody to install it - I'd fix the deck I already have. Am I the only guy on the planet who fabricates parts for his equipment?
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