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Posted: 4/9/2006 5:20:22 PM EDT
I am closing on a house with one acre in about a month. I was originally wanting something with more land but this house was so nice and all the one's with the amount of land I would like were run down if they were in my price range.

Anyways I have looked at some lawn tractors at Home Depot. I was thinking about the base model zero turn radius Toro which is about $2500. The other ones I have looked at there are just regular non-zero radius and range from $1500-2000. I am just wondering if the zero turn radius mower will save very much time as my goal is to mow in the least amount of time possible. If it won't save much time then I am going to save money ant not get it.

The land is relatively flat, but there is one small sloped area. There are lots of trees. The front yard doesn't even have that much grass because of the trees but that's only a small part. About a quarter of it is fenced .

To clarify my lawn is not my pride and joy. I am not one to spend hours just to make everything perfect. I don't mind dandylions and other weeds that much. All I really care about is keeping it cut and weed eated. I will not let it get overgrown though.

Any suggestions? Is that zero turn radius worth it or does it cut the time in half?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:22:09 PM EDT
I would say, if spending $$$ on a mower, go to a dealer, not a big box store. If the mower acts up, do you think HD has a service dept. to fix it in the store?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:44:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
I would say, if spending $$$ on a mower, go to a dealer, not a big box store. If the mower acts up, do you think HD has a service dept. to fix it in the store?



I understand what your saying but I have a budget. Would it cost much more at a dealer?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:46:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SIG_220:

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
I would say, if spending $$$ on a mower, go to a dealer, not a big box store. If the mower acts up, do you think HD has a service dept. to fix it in the store?



I understand what your saying but I have a budget. Would it cost much more at a dealer?



Probably a little. Try to find out where the good lawn care companies in your area buy their stuff.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:49:55 PM EDT
Biggest and fastest, nuff said.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:59:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By P806:
Biggest and fastest, nuff said.



Yea I figured that. I'm just wondering how much faster a zero-turn radius mower would cut 1 acre w/ lots of trees than a standard mower would.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:08:20 PM EDT
I would get a Simplicity brand rider. Although the ZTR type are nice, and in some ways a little quicker, they are not better enough to justify the price for residential purchase. Get a regular lawn tractor and develop a pattern of mowing and you will be just about as quick. Also, once you decide to do other things with your yard you will have a base tractor to add onto. Being in OK, you may want to add a grader blade or snow blower to the front of it. Your wife may want a garden, and you can attach a tiller to the rear. The base tractor will make all of these things much quicker and easier than buying seperate machines.

The reason I recommend Simplicity, all dealerships are required to have a service facility on site.Simplicity yard and garden tractors
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:11:55 PM EDT
Do NOT buy cheap zero turn mowers. [non commercial] They are POS. Buy a regular decent mower instead. If you want good, fast and reliable spend the $$$$$ and get a commercial zero turn. Friend has a "home" zero turn and it is quite frankly a piece of junk. Simplicity but it brings shame to the name. "Cheap" and "reliable" zero turns are not compatable.

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:22:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:26:00 PM EDT
Simplicity looks to be out of my budget.

Any differences reliability wise between Toro, Cub Cadet, and John Deere?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:33:23 PM EDT
Used commercial walk-behind. Wasn't their just a similar thread?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:36:24 PM EDT
1 acre?


Just get a walk behind mower. I used to do 5 acres with one
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:42:28 PM EDT
What everyone else said about cheap ZTR's.

An acre with some trees would have me buying a regular lawn or garden tractor made by one of the following: Cub Cadet, John Deere, or Simplicity with a 42"- 48" deck.

Most brands make a cheaper "box store" variety. This may be suitable for your needs if you don't plan on adding attachments beyond something like a waggon or seed spreader. They are "consumer grade" construction, and you'll be lucky if they last for +/- 8 years or so without major parts replacement. Definitely the cheapest way to go for someone on a budget though.

On the other hand, the dealers will carry the heavier, better built GT's (garden tractors) with thicker welded frames, commercial grade engines, shaft drive, heavier tranny that's serviceable, greasable zerks, and better build quality/components all around. These tractors will have a ton of different attachments and will last for MANY years if you take care of them. They do cost though. Expect to pay not hundreds, but thousands more. It's worth it to some people. It was worth it to me.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:59:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SIG_220:
Simplicity looks to be out of my budget.

Any differences reliability wise between Toro, Cub Cadet, and John Deere?



Engine wise, most buy engines from some of the same companies. There are slight differences however.

JD uses Kawasaki engines in their better dealer tractors while I think they use some Kohler engines in the "box store" variety.

Cub uses Kohler commercial engines in their dealer tractors and a lower grade in some of their "box store" tractors.

Simplicity uses a combination of B&S Vanguard commercial engines, and I believe Kohler. The Vanguard (made by Toyota BTW) might be the best gasoline powered small tractor engine out there.

Don't know who makes Toro engines. I'm sure either Kohler or B&S.

To answer your original question, they are all about the same quality. Some are a little heavier build and have some nice features, but all will give good service if you do the maintenance. The engine is probably the least of your worries really. The deck, frame, and tranny top my list for concerns.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 7:00:01 PM EDT
For just under $1,000 we got a Yard Man at Wal-Mart, and there's an authorized repair guy just a few miles from here. I've only needed him because of us hitting rocks and roots though.
Our place is 1.17 acres, and I'm starting to get the hang of cutting it in sections to make it easier/quicker. (We just moved here last year at the beginning of July).

Here's the Mrs. using it at the old place;



Link Posted: 4/9/2006 7:07:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
1 acre?


Just get a walk behind mower. I used to do 5 acres with one



I understand it's not alot. I wanted about 5 acres but the houses needed to much work in my price range. I am in dental school and the semesters average 26 credit hours each so time is essential for me.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 7:50:34 PM EDT
For under $2000 you can get a Husqevarna YTH 2448 (24hp Briggs, 48"cut.) I finish my 3.5 acres (mowable out of 5 acres) in 2hrs compared to the 4 hours my old 12hp 39" mower used to take.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:00:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 9:00:56 AM EDT by SIG_220]
This is what I went with:
www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=LAWN&pid=07127660000

I hope it's a good tractor/mower.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:28:49 AM EDT
For $2200 you can get a 33 inch deck (single blade) Snapper mower that will mulch/bag/discharge. It's a rear engine rider with a 17hp engine. Very simple to maintain and get too. I'm getting a 12.5hp 28 inch deck hivac delivered today with a bagger for $1,700. I have the same size yard but more open area and a few trees. The mower, being rear engine lets your see what's directly in front of you and it has a great turning radius, much better than the tractor style mowers. Don't get a zero turn unless you want to drop over 4 grand on a good one. With the snapper I can go back to my dealer with any warranty/service issues, vs standing in the complaint line at home depot or lowes. Another thing I like is that the mower can be stood up on it's rear end, which will save space and let me store it, my bike and a car in the garage this winter.





Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:40:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 9:42:55 AM EDT by jchewie]

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
1 acre?


Just get a walk behind mower. I used to do 5 acres with one



Yep. $150 4.5hp Craftsman with the big rear wheels and a 22 inch deck (make sure you get the 22 inch deck not the 21 inch deck) lets me get the 1 acre yard mowed in lass than 2 hours.

I has a POS 31 inch like the one shown above and I was damn glad to get rid of it and get a push mower. That thing took between 4 and 6 hours to do the same job!
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 11:28:40 AM EDT
I don't think you will save time.


My neighbor uses a riding mower, albeit on a smaller lot, but I get done with a push before him.
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