Dockside Chat - Riding lawn tractor/mower advice

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View Full Version : Riding lawn tractor/mower advice

04-06-2008, 05:48 PM
Well, we are finally going to close on the Virginia house in a week - yes, we have been homeless, per se, for almost a year. We put an offer on a nice house here in TX and we're scheduled to close in a few weeks. We will have a little over an acre of land and I need to get a riding mower/tractor. I think we actually have about 1/2 an acre to mow factoring in for the drive, house, RV/boat barn and pool.

Right now I am really narrowed into the John Deere 100 series tractors. But I have time to research and of course, ask the folks here on THT.

Flat terrain mostly, a few trees, cutting along a fence, 1/2 acre+. Oh yeah, I would like to be able to move the boat around with it too, but not a requirement.

Thanks! :tht_rulez:

04-06-2008, 06:05 PM
Why spend 20 minutes on a task you can get done in 5?

04-06-2008, 06:25 PM
For 1/2 acre you have a lot of options. Don't know about you, but at my age i need to get as much exercise as possible, so a good self-propelled push mower may be worth considering. But most of them don't come with cup holders. Dang it! I've got a three year old Deere with a Kohler engine (LT150). I've not had a single problem with it yet. I bought it at a Deere store b/c you couldn't get that model anywhere else. I think some of the Deere models that are available at some of the Home Improvement stores are not much better than any of the other brands of tractors, though. Service at a Deere store is MUCH better than most other retailers, but you pay for it.

Check out the May 2008 issue of Consumers Reports. I just got it in the mail two days ago. There's a great section in that issue on mowers, including lawn tractors. You might note that the Deere tractors have the lowest repair percentage of all of the major brands. Their push mowers have the worst repair rating. Worth looking into.

04-06-2008, 06:32 PM
Nothing runs like a Deere.........................

04-06-2008, 06:34 PM
I already have a walk behind snapper hi-vac self-propelled that I will use for the trim work and getting into any tight areas. You can't beat a snapper!

I have several Deere dealers around town, I will stop by and see what they have.

Thanks :thumbsup:

04-06-2008, 06:41 PM
Huscavarna is hard to beat for the money and features. Mine has been flawless and maintenance is very simple.

04-06-2008, 07:30 PM
lol..I'm waiting for the diesel 4x4 air conditioned cab version of whatever is most expensive to be suggested.

04-06-2008, 07:40 PM
The main thing I would avoid is any zero turn mower from a lowes/home depot type place. Zero Turn is great for commercial use, but has to be built properly to hold up, most of the homeowner variety IMO don't stack up at all. For the size area you have to mow, really anything durable should be fine. I would look for something with hydrostatic drive, and a 44" or so deck. Move the boat with it if you absolutely have to, but your truck would be much better suited.

04-06-2008, 08:34 PM
You need a JD 3320 Cab model with the 60" MMM Finish Deck (happy Joe?) That is the way I went (less the cab, but sure am wishing I had it, I miss the Air Conditioning, Sirius Sat Radio etc) LOL!

04-06-2008, 08:46 PM
StingerII - 4/6/2008 11:34 PM You need a JD 3320 Cab model with the 60" MMM Finish Deck (happy Joe?) That is the way I went (less the cab, but sure am wishing I had it, I miss the Air Conditioning, Sirius Sat Radio etc) LOL!

That is a diesel, right?

04-06-2008, 09:33 PM
bmkshort - 4/6/2008 9:32 PM

Nothing runs like a Deere.........................

But nothings as fast as a dixie chopper :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

04-06-2008, 10:07 PM

Yep it's a 33.5 HP Yanmar 3cyl diesel with e-Hydro, Loadmatch, Cruise Control, Power Beyond 3rd SCV, 448 Backhoe, 300X Loader and 60" 7 Iron MMM.

My little ridin mower.... :)

04-06-2008, 10:12 PM
I Have a 61inch cut Zero turn Skagg with a 25hp Kohler motor, it has 650 hours use on it. It will mow your grass at 10mph.
About 15minutes to do a half acre, and it will look like a putting green when done. Its for sale if your interested $4K OBO
This is the top of the line commercial mower.
Before I sold the ranch I mowed 22acres every week. Took about 5 hrs
Good luck wth the new home

Bruce W
04-06-2008, 10:37 PM

First, CONGRATS on the new home - and the sale of the other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After a year, I'm sure you, Caroline and Meghan are READY to settle down again! :thumbsup:

I had (in my "first life" :grin: ) a rancher on .97ac. - minus a 60x28 home, a 30x30 garage, and a double-wide driveway - with lots of shrubs and dogwoods. For 3-4 years, I cut it with a regular lawnmower - NOT self-propelled. Sometimes a lot of work during the summer, but I was always pleased with the "cut & trim" finish look of a non-rider.

Eventually, got a rider when I got lazy, but still used the smaller mower for all but the largest areas.

Get some excercise and use a smaller mower (21-22" cut) for 1/2ac. - I think you'll like the overall "look" better. :thumbsup:

I know you're VERY excited, and I think that "chance" chat with the policeman concerning the neighborhood was a GREAT thing! ;cool; :thumbsup:

Do you know how long will you be in San Antonio??? ;?

Best regards,

04-07-2008, 02:14 AM
Hey Chris

Glad you guys finally got a place to call your own.

Tell you what I did a few years ago, turned out to be the best money I have ever spent.

One afternoon I was cutting the grass and my finishing mower had started to give me a few heart aches. Sweat flowing into my eyes, glasses fogging up, hands full of grease, and I still had half the yard to go.

I happened to look up and noticed one of them lawn service trucks passing on the road. Flagged the guy down, as it happened he was finished up for the day, and he snapped up my offer to LET him cut my yard. $45 every two weeks, and I haven't set on a lawn mower since 2004. Now to be fair I live on rural property and I am not particular about my yard at all. It really could be cut every week, but heck I never cut it every week. I use generic Round-up for trimming. I have an agreement with the grass cutter that if he is super busy, it is okay to put my yard off for a day or two, or if it's wet get after it anyway if he needs to. I don't care a whole lot about tracks or ruts, just knock the high grass down.

Seriously, I'd buy one of them riding mowers they offer at the BX every summer. SIL bought one, has a big engine and it cuts his 1/2 acre in about 30 minutes. Oops! I have been on a mower, I cut his grass a couple times last year when he was deployed.

04-07-2008, 02:44 AM
Cub Cadet in the 2000 series does a nice job and is very easy to maintain. Doubt you'll move a boat with most of the riding mowers suited to 1/2 to 1 acre mowing jobs, that would really be better with a small tractor. Agree that most of the stuff at Lowes or Home Depot is second rate, buy from an actual dealer to get the better models.

04-07-2008, 03:26 AM
The house I moved into last July has two acres, virtually all of it cleared. Alot of folks were telling me to buy this mower, or that zero turn mower (remember, I have no trees), but when you look at the price of some of the mowers some folks were recommending, they were thousands of dollars. I'm talking some as much as $4k to $6k for these elaborate professional grade machines. Well, I bought a used MTD with a 19hp twin cylinder, cast iron sleeved briggs and stratton for a couple hundred bucks. I do the riding mower portion of my lawn in a couple hours, if that. Maybe more like an hour-and-a-half.

I think MTD is making most of the mowers now-a-days any how.

04-07-2008, 04:19 AM
Check out Simplicity, mine is a Brodmower? model 18 hp w/ 50" cut. about $3500. Flawless for 3-4 years. I cut about 2 acres in 1.5-2 hours. Not a zero turn but turns on a dime. Hydrastatic transmission. The $995 models at lowes' etc were what I had previously, no real complaints with them for the price. But they don't hold a candle to the Simplicity in any category. :thumbsup: Good Luck.

04-07-2008, 08:33 AM
I have a brower rm 22' hooked to a Case IH 5230 that could do your yard in one pass. Its not the best in tight spots though.

04-07-2008, 08:45 AM
I have the best suggestion of all.

To me, if the weather is good enough to be cutt'n grass, then its good enough to
be out in the boat.

Soooooo,.......Wouldn't it be cheaper and more convenient just to have a few
Mexicans around to take care of the yard work?

I'm sure there has to be a few willing and available in Texas.

:grin: :grin:

04-07-2008, 12:26 PM
My buddy has one of those Lowe's Johndeer mowers and has about the same size yard. Yes there are better lawn mowers but for as little time that it will be used it should last for 10 or more years.

What part of Va are you moving too?

04-07-2008, 04:24 PM
I just moved from Newport News - that's the house we're closing Monday.

Thanks for the kind words guys.

I think I will probably go with one of the BX specials - the normally have an assortment of Poulan, Husqvarna and Cub Cadets and all are tax free. So, I could go with the Deere for more $$$ or go with a similar model, albeit not quite as good, but still does the same job for much less money.

Who knows, I may just get the deere and be done. I really like the hydrostatic feature!

04-07-2008, 04:36 PM
john deer..........period

04-08-2008, 03:56 AM

If your yard is neat and smooth, no ruts, holes, stumps and such, even a cheap lawn mower will last a long time.

04-08-2008, 03:58 AM
twentynine - 4/8/2008 6:56 AM


If your yard is neat and smooth, no ruts, holes, stumps and such, even a cheap lawn mower will last a long time.


04-08-2008, 04:24 AM
What ever you get make sure it has the largest deck made...36-42" would be Min for that size property...


04-08-2008, 05:39 AM
twentynine - 4/8/2008 6:56 AM


If your yard is neat and smooth, no ruts, holes, stumps and such, even a cheap lawn mower will last a long time.

Yeah, but a mid to upper tier mower will have much better resale value.


Stay away from Grassliner or Yard Fox. Cheap hardware, birds nest wiring and the decks rot out! :Q

04-12-2008, 06:35 AM

Captain Sid
04-12-2008, 06:39 AM
Hey Garett, when did you change your name to Susan ../images/emoticons/biggrin.gif

LI Sound Grunt
04-12-2008, 06:45 AM
I am with Hydro on this. I would save the $$$ get a self propelled walk behind just for the exercise. When I need more I disengage the wheels and can work up a good sweat on a half acre. I always disengage the wheels when the wife does it - she needs to lose a few pounds. But if you don't need the exercise and have the $$ and already like Deere's - stay with them!

04-12-2008, 07:54 AM
I don't need a self propelled. If I wanted advice on a self propelled mower I would have asked for it. And to put this to rest, I don't need the exercise because I go to the gym and this 38 year old fella can still run a mile and a half in 10 minutes and a 5k in 22 minutes..

Hydro, why don't ya stop hanging out on THT so much and YOU go get some exercise. Like I said, I HAVE A SNAPPER SELF PROPELLED and thanks for the suggestions, really... but when I ask for RIDING LAWN TRACTOR/MOWER ADVICE, I want just that.

I am not irritated, but I see why some people actually do get irritated around here. You ask about boat docks because a person has waterfront property and what would best fit the area and you get replies telling a fella to get a trailer.. :trout:

Later... (And thanks to those of you who know how to "stay on topic")

04-12-2008, 08:33 AM
WOW!! Sorry to have bothered you, Chris. Don't worry, it won't happen again.

Captain Sid
04-12-2008, 08:46 AM
You know things are slow here when guys are fighting about self propelled and riding mowers, screw it, get a couple of goats

04-12-2008, 02:36 PM
Hydro, I'm messing with ya. Anytime I can get a chance to bust your balls, you're darn tooten I am going to take advantage of it! :bashhh:

Goats it is... :Q

Do you know how to get a sheep to push back? Take it to the edge of a cliff...

After much debate, I think I will go and get a Deere. Probably the L145 or L165. Can't justify the need for the X300 series.

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