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-   -   riding lawnmower recomendations... please!!! (https://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside-chat/259865-riding-lawnmower-recomendations-please.html)

emudryj 01-04-2010 10:08 AM

riding lawnmower recomendations... please!!!
 
we just moved and will need to mow grass on a pretty decent area soon.
Definitely not practical with a self propelled lawn mower like I used to do on my old home, so I need a riding lawn mower...

I'm looking to spend between 1000 and 1300, but I do not know which are good.

Lowes and home depot have some nice ones on those prices but I cant remember the brands...they also have john deer, but those are off the chart on price range...

What do you guys think???
what should I be looking for specifically???
any particular capability???
Should I go new with my budget or look for a upper tier brand and go used?

any particular recommendation????

240 LTS 01-04-2010 10:15 AM

Older John Deere. :thumbsup:Not sure what year the quality went down.
I understand they aren't built like they used to be. But then again, nothing is.
I have a 160, 17 hp Kawasaki engine. Bought it used for 1000.00. I can't even tell you how long ago, 10 years, ;?I don't know.

Mist-Rest 01-04-2010 10:16 AM

Upper brand and used saves some money but you'll need to be looking at a little more.

How much area are you looking at? I use a commercial walk behind w/o a sulky in Maine. I'm cutting about 2 acres in an hour.

Semper Fi-sh 01-04-2010 10:39 AM

As a landscaper for 20 years and if I were a home owner in your situation with knowledge I have in the Green Industry.. I would get a 36 or 48 inch belt/gear drivin walk behind mower with mulching blades and or bagger, with a 15 hph or more Kawasaki engine.. it will last you your lifetime if you take care of it as a homeowner..

sit downs suck unless you want to pay 10k for a walker mower..

good luck

jking 01-04-2010 10:51 AM

I have a robomower for my backyard. Not a bad choice if you don't otherwise want a riding mower or do much work on an ongoing basis.

Mist-Rest 01-04-2010 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Semper Fi-sh (Post 2701963)
As a landscaper for 20 years and if I were a home owner in your situation with knowledge I have in the Green Industry.. I would get a 36 or 48 inch belt/gear drivin walk behind mower with mulching blades and or bagger, with a 15 hph or more Kawasaki engine.. it will last you your lifetime if you take care of it as a homeowner..

sit downs suck unless you want to pay 10k for a walker mower..

good luck



How did you know I have a JD belt drive 48" walk behind with a Kawi engine from 1991? E-10 ruined the carb but that was easily repaired.:grin:

Cat-a-holic 01-04-2010 12:36 PM

I bought a Sears 42" 10 years ago and its still going strong. It cuts about 2 1/2 acres.

Garett 01-04-2010 12:41 PM

I don't know about your prices where you live, but up here, 1k or 1.3k probably would not even buy a riding mower, but if it did, it would be the junkest of junk there is on the market! If you are set on riding then you should be inquiring at all the riding mower dealers there is in your area for trade ins. That or buy yourself either a John Deere Commerical self propelled walk behind or the commerical unit Honda has. Both units should out last you.

bikem 01-04-2010 12:55 PM

No Brainer! A snapper. Awesome mowers and they will take a beating, I paid around $1000.00 for mine new but that was about 10 years ago and its the smallest one and a pull start.

mattie 01-04-2010 12:59 PM

If you want it to last, buy a deere, their drive train is superior to the others. You can get by with a cheap brand if your yard is level, if it is uneven then a cheap one won't hold up.

demjjm 01-04-2010 01:39 PM

I mow 1.5 acres and finally learned my lesson after going through a couple of the Home Depot MTD cheapo's. Like you I did not want to step up to the John Deere. When the new models came out, I bought a Cub Cadet "zero turn" which was on clearance, it fell right in between the John Deere and the cheapo MTD's. I am very happy with it, and well worth the extra money. For some reason the John Deere's were not offered at clearance prices, only the other brands. Right now is a good time to buy since most riding mowers in stock will probably be on clearance at this time of the year. It is my understanding that that MTD owns cub cadet but they are definitely not just the same re-badged mowers.

brumbyvet 01-04-2010 03:45 PM

I would also recommend a John Deere. I own two of them, best mowers I've ever owned. Whatever you get, be sure to get gear drive or hydrostatic. Mowers advertised as automatic (usually cheaper) are junk and will only last a year or two.

Semper Fi-sh 01-04-2010 04:17 PM


Originally Posted by Mist-Rest (Post 2702118)
How did you know I have a JD belt drive 48" walk behind with a Kawi engine from 1991? E-10 ruined the carb but that was easily repaired.:grin:

Lucky guess ;cool;

you got a good mower there..:thumbsup: I have always used Exmark and Lesco's belt drivin walk behinds..the reason i never went hydros was the maintenance involved, upkeep and the hydrolic lines can freeze when doing fall clean ups etc..

I add fuel softner to my fuel since they upped the ethenol to 10%..seems to work good.

its amazing how long these kawasaki engines last when you clean the air-filter regulary and change the oil..

kone 01-04-2010 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by 240 LTS (Post 2701912)
Older John Deere..

if you can find one.

call your local JD dealer and tell them to keep an eye out for you. some trades come in the spring when they're doing specials on new ones. i traded mine a few years ago and it was a great buy for someone. mine work hard, 4-5 hrs a week - went through a Snapper and a White before going JD and haven't looked back.

marvin177 01-04-2010 04:41 PM

About 7 years ago I bought a riding mower from Lowes for around $2500 and it was JUNK! It was an MTD. As others said you won't get much for $1000 unless you buy used. I mow about 2 1/2 acres so I bit the bullet and spent $5,000 on a Gravely commercial model and I'm sure I'll never have to buy another mower in my life time.

nautiduck 01-04-2010 05:16 PM

Stay away from the Cub Cadets with the electric PTO clutches, They are a serious pain in the ass. If they arent kept adjusted the switches burn out or the clutch itself will go out.

triumphrick 01-04-2010 05:22 PM

Husqvarna! I have had my 2448 (24 hp briggs & 3 blade 48" cut) for about four years. Came with some cheap pulleys, but the upgraded ones have been great. Find one of these or as many others suggested, a used John Deere. Craigslist down here is full of them at good prices. Most people selling them cause they don't run and just need the carb and tank cleaned...

bellsisland 01-04-2010 06:57 PM

I have a toro zero cut that cost $3000k when I bought it. For the record.

Now goto lowes and buy a MTD for $800. I bought one 12 years ago, gave it to my dad 5 years ago when I got the toro. He leaves it outside, still running and cutting great.

If it lasts 10 years and you have to buy another one, you are still way ahead.

Remember when you ask guys what kind of power tools, they have that is like asking a woman about shoes!!!!!

netman9 01-04-2010 07:15 PM

Had 3 great Simplicity mowers in 80's. Gave the last one away still cutting grass after 6,000 hrs, had to work on it but 2 acre per hr x 6,000 is alot of grass. Now I own a 2004 POS Simplicity that I work on all the time. The hour meter quit the first season. Get an entry model JD from a dealer not Lowes/Home Depot. Dealer support after purchase offsets the dif.

Snapper Head 01-04-2010 07:20 PM

I have 25 acres mowed by an A10 Warthog.

But it's expensive, and I am not the typical user.:grin::grin:


Big Al

total mayhem 01-05-2010 02:37 AM

had a honda walk behind that at 15 years old the transmission started locking up. wanted to cut my mowing time down so i bought the 36 inch exmark with the kawi. great machine. my neighbor was surprised at how much i spent on it but sears is at his hse 2 or 3 times a year repairing his rider

C Dave 01-05-2010 03:34 AM

JD they are built to last, the cheap ones break when you need them the most.

Afishinado 01-05-2010 03:46 AM

Back in another lifetime (late 70's) when I was married (to a farmers daughter), I had 4 acres around my home to mow. Back then I went to a lot of auctions and bought stuff to fix up and sell, and came across a little International Super A set with a mower used at a school. My FIL had 3 of them in his fleet set up to cultivate onions, great machine. Engine had a miss, got it for $170. Became a winter project, replaced a ignition wire, a few bearings and belts, seat and painted it up ready for resale. I remember thinking I could get $2500-$3000 for it, used it once and decided to keep it. I went by the house about 2 years ago and my X-FIL was mowing the grass on it... BTW, he's 92 now and was mowing all 4 daughters lawns with it. Now that was a lawn tractor!

tprice 01-05-2010 04:03 AM


Originally Posted by bikem (Post 2702200)
No Brainer! A snapper. Awesome mowers and they will take a beating, I paid around $1000.00 for mine new but that was about 10 years ago and its the smallest one and a pull start.


I agree, been through a couple of lawn mowers in the past 20 years and this year I broke down and bought a brand new Snapper mower. My yard is not all that big but over the years I have heard nothing but good things about Snapper and Dad had one many years ago and only sold it to get a bigger cutting radius mower.

Mine has electric start and I also bought the bagger package due to leaves in the fall(man that has come in handy)

Seems like with bagger and all I paid around $1700 and bagger accessories were about $400 of that.

Works great for my small yard and if I while talking with a guy that owns a small engine/mower repair shop he said for the money Snapper's can not be beat.
He also said to stay away from the Lowes/Home Depot/Walmart mowers. He said these companies force the mfg's to cut corners

He also told me several years ago HD sold Snapper's and Walmart was wanting to carry them but wanted them to cut corners and the owner of Snapper said NO to the big box retail stores. He did not want to compromise his product just to make a quick buck:thumbsup:

LI Sound Grunt 01-05-2010 05:00 AM

For that price can get a new Sears with manual shift. My last one lasted 26 years and I have 7 years on the current one (automatic tranny). It probably would have lasted longer but after about 15 years I mowed almost the whole lawn with no oil because I forgot to add it when I changed it. :banghead:. Fortunately it started up after letting it cool and adding oil - whew The first machine needed the solenoid replaced once That one was also used winters with the snowblower and plow attachment. The second one has not needed anyhting yet.

Unless you want to spend more than a few several grand, the lower price end ones appear to me to be all made by the same mfgr. The low end Cub cadet and JD that they sell in the box stores seem identical or very very close to my Sears.

(I also had a knee problem and needed one that I could shift and throttle with my hands - now that I can move my knee - those ones with the single pedal that does all would probably be nice....)

Happy mowing and PS - I never had one but love that brand name - Snapper :rofl: Must be especially good at trimming.

SJD 01-05-2010 05:48 AM

Bought a Craftsman 6 years ago. Overall a good machine 18.5 horse Briggs w/auto drive, and I've worked the hell out of it not only mowing but pulling trailers full of wood, pulling drags to level etc. The motor started to burn oil last year and I rebuilt it (bout $125 for the kit, my labor) and it runs great again. I paid about $1200 for it. I'm sure it will last a total of at least 10 years so if I have to buy another and basically spend 2500 in 20 years as oppsed to 4-5k for a JD I'd rather do that. Neighbor has a JD and loves it but I can't see spend 4-5k on a lawn mower for my needs. Oh, and I'm on all the orignal belts and the Neighbors JD is on its 3rd set in 8 years. But if money were no object, I'd probably get a JD.

emudryj 01-05-2010 06:12 AM

Thanks for the comments!!!!keep them coming!!!!

What do you guys think of this one??
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1537518355.html

emudryj 01-05-2010 06:27 AM

or this one
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1532421026.html

emudryj 01-05-2010 06:32 AM

I still do not get the advantage of the walk behind mowers over the riding ones....
the walk behind seem to be very popolar among the proffesionals and the riding ones more popular among the do-it-yourself-home-owners... is that rigth???

Either way, I may have between 35000 sqf and 1 acre to cut. I more inclined for the riding mowers because It looks by the pictures that the walk behind mowers takes more space if you want to store in the garage than the riding ones.
What do you think???

this looks old but very "pro"...
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1497287616.html

demjjm 01-05-2010 06:43 AM


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703727)
Thanks for the comments!!!!keep them coming!!!!

What do you guys think of this one??
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1537518355.html


If I am not mistaken, that is one of the newer John Deere that is not preferred, it looks exactly like the pos MTD. One other thing that I forgot to mention about the cub cadet, is the the zero turn really works, with makes maneuvering around trees, decks, sheds, lights poles, etc. really easy.

demjjm 01-05-2010 06:45 AM


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703756)


Now compare this one to the first one you posted and I commented on. There are clear differences, I believe this may be the preferred on, but I am sure the JD experts will chime in to confirm.

emudryj 01-05-2010 08:34 AM


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703727)
Thanks for the comments!!!!keep them coming!!!!

What do you guys think of this one??
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1537518355.html


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703756)


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703770)
I still do not get the advantage of the walk behind mowers over the riding ones....
the walk behind seem to be very popolar among the proffesionals and the riding ones more popular among the do-it-yourself-home-owners... is that rigth???

Either way, I may have between 35000 sqf and 1 acre to cut. I more inclined for the riding mowers because It looks by the pictures that the walk behind mowers takes more space if you want to store in the garage than the riding ones.
What do you think???

this looks old but very "pro"...
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1497287616.html

any of the JD experts that would comments on those links????

PLLLLLLEEEEAAASSEEEE????

Mist-Rest 01-05-2010 09:01 AM

I'd help if I could but I know next to nothing about that style rider. Around here Scag's are mostly the rule with Walkers following.

I do know to stay away from any box store JD units.

Brad1 01-05-2010 09:28 AM

I was in the same situation a few years ago. Bought a couple acres and had a house built on one of them. I ended up buying a Craftsman. The model I have sells for $1,400 new. I bought a new leftover (exact same as the $1,400 one) for $699. I can't remember off the top of my head if the deck is 42" or 48" (I think the model is an LT2000). Front what I recall, it has a 20hp Briggs and Stratton engine. Overall, I've been happy with it. It gets some abuse for a rider. One of the acres is abandon farm land and is kind of rough. I even mow some weeds that you'd use a brush hog for. Had a spring and a clip pop off it, but they were easy to fix.

The day I left my house to set out and buy a mower, when I stopped at Sears, they were over run with rider mowers. They had 20 parked outside of their auto service dept. They had about 20 more parked inside the auto service area (occupying numerous bays), their indoor rider mower dept was full, and the salesmand said they had about 20 more in the basement. They were desperate to unload the ones sitting around from the previous model year.

slper 01-05-2010 06:57 PM

Do what I did. I bought my wife a 20" push mower and a rake for X-Mas. She loves it :) It will save you from buyin' a rider!

triumphrick 01-05-2010 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by emudryj (Post 2703727)
Thanks for the comments!!!!keep them coming!!!!

What do you guys think of this one??
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1537518355.html

Hell...that's gotta be sold already....!!

fidhhook54 01-05-2010 07:12 PM

Check craiglist, you can get a decent John Deere for that money, 1/2 years old.

better than spending money on the cheap new rust buckets
at home depot or lowes, even the JD at lowes their parts are superior
to any yard machine or club cadet...

Sometimes theres nice ones at craiglist, Husqvarna, John Deere et al.
Stay away from the ones with kohler engines.

Briggs or Kawasaki engines are the way to go.

http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/grd/1533408666.html

Some of them are garaged kept and
taken care of, better than spending money on a yard machine or similar
new mower that after 3 years is junk.
the LA series came out the year after the L series...
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/grd/1532421026.html

This mower was over 2k 2/3 years ago,
I'm sure the guy will take 1k.

less than 20 hours...

Mine has 4 years and 170 hours and is 5 years old, I have a L111,
I paid 1700 4 years ago.

Plenty of people are moving from houses to apartments and townhomes,
selling their stuff cheap as they no longer needed,
just look for the ones that are garaged kept/serviced and it will be a better deal
that any new mower you can buy new at the store.

Yes, the year end models sometimes can be had for good prices.

Over a Acre you need at least a 17 HP.

Be patiente, theres nice deals showing up on craigs all the time,
nice JD's for 600/800 doll.

I had problems with mine but my fault I went over a hammer with it
and 2 spindles broke, it cost 650 to fix at the JD store, I changed the blades and belts,
if I new I could get that L 130 for 800 I will not fix mine.

the link I posted is good, 800 bucks for a 23 hp + the trailer that costs over 100 doll second hand.

cdail28590 01-05-2010 07:47 PM

In that price range when you buy new they all are pretty much the same. You just might be able to get a better motor on different brands. The problem I have found is not with the motors so much but the decks. I used to own a landscaping business so I have some experience with mowers. I personally have a Cub Cadet 1042 with the Kohler engine. I have had about 4 years with no issues what so ever with anything on this mowere other than the deck. The decks are just stamped steel (as all the residential models are) and the mounts pulled away from the deck. Luckily, I was able to reweld everything back and its all good. I know it sounds like a lot of money but it you want a mower that will last get a Commercial series mower. We have a 60 Cub Cadet tank and that thing is a beast. The deck is 1/4" steel so you don't ever have to worry about a deck problem. I will say the old school type snappers are great but they just don't cut wide enough.

Garett 01-05-2010 08:43 PM

A few years back when I bought my country retreat I was in a pinch and bought a Craftsman 24hp Briggs & S. ......about 2 months later it went back.......what a piece of Junk! And to boot, it costed me over $350 to take it back! I vowed that was the Last Dime I EVER Spend In That Store!!!!!!!!!! Yes I spent more money in buying a Simplicity Prestige (27hp Kohler), but the two tractors are not even in the same league!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! Yes I broke the bank in buying the Prestige, but man does it do a GREAT job! Aside from cutting the lawn, rolling the lawn, aerating the lawn, fertiziling the yard I'm also hauling dirt, stone, logs, dragging 1,000 rocks on my stone boat and snow blowing......IMHO it was worth every cent I paid!

nodoubt 01-05-2010 09:57 PM

simplicity......


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