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Need riding lawn mower help; standard/zero turn

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Need riding lawn mower help; standard/zero turn

Old 07-01-2018, 10:22 PM
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Default Need riding lawn mower help; standard/zero turn

I'm in need of new lawn mower. I've done a lot of research over the last 2 days but would like more advice from the THT crowd. I will be purchasing the mower from Lowes bc I have a sizable gift card. I have a standard flat 1/2 acre yard. I went to Lowes today and looked at all the models. My big question is mid level standard rider vs entry level zero turn. My budget is about 2500 give or take.

I want a good mower that with regular maintenance will last a long time so I dont mind making the investment. My dad has a JD regular rider that has been great. I believe he paid about 2K for it. Im leaning that way because that is the extent of my experience however I've always wanted a zero turn. My future houses should be roughly the same size, no more than an acre. Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:41 PM
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There has been MANY mower posts, I suggest you do a search.

I have owned a few different brands over the years but I am totally satisfied with my Cub Cadet XT1. Cuts great, steering feels like it has power steering, great turn radius, and the engineers did their job making it perfect for doing maintenance. Everything is easy to get to and it takes exactly 2 qts of oil. No need to measure if you don't want to, no partial containers of oil sitting around. If I ever need to buy another lawn tractor I will buy this same one if it's still available.
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:21 PM
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Thanks RussH, I've read most of the threads on here regarding mowers and the consensus seems to be well all over the board. I started a new thread bc I will be purchasing the mower through Lowes which limits my options, hence seeking advice based on only mowersthat they carry. Club Cadet isnt one of those options however I wish it was. Thanks for the advice
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:08 AM
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I can't help you too much but did pull the trigger on one last year. Like with anybody making a large purchase, I did a lot of reading/learning.

One thing I constantly read were comments with people saying to get serviceable transmissions. A welded deck is always good as well. Be sure to read up on the engines choices available for the mower you're interested in. Certain makes/models aren't well regarded. My Husqvarna rider had a Kohler Courage 20, 110 hours and ended up with a cracked block. Little to my knowledge, this was a common issue.

FYI, I also currently own a half acre. Going from a rider to a ZT surprisingly cut down my mow time.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:12 AM
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I have a Cub Cadet RZT. Zero turn with a steering wheel. I really like it. Mine is a commercial model, due to the size of my property. For half an acre, the smaller residential models should do just fine. Go with the fabricated deck for long life and easier service.

https://www.cubcadet.com/equipment/c...iders/features


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Old 07-02-2018, 04:14 AM
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Sounds like a fabricated deck as opposed to stamped deck so far is a must. Keep the info coming guys, thanks
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:22 AM
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Serviceable trans, new and $2500 do not go together from my reseaech.

For your budget the Hustler Raptor is a nice mower.
My friend owns a service shop and see's every brand out there and likes these for what they are.

He says stay away from Husqvarna at all costs.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:32 AM
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A zero spin is overkill on 1/2 acre. buy a $1000 riding mower and use the rest on trimmers, blower, hookers
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 1976K204x4 View Post
Serviceable trans, new and $2500 do not go together from my reseaech.

For your budget the Hustler Raptor is a nice mower.
My friend owns a service shop and see's every brand out there and likes these for what they are.

He says stay away from Husqvarna at all costs.
I agree with this very much. For a 1/2 acre (likely 1/4 - 1/3 acre of grass) the Briggs powered JD stuff will be fine, as will the Cub line. Neither has a man overly robust transaxle, but they are fine as long as you don't try to tow stuff with them or pull any ground engaging attachments. For $500 more you can step up to a JD xseries mower, but have to go to the dealer for them.

I have also visited the Husqvarna factory on multiple occasions where they build their mowers. You will never see a product that comes out of that plant in my yard.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:45 AM
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i bought a JD lawn tractor to mow my 3 acre lot, it does well but takes time.

last year we decided to move up to a zero turn, again JD. love the thing, very fast and reliable.

I still have the regular lawn tractor and still use it now and then as an extra set of blades when we want to get down.

not sure about Lowes but the JD's at Home Depot are not touched by Home Depot employees. they are set up by JD dealership that is nearest to the store. when you make your purchase the JD dealership will contact you and tell you about the set up/warranty etc to make sure the box store did their job.
the zero turn we went right to the JD dealer to get.

with your small lot however I think the zero turn would be over kill.

BTW cub cadet is now owned by MTD, wouldn't touch one of those.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:56 AM
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Greetings

I just wanted to make sure you knew that Lowes has more models online to choose from that they don't keep in store inventory. They ship free.

Additionally, as also stated above, zero turn cut mow time immensely. You won't look back.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:56 AM
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Just don't see the value in putting that much into a zero turn for that size lot. Be advised that zero turns, while great for larger acreage, in a tight area tend to tear up the grass in tight fast turns where they pivot. Also, a welded deck is a given. These mowers from the big box stores tend to cut corners to make a price point. Go to a dedicated dealer that supports many of the commercial brands and they can show you the differences in these machines. I have an Exmark made for the residential user but based on a commercial platform. Not cheap but durable and more than adequate for the 2 acres I mow.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:18 AM
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I 100% agree that a zero turn is overkill for my lot. No doubt about it. I was just thinking in the future if I have roughly an acre of actual yard to cut would I wish I got the zero turn. The little kid inside me also secretly wants to get a ZT for the fun of it. Will do more research and figure it out. Thanks a lot fellas
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:19 AM
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Lowes also has 0 percent financing for 12 months on most equipment.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:24 AM
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Given your flat 1/2 acre lot and the research you've already done, it will be hard for you to screw up on your decision. There are some good deals on used mowers out there if you know what to look for, but with your gift card you don't have to go there and the added value of a good used unit in that price range goes more to durability and commercial quality issues that far exceed your needs. The "tractor type" mowers are great and you can add features like a plow or snow blower if needed. Personally I prefer a hydrostatic drive over straight gears. But zero turns are an absolute blast and cut much faster, especially it you have trees and bushes to trim around. If you enjoy cutting grass the problem with a zero turn is that you may finish that 1/2 acre so fast that you'll want to cut it again just for the smile factor. Make sure to get a bit with a pressurized oil system (oil filter and oil pump) not a "dipper" oiling unit. On totally flat lawns it won't make much difference but even a short run with a mild slope can result in an oil burner with a dipper. Ran a JD 317 with 17 HP Kohler, cutting grass and blowing snow, for 18 years and got rid of it due to burning oil. Got a Dixie Chopper and have been grinning for the past 16 years. Cut my mowing time in half (1.75 acres).
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:35 AM
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Thanks buddy good advice there. I'm leaning towards the zero turn with the thought of as my parents age I'll be cutting their grass more and more (1.5 acres). I hadn't really taken that into consideration I'll update my decision and let everyone know how it goes
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:55 AM
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I just bought a cub cadet 46" rider. Wanting to pull a trailer was my main deciding factor. Works great so far. I did get it at a local dealer as opposed to home depot. They service, fix, do warranty work So I figured I'd give them the business.

Cut 2 acres in about 2 hours with beer breaks.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:58 AM
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don't forget to get your 10% off lowes coupon online
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:58 AM
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Nice man, I've never pulled anything with a lawn mower and cant think of a reason I would but good to know they can if needed
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post


I agree with this very much. For a 1/2 acre (likely 1/4 - 1/3 acre of grass) the Briggs powered JD stuff will be fine, as will the Cub line. Neither has a man overly robust transaxle, but they are fine as long as you don't try to tow stuff with them or pull any ground engaging attachments. For $500 more you can step up to a JD xseries mower, but have to go to the dealer for them.

I have also visited the Husqvarna factory on multiple occasions where they build their mowers. You will never see a product that comes out of that plant in my yard.
I purchased a Hustler Raptor 5 years ago and have been pleased. Up to date have replaced electric clutch and blades just maintenance nothing big.

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