John Deere LT155 or D130 Series

pks19April 12, 2014

Need to buy a riding mower for my dad who no longer wishes to push his 1/2 acre +. I am not familiar at all with build quality of the current JD models but there seem to be plenty of dissatisfaction online. Hard to evaluate all on line reviews so I figured I would ask here. Needs are quite simple. Mow a bit over 1/2 acre(almost all flat land), some light pulling of a cart and bagging clean up in spring and fall. He was looking at a D125 or 130 at Home Depot. Interest free financing, Free cart and & roughly $2200 total. There is also a local JD Lt155 in near mint shape for $1000 no bagger. Cost of a new bagger is $500 at JD. Total $1500 or perhaps a bit less if negotiable. My dad is less enthusiastic about used but the LT seems to get much better reviews. Smaller and better (size and shed wise) 38" deck as opposed to the 42. The old 38" deck also seems to generate better lifting/pick-up capability than the newer 42s. Less fuel with the single Kohler Command vs the Vtwin on the D125 or D130. Of course there is no warranty on the used LT. Other models and options? Seems as though there are no 38" decks offered anymore. Thank you.

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You have done your homework. The LT series was a nice tractor. It is very true that the 38" on this is a nicer deck, works well with the super high lift blades available. All being said, it had best be mint for $1000. With a bagger included- it would be a no brainer for you. Things to watch for on this tractor is primarily wear at the steering gears along with the normal things such as transmission noises and operation plus if the front axle looks well maintained doesn't bind etc.
The 42" on the D /L series seems to be a lighter deck though they work out fine. There are bagger blades for them as well, but they are nothing like the super high lift of the 38.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 10:44AM
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If age on the LT-155 is a consideration, my father bought my LT-155 new in 2000. I inherited it a couple of years later.

It has always been maintained, oil, filters, etc at least a yearly basis.

In the 10 years I have had it, the only problem I have had was the spark plug condenser. However that apparently not common as the John Deere Dealer took some time to locate the problem. (This dealer was one of the largest dealers in the area, and worked on every thing from JD push mowers, to the largest combines that exist, so it was not that they did not know what they were doing.)

I have had it over 10 years and only had to replace the mower belt once. I have had to have each wheel on the mower deck weld as I hit a couple of roots wrong, (I love Maples)

I started mowing a half acre, and moved up to 3/4 acre. The half acre was flat. The 3/4 acre has some slope about 15 /100'. In addition to mowing I have a 500lb rated trailer the gets used for everything. carry new plants for the drive to the back of the lot, carrying pavers for a new path, Picking up gum balls, leaves, sticks, etc, and carrying the grandchildren.

PS: If you go with the JD, go to the dealer for parts and service. The spring service kit, (2qt oil, gas filter, oil filter, and air filter w/the foam element, and spark plug) was cheaper that I could buy the components at the Big Box.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 1:45PM
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I think 1500 for the LT155 with bagger is way too much, unless it is very low hours and mint. That model ended around end of 2000 or early 2001 ( so most of them are older than that), replaced with the LT 150/160's. The LT160 is really a nicely updated version of the 155, as far as I can see. I bought a used LT160 (2002) with 75 hours or so, for $800, with a mulching Freedom deck, no bagger, around 2007. That was a particularly good deal, with snow on the ground, etc. I added a used but nearly new 42C deck from Ebay (a dealer who took the deck in trade for a Freedom deck) for about 200 including shipping it home, and a bagger from JD for around 450 back then. Everything is still in excellent condition, mowing about 40,000 feet of pretty flat grass. Machine is very solid, very economical to run, probably not quite as heavy duty as my old 165H, nor quite as sturdy as the X300 but close. I would hunt for a later LT series over any of the current Big Box level, and $1500 should get you a really nice one. The Freedom deck is awesome for mulching, but doesn't do anything else. If you need to pick up leaves, etc., then the bagger with 38 or 42 C deck does great. I bag in the spring to clean up winter junk, etc., then mulch until October or so when leaves start to come down. If you get a chance, drive both an LT and a new D and ai think you wil quickly tell that they just feel different.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:59PM
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FWIW...I bought a LT155 in the fall of 2012 ... in "good to very good" condition. No hour meter. I bought it from a fellow who bought it from a dealer used and he was the second owner (I've got papers). It ran very well and the only problems were basically cosmetic...if you are willing to call a couple of silver dollar sized rust spots under the seat cosmetic! It came with a 38" deck with both a bagger AND a mulcher package. I paid $800 and looking back consider that a fair but not terrific deal.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:45PM
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Thank you for the replies. In the end, I could not sway a used buy. New was what was really on the docket so after a bit more asking around, it seems to me that the differences are largely insignificant for our purposes among all the players in this market. Cost is also quite similar. We looked at the Cub Cadet LTX 1042 (better warranty than the rest), John Deere D125 & D130, Simplicity Regent 38 (a 38" deck! my choice) but $400 more than the others. So..... He picked a Craftsman 22HP Vtwin Turn Tight 42 new for 2014. Not much out there in terms of information, but seems fairly well built and was $500 less overall than the rest. Online sale....... Time will tell. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Hello everyone, Thinking about purchasing an entry level riding mower. Specifics about the lawn 1/2 acre with one big hill. Lawn is in pretty good shape. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:30AM
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gpaciotti - "one big hill" and "entry level riding mower" effectively limits you to to a geared transmission - no hydrostatic drive; they just wont stand up to that "hill" load.
Shop around - geared transmission machines are still available at an entry level price.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:56AM
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