Which lawn tractor to buy????

chuckby(z5NY)April 26, 2014

I would like to buy a new lawn tractor but don't know which one to buy. I mow a 1 or 1 1/2 acres. I'm thinking of getting a bagger to collect the clippings when I mow part of this area. Thanks for your help and advice.

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sleevendog

If you look at the bottom of the postings you will see pages...start looking through around page 25. Many asking the same. As i did last year.
Best to give a bit more information what you need and want.
Price point and local availability.
I gave very detailed info and what was available to me and what my landscape was like and a pic. I got just a one or two response.
You should research first and bring your efforts to the table.
I could assist having gone through this a year ago...and i'm in NY.
(can't find my research easily)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:52PM
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chuckby(z5NY)

What lawn tractor did you get???

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:41PM
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javert

You didn't give a lot of information, so it's hard to give you a lot of answer. Here's my opinion, and it's just an opinion. If your target price is the $1,500 - $2,000 range, I would buy either a Husqvarna or John Deere 42"-deck rider with a hydrostatic transmission. If it's an option, I would buy from an independent dealer, as their prices normally equal the big-box-store folks, and they're likely to be more interested in you as a customer. With proper maintenance, a tractor like that can easily go for 12 years or more, provided you don't do anything but mow and pull a lightweight cart. If you have other requirements, we would have to hear about them before making a recommendation.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:13AM
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1111GD1111

Biggest thing is how much do you want to spend?

Misc. thoughts:

Adding a bagger is not cheap, especially if you need a turbo system.

I second the "buy from a dealer" post. What brands do your local dealers sell?

Get the biggest deck you can afford. Triple blade vs. twin for better cutting.

Only a Briggs & Stratton or Kawasaki engine for this guy.

I've been a Simplicity (tractor) guy for going on 20 years. Just bought a new Prestige to take over from my Broadmoor. Keeping the Broadmoor for its Turbo Vac collection system. (leaves and dethatching) Simplicity dealers are getting harder and harder to find however.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:22AM
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sleevendog

Repost of Slammer's Buying Guide...
1. Carefully evaluate the size mower you need and buy at least one size larger, given gate and storage door considerations. Work with reputable Dealers who can provide product choice assistance, product predelivery prep and aftersale service at competitve prices.

2. NEVER buy a mower from ANYPLACE that will not let you test drive same or at least a similar model. Ergonomics are just as important as performance and capability.

3. DO NOT base your purchase on price or brand name alone! Do proper research and find all of the available models that fit your criteria and haggle, save, or trade to get the right equipment for the job. Do not compromise! Dealer support after the sale is also important.

4. Understand your property and it's impact on your choice of equipment. Mowing slopes, obstacles, future landscape projects, winter use, attachments, etc. can all have a significant effect.

If you follow these three tips you will end up a happy camper with just the right unit for the job. If you disregard this advice you may end up with one or the other of the following problems:

A. Buyers remorse. Stuck with a piece of junk or simply a unit inadequate for the task at hand.

Or..

B. A teed off spouse when you start shopping for another tractor just 3 - 6 months down the road because you didn't buy the right unit in the first place.

Twin cyl engines are usually a bit smoother than singles. in the 20 -22 hp range kohler, briggs, kawi all offer a number of twins.

Good dealer is the key. stay away from the BBS unless you are a pro on L&G powered stuff. good luck

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:32PM
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sleevendog

That said, helpful hint #4 was key.
I narrowed down to 2 nearby dealers and ended up with a dealer in Windham.
Delivered same day for free. Powered it up and gave a quick overview and lesson.

Used it all last season and what a beast. Probably doubled, tripled the hours necessary as i just love it. A Husqvarna zero turn.

Whatever choice you make read the manual, and again.
Get what suits your property and needs.
Check the oil EVERY start up and do check that all bolts a fasteners are secure after the first few rides.
Just started mine up after this nasty winter finally seems to have left us and it ran like a charm.
In my case, husband is not allowed. It is my 'hog'.

_it does not like boggy wet areas. Handles some minor slopes. More speed than i need. I have 6 acres but just mow 2, maybe 2.5
I have good drainage but avoid a wet area after a rain.

Here is a link that might be useful: husqvarna

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:47PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Chuckby, that is the questions isn't it. I am somewhat handy so I grabbed my mower second hand on the cheap as it had a bad pulley on the deck and everything else seemed fine. It would be easier for most to start with a new one and over the course of the next decade see if you learn a bit about the maintenance as them things start cropping up.

When I think about new mowers the zero turn "steers like a tank" vs the traditional cab forward steering wheel types debate comes up. My neighbor's old commercial zero turn gets places I just do not but that big ol forward deck just requires some maintenance and there seems to be a learning curve to driving it since it doesn't steer like a car. It is sooo much faster than mine though lol.

You should also think about if you would like to plow with it or tow much of a trailer. I tow a bit of a trailer a few times a summer but do not plow.

Good luck!

Oh, get something you can stick a cup holder on for them hot summer days lol.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:56PM
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chuckby(z5NY)

Hi, would like your opinion. Any opinions on the JD LT130???????? Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:02PM
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cactus6103(8)

What I did is purchase an old 1948 Ford 8n farm tractor and put a 6' finish mower on the back. The tractor is small enough for working in the yard. It works great and I have a nice tractor for doing other projects in the yard, clearing snow, bush hogging and so forth. I have 2 1/2 acres that I keep maintained.

Red

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:03PM
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javert

Checkby, the LT130, from what I read, was an okay tractor. It's some years old - I don't know exactly how old, but more than 2 or 3 years. Kohler engine is okay, K46 hydro is okay. K46 is sold as being not serviceable, but an oil change by a home mechanic is possible. The LT130 is a lawn mower, and you should not expect to do anything but mow and tow a light cart with it. If you have found a good one at a reasonable price, it will probably be okay.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Gouchybear(6)

This past May (2013) we moved from sunny California, where our house sat on a postage stamp sized 6,600 square foot lot, to Northern Idaho where we have a modest 1.5 parked out acres to take care of.

In CA it took me 10 minutes to mow our front lawn...20 if I wanted to put the fancy criss cross mow pattern on the lawn. Here in Northern Idaho it was taking me literally 3 to 4 DAYS to mow our acre and a half of grass using my Honda walk behind mower. I have really bad knees and could only do so much at a time before I had to rest and Ice my knees. So, I did what most of you have done and that is buy a riding mower. But I needed more than just a mower; I needed a tractor, a snow blower (we get on average 4 feet of snow here at lake level), a rototiller for the garden plot, a front loader to move firewood and garden material, and it must be able to tow a several hundred pound landscape rake to groom the beach at the water's edge.
My options were 1) hire a gardener at $200 a week, or 2) by a small tractor. I chose to buy a Kubota BX2660 with a 60" belly mower that will mow my lawns in a few hours instead of several days, along with the other attachments listed above. The snow blower was especially handy this winter in keeping my 300' driveway clear.
Was it inexpensive? No, it wasn't ...it was about as much as a good late model used car, BUT I will never wear it out (provided it keep it maintained) and it carries things like heavy boxes of Christmas ornaments that I can no longer lift or haul. Could I have spent less money on a cheaper model/brand? Yes, I could have but the quality of workmanship in a lesser machine just wasn't there and I would have to replace a lesser machine in 3 - 5 years, and then where would my savings be? As the old saying goes, You Get What You Pay For...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:00PM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

Nice rig! You could also get a wood chipper attachment for the branches that will inevitably fall off all those trees. Looks like you're all set up...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:17PM
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sleevendog

Now that is a beautiful set-up grouchy. I see the grin.
'happybear'.

My three hogs.
BigHog, BabyHog and piglet, aka 'push-a-hog'.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:08AM
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corn_squeezer(6)

Had my JD L120 11 years and 500 hours. I've managed to keep it running. Gotta be handy to keep these together.
Things I did:
Repaired/modified broken hood at various points
Slimed tires - tired of adding air every time I use it.
Changed oil in rear - 5W30 synth - big improvement!
Built up weld on rack and pinion teeth and re-machined them with my angle grinder when they wore out.
Chopped out all unnecessary wiring and removed safety switches.
Replaced electro magnetic PTO and removed magnetic brake.
Installed real headlight and reverse light for night mowing
Replaced many spindle bearings as they wear out
Adjust valve rockers every 100 hours
Weld loose plate at discharge hole of deck
Removed deck pulley covers to reduce grass build up/easy clean
Cut hole bigger in floor so reverse pedal has full travel and goes faster
Routine maintenance - I change oil every 100 hours and use a large automotive filter. Spark plugs last a few years.
New blades every year - lotta rocks around my place!
Plastic seat cover is cracked. I need to do a homemade cushion.
Still have original battery in it, getting weak tho...
It never ends.
Compared to a car 500 hours ain't sheeyat. These things are light duty junk but a good man can keep 'em going on a shoestring budget.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 2:54PM
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