Newbie seeks ride-on mower recommendation

ltlredwagonApril 22, 2012

I have a place that has a small apple/pear orchard - about 1/2 acre with 28 trees. Mostly flat, but on two levels with a short slope of about 20-25 degrees up to the higher level. Gophers have made it a bit rough right now but I'm working on getting it more level. Previous mower was an old Craftsman - a Sears guy came out (2 weeks after call) and said repairs would cost more than the machine is worth. I'd like something that will get around the trees/rainbirds fairly easily and has a bit of climbing power. Durability and ease of maintenance are key factors for me - I'm about 1 hour from the nearest city (San Bernardino-Riverside County, CA). And I want something that has repair service available if I need to take it somewhere. I'd like something in the $3000 range or less if possible. I'd go a bit higher if that's where things get "real". I would probably rather NOT get used equipment, unless it was from a dealer who had serviced it. Appreciate any recommendations.

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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

I'd probably go with a another Craftsman at that price point, personal opinion, a garden tractor with the long proven 3x2 manual transmission since you have that slope, and it also has a tight turn radius. Zero turn would be nice but not recommended for steep slopes. Get some chevron lug tires on the back wheels for extra traction.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craftsman Garden Tractor w/ manual trans

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:10AM
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"Ditto" with Larso!! At that price point and leaving used machines out of the evaluation I think Craftsman would be your best shot. I would recomend going with "AG" or an agresssive ATV rear tire for traction and perhaps "load" the tires with liquid (windshield washer, RV antifreeze, etc.) for additiional traction.

I don't know if the "3x2" trans is available new anymore? The Hydro's in GT's (Garden Tractor) seem to hold up well.

Before you buy, what else are you going to do with this machine? Dragging a cart around is understood.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:32PM
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