Riding mower under $1500
My old troy bilt mower ended up destroying the crankshaft last week so I'm in the market for a new mower. I only have about .6 acres but it's all on a slope with some of the slope being quite steep. Push mowing is possible but extremely exhausting and typically takes a couple days since I can't do it all at once. Riding with my previous 46" deck took roughly an hour or more because the terrain is so complicated and there are a lot of obstacles and tight areas. I have to constantly change speed and direction so a manual isn't something I really want to deal with.
I've heard countless horror stories about all the MTD mowers so I'm trying to stay away from those which of course is quite difficult since almost every company uses them for some if not all models.
I was going to get the cub cadet LTX 1040 (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xsf/R-202040880/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053). Then I found out that model was made by MTD and had tons of transmission issues. IÂm currently looking at the Ariens A195BG42 (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&productId=202018735). I understand the Ariens are all made by Husqvarna. One concern is there isnÂt a lot of feedback on these mowers but Home Depot's site has good reviews. The other concern is how the forward and reverse movement is hand operated instead of foot operated so I can see that being a little weird if you want to slow down in a turn.
Anyone have any further options? IÂve heard good and bad things about Craftsman mowers above about $1200. Are there any special considerations I should note besides rear tire size when driving up and down steep slopes?