Buying new LT

exmarOctober 27, 2013

Hi Folks,

A buddy just emailed me asking where to buy a "good" LT. He has an 8 year old Poulan Hydro that has died. He only paid $1,000 for it so he's ahead of the game. He only has a half acre lot, but lots of trees and mulching blades and bagger for leaves is a must.

His budget is about $1800 so, please, no posts to go to JD, Cub, Kubota dealers and ignore big box stores. We all know how to spend a lot of $$, spending less takes application of some "kentucky windage." :-)

Looking at Lowe's, Depot, and Sears websites, Sears has a good sale going right now, $400-$500 off, free delivery, and their usual no interest credit schemes. He's looking at a "made by Husqvarna" 42," Briggs engine, hydro for $1599, usually $1999. I believe that Husqvarna, like JD, have "big box" versions which are of less....quality.... shall we say than what you buy at their servicing dealers.

Whatever he buys, he's going to get the bagger, not attached, and then try to adapt the Poulan bagger to what he gets so he can return the new bagger if successful.

I also suggested he just wander around Lowe's, etc. to see if there's any leftover units they want to give away.

Anywhere else I should direct him given his budget and the current LT market out there?

Thanks for your time,


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FYI... entry level John Deeres are IDENTICAL and are the same price at the big box store as they are at the John Deere dealer. In fact, the dealer does the warranty work for the JDs that are sold at the big box stores and JD has a no interest for 12 months promo going on.

The plus of buying ANY entry level LT at a real dealer is that you're buttering your own bread when you need service or warranty work and won't be put at the back of the line after all their customers.

Most of the entry level LTs are pretty similar so parts availability (today and for years to come) and access to knowledgeable and timely service are worth consideration.

For many, buying at a L&G dealer is a big plus over the big box store unless you'd rather wait a month for the A&E van with the washing machine mechanic to show up to order parts for your Sears LT and then wait another month for the parts and van to return.

Unless one is an avid DIYer a good dealer will make owning entry level LTs over a reasonable period of time a less stressful experience.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:41PM
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My Deere dealer, who does most of his business with farmers, ranchers, and commercial users, sells the LTs for the same price as the big box stores. I have two old STX-38s (the bottom end of the Deere line up), and my dealer has had - in stock - every single part that I have ever needed to make repairs (including a key switch and PTO switch.) In my opinion (and you know about opinions), the best bang for the buck in the price range that your friend has stated is John Deere and Husqvarna - that would include the Husqvarna- produced Craftsmans (just be sure that the manufacturer's code is 917.) Also, I believe that the Poulan was made by Husqvarna (or its forerunner.) Semper Fi.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Any hole in the wall repair shop with a minimal parts inventory should have key and PTO switches in stock. They're about as generic as having the correct spark plugs in stock.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Thanks for the responses.

I've been hanging around this and similar forums for quite a while now and keep hearing that JD etc. dealers offer the same price, and a lot of other tangible and intangible things if you buy there. I live 16 miles from the nearest town which has four traffic lights, the nearest JD dealer is fourty five minutes in the opposite direction. He has a very interesting "Business Plan." About four years ago my brother bought a 20 HP, 48" hydro from him to cut his lawn. $4000, fantastic machine. The dealer wanted $75 to deliver it as it was outside of the "free" five mile radius, on a $4000 sale? I ended up taking one of the trailers and picking it up for him. While there, I thought I'd pick up a couple of plugs for a 26HP Briggs, $6 each...His other parts and service prices follow suit. So, if you have a JD or other reputable dealer whose employees don't wear black masks, I envy you. :-)

BTW, in no way bashing JD! Here on the farm everything is JD green, except for a dozer and a commercial tractor which are yellow but also JD. However I have my own opinion about how much I'll spend to cut grass. :-)

Javert, good "heads up" on the "917." Hoo Rah!

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:43PM
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It seems as a farmer who uses a lot of JD equipment you could get him to cut you a deal on the delivery. It seems like it would not take much to put a lawn tractor on a truck going out to repair a corn picker, or similar piece of equipment.

I would guess the lawn tractors sales are profit and the large equipment sales support his business. Sort of like the candy bars at the check out lanes.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:18PM
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I apologize to Bill for citing the ignition and pto switches as examples.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 8:10PM
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"Any hole in the wall repair shop with a minimal parts inventory should have key and PTO switches in stock. They're about as generic as having the correct spark plugs in stock".

The four times I've dealt with or witnessed Sears on-site warranty and pay LT/GT service they didn't have an air filter, a PTO switch, an ignition switch, blades, or a tire or at least an inner tube for a current model LT.

SHOULD don't mean they do.


I live 23 miles from the largest city in my state and there isn't a Husqvarna or Cub Cadet dealer. There is an authorized CC and Husqvarna service shop but they shouldn't be trusted to sharpen blades. There is a Simplicity dealer who stocks little to no product and almost no parts. We have a JD dealer who charges full retail plus shipping, handling, and setup for product and retail plus for parts but he has parts on the shelves and trained techs who ares schooled on the latest products and does warranty and customer pay repair work in a timely fashion.

For me, my JD is just like my Toyota 4x4 pickup... it cost way too much and looking back it is worth every cent I paid.

We all have to live with the circumstances we've got. We have to choose the lesser of the evils or do without.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Just got an email from my Buddy, he selected a Sears 28856 and was getting ready to pay for it when he was told it couldn't be delivered for three weeks. That wouldn't do as he has major leaf issues now. Went to a few more places, called around to see who had a trailer and ramps so he could pick it up. Finally bought a JD D110, delivered the same day and he likes it a lot.

Knuttle, yeah, you'd think that wouldn't you? We have a "farm" account at the JD place, but that doesn't mean anything as the mower is in their "lawn" side....The "farm" account just means that if we call to have them order a "farm" part, they'll order it without prepaying in full.

Thanks for the respnses,


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:55AM
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