Lawn tractors

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DLD

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Apr 15, 2007
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sw Oklahoma
I know this is way off topic, so mods, pull it if you want. But I figured this would be a good place to ask, because people here are most likely to use ( ok...abuse ) it in the same way I do.

Our 7 year old Murray (aka WalMart special) is on it's last legs, which is a good 3 years longer than I expected it to last, but anyway leaves me in the market for a new mower. I'd love to have a zero turn, but I haven't found any that I like that I'm willing to spend that much money on. I want to buy it locally (within 20 miles anyway - lol) so that leaves me the usual choices; MTD (WalMart), Poulan, Snapper (no thanks), Husqvarna, John Deere, Cub Cadet, or Massey Ferguson (Simplicity).
Anybody got (or have used) any of these? Particularly if you especially like or dislike it, tell me about it.

I'm looking for a 48" deck and a two cylinder motor,(and an absolute max of $2500, preferably under $2000) and it looks to me right now the most for my money would be the Husqvarna, so any input on that would be appreciated.

David
 

red

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Jan 20, 2007
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LaRue, Ohio
ours is a 70" John Deere. Doubt if it's what you are looking for. We've always had JD, so I can't really talk about anything else but them.
Always have gotten good service & good use out of them.
Pull a thread because it's off the cattle topic? Where would i post pictures of King Killer Kitty then?

Red (clapping)
 

knabe

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Feb 7, 2007
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Hollister, CA
dang DLD, my neighbor gave me his 15 year old murray with a bent axle, 3 flats, an exhaust leak and basically round blade.  put $150 into it and it runs like a champ.  he bought a brand new deere riding mower, something was wrong with it not being able to take the uneven terrain and the mechanism underneath gave out twice so he purhcased a cadet.  i tried the deere a couple of times before he gave me the murray, and it had a little difficulty bottoming out, not to mention the mechanism issue.  and no, the mower wasn't lowered all the way.  would like to see more mowers with more height flexibility to take off the annual seed heads, but not the perrenials.

read some reviews on the zero turns and go ride them.  the deeres nowadays seem to be a little more fragile and bend and flex than the cadets.  i also have a cadet semi self propelled conventional mower that i love.  cadets seem to make stouter handles that can withstand a little more abuse than the other mowers. 
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
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Jason said:
We run a Deere, never had any problems, but for the money spent - we shouldn't

I had a zero turn - ended up the ag place where I bought it took it back and traded it for a regular one - they don't do well unless you have pristine golf course grass (what you let the cows mow your lawn!?) - it was very finicky and if you went through deep grass or uneven areas the crud would blow back into the engine and (ues) thru the little vent deals in the gas cap - it was a miserable pain - had I not paid a pretty penny for it I would have run it over with the tractor

that was the step up from the JD (which I really disliked) - but I believe now (some 10 or more years later) many of its issues had to do with the fact that the safety device didn't think I was in the seat so it turned off - that was also annoying - very annoying - I aslo threatened to run it over and the tow truck driver who came to get the farm truck whose brakes died in my driveway (with the trailer attached) bought it for $150, fixed it, painted it pink, put a governor on it and gave it to his 6 year old daughter

I now have a simplicity regular kind of lawn mower - they fixed it so it doesn't turn off if I lean one way or another and it seems sturdy and able to take the abuse I give it!  ;D

I really don't like to mow the lawn....the horse is trimming as we speak...


 

Jill

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Jan 20, 2007
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Gardner, KS
We don't have a zero turn, my father-in-law does have a grasshopper and loves it but I think they are a little more expensive.  The guy at John Deere said they are trying to sell to the masses so they have cheapened up the way they build the mowers, the dealership doesn't even carry their own push model anymore they have gotten so bad.  Look at reviews for whatever models you are looking for in consumer report, that should be a place to start anyway.  Happy hunting.
 

DLD

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Apr 15, 2007
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sw Oklahoma
Wow Red... 70" is getting up into utility tractor class. Bet that does work great, but you're right, it's out of range right now - plus really too big to be practical in our hilly yard with lots of trees, kids toys, etc...

Knabe, the problem with my Murray is the deck is shot - maybe my fault that I didn't maintain it like I should've (it has seen lots of hard use), but the deck is wearing out around the spindles. I'm told my only really good shot at fixing it right is finding one somebody has scrapped with a good deck, so I figured maybe it was time for a new one. The zero turns anywhere close to my price range (sorry, I can't bring myself to buy a lawn mower on credit) don't look like they'd last long out here.

Deere has two (at least) basic lines of lawn tractors nowadays. One is the line that's sold at Lowes and Home Depot and maybe other places as well as JD dealers - it is a cheaper built machine, no greasable spindles, lighter construction all the way through, not as many features, meant to compete with the discount store stuff. The other line(s) have all the good stuff, but at a noticeably higher price.

DL, it's good to know you like your Simplicity - our nearby Massey Ferguson/ Hesston/ Agco dealer has been the most supportive of my son at the county premium sale and of our FFA fundraisers, so that keeps them high on my list. And your lawn mowing conditions sound similiar to mine.

Thanks everyone, and keep the info coming.

David
 

kanshow

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Kansas
We have a 20+ year old JD 318 and just replaced the engine it this year.  That said, hubby loves that mower so much that when he had a chance to buy a used one, he snatched it right up.  Me, I'd really like to have a Dixon. 
 

bluegrass

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Feb 11, 2007
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Bagdad, Kentucky.
Check out the Dixie Chopper its the best zero turn mower for this area (hills and rocks). Wish I could afford one. Hasn't rained here for awhile so been letting the show cattle trim things up for about 1 hour every evening at turn out time. :)
 

red

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Jan 20, 2007
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LaRue, Ohio
DLD, I stand corrected- it's a 72".
If you saw how much grass it around this place between about 3 families you'd understand.
I hate it though, it's the zero turn & it turns way too fast for me to think. I just run into things w/ it.
Saw some at TSC yesterdat. They had a Cub Cadet for about $2900.

Red
 

bluegrass

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Feb 11, 2007
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Bagdad, Kentucky.
When I worked for Ragsdale he had a kubota that was awsome, but it was very expensive. We noticed John Deere had the exact same mower but was 5k higher because of the name
 

AAOK

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Jan 30, 2007
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Rogers, Ar
Get a John Deere!!  I've had an MTD, and a Murray.  They did the job, but they wear out.  I bought a 1967 John Deere 110 in 1986 at a garage sale for $50.  They engine overhaul costs me $100.  I had to do it again, along with overhauling the deck in 1998.  Cost was about $400.  In 2000 I bought a Kubota 22HP diesel, all wheel steering, 60" deck lawn tractor, and took the John Deere to the lake.  Cost was $8000.  The Kubota if fantastic!  I love it!  The 1967 John Deere is still going strong.

FYI:  I saw an advertisement for a new Cub Cadet, all wheel steering lawn tractor.  I think the advertised price was about $3000.  AWS is not ZTR, but they will turn around about an 8" diameter.
 

knabe

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Hollister, CA
one nice thing about the AWS and the ZTR is that they doesn't leave the rip marks like other tractors when you turn tight as they don't have a pivot point where the tire is stationary and twists while the other tire travels on the outside arc.  over time, this ripping will compact the soil, making it harder for water to penetrate, roots to go down, etc.
 
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