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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

New Lawn Tractor???

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Hal/ Eastern WA

05-30-2011 21:15:51




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If you were going to buy a new lawn tractor in the near future, what would you buy, and why?

I have been looking at lawn tractors around 20hp, with 42-46" mower decks and would like to get something that will last pretty well. I have never had one with hydrostatic drive, and wonder if that feature is worth the $200 or so that it adds to a lawn tractor's cost.

I am kind of disappointed in my 18hp Yard Machine, which is pretty worn after only 9 summers of use. The B&S OHV engine smokes and uses lots of oil and never was very powerful. And now the transaxle makes noises like gears are not quite meshing, and that problem is getting worse. The 12.5hp White that my Dad bought in the 70s lasted nearly 30 years.

Any advice? Anything to especially avoid? How about the current Kohler engines in some of the more expensive lawn tractors? Thanks for your help!

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sourgum

05-31-2011 15:23:45




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
I would get these things in a lawn tractor: greaseable frt wheel bearings and spindles, hydrostatic trans, either B & S or Kohler engine, a V-2 if available. The V -2 is smoother ww more power. I like a two blade deck where it meets your deck width requirement. Be sure you get an air vented deck as they will mow wet grass and never plug up. Doing an acre each week and being cheap skate ,can't see spending $6 or $9 K for a ZTR, when a medium size rider does one acre in 90 minutes for 1/4 cost outlay. Have one almost identical to what dixon describes in his post and very satisfied w/ it's performance.

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dixon boy RL

05-31-2011 08:53:02




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Look into the new Dixon tractor style if you want decent machine for cheap price 22hp Kohler 46 inch deck hydro $1700.00 full list otherwise I go from 2000 up t0 12000.00 in zero turn machines let me know if i can be of help. goodluck



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oldtanker

05-31-2011 07:55:46




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Use to take 5-6 hours on a GT with a 42" cut, now I'm mowing the same amount in 1 1/4 hour with a 48 8N Ford tractor and 60" rear mount finish mower. Cost was about 2400 for this setup. Plus I can plow, level the drive, do other farm related jobs and brush hog.

Rick



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toadady

05-31-2011 07:47:54




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
i have to add to the "get a ZTR" what used to take me 4 hours with at hydrostat rider now takes 1.5 hours not just the speed and power, but the quickness of making turns , but take a look at the decks, there are stamped steel, and then the fabricated/welded ones, mine is a fabricated deck, i can not lift it when out from under the mower, i'm bad about chopping rocks and out side toys up,
my mower is a Husqvarna EZ4824, 48"cut 24hp brigs v-twin

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GlenninPA

05-31-2011 07:33:46




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
third party image

My old craftsman is still doing its job.



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cuttman

05-31-2011 07:13:12




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Have a JD GT265, 17hp kowasaki (sp?), non-hydro, replaced only deck and drive belt, 17yrs old still looks new mow 2 acres twice a week faithfully. 7 months a year usually.



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thurlow

05-31-2011 06:06:26




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
If you're needing a lawn MOWER, as opposed to a tractor, get a zero turn. Bought a Swisher 2660 (26 hp/60 inch cut) 4 years ago. It's not a true commercial unit, but has a welded steel deck as opposed to the stamped decks from the big box stores. Bought it from Amazon and it was less than $4000 delivered to my front door. It does just fine on slopes/hills and cut my mowing time in half. Would never go back to a traditional lawn mower, after having this thing.

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Russ from MN

05-31-2011 06:05:19




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
We have a Husqvarna with a Kawasaki 15 hp twin, 42" cut,hydro that is a very good machine. It is about 10 years old and has been zero maint. other than oil changes and 1 battery. Previously we had a Murray which was a good mower for the money but before that we had a Craftsman which was a piece of junk!



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Fern(Mi)

05-31-2011 05:49:20




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
I've had but 2 lawn tractors and they were both junks. 1st 1 rescued out of a dumpster, a sears ST16. replaced 2 main belts and brake band. Have overhauled Tecumseh engine since Co. folded. One center mower deck bearing has gone bad. Have had machine maybe 10yrs. Haven't spent $300.00 on it as yet. Been good machine made to old standards. The other is a Murry chainstore boxed clatterer. Have had it also about nine years bought wee used for cleaning under pasture fences. Have replaced blades twice, and three brigs starter drives. Has survived 2150 Oliver 4x4 running over it and still going strong. Biggest nuisance must pull front steering spindles to grease. One these yrs I should drill and tap grease fittings but that'd be to easy. Both are belt driven gear drives.
Every machine is a crap shoot, and I'm one to spend cheap. seems all my good purchases were well made off-brands. Although a cast iron front axel tends to whisper quality. So take a look at an odd one now'n'then.
Fernan

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TJ in KY

05-31-2011 04:53:23




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
I have a 2005 Cub Cadet lawn tractor model 2554. I went with it because of many features. hydro drive was one, this model is driveshaft driven, a must with my hills, and the deck was the heaviest built I saw when I was looking.
The only problem other than normal maintenance (1 deck belt and 1deck drive belt) was I had to replace the worm gear at the bottom of steering shaft. I think that is the poorest design in this unit. I use it on 2 acres at home and also on rental properties I own about 2 acres more. I personally did not go with zero turn but I have a lot of hills and was advised against it. I only wish mine had power steering. Good luck

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John S-B

05-31-2011 04:19:47




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Hal, if you have a lot to mow and/or have a lot of trees and things to go around, you can't beat a zero turn. I had a Craftsman rider that did ok mowing about 3 acres, but it would take about 6-7 hours to mow everything. I bought an EX Mark Lazer Z with a 52" deck and I can mow everything in about 3 hours or less. I have a leach bed in the front so the grass really grows fast and thick, but the bigger deck never clogs like the old one did. (a constant battle) Depending on what you budget is, I'd get one of the commercial models, they will last a long time. Now if you have the time to mow a nice quality rider will do, maybe a Cub Cadet or JD brand with a hydro. DON'T get a mulching deck, those @#$&* things clog up in a heartbeat. I have a snow blower so I don't need a blade, otherwise I have a hitch to pull a wagon with my ztr as well.

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Big Irish

05-31-2011 04:13:02




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
I just bought a new Cub Cadet, 50" deck with a 22 hp Kohler motor. It also has the hydro trans. It has a 12" turning radius which you have to watch because it will tear up the grass if you turn that tight. Good Luck mike



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El Toro

05-31-2011 04:05:03




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
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I wouldn't have a garden tractor without hydrostatic drive and hydraulic lift here's mine after 40 years of use. Hal



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FBH44

05-31-2011 04:01:38




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Had a Wheel-Horse, with Kohler engine, and it ran good. Have a 11-year old Troy-Bilt, Kohler eignie, and when the parts and pieces finally quit falling off of it, it became a good mower. My next mower willl for sure have;
The latest Kohler engine. Grease-fittings on mower spindles. Taper roller bearings on mower spindles.



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hlc

05-31-2011 03:43:14




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Get a hydrostat or zero turn



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ericlb

05-31-2011 03:41:53




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
this is something i have a lot of experience with, so i will relate it, you can apply it to your situation, as youve found out. modern lawn riders are a disapointment, performance and reliability are not good, the bad thing is the brand new ones are much worse, i bought a new sears 2 years ago, it was cheaply built ran like a old hit and miss engine from new and the tires went flat from the day it got here, mowing performance was poor to say the least, with much striping, requiring many 2nd passes, and the grass was not long either, also the thing was very uncomfortable to drive with my knees up by my ears, and the seat bottomed out on its springs,all the 'consumer grade' lawn riders are made by the same company, in china, just different hoods and paint for the paticular brand name being sold. now i also run a mower for a company i work for, it is a john deere 260, bought new just for me in 1994, this is not a lawn rider its a garden tractor,from a john deere dealer, about half again bigger in size,with a kawasaki engine, this machine cost twice what a lawn rider did and its 10 times the machine, so much so you really cant compare the 2,and much more comfortable to drive, since '94, the john deere has needed 3 batteries and 2 belts- thats it , other than the usual oil changes ect, in summer it mows about 3 acres a week,im the only one that has ever run it from new,the sears i bought 2 years ago was so much trouble i retired it, since i like old iron it was replaced by a 49 farmall cub, i found the correct belly mower for it and to say the least it is a huge improvement, and ive got about the same money in the cub as a new box store rider costs, the cub also came as a package with some impliments, so it can do much more than just mow grass, not to mention its vastly more comfortable to drive, unless your yard is in the city, and is small to medium in size and really smooth i would not put my hard earned money into a new lawn rider, your dads old mower lasted so long because it was well built in america, you cant get that new these days,to get something worth bringing home, you either have to step up to a bigger garden tractor, maybe even a small compact utility tractor , or restore a old one, made when america made its own stuff and it was the best in the world

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2x4

05-30-2011 21:42:34




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
like they say, once you use a hydro-stat you'll never go back to geared. And once you use a zero turn radius, you'll never go back to the hard way. Providing, of course, you have a level lawn. ZTR's are not for slopes.



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John S-B

05-31-2011 04:08:30




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to 2x4, 05-30-2011 21:42:34  
COMMERCIAL ZTR's do just fine on slopes. Never used a "homeowner" model, but my EX Mark Lazer does just fine on a 45 degree slope.



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old

05-30-2011 21:40:02




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
9 summers and your complaining shoot you got at least 8 more then you should have. LOL. Now days it is hard to find one that is really all that good. I take in a lot of old dead ones and fix and pass them on to others and most I have seen die because of things like little or no oil in the engine and other stupid stuff like that. If I where going to look at a new one I would think about some of the zero turn type and Kabota is one of the better ones from what I have heard

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lyle niemi

05-30-2011 21:23:56




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to pat sublett, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
i am going to need a new lawn tractor can you send me a pic of yours deltaRed?



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DeltaRed

05-30-2011 22:30:29




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to lyle niemi, 05-30-2011 21:23:56  
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I dont have a LAWNtractor :(.Here is my 826 hydro



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CLTX

05-31-2011 14:36:53




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to DeltaRed, 05-30-2011 22:30:29  
Put a belly mower on it and get after it! LOL



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DeltaRed

05-30-2011 21:22:52




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to Hal/ Eastern WA, 05-30-2011 21:15:51  
Yes! buy a Hydro.I have one-a full size IH 826-love it.You will like it too.Well worth the extra cost.Lots better than a belt drive.



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BillinCentralMo

05-31-2011 19:44:07




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 Re: New Lawn Tractor??? in reply to DeltaRed, 05-30-2011 21:22:52  
I think it depends if you want/need a tractor or a lawn mower. If you are mowing a big lawn a good ZTR is tough to beat. We have a Hustler Z. We looked at a lot of them. I gotta tell you this Hustler will flata-- mow like nobody's business and is very well made. It is not for rough ground and it is not a brushhog. On a smooth yard though it will mow faster and more comfortably than any of our seven farm tractors. If the grass is not too high you can really fly. Time is a big deal to me. I never have any extra. It makes a joke out of our 42" lawn tractor. I've looked at the Dixie , Deere , Gravelly , IH , Grasshopper etc. etc. This Hustler puts them all to shame.They are 8k to 10k though.We mow about five acres with it. Oil changes , sharpen the blade and keep it clean. Not for cutting stumps though. Check it out yourself.

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