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Recommendations needed on a new lawn tractor...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by NewImprovedRon, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Jun 30, 2020 at 5:06 PM
    #1
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    My old John Deere is going to be ready to be replaced soon and I need recommendations for a new lawn tractor. I want a mower deck 42"- 48", 22-25 HP, hydrostatic drive, and something that will last a while. I've looked at Kubota, John Deere, Cub Cadet, etc., but would be interested in what the folks here say and can recommend. All input welcome.
     
  2. Jun 30, 2020 at 5:06 PM
    #2
    Rubberdown

    Rubberdown Spilling my guts here.

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    I have an x520. And had an x304 before that. Nothing runs like a deer.
     
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  3. Jun 30, 2020 at 5:17 PM
    #3
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    As long as its a deere from an actual JD implement you will be fine. Stay away from the big box store versions, their cheap crap.

    If zero turn Kubota, toro, gravely. Just don't get the entry level step up a class and make sure you get a fully welded deck not stamped
     
  4. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:08 PM
    #4
    Northbound Train

    Northbound Train Masshole

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    What BigUgly said, the big box John Deere’s are not made by JD and suck. Cub cadet is now owned by MTD and are the top of the MTD line if you buy it from a power equipment dealer, but they are not great. A real JD or Kubota would be good. Of the cheaper homeowner grade machines I’d say Simplicity might be The best option.
    Have you considered a zero turn?
     
  5. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:11 PM
    #5
    Theyfzman

    Theyfzman New Member

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    I got a new cadet zero turn this spring and I am really happy with it. I went w the 54 inch deck not cause I have a huge yard but with the fab deck upgraded engine and tires the cost wasn’t all that much different.
     
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  6. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:14 PM
    #6
    mt95

    mt95 New Member

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    I have a JD X300 with a 42" deck. JD is always easy enough to get replacement parts for when needed. Only thing I dont like about mine is that the mower deck cuts the grass kind of funky. It does not cut even. in between the two blades it almost always leaves a little strip of higher grass. I have checked the blade height underneath and it look fine. A neighbor has the same model and his is as bad as mine. Just my two cents worth
     
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  7. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:15 PM
    #7
    bleach

    bleach Resident WISEGUY

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    I'm still running my almost 25 year old Crapsman 50" mower. I've done a lot of work to keep it going, mostly welding, but the 25hp Kohler engine itself hasn't needed much. The tractor itself is a POS. Most people would have junked it long ago.
     
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  8. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:18 PM
    #8
    trucksareforgirls2

    trucksareforgirls2 New Member

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    Husqvarna with a Kawasaki engine all the way!! Quality engines, which is actually more important than the brand of tractor. I found the Husqvarnas were more reasonably priced with better engines for the money vs. John Deere! JD also have plastic hoods which made me concerned about what other parts were plastic that shouldn't be. Anyway, that's my recommendation, and that is what I bought 3.5 years ago when I got my house.

    I bought mine at an actual dealership and not a big box store, thus I was able to get a higher end model!

    -T
     
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  9. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:19 PM
    #9
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    If you get a motor choice go with Kawasaki or Kohler
     
  10. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:20 PM
    #10
    trucksareforgirls2

    trucksareforgirls2 New Member

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    /\/\/\. This and stay away from Briggs and Stratton!
     
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  11. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:28 PM
    #11
    Ekelleyco

    Ekelleyco New Member

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    From what I have read the tractors are all made from the same manufacturer, with the same parts, whether they go to a big box store or not. The difference is that they don’t give them a once-over once they arrive at the big stores.

    Also they routinely take returns for one reason or another and graciously roll the tractors right back out onto the sales floor a second later hoping that a new customer will ignore the same problem.

    Personally I bought my craftsman years ago from a small dealer in my home town since this is my preference. But, from what the internet tells me there is no difference.
     
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  12. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:58 PM
    #12
    Kerch71

    Kerch71 Surgical Precision

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    Hey Ron
    I'm partial to Husqvarna. For the price, I really like their equipment. I have a rider with a 48" deck, bought it at Lowes. Don't have a zero turn because I needed the ability to pull a leaf collector, which doesn't work with a zero turn. This is the second Husqvarna rider I've owned. Very pleased thus far.
     
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  13. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:02 PM
    #13
    ToyotaTundraMike

    ToyotaTundraMike Not A New Member

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    Zero turn is where it’s at. I’ve got about 100 hours now on my hustler and I love it.
     
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  14. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:03 PM
    #14
    glowblue

    glowblue Trusted Agent and Known Friend

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    You said you need a tractor so I don’t know if you need something to just cut grass or do other things. If it’s a grass cutter you need, I had an Exmark zero turn Lazer HP 48”, with a 23 hp Kawasaki years ago (I had 3 acres of grass to cut). The thing was a grass cutting beast. It was pricey but damn could that thing cut grass!
    I sold it to my neighbor when I sold the house - he was jealous from the day I got it and was glad to buy it from me.

    In any event - the Kawasaki engine was awesome, highly recommended.
     
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  15. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:19 PM
    #15
    Northbound Train

    Northbound Train Masshole

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    That’s not exactly true, all the cheaper tractor are made by 3 companies: MTD, Murray and AYP. I believe the Lowe’s JD’s are Murray. These guys make all the department store branded ones as well.
     
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  16. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:37 PM
    #16
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    When I moved into my new place (6.5 acres) in 2009, I bought a new JD LA-175 with a 54" deck from Lowes for $2900. We cut most of the place, about 6 acres, over two days. It's dragged more than a few tree trunks down to the burn pile. Maybe it's a Murray, but the local JD dealer assembled and checked it out for Lowes, and JD sells the parts for it.

    It now has over 650 hours on it and still runs fine. It's never been back to the JD dealer for any service. I change the blades, engine oil, oil filter, air filter (2X) every year, and change the fuel filter every two years. I've replaced the spindles once, changed the transmission oil once (625 hours), replaced the mower drive belt once, replaced the transmission drive belt once, and adjusted the valves once. (Edit: Ah, shoot, I remembered a couple more items: Had to replace the starter solenoid once, and the battery a couple? of times.)

    I could buy something that costs more, and eventually I guess I will have to. For now, it does what I need.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  17. Jun 30, 2020 at 7:57 PM
    #17
    glowblue

    glowblue Trusted Agent and Known Friend

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    I also had a John Deere X300 that was great (all John Deere tractors are made by John Deere, they only let the big box stores carry the lower end models like the D-series.). The X-series are exclusive to John Deere dealers.
     
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  18. Jul 1, 2020 at 2:53 AM
    #18
    Ekelleyco

    Ekelleyco New Member

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    This!

    Wondering how OPs experience with John Deere was? Sounds like you are shopping around
     
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  19. Jul 1, 2020 at 3:32 AM
    #19
    Festerw

    Festerw New Member

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    I'm going to go stupid. Look out for an old Wheel Horse, 312, 314 C-120, C-160. Dead simple operation, you can run a 36, 42, or 48 deck. Big single cylinder Kohler motors.
    Minimal wiring, manual pto, and attachments made from the mid 70s to around 00 will all fit.
    Most parts are still available from Toro dealers, there's a huge used part market, and others are making reproduction parts.
     
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  20. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:15 AM
    #20
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    I haven't really considered a zero turn mower but I'll have to give them a look. I've just always had the standard lawn tractor set up and that style has done well by me. I do have a bunch of trees/obstacles in my yards that may make a zero turn mower more appealing.
     
  21. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:16 AM
    #21
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    I have read reviews that said the same thing about the JD's leaving a little higher strip of grass. Thanks for the info!
     
  22. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:20 AM
    #22
    timsp8

    timsp8 Member

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    I got a Troy Bilt 54” Super Bronco 2 years ago. Use it as a snowblower in the winter too. It goes through a lot and the clutch just went out. Was replaced under warranty. Other than that it works good. It has the Kohler motor but I think they use a different one now. It also has the locking diff which helps in the snow and on hills.
     
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  23. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:22 AM
    #23
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    My current JD LX280 has a Kawasaki engine and that is about the only thing that has been trouble-free on the mower. It is only an 18HP motor and the only gripe I have with it is that, if it rans and I miss a mowing for a few days, the tall grass bogs the motor down and will sometimes stop it. I don't let my grass get tall and usually cut it once a week. My current JD has seen a lot of time at the dealership for repairs over the years I've had it.
     
  24. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:25 AM
    #24
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks for the recommendation, Matt. I've eyed the Husqvarna lawn tractors but have tended to avoid the big box stores. I don't know if we have a Husqvarna dealer nearby but that might be an option for me.
     
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  25. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:32 AM
    #25
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    I currently have a John Deere LX280 that was bought at a JD dealership and not a big box store. It has an 18HP Kawasaki engine that has been a very good engine but can be a little underpowered if my grass gets a little tall. The rest of the mower has had numerous issues over the years and they have caused me to want to shop around. I've hear the newer JD's tend to leave a ridge of uncut grass from the gap between the blades. I've read that complaint on the T229KWT-48 and Z231BR-48 model mowers.
     
  26. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:46 AM
    #26
    glowblue

    glowblue Trusted Agent and Known Friend

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    When I was researching mowers and bought my commercial grade Exmark, I learned a couple of things that matter: Mower blade speed and Cutting volume within the mower deck (basically the space within the mower deck). Higher blade speeds and larger decks are key to a well cut lawn. Just watch the Pros with pro-grade equipment, they cut lawns when they’re wet, overgrown, etc. without clumps or uneven cuts.
     
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  27. Jul 1, 2020 at 4:53 AM
    #27
    Adam

    Adam And poof! All my patience is gone. TA-DAA!

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  28. Jul 1, 2020 at 5:06 AM
    #28
    JohnLakeman

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    My LA175 will leave a narrow strip of longer uncut grass unless I overlap the passes in the front yard by 50% to approve appearance. :mad: That cures the problem, but it's a PITA, and mowing time is increased considerably.

    Since there are three blades in the 54" deck with overlapping cuts, the cause of this problem drove me nuts for a while. I adjusted the deck height precisely to no avail. My theory now is that the front wheels of the tractor flatten the grass blades against the ground in front of the deck completely (zero irrigation), and the mower doesn't have enough suction to draw it back up fully...the result is a partial cut in the wheels track. A zero turn mower with smaller front wheels might solve that problem, but the tractor is more forgiving of uneven terrain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  29. Jul 1, 2020 at 6:23 AM
    #29
    Alex_TRD

    Alex_TRD New Member

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    Go with a zero turn and never look back! Love my Gravely Pro-Turn Z.
     

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