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Old 04-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Lawn mower advice


My mower is on it's last leg and I'm tired of having to order more parts to fix it. Anyone have any advice on a good mower for 1.5 acres? I really would like a zero-turn but it's not a requirement. I don't need anything fancy and don't mind finding a used one.

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Old 04-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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I don't need anything fancy and don't mind finding a used one.
If you already have a riding mower and have been doing 1.5 acres...
you should have some strong opinions about what you like or don't like or want or don't want. Trust your gut.

I'm a big fan of simple and cheap which gets you a brand new Craftsman with a big Briggs engine and a 42" deck for about $1000.
You can spend more but you have to spend a LOT more to get a lot more.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...8881000P?mv=rr

If you have any accessories (like a bagger)...
then sticking with the brand you already own makes sense too.

hth

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have a Craftsman DLT 3000 now with no attachments or anything. It has a 42" deck which is fine but it has a terrible turning radius, terrible at inclines and doesn't go quite as fast as I would like a mower to.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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If you're looking for someone to tell you to drop a wad on a zero turn...
it won't be me.
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Originally Posted by REXAMUS View Post
terrible turning radius... doesn't go quite as fast as I would like
These two issue are likely to show up with ANY riding mower... but are easily solved by trimming and expanding the line of the flower beds both around any obstacles you have and the overall perimeter.

I'd rather spend small money on some mulch...
than spend big money on a zero turn. YMMV.

How much of a hill do you have to manage?
My very old, very beat up 1000 does just fine on my inclines.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Best bet is to talk to local lawn companies or local mower shop in what is being used. You may find a good deal on a trade up also at one of your local mower shops.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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A lot depends on the lay out of your yard. A lot of trees or shubs to mow around it would make since to go Z turn.
I have both types and my Z turn cuts my mowing time down by at least 25% (it's really 50% but no one would belive it).
Unless someone has owned a Z turn they have no idea how fast it is and how little trimming is needed by using one. I can get around a 1/2 pipe for a bird feeder and not have to go back and weed wack.
I've had John Deere mowers for the past 15 years. Very simple to work on, I can remove the whole mower deck with no tools and in under 2 min.
I mow at least 6 other lawns a week and other then changing the oil and filters the only maintaince I've had to do is change a deck belt.
Any time I get stuck working on a Sears, or any mower put out by MTF it blows me away how complicated they make simple mantaince jobs and how thin the decks are.
I know lots of people with reguler mowers and have had them for many years and there happy with them but that's because there used to having to stop, shift it into reverse, go foward, shift into reverce, time and time again just to make a simple circle.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
If you're looking for someone to tell you to drop a wad on a zero turn...
it won't be me.


These two issue are likely to show up with ANY riding mower... but are easily solved by trimming and expanding the line of the flower beds both around any obstacles you have and the overall perimeter.

I'd rather spend small money on some mulch...
than spend big money on a zero turn. YMMV.

How much of a hill do you have to manage?
My very old, very beat up 1000 does just fine on my inclines.
It's not that much, just near the ditch at the front of my house. I have driven different lawn mowers in my life that had no problem doing the things that this mower cannot do.

I'm far from being a mechanic but I can usually figure out what's not working by looking at a manual and fix it.

Any specific things I should look for when browsing used mowers? Things that might be an immediate no-no. I definitely need to make a purchase in the next week or so. I will definitely be looking at the current financing options for each brand to see if I can score a good deal.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Without knowing a budget, it's tough to say....you can get a 42" deck on a new mower that costs $1000 or on one that costs $10,000. Price range could help.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #9
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Without knowing a budget, it's tough to say....you can get a 42" deck on a new mower that costs $1000 or on one that costs $10,000. Price range could help.
I would like to spend less than 2k on a new lawn tractor. If it's a zero turn I could go up to 3k.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REXAMUS
Any specific things I should look for...
I definitely need to make a purchase in the next week or so.
I'll repeat my earlier suggestion: cheap and simple.
The bottom of the line Craftsman I linked to above is a fine mower.

A riding mower (any riding mower) will take an extra half hour or so
vs something that costs 3-4 times as much (like a ZT). I can live with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REXAMUS
If it's a zero turn I could go up to 3k.
For a zero turn you have no choice but to.
Decent ones START at $3000. Which is the other point too few ZT fans discuss:
the bottom of the line ZT's aren't so great.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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I don't have a ton of experience with different models, but I know that cheaper (1500 or less) riders at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes are fine on flat land, but if you've got hill the transmissions tend to lag eventually. If you want under 2K, I'd look at Sears, HD, Lowes and see what you like. A decent ZTR is going to be more than 3K. Depends on how else you'd like to use it (tow aerator, trailer, spreader, etc.)

I might be tempted to buy a cheaper model (ones that Lowes carries) through a John Deere dealer and get the service and warranty with it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
I'll repeat my earlier suggestion: cheap and simple.
The bottom of the line Craftsman I linked to above is a fine mower.

A riding mower (any riding mower) will take an extra half hour or so
vs something that costs 3-4 times as much (like a ZT). I can live with that.


For a zero turn you have no choice but to.
Decent ones START at $3000. Which is the other point too few ZT fans discuss:
the bottom of the line ZT's aren't so great.
My comment what to look for was directed towards used models..I didn't know if mowers had common issues that were easily noticed that would make you think twice before buying it.

I've been looking through mowers online at Lowes and Home Depot. I have a John Deere place about 20 minutes down the road I might go check out as well. Thanks for all of the input.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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Some of my top picks based on reviews...

John Deere D110 42 in. 19.5 HP Front-Engine Hydrostatic Riding Mower

$1,699 with 0% interest for 12months

http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Ou...&storeId=10051

Toro TimeCutter SS5000 50 in. 22HP Smart Speed V-twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower

$2,999 with 0% interest for 12months

http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Ou...&storeId=10051

Husqvarna Zero-Turn Mower 540cc Briggs & Stratton engine, 46in.

$2,5999 - tax free w/ free shipping

http://www.mowersdirect.com/Husqvarn...m=free+portals

Toro actually has 0% interest for 18 months on any mower so that's a plus. Haven't looked at their lawn tractors yet.

Last edited by REXAMUS; 04-03-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REXAMUS View Post
My comment what to look for was directed towards used models..I didn't know if mowers had common issues that were easily noticed that would make you think twice before buying it.

I've been looking through mowers online at Lowes and Home Depot. I have a John Deere place about 20 minutes down the road I might go check out as well. Thanks for all of the input.
Check out their used stuff...and know that they will probably try to get you to look at a model above what you really need. Maybe not, but their salesmen too.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REXAMUS View Post
Anyone have any advice on a good mower for 1.5 acres?
I really would like a zero-turn but it's not a requirement.
I don't need anything fancy and don't mind finding a used one.

Some of my top picks based on reviews...
John Deere D110 42 in. 19.5 HP... $1,699
Toro TimeCutter SS5000 50 in... $2,999
Husqvarna Zero-Turn 46in.$2,599
Of these three? The JD for $1699.
But that's still $650 more than you need to pay for your criteria:
"good mower for 1.5 acres" and "don't need anything fancy"

As for used... most towns have 4 or 5 guys who rebuild and sell used mowers.
I've got one right down the street. Find yours and see how much he'll give you on the old mower and if maybe he can do a trade.
Personally though... I'd say that you should buy new.

Cheap and simple and new. <-- open the link

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