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Old 05-30-2013, 12:19 PM   #1
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Rider suggestions


Looking for suggestions in buying a rider mower. I do not have a specific model that I am looking at but perhaps me posting what I have to deal with in my backyard will help with the choice. My preference would be to buy something used because it will be cheaper. But then again, I don't want to buy something that is not a good fit for my application. So take a look at these and maybe it will help in whether a rider is better or a bigger walk behind mower is the correct choice. The attached images are my backyard. My total property is a little over 0.4 acres but mowable is a bit less. The FY is definitely rider capable. The BY truly is bowl shaped. From the highest to the lowest point I would estimate at least a 15 foot elevation difference, maybe a bit more. Putting a rider onto the hill would be a bad idea but if I was careful I could go parallel up a certain ways and then finish off with either a trimmer or my push mower. Right now it takes me about 40mins to mow just my BY with the pushmower(21in), longer if I have to bag. If you are looking into my BY, the left side is the higher elevation and then begins to slope downwards to back. Kind of unusable to a point.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Rider suggestions


I'd be considering some regrading to get rid of those cliffs.
I'd mowing that in a big circle so I could mow those steep sections going down the hill not side ways.
If you got a Z turn you could cut that mowing and trimming by at least 1/2.
Last thing I would want is a used mower in most cases. I like mowing a lawn not working on the mower.

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Old 05-31-2013, 05:53 AM   #3
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I agree with Joe. I'd be mowing straight up and down the hills and not sideways.

If you decide to get new, look for one with the longest warranty.

I'm not sure that your yard is large enough to justify the expense of a zero turn
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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Rider suggestions


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I'd be considering some regrading to get rid of those cliffs.
^^ What Joe said.
Terrace it. Plant some flowers or veggies too.

With that sort of hill which mower won't matter.
But the Snapper is still the best small yard ride on. LINK
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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Regrading, while I would like to do it, is not really an option. It would be a pretty big deal to do what is needed plus i have to get the neighbor to sign off on it as well.

Was not considering a ZTR mower due to cost and storage. Was looking to keep this well below 2k.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:54 AM   #6
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I have a couple of pretty steep hills. Not only do these help in keeping water away from the foundation, but the kids would kill me if I took away their mini snowboarding hills.

I bought a Bolens from Lowes 5 years ago. I paid about $1000. I have had no troubles with it and it had a 5 yr warranty unlike the John Deere which had a 3 yr and a considerable higher price tag.

I thoink they all have the same engine anyway
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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If I was you, I would buy a Snapper rear engine rider, new. These have been around for years, hold up very well, and you can lift them right up and stand them on the bars at the rear of the engine to spray off the underside of the deck.

If you clean the deck from time to time, and repaint it with a good enamel at the end of the season, (I use Oil Based Striping paint on my deck because it sprays downward. I just flip my deck over, but I have a larger mower now, SImplicity, because I have more grass than you) The Snapper mower will basically last you forever.

The drive on this mower is basically a driven wheel with a rubber tire that runs on an aluminum disk on the end of the crankshaft. Ingenious, simple, foolproof.

I had the 33 inch. This would fit well for you. You dont need a ZTR for .4 acres, and Im assuming you did not subtract the footprint of the house in that measurement.

Yeah, you want to hit the hill straight on. I had this same situation and my snapper worked fine on it, very stable, just don't scalp the crest.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Rider suggestions


Two suggestions above for a snapper so thanks for the heads up. I had not considered this brand only because it was not on my radar screen of known brands, even though it is a known brand. I was looking at typical stuff like craftsman, cub cadet, troy bilt, husq, etc. While I would like to not buy from a BB store due to servicing/lousy knowledge (as a general complaint here) the reality is price does matter. I will need to go visit a snapper dealer and check it out. The rear engine version looked to be less than 2k. It is now on my list to consider.

And to Jagans, I think you are right that 33" would be about right. With a 42" version, while I could store it in my shed it was getting tight. I think a 33" would be a better fit. Even though I have a two car garage, hard to store anything in there with two cars.

The land plot is spec'd as 0.43 acres but that does include a 1700sq ft house and a 2 car wide driveway. It is not all lawn.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algored2deth View Post
Two suggestions above for a snapper so thanks for the heads up. I had not considered this brand only because it was not on my radar screen of known brands, even though it is a known brand. I was looking at typical stuff like craftsman, cub cadet, troy bilt, husq, etc. While I would like to not buy from a BB store due to servicing/lousy knowledge (as a general complaint here) the reality is price does matter. I will need to go visit a snapper dealer and check it out. The rear engine version looked to be less than 2k. It is now on my list to consider.

And to Jagans, I think you are right that 33" would be about right. With a 42" version, while I could store it in my shed it was getting tight. I think a 33" would be a better fit. Even though I have a two car garage, hard to store anything in there with two cars.

The land plot is spec'd as 0.43 acres but that does include a 1700sq ft house and a 2 car wide driveway. It is not all lawn.
You will find that dealing with a small dedicated owner dealer is far better than buying a rider from big Orange or Blue. They will remember you and they are there for you after the sale. In most cases you will actually get a better deal too. Ask them to throw in a spare blade. They usually will. The big box store will just look at you funny.

If you want to buy online look at Wise sales.

WIth the snapper, you may even be able to stand her up to store her in your shed. This saves a lot of room. Not sure if this is good for the engine vis a vis oil though. Frankly I cant remember. You are better off with a rear engine with your hills due to stability. I am telling you that you cant beat one of those snappers in your case. They may look a little funny, but they have been around since at least the 50's with very little change.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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Forgot to mention, snapper has been around at least as long as any of the brands you mentioned, and longer than most of them. My grandfather had a snapper mower, and I am 66.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
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+1 to what jagans said about wise sales, snappers also have hydrostatic trans now so watch what your buying,also different size engines.


http://www.wisesales.com/lawn-mowers...awnmowers.html#
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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for .4 acre, I'd just deal with the pusher. Once it takes me longer than 2 hrs to mow I'd be looking to move up.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:09 PM   #13
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I've mowed many acres and have owned and used many different mowers. Consider all the headaches which go along with the larger mowers-maintenance, storage, spare parts, high initial cost.

For such a small area, I would go with what I use on my small residential lot, a 4.5 hp push mower with large back wheels. These used to sell all day long for $100 and now you need to pay $160. They will run for years and years. I think I have been using mine for 13 years now.

The best thing is that you don't have much money in them and if you run over something nasty with them, you are out $160, not $2000. You can also put them in the trunk of your car to transport them.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #14
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Riding mowers are awkward on small hills, much less your cliffs (on my Cub Cadet at least). There are some self-propelled push mowers with really wide cutting decks and other nice features...might be a good option for your yard.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:00 PM   #15
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I have looked at several mowers to see what suits my needs. The snapper's are nice but brand new are pretty pricey and are really out of my budget. Whatever I get I would like to get a bagger because that is what I want. I have also looked at larger walk behinds and those are more pricey too.

For the cliffs in my yard maybe doing those with my 21" self propelled mower is the way to go. It is a lot of muscling but not a big deal. What wears me out is all the walking (btw I am in very good shape) and the time it takes to do the lawn. It just kills me. I am approaching 2 hrs if I bag the lawn. Sometimes I do mulch it but even then it is 1.5 hrs. I think the best I did was something like 75-80 mins.

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