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Old 06-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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I would have to recommend getting a Huskee. I have a 42" with a 17 hp Kohler Courage motor and haven't had a problem. Granted, I have mainly a flat 2.5 acres, but do have pretty steep banks on the road drainage ditches and unless the grass is wet and slippery, I have no problems with them. And as far as prices go it wasn't bad. I guess maybe it is an "entry level" mower, but works fine for me. And you can get a few different attachments, including a grass catcher.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by algored2deth View Post
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.
Yeah, ditch the bagging. Mulching is better for your yard! Make sure that you have a good mulching blade on the mower so the grass gets cut VERY fine.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #18
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Iím not sure Iím looking at your pictures correctly but looks like you would not be able to turn properly at the top of the hill with a riding mower. But maybe Iím not seeing things properly. I use a riding mower and a push mower (on 2 acres).

As pointed out you have to go up and down the hill on a riding mower or you can turn over. (I got lazy a few times and drove sideways, big mistake, almost turned over.) A few places where I canít turn at the top of a hill I just back all the way down, go up again, back down again, and so on.

And when using a push mower you have to go sideways across a hill, else your feet can slip under the mower. I also use a push mower on a hill because there are septic tank covers on the hill so I canít get close enough with my riding mower, so I come back with a push mower and go sideways to cut the grass between the tanks Ė and I use the push mower in other places also.

Point Iím trying to make, IMHO, you have to actually picture the details of safely riding, pushing, turning, etc. on your particular terrain Ė if you havenít already done that. IMHO. Some places a riding mower is actually slower.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:13 AM   #19
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Iím not sure Iím looking at your pictures correctly but looks like you would not be able to turn properly at the top of the hill with a riding mower. But maybe Iím not seeing things properly. I use a riding mower and a push mower (on 2 acres).

As pointed out you have to go up and down the hill on a riding mower or you can turn over. (I got lazy a few times and drove sideways, big mistake, almost turned over.) A few places where I canít turn at the top of a hill I just back all the way down, go up again, back down again, and so on.

And when using a push mower you have to go sideways across a hill, else your feet can slip under the mower. I also use a push mower on a hill because there are septic tank covers on the hill so I canít get close enough with my riding mower, so I come back with a push mower and go sideways to cut the grass between the tanks Ė and I use the push mower in other places also.

Point Iím trying to make, IMHO, you have to actually picture the details of safely riding, pushing, turning, etc. on your particular terrain Ė if you havenít already done that. IMHO. Some places a riding mower is actually slower.
I would never attempt to try and ride to the top of the hill on my lawn. Way too dangerous. The pics attached really do not do justice to how hilly it is. I have always done the hill part with a push mower but the rest of the lawn just takes a lot of time to do with the pusher.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:33 AM   #20
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Why slopes are called cliffs when we're looking at distorted digital pictures is beyond me. Measure the slope so we know what to recommend. It doesn't take expensive equipment. A level and yard stick should do it.

If there is any doubt a lawn tractor wouldn't be safe or it wouldn't fit your property well then consider a self propelled walk behind with a good bagger system for your lot.

I can say from experience you do not want a rear engine rider of any brand on your slopes ( cliffs ).
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #21
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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.
Oh sorry, you were in fact already addressing those issues. I didn’t read your first post carefully enough. As pointed out in the previous post and other posts, a self propelled walk behind is good. (Mine isn’t self-propelled. Big mistake. A while back, about when I turned 65, I noticed all objects in the universe all of a sudden got heavier.lol)

I really don’t know much in terms of which are good riding mowers. I just have a 2002 John Deere LT160 that I bought in 2002 and it’s been fine. I don’t see anything wrong with your idea about buying a used riding mower. But I’m no expert, maybe the other guys here think a used is a bad idea. But you can get good deals on used cars?

I wouldn’t rule out ebay. You might find one in your area where you could go give it a test spin and bring it home. (I got lucky on ebay and found some big things close by and I picked it them up myself.)

Last edited by agoodboy; 08-14-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:45 PM   #22
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FWIW, I've had very good luck buying used John Deere commercial equipment with about 300 hours on each.

Not the box-store kind...the 300 and 400 series. I've found them to be heavy duty...and parts are always available from JD.

There's also a wide range of available accessories ... and, for mr at least, the heavy duty nature of these machines makes then last a long time.

Both of them have been $11K new machines bought for less than $4K ... with a lot of life left in them.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #23
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FWIW, I've had very good luck buying used John Deere commercial equipment with about 300 hours on each.

Not the box-store kind...the 300 and 400 series. I've found them to be heavy duty...and parts are always available from JD.

There's also a wide range of available accessories ... and, for mr at least, the heavy duty nature of these machines makes then last a long time.

Both of them have been $11K new machines bought for less than $4K ... with a lot of life left in them.
Well you need heavy duty stuff down there! lol

(Spent a lot of time over the years in Oklahoma City. Saw winds, hail, ice, etc the kind I would never have dreamed of in SE Pa. But as they say down there, ďif you donít like the weather just wait about 15 minutes and it will changeĒ lol).

Good to know about that commercial stuff. Sounds like it could be a very good investment.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:49 PM   #24
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I've been very happy with it. Maybe I'm just lucky...but the only repairs I've made are to wear items
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:57 AM   #25
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Considering how hilly your lawn is, you will need to be careful in selecting a riding lawn mower. The issue is going to be the transmission. The cheaper units (all brands including John Deere), use the low end Tuff Torq T40 or K46 trannys. These are notorious for failing, especially when the terrain is hilly. I have seen them last for years and years on flat lots, but hills tend to kill them.

If you looked at John Deere, you could do as suggested above and look for an older 425 or 445 model. They are very nice, water cooled, last for thousands of hours but tend to cost $2K and up used. A new or used X310 would do what you want and last. The X310 also has a servicable tranny and replaceable filter.

If not, then I would look for something WITHOUT a hydrostatic transmission. We use an old Craftsman rider with a 5 speed at our camp. It pulls the hills every week, every year without complaint. I would not want a T40/K46 there as it would kill it in short order.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #26
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That's good information. I would have never thought about hills and transmissions. Makes sense. Learn something new all the time.

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