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Old 06-08-2013, 06:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
Ask a power equipment dealer to check with the distributor for left over new equipment. I scored an Ariens ZTR a few years back. I wound up with a heavy duty pro-sumer model for the same price as a higher end consumer model. Welded deck vs stamped. Better hydros.
Ariens is really nice stuff.

US made and very solid company.

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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Simplicity makes a great mower. The 2013 version sells for $4100.

Anyone willing to spend that sort of money on a grass cutter should expect nothing less than a very reliable product, a really great result on the cut and that it will last.

Luckily for the rest of the lawn cutting world those goals can be achieved for far less upfront cash by way of several brands. Maybe not as perfect a cut but still a better cut than low(er) end ZT's

Similar maintenance and upkeep regimen over the years? You bet. That sort of care is what it comes down to with all machinery if you want it to last.

1992 low cost grass cutter ... the 2013 version is advertised at $1700:
The Craftsman of old were so good for the money back then. Newer ones are crap for the most part like much of what you see at HD/Lowes.

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Old 06-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
I know i cut my mowing time in half,but if he cuts in a half hour now from 2 hours i'd like to see that,i know those exmarks are good but not that good,Toro has owned them since 1979 and they are a quality machine,but are also big bucks,and i'd hate to see what repair parts are.
Well I'm sure you know how a fish gets bigger and bigger from the moment its caught, right?
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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Well I'm sure you know how a fish gets bigger and bigger from the moment its caught, right?

I hear ya,loud and clear.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
First issue with ZT's is whether the property really suits them.
Big, flat and wide open like a football field? Perfect.
Smaller, rumbly and with obstacles? Not so much.

Second issue is cost.
How much $$ is needed to really get the benefit of a ZT.

Third is if you're gonna pony up something in excess of $3500 for a machine... what else can be done with it besides cutting grass cause you must have a big enough property to have gardens and a long driveway too. Can you hook up a tiller or snow plow, etc?

As to brand... you're in Iowa. Anything but a Deere is sacrilege.
What are you using now?
I agree with you on the rumbly, but not on the obstacles issue. Two of my neighbors have ZTR's and they can turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change. I don't know of any tractor that can turn as tight as a ZTR. That is one of their strong points.

Plow? I agree
Tiller? Stand alone
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:27 AM   #20
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I agree with you on the rumbly, but not on the obstacles issue.
Fair enough.

I neglected to include my line about the other, and far less expensive, ways to deal with obstacles than buying a pricey ZTR for an hour (or two) per week of suburban lot grass cutting. Besides I like my mulch beds and their azaleas.

(In case it wasn't obvious by now... I was raised in a "don't spend a dime if a nickle will do the job" home.)
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Fair enough.

I neglected to include my line about the other, and far less expensive, ways to deal with obstacles than buying a pricey ZTR for an hour (or two) per week of suburban lot grass cutting. Besides I like my mulch beds and their azaleas.

(In case it wasn't obvious by now... I was raised in a "don't spend a dime if a nickle will do the job" home.)

I was raised that way too,but i've morphed into a "if you dont spend it the kid will" kind of guy,and that's the way a aquired a ZTR,and glad i did.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Simplicity makes a great mower. The 2013 version sells for $4100.

Anyone willing to spend that sort of money on a grass cutter should expect nothing less than a very reliable product, a really great result on the cut and that it will last.

Luckily for the rest of the lawn cutting world those goals can be achieved for far less upfront cash by way of several brands. Maybe not as perfect a cut but still a better cut than low(er) end ZT's

Similar maintenance and upkeep regimen over the years? You bet. That sort of care is what it comes down to with all machinery if you want it to last.

1992 low cost grass cutter ... the 2013 version is advertised at $1700:
Nice old Craftsman. As far as lasting goes, those old craftsman mowers held up well.

As far as cut goes, Im sorry, but they arent even in the same ballpark as a Simplicity. Now this is a true story:

I had just finished cutting my lawn when my next door neighbor and his wife returned from shopping. I over heard her yelling at her husband: What are you doing wrong when you cut our lawn? It looks like crap compared to Jims!"

"Im not doing anything wrong. He has a Simplicity, and I have a Craftsman, that's the difference, it has nothing to do with how I cut the lawn!"

I actually felt sorry for the guy, and I have to admit that there is most definitely something wrong with his particular mower, as there is something wrong with one of my other neighbors John Deere Tractor. Probably bent blades, because both of those mowers are leaving a row of grass that is not even with the rest.

There is something to be said for using a piece of equipment that is a pleasure to use for the entire time you own it that is hard to put a price on. My neighbor that lived across the street from me in a former house had a really nice old Craftsman, but you had to shift it from forward to reverse, and to different forward speeds. Once he used my hydrostatic with limited slip differential he could not believe the difference in operator ease of use.

If you really break it down by the total cost including maintenance over say 20 years, the cost to own per use might really surprise you, especially since parts for any of these tractors is absolutely outrageous, even the ones that are made cheaply. Even the dealers complain about the price of parts, as there is no margin left for them after they add labor.

Your point is very well made though, 1700 is a long way from 4100
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #23
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As far as cut goes, Im sorry, but they arent even in the same ballpark as a Simplicity. ... Your point is very well made though, 1700 is a long way from 4100
Nothing is in the same ballpark as a Simplicity.
That's been established.

The argument is about a) how much better it is vs a well maintained alternative and b) the costs to get it vs one of the lower priced (and well maintained) alternatives.

Using that excellent Simplicity Cut as the benchmark though... the secondary argument is about what sort of ZT is required to match it and why anyone would spend so much money for the high honor of cutting their grass no matter how nicely it turned out.

Let the anecdotes commence.
(I'm waiting for the ground to dry out)
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Nothing is in the same ballpark as a Simplicity.
That's been established.

The argument is about a) how much better it is vs a well maintained alternative and b) the costs to get it vs one of the lower priced (and well maintained) alternatives.

Using that excellent Simplicity Cut as the benchmark though... the secondary argument is about what sort of ZT is required to match it and why anyone would spend so much money for the high honor of cutting their grass no matter how nicely it turned out.

Let the anecdotes commence.
(I'm waiting for the ground to dry out)
I guess one of the driving forces for my buying what I did back in 96 was the "Made in The USA" Sticker on the back of the seat. The sticker is still on there.

I rather doubt whether that kind of sticker is on a craftsman mower of today but it might say "Assembled in the USA, or Box made in USA"

I happen to be one of a dying breed that thinks if you don't buy things made by people that work in the country where you live, pretty soon you won't even be able to buy things made in the country where you live, and the things that come from other countries that used to be cheap, will cost just as much as the good things that used to be made in your country.

Add to that the fact that the guy down the street will lose his job if nobody buys the things he makes, he will be laid off and have to collect unemployment, and seek government aid to feed his kids. That aid will come from the taxes that the remaining people that are working here have to pay, and loans from the country that makes the things that he used to make.

Admittedly way off topic, but not off target.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I guess one of the driving forces for my buying what I did back in 96 was the "Made in The USA" Sticker on the back of the seat. The sticker is still on there.

I rather doubt whether that kind of sticker is on a craftsman mower of today but it might say "Assembled in the USA, or Box made in USA"

I happen to be one of a dying breed that thinks if you don't buy things made by people that work in the country where you live, pretty soon you won't even be able to buy things made in the country where you live, and the things that come from other countries that used to be cheap, will cost just as much as the good things that used to be made in your country.

Add to that the fact that the guy down the street will lose his job if nobody buys the things he makes, he will be laid off and have to collect unemployment, and seek government aid to feed his kids. That aid will come from the taxes that the remaining people that are working here have to pay, and loans from the country that makes the things that he used to make.

Admittedly way off topic, but not off target.
I could go even deeper than this, as Simplicity's were made right here where I live since their inception. That is, until Brigg's & Stratton bought them out and moved them away about 8 years ago or so. The testing grounds is still here, and I drive by it on a regular basis, but hundreds of jobs in the manufacturing moved down South. I probably know a hundred people that were left behind, and it does effect me, as those blue collar workers keep my own business going........

That said, I have a Simplicity Legacy and it's darn nice, but from what I understand, like everything else, the tractors have been cheapened in just about every way compared to 10 years ago and older models.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #26
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I could go even deeper than this, as Simplicity's were made right here where I live since their inception. That is, until Brigg's & Stratton bought them out and moved them away about 8 years ago or so. The testing grounds is still here, and I drive by it on a regular basis, but hundreds of jobs in the manufacturing moved down South. I probably know a hundred people that were left behind, and it does effect me, as those blue collar workers keep my own business going........

That said, I have a Simplicity Legacy and it's darn nice, but from what I understand, like everything else, the tractors have been cheapened in just about every way compared to 10 years ago and older models.
Well Jo, they cant say we did'nt try, can they?

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