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Old 04-11-2011, 09:38 AM   #16
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One question, one comment.

How does the zero turn models preform on inclines/angle? eg birms, ditchbanks?

The Briggs and Stratton engine would be my last choice, I would highly recommend a Kawasaki, we have a 9hp over 20 years old, lots of hours and I believe the engine will be the last thing to go on that mower.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:07 PM   #17
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Interesting stuff on them there ZTR's. I thought about moving up to one, but here in northern Illinois we have to plan on equipment that is functional 12 monthes of the year. I used to mow an acre and a half with a 22" self-propelled, Briggs wonder, every week from the middle of May til Thanksgiving back in the early 70's. Then the Toro 2 cycle "eggbeater" came out to do the drive (80' long x 20' wide all winter. I finally scraped together enough cash to buy a lawn tractor after looking at every concievable tractor with key start, a minimum 36" belly mower, attach points for other implements front and rear, and the availability of things like dozer blades, snow throwers, rototillers and so on. I bought an Ariens/Simplicity 12 H.P. with a 36" deck and a 48" dozer blade in 77-78. In 1980 I could afford the 36" snow thrower and picked that up for this tractor. Like the man says, "You get what you pay for." The dozer blade sits rust free in my garage loft. I still mow an acre and a half with the tractor on the same schedule, but have added an 18" x 48" stone filled roller for the springtime (I got tired of rewelding the ends of the roller every spring just because I forgot to empty the water out every fall) and an 8 H.P. Briggs fired leaf vac, that is pulled by the tractor, to pick up the 250 C.F. of leaves every fall. Then it is time for the snow thrower. If it were just for me it might be a little overkill, but with my back going bad and several of the neighbors in the same boat; a snow shovel is out and those little throwers take to long. I generally do my drive, plus a 6' wide x 75' path from the garage to our back door -right across the lawn- and drives for around 12 of the neighbors. I've had a few parts go bad over the years like blade arbors drying out and exploding under load, thrower skegs grinding down to the sheet metal, a half shaft sheared off at the differential due to a design error from Simplicity, broken teeth in the 1st manual transmission I had due to me overloading the tractor so changed over to Hydrostatic drive, had to rebuild the first engine because it only had an aluminum block and jug and wore out after only five years and had to rebuild the 2nd engine because rubber gaskets wore out valves needed redoing, the magneto gave up and the starter needed new brushes, now I'm on hopefully the third and last engine with a cast iron sleeve, electronic ignition, heavy duty alternator and a full size car battery for all the lights, but the tractor and it's equipment will probably outlast me. Just another brand to consider.
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