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#4410920 - 03/16/18 12:29 PM Riding lawn mowers  
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It's starting to get to that time of year again...

Looking in the $1000 to $2000 price range. Lawn is 2 acres with some steep slopes involved and trees on the flat areas. I currently have a Cub Cadet LT1042 but its days are numbered but I'll keep tinkering with it. Might as well learn on the dying. One of the clamp holders on the mower deck literally ripped off. I have replaced it with steel brackets. The seat bracket broke and I replaced it. I am not a heavy man (5'10" 180#) and I broke the seat bracket. I've had to replace the spindles as well. I think they used Chinese steel making this thing. I feel like I have replaced 50% of this mower already. Cheapest mower deck replacement I can find is $300.

Current front running candidates are:
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT 46 or 42. If I get the 42 in I would think they would be the same blades used on the LT1042.
Poulan Pro either 42 or 46


I would have considered a John Deere but had the door to the local dealership just about closed in my face when I was going in to buy a lawn mower from them so... if that is their service technique... no thanks. There is a Cub Cadet dealer in town but they seem more intent on pushing 4 wheelers than mowers. Poulan does not have a dealership near by but do have some mom and pop shops that service their mowers.

I plan on throwing my 13 year old on this puppy while I ride the death wagon along the side of the stream and on the steep slopes. I would rather it be as easy as it can be to operate so he can't screw it up. He needs some confidence building and an allowance for actually doing something. My 11 y/o girl is about as tall as him and frankly I think would do a better job at it. My 8 y/o isn't tall enough but by God thinks he "Billy Badass" and could do a better job than me. I can't wait for him to get older because he does do a good job at what I given him to do.

Not much convinced about the quality differences in each of the manufacturers. It seems like all of it is originally made by MTD with the cheapest material possible.


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#4410924 - 03/16/18 12:45 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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Had a Cub Cadet a few years back. Was a solid piece of equipment, and did a great job. Never a problem, but then I didn't put more than 20-30 hours on it.


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#4410926 - 03/16/18 12:48 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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Chef, what about the Zero Turn mowers? Wouldn't they be more stable on hills?


~Bill

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#4410933 - 03/16/18 01:16 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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I've read zero turns are bad at mowing slopes. Worse than lawn tractors. I'll mow 30 the degree slopes with a riding lawnmower but anything steeper and I chicken out and use the Husqvarna 128L. I have some slopes that are 70 degrees and weed-eating those is not fun.

I don't think buying the $5K+ lawn tractors are the way to go either as I am not convinced they will hold up any better and I'll have to buy another one in 4 or 5 years. I have about 240 hours on the Cub Cadet LT1042. I don't think I would get anything on a trade-in for it so I might as well tinker and learn.


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#4410955 - 03/16/18 02:04 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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buy a few sheep...problem solved biggrin Seriously though...my patch of grass is not big enough to warrant one so I have no experience.


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#4410965 - 03/16/18 02:32 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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After nursing along a riding Toro for 15 years, I treated myself to a new mower a couple of years ago.
I chose a John Deere, not due to the name, but because at Home Depot I could go over all of their brands side by side. I was extremely impressed with how the JD was built. I wanted something that when the time comes for repairs and maintenance would be the easiest to deal with. Things like dropping the deck. The JD just looked easier to deal with, unlike the Toro I’d had. The others didn’t compare IMO. I think they were Cub Cadet, Poulon and something else, I forget.
I went with a D125 (now called E120), 20HP vtwin and at the time, first of the hydrostatic models. I LOVE that transmission! No shifting, just go. Makes things very fast. Supposedly the hydrostatic is more reliable than traditional.
I don’t have a large yard, this is overkill, but I wanted something for the ages and I don’t want to have to buy another when we move in the next couple years to something with more space.
They often give away a grass catcher or trailer with these at certain times of the year, be sure to check if they have that with whatever brand you get.


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#4411035 - 03/16/18 07:12 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Originally Posted by No105_Archie
buy a few sheep...problem solved biggrin Seriously though...my patch of grass is not big enough to warrant one so I have no experience.



How big of a patch of grass would warrant sheep? You really shouldnt be recommending something if you have no experience with it.

Last edited by Master; 03/16/18 07:13 PM.

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#4411042 - 03/16/18 07:48 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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lawn is small but i still have a yard crew come by once a week and pay them $20 ....takes them 10 min and the yard and driveway are clean ! I won't buy any property that has a yard that requires a riding lawnmower - problem solved !


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#4411061 - 03/16/18 09:06 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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If you want something that’s built like a tank and will last forever, look for an old Simplicity with a cast iron Briggs. Even cooler would be an old walking tractor with a sickle bar mower, but that’s more for tall grass, hay, and light brush.


Phil

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#4411070 - 03/16/18 09:33 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Haggart]  
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Originally Posted by Haggart
lawn is small but i still have a yard crew come by once a week and pay them $20 ....takes them 10 min and the yard and driveway are clean ! I won't buy any property that has a yard that requires a riding lawnmower - problem solved !


Can't argue with that. My 1/3 acre costs $50/week. They (3 guys) mow, edge and clean up the driveway and sidewalk in about 20 minutes. I also have a significant hill in the back that I don't have to deal with. smile


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#4411092 - 03/16/18 10:32 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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I found lots of riding lawn mowers to choose from...

#4411107 - 03/16/18 11:31 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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Some of the pro mowers I see that maneuver so well(cost unknown) make we want to have a lawn and mow it....

Instead I have an herb garden and my landlord mows the lawn. Kinda like it that way.

Girls like good cooks more than good lawnmowers...at least the ones I like.

Hire the neighbors kid and be a good cook...

Oh wait...your name is Chef! skullhead


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#4411161 - 03/17/18 08:50 AM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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Best riding mower I ever had was a Snapper. I had a 1 acre yard with about 2/3rds in grass. I couldn't tear that mower up. After 9 years of use, I sold it for almost half of what I paid for it. (My 1st wife and I split and I bought a new place with a postage stamp yard) The cutting blade was driven by a belt, which usually had to be replaced every 3 or 4 years.

The drive system was ingenious. It had an exposed rubber drive wheel with no gears. There was nothing but a 12 horse Briggs & Stratten 4 stroke mounted on the rear with an exposed steel flywheel under the deck. The rear axle had a large rubber wheel that would be lowered against that flywheel for propulsion. According to where that speed lever moved the rubber disk on the flywheel, the speed was determined. Reverse happened when the rubber drive was moved to the opposite side of the flywheel. Even though their were no gears, that thing would almost pull stumps. Having no transmission to break down or worry about made the thing bullet proof.

I remember being at the dealer's place when I bought it and when I asked about reliability, he took me out to his repair shop. They worked on all brands of riders. There were about 20 riders in the shop for repair. Every make and model then available, but only one of them was a Snapper. It was having it's engine swapped out after 10 years because the owner didn't keep the oil changed properly. He said that was rare and that most of the time all they had to do was change out the blade drive belt for people who were to lazy to do it themselves. It was easier than changing out a fan belt on a car.

They've still got about three models that use this system ranging from $1600 to $2k. Of course a bagging attachment will run a couple of hundred extra.

https://www.snapper.com/na/en_us/support/videos/browse/snapper-rear-engine-rider.html


Cheers

P.S. They also have tractor like models and zero turn radius style, but the prices start going up.

Last edited by Forward Observer; 03/17/18 05:25 PM. Reason: add P.S.

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#4411216 - 03/17/18 06:49 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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For only $1000 to $2000 you're kind of limited. There are a ton of lawn tractors these days that are made by MTD, including Cub Cadet. If you strip away the cream and yellow colored paint it'll be just about the same as more affordable tractors like Craftsman, Yard Machine, Troy Built, Bolens, White, and Yard Man. If you like Cub just for the name, you'll pay for the name. I've seen them parked next to other MTD tractors at the stores and the only difference is maybe the cup holder...lol. I used to have a 1981 Cub Cadet 982 and it was a beast. After MTD bought the company it's just not the same quality as they used to be. They're not bad...just not as beastly...lol.

I have 3 acres that I mow and I have a 26hp Craftsman with a 54" deck that my wife loves. I think we paid right at $2000 for it a few years ago. I also have a Husqvarna 26hp 54" zero turn that I love, but that one was about $3500. When the wife and I mow together we're done in about 1.5 hours. If I go alone on my Husqvarna it takes me about 2.5 hours.


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#4411237 - 03/17/18 09:28 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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There are advantages to these,


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#4411238 - 03/17/18 09:49 PM Re: Riding lawn mower [Re: Chef]  
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These things were EVERYWHERE in Korea, we called them one-eyed dragons or RPAVs - Rice Paddy Assault Vehicles. They’d be driving in traffic, hauling enormous loads up steep hills going PUTT....PUTT....PUTT but never stopping. There was a guy selling one around here last year, he had the sickle bar mower, sulky, and 1 or 2 other attachments. I was so close to buying it but managed to discipline myself LOL. The sickle bar mower would have been perfect for getting rid of the tick habitat out back, much better than renting a roof mower.

Simplicity walking tractor.

Last edited by NH2112; 03/17/18 09:53 PM.

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#4411245 - 03/17/18 10:48 PM Re: Riding lawn mower [Re: Chef]  
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Well... I went with the Cub Cadet XT1 "Enduro" 42 deck. Hoping its easy enough for the kids to learn on. I mowed the lawn yesterday to break it in. It did a good job *BUT* I noticed some black flimsy plastic on the ground. I thought it was part of the packing for a smoker I got recently. Didn't give it a second thought. I cleaned up the garage this morning and noticed some more of those black plastic pieces. What possessed me to go look at the transmission fan on it I'll never know but I did and found out where all the black pieces where coming from. *SON OF A BILLARY* a stick not more than 1/4 inch thick got shoved up into where it came in contact with the transmission fan and broke about 4 of the blades off. I thought I would have to drop the transmission out of it to replace it but I can go in through the battery housing. I'm really not impressed. Still. I'd rather do it myself than wait on the dealership. Why can't anyone make anything decent anymore? How can a 1/4 stick get transmission fan and take out the fan in the first place?

I got out the Cub CaDeath LT1042 and took the mower deck off. The redneck engineering I did to replace the deck bracket that ripped off last year has held up remarkably well. The blades were a beast to get off and I had to pop the plastic off one of my barbells to get additional torque on the ratchet. Got those replaced and and leveled the mower deck with another redneck engineering stabilizing bar in the front of the mower deck. I ought to paint this mower black with skull and crossbones on it. I might die on it one day. My 11 y/o daughter test drove the XT1 and she can handle it. I can count on her. She is a good mature girl. My computer addicted 13 y/o hasn't come out of his room all day. Perhaps a hardware failure is in his future.

Our chickens arrived today too. Two bard rocks and two Ameraucana (easter eggers). Hope to get eggs from them by Summer. People really seem to like the Ameraucana eggs since they can be blue, green or even pink. The last one we had laid green eggs so Dr. Seuss references were many.

I've been up since 3AM. I'm tired. I'm going to have a couple of beers and go to bed. I plan to just fart around tomorrow. Maybe walk in Dupont Forest. I love that place so much. I would have to get there early as the tourist start showing up after 8AM.


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#4411247 - 03/17/18 11:13 PM Re: Riding lawn mower [Re: NH2112]  
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Originally Posted by NH2112
These things were EVERYWHERE in Korea, we called them one-eyed dragons or RPAVs - Rice Paddy Assault Vehicles. They’d be driving in traffic, hauling enormous loads up steep hills going PUTT....PUTT....PUTT but never stopping. There was a guy selling one around here last year, he had the sickle bar mower, sulky, and 1 or 2 other attachments. I was so close to buying it but managed to discipline myself LOL. The sickle bar mower would have been perfect for getting rid of the tick habitat out back, much better than renting a roof mower.

Simplicity walking tractor.



Oh those are great, I used to operate one occasionally for a landscaping company I worked for in my younger days. Even had a seat with a single wheel under it that it towed along.


“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
#4411248 - 03/17/18 11:26 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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I've read zero turns are bad at mowing slopes.


Slope handling all depends on where the weight is. So long as you keep the center of gravity over the wheel base you're fine. Doesn't matter what mower or tractor you've got, if you let it get to far out side, over it'll go. I mowed a place one summer in college, that was 400 acres. We'd alternate who got the tractor with the shredder and bat wings for the open field, the ZTR for the tight stuff, and the weed eater for cleanup. A ZTR works just fine on STEEP slopes if you're careful.

A couple of tips:

1) An adult male weights about 2/3 to 3/4 of what the ZTR does, so sitting down on it, can radically change where the center of gravity is. For quick reference, about where you navel is, is where the balance point it. If your navel is hanging about in line with the down slope side, you are about to roll that sucker. Shift yourself in the seat, and steer to get out of danger. Most of the time, it's better to steer the mower uphill if it's getting hinky. Gravity will help keep you stuck on, and keep you can lean forward at lot easier, then back to shift your body weight to help.
2) Do NOT get one without a roll bar and a seat belt if you have slopes. They are literal life saves if you roll it
3) If you do roll it, hold onto the control arms tight to keep your hands and arms from getting squashed, plant your feet hard onto the deck, and wait for everything to stop moving before you move from that position. We kept an air horn taped to one of the arm rests as an emergency signal to the rest of the guys (thankfully I never needed it) to come flip it back over.
4) The safest way to mow is up and down the slope. If its too steep to safely ascend it straight up and down, it's gonna be risky to go cross wise (you can do it, but you want to have some experience before you try).

-Jenrick

#4412169 - 03/22/18 12:37 PM Re: Riding lawn mowers [Re: Chef]  
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Too bad they don't sell these around here.

AS 940 Sherpa 4WD Ride-on Mower


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