Picking A New Riding Mower

LeftyTom

Tom
Corporate Member
o
There are electric riders now. But they seem overpriced and there isn't much selection. I know Ryobi has a tractor and I think they now have a zero turn. They use golf cart batteries for these, not lithium ion. I have a self propelled push mower by Ryobi and I like it. But it sometimes needs a second battery to finish my less than half acre lot. It works fine but it should for what it costs. The lack of noise is nice but if I had to pay for my battery powered mower, I would not have it (I got it under the HD seeds program).
Those electrics seem only good for an hour of mowing, then take 10 hours to recharge.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I learned an expensive, inconvenient lesson buy ing a Cub Cadet from a ??? Tractor Store. I ended up with no nearly new lawn mower for about a month, finally accepting ther manager's suggestion to buy a larger and much more expensive model. I'll skip all the drama, but last unit is a TORO TIME 5000 with heavy duty deck, from a franchised dealer. It's been a very satisfactory relationship. KILLIANS HARDWARE AND EQUIPMENT, Hickory.
 

FlyingRon

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Ron
Staff member
Corporate Member
While our LT160 has worked well for us, our experience with John Deere (both corporate and their stealership, James River Equipment) on Tractors has me a bit cheesed off on giving JD another dollar of our money. In addition to being crooks, they were blatantly sexist to a couple of the county master gardenrs here.
 

Mike Wilkins

Mike
Senior User
I have had a Toro SW4200 for 3 years now and it has been a great purchase. Would buy again in a heartbeat. Zero turn but with the familiar steering wheel. Got mine from a dealer that caters to the landscape pros. Don't waste your money on a mower from the big box stores; they are built to sell at a price point, which means they use cheaper components in the build.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Don't waste your money on a mower from the big box stores; they are built to sell at a price point, which means they use cheaper components in the build.
If you look at a John Deere - that is not true - the models are made in Greenville TN and the models are the same as the one you buy at a JD dealer... Now with that said there are models at the dealership that you cannot purchase at the big box store...
 

woodworker2000

Christopher
Corporate Member
Hank is correct. In fact, the product pages for JD mowers on HD's website includes this (emphasis added): "White glove delivery within 7-14 days by a local John Deere dealer, at delivery the customer will be taught how-to operate and maintain the mower"
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
They are still manufactured to a price point by John Deere specifically for John Deere to compete in consumer markets at big box stores like Lowe's and HD.

The JD 100 Series are both sold at HD and Lowe's for about $1500-1700. I guess they're about the same price from a JD dealer too.

 
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ALtsMagent

New User
ALtsMagent
Hi everyone! I need a good lawn mower and a weed trimmer, but my budget is $ 1,500, can I count on high-quality devices for this money. In fact, I found a review of weed trimmers on https://homendgarden.com/best-cordless-string-trimmer/, learned all the pros and cons, so I think I found a great inexpensive tool and I can afford it. Anyway, if you can look at the review and show me what is the best weed trimmer of them, I would appreciate it. I've read a lot of good things about this garden tool and I think that everyone who takes care of the garden should have it in their tool kit.
 
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tvrgeek

Scott
User
In gas, it is all about the transmission. Look carefully at what tractor has what trans. I don't know anything about the zero's. If yo have ANY hills you want the stronger transmission. I would up with a Husqvarna as it was the only small one with the bigger trans. Even a Deer you had to go to a garden size over the lawn size to get the bigger trans. My yard is a bit big for an electric so far, but if my push Toro ever dies ( going on 40 years) I wil go electric for my small flat back dog yard. I already have several Kobalt 80 and 40V tools.

Trying to remember the numbers T27 was the small trans? I think mine is a 57. Basically, only one company makes them and they are not rebuildable and are junk. Cheap WallMart or Deer. I also got the Suzuki engine. Better than Kohler which is way better than Brigs.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Hi everyone! I need a good lawn mower and a weed trimmer, but my budget is $ 1,500, can I count on high-quality devices for this money.
These days, no reason not to go electric on the weed-Wacker. I converted from gas on whacker, pole saw, hedge trimmer, chain saw. Only my old push mower is gas and of course my tractor. As I mentioned, if my old gas push mower dies, it wil get replaced by a Kobalt electric.
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
Good responses. I am interested also.
I have one of the common home improvement store John Deere 22 hp about 10 years old and it’s a piece of junk. It would never start easily when cold until I rigged up a gasoline priming jig. The seat has just about fallen apart; the genuine plastic seat covering all but gone. It has always leaked oil, but I guess I got ten years of some service out of it. I will be very interested in all your recommendations. Thanks for this post.
 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
Look for a Country Clipper dealer. Not many of them around, but they make a Zero turn with a joy stick controller. I have one and love it. I mow a couple acres every week in summer. About another acre every couple months. It is over 10 years old and just recently started needing a few repairs.
 

HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
Another consideration, would be to look for a low hour/ used garden tractor, (vs lawn mower). Heavier components all around, and serviceable transmissions.

I have a Deere X500 w/ a 48” deck, and a Kawasaki engine that has been fantastic. I Service it myself at the end of every season, and it’s been rock-solid. It was also a ~$7K machine brand new, so you get what you pay for, but I picked it up w/ under 200 hours for less than 1/2 that several years ago now. Another thought there is $7K then, tends to by a LOT more than the equivalent money would buy you “new” today. Mows like a champ and can haul anything that wouldn’t buckle the axles of the cart.

My now 10 year old “inherits” it next year, ha.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Another consideration, would be to look for a low hour/ used garden tractor, (vs lawn mower). Heavier components all around, and serviceable transmissions.

I have a Deere X500 w/ a 48” deck, and a Kawasaki engine that has been fantastic. I Service it myself at the end of every season, and it’s been rock-solid. It was also a ~$7K machine brand new, so you get what you pay for, but I picked it up w/ under 200 hours for less than 1/2 that several years ago now. Another thought there is $7K then, tends to by a LOT more than the equivalent money would buy you “new” today. Mows like a champ and can haul anything that wouldn’t buckle the axles of the cart.

My now 10 year old “inherits” it next year, ha.
I think that was the first in the line with the bigger trans.
 

HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
It is - the X500 was the "base model" for what I was after, being a heavy duty garden tractor. It has a somewhat "bulletproof" tuff Torque transmission, (designed for light-mid duty ground-engaging work - i.e. tillers, mechanical aerators, etc), but no external filters. The higher-up models in the X5XX line step up to slightly beefier TT transmissions w/ external filters, but they also introduce a lot of complexities to the engine/ hydraulics, etc. All good features to have for sure, but overkill for my needs, and added several hundred+ dollars on the used market to boot, as well as more things to go wrong, (I'm a fan of the KISS ideology for small machines). The X7XX line is a step above the X500 series - but at that point, I'd recommend just getting a compact tractor as you're approximately there in price point.

That said, I have approx 6 Acres, and also have a 3025 tractor w/ loader for general maintenance, around the property, etc, but the tractor is much heavier, w/ aggressive tires, so it would definitely rip up the "groomed" portions of the yard, (approx 1.5 Acres), so the X500 shines there for mowing duties, as well as pulling a cart around the perimeter for landscaping, etc, where the big tractor would rut things up. The X500 is definitely a very heavy-duty option for a lawn-mower only, (with the capacity and frame stiffness designed to be able to do more aggressive yard work), but I do appreciate the fact that A) it's made to be serviced, (vs replaced), and B) as it's designed to be heavy-duty, nothing I would use it for around the yard will do any harm - it would be very difficult to overload, unless you're just trying to, (i.e. routinely pulling a full-sized/ loaded tandem-axle vehicle trailer, etc).
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
First of all, I would never buy one from Home Depot. I would buy from a local shop.

I was advised by a couple friends on the lawn business to buy a commercial rated mower. Ended up buying a Scag for 2 reasons the dealer is a nice guy and has an excellent service dept it has a 3 yr parts and labor warranty (2 yrs on engine).

Been told by several the hydraulics is what separates commercial from homeowner. Welded decks are extremely durable, but molded decks cut cleaner than square decks ( and I believe it).

Was looking at Gravely but they're now made in China or so I've been told.
 

LocoWoodWork

Steve
Corporate Member
I have a Gravely 2042 ZT that came with a Kohler Courage (self destructing engine). The aluminum block cracked about 8 years after I bought it. Tore it apart and tig welded the crack (top to bottom). Motor ran for another 2-3 yrs and then came the catastrophic failure. After researching I decided to replace the engine with a B&S. I contacted FLG parts in VA and dealt with a gentleman named Lynn Fox was very helpful in recommending a plug and play replacement. Here is a copy of one of our e-mail interactions:

Lynn Fox <lynn.foxlawn@gmail.com>
Aug 8, 2019, 1:50 PM
to me

Hello,
The best Fit is the 33S877-E/T $525.00 & $55.00 Ship www.flgparts.com
this will come with the muffler we use on Zero turn mowers also includes a deflector that would direct exhaust toward the rear of mower,
Wiring should be plug and play, link to throttle installation:
Have A Blessed Day!!
Lynn Fox
FLGparts 540-652-8710


Purchased the engine, shipping was quick and the engine was plug and play. Runs great and have used it for a few years w/o issues. Considering that the actual mower is still in great shape, HD welded deck and frame, a $575 engine was a no brainer for me. FYI, I mow three acres once a week from April to Oct here in ENC.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
I learned about the weak transmissions as I had a "Scotts" which was a "Deer Sabre" painted orange. Koler motor still ran fine. Cut fine. Dead flat yard, fine. Slightest hill and the trans burned up.

If I remember, you had to go the JD 500 series to get the stronger trans. Or the Husq for half that.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
I'll push mow before I purchase anything with a Kohler engine in it again
 

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