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Riding Mower - Recommendations? Update

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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby TN Song Dog » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:29 pm

Seems like most everyone happy with their mowers bought them 10 years ago. Don't make them like they used to... I sold a 1996 Craftsman 52" rider year before last, and it was still going strong.

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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby TNTreeman » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:35 pm

I know this sounds crazy but I have a lot of yard to mow so I bought a commercial toro zero turn with1100 hrs on it. It was $11,000 new I got it from a friend for 5 k. I totally service it myself and don't think I've done one thing other than that in 3 yrs. This is the second one I've owned and sold my last one for what I paid for it and upgraded to my current one. I just bought my dad a 16 yr old scag with a 72 " cut with 950 hrs for 3 k. It was serviced when I bought it and he and I have put about 30 hrs on it so far and I have to say it's an awesome machine. I'm not a fan of yard mowing but these machines make it better, quicker, and will last a homeowner a lifetime. Start looking late summer into winter and there's deals to be had. I got tired of disposable mowers.
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby Hunter 257W » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:52 am

Wellllllll, I finally was able to login and stay logged in! :)

Regarding Riding mowers, asking which is the best is like asking the same about pickup trucks or deer rifles. No matter what brand or model you chose, you'll get diametrically opposed reviews. Either it's the greatest machine every built or somebody bought one and it exploded on 1st use. :) I always get 20 years out of my mowers and I've never bought anything but the standard mowers at Sears, Lowes or Home Depot. I do all my maintenance and can weld and do crude machining so I don't consider it a big deal if I have to fix something every now and then. Currently we have a John Deere 22 HP 48" cut with about 400 hours on it that has had very little trouble. It's the sone that HD and Lowes has been selling for $1,999 for years, whatever model that is. The only negative I have with it is the deck flapper at the grass exhaust port is too long and it tends to catch grass and clog unless the grass is absolutely dry. I got aggravated at it and tied it up with a rope and the problem is solved. I also have a new JD E170 25 HP 54" cut with about 22 hours on it that I love. The deck is way better designed to get rid of heavy wet grass. Also have a 1994 Murray with the old reliable B&S 18HP opposed cylinder engine that has had a lot of work done on it over the years but it's still chopping grass. I've changed out the coil, done starter repairs, all the deck spindle assemblies, front tires, variouls little parts, springs, etc some of which I've made, some I've bought but considering the mower was given to me used for free I can't complain at all. I also have an old Lowes with the same 18 HP B&S 48" cut that was my fovorite of all of them. It was a much heavier duty mower than your average Lowes MTD and ran strong for 22 years when the oil slinger gave up the ghost and broke a connecting rod. The engine is partially reassembled on the bench right now and I need to finish it up and get it back running again. I have another light duty Lowes MTD that came with a 16HP B&S and 42" cut that gave great service from 1994 until last Summer when it got to the point that the transaxle belt would not stay on. I had rebuilt the transaxle a few years prior to that and had to use some "judgement" as to the tolerances and fitting so I suspect there is something wrong inside that is causing the belt to jump off because all idler pulleys, springs, belt retainers, etc on the outside are in perfect condition.

My point is that any mower can be made to last and every now and then you'll get a lemon in any brand. Of course if you just want to spend money and impress the neighbors, the stores will sell you all the mower you can pay for. :)
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby Stu » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:08 am

I have a gravely ZT48 XL and its bada$$. But costly. If i was gonna buy a lawn tractor id buy anything with a kohler engine on it. Briggs has really gone down hill in past 10 years and kawasaki is hit or miss too. Cub cadet would be first choice or Husqvarna

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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby 280longshot » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:26 am

Ive been using a JD L130 with a kohler engine for 10 years with few issues other than normal wear items on the deck.
I do my own yearly maint , deck parts are readily available on ebay.
Always use a HD 30W oil and a premium filter.
I cant see where I need a zero turn, Ive used them before but they are heavy.


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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby nitro_z17 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:24 am

50"RZT cub with a 27hp kohler works fine for me
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby Smo » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:23 pm

I bought a used (like new ) mower from a Friend who upgraded to a zero turn.

It’s a 46” cut Ariens , which I had never heard of.

It is without a doubt the smoothest riding lawn tractor I’ve ever owned.

It has a very good, level cut and will handle 5 to 6 “ tall grass at almost max. speed.

Apparently they are made North of the M/D line in Wisconsin and have been around since 1933.

Best $400 bucks I’ve spent in a while.

I was told this tractor runs about $1600 new and if there all like this one I would say well worth it .

Only problem I’ve seen on this one is the rear axle seals needs replaced .

Google says’ it take about 20 minutes.

I guess I’ll find out this Fall .lol
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby Hunter 257W » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:58 pm

Smo wrote:I bought a used (like new ) mower from a Friend who upgraded to a zero turn.

It’s a 46” cut Ariens , which I had never heard of.

It is without a doubt the smoothest riding lawn tractor I’ve ever owned.

It has a very good, level cut and will handle 5 to 6 “ tall grass at almost max. speed.

Apparently they are made North of the M/D line in Wisconsin and have been around since 1933.

Best $400 bucks I’ve spent in a while.

I was told this tractor runs about $1600 new and if there all like this one I would say well worth it .

Only problem I’ve seen on this one is the rear axle seals needs replaced .

Google says’ it take about 20 minutes.

I guess I’ll find out this Fall .lol


This is the way to cut your grass and not go broke doing it. When somebody you know is getting a new mower they think they have to have, make an offer to buy their old one. The old Murray I have came from my BIL (for free) when it was something like 10 years old because he thought he had to have a zero turn mower. He wore that zero turn out and bought another zero turn and I'm still using the old Murray just for the price of a few spare parts. Now is the time to mow practically free because there are tons of perfectly good used tractor mowers for sale by people who buy zero turn mowers just because of the fun factor of driving them.
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby EastTNHunter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:07 pm

THEdonkey0515 wrote:
EastTNHunter wrote:I’m happy with my 50” Troy Built Super Bronco

Thought about getting one myself just didn't know about them.

I use it to mow 2.5 acres and like it fine. I have no complaints at all, especially for the price
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby ImThere » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:38 pm

Buy something with a Kawasaki engine. Imho


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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby LanceS4803 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:14 pm

I should have expected to get a lot of opinions (like the truck or deer rifle question). :-)
I really appreciate the advice and have some brands to look at that I never considered.

I really think things were made better years ago. I have some machines (power edgers, wheeled string trimmers, etc.) that are over 20 years old. The most maintenance ever required was a carb rebuild kit. These things are still running strong.
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations? Update

Postby LanceS4803 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:42 pm

I can call off the anticipated purchase of a new mower.
The rocker arm stud came loose.
$91 later and I have a new stud and adjusted valves.
Whew!
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations? Update

Postby Hunter 257W » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:25 am

Glad to hear it was something cheap to fix. It's almost always cheaper to repair and keep using your old stuff than buying new otherwise poor people would always have new stuff. :)
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Re: Riding Mower - Recommendations?

Postby medic » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:31 pm

dralarms wrote:Best cutting mower I ever had was a simplicity. Got a John deer right now and although it runs ok it makes a crappy cut.


I've had mine for 1 year now and like it a lot.
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