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015point9

Riding lawn mowers good/bad&ugly

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Neighbors trees and my age, thinking about getting a riding lawn mower.  Prices all over the place.  Some older on craigslist $300 and new, some over $2000.  My thinking is used but...

Parts situation... all mowers pretty equal?   

Any hints on what to watch out for?

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1 hour ago, 015point9 said:

all mowers pretty equal?

 

No. They are not equal. All your chain store mowers typically are an MTD mower with a different brand name. Typically you'll get roughly 5 to 8 years from one. I finally looked beyond that and moved on to a Raptor Zero Turn which was more like $2,500 for the unit. Previously the chain store lawn mowers would fail typically with the blades or blade housings. Last one I had from WalMart I could barely clip a tree rot and the blade would twist up and be ruined. Now with the Hustler Raptor below that is build like a real lawn mower. Blades last a long time before needing sharping. Blade housing and belts are built strong. Then zero turn is the bonus. I can cut a 10 acre lot in just about 1 hour running wide open at nearly 6 MPH,

 

Image result for raptor zero turn

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2 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

No. They are not equal. All your chain store mowers typically are an MTD mower with a different brand name. Typically you'll get roughly 5 to 8 years from one. I finally looked beyond that and moved on to a Raptor Zero Turn which was more like $2,500 for the unit. Previously the chain store lawn mowers would fail typically with the blades or blade housings. Last one I had from WalMart I could barely clip a tree rot and the blade would twist up and be ruined. Now with the Hustler Raptor below that is build like a real lawn mower. Blades last a long time before needing sharping. Blade housing and belts are built strong. Then zero turn is the bonus. I can cut a 10 acre lot in just about 1 hour running wide open at nearly 6 MPH,

 

Image result for raptor zero turn

 

Thanks.  HD has good reviews on it also.  

How it do on grass/leaves little bit wet

And on hills? 

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Depends greatly on how much you have to mow, how much money you have, and how good you are at fixing things. Being you have a 2001 Dodge you're obviously no stranger to fixing things. I made it through the first 20 years of property ownership on used but quality riders and equipment. Always fixing something but I enjoy that. When Dad passed he had just bought an Ariens ICON-X very similar to what is shown above in price and quality and size. I bought it back from the estate and finally have something I use more than I fix. But if you don't have a 10 acre field that needs to be mowed in an hour $2800 is a lot to spend. If you do go used pick a quality used piece. Or even if you go new. Remember a Lowes John Deere is not the same as a Real John Deere. Around here the Columbia brand is getting a lot of attention. It is Troy Bilt's commercial brand if I understand correctly and is reasonably priced. The Troy Bilt brand cheaped out when the big box stores started selling them. Parts for almost any of them are pretty easy to get in my area. The ROTARY brand is an aftermarket parts supplier that carries many parts for many machines. Hope this helps.

10 minutes ago, 015point9 said:

 

Thanks.  HD has good reviews on it also.  

How it do on grass/leaves little bit wet

And on hills? 

Hills are better going up and down instead of across especially when wet. Less psi in the rear tires helps traction a bit.

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30 minutes ago, 015point9 said:

 

Thanks.  HD has good reviews on it also.  

How it do on grass/leaves little bit wet

And on hills? 

 

Does good and strong for mulching grass and leaves up in the fall of the year. Just changing direction and turning you have to do it slowly from a stopped position. These machines have a serious amount of torque and can rip up grass with the tires. Let's say I climbed a hill too steep and managed to roll mine over the top of myself. Nose came up, natural to lean forward to counterbalance but push the sticks forward too and the flipped right on over. Yeah that hurt having a machine flop over the top of you. The oil pressure switch shut it down. I was not hurt per se just a bit beat up and bruised. So yes these machines can climb way more than you think!

21 minutes ago, dave110 said:

Remember a Lowes John Deere is not the same as a Real John Deere.

 

True. Chain store is an MTD mower. Typically you can find the label on the mower to verify. MTD is a major maker of most chain store lawn mowers.

 

https://www.mtdproducts.com/equipment/mtdproducts

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Another thing that comes to mind is decks. Many of the quality mowers like Mikes Hustler and my Ariens have fabricated decks instead of stamped steel. Fab decks are heavier gauge steel and welded instead of stamped thin sheet metal. Guys like us can keep the mechanical parts going for years but when the deck falls apart a replacement is just too expensive to justify for an old tractor. Just something to keep in mind a fab deck will last a long time if cleaned up regular. Now with Ariens the ICON is a Briggs engine with a stamped deck while the ICON-X like mine is a Kohler engine with fab deck. A couple hundred more $ but worth it in the end.

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Thanks... I've got a real problem with neighbors leaves.  Mowing 3 acres takes me about 4 hours.  This year I kept track and have about 27 hours mowing (pick up leaves)  since  Halloween!  If I dont keep leaves picked up. Makes bigger mess in driveway on other side of house. 

Neighbors wont cut or even let me pay to have them cut.  His words... how much would it cost to replace a 60 foot birch tree?  You cant replace it, so why would I allow it to be cut down?

 :mad: :cookoo: :ahhh:

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60ft birch. That's some good fire wood. Too bad you live so far away. I could disappear that tree for you :lmao:. Leaf pickup leaves something else to consider. Some mowers have high lift blades that create a higher velocity to pick up and blow the leaves into the bagger. Works OK for light, dry leaf pickup. discharge pipes clog frequently if wet or heavy leaf piles. My Ariens has a blower attachment that fastens on to where the discharge chute was and is driven from a belt off of a mower deck pulley. It's about a 12 inch fan and moves some air. It sucks up wet leaves much better and a clogged pipe is a rarity. Something to consider if you'll be doing a lot of leaf pick up. Not trying to sell you on what I have it's just what I can speak personally about.

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If I had more than an acre I would get zero turn, something commercial grade like mentioned above. bad boy, gravely, hustler, there are few others that make a good mower. Those that mow all day get stand up, not sit down type. I spoke with few guys that use stand ups and they all said if you're doing it all day they are better on your body. And in Mike's case of rolling it over, you can just jump off, but more expensive ones have a roll bar. For home owners it's probably better a sit down one that has a hitch for yard trailers, backing up a trailer with zero turn is very easy. Hustlers offer a blade too for plowing snow, but for the cost you can get a real nice snow blower. Fabbed decks are the way to go for longetivity and a kawasaki comertial motor, they usually last 1500 hours on average if taken care off, at work we have one Hustler super z with 2200 hours, it just won't quit,  but also had a Hustler x1 that motor blew up around 1600 hours. When I spoke with contractors they said 2 of their kawasakis blew around 1500h but then again how well are they taking care of. Ours at work run all day and get abuses with minor issues. Belts last forever seems like, blades get sharpened every week, but you're talking roughly 30-40 hours a week and constantly hitting trash in parks. Very few guys that mow get their lazy :moon: off the mower to pick stuff up, it's like a mini chipper, even sticks that are almost 2" in diameter get mulched. But when it's not yours, we'll you know....

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We have Craftsman with the 23hp Kohler, 6spd manual and 48" deck. It is 20 years old and like new, we don't use it much tho. And yes, they can hurt you. I was lucky here, my counter weight bar stopped it from going clear over and landing on top of me. 

 

 

downsized_0914130944.jpg

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1 hour ago, Mopar1973Man said:

@NIsaacs cheater! You are using tire chains too. I did mine on a straight pull up a steep bank in front of the house. 

 

Yes, lol I had the chains and weight bar for pulling my 52" Swisher brush cutter, but even so, it was just too small. So I tried my quad, it was too small too, so then I upgraded to a John Deere tractor:)

 

 

downsized_0927131430.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Going up hills you'll need a lock up differential or as they say power to both wheels or she will refuse to turn uphill or even go up in damp conditions. I had one without and was constantly having to pull it out of tight spots that I got stuck in. Later I got the lock up differential 455 and its a world of difference. You can find them for 5 k used and if taken care of will still be worth most of that later on down the road. The heavier 3 cylinder diesel engine gives plenty of weight in the front when climbing hills. It's a 22 hp Yanmar. Good machine and leaf blower/ mulcher. You'll be able to send back the leaves back to the neighbor easy. 

Edited by JAG1
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Hey she looks exactly like Michael Nelson's new girlfriend.

 

:whistle2: Probly he's running around with her daughter.

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1 minute ago, JAG1 said:

Hey she looks exactly like Michael Nelson's new girlfriend.

 

:whistle2: Probly he's running around with her daughter.

:lmao::lmao2:That's just wrong. Funny as H., but wrong.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, dave110 said:

:lmao::lmao2:That's just wrong. Funny as H., but wrong.

Apparently her daughter is a gun collector, voted for Trump and drives an old 12 valve Mike keeps it running for her. 

Edited by JAG1

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JAG1 said:

Hey she looks exactly like Michael Nelson's new girlfriend.

 

:whistle2: Probly he's running around with her daughter.

 

2 hours ago, JAG1 said:

Apparently her daughter is a gun collector, voted for Trump and drives an old 12 valve Mike keeps it running for her. 

 

What?! I get busy and... :stuned:

 

Ok, so your going to give away my little secret. Yup I do have a girlfriend in Nampa, ID. No, she whe work in the medical field. No, she owns a small car Kia or Hundai. No, our schedule rarely match up. 

 

Back as for the lawn mowers mine has a bit more than 40 hours on the engine and working good. I've got a few slow leaking tires I need to fix on that. Should do that tomorrow. Need to mow my lawn.

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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Posted (edited)

Those china tires do that. I squirt in the spray car tire flat sealer and spin the tire around and bring it up to the proper psi. They hold air much longer that way instead of having to refill every 3 months or so.

 

 

Edited by JAG1

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