Best lawn tractor?

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haboob

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My old Craftsman is costing me more than it's worth sadly...it has been a workhorse for many years, but I spent close to $1000 lately and now it's one little thing after another. I could get a new one for approx $2000 or so........my small motor guy who fixed this kinda stuff says that most of the new ones are junk, all plastic parts and stuff. He particularly doesn't like John Deeres and he says the newer Craftsman are crap too. So just checking here to see what the brain trust has to say...

I use it more for dragging our pastures than I do mowing, I mainly mow only during the summer monsoon season.
Now my old Craftsman is still good to throw a drag harrow on and do the pastures, it's just the mower deck that keeps failing, throwing pulleys, etc...so maybe I keep it for that and get a pure mower....?
 

Bacpacker

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I went thru several mower/lawn tractors. Finally decided to get more of a small tractor. I got a Kubota BX 1860. Diesel engine, 54" mower deck, itll pull a center buster plow to dig taters, 4x4. 2 things i wish I had done different. At least one size bigger engine, mine is 18 hp, should have got the 23 or 26 horse engine. Wish I had got a front loader for it. Only real drawbacks other than the power is that it tends to run hot.
That said it wasn't cheap, but I was wearing out mowers in 2 to 3 years. I've had this one 10 plus and other than oil and filters, haven't put a dime in it.
 

zoomzoom

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So your budget is $2000? If so, yea, you're going to get a pretty crappy mower.

Deere and other brands make "cheap" tractors for the box stores (Lowe's, Home Depot...) and they're not of the same quality (or price) you would get for a similarly sized tractor at an actual Deere dealer.

Also, there are "lawn tractors" and "garden tractors". Garden tractors are normally more robust in terms of strength, quality and often have the setup for small attachments.

There are many, many brands of this size tractors but for each, do an internet search for who actually owns and builds the tractor. Many are re-badged versions of other tractors on the market. E.g. MTD owns many brands and the tractors are about the same. A Cub Cadet and Craftsman may be nearly identical as MTD owns both. Think of this like buying a GM made car. In the day, A Buick Regal, Olds Cutlass & Chevy Monte Carlo were all about the same, they just changed the look and a few features/trim lines.

On a $2000 tractor, I'd look at something used but strong. Like Bacpacker's Kubota (but maybe a G or GR series as the BX is a bit more pricey).
 

phideaux

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A real John Deere 300 or 500 series from a dealer.
Strong and built good.
Been thru almost every brand out there....Deere is the only ones that I've never had problems or complaints .
$2000 ain't gonna get you much.

Jim
 

phideaux

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We have a Deere X380 that husband loves. But it was pricey. Absolutely worth it.
We had a like new X500 , best tractor we've ever owned. Sold it to a friend , when I found a GX355 diesel . It's as good , same size as the X500 but barely sips diesel.

I have sold it to the new owners of our place.
I have a new 61" Ferris zero turn I'm taking the 1 acre farm house , I figure 20 to 30 minutes will make short work there.

Jim
 

Peanut

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I faced the same choice back in April. The engine on dad's old craftsman mower seized. I think he got it on '05.

The cheap mowers are just that, cheap. I couldn't see spending 2K on cheap junk.

Since I couldn't afford a quality mower I bought a new engine for $540, did the work myself. The tranny is a little shaky but the mower runs perfectly now.



mower 14apr  (9) sm.JPGmower threads mount sm.JPG
 
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Tirediron

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I would look into a zero turn mower made by someone who just does lawn / turf care, the big names like to charge for their name on someone elses product, also be aware that John Deere has some nasty anti customer campaigns like that you can't fix your own equipment. Back in the day I was a north american deere fan, not wanting much to do with them now.
 

backlash

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I have a zero-turn JD mower.
I mowed my pasture with it 1 time and I won't do that again. It almost beat me to death. They are made for lawns, not pastures.
I am currently looking for a good used mower. A guy locally buys old mowers and fixes them up to sell. He has one with a 52-inch deck he is currently refurbing. I'm going to go look at it when he has it ready to sell. He's asking $800.
I sold my tractor because I didn't use it enough to justify having it sit around.
It was nice to have when I needed it but impracticable with only a small place.
 

Biggkidd

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52 & up decks tend to get hung up a LOT on any uneven surfaces. The sell deck shells so replacing your old one with new is an option. So is making or having made a custom deck. I worked on small engines mainly mowers for quite a few years and unless you spend several thousand you won't get anything half as good as the old craftsmans were.
 

Hardcalibres

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A real John Deere 300 or 500 series from a dealer.
Strong and built good.
Been thru almost every brand out there....Deere is the only ones that I've never had problems or complaints .
$2000 ain't gonna get you much.

Jim
We have a Deere X380 that husband loves. But it was pricey. Absolutely worth it.
We had a like new X500 , best tractor we've ever owned. Sold it to a friend , when I found a GX355 diesel . It's as good , same size as the X500 but barely sips diesel.

I have sold it to the new owners of our place.
I have a new 61" Ferris zero turn I'm taking the 1 acre farm house , I figure 20 to 30 minutes will make short work there.

Jim
Yep. I have a JD X595 that I bought about 14 years ago. We have a few acres of lawn around the house mostly to act as a big green firebreak in summer.

The X595 is a diesel 24HP 4WD lawn tractor - ours has a 54" deck.

That big Yanmar diesel, hydrostatic drive, 4WD system and heavy frame keeps the weight down low - so it is very stable on a slope. It has enough torque and deck height adjustability to mow paddocks too (we have used it to slash patches of weeds).

You can fit hydraulic accessories and a loader - but we have a big tractor we use for that gear.....

We have only needed to do servicing and mower blade replacements.

You might be able to find a reasonably low hours one second hand.......

They are/were about as expensive a lawn tractor as you could get - but they hold their value well and would last a lifetime - so buy once, cry once.
 
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Spikedriver

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For mowing, if you've got a big enough yard to justify it, a Hustler zero turn is legit. My dad has had a couple and they're rock solid. Kawasaki motors, good decks.

If you need an actual tractor, get a tractor - not a lawn tractor or garden tractor. If it can mow, so much the better. I won't judge between brands, other than to say that JD and Kubota have good reps and there's a lot of people in my area that use them. But, we have dealers for both within 20 miles too, which might be the reason they're popular...
 

Amish Heart

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Having the JD dealer near us is a plus. We're old and the tractor is new. So is the JD mower. Good warantees, they also do the servicing. The young amish guys around here get 10 yr old tractors and tinker with them themselves, and we just aren't going to be doing that.
 

viking

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I've heard that Husqvarna makes some of the better mowers. I have a Craftsman lawn tractor we bought in the mid 90's, still has the original spindles, they're starting to get noisy but they still work, still have the original blades so it's time to start rebuilding the deck. A few years back I bought a battery powered weed eater and leaf blower made by Husqvarna, they both do an awesome job with the mid sized battery, what's made the weed eater really good is that it has a reverse button that unwinds the weeds when the head gets jammed up. The leaf blower has the same mid sized battery and so when I've got a heavy weed eating job it'll run till it wears me out.
 

Bacpacker

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I love my old Husky Chain saw. But when researching another smaller saw I found out Husky has been bought out. Quality isn't what it used to be, much like Troybilt
 

Spikedriver

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I've heard that Husqvarna makes some of the better mowers. I have a Craftsman lawn tractor we bought in the mid 90's, still has the original spindles, they're starting to get noisy but they still work, still have the original blades so it's time to start rebuilding the deck. A few years back I bought a battery powered weed eater and leaf blower made by Husqvarna, they both do an awesome job with the mid sized battery, what's made the weed eater really good is that it has a reverse button that unwinds the weeds when the head gets jammed up. The leaf blower has the same mid sized battery and so when I've got a heavy weed eating job it'll run till it wears me out.
The more expensive Husky's seem pretty good, but stay away from the $1700 ones. Those have low end Briggs & Stratton engines, weaker parts, and flimsy decks. The $2300 ones have good Kohler engines and heavier build quality...
 

Aklogcabin

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It was my understanding that most riding mowers are made by 3 companies. MTD, Husqvarna n John Deere.
And that mTD makes most . Craftsman Toro Husky and other brands.
I have a 96 MTD 18/46 . 18 hp briggs. Guns great. I got it for removing it from the neighbors yard. Put a new gas line on n fired it up. Then removed the blade towers n cleaned them. Rustolium paint job. New tubes in the tires.
It will replace the Craftsman I got for free when I went to pick up thr 67 Lincoln Continental with 25,000 miles on it for 500 bucks. Put a battery in both n they ran great.
 

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