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  1. #1
    Member Johnny Mac's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Kansas City
    Tractor
    MTD 42" 18HP BS

    Default 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    My old MTD 42" needs put out to pasture...

    I am less worried about price and more concerned with buying a good quality piece of equipment. I have read Consumer reports, tractorsbynet and all the usual Manufacture & retailer websites along with their customer reviews too.

    What a mess of information to wade through.. best as I can tell it's a roll of the dice on not getting a lemon or lousy dealer, nothing is made like it's used to be, and nobody is fessing up to cutting you a deal.

    Here is a breakdown of what I have gathered so far and I am asking for opinions, corrections and advise. Here ya go... a chance to spend someone elses money

    Cub Cadet

    I like the ZTR for $3000 rzt? It has a Kawasaki engine but is all stamped deck and frame. The Z force is $4000 but I hear the new Kohler courage engine (750hrs duty life) replaced the command version (2000 duty life) and killed the quality of the investment for the average homeowner. I can upgrade to a fully welded deck for another $400 but the engine problem remains the same.

    John Deere

    The 100 series at big box and JD dealers seems awfully over priced and cheaply made. Single cylinder engines and stamped deck/frames too. The X series 300? is $3000 but only a what 17hp motor? Nice chassis but a X500 is $5500 to step up to a 25hp motor. Ouch!

    Sears..

    I think made by Husky with a Craftsman name. Consumer reports rated a 24hp w/46" deck but Sears is always out of stock, no delivery to any zipcode available, nothing in stores... a pretty useless CR rating to me. The local store had a 54" 25hp ys4500?? "used" for $1874 but "used" kinda bothered me.. salesman said it was started and driven around the parking lot but it had dust and dirt all over the unit and tires. The outlet/repair facility also had 3 mowers that looked "used" too.

    sooooo...

    I can pay cash but nobody is offering any "fire sale prices". I would prefer to buy from a dealer over a big box anyday but have stopped at two so far and both were real matter-of-fact about this is the MSRP but that includes delivery, warranty, yadda yadda yadda.. at least a big box you can catch a 10% off sale or "apply for their credit card" incentive.. something... I was clear about offering cash (no MC/visa/check processing surcharge) and I don't need delivery either... but nothing, nadda, zip... they watched me walk out the door rather than making any lower price offer.

    so tell me... I can buy a disposable mower at walmart for a grand and really the novelty of attachments has already worn off on me... a trailer would be nice but it's only an acre I can still wheel barrel junk and seeding/fertilizer attachments can be replaced by a lawn service...

    do I go ZTR? a sturdy tractor? a cheapo?

    thanks in advance
    Last edited by Johnny Mac; 02-22-2009 at 08:38 PM.
    On the porch and without a tractor

  2. #2
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    3,709
    Location
    West central Illinois
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2350

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    Have you gone by a kubota dealer? They have some really nice stuff, but it ain't cheap.

  3. #3
    Member Johnny Mac's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Kansas City
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    MTD 42" 18HP BS

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by dodge man View Post
    Have you gone by a kubota dealer? They have some really nice stuff, but it ain't cheap.

    nope, sure havent.. I thought Kubota was only farm stuff.. we have a local dealer... what model do you suggest?
    On the porch and without a tractor

  4. #4
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    1. A ZTR really takes the work out of cutting grass and I would highly recommend it.

    2. As always - you get what you pay for. When I was looking I bit the bullett and bought a 52 inch commercial ZTR. (Scag tiger cub). At $6K it wasn't cheap but I figure the way I use it I should have the thing 20 years or more. These things are designed to get used 30-40 hours a week. I put on 70 hours a season.

    3. Re brand - if you decide to go commercial see what the landscapers in your area are using. Some good commercial names are Scag, Ferris, Dixie Chopper, kubota, Exmark are all pretty popular brands I've seen commercial guys using.

    My cutter is rated for 3 acres per hour, top speed of 11 mph but I cut around 5-6 or you bounce around too much.
    Experience is something you get right after you need it!

    Kubota L2500 DT w/ 5 foot FEL and Pat's easy change system
    5ft box blade, 5ft bushhog, 6ft york rake w/ guage wheels, 7ft backblade w/skid shoes , post hole digger, 5 foot snowblower, dual axel 16 foot landscape trailer, 330 gal water tank, Ford 250 diesel, 6 wheel drive polaris ranger, bale spears for loader

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    154
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    I agree its a crap shoot buying a lawn mower today,3 years ago I bought a toro ZTR,to replace a 20 year old bolands,compared to the bolands its junk,I like the concept of the ZTR,however its been a real pain,starter burnt out the first season,took the dealer over a week to get one in,the plastic discharge chute,needs to be replaced,been waiting since last July to get a replacement. Along with the ZTR I also purchased 2 push mowers both toro,one was a basic model.the other was top of the line self propelled,the basic one turned out fine,however the 700.00$ one was crap,every week it was in the shop,till I just left it and told dealer to do as he wished with it as I didn't want it,I seen a basic lawn boy put it on back of my truck and told him sell the self propelled one,and if there was any diff. in $'s let me know.. I never heard another word.

    Now I am on the search again,looking at a 4 wheel steer,John Deere,or similar.Even though we mow 6 to 8 acres a week,I refuse to pay the price of a commercial mower. If I have to I will just buy two mowers from a big box store run them for a year and sell and buy 2 more new ones.

  6. #6
    Member Johnny Mac's Avatar
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    Kansas City
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    MTD 42" 18HP BS

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    I feel your pain oldtrout... I buy cheap pliers and screwdrivers all the time because my guys always lose them... what is the point of buying anything nice.. I am a real pita if you waste my moeny but would rather avoid the whole thing

    and gerard I have a dixie chopper dealer close by and the entry level is $5k and at 44 yo I too am looking towards a mower that will carry me to retirement.. I will likely sell/move again and that is a factor too

    thanks alot guys
    On the porch and without a tractor

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    813
    Location
    Northern Alabama
    Tractor
    2012 Kioti DK45SE, 1994 JD LX176

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    My daughter has a half acre flat yard. Year before last, I bought her a clean used 1994 JD LX176, 14 hp with a 38" deck. So far, all I've had to do to it is replace the battery, the main drive belt, and the drive belt on the mower deck. It has been a very good performing unit, and I got it for $650. I looked for about two months.

    kubota offers their ZG zero turns, and TG lawn tractors in the range you are looking for. Other brands which should have local dealers are Massey Ferguson, Agco, Simplicity, and the various ZTR brands, among others. You could also look for other nearby dealers for Cub Cadet and John Deere, some other dealer may be willing to deal. If the model you are looking at is sold by a big box store such as HD, Lowe's, etc., the dealer may not be able to reduce the price below the box store price.

    Also, I would see if you have any local classifieds (we have American Classifieds Farm and Ranch here, for instance) which might list locally availabel equipment and dealer advertisers. A dealer who is continuing to pay advertising money out in the current market may give a better deal than one who is just sitting tight, waiting for conditions to improve.

  8. #8
    Member Johnny Mac's Avatar
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    Kansas City
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    MTD 42" 18HP BS

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenWannabe View Post
    A dealer who is continuing to pay advertising money out in the current market may give a better deal than one who is just sitting tight, waiting for conditions to improve.
    brilliant! I will hunt those down tomorrow
    On the porch and without a tractor

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    You are about trying to do the same thing I am. I started a post in lawn and garden,[no bites yet like you] but I've narrowed it down to about three,info is in that post,but money is an object to me and sounds like it is to you too.

    Yeah,heard that kohler courage might not be that good,but can't find that written down anywheres,yet. That would take the cub off my list.The next grade up of cubs have a kohler in them,they say. The other two have briggs motors,a 22 hp intek it says [on a snapper] and a 27hp b/s endurance[it says],on a husky.

    Is husky and cub both made by wtd now,or is it just the cubs?

    All three of the ones I've narrowed it down to are not their cheaper models,[100 seies or whatever],but they are not the top of the line model either in that brand.
    I set a limit of about 3,500 with at least a 50 inch cut.
    Simplicity makes a good mower too,[it makes snapper I hear],but their deck is not real good on rougher ground[again I hear].
    Deeres[except their lower models] and kubota are out of my price range.
    And,don't want a zero turn.
    That back up safety switch on these new mowers is another thing,the cubs you can turn off,but on some,you got to turn off every time you back up,[I hear],not sure how the husky or snapper works.

  10. #10
    Member Johnny Mac's Avatar
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    MTD 42" 18HP BS

    Default Re: 1 acre lawn tractor/mower/ztr buying advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenmule View Post
    I set a limit of about 3,500 with at least a 50 inch cut.
    that sounds like a good benchmark to me... but what kills the ztr for you?
    On the porch and without a tractor

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