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  1. #1
    Dax
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    ravenssunday@yahoo.com

    Default Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    Hello,

    I have done a lot of searches here and a lot of research across the typical review sites and am even more confused then I was before I started. Here is my situation....

    I just bought on a 2.5 acre wooded lot, with 1/2 to 3/4 acres of grass (including the house in the middle). I push mowed the end of last season, but at 3 and 1/2 hours I am trying to speed the process up a bit. About 3 weeks ago I bought a YT4000 with the 23HP v-twin and 46" deck. The one with the new tight turn feature.

    YT4000 #1: Sears driver started the mower up and went forward and backward, ran it for 2 minutes tops. Driver leaves and as I am driving the mower around my driveway the deck starts jumping (blade engage was off btw) and smoke starts pouring out of the hood. I stop the mower and there are 2 screws on the driveway and some metal shavings. Call sears, new mower on its way.

    YT4000 #2: driver delivers and within the first 5 minutes of running it the deck starts jumping and the same smoke starts up. Driver is shocked and tells me I should not take delivery of the mower. It does seem to calm down after this and run ok, but after #1 I am not in the mood to continue this. Driver takes YT4000 back and my search starts over.

    I'm not bashing craftsman, I have a snowblower that has ran like a champ with everything I have thrown at it, but enough is enough. I call my local deere dealer and get some info on the D140 (B&S) and my local cub dealer and look at the LX1046 (kohler) and LX1050 (kaw).

    The only thing holding me back from the deere is the difference in the turning radius and the powerplant vs what I can get on the Cub. Research has been confusing and to be honest, it sounds like all three mowers are either the perfect solution or the biggest waste of money out there depending on the review.

    From what I have seen on this site, you guys know your stuff. Please help me with a couple of questions and any general advice you can offer.

    1) How big of a difference is the turning radius? I was VERY happy with the 8" turn on the craftsman before it went up in smoke. 12" on the Cub is still pretty close to that vs the 18" on the Deere. I have a lot of trees and my ability to get around them matters to me. That being said, I am not looking at zero turns because of some hills on my property. While not too steep, when I borrowed my buddy's 60" toro zero turn I was not comfortable on the slopes.

    2) How much of a difference in cut quality will I see between the 46" cub (two blades), the 48" deere (3 blades) and the 50" cub (3 blades)?

    3) A lot of the reviews are spent on the higher level tractors which are more then I want to spend in light of the new house, what if any difference in quality will I see between the Cubs and the Deere in their entry level?

    4) The only hauling duties will be a 10 cube cart with mulch or towing a chipper/shredder. Any concerns?

    5) With the sealed transmission it sounds like any of the mowers I am looking at have about a 6 - 8 year life according to reviews and from what the Deere dealer was telling me. Do you buy this?

    Consumer Reports loves the Deere and Craftsman (though my experience here differs) and does not recommend the Cub. They use cost in their analysis a little too much for my taste, but I can find no clear cut reason they do not recommend the Cub. It may be their reliability ratings, but they never come out and say so.

    Any other thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a long post with a lot of questions, but after my experience the past two weekends, I am at my wits end and need a mower soon.

    Thanks for your time

    -Bryan


    (Note to the mods, I wasn't sure if this would be considered brand specific as I am talking about 3 brands, not one specific. If this should elsewhere please let me know.)

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    Welcome to the forum Dax,
    As you already know most people here will recommend you buy a compact tractor with fel and a few implements. In reality you need a good mower now and sounds like you have a budget of about $3000. I would strongly recommend you get an X320 deere which is the smallest model with a better transmission.

    A good used garden tractor might be a better deal if you can find one.

  3. #3
    Dax
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    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    Thanks for your advice Steve. I've had no luck in the used market so far. I am going to a shop this week that has a pretty big inventory of used equipment so maybe I will get lucky.

    My budget is closer to $2K then $3K. I will check out the x320, maybe I can swing the extra cash if I am get a tractor that will last a lot longer.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Kioti LK3054xs TLB, 2004

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    I'm not able to recommend a specific brand / model. My first reaction is, if turning radius is so important and this is about mowing, I'd purchase a used commercial walk behind with sulky.

    You really can't compare a commercial mower with the stamped-out junk they are producing today. The deck and blades alone will weigh more than entire new riding lawnmower.

    I have two riding mowers, one is a Wheel Horse (also have snow blower for it) that is over 40 years old and operates as well as it did 40 years ago, just replaced the motor this year (99$) and will get another 10 - 15 years out of it at least before next motor. My other is a Toro, probably 20 years old, stills runs and cuts perfect with original motor.

    I've owned a Bunton walk behind in the past and nothing I've owned has cut as well as that commercial mower. The machine literally weighed more than the last craftsman riding mower I had come through here.

    I'd look used commercial walk-behind, if it were me I'd go with a belt machine like my Bunton as hydraulic drive motors can get expensive (I'm a belt fan to begin with).

    They are built for one thing and one thing only and they do an amazing job.

    As for pulling the cart around and what not, for $100 you can go on Craigs and find a riding lawn mower minus deck easy, I bet even less, I see them all the time.

    Good luck either way,
    Sincerely,
    Joel
    Joel
    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
    Three Point Snow Blower
    York rake
    60 inch king kutter tiller
    1994 Ford F600 Dump Truck "Kioti Hauler"

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Fon du Lac, Wisconsin
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    Kubota L3130,Case SC,Case D,John Deere 335.

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    I went through the Craftsman thing and while the mower is maybe okay the service from sears is zero. I now have a Simplicity Regent 22/44 with a dealer that has been good. The Regent makes a 14in turn and that is even very short and almost like having a zero turn without having to drive one. I don't have any experence with Cub but the dealer that handles the Simplicty used to handle Cub and stated that they stopped becouse of lots of problems with the models below the 2500 series. deere,Cub or whatever get it from a dealer so if theres a problem you have a place to work with. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Silver Member gregsons's Avatar
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    ford 3500 / dultz allis/ IH 434

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    Best mowers Are there Mid 80's or older deere, cub's or simplisity. That size yard you do not need a large 50" mower maybe a 46".
    Last edited by gregsons; 04-17-2011 at 10:42 AM. Reason: misspellin
    Collector of tired Iron

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    Dax,
    I've been where you are. Smaller lot to mow and lots of landscaping to mow around and too much to comfortably mow with a walk behind. Read all I could about the mowers in my desired price range (under $2k in my case) and, like you, came away scratching my head. I ended up buying the 2008 model of the Craftsman YT4000 (24hp B&S, 16" turn radius and 46" deck) as it seemed to be the best product for the money. The Deeres, Cubs, etc in my price range had no appreciable advantages over the Craftsman except for their badges and a couple hundred dollar premium to get that badge. People on different boards say they are all built by AYP or Yardman (MTD?) and inspection of the machines suggest that is true. However, if you buy from a dealer you DO get dealer backing and service for that extra money.
    I couldn't be happier with the quality of cut (matchs my $600 Honda walk behind) and ease of mowing with the YT. I've had no issues with the Briggs or anything else on the machine. It cuts great and handles the occasional 12 cu. ft cart pull of mulch. (sounds like the kid at the distribution center who put the deck on your machines probably didn't know how to do it properly)

    Here's the catch:
    Over the last two years, like a lot of other folks, I've expanded what I ask of the YT. I grew tired of snow being blown into my face and slip-sliding behind the snow blower, so I added a snow blade, then I added a de-thatcher and an aerator. Then a couple of the neighbors started asking me to aerate their lawns too. I began to notice the transaxle starting to strain when plowing or aerating up hill.
    I would suggest that you either stick with the Craftsman brand (or get the deere version of the Craftsman from a dealer for a few hundred more to get the dealer support) to save money, get a great cut and be determined that it will only serve as a mower and occasional puller.
    OR
    I would suggest you accept the inevitable expansion of what you will be doing with the machine and research what is under the hood before you buy again. (remembering that salesman do what they do best: puffery--do your own research)
    For instance, the intoductory machines will have a low end HydroGear T2(sealed unit, no cooling tank and 3/4 axle) Look for an upgrade in a machine like TuffTorq K57 or a HydroGear BDU or at least the G730.
    Sorry about the ramble.

  8. #8
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    is cub and john deere your only options? have you looked into other brands ? I had a fewe cheapos tractors like your sears and It too pissed me off to spend good money only having to spend more to fix it. I did away with that and went with a BX and never looked back. switching from gas to diesel really made a difference in consumption rates from thirsty tanks to sipping.

    How I ever lived without it before, I still don't know. I am willing to bet that if you just went with any subcut or cuts diesel tractors, you will never look back either.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Kubota L2350, Bolens / Iseki 154G, old IH Cub Cadets - 1250, 105, 124

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    When we moved out of town and I needed to cut a good acre each week (around the house) and a couple more on the back of the property when time allowed (overall 7 acres with half of it grass), I went through a couple of Sears lawn tractors in the first few years. Then I switched, and found I had the best luck both in mechanical reliability and in quality of the cut finish when I went to using a 40 year old Cub Cadet that I paid all of 300 bucks for.....You don't need to spend a lot just to get the grass cut.....The little Cub is also just enough to snowplow the driveway and pull a sizable trailer for yard work.

  10. #10
    Dax
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    ravenssunday@yahoo.com

    Default Re: Done with craftsman, looking at Cub and Deere, need help

    This is some excellent advice, thank you all for taking the time to share your experience.

    In no particular order, some comments. I have looked at other brands, bit in the new market there isn't much in the "around $2k" range. If I go that route, I am reconciling myself to a short life and will reevaulate when that one dies. After driving the cub and deere I am less worried about the turning radius. If my estimated life for one of these is 7 years, it comes down to which brand has the best chance of getting me to that cutoff.

    If I decide to expand my budget to $4k, it opens up a lot more brands. My hope would be of o go that route whatever I buy would last as long as I do, with the expectation of putting in some money to keep it humming.

    The used market is a tough thing to guage, I have not seen anything so far that I like. Time could fix this, but I am out of time at this point. The tractor I want is my dads 72 cub. That thing ran just as well in 1990 as it did when we got it. As that isn't an option I need to pull the trigger now.

    Going to look at the x300 and the cub 2500 tomorrow. Also trying to see a simplicity too. Once we get outside of there brands I am clueless. I am sitting down tonight to review this thread again and pull any brands I missed.

    One more question, if I want something to last 25 years, am I still under-armed with the x300 and cub 2500?

    Again, thank you all and by all means keep it coming.

    Bryan

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