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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Londonderry, NH
    Tractor
    Husqvarna YT46LS

    Default Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Hi everyone,
    We recently moved from a townhouse in NJ with a tiny yard to a house in NH on 1.6 acres. Part of the property is wooded and I believe the grassy part I'll have to cut is 2/3 to 3/4 of an acre. It's hilly and there are a good amount of rock and tree obstacles. I'm planning on just using it to mow and nothing else. I would prefer to buy locally from a dealer rather than Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, etc. This will be the first riding mower I have ever bought or even used. I've done some basic research but there are so many brands and I'm just not sure which ones are good, bad, average. I don't want garbage, but my budget for just the tractor is $1500-$1700, is this realistic? I know I'll have to add a few hundred for the bagger also. I would rather buy a basic tractor from a good brand then a lesser brand with more features. Any suggestions or brands to look into or definitely avoid? Any features that are must haves or a waste of money? I saw a Husqvarna tractor (model YTH23V42) at a local dealer for $1699.95 and they are offering 18 or 24 months no interest financing which is definitely a plus.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Monster5601's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    507
    Location
    Oakland, MI
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030 R4 Tires

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Have you considered a zero-turn mower? What I do not like about tractor type mowers is they are difficult to turn around. The safety system on them requires you to stop the cutting blades before you can back up. There is always the option of disabling the safety system but that could bring other issues if an accident does happen.

    Since cutting grass is something you will do one or more times a week during the season, using a tractor can become a tedious.

    As far as pricing, sometimes it is better to spend a little more initially and have the machine last many years opposed to buying cheap. I use a commercial mower on my property but I'm cutting several acres and I don't know much about home owner mowers. We use to use them but the ones from the big box stores only lasted around two years.
    Bob, n8zcc

    Kubota B3030 with R4s
    LA403, 60" bucket with hooks, bolt-on tooth bar, ratchet rake
    BH76 with 16" bucket and thumb
    Kubota Pallet Folks
    Bush Hog 35-06 72" Rear Blade
    Bush Hog SBX60 Box Blade
    Bush Hog Razorback RZ160
    Kubota ZD323-60
    Kubota RTV900 with Curtis hydraulic angle plow

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Londonderry, NH
    Tractor
    Husqvarna YT46LS

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Unfortunately price is definitely a factor in this purchase and the ztr mowers I've seen are substancially more for even a basic homeowner version.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    211
    Location
    Linden, Ca.
    Tractor
    Husky GT2654

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Hi Dave,

    Okay, we used to have Montgomery Wards rider years ago. It was an 18hp twin Briggs and Stratton with a manual transmission. The thing lasted for like 25 years. I still have the engine for a future hydraulic project. The thing was finally starting to fall apart. Unfortunately, this type of longevity will never happen ever again.

    We bought the Husky LGT2654 HST to replace the monkey wards rider about six years ago. What a pile of junk. I have broken each of the mower deck mandrils at least once each, and there are three of them. The engine can't power the deck in the heavy stuff, (I'm talking 8-10" weeds) and as such you have to creep along or the thing bogs down to much. The left outer blade have never cut even with the middle and right blade. I have tried and tried to figure this out to no avail. I thought maybe the belt was slipping on that pulley but no that's not the case. And starting about five months ago the Briggs and Stratton Intek twin engine started leaking oil between the bottom and middle cases. The bolts are tight so that's not the problem. Which mean this next winter I will have to remove the engine to tear it apart and re-seal it. And last fall the axle snapped into two pieces. I had to push the mower up to my garage so I could work on it. About 200 dollars in parts later it's back and running. While I was fixing the broken axle, I found several gears inside of the differential were wearing out already so they got replaced too. But that should never have happened.

    So, i would not buy this unit again. I would get something with a Kohler Command engine also. I am NOT impressed with this B&S Intek V-twin engine at all. I love the HST transmission for it's speed and maneuverability as I mow over 1 acre each week. But I don't know if that's important to you. I never had a problem with that old manual transmission on the monkey wards unit. The vast majority of these small riders are made by the same company. So expect them to last about ten years before you will need another one. B

  5. #5
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    10,271
    Location
    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Welcome to TBN!

    The only way you can get a good mower in your target price range is to buy a good used lawn tractor mower that was high quality when it was built.

    I have a one-year-old Cub Cadet LTX 1050 from TSC. They run about $2000 new. They are made by MTD. The engine is a Kohler which has run fine so far. I am sorry to say you will get what you pay for in box store mowers in this price range. They just aren't precision instruments

    I had to replace the mower deck belt and one of the idler-tensioning pulleys after one mowing season. They aren't really made for heavy duty mowing, it puts too much strain on the parts. If you mow just regular length grass, that is about all they are good for if you don't want it to die early.

    My dream mower choice costs way more than I am willing to spend on cutting my weeds, so I gritted my teeth and compromised--knowing I was not buying something of great quality and fixing would be required.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  6. #6
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    16,802
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Murph ------------

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    699
    Location
    Germanton, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    I had a 24 horse 54" cut Husquvarna mower for seven years. It was a good mower. I started having carb issues. I finally took it to the dealer. A jet FELL out inside the carb. The mower is still going for the second owner. I traded for a ztr mower and love it!

  8. #8
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,137
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by DPuro329 View Post
    Part of the property is wooded and I believe the grassy part I'll have to cut is 2/3 to 3/4 of an acre.
    Is a riding mower really needed for a lawn that small? Perhaps a self-propelled walk behind would be a better choice especially since you have rocks and trees to mow around. Husqvarna has been advertising a new AWD model on TV for $499.

    Husqvarna's New All Wheel Drive (AWD) Walk Behind Lawn Mower - YouTube

  9. #9
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    7,434
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    You could get a big walk behind.
    Wide-Area Walk-Behind Mower: Discover Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers at Cub Cadet

    I am not a big fan of baggers. I believe you are best of to leave the grass clippings. Everyone I have talked to that has had a bagger has said they are too small and you have to empty them frequently.

  10. #10
    Super Member jerrybob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    5,360
    Location
    Southwest Washington
    Tractor
    yanmar 186D....JD LT180....DR Brush Cutter

    Default Re: Looking for help/advice with first riding mower purchase

    Craftsman makes some good mowers in your price range. If taken care of....they will give you years of service. Walk behind mowers are OK but not near as much fun as a rider. The box stores sell J Deere, Cub Cadet and Husqvarna but they are the cheaper versions......they sell them to compete with Sears. Not bad machines....just not top of the line. Key to any machine.....take good care of it.....maintenance like oil, filter, plugs and lube are important. I've seen Craftsman and some of these less expensive Deere's and Cadets go 5 to 10 years if maintained. Whatever you get.....you'll enjoy a rider.....especially having been a city boy. Good luck.....check this one out.....Craftsman 22hp Riding Tractor: Durable Riding Tractors At Sears
    I Intend to Live Forever.....So Far....So Good!

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