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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    27
    Location
    Hartford,Connecticut
    Tractor
    Snapper 8hp RER

    Default Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    My price range for a new lawn tractor is $1500-$2000. So far I have looked at the John Deere D130(22hp), Husqvarna YTH23v48(23hp), Snapper LT2342(23 hp),Snapper LT2446(24hp),Snapper SPX2042(20hp), Snapper SPX2246(22hp), Snapper RER12.5hp/28"cut, Toro LX423(20hp),Toro LX427(20hp) and Toro LX468(22hp). Has anyone had any experience with either of these brands/models? Based on some research for the sake of convenience, I believe I should concentrate on a tractor with a hydrostatic transmission. However,in terms of engine choices, which is better( Briggs&Stratton Professional Series preferably with V-twin cylinders or a KOHLER Courage)? I was told by a technician that the D100 series John Deeres were designed to last only 4-5 years and if I wanted to get the durability of my old 8hp Snapper RER, I would have to step up to the X300 series which start at $3000. I found that hard to believe and will not pay $3000 for a tractor. In looking at reviews of the other brands, there have been major concerns by consumers with all of them such as transmission/engine, electrical,poor customer support from the manufacturer/retailer to name a few. Therefore, I am confused in which brand/model I should buy given their current costs.My current 8hp Snapper RER which I've had for 28 years just went bad on me. I would like to get something with that type of reliability and durability obviously. Has anyone ever heard of the brand Columbia and if so what is their reliabilty/durability history? I need a lawn tractor to mow 3/4 acres which is basically flat. Please, if anyone has suggestions, I would truly appreciate your help.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    10,558
    Location
    Georgia - Mt. Vernon by The Store just 5 miles east and right by the big oak tree then to the creek.

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by canlis View Post
    My price range for a new lawn tractor is $1500-$2000. So far I have looked at the John Deere D130(22hp), Husqvarna YTH23v48(23hp), Snapper LT2342(23 hp),Snapper LT2446(24hp),Snapper SPX2042(20hp), Snapper SPX2246(22hp), Snapper RER12.5hp/28"cut, Toro LX423(20hp),Toro LX427(20hp) and Toro LX468(22hp). Has anyone had any experience with either of these brands/models? Based on some research for the sake of convenience, I believe I should concentrate on a tractor with a hydrostatic transmission. However,in terms of engine choices, which is better( Briggs&Stratton Professional Series preferably with V-twin cylinders or a KOHLER Courage)? I was told by a technician that the D100 series John Deeres were designed to last only 4-5 years and if I wanted to get the durability of my old 8hp Snapper RER, I would have to step up to the X300 series which start at $3000. I found that hard to believe and will not pay $3000 for a tractor. In looking at reviews of the other brands, there have been major concerns by consumers with all of them such as transmission/engine, electrical,poor customer support from the manufacturer/retailer to name a few. Therefore, I am confused in which brand/model I should buy given their current costs.My current 8hp Snapper RER which I've had for 28 years just went bad on me. I would like to get something with that type of reliability and durability obviously. Has anyone ever heard of the brand Columbia and if so what is their reliabilty/durability history? I need a lawn tractor to mow 3/4 acres which is basically flat. Please, if anyone has suggestions, I would truly appreciate your help.
    I am sure everyone will have their favorite lawn tractor...but here is my experience...

    I inherited a KGrow 16 HP lawn tractor from my father in law, he bought it at Kmart in 1994 and it is still cutting the lawn today....I also have a 21 HP Murray 46 inch cut lawn tractor I bought at home depot in 2000 and have never had a problem with it...both have Briggs and Stratton engines. I have kept the oil changed once a year, changed filters as needed and kept them greased, other than blades I have never had a problem...The last cut of the year I run them both dry so the fuel with ethanol does not gunk up the carburetors and fuel lines....Good Luck in your search...I just can't see spending a lot of money when the less expensive , non name brand mowers have worked so well for our family....
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
    JD -3020 with FEL and a 16 HP. K-Grow Lawn Tractor (bought from K Mart 1994) and runs great !
    Clark 130 EN Mig Welder

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    288
    Location
    Fleming Island,FL
    Tractor
    John Deere 2006 4320 CUT, 1970 Power King 2416

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Why not purchase another Snapper RER? Actually, you may be able to find a used/almost new one on craigslist and save money.

    Jim

  4. #4
    Gold Member DennisFolsom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    346
    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    John Deere 4600, Craftsman YT4000

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    I have been shopping in the same price range as canlis. I just bought a Sears Craftsman YT4000 - 24HP Hydrostatic with a 46" deck. I compared Craftsman, John Deere, Cub Cadet, Ariens and Husqvarna. This one seemed to be about the best combination for the price.

    I would love to have gotten a pretty green and yellow "little brother" to go with my John Deere 4600. There were two main reasons why I didn't. 1) It's hard to compare because the features don't exactly match, but even at Lowes and Home Depot, the most equivalent JD was at least $300 more. They had the same JD models at Hammond Tractor, but with bigger price tags on them. 2) JD uses a pushbutton for their reverse operation mode. You have to hold the button while you back up, unless you disengage the deck. I have used one of these in the past to mow a model airplane club field. The Husky, and the Craftsman made by Husky, just has a position on the key switch that lets you mow backwards and forwards. No holding anything while you back up.

    Cub Cadet has both a key switch position and a pushbutton for their reverse operation system. I'm not quite sure how their system works. If I had been more interested in theirs, I would have downloaded a manual and checked it out. Like JD, I couldn't find an exact match. They had one with a single cylinder Kohler for essentially the same money that I paid for a twin cylinder Briggs. When you go to the twin in a Cub Cadet, you're into more money and it is only available with a 48" deck.

    I wanted the twin cylinder engine, because I think they are smoother, possibly quieter as well. In the Craftsman, at the time I bought, the version with the 46" deck was only $36 more than the same tractor with a 42" deck. I have read that their wide "Turn Tight" front axle makes the front wheel tread too wide for a 42" deck. We only have about 1/3 acre in lawn. The 46" is plenty big enough for our place.

    Oh yeah, I also bought the optional front bumper. It helps protect the front end, and I think it looks cool.

    Having read the reviews on the Sears site, I knew enough to check the deck adjustments. The side-to side balance was way off and the front was a bit too low. Also, the gauge wheels were set in the highest hole, which is useless. I set them in the bottom holes, which is about right for our rough ground.

    Of the 6 numbered deck height positions, #4 is short for us, #5 is about right for normal mowing, and #6 is better for really rough or rocky ground, and for tall grass. Those lower settings may work if your lawn is like golf green, but are no good on our rough country place!

    So far, I've only used it just over an hour. I'll give a follow-up report later.
    I'm "going green" - my "4-wheeler" is a John Deere 4600 HST!

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    16,854
    Location
    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by canlis View Post
    1*My current 8hp Snapper RER which I've had for 28 years just went bad on me. I would like to get something with that type of reliability and durability obviously.
    1*You can get something like that but not for 2 or 3 thousand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thompson View Post
    2*Why not purchase another SnapperJim
    2*Or a simplicity which is the same tractor.
    Last edited by LBrown59; 06-20-2012 at 12:06 PM.
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,994
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisFolsom View Post
    I have been shopping in the same price range as canlis. I just bought a Sears Craftsman YT4000 - 24HP Hydrostatic with a 46" deck. I compared Craftsman, John Deere, Cub Cadet, Ariens and Husqvarna. This one seemed to be about the best combination for the price.

    I So far, I've only used it just over an hour. I'll give a follow-up report later.
    My neighbor saw a DYT4000 for sale on a side road in So. Maine, $750 price tag, bagger attachment, and 130 hours. Wasnt in too bad shape - didnt want to start and cutting had some vibration.

    So he brougt it home for $600 and I took it apart - cleaned deck, sharpened blades, checked and adjusted valves, replaced oil and filters.

    Runs like a champ now - the deck vibration was the idler pulley had rusted fast to the deck so no tension and it burned a groove in the drive belt. So he picked up a new belt and we freed up the pulley, put in a new battery and gave it a bath and poilsh and it runs like new now!

    The cut is nice and power on the 24HP is fine. Total investment in now a nearly new machine less than $750.

    The cut isnt quite as nice as my Ferris but it does the job for him.
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    29
    Location
    Soddy-Daisy, TN
    Tractor
    Kubota L210

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    I know Cub Cadet wasn't on your list, but my 5 year old LT1050 has been absolutely trouble free(23 horse Kolher). My 6 year old Cub zero turn (22 horse Kawasaki) has had a fueL pump replaced and the cheap deck hangers replaced with some chain. I would look hard for something with a big Kawasaki. That is a fine running' engine.

  8. #8
    Gold Member DennisFolsom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    346
    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    John Deere 4600, Craftsman YT4000

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    canlis -

    Did you buy something yet? I noticed that you have posted in several sections of TBN in doing your research. Since you are considering multiple brands, I would think that this thread would be a good place to post the results of your search.

    If you haven't finished shopping, what are you leaning towards now?

    I mowed my place for the second time today with my Craftsman YT4000. Generally, it's good. I like the way the engine runs. I like the tight turning radius. I like having the fuel filler in the back of a rear fender. My biggest negatives at this point are:

    1) I can feel the frame flex on uneven ground. That may not be a big deal. I'm guessing that most other brands in the same price range are probably similar.

    2) Backing uphill is not it's best trick. I sort of knew that going in, because I have used a couple of similar mowers. I got into a spot on the edge of my lawn that I couldn't back out of. I had to shut the deck off and maneuver forward into a position I could drive out of. Again, mowers of a similar weight and price range are probably not much different.

    I need to remind myself that I bought a lawn mower, to be a lawn mower and nothing else. For many years, I've owned Cub Cadet garden tractors. My last one was a 1985 model 782. It was a rugged little beast, but I abused it for years, pushing snow with a plow blade that was designed for a larger tractor. I maintained two driveways at my old place, and have been maintaining a 300 ft driveway, plus a parking area here. This spring, I sold what was left of the old 782. Anyway, that was a much stouter mowing platform. At our last place, I mowed close to an acre with it.

    Since building our current house, we have used a push mower almost exclusively. However, we recently decided to get a rider. Since I now have a JD 4600 for the snow removal and other heavy tractor work, the new machine is only for lawn mowing.
    I'm "going green" - my "4-wheeler" is a John Deere 4600 HST!

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Shelby NC
    Tractor
    DK40 SE HST

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Call a few John Deere dealers and tell them you are looking for a 345 or 445 used and even with a stripped cam. I bot a killer 445 with stripped cam, 54 in deck 22Hp water cooled Kawasaki motor and gave $500 for it.. About $300 fixed the motor a new yellow seat about $100, washed, waxed, and new blades and my tab is less than $1000.. If you wanted it less than $3k without me having another to work up I would NOT be interested.
    A JDeede trade-in gets about $1000. The dealer can not put much in them as a new faux J Deere from Lowes starts around $1400.. There are 10 year old 345/445 mowers cheap out there that will be running 3X longer than that cheap Green imposter that is bastardizing a JD name... Good Luck on your search... hope you fill your need on budget and ride green for the next 15 years... I gave $6400 for a 345 in 1995.. it has 1682 hours on ... thats $3.80 for each hour used and its still going... The 445 has 1035 hours, (should go to 2000hrs) and I have used it only 35 hrs and have $1000 in it... Cost per hour use will amaze you.... look for that trade in...value there..

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    27
    Location
    Hartford,Connecticut
    Tractor
    Snapper 8hp RER

    Default Re: Which Lawn Tractor is the best to buy?

    Thanks Dennis for your reply. Currently, I have not made a definite decision but will make one soon since the grass is getting long once again. However, I'm leaning toward either a Snapper or Simplicity lawn tractor. The Snapper models are the LT2446(24hp,46"), SPX2042(20hp,42"),SPX2246(22hp,46"). I am also considering the Snapper RER12.5/28 which is similar to my existing one. However, it's design is somewhat antiquated and after 28 years with the old one, I kind of prefer something more modern looking in the way of a tractor. The Simplicity model is the Regent (21hp,42"). Both of these brands seem to still have good reliability/durability and are both owned by Briggs&Stratton..I was interested in the Husqvarna YTH23V48(23hp,48")but in talking with various dealers, I was informed that this manufacturer is having supply problems and it is very difficult ordering equipment from them and based on user comments repair time is often lengthy due difficulties in obtaining parts.

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