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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    20
    Location
    Oregon
    Tractor
    Kubota 3830

    Default Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    My wife and I have just completed the move into our new property. We have a total of 15 acres of which about 2 acres is “lawn” around the house. Much of the lawn area is tight with trees and plant beds. It is generally rough with many molehills and ruts. We have pretty much decided to purchase a kubota 3830 to take care of the rest of the property. The tractor will include a brush hog but I don’t expect we will be able mow much of the lawn area. So we need to consider a hydrostatic, mulching riding mower with something like a 42-inch deck.

    I am really overwhelmed by the variety of riding lawn mowers and “lawn tractors” on the market. We spent last Saturday shopping around the JD, Kubota, Sears and Husky dealers and were frustrated because every salesman tried to talk us into a large “lawn tractor” in the 4200$ - 4500$ range. They most often recommend tractors were the JD GT 225 and GT 235. The JD dealers all said that the lower priced lawn mowers (LT range) would not last more than 2 –3 years in the environment I described. They said the mowers were not built to handle rough terrain and would break axles and frames when exposed to frequent ruts.

    My Kubota dealer (Who I really like) flat out said to buy a JD mower because it’s a better value for the money.

    I would really like to spend no more than 2200$ on a mower. Is it possible to find something that is robust enough to survive a “farm lawn”? What is your experience with the lower priced riding lawn mowers? Are they robust?

    What would you recommend for my environment?

    Thanks for reading!


    7sam15

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    1,573
    Location
    Waco, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910; Kubota T1670

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    Well, with a limit of $2,200, it's no wonder the kubota rep said to go JD. There isn't a Kubota mower near that price but the JD L series will get you there. I chose to spend the extra $ for the Kubota 1670 although I did compare it to the L series at Home Depot. The JD mowers looked to be good mowers but the things that swayed me to the Kubota were:

    1) Fully welded steering column support on the Kubota vs. plastic dash support for JD. The steering is the first to go on rough lawns, unless the deck is REALLY bad, then it goes first.

    2) Frame on Kubota appeared stronger than JD

    3) Kubota had rear suspension for rough ground, JD did not

    4) Kubota hydro was much more massive and had a cooling fan

    5) Deck is held on by 4 beefy attachment bars on the Kubota, whereas the L series has a single long bolt on the front which looks fragile.

    Now, this is comparing a 3k machine to a 2k machine, so it's really not fair. But, if you start looking at the JD Gt's you really out to check out the Kubota T-series. You already have a Kubota dealer you like.

    I've had my T-1670 now for about 6 weeks and it really does well on the uneven parts of my lawn and my new smooth lawn as well. The cut is great, the motor is quiet, and the ride is really good. It's a great companion to my b2910. My wife was a big skeptic, but after one mowing session, she was sold. It's a quality product just like most everything else Kubota makes.

    If you need to stick to the 2k max, the JD L series looks like a good candidate. You might also check out the offerings at your local Sears. Most of their tractors are made by American Yard Products (AYP) who make the Husqvarna riders. They seem to have a better reputation than many of the mowers made by MTD.

    One last thought. The Kubota T-series has 0% financing for two years. That was the final straw for me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,281
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    Personally, for a riding mower in that price range, I like the Cub Cadets best.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    404
    Location
    garland county arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3000DT

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    I was at my local stihl dealers shop who sells husky and cub cadets. he had a customer who was looking at mowers. i started looking at a husky and noted similar things about it and my craftsman. he then stated that only about four or five companys make all mowers in the U.S.
    I think he is on to something there. they all have characteristics that are the same.
    i did note that the husky was about 900 more than a craftsman. and they looked the same . i think they even had the engines.
    anyway i have been happy with my craftsman but i only mow about an acre with it . the rest i do with a L3000dt and brush hog.

    My aunt has a $900 craftsman that is used to mow a farm lawn and it is going strong. and has for several years.
    i think the key is maintaining the machine. i am hoping to get many years out my $1000 craftsman. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    317
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    John Deere 4410

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    I use a John Deere F525 to cut my lawn and drive. They are pretty expensive new but I recently saw a used one that had been traded in with about 446 hours on it for around $1500. Good little front mowers with a Kawasaki 17 hp. engine, HST. You may want to look around to see if you can find one. Alot of owners like to eventually trade up to the 757 or 737 so you may find one used.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,224
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Tractor
    B2620, Toro Z-Master 45 3 (2 3hp Kaw asaki, 52" deck.Kubota RTV 900)

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    I don't know if you would be interested in, or have the physical ability to use one, but a commercial walk-behind mower would give you alot of value for the money, and fit the property you describe.
    Have you condidered a ZTR? I believe Ariens and Toro both have them close to that price range. Good luck.
    Will

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    2,518
    Location
    Capital District, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Satoh S650G, MF135, MF165, JD5205

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    Why not bring in some top soil and rake it "in" over the 2 acre plot for a beautiful lawn... then in about ~2 weeks Home Depot should begin their annual 40% off sale and check out some riding mowers there for well under $1000. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    20
    Location
    Oregon
    Tractor
    Kubota 3830

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    Thanks for all the input and suggestions. I haven't found many used mowers locally but will continue to search.

    I heard that the same factory produces many of the lower cost mowers, including the L series JDs. I am encouraged to hear that the Craftsman lawn mowers hold up to some abuse. Locally they seem to have a very poor reputation.

    I believe the land is too rough for a walk behind (I mowed about half the yard last night and almost passed out after about 2 hours.. ;-) ) I beat myself up almost continually pushing my mower through he ruts and holes.

    Eventually we will top dress and smooth the yard but it is just not a priority now. We just need to keep the grass down for now.


    Thanks again.

    7sam15

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    If you're not afraid of the "risk" with used equipment, I'd throw another vote that way - either a heavier front mower or an older (heavy-duty) garden tractor. My 1.5-and-change acres of "farm yard" are also pretty rough. I started looking at new mowers right in the price range you're at - and was severely underwhelmed. I figured I'd tear one up very quickly on my lawn - not at all impressed with the overall strength (any brand). I was almost up to the JD GT235 as the best compromise (at $4800) when I decided to just get something heavier, used, and be done with it. Ended up with a 1987 JD318 with 800 hours for $2400.

    It may have a few cosmetic blemishes (so far mechanically seems fine except for maybe using a little oil). Older garden tractors seem to be far more robust than current offerings. I believe the old JD 300 series were built heavier than anything short of the X series today - certainly heavier than anything in that small of a chassis. I feel much better about the long term durability of this one on our property. Other old classic names are probably just as strong (Wheelhorse, Cadet's, etc.,. but I don't know what the parts situation is. It's not too bad with the older JD's.)

    And yes, I plan on eventually some year heavily redoing the yard and smoothing things (and eliminating many ruts and ridges) but it needed cutting now. Good Luck!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    540
    Location
    Mukwonago, WI
    Tractor
    BX2200, '52 8N

    Default Re: Overwhelmed by the possibilities --- Mowers

    I'd have to agree with getting a used JD 300 series tractor, they are much better than most new tractors. The 318 is a great machine, all of the 300's are built to last and come with auxilary hydraulics to boot. I'd get on MachineFinder and look for one near you.

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