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  1. #11
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    723
    Location
    Winterport, Maine
    Tractor
    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    Slam,

    No offence taken. I am not saying the Sears deck is without issues. But what I am saying and I guess not very well, is sometimes the next size up is not the answer for all applications. My lawn is far from smooth and I like it that way. The wide deck causes problems with scalping the high spots and not “rolling” down into the low spots and the longer wheel base of the GT5000 versus the old Rally only makes the problem worse. The best cut I can get is with my 22” walk behind mower, it “rolls” with the lumps and bumps in the yard. But I have WAY too much grass to cut walking behind a 22” push mower!

    I have two neighbors, one with a JD lawn tractor and another with a kubota BX series. Both have the same problem.

    Gary

  2. #12
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,373
    Location
    Goffs Corner, KY
    Tractor
    IH 2444

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    For average users the best bang for your buck in a lawnmower is the cheapest one that will fill your needs. Just maintain them well and you will get the lowest operating costs per year.
    I bought a used MTD, put new belts and blades on it and have used it for 4 years, total cost $300. That is an ownership cost of $75 per year so far, it is still going. No financing or interest either [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Ben



  3. #13
    Platinum Member aesanders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    608
    Location
    Alachua County, Florida
    Tractor
    John Deere 2320 with loader, Simplicity Conquest garden tractor, BCS 830 2 wheel tractor, Gravely Pro-Turn 160 XDZ.

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    I purchased a Simplcity Conquest with 44"deck this past Spring. It replaced a Hydro 42" Yardsman. The Yardsman lasted me about 8 season's. It cost about about $1500. The Simplicity cost almost $4500. It would need to last 24 years to get the same usage for the money. However, the cut quality alone is almost worth the difference. The Yardman would leave clumps of grass all over the lawn. I would have to go over the area 2-3 times to cut the clumps of grass this mower would leave. The Simplicty blows the clipping evenly. No visible clumps to go over. This alone cuts the mowing time down quite a bit. The Simplicity also has a better cut in general. No scalping. It also has a much better ride and steers better. It is basically a much better machine.

    All in all, I would say that the $1500 Yardsman did what it did ok, but after owning the Simplicity for one summer I would never go back. Was well worth the extra money in my opinion. You basically get what you pay for. I probably could have made the MTD Yardsman last another 2-4 years, but I'm glad I didn't.

  4. #14
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2,622
    Location
    Sevierville, TN
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT 425

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    IMO, don't go for the lowest price of any brand -- there's reasons why it is cheaper... and like with cars, you typically get what you pay for, until you start paying for pure luxury or snob appeal....


  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    221
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    Gary...no problem. I am not arguing the basic premise at all. I "get it". Again when I say "bigger" I mean tractor size and capability...not just deck size. I don't know if you've noticed it or not but your high end machines usually come with a choice of deck size. You have to realize that some folks do far more than just mow...hence the rule to buy larger than you think you need. I think it's rather obvious that a person should take that for what it's worth...nobody's yard is the same. Only you know if you have circumstances that dictate that you deviate from what would be considered the "norm". At the end of the day common sense had better shine through or were all in trouble! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    How big is your yard?
    Will you expect the mower to do anything besides mow?
    Do you have alot of stuff to trim around?

    Answering these questions will help us to give you some specific recommendations.

    Slam

  6. #16
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    723
    Location
    Winterport, Maine
    Tractor
    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    <font color="blue"> How big is your yard?
    Will you expect the mower to do anything besides mow?
    Do you have alot of stuff to trim around? </font>

    Slam,

    I am not trying to argue either! I do agree most of the time most people under estimate the size of their machines. Just wanted to point out sometimes bigger can be a problem.

    For my needs, I consider my GT5000 a lawn mower, nothing more, nothing less and that is what it is used for. I do most of my “work” with my L3710. The two are no way in the same league. They are meant to do two totally different jobs.

    I think your last three questions are right on target! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]


    Take care,

    Gary



  7. #17
    Silver Member GreenQuality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    130
    Location
    in the mountain s w Pa.
    Tractor
    2180 CubCadet

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    More bang for the buck?well I looked for a tractor for my small lawn service. and came up with the 2000 series from cub cadet.shaft drive,screw on filter for transmission!and a vanguard v twin engine top of the line! and grease zerks every where you can think of! for under 3 grand.two season under the belt over a 1000 hr on the moter and tractor no problems. just maintain!

  8. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    33
    Location
    Perth western Australia
    Tractor
    kubota l1501

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    well, it depends on how much you mow, how often and how quick you want to get it done. each person here will give you their honest opinion on there experiences. my experience is with JD in mowing, never had a problem never had any trouble getting any bits for servicing, cub's huskie's etc are also good mowers. have fun looking, shop around and get a good deal for you. none the wiser are ya [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    336
    Location
    Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota B2410

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    Agree with your list. I have found another trick with my GT5000? (think that’s what it is, I never looked in 13 years). I have a ’92 Craftsman 18hp Kohler with 44” deck. The cut is very good and it has never failed to go through even the toughest Pangola hay grass. It took a few years of learning the quirks before I realized what was happening with cut quality. At times it would cut very uneven. Found these decks are sensitive to being level left to right and should be slightly lower front to rear (as all decks are actually). I would spend an hour leveling it perfectly then go out and find it wasn’t level......the culprit turned out to be the rods the deck hangs from were bent and this caused the deck to be level at one height but not at others. Every time you changed cut height it went out of level. I took a page from most ZTR’s, cut a few inches out of the hangers and welded in a piece of chain allowing the deck to move when encountering an obstacle rather than bend the rods. I’ve not had to re-level the deck since (years). I have NEVER had any clogging of the deck....though spindle failure has been bad as with most of these small decks. I often grind up hefty sticks that have fallen from trees however.....I abuse it beyond what I ever thought it would take. I do all my own repairs, suppose a guy who doesn’t would have replaced it long ago.

    A couple posts I’ve made regarding the subject.

    post 1

    post 2

  10. #20
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Best "bang for the buck" - lawn tractor...

    I have a JD LX277. I absolutely love it - mows the lawn pretty nicely and can be abused and mow parts of the pasture (this often requires blade replacement, but when the brush hog isn't on the kubota it is almost easier than messing with the 3PH attachments). It is 6 years old and I can't imagine it is going to die on me any time soon.

    Not sure if they still make that model but the line still exists, but you have to go to a JD dealer to get those. My understanding is that the LT series that you can get at the Big Stores is not built the same way but they're quite a bit less $$$. But the model I bought was one of the mid ranges and was about $2K. I don't think that for most folks that just have to mow a lawn need to spend $5K, for sure, but there is some truth to getting what you pay for.

    If you are going to beat your tractor the more expensive machines are built to tolerate it better. On the other hand, one of my neighbors has a Sears that he absolutely kills (his only tractor with 20 acres [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]) which has to be over 10 years old.

    My grandfather was a Cub fan. He had a couple that lived for many, many years and took a fair amount of abuse. They seem to be coming back and if they still have the same level of quality would be worth a look.

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