Very pleased so far with the way this mower performs, it is much better than la-130 it replaced. Steering is great; feels almost like power steering. Also it runs smoother and when turning on transaxle; it is much smoother.
As for the transmission it is the same one I had in the LA-130 that I had for 6-years, hauled a lot of dirt with a cart and still going strong when I traded it in. I think if you maintain the mower, it will last a long time. If not just replace trans with something stronger.