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Lawn tractor recommendations needed (1 Viewer)

Jim Mcc

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I'm looking for a new tractor, and hoping to stay under $1,500.


A 40" to 42" cut is all we need, our lot is about 3/4 acre.


I was thinking of a Craftsman or Ariens. The reviews look good.


Thanks.
 

schan1269

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Most mowers that price/size are all made by MTD. No matter what name is on it.

I don't even think Husqvarna makes theirs.

Do NOT buy anything with the Tuff Torq K46. Absolute shit transmission. The K46 goes in, pretty much, "disposable lawn tractors".

Every other Tuff Torq is fine(and Tuff Torq is in everything)
 

schan1269

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Just checked myself...

John Deere uses HOP*(Husqvarna) to make their "disposables"(anything NOT sold...at...John Deere).

HOP also makes Ariens and Craftsman.

MTD makes the Craftsman that HOP can't make cheap enough.

Anyway...they all use Tuff Torq, stay away from the K46.

*HOP is the former AYP. AYP(American Yard Products) was owned by Figidaire(helping hand in getting Husqvarna "over here").
 

Dr Griffin

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I know the newer Craftsmans are not as good as they used to be. A friend who has owned Craftsman for decades bought a new one a couple years ago and has sworn them off. He says the bagging system does not pick up nearly as well as the old system; he's had a leaking gasket, stalling problems under load and a snapped crank/belt pulley (fixed under warranty)! The phrase "you get what you pay for" unfortunately applies to pretty much anything sub $2000 in lawn tractors. Corner cutting is rampant in all forms of business, but quality is still offered if you lay down enough green.
 
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I bought a Cub Cadet XT1 42" cut a few months ago. It's an awesome riding mower for me. My yard is right at an acre and I actually enjoy mowing now (not considering its been 100 degrees here in Alabama). I got mine at Tractor Supply Co for $1499 + tax. I know Home Depot sells them too. I'm happy with mine.
 

schan1269

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Dr Griffin said:
I know the newer Craftsmans are not as good as they used to be. A friend who has owned Craftsman for decades bought a new one a couple years ago and has sworn them off. He says the bagging system does not pick up nearly as well as the old system; he's had a leaking gasket, stalling problems under load and a snapped crank/belt pulley (fixed under warranty)! The phrase "you get what you pay for" unfortunately applies to pretty much anything sub $2000 in lawn tractors. Corner cutting is rampant in all forms of business, but quality is still offered if you lay down enough green.
John Deere is the egregious one here.

The X300 uses the K46 at $2999.99.

Move off the 300, to even the 304, gets you a K56.

The problem with the K46...

Only rated to mow 2% grade(meaning...you can't even mow your ditch).

Only rated to pull 200lb. Forget gardening or a lawn sweep. Or even using it to push/blow snow.

But...the attachments is where they make money and when your 3yo K46 dies...they'll see you for another $1500 mower to use your attachments with.

Replacing a K46(which is non-serviceable, unless you modify it...which voids the warranty) costs $800-$1400.

Easiest ways to tell a K46...(if the rear end is hidden by a back plate, most times you can see them)

Have them start the mower. Go forward. If initial movement is met with a groan from the rear you can actually hear over the engine, it is a K46.

Easiest way NOT to get a K46. Get one with limited slip. K46 isn't made that way.
 

atfree

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alabamaroberts said:
I bought a Cub Cadet XT1 42" cut a few months ago. It's an awesome riding mower for me. My yard is right at an acre and I actually enjoy mowing now (not considering its been 100 degrees here in Alabama). I got mine at Tractor Supply Co for $1499 + tax. I know Home Depot sells them too. I'm happy with mine.
My neighbor has one of these and swears by it.
 

Jim Mcc

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Thanks guys. With an automatic or hydro transmission, do you have to keep your foot on the pedal the whole time you are mowing? Do they work like driving a car without cruise control? If so, I don't want that.
 

schan1269

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Hydros come in two flavors. Both ways avoid the K46.

Foot operated pedals...which yes you keep your foot down...or use the equipped "cruise". Cruise on a mower is really "we'll hold the pedal for you"...not really a control.

Hand moved lever.

Don't want to use your feet...get one with a lever.

Foot operated really isn't that bad. You have to put your feet somewhere anyway. And remove your foot...it stops. 90% of the time you drive it like an old VW bus anyway...pedal to the floor...

A 17/18hp 42" mower only goes 5.5mph. With deck engaged that drops to 4.5. All of them will cut 1" of grass(meaning 3" tall grass to 2"...and so forth) at full speed.
 

Jim Mcc

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Thanks. I need to do some more research. I was told by a local dealer today that if I don't want to hold pedal down, I need one with cruise control.
 

Clinton McClure

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I have a John Deere L110 which has the K46V transmission. Bought it new in 2003 from a John Deere dealer (a farm implement company) and the same company picks it up, services it and drops it back at my house every winter. Still runs like the day I bought it. What is your issue with the K46 tranny?
 

schan1269

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Clinton McClure said:
I have a John Deere L110 which has the K46V transmission. Bought it new in 2003 from a John Deere dealer (a farm implement company) and the same company picks it up, services it and drops it back at my house every winter. Still runs like the day I bought it. What is your issue with the K46 tranny?
The K46 has a "lifespan" of 3 years. Sure people have made it longer.

You probably...

Don't have any hills.
Don't have any attachments
Follow instructions and keep the engine full throttle all the time(trans fan speed is engine regulated).

Mytractorforum (and most others) is littered with "my K46 died".

The local John Deere dealer told us X3xx have 4 year life expectancy.
 

Clinton McClure

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My lawn is on a slight grade so I am pulling a slow uphill climb with every pass. It's not a steep hill but one end is about a foot and a half lower than the other. I don't use attachments but I do regularly pull a lawn cart which I load up with debris (tree limbs, brush, etc...), or haul rocks / paving stones / dirt / bags of cement. Also have a 15 gallon 12v sprayer I put in the cart and pull around for weed control and spraying flea and tick poison several times a year.

I do keep the engine at full throttle.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Why not splurge.....and go for a Lamborghini?


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Jim Mcc

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I was told by a local dealer today that if I don't want to hold pedal down, I need one with cruise control.
Is this correct? If so, what's an entry level price for one with cruise control?

Thanks.
 

schan1269

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Jim Mcc said:
Is this correct? If so, what's an entry level price for one with cruise control?

Thanks.
Cruise control on a lawn mower works exactly like the emergency brake.

It is not a "control". It is a "go pedal hold in one spot".

Most at $1200+ have it as it costs an extra $10.00 to have it.

My cousin has an X300(why I loath the K46, as it has been replaced...twice. Not entirely the mowers fault. They are trying to mow 2.5 acres with a 3-8% grade). They don't use the cruise cause it only works at(roughly) 85% speed. When you want to remove the lock(cause remember, it isn't a "control") you have to press down to 100% anyway.

The cruise is a novelty that wears off by the 3rd time you mow. Unless you have zero trees, no hills and never need to back up.
 

schan1269

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I would spend the extra $200 for...

Cruise...
High back seat(trust me. Almost worth it by itself)
V-twin

The twin is a much smoother engine.
 

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