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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last year when I bought my GMC Sierra, I was surprised by the amount of knowledge our community had in non-Cruze related areas. I'm looking for your expertise again now that I need a lawnmower.

I have been mowing a 1/2 acre yard with a 1984 Craftsman push mower. I'm surprised the thing still runs but it fires up on the first pull when cold. I haven't had to use the primer bulb all year. It does the job but I have to admit, 1.5-2 hours mowing my yards (the house is in the middle of the lot) on a hot day makes this a bit of a chore. So we are getting a lawnmower as a gift. I was told to find the web URL to the one I want and it would be ordered and sent to my house.

Budget is in the $2000-$2500 range, although I imagine it can be stretched a hundred bucks or so if there would be a significant gain in value. I was initially told that since it's memorial day weekend, to just hit up Home Depot and find a John Deere I liked. I may yet end up in that area but I figured it wouldn't hurt to do some research.

With a budget of up to $2500, again I need to mow a 1/2 acre yard. Our yard has a fair number of trees, and I've recently planted 5 fruit trees. As a result, I need something that isn't cumbersome to maneuver. It would be nice to be able to pull a tiny trailer with it at some point. Grass grows pretty quickly out here in NW Indiana so my lawn would need to be mowed every 5-7 days. I'd like something reliable. I've read about a few zero turn mowers in my price point, but I'm not sure if I want an base entry level zero turn over a mid level riding mower.

A friend suggested I look at Kubota mowers, but finding pricing on them is proving to be a bit of a challenge and they seem to be known more for their higher end equipment. I've also read that Husqvarna has many of the same parts as John Deere mowers do but are a better value for the money as you pay more for the name with the latter. Whatever I do get will be meticulously maintained. I expect to own it for a minimum of 10 years and preferably closer to 20.

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just discovered, for the next few days, Lowe's has a $250 mail in rebate on their D100 series and EZ Track zero turn mower, so as a start, I'm considering the following two. I decided on a 42" deck instead of a larger one since I don't want it taking up too much space in my garage and the smaller deck would be more maneuverable.

Shop John Deere EZtrak V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 42-in Zero-Turn Lawn Mower with Briggs & Stratton Engine and Mulching Capability at Lowes.com


Shop John Deere D130 V-Twin Hydrostatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs & Stratton Engine and Mulching Capability (CARB) at Lowes.com


The $250 rebate is a nice addition. Does anyone have any opinions on these, or any mowers they'd recommend instead?
 

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The first one is much nicer to cut grass with. I used to do landscaping, they're quick and reliable. Much nicer than your basic ride on style.


Sent from the sexy electrician
 

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I bought a D160 brand new 3 years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I mow almost an acre. I chose the 160 because it's 3HP more than the 130 and eventually I'm planning to get a 2 stage snow blower for it. If you've never ridden a zero turn they can be a little tricky to maneuver in tight spaces. They are more intended for larger lawns. I'd recommend a standard rider for a small lawn. As far as JOHN DEERE goes, you may pay more for some parts but with proper maintenance it'll be a long time before you spend a dime on it.
 

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Depending how heavy the load is on your trailer you should be fine transmission-wise. I pull a 250lb+ lawn roller with mine and the biggest problem I have is traction. May invest in wheel weights also.
 

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I've learned the hard way to skip the big box vendors. If a big box vendor sells a product that is not available at a Lawn and Garden equipment dealer, there is probably a reason.

I am more familiar with the walk-behind variety of mowers and I can tell you that if you do go big box retailer, Toro has the best managed warranty. Troy-Bilt products meet about the same specs, but their warranty claims are a nightmare.

Lowes did honor the Husqvarna warranty well....twice. I got my money back the second time and went a few blocks down to buy an Echo. That was in 2011. The Echo is still working well to this day. It is one of my rare big-box retail store purchase success stories.

My dad has an Ariens zero-turn....wish I knew the model....other than the belt being somewhat of a pain to do, it has served flawlessly.
 

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I have a Grasshopper 721D with 21 hp Kabota dsl that has 2000 hrs on it. But then I mow 8 ac with a lot of trees and pick up all those leaves in the fall. But I don't know if they make on in that price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anyone think this will be too much slope for a zero turn mower? It isn't too bad till you get up to the driveway. It levels out the farther you go.
 

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2 on what bubba said about the big box stores. I have a Cub Cadet w/ a 15hp Kawasaki and a 38" deck that I use to cut about a half acre. I find that the 38" deck gives me a little more maneuverability to get around trees and such.
 

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Half an acre with trees and a house and a garage on it? Had 5 1/2 acres with three riding mowers, would rather work on a car any day than on these darn things. Would stay far away from anything with a stamped steel front axle, hit a bump and they will bend. Too small to crawl under and darn near too heavy to lift.

Have nearly a half an acre with over 40 trees on it, wouldn't be able to go ten feet without hitting one. Son has a bare 1/2 an acre and got a Cadet rider, but doesn't do near a good job on his lawn as his self propelled Honda. His one year warranty up here is more like four months, and has all this safety crap on it, always calling me over to help him. Really a pain in the butt to change the drive and mower belts on these things.

I got a Honda HRX217VKA last fall, really love this thing with those dual blades, picks up a ton of pine needs and chops them up real fine, can practically get three times as much in the same size bag. Kind of fair trade deal. Ordered it online from Home Depot and delivered free to my door. Nearest Home Depot to me is 47 miles away, could have received a 10% vet discount, but then would have to drive 94 miles to the store to order it, then another 94 miles with my trailer to pick it up.

These are sure a miser on gas and very easy to start, has a 190 cc engine with lots of power, and is my very first self propelled mower. And can sure cut close to all these trees.

Will get some exercise walking and would be 1900 bucks richer with no concern about belts, it ain't got any.
 

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Are the Honda powered push mowers actually better on fuel than lets say B&S powered mowers?


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Are the Honda powered push mowers actually better on fuel than lets say B&S powered mowers?


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Depends.

My flathead B&S? Probably.

I also have a side discharge OHV B&S that I use for the greenbelt behind my house and my sister's terrible rock-strewn lawn. I check the oil and gas before I use it and I am continuously amazed at how long the gas lasts.
 

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Ha, still have my now 45 year old Lawn Boy, two cycle, where I have to clean the spark plug every five minutes. Other push Honda mower is over eight years old, think I only cleaned it once.

Of course, I only use top tier 91 octane ethanol free gas in it. Normally a two gallon can last me all summer long.

Checked my plot drawing, only have 0.4 acres, not sure if an extra 0.1 acres justifies a rider. Most of these riders I have seen only have electric starters, if that battery goes dead, so are you. Noted earlier this spring our Fleet Farm store had four pallets loaded with lawn mower batteries. Was there last Friday, only a half a pallet left.

Some of my neighbors have something like this.



for year round use, mower in the summer, snow thrower in the winter. Perhaps a bit more conservative, use a Troy-Bilt 700 buck blower in the winter, spent 30 bucks for a canopy for it, okay, so I am a chicken, don't like walking in the house with a snow covered face. Has the so-called Honda copy engine on it, always starts in the winter with a half a pull on the cord. But does have a 120 VAC starter on it. More work to plug that in than pull on the cord.

As a kid use to charge a buck to hand shovel off a driveway or cut grass with a push type reel mower.
 

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I bought a D160 brand new 3 years ago and I couldn't be happier with it. I mow almost an acre. I chose the 160 because it's 3HP more than the 130 and eventually I'm planning to get a 2 stage snow blower for it. If you've never ridden a zero turn they can be a little tricky to maneuver in tight spaces. They are more intended for larger lawns. I'd recommend a standard rider for a small lawn. As far as JOHN DEERE goes, you may pay more for some parts but with proper maintenance it'll be a long time before you spend a dime on it.
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you on this. I live on an acreage, that has hundreds of trees, so the yard is split up into several small yards.
Last year, I was using the ride on mower the previous owner left behind, and it would take me close to 5 hours to mow the lawn. It has a 48" deck.
I kept my eyes on the local classifieds, and found a 42" zero turn for $450, that just needed some welding done to it. Got that fixed, and now it takes me 1.5 hours to mow the lawn, and I'm getting into places I never could before.
In my opinion, zero turn mowers are all around better.
 

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I've had 2 John Deere tractors since 1978. My John Deere 111 had an 11 h.p. Briggs and lasted me until 2005 when a leaking gas line fire ended it's life prematurely. My current John Deere is a LX 280 that has a Kawasaki 18 h.p. OVH twin. Neither caused me any problems since I owned them. I use them both for grass and snow blowing. As with many other things in life, "you gets what you pays for." You may pay a little more initially, but the quality, longevity and the reliability let you come out ahead in the long run. BTW, I still have my original OEM battery in it from 2005. And it is true, "nothing runs like a deer". P.S. - I do not work for John Deere. I see that you already made your decision. Good Luck and hope you enjoy your new Toro.
 
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