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Need help finding a good lawn tractor??


squale's Avatar
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05-19-06, 05:42 AM   #1  
Need help finding a good lawn tractor??

I have a house with about 1 acre of grass but it's very hilly and uneven so right now I am using a push mower but it stinks because of all the hills I have to push up and down, etc. I also have a raised septic in my front yard, so my entire front yard is this really big mound that I have to usually cut going along it so the lawnmower is on a slant the entire time.

Anyhow, I want to get a ride on lawn tractor and was wondering what some of the differences are between like the John Deeres (very expensive), Sears Craftsman (Good value), etc. I also will need to use the tractor in the winter to plow my 100-foot long driveway, I live in northern NJ and we get a lot of snow here in the winter. Currently I am using an ATV with a plow on it for the snow but I will be getting rid of that soon, so I want a tractor that can replace these duties. The other thing I would want the tractor to be able to do is pull around a cart full of dirt, etc. I have a cart right now I hook onto my ATV so when I am moving around dirt, etc. it comes in very handy. I want the tractor to be able to handle this now if it can.

Any recommendations on what would be some good models to consider, and also some comparrisons between what better things you get for paying more money. Because right now comparing the John Deere against the Sears online, I don't see many difference and the Sears is much cheaper.

Thanks everybody!

 
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05-19-06, 07:27 AM   #2  
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What size and budget are you looking at?

I just bought a Cub Cadet, which I like a lot so far - only mowed once so far though. It was along the price of the Craftsman and for my needs it was a toss up between the two with the Cub having more little things I liked better.
I've heard the smaller John Deere's aren't as good a quality as the larger ones (smaller - aka Home Depot models). If you want a good tractor I'd look at Simplicity - they make several good ones but you do pay more for them.

 
squale's Avatar
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05-19-06, 07:48 AM   #3  
well I woudl like to stay in the 2K budget, but it really depends on if you can get a much better tractor for a bit more money. Basically you can get a top of the line Sears tractor for a little over 2K but the other manufacturers seem to go way over that price, so it makes me wonder what is so much better about a John Deere, Cub, Toro, etc.?

 
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05-19-06, 08:22 AM   #4  
$2K will get you a very good mower, but I'm concerned that the tranny in such a machine might not be adequate over the long haul for pushing snow or pulling a cart full of dirt. A good frame is also a benefit, since your terrain is uneven it will see some stress that a flat yard wouldn't. Maybe a used machine that's more capable might be a better choice. Or possibly a walk-behind snowblower.

AZ

 
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05-19-06, 08:28 AM   #5  
To a degree, you get what you pay for. I have a similar sounding 1 acre of rough and hilly terrain. It turned a Murray into a pile of scrap tin in 4 years. The Deere LT-160 I bought to replace it still looks and runs like new after 6 years. The LT weighs considerably more than the similar version that Deere sells the big box stores. The added weight (and cost) is in a stronger frame and other components.

 
squale's Avatar
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05-19-06, 08:42 AM   #6  
I thought all the LT series were what the big box stores sold? and I heard stay away, far away from the big box stores John Deere tractors because they are junk.

 
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05-19-06, 11:15 AM   #7  
Have you considered keeping the ATV and purchasing a pull behind mower for it?

 
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05-19-06, 11:48 AM   #8  
Simplicity was mentioned and this is a good unit for you. These have full width rollers on the mower deck and will greatly minimize any scalping due to the uneven ground. They will also handle the extra chores which you are looking for. However, your budget is too low for what you need...ideal deck for the conditions, power to push snow and tow a sizeable load and a tranny that will withstand all this, with the latter being the key to what you need. Talk to your significant other and negotiate the budget.

 
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05-19-06, 02:19 PM   #9  
well what do you think would be the minimum I would need for these things?

 
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05-19-06, 05:19 PM   #10  
Just F.Y.I. The big box version of the Deere - when I got mine - was the L series. The LT series was only available through a Deere franchise dealer.

 
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05-20-06, 08:04 AM   #11  
$2500-3000 just for the tractor. Attachments would be extra but I have no idea of their cost. http://www.simplicitymfg.com/regent.php

 
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05-21-06, 07:22 AM   #12  
This is actually a tough call. You say you want something that will handle your "very hilly" yard.....you also say your front yard is a big "mound" that the mower will be sideways ....you want to plow a relatively long driveway and want to cart around dirt.....and you want to stay at around $2K........good luck. I say this not to be a jerk but you are sking a lot for a lawn tractor to do all of this. I am not saying they can't but not brand new for that amount of money. If I were you I would look around at used shaft driven models. I would worry about a belt drive in your case. Cub Cadet makes a fantastic shaft driven model for much cheeper than the competitors. A buddy of mine bought a used 3 year old Cub with all of the attachments for about $2400$. The used market can be very good. For what you want I would avoid Sears and HD and Lowes version of Deere and Cub....they are NOT the real deal. They are certainly not junk but I would not use them for your application. Good luck.

 
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05-21-06, 07:23 AM   #13  
This is actually a tough call. You say you want something that will handle your "very hilly" yard.....you also say your front yard is a big "mound" that the mower will be sideways ....you want to plow a relatively long driveway and want to cart around dirt.....and you want to stay at around $2K........good luck. I say this not to be a jerk but you are sking a lot for a lawn tractor to do all of this. I am not saying they can't but not brand new for that amount of money. If I were you I would look around at used shaft driven models. I would worry about a belt drive in your case. Cub Cadet makes a fantastic shaft driven model for much cheeper than the competitors. A buddy of mine bought a used 3 year old Cub with all of the attachments for about $2400$. The used market can be very good. For what you want I would avoid Sears and HD and Lowes version of Deere and Cub....they are NOT the real deal. They are certainly not junk but I would not use them for your application. Good luck.

 
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