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help buying new mower


oren's Avatar
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NC

05-09-07, 11:15 AM   #1  
help buying new mower

Hello everyone...I am considering buying one of the residential zero turn mowers. I have checked out the john deere and the troy bilt down at lowes. Undecided on which would be the beter buy, both are 2899.00. The john deere is a 42'' cut with 2 blades and has a 18.5 hp briggs engine made especially for JD. The troy bilt is a 50'' cut with 3 blades and has a 22 hp kohler courage ohv engine. I already have a craftsman 22 hp 50'' cut with a kohler engine on it, but it takes me about 4 hours to mow all my yard, and unless i go in 2nd gear it does not cut very well with new blades. Even then sometime i have to go over places twice...And in 2nd gear i'm only moving 3.3 mph....lol... The JD that i mentioned says that it will cut at 7 mph...Maybe its because of the 2 blades versus 3 blades.. Oh, by the way my grass is not even thick, and on a sandy soil and don'nt let it get high before i mow..Anyway any feed back would be appreciated....Oren

 
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puey61's Avatar
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05-09-07, 06:31 PM   #2  
Of your two choices, I like the Deere. A major influence in your buying decision, though, must be whether you have an authorized Deere dealer in your service area for future needs, whether it be for parts or service or both. If you have none such in your area and would need to travel an hour to the closest shop, it may not be to your advantage to buy the Deere.

 
cheese's Avatar
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05-10-07, 12:35 AM   #3  
I would also prefer a Deere over your other choice if I were making the decision.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

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Azis's Avatar
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05-10-07, 07:26 AM   #4  
Azis
I am not sure who actually makes the Deere but of the two you mention, I would have to agree.
You may however, go down the block and look at Home Depot at the Cub Cadet version. http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@&BV_EngineID=ccceaddklklijgecgelceffdfgidgng.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID=9876&N=2984+5234&pos=n20
It uses a 17hp Kohler. Still has 42" cut. 300.00 less...
These are made by MTD just as the troy-bilt is, however they are no the same machine. I was quite impressed by one of the newer Cubs I worked on. Riding lawn tractor but was well built I thought for MTD.

 
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05-10-07, 07:32 AM   #5  
Just FWIW, going from one 50" cut to another 50" cut isn't likely to cut down on the amount of time it takes to mow. Plain and simple, if you have that much acreage, you need a larger mower. One of the 72" or so tow behind models might be more in line with what you would need to make a serious dent in time.

 
cheese's Avatar
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05-10-07, 09:39 PM   #6  
I just noticed that you said you have a Craftsman 50" tractor. Unless this mower is just old and worn out, it should do the job as well or better than either of the other mowers you've mentioned. If it isn't. then something is wrong with it that needs to be addressed.

Some mowers can go much faster than others, even with the same cutting width. The difference is the design of the deck and the blade tip speed. The faster tip speed with a well designed deck that will move the clippings out quickly will mow grass faster.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

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oren's Avatar
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05-11-07, 01:19 PM   #7  
thanks guys for all the replies...Actually my craftsman garden tractor is a 23 hp rather than 22 that i previously stated. And you are right about it being able to do the job. I got to thinking that i had to replace a broken mower blade drive belt about 2 years ago and thats when it started not cutting as before. Always cut pretty good up til then,,,The mower is about 6 yrs old. Anyway, you could pull on the belt while on the machine and it was like it would stretch. So i took it off and took it back to the Big Blue hardware store and a different guy tells me they have a good belt and a better belt, he told me the guy had sold me the cheaper belt which is black in color. The better belt is like a tan white color and feels much tougher...The mower is now cutting like before.....Thanks for all the help guys....oren

 
cheese's Avatar
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05-11-07, 11:18 PM   #8  
Good news! I'm partial to Craftsmans anyway. Not that they're the best in the world...just that I like them for what they cost and ease of repair/maintainence.

Thanks for the update!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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05-12-07, 03:50 AM   #9  
Just a note on the mow time from one 50" to the other. Yes, I know that it's not apples to apples, width wise, but I had (still have for winter use) a Deere 318 with a 50" cut deck that took me about six hours to cut just a bit over 8 acres of lawn. I now use a Ferris mid mount deck with a 60" cut and it takes just over four hours and the quality is comparable and, more interesting, there is much less wear and tear...On my chassis. Yes, it is a 20% increase in cut size but it is a savings of roughly two hours of mow time...nice!

 
cheese's Avatar
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05-13-07, 12:39 AM   #10  
Out of curiosity, what do you attribute the faster cut time and less wear to Puey?

I only have one customer witha Ferris mower. It's an old pipe frame beast that cut a whole lot of grass before the hydro system finally failed this year. I would say they're good mowers from the one and only one I ever worked on. I guess there were never any dealers for them in this neck of the woods.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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