Please help me choose the right lawn tractor

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  #1  
Old 12-04-08, 01:32 PM
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Please help me choose the right lawn tractor

Greetings,

I'm making the transition from apartment living to a house on a 3 acre lot.

I'll be mowing about 2 acres, the final acre is consumed by the house and some trees.

I'm lost in all the choices of lawn tractors available. Obviously, I want something that will mow 2 acres within a reasonable amount of time. I also need to do some light hauling. There are mature trees on the lot and the previous owners have left some dead trees, fallen limbs, and piles of brush scattered throughout. I'm thinking I'll use an 8' trailer to haul the brush and wood. The front yard is a hill, but the back is flat.

Ideally, I'd like a gator or an ATV, but I'm on a budget, so I'd like to find a lawn tractor that can do it all. I'm concerned about overwhelming and damaging a riding lawn mower by using it to haul. Salesmen at Sears want to sell me the biggest, baddest, and most expensive model they have of course. But, what are the real specifications I should be looking for? HP, drive type, etc...?

The tractor needs to be able to take the regular attachments (bagger, blade, etc...) ZTR is not a requirement. The terrain is lawn.

Any general guidance, personal experience, or specific tractor models are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 12-04-08, 04:47 PM
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For what you want to do, I would suggest:
1). Make sure the engine has an oil filter. This means it has an oil pump. You need that on hills. Without it, you run a risk of seizing the engine on hills due to lack of lubrication.
2). Twin cylinder of at least 18 hp.
3). You will need a machine with a rugged frame as you will need to mount a trailer ball to tow your trailer. Look at where you would mount the ball. If it is just sheet metal, it is no where near strong enough for a loaded (or semi-loaded) trailer.
MTD= NO. Sears= Probably not. I have not looked closely at the new Craftsman. Ariens or Toro= Yes. But NOT from a big box store. The ones there are MTD quality. John Deere=Yes. Again, not from a B.B. store. Same reason.
 
  #3  
Old 12-04-08, 11:26 PM
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Sears has or did have some big models with the H pattern shift transaxle with high and low range. Those transaxles are good for hauling. The transmission is going to be one of your biggest areas of concern. Cub cadet had a line with a big cast iron tranny a while back too, not sure if they still do. If you have the money to plunk on a gravely, that would be the cat's meow.
 

Last edited by cheese; 12-06-08 at 12:16 AM.
  #4  
Old 12-05-08, 07:48 AM
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Thank you for all the great input.

Do the same rules apply when choosing between a ZTR and a standard rider? Is there any reason that a ZTR would be better or less suited for hauling?

Thanks again!
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-08, 08:00 AM
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After re-reading your post, it dawned on me. You do NOT want a lawn tractor at all. What you want to look for is a GARDEN TRACTOR. What's the difference? Lawn tractors are mainly for mowing, & maybe snowblowing and snow plowing. A GARDEN TRACTOR will be able to take a tiller attatchment and other attatchments where a lawn tractor won't. If you can mount a tiller on the back,it is heavy duty enough to tow the trailer you want to tow with it.
I think a GARDEN TRACTOR is better for what you want than a Z-Turn.
 
  #6  
Old 12-05-08, 08:13 AM
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That makes perfect sense, Indy. Looking at the Cub Cadets, I see the ones with cast iron trannies are branded as garden tractors. I feel like I have a much better grasp of what I need now.

So, I think the only remaining question I have on this is if any dealers take plasma or first-born children as payment.
 
  #7  
Old 02-16-09, 05:14 AM
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Just an update. I have taken delivery of a Cub Cadet GT2550. $3,300.00. Thanks for all the help everyone.


Beer 4U2
 
  #8  
Old 02-16-09, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the update, I think you made a good choice. I'm a little interested in the 8 foot trailer you mentioned, That's much larger than the typical trailer or cart for yard work.
 
  #9  
Old 02-16-09, 07:12 PM
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I'm picking up the trailer tomorrow. The Cub dealer said some of his customers have drilled out the hole in the tail to fit a ball; just have to go with the smallest shaft possible. The trailer is dual purpose for me, hauling brush, firewood, and supplies across the 3 acres and using the trailer to transport the Cub (among other things) when necessary. The GTs can pull up to 1500 lbs.
 
  #10  
Old 02-18-09, 05:33 PM
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Ok, now I have an idea as to what kind of trailer you are getting. And yes, I have no doubt that your tractor will pull 1500 pounds, but keep in mind that if you have a 1500 pound load and you are going down hill, you may not be able to stop, since the load will outweigh the tractor, plus no garden tractor has really great brakes and only on the rear wheels. So keep in mind easy on the acceleration and decelleration and go slow downhill.
 
  #11  
Old 02-18-09, 07:07 PM
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I wish I could get home before dark to get some pictures. Friggin' winter.

Anyway, I drilled out the tail with a 3/4" hole bit and it went fine. I'm thinking the hole in the tail was 1/2" to begin with. I didn't have to drill much. The ball went on fine after that.
 
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