I think I need a riding mower upgrade

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  #1  
Old 04-16-09, 06:32 PM
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I think I need a riding mower upgrade

I currently have a Murray riding mower with a 12.5 HP motor and a 40in deck (twin 20in blades). It seems underpowered every time I hit a large patch of grass or do anything other than mow dry, sparse grass. The dense stuff, or having the deck down low really bogs down the motor. I have to generally mow with 1./2 the deck at any one time.

Also, when I mowed the front yard a while ago, which was very dry but is also very dense bemuda, it bogged down and I had to go very slow to keep from stalling (which I did several times). Also, the cut grass was left as a thin layer across the top of the yard. I suppose thats because its not a mulching mower?

The area I mow is aprox 1 acre.

Time for an upgrade? Just looking for an excuse...



The neighbors had their yard mowed by a landscaping service and I do not see any piles or layers of grass left behind, yet I watched them a while too, and they were not bagging. So where did all that cut grass go? They were using some older zero-turn riding mowers and had no trouble getting around without stalling and went pretty fast while mowing with all the deck.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-16-09, 07:48 PM
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I would say it is time for an upgrade. This was grossly underpowered from the git-go. 12.5hp on a 40"deck? The biggest deck a 12.5 engine should power is 38".
The landscapers were using (3, maybe 4 ) mulching blades and were running engines 20hp or bigger.

I suggest buying 1 with a 48" deck and 18hp engine or bigger with full pressure lube. I would highly reccomend a Kohler engine.
 
  #3  
Old 04-16-09, 09:12 PM
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It does sound like a large deck for that hp. Mine's a CubCadet 10hp on a 32" deck (and my fat a$$ on it.. lol).. it does a decent job but *only* if I keep the blades sharp (or new) and dont let the grass build up under the deck. I only have 1/2 acre to do, so its not so bad (drive gear 2 or 3 tops).

If you've already cleaned the underdeck and sharpened or put on new blades.. tuned up the motor and adjusted the deck pitch etc.. its about all you can do.

Probably some good deals out there now with the economy slowing down etc.. dont limit yourself to the big box stores.. we got a great deal on this unit from a rural farm supply place.

I do see alot of older Kohler and Briggs I/C engines around.. they seem to keep ticking..
 
  #4  
Old 04-17-09, 03:50 AM
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Guess I never knew there was such a thing as mulching blades. That would make sense. I just went and looked them up and did a bit of reading. Yes, I think its time to upgrade.

If I buy a mower used, Im going to first check if there is a "mulching kit" available for it. Ive seen these advertised before but didnt know what they were. Apparently they are simply mulching blades and a plug for the discharge hole.
 
  #5  
Old 04-17-09, 06:21 AM
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If you buy used, look for the newest you can afford. I would try to stay at 5 years old for the oldest. Brands to look for are Sears Craftsman, Poulan, Husqvana, as these are the best quality for the price.
 
  #6  
Old 04-17-09, 10:16 AM
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Have you had the blades sharpened recently? Tuned up the motor? But it's always struggled with your lawn, then yeah, an upgrade would be good. Lots of choices out there new for under $2000. If you really want a high quality cut, check out Simplicity lawn tractors, they cost a little more than $2000, but you get a great mowing deck attached to a pretty good tractor. And when shopping, go sit on them, see if the controls are laid out comfortably for you, enough leg room, seat has back support, easy to get on and off the mower without getting hooked by a lever or knob. Is the mower deck easy to lift? easy to remove to service the blades? easy to change the oil?
 
  #7  
Old 04-25-09, 04:58 AM
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I sold the murray and today im going to get the john deere ive been looking at. Its their LA 105 model, which home depot has for about $1400. Ive tried finding a mower on craigslist, but they were either too big or 10 yrs old.
John Deere LA105

Here is a review that helped push me over the edge
link
 

Last edited by BitShift; 04-25-09 at 05:17 AM.
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