Help selecting new self-propelled!!

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  #1  
Old 09-28-09, 03:43 AM
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Help selecting new self-propelled!!

Hello,

I'm sure this is a common request, but I didn't see a recent post that pointed me in the right direction. I've got a 12 year old snapper belching out the white smoke of death and I'm in a rush for a new mower. I really like the existing snapper's rear wheel, variable speed system, but it looks like all the new Snappers have a new type of self propel system (front or rear drive choices too). Home Depot has a fancy Toro with the Personal Pace system, but it looks like trouble waiting to happen---- read some posts about problems with broke plastic, springs, belts slipping, etc.. So, I'm looking for some advice--- We're pretty tough on mowers (a bumpy 3/4 acre), so I want something with power, speed and a mower that is the least likely to have trouble with self-propelled mechanisms. By the way, I had a Honda before and ended up replacing that "spicer" transmission unit one and then just removing all the self-propelled guts later --- now our beater mower. I'm ok with spending a bit more for something that will last a while and will be low-maintenance. Snapper, Toro, Honda, other?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-28-09, 04:51 AM
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I love the Toro Personal Pace mower but not knocking the box stores the ones in there are built for the box store and not to the greatest specs to keep the price down. I would highly recommend buying from a Toro dealer. They are built better and you get a better warranty.
 
  #3  
Old 09-28-09, 06:59 AM
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Thanks Mattison. I have some bumpy terrain with lots of beds that requires a good bit of backing. I've read where some people are frustrated by the need to roll forward to disengage before backing----- I just want to be sure this isn't a big issue.

How about the Hondas?

Any additional input is greatly appreciated!
 
  #4  
Old 09-28-09, 09:18 AM
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How about a hayter heavy duty bbc spec'd model. 180cc Kawi engine. Adjustable 3 speed. 21", Anti scalp disc, Clutched blades
Hayter Heavy Duty 21 BBC Lawn Mower Lawn Mowers > 4 Wheel Rotary Lawn Mowers - Lawn Mowers - Lawn Tractors - Leaf Blowers - Garden Machinery
 
  #5  
Old 09-28-09, 09:22 AM
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07...almost $1500 USD not incl shipping might be just a touch expesive for most people...lol
 
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Old 09-28-09, 09:29 AM
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I have a Toro self propel that solves the back-up issues that some seem to have with the personal pace. No issues with mine.

On another note, why do some say that big box stores get a lesser OPE than what the dealer sells? Seems to me that the manufactures of known and trusted products would be shooting themselves in the foot.
 
  #7  
Old 09-28-09, 10:54 AM
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Sorry, a relative works as a dealer of power tools etc, so I'm used to getting hugely reduced prices. On specialist items like that there's around 100-150 in markup, then vat to be taken off. Then they can sometimes negotiate a better price on top of it. - 929.99 Becomes a more palatable 685. I was presuming you'd find somewhere to buy it in the us (might be a bit cheaper, and save on delivery, but then you probably wouldn'tt get beeb spec'd stuff there).

However we brits don't do cheap high quality power tools. Henceforth we have makitas and Hondas or Murray all round (apart from oddities that have been donated, changed out etc).

It's just a fact of life over here, but I guess you just aren't used to paying it in the us.

An example being a craftsman ride on that costs $999.99 on the craftsman website costs 1600-1800 in the UK.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 11:34 AM
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07...I know how prices differ so much over there...spent some time myself.

But to clarify..is Murray a well thought of brand? I know over here they make all sorts of mowers under other names...but as a rule..Murray branded mowers are normally considered the cheapest...you see them at every discount and chain store and they are always the low end models...
 
  #9  
Old 09-28-09, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by daswede View Post
On another note, why do some say that big box stores get a lesser OPE than what the dealer sells? Seems to me that the manufactures of known and trusted products would be shooting themselves in the foot.
I know that the dealer mower of the same as mine "Personal Pace" has steel gears in the trans-axle. Mine from a box store has plastic. The differential is almost twice the size on the one at the dealer.
 
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Old 09-28-09, 02:07 PM
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Thats interesting to know,and might explain the higher dealer cost.

I was at Home depot today and checked out the Ariens snow throwers. Ariens has two models that look to be the same,except for color. One is black and is called a "snow Tek".
The other is the familiar Orange called the "Sno Thro".

The black model Sno Tek,sells for a couple hundred dollars less than the Orange Sno Thro. I have no idea what the difference is.

Sorry, i didn't mean to hog this thread.
 
  #11  
Old 09-28-09, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by daswede View Post
Thats interesting to know,and might explain the higher dealer cost.

I was at Home depot today and checked out the Ariens snow throwers. Ariens has two models that look to be the same,except for color. One is black and is called a "snow Tek".
The other is the familiar Orange called the "Sno Thro".

The black model Sno Tek,sells for a couple hundred dollars less than the Orange Sno Thro. I have no idea what the difference is.

Sorry, i didn't mean to hog this thread.
Take a close look at the engine on the cheaper thrower. It's probably a Chinese built engine.

Steve
 
  #12  
Old 09-28-09, 03:03 PM
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I've always said its all about model numbers and actual UPCs/sku's. If its the EXACT same model number and UPC..its the same thing. I've seen the same issue in plumbing parts (faucets and the like). Theres no way the manufacturer will produce one item for a big box and the exact same thing for a pro dealer without being able to differentiate somehow.
 
  #13  
Old 09-28-09, 04:02 PM
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I checked H.D.'s web site,and one distinguishing element is that the engines on the Sno Teks are LCT(?). Snow Thros use Briggs and Stratton.
 
  #14  
Old 09-28-09, 06:45 PM
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That Hayter looks just like an old 14SB John Deere right down to the tire tread, well the fuel tank and guard in front is different. The 14SB had a Kaw FC150V. I have a 14SM(side discharge) wonderful mower. However, I don't think they have been available in the US since the 90's. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #15  
Old 10-02-09, 12:51 PM
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Personally, I love the 21" Snappers with the rear disc drive. They rarely have problems, and when they do, they are easy (and relatively inexpensive) to fix. I've learned to never get them wet and they'll last a VERY long time. They're also super easy to get parts for.

I used one commercially for about 6 years as my primary mower (I was a high school kid on a budget) mowing several 1/2 acre lots per week. I rebuilt the rear drive for the first time at about the 10 year mark. The machine is now almost 14 years old, has well over 1500 hrs and it still runs perfectly! It has the original Kawasaki FC150V engine otherwise I'd probably be on my 2nd or 3rd engine by now

If I was in your shoes, if the rest of the machine is still in good shape, I'd just put a new engine on it. If you can find a FC150V or FJ180V to fit, they're a fraction of the cost of a new mower. For occasional use, even a Briggs I/C would be OK and they're even cheaper (and easier to find).

- Joe
 
  #16  
Old 10-11-09, 02:19 AM
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The only problem with replacing the engine, is that if the mower is used in rough conditions, as he says he has, the deck can eventually crack due to rough use, don't ask how I'd know this.
I went to a Husqvarna Rider 155, legs and feet couldn't handle the undulations of the lawn anymore. Not like my lawn is a battlefield, I should just have the lawn smoothed over as some point, I thought it would get better with age, we had the house built on this lot and didn't know it would stay so wavy/rough.
Current push mower (I keep as a reserve in case I can't use the Husqvarna) is a Lawn Boy 2 stroke, one of the last years for the old 2 stroke models, it has high rear wheels but no self-propel. Tough mower.
Gilly
 
  #17  
Old 10-11-09, 02:31 AM
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Husqvarna makes some pretty nice stuff. I did a quick check, they make a 22 inch, which normally isn't made by the higher-quality manufacturers. They show this model on Amazon.com, so should be able to find one, it's a 3 in 1 self propelled elec start:
62522FE - Lawnmowers
 
  #18  
Old 10-12-09, 05:44 AM
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Husky does make some nice stuff, but it looks like a front wheel drive mower. Additionally, it looks like it has plastic wheels and an aluminum-bore Briggs engine.

I've used snappers for most of my life and on occasion, I've had to borrow other mowers (Craftsman, Murray, Honda, etc). They all work, but let's just say I was always happen to have my snapper back. My folks still have and use a 1987 snapper that I picked up for them - someone was throwing it away.

I think that a typical homeowner would have a lot of trouble cracking a snapper deck (or any high quality mower deck for that matter) in their lifetime - unless they leave it outside exposed to the elements. If it cracks, get it welded.

Just my $0.02. Good luck!

- Joe
 
  #19  
Old 10-12-09, 04:46 PM
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They also make a couple 21" rear drives with Honda engines. Myself I'd just look at Hondas if that's what you want. I just thought with that sized lot you'd want a 22" (or bigger if it would work) but not something poor quality if it's a rough lot, something with a good quality deck.
Lawn Mowers for Homeowners | Husqvarna Garden Lawnmowers

Gilly
 
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