self propelled mowers

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  #1  
Old 08-07-10, 07:22 AM
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self propelled mowers

I have always owned a push mower but soon will buy a self propelled Toro or Troy Built. One is front wheel drive and the other is rear wheel drive. Which is better, rear wheel drive or front wheel drive and why? I am guessing it is just personal opinion and brand name. Thanks in advance for all answers.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-10, 07:33 AM
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I have, and use, both. A rear drive Cub Cadet 621, a front drive Yardman.
From this experience I recommend a rear drive. The frontdrive has to have front cover removed after every use to blow out the grass clippings packed around the drive mechanism.
You may not have this problem with a frontdrive Toro or TB.
You might talk to other folk that may have either.
hth
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-10, 07:48 AM
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No opinion on the brands mentioned...but I had a big rear wheel front drive Craftsman for over 10 yrs. Absolutely loved that combo. Easy to turn or reverse direction, just push down on the handle and pivot on the rear wheels, no need to disengage and re-engage drive.

I never had the clippings buildup issue Glen mentioned, maybe a better cover? I'd pull the cover (1 screw) maybe twice a year when I changed blades and did the big deck cleanup.

The one issue I did have...when bagging (rear mount bag), if the clippings were damp it would weigh the bag down and cause some slight traction issues. Not enough of a pain to ever want me to use a rear drive again though.

I had to use a neighbors mower once, which was almost the same except for small rear wheels...big difference....go for the larger rears.

Oh....and except for a minor engine issue at the 10 yr mark (my fault, not the mower), I never had a single problem with it....never even had to replace the drive belt.
 
  #4  
Old 08-07-10, 07:59 AM
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I think the Yardman is poor design. I do have a couple of Craftsman front wheel drive I loan while I repair someone's mower and they are reliable and don't have to clean after every use.
hth
 
  #5  
Old 08-07-10, 08:16 AM
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Just something to consider.
When mowing my Mom and Dad's place in AR, they had a front drive mower and lots of small to medium rocks they had piled up around the flower beds. I had a ton of trouble keeping the front wheel drive from pulling the rocks back into the grass when I was mowing straight into them.

I personally have a rear drive Toro. If you get one, make sure it's easy to disengage the drive. Mine has the handle you squeeze to engage the drive and then let off 1-2" and push forward 6" to disengage drive. If you let off too far, you would start to kill the engine. I was never able to get it adjusted the way I wanted and the rear tires are all bald due to pulling spinning wheels backwards.

I would vote for the rear drive especially if you are bagging your grass with a rear bagger.
 
  #6  
Old 08-07-10, 10:21 AM
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I have a Toro front wheel drive mower,regular wheels. Not the "personal pace"model as I've read how that system has caused many people a lot issues with the drive mechanism.

My mower is 5 years old,and the only issues i have had was a dirty carb,and replacing the blade,if you want to call them issues.

I'd like to hear more on the big wheels vs the regular wheels
 
  #7  
Old 08-07-10, 11:29 AM
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Personally, I think there is a lot to recommend a push mower, if you can manage it.

Lighter weight, simpler, less maintenance, less costly.

I have a Snapper 5HP push mower that I like quite a lot.

At some time perhaps I wont be able to do the pushing. Right now, only sloth and laziness makes a self propelled mower attractive, but there's a lot of that going around.
 
  #8  
Old 08-07-10, 11:48 AM
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MY $.02;
A front wheel drive is ok if the property is fairly flat, if it is not then the front drive has a tendency to loose traction on the inclines, especially if you bag and when the wheels are spinning it is no longer selp-propelled and is just a heavy push mower. I prefer rear drive for those reasons. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 08-07-10, 11:54 AM
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Good point Geo...I had a relatively gentle slope...

For me..with trees and flowerbeds and stuff...the manuverability made it work.
 
  #10  
Old 08-07-10, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the comments. Right now I am looking at the Toro Recycler 20331 . It is front wheel drive with larger back wheels. Most of the other Toro recyclers are rated best buys by Consumer Reports. I dont know if they tested the 20331 model though. I have always used a push mower but I am getting a bit older. I guess I am just concerned about the reliability of a mower with a "transmission". My current mower is a Murray push model and its on its last leg...It is 14 years old.
 
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