New lawn tractor recommendations

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  #1  
Old 08-24-10, 01:03 PM
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New lawn tractor recommendations

Needed some advice from the Lawn Tractor pros out there, I'm considering selling my 15 year old Cub Cadet 2135 tractor that has a 12hp Kohler engine, 42" belt-drive mower deck, snow blade, chains and wheel weights. The only thing I've ever had to put into it are maybe 8 oil/filter changes, and 5 transfluid filter/fluid changes, one air-filter/fuel filter plus a couple of front tires and a couple of spark plugs. Think I have about 400 hours on it now.

Was considering something a little more powerful, but I've found the manual-control for the snowblade invaluable for raising the blade as you're pushing snow up a bank with slope.
Also the lighter weight of the 12HP model lets me pull it out of stuck places in the snow.

But I was wondering if there was anything equivalent or better in the market. Aside from John Deere, Sears and Kubota I don't know many of the other mfg'ers.
I also wondered if you could even get belt drive mower decks anymore - seems like everything I see is direct-drive.
Comments & recommends appreciated.
Greynold99
 
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  #2  
Old 08-24-10, 11:36 PM
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I don't know anything about the snow blades since I'm in the deep south, but if I were trying to get the most mower for my dollar and only putting the amount of hours on it that you have, I would spend my money on a craftsman. The other makes you mentioned have some really good machines too. Deere has mowers from bottom of the line to the top. Kubota stuff always seems to make the grade quite nicely.

Most all mowers nowadays are belt drive. I know of no direct drive blades anymore. Even back in the day most of them were belt driven.
 
  #3  
Old 08-25-10, 09:06 AM
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With the horsepower wars we went thru the past 10 years, most machine equal to the one you currently have will be 20 to 30 HP with 2 cylinders. They will use a lot more gas than what yu are used to as well. If your current machine is working well for you, I'm inclined to tell you to stick with it, especially with it's low hours. I am afraid that if you buy some thing new with all the attachments, you will have dropped a pile of money and not be as happy as you are with your current tractor.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cheese View Post
if I were trying to get the most mower for my dollar and only putting the amount of hours on it that you have, I would spend my money on a craftsman.
If you decide on a new machine,

Couldn't agree more, Not only for the initial purchase savings but for replacement parts down the line as well.....
 
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Old 08-25-10, 09:42 AM
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Husqvarna is the same mower as the Craftsman but has a bright orange paint job and usually the better options.
Other tags and colors too so should be easy to find a price and options you want.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 01:20 PM
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Well very interesting comments and based on your feedback I'll stay with my current Cub for now... Just was thinking kind of like an old car, at what point do you sell or trade in while you have some value in it?

I was also wanting to ask bontai Joe if he would expound on his comment re: horsepower wars. I heard something about this over the summer but wasn't sure what it meant.
I've seemed to wind up buying a new lawnmower every 5-7 or so years and I've noticed that each time they'd seem to get bigger in 'claimed horsepower' but wind up being less powerful than my older mower - that often times was rated 2-3 HP less than the new model.
I typically still have the older mower(s) and usually use them for the rougher areas and banks that I have to mow while using the newer mower for trimming around the house and driveway - so I have been able to subjectively compare this over the years.
And like Joe mentioned, the gas usage increases with the 'claimed HP' on the newer mower but sure doesn't cut any better than the older mower at less HP.
thanks all,
Greynold99
 
  #7  
Old 08-25-10, 10:28 PM
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I will take a stab at answering your question on the HP wars. The various manufactures got into a game of "one-up-manship". Where the HP sticker on the piece of equipment and the rating of the engine supplied by the manufacturer were more often than not, not very close. As an example I have an older Craftsman snow blower (mid 90's). It has an 8HP Tecumseh engine on it. Yet, the snow blower was marketed as an 8.5 hp snow thrower. In later years the same engine might get a 9 or 9 1/2 hp rating on the piece of equipment. The manufactures of the equipment got like young adolescent males making statements like "mine is bigger than yours".

This type of behavior carried on for years until a class action lawsuit stopped the nonsense recently.

Steve
 
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Old 08-26-10, 07:10 AM
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Horse power got really hyped in the marketing of these machines, especially with the explosion in sales thru Home Depot and Lowes. The LEGENDARY Deere 318 could do amazing things with an 18 HP twin, but now it seems you need 25 or more HP just to cut grass. Advertising for these box store machines is mostly reduced to a color photo, and the price in 1" high letters with a hp claim and maybe a deck size in the newpaper flyers. Not much space devoted to frame materials, oil capacity, structure of front axle, front wheel spindle size, types of bearings used, etc, just "$1499.99!!! 25 HP!!! 50" cut!!! Buy now!!!" And these inflated HP claims are developed in a lab setting with no mufflers, no air filters, engines tuned to develope max power in a very unrealistic environment..... and as mentioned, they got caught at it. Imagine that early Deere, Cub Cadet, Wheelhorse, and Bolens tractors could plow your garden with 7 and 8 HP motors. Now you see 8 HP motors on walk behind mowers.
 
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Old 08-31-10, 06:26 AM
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One last follow up question

Hmmm, interesting again.
Since it appears there was some type of class action suit and settlement against the engine mfg'ers, does that mean that there'll be a change for the good as far as more truthful information in advertising in engine HP?

Actually I do have another question on a slightly different angle of lawnmower engines and that concerns finding out exactly who was the engine R/D 'genius' who put the safety cut-off for the engine on the front of the engine where when you run it directly under a low-hanging bush or spruce tree it cuts the engine off, unless you're quick enough to back it off before it stalls completely out...? Seems to me that appeared around the time of the safety-bailwire that you have to hold against the engine handle to release the flywheel-brake - what was that nearly 20 years ago?

thanks again guys, I've learned a lot from all of you.
Greynold99
 
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Old 08-31-10, 08:40 PM
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I'm not sure what safety cutoff you're referring to that causes problems when mowing under branches. Never seen one or heard of that problem in my years of repairing mowers.
 
  #11  
Old 09-01-10, 11:43 AM
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Reply to Cheese...

Cheese,
You're probably right, it was a bad choice of words to call it a safety cut-off. What I'm thinking it is, if you remember when before there were gas-bulb pumps, flywheel brakes & bailwire safety hold-downs - it is that little piece that shuts-off the engine when you'd throw the gas-control lever up to STOP (engine), I guess it grounds out the electrical spark circuit to the engine block.
But why on the B&S 3.5, 3.75, & 6.75 engines I have they put it on the FRONT of the engine assembly where it can get bumped by every piece of low hanging brush - I'll never know.
I think it's connected to the flywheel brake somehow and that may be why it's located where it is, but I've never had one of these apart to that level - or, when I did, there was nothing that could be worked on - no condenser,points even the replaceable flywheel key is gone. When the darn thing breaks, you just about have to replace it.
I bought a mower blade attachment for the shaft end last Sat. for the 3.5 hp lawnmower, the kind with the 'diamond' pin retainer for the mower blade, and that was $13.00 by itself - just a little piece of iron with a shaft hole & key. I can buy complete used lawnmowers for just a little more money.
Well that's the way it goes.
thanks again - You wouldn't happen to be up north some time soon, I could probably show you except don't come in January, that 3 ft of snow last year was hard to mow through.
greynold99
 
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