I hate riding mowers

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  #1  
Old 09-07-13, 10:26 AM
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I hate riding mowers

Is it just me, or does anyone else tend to believe that riding mowers are designed and built just a little bit more complex than necessary?
What is the sense in having an ignition key when the manufacturer makes them with one key fits all.
Exactly how many people actually need headlights to cut grass, but how many riding mowers can you find on the market that does not include them?
Have you ever worked on a riding mower transmission, or had to replace any of the gears? There is a gear in a Husky mower that I had one time that had broken teeth that would cost over a hundred bucks to replace, not including what it would cost to replace the other gears that had been damaged by the one with the broken teeth.
A lawn mower is a tool to be used to mow grass, not a luxury vehicle that someone is going to use to get across town with, unless youíre drunk and canít find your truck keys.
You really need to try and keep the grass cuttings cleaned from the underside of the deck to reduce rust, but exactly how many riding mowers are made that do not take thirty minutes to remove the deck so that it can be cleaned properly, and another twenty minutes to put the darn thing back on.
Youíve been out in the heat cutting grass for three hours, and eating weeds for another hour, who wants to take another hour to remove the deck from the mower for cleaning?
And you have what, maybe two useful attachments that you can put on it for something other than mowing grass?
There is no PTO that would accept something like maybe a tiller, or maybe a broom.
So you wind up spending from one up to eight thousand dollars for a piece of equipment that you use once every week to ten days for 6 to 8 months out of the year.
And no use whatever for anything except taking up space for the rest of the time.
And if you donít winterize it before storing it till next year, you are subject to have to pay for repairs of some sort next spring.
And those repairs are not going to be cheap, cause those mowers are becoming more and more complex to work on.
And less reliable in many instances.
It just seems to me that the manufacturers intentionally design those mowers more complex and with more features than are necessary for the sole purpose of jacking up the price to the consumer.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-07-13, 10:43 AM
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My take on it is that stuff is all asked for with the exception of a few basic grass mower people. But not much of that stuff is needed.

A lot of it is like a computer. What do you actually need - about five things - Word/internet/ and three other things that I can't remember. What can my computer do - about a hundred times more than I need and can do with it..... and it's an old one.

To a lot of people it's status. To me it mows the grass which I would be happy if it didn't grow so fast.

IMHO
 
  #3  
Old 09-07-13, 11:14 AM
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Well, mine cuts almost the entire lawn in about 45minutes which is better than the three hours it used to take just to do the backyard. In the summer, there's no way I want to do the death march every weekend when I could be enjoying myself.

I have an old used one. It looks like crap. But it cuts the grass. Love it.
 
  #4  
Old 09-07-13, 11:40 AM
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I've never used a riding mower but some of our kids have. My youngest son does use the lights on his mower sometimes when he tries to finish up after work. He's probably our only kid that makes an effort to keep the underside of the deck clean. He just picks up the front end and sets it on a block, then reaches under with the water hose. He claims he wouldn't own a riding mower that doesn't have a cup holder
 
  #5  
Old 09-07-13, 11:47 AM
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I have tried to attach a cup holder to ours, but the dogs have made the surface of the backyard so bloody uneven from chasing each other and making paths that when you're mowing you look like your riding a bucking bronco! Can barely hold a beer can without having it spill all over you!

Yet another dream crushed. Boo.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 11:51 AM
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My son's side yard [field] is bumpy too, not from pets but from crawdads. I never realized they did so much tunneling.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 11:52 AM
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I have used the "headlights" on my mower to try to finish up before as Mark described. Up here in the north the days get pretty short in the fall.

A riding mower is just that, a mower. If you want a PTO you need to buy a lawn tractor. I have used quite a few attachments for my mower but they are mostly pull behind. They do however make snow blowers and snow plows for the front on quite a few of mowers. Tow behind items include lawn sweepers, de-thatchers, spreaders, sprayers and, air-raters.

I clean my deck about once a year. My mower (Scotts, ) I bought new has been running just fine for over 15 years. No deck rusting out. In fact I wish it would so I could go buy a zero turn mower. Manufactures are including deck wash systems that you just need to connect a hose to it. Check them out!

Winterizing equipment is just the nature of the beast. You have to do it on all equipment or your asking for trouble.
 
  #8  
Old 09-07-13, 12:40 PM
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you have to look over me and my words sometimes.
I call anything that is sold with a mowing deck as standard equipment a riding mower, even though the DLT2000 I have is actually called a lawn tractor.
And I refer to the pulley that the deck belt attaches to, as the PTO, even though it isn't actually a PTO in conventional terms like on a full size tractor.
And I really don't "hate" riding mowers per se, cause I won't even use a push mower, except in an absolute essential situation.
Not when I can buy a decent "lawn tractor" that only needs minor repairs for under 200 bucks from one of those free ad papers.
I'm likely to use my weed eater for the entire yard before pushing a mower around it.
I'm really just venting, and maybe measuring opinions.
I don't really have a "gripe" about head lights, just the fact that I am forced to pay for them when I really never need them.
One real gripe I have about "all" mowers is that you can only get close to something along one side of the mower, which is aggravating if you have a sharp inside corner, that you cannot cut with the mower, but "must" either own a weed eater or be ready to use something else to cut what you can't get to with the mower.
You think crawdads are bad in Tennessee, you ought to see the mounds in this East Texas black gumbo.
The best mower I recall using was a gravely with a tow behind seat and deck that the front could push up against a wall without the wheels interfering.
But the price on those things is sky high, at least for me, now.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 01:21 PM
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What is the sense in having an ignition key when the manufacturer makes them with one key fits all.
The ignition key is to prevent little kids from playing with the mower. You are supposed to remove the key from the mower and hang it on a high nail or such when not using the mower so that the little darlings cannot accidentally (on purpose) start the thing and get themselves in serious trouble. It is highly unlikely the kids will go to the trouble of writing the manufacturer and asking for a new key. Of course it does no good if left in the mower at all time.


My previous house was about 900 square feet smack dab in the middle of a shy 1/4 acre lot. I had a LOT of grass. It would take several hours to do it with a power push mower so my daddy got me a small, cheap rider from one of those classified advertising newspapers. It was a Crapsman and had a single blade, 26 inch cut. I could do the entire yard in forty-five minutes or less. I used that mower until the engine crapped out and then decided to make an electric rider out of it.

It has been about twenty years since but I still have that mower and I have made significant progress towards the goal. My immediate need now is for two deep cycle batteries to do some testing. I have vowed to complete this project before I die so I will keep everyone posted when something develops.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 05:39 PM
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One word.....ZTR. You'll never go back to a riding mower. I ride a Kubota diesel 60" welded steel deck. It has a cup holder. I wrap my Red Man pouch around the bottom to keep the water bottle tight in the holder. Cutting time is remarkably down from yesteryear. Plus it trims around trees and bushes saving weed whacking time
 
  #11  
Old 09-07-13, 06:05 PM
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I've had a long infatuation with a zero turn until I tried one for a while. On my wide open hilly terrain it did not perform well. On smaller properties I can see why they are so popular but in some situations a traditional tractor style that can track straight and true on a hill is a benefit. Not to mention that I can drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on my iPod searching for a song I've not heard a thousand times.
 
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Old 09-08-13, 02:47 AM
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Dane, it is true, I had to modify my cutting pattern to accommodate the ZTR. For instance, all rules about cutting on a slope are out the window. You transverse the hill rather than going up and down. The engine weight on the back will tend to tip it backwards, but the stance is wide enough to go sideways. Really a weird feeling at first. I also don't cut in circles. Straight up and down the acreage (4 1/2 in front yard).
 
  #13  
Old 09-16-13, 01:09 PM
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Current machines are not as versatile as stuff made back in the 1960's-70's. My 16 hp tractor cuts the lawn, but also plows snow, and can blow the snow when it's too deep to push with the plow. I also have a front mounted wood chipping attachment for it. Looking at the original catalog for my tractor which was new in 1978, there were attachments to dig ditches, drill postholes, front loader, rear back hoe, tiller, electrical generator, mold board plow, rakes, sweepers, front rotary broom, side mounted sickle bar mower, etc. This was pretty much true for garden tractors from Deere, Cub Cadet, Case, Gravely, Bolens, Wheelhorse, Ariens, Power King, Speedex, and some others. A lot of the companies that made those nifty attachments are gone now as are many of the brands of tractors I mentioned. So you are right in that most of today's machines, especially those sold at the big box stores are primarily made to cut grass and little else. It's a darn shame when I remember what was available "back in the day".
 
  #14  
Old 09-16-13, 01:51 PM
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I have a craftsman 21 hp 46" deck, i cut about 1 1/2--2 acres in about 4 hrs. this has a deck wash system they say use it every time you mow, I don't think it works well, just about stopped using it, just as easy to drive up some ramps and clean deck by hand 2 or 3 times a year, other then that it is a good mower.
 
  #15  
Old 09-16-13, 04:48 PM
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use to get across town with, unless youíre drunk and canít find your truck keys.
Would make a nice country song.........Oh, already is one, sorry.
 
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