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lawn tractor revisited

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  • lawn tractor revisited

    Ye Old Snapper has totally bit the dust. And, now purchase of either new or very few hours on/ replacement will commence!

    Have decided: we need a riding lawn mower NOT a 'real' little tractor. I may? get an ATV YEARS from now but for now, I have to pick out a lawn tractor type mower.

    What I'd like to know is: If you wanted it to be a lawn mower, but also to be able to : pull a Newer spreader and/or a small cart for hauling stuff around:

    Is there a HP or motor type or ? etc. that you'd suggest as necessary for this ?

    (2 acres turnout/grazing to mow....remaining 3 acres in wooded ravine)
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    I'm also interested in replies; we'll be starting shopping if spring ever comes.
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


    • #3
      Shop craigslist.

      I bought an older Cub Cadet model 1614 with a 48" mower and 45" snow blower for $1000. Spent a little more (<$200) for a missing spring on the blower, wheel weights and bolts, and chains so I could clear the driveway this winter. It should be strong enough to pull a small ground drive spreader.



      • #4
        When I got my farm in 1995 I bought a Sears riding mower that was a 25 hp model. The reason I went with them was the number of attachments they had. I got the 48" wide mower deck, a small five tine plow, a disc, a scraper blade, and the manure spreader ALL from sears. But the salesman argued with me that Sears didn't have a manure spreader until I showed him the photo in the catalogue, so I can't say their customer service was all that good. I could pull the manure spreader, which was large enough to do 8 stalls on a daily basis, without taking off the mower deck. To use the other equipment you had to remove the mower deck, and it was a PITA until we came up with a simple way to slightly lift the front end of the mower. I can't say enough about how convenient it was to have this equipment.

        These were bought new and ended up being a pretty big chunk of change but I could pay on time and this enabled me to muck directly from the stall into the manure spreader, rather than use a muck bucket which then had to be lifted and dumped. I could also mow and drag all my pastures myself, and maintain my footing in both the dressage arena and stadium arena. Very nice to have.

        I would look for second hand if possible. My manure spreader was a ground drive.


        • #5
          My husband is absolutely thrilled with his zero turn Dixie Chopper. It has a 30 HP Kohler motor with 60" cutting deck. He can tow our little brush trailer for picking up limbs, our sprayer, and our drag harrow for spreading poop. It takes him 1/2 the time to mow our 5 acre pasture than the old lawn tractor.
          "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


          • #6
            If you have much to maneuver around and the lawn is not overly hilly, get a zero-turn mower of at least 20 HP. They make it so much easier and faster.

            Note that "lawn tractor horsepower" ain't equal to "real tractor hprsepower."

            If you consider a used John Deere with hydrostatic drive, check just above the transmission on the vertical input shaft for a white plastic cooling fan. Make sure it's not missing any blades. Without them, transmission overheating is likely.
            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
            Winston Churchill


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys.
              Obviously, I STILL have a lot to learn, as I thought? a zero turn would totally negate the ability to hook up any implements/ (spreader, areator/tines, bagger, roller, etc etc?)

              sheesh. Anyway. I'm looking at either a JD product (dealership less than 3 miles away) OR another local guy who is promoting the Husquevarna (sp?) GTH 24 V52LS. He has driven by the property, walked it, and given that reccmdation...I'm going to comp out its specs and compare? to a JD, but I DO like this guy and his discussions so far.
              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
              --Jimmy Buffett


              • #8
                ZTR is absolutely the best way to cut grass...I bought one and got rid of the mid-mount mower that I had for my small Kubota. They spin the blades faster (the good ones, at least) and cut very, very clean...and quick. But yea, ZTRs are designed for mowing and only mowing...


                • #9
                  We have a JD lawn tractor that we use to pull a 5 cubic foot dump cart. I use the cart to muck out my paddocks, haul garden stuff, soil, you name it. Works like a charm.


                  • Original Poster

                    Jim...yeah, thats the rub. Trying to get the best machine for the needs here, and the ZTR is just not going to cut it. (hahahaha)

                    Prime Time, can you tell me the model / HP ? and, also...can you tell me how 'high' you can set the deck for mowing?
                    ...this is going to be a biggie ..... as we are trying to work to establish the best pasture, and are really looking for a 4 - 5 inch cut ability.
                    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                    --Jimmy Buffett


                    • #11
                      My zero turn has some weight bars in the front and a hitch in the back and you can pull sprayers and small carts with it.
                      It mows from 1" to 4" and easily mows down the monster thistles around some pens.

                      I had this JD 1023, 25.5 HP tractor here for a while.
                      Worked wonderfully for most everything, but I just need more horse power, so don't have it any more.
                      Our JD dealer is the best and lets you try stuff first:


                      For small acreage, they are selling like hotcakes to landscapers and residential.
                      They are pricey, but will do so much and almost sell for new prices even used.
                      They have all kinds of attachments, including snow blowers, pallet forks, etc.
                      I cleaned the horse pens quickly with them and added dirt, etc.
                      They come in different horse power, but I have the big tractor already, so while great for where it doesn't fit, it was an extra machine to have around.
                      You can detach the loader off and go mow like with a riding tractor and put the loader back on and drop the mid mount mower deck off, or leave it on and go move dirt.

                      Those are called subcompact tractors and are more of a toy tractor, but very, very handy for small operations.

                      I am sure other brands have the same any more, they really are selling well.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks Bluey...
                        would love to go that route! but cannot. So, I am looking for a riding mower type of lawn or garden tractor that has enough HP and correct transmission to also be able to pull the small Newer spreader, occasionally :a small dump cart, and possibly an aerator/etc for pasture work.

                        With only the two acres tops in small pasture/paddocks and no large machine / storage area even the compact/sub tractor is overkill.

                        and being able to set grass cutting at 4.5 inches or even 5 is important!
                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                        --Jimmy Buffett


                        • #13
                          Our Craiglist is right now listing all kinds of used riding mowers for sale, since most everyone has gone to zero turn for lawns.
                          Our zero turn is a JD EZtrack, 54" deck, 27 HP and will easily mow pastures and has a place to hook a wagon or sprayer on the back.

                          You may keep your eye open and I would say, for what you want, some of the bigger ones may do fine for a bit of pasture mowing.

                          Best if you could go to a dealer and get something you can try first, as they do here.


                          • Original Poster

                            again, thanks Bluey!
                            yes, thats the plan, in re: the two different local dealers, as service is PRIMO in this concern (my mom is near 80, and I will for some time to come, only be there off and on, but can do the yard stuff at those times) thus why: we're not really looking at resale (I would love that, but service and maintenance is difficult to get with resale) and right now I'm planning a trip down to just 'see' each one that may fit the bill, but wanted to have some input and model numbers and specs to look over in the interim!
                            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                            --Jimmy Buffett


                            • #15
                              Our JD lawn tractor has a 4" setting on the mower deck. It's a 155C model and we bought it 6 years ago at Lowe's. We've been very happy with it. One caveat, it will not be powerful enought to drag your arena. Other than that, it's a very versatile machine. I think we paid around $1200 for it on sale at the end of season.


                              • Original Poster

                                I'd like to throw this info / model out there, so if anyone is interested, they can review the specs on it to give input:


                                this is what I'm looking at, because it is a local (less than 5 miles) business/guy who will service it, right there, etc.

                                Now, as the green machine is also within that same radius, I have contacted them as well to have them comp out what they feel is comparable.....yikes!

                                I'm being told that their basic X300 and lesser HP? at a lesser 48" deck? is still 200.00 over the Husq? I dunno....seems a no brainer to me, if there is local service and maintenance available!

                                Dont get me wrong...I WANTED a JD..but this machine (in specs anyway) is putting me to look at their 500x series (minimum!) and 2 - 3 ? grand more?
                                "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                --Jimmy Buffett


                                • #17
                                  We have a Husquvarna, and it absolutely sucks. We had to have the engine replaced (at mfr expense) less than a year in, and it is the most labor-intensive mower we've ever owned. (And we've owned several over the years.) The mister has to drop the deck every time he mows to dig out the accumulated grass gunk with a garden trowel, and something is breaking -- from belts to pieces of metal that our small-engine guru then welds back together or replaces altogether -- constantly. I hate to sound like such a drag, but we will never buy another Husky -- if I had my way, we'd replace the damn thing right now, but my husband is adamant that we keep it, for some reason.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Geeze, Sunyhorse! that sounds BAD.
                                    Unfortunately? We just bought the husky yesterday. Will be delivered Monday.
                                    I really DID want a JD, but the local guy was just not working with me or really that helpful. All he wanted to do was give me the suggestion of his 'cheapest one' that would be around the same amt. of $. Husk: 24 hp, 52" deck, welded front axle and deck, kawasaki engine 2 cycle, etc. etc. JD guy just gave me the suggestion for the same price unit, not showing/telling me what he had comparable. His same price unit was only the bare minimum 300 JD series, and was not the same beast at all.
                                    Can you elaborate? as to your model ? The guy selling this one got 'this' one in particularly (and its new to Husky) because of its engine/towing/beefier opportunities....it does? have a deck cleaning hose entry...does yours?
                                    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                    --Jimmy Buffett


                                    • #19
                                      Even though you have made your decision, I'm adding my .02.
                                      Love my JD, but would never buy one again because the local dealer is making it difficult for anyone else to work on it for us. Will only sell parts retail to other mechanics and are controlling other costs they may charge. I don't like having only the dealer as my repair option.
                                      Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by potteryshop View Post
                                        Even though you have made your decision, I'm adding my .02.
                                        Love my JD, but would never buy one again because the local dealer is making it difficult for anyone else to work on it for us. Will only sell parts retail to other mechanics and are controlling other costs they may charge. I don't like having only the dealer as my repair option.
                                        Remember, stocking parts for your instant use is expensive. But, any Deere dealer can order parts for any Deere product. Check with the Ag and Construction dealers in your area. They might be more willing to discount parts they just have to order in their normal order cycle.

                                        (They give me a discount, as I buy parts for several pieces of Deere equipment)
                                        Last edited by hosspuller; Mar. 18, 2012, 12:31 AM.
                                        Equus makus brokus but happy