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Old 05-13-2005, 11:35 AM
squale squale is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: nj
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Best ride on mower for 1 acre around $1,500 or less

I know this is a commericial forum and I really am not looking for a commericial mower. I am looking for info from the pros on what they feel is the best ride on mower to mow my home yard that is a little less than an acre, but it has hills, etc.. not flat at all.

I was looking at the John Deere L100 series and the Craftsman mowers, what do you guys think is the best mower for your money?

I wanted to keep it under $1,500, closer to 1K would be preferable.

Thanks, and I hope this post isn't voilating the rules since it's not for commercial use, I just couldn't find a good forum online and I figure the pros would be the best ones to ask these questions anyhow..
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:22 PM
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Rinker97 Rinker97 is offline
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That's a tough price range. Consumer Reports has the JD L111 as #1 automatic-drive model with a price of $1800. #2 is the JD L108 with a price of $1600. I would probably go for one of these. Both have "Very Good" to "Excellent" ratings but only a "Good" with mulching. If you go down to #11, you will see the Yard Man 13AN791G which is $995. It got "Very Good" on everything except evenness and ease of use. Both of those was only a "Good" rating.

If you wanted to go for a gear drive model, you can get the JD L100 which is #16 on the total list (but the best gear drive) and a price of $1500. It got "Very Good" to "Excellent" ratings except a "Good" on side discharge.

Hope this helps

Rinker
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2005, 01:25 PM
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Glenn J Glenn J is offline
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I'm a homeowner as well. I found myself a nice older 48" walk behind commercial. I think it cuts much better than the tractor I used to have.
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:35 PM
Tider6972 Tider6972 is offline
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Location: Alabama
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A Snapper 28 HiVac RER (rear engine rider). It's about a thousand bucks and will produce a better cut than a lawn tractor ,do it faster, and is cheaper. It will also out last the lawn tractor.

For $2100, Gravely offers a homeowner ZTR, the ZT1434, a 34" cut. It is VERY close to commercial grade, biggest differences are the deck is a lighter gauge metal and it's tires are smaller than a commercial unit. Definately the way to go if you can spend the extra grand.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:11 PM
squale squale is offline
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thanks guys, I appreciate that I didn't get beat up for posting about residential here!

anyhow, is there a link to this report that lists all the tractors that I can look at? I was wondering where the various craftsman tractors fell into place..

I mainly see out of the tractors the engine choices being the Briggs and Straton 1 cylinder or V engine, and then the Kohler engines which are more expensive. Which engine do you think is the best to go for? and I think I want an automatic, but I keep seeing the word Hydro or something for tranmission, but I really don't know what this means and what to look for.

The thing with the John Deere L100 series is that they are more money than the craftsman and I have heard that the JD l100 series is basically made to the same quality as a Craftsman. It's not until you get into the LT, LX, etc. series that the JD tractors really stand out.. so people have said to me just to get a craftsman and save money. I do see one of the differences between Craftsman and JD are that the JD's use a solid welded frame where the craftsman are bolted together, not sure if this is a bad thing.

I used to have a Bobcat walk behind (I think a 36" cut), I loved this thing, it hauled but and really was great at cutting into tight spots and around obstacles. but these are just wayt oo much money I think..
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:19 PM
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RKISTNER1 RKISTNER1 is offline
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You get what you pay for and your not going to get much for $1200.00. I'm with Tider6972.
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.75 Acres
John Deere F687 54" 7 Iron + MCS
23 HP Kohler
6 HP-22" Weed Trimmer (Crapman)
Glock 21,Wife that works & cooks.
Makita EM4251 24.5cc Gasoline Powered String Trimmer 4 stroke

blower (Echo) Blower 5HP (Crapman)
________________________________Had no shoes and complained, until I met a man with no feet.

And lost family member of Lawnsite member "MOOSE"
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2005, 02:30 PM
squale squale is offline
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well being I have about $1,500 MAX to spend what do you guys think I should go with? again keep in mind I have very hilly and uneven terrain to cut here and have a good amount of obstacles to go around..

my number 1 priority is to save time cutting the lawn and spend the money on something that will last a very long time. I have heard of people having tractors for 20+ years, but I don't know if the engines will really last this long.

it is either buy a $300 toro walk behind mower or invest more money for a ride-on that will last me a much longer time. It just seems that these walk behind mowers are always breaking and you end up buying a new one every couple of years..
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2005, 02:35 PM
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Rinker97 Rinker97 is offline
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You have to subscribe to Consumer Reports to see the ratings. The Craftmans were #12 (27570, $1800) and #15 (27564, $1500). That doesn't seem much less than the JD's.

I ended up buying the JD L120 for my yard. I liked that it had a bigger seat for my seat and bigger tires. Then after using it 3 times, I decided it wasn't what I needed for my yard. There is a hill behind my drive that I couldn't do with it. I had to keep getting my JD 14SB out to do some and I didn't want to. I asked my JD dealer about trading it and he said JD has a 30 day guarantee called "The Promise" where they will take it back with no questions asked. (You can't do this thru Home Depot.) I ended up getting a 36" Scag belt drive WB and love it. It cuts much better than the L120 and I can do everything with it and a string trimmer. I even saved some money since I also returned a cart and a maintenance package. Now I want to put a Pro-Slide on it so I can ride on the flat areas I have. Plus I know I have a great mower that will last me forever.

I would find a local JD dealer and try one out at home. You've got 30 days to do it and see if you like it and it works on your yard. (Check with your dealer first just to make sure.)

Rinker
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2005, 02:41 PM
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Rinker97 Rinker97 is offline
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By the way, my JD 14SB is 13 years old and has had only minor maintenance to it. I would still be using it if I hadn't moved and gotten more grass to cut. Now I'm looking to sell it.

If you have lots of hills, I don't think I would get a lawn tractor. When I leaned to adjust my weight, the seat sensor would start killing the engine. I think I would try out the JD L108 at home and see if it works in your yard. If it doesn't, I would look for a 36" walk behind. Not sure how a ZTR woudl work on your property. I would have loved one but didn't think it would work for me.

Rinker
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2005, 02:44 PM
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RKISTNER1 RKISTNER1 is offline
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Location: BLOOMFIELD HILLS,MI
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If you want a low end John Deere buy from a dealership, you will not save much IF ANY $ as apposed Home Depot. Besides you get a better place in line for warranty. Go in talk to them let them know what youe budget is. They will let you know what you need for your application. My Dealership is AWESOME! THEY DON'T WORK ON COMMISION! They might even recommend a good used machine. Good Luck
__________________
.75 Acres
John Deere F687 54" 7 Iron + MCS
23 HP Kohler
6 HP-22" Weed Trimmer (Crapman)
Glock 21,Wife that works & cooks.
Makita EM4251 24.5cc Gasoline Powered String Trimmer 4 stroke

blower (Echo) Blower 5HP (Crapman)
________________________________Had no shoes and complained, until I met a man with no feet.

And lost family member of Lawnsite member "MOOSE"
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