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Recommendation for new lawn tractor

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Joseph Meidling, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. Joseph Meidling

    Joseph Meidling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I need a recommendation on what type of lawn/garden tractor to buy. I will have approximately 3/4 - 1 acre of lawn to mow. The terrain will have a slight slope in one area (around 20-30 degrees). I will also have to maneuver around several trees. I would also like to be able to pull a small cart to move rocks, dirt, etc. The top of my budget is around $2,000. I would prefer to buy new.


    LWNMWRMN Banned
    Posts: 72

    stay away from the mass merchants. you can get into a husqvarna 15hp hydrostatic 42 inch cut for under $1800.
  3. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    I'd either shell out the bucks for a 'good' unit like a Simplicity, J. Deere or Cub Cadet, or just buy a $800 special - brand new at your Home Depot or Lowe's store.
    I have bought a 18hp Weed-eater to mow 3 acres of all kinds of terrain, it is a piece of crap - but you get what you pay for. On the other hand, I only paid $900.- brand new. That was five years ago and, while showing some wear on the inferior craftsman ship on it, it is still in very good condition and works fine.
    A friend bought a craftsman for $1600.- at the same time, it was virtually identical to mine except for the stickers.
    I think some of the more expensive brands aren't what they used to be either; I looked at some Toro mowers and wasn't very imopressed with the workmanship on them.
    Take your time, shop around - sometimes you can find a good used one for next to nothing.
    Good Luck.
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    Buy a used commercial 48inch walkbehind! You can pick a decnt one for 1200 bucks and it will last you forver if your using it onlu at your own house! Not only will it last 10 times longer than a homeowner riding mower but commerical mowers give a better quality cut and will mow the same area twice as fast!
  5. RBorge

    RBorge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    In your price range, there are two basic categories of tractors--the MTD (White, Yard Machines, Cadet)/Craftsman brands and a lower model of the "high end" machines (John Deere, Simplicity).

    For a lawn of your size, any of the above will likely do a fine job at cutting grass. If you plan on doing more with it--like towning, aerating, rolling--you should probably consider a better made unit.

    A few things that seperate the expensive from the inexpensive include: thick frame, greasable parts, heavy transmission/transaxle. Don't get caught up with engine HP-for example, a John Deere GT225 garden tractor which costs close to $4000, "only" has a 15 HP engine and is far from being underpowered.

    In my opinion, a John Deere LT 133 or LT 155 would be great choices. The 133 has a manual transmission while the 155 has a hydrostatic. Good luck!

    [Edited by Eric ELM on 03-24-2001 at 11:47 AM]
  6. MattG

    MattG LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Posts: 13

    I have a JD LX series and really like it. The Kawasaki engine is great. I have noticed the Scott’s brand at HD is built by John Deere. The frame on the Scotts 18HP machine looks the same as my 15 HP machine. However, the “frames” on the Scott’s lower HP units look flimsy. You could consider a commercial walk behind and a used garden tractor. The old garden tractors are build like tanks and work great for pulling.
  7. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    Good point, Matt.
    I've come across an old Bolens - Snowblower & rototiller for $150 bucks. Using it for all the gruntwork and outfittet myself with a 'mowing-only' unit.
    Definetely something to consider if you have the storage space.
  8. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Try to find a used Deere or go with a throw away from lowes.
  9. Bob's Lawn Care

    Bob's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    I would try to go with the lowest priced John Deere in the LT series. If that is too much look into the Sabre, it is a low end John Deere built to compete with the MTD, Yard Machines, and others in that price range. Good Luck.
  10. Scott H

    Scott H LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I agree with evan528. If pulling a small cart is not that important to you, buy a used walk-behind. You can get a used 36" or 48" belt drive for around $1000.00. I would stick with a belt drive if I were you. Being that you will only be cutting your own lawn you will not need the features of a hydro and a belt drive is much easier and cheeper to fix if anything does break.
    A walk-behind will give you a much better cut and get you done a lot faster. Also, consider buying a velke or sulkey for $200.00 - $400.00 so that you do not have to walk behind it.

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