My neighbor and I both have about 1/2 acre lots and are thinking about going in together on a 48" walk behind. We've found a handful locally that are 1500 or under. I worked for a commercial lawn business when I was in high school, but I'm not familiar with brands to stay away from or which one would be a better buy. We're splitting it, so that's nice, but neither of us want to go cheap just to have maintenance costs make up for the difference. From a couple day search it sounds like the brands in our price range are Ransome/Bob Cat, Bunton, John Deere, ExMark (Viking series), Lesco...I think that's it. Assuming all are in good working order, is there any brand that stands out...either good or bad? Also, I've noticed in some of the pics that some 48" mowers rear tires are at a different width than the front tires...does this leave tire tracks in the stripes? Thanks for the help!