Buying a new mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Phaedrus, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    So, the house I have came with (long story) a Craftsman mower, which frankly just isn't cut (pardon the pun) out to handle a lot of yard. I have just under an acre to mow, which for the most part is level. However, it's the steep grade on the front yard that's giving me troubles. The mower tends to slide down the hill on horizontal cuts, and can't seem to climb up when making verticle cuts. The only way to get an even looking pattern is to circle the yard and make a single pass, which wastes a lot of time/gas. Also, cutting horrizontally across the hill (not up and down it) causes the deck to lean and cut very unevenly, which accents the path that looks like was left by a drunk driver, with how the mower slides down the hill

    So, with that in mind, I need a new mower. I am looking primarily at Husqavarna and John Deere. There is an obvious draw to the JD, however I love my Husqy WB and weed eater.

    I need a stable deck that isn't going to lean obnoxiously when on a hill. I need traction, and I need power, as I plan on adding a cart at some point. I also have 2 very small children, so I will also need some good safety features.

    The John Deere 190c shares the top choice spot with the Husqvarna YTH2454. I know the 190c has been replaced with the 150, but I have a chance to pick up a brand new JD 190 for $2499, instead of the list price $2799. I like the JD tractor for obvious reasons. My dad bought a 180 back in 1988 and it still runs as good new as it did then. He has had to do some work on it, but after 20 years, it's amazingly strong. The Husqy name seems to be sound. They make good trimmers and saws, so are their mowers as good? Are all of the Husqavarna lawn care equipment made by Yazoo/Kees (and if so, what does that mean)? Anybody with any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
  2. josh1981

    josh1981 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    Welcome to lawnsite.

    We have the same problem here with a few small inclines on side of house and neighbors back yard. We use a walk behind toro 26 inch mower 6.5 hp. Does very well ojn our yard.

    can you live with a walk behind or do you need a rider? Answer this and I can help you more.
  3. dwbarg

    dwbarg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Buy a Hustler Fastrak or Mini Fastrak. The have a low center of gravity and handle hills good. I have a Fastrak and love it. My wife can mow our ditch banks with no problems. Also not to mention the time you will save with a ztr. Just my 2cents.
  4. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I had to read your post a few times to make sense out of it, but I guess that's because when you use the word "mower" you really mean lawn tractor. Is that correct? I think what you are saying is that you now have a Craftsman lawn tractor and a Husqvarna walk-behind mower and you are thinking of buying some other lawn tractor to replace the Craftsman which can't handle your hills, namely a JD or a Husqvarna. You didn't say whether the walk-behind can be used for the hills, but I presume it isn't adequate for that task either.

    My lot is similar to what you describe yours to be, and the maximum slope of my hills is about 33 degrees. It's my opinion that no lawn tractor can be used to mow across the face of my hills, because the center of gravity on all of them is so high that they would all tip over. But maybe yours are not as steep. Why don't you borrow your dad's JD and try it out. If that works, your course is clear. If it doesn't, maybe you can get a local ZTR dealer to let you demo one. But if your hills are like mine, a ZTR will be hazardous to use also. I have a ZTR, but I won't go on my hills with it, so I recently bought a Quick 36, and that seems to have solved my dilemma. It hasn't flipped over yet, but if it ever did, at least I won't be on it as would be the case with a rider.

    And by the way, if you do buy something for those hills, you may want to avoid getting one with a B&S engine, because in my research I found some who have mowers with B&S engines that smoke big time on a steep hill. My Quick 36 has a Kawasaki, and it hasn't smoked yet.

    Good luck!

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