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Home Use Riding Mowers

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by b.j.haynes, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. b.j.haynes

    b.j.haynes LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 8

    We are looking to buy a new riding mower. We have never owned one. We just built a house and have 3 acres of land that we are going to need to mow. Are there any residential use lawnmowers that you could reccomend? We can't exatly afford a cub cadet or a john deere. Are there any other good mowers out there? We have been looking at Yard Machines, Troybilts and some others and we just don't know which is junk and which has a god reputation. Any help or advice that anyone can give us would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, b.j.haynes:)
  2. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,172

    Troybilts, cost as much or more than comparible Deeres. Go ahead and get one that'll last for many years, Nothing Runs Like A Deere.
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    I know of two garden tractors that are pretty cheap and reported to hold up well for homeowner use. One is the "Sabre" line made by John Deere. The other is the "Scotts" line, made now also by John Deere. Both brands are commonly avail. at Home Depot or
    Lowes stores. The big trouble with them, is getting repairs done if something does go wrong. The big stores do repair them, but around here it may take2 - 3 weeks to get them back from the shop. The local JD dealer will also fix them, but since he does not sell them, they go to the bottom of the shop schedule and they get fixed when he feels like fixing them. Also, don't overlook the Toro/Wheelhourse line. They have an older style Wheelhorse that has a standard trans. It is built like a tank and is one of the best buys of any garden tractor I have seen. I believe the model numbers are in the "300" or "400" series such as 310,312, and 416.:)
  4. wxmn6

    wxmn6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    If you said you have 3 acres of land, then you would need a large lawn and garden tractor like John Deere which will be excellent. Go with the John Deere GT or GX series (the same as 300 series). ;) These tractors can do more than just mowing. They can do dozens other things. They will last for many years with proper care and maintenance. John Deere is well known for quality and excellent dealer services. Nothing Runs Like A Deere. :cool:
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    for 3 acres i would get atleast a 48" if not bigger, i would also get at a minimum 20 hp, i wouldnt so much worry about brand but what sizes they offer and service.
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Wheel Horse 500 series. Best quality for the buck, comparable to Deere and Cub, whatever else you want to put it up to. A few less bells and whistles for alot less money. Excellent machines. Do yourself a favor and don't get a cheap thing from a department store (Home Depot-Cheapo, Wal Mart, Lowes,) you will be sore when you get off of them, they're harder to use, less comfortable, built cheaply and don't last as long can't endure three acres as easily as better brands, get a good brand sold at a dealer with a 60" side discharge deck and get cuttin'! Enjoy long life and good service from your machine and dealer. Don't go to a store where you'll get 'screwed, blued, and tattooed' all at the same place :p Also make sure it's a hydrostatic transmission with foot pedal control and make sure the steering is easy and quick and tight.
    Here's the ones to look at:
    Wheel Horse
    John Deere (not as good as they used to be, they're overpriced for the machine if you ask me, too pricey)
    Cub Cadet
    Gravely (not sure if they have a hydrostatic one or not, maybe only gear drive which you dont' want for 3 acres trust me)

    Simplicity would be my first choice. Best cut and stripe of ANY mower in the world (ok residential mower). If you dont want to spend as much money (which sounds like the case) then Wheel Horse and Cub Cadet may be the better choice. Wheel Horse cuts excellent and I'm not sure how the Cub compares there...
    Good luck,
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I agree with bushhogboy, JD's are TOO EXPENSIVE! A decent sized JD is about $5000. I say bite the bullet and buy a used ZTR. They will mow faster anyway and last just as long. Just a thought.
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Don't buy a ztr. This is way overkill. A good used Sears hydrostatic or other lawn tractor will do. We live on 5 acres and there is never every a way I could justify buying a used ztr unless I am using it to mow for others for money. A good used ztr will cost you $5,000 and then may have alot of hours on it. The parts to fix a ztr can be very expensive. Yes a ztr will last you forever just mowing your property so go for it if you have the money for it and like expensive fun toys.
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Since this is a tractor forum let me offer a new prospective. Why not a used tractor and a finishing mower?

    Tractors are made to go lots of hours. More than any garden tractor. The finishing mower on 3 acres is much faster than a garden tractor. The cut will be better. You can do many more things with a tractor. Garden tractors only cut grass and pull a little cart. A real tractor can do that and tons more things.
  10. nucoach

    nucoach LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 1

    First of all, being a proud owner of JD garden tractors for many years I will be the first to admit that they are a little overpriced, however I do believe that you get what you pay for and I have always had great service from them. As far as Sabre and Scotts go, both lines are being dropped by Deere. Getting them serviced is still no problem as mentioned in another reponse, however it is true that your John Deere dealer may give higher priority to JD. A finishing tractor such as a farmall a,b, or c with a 5 or 6ft woods belly mower may seem like overkill, however also as mentioned in an earlier response their versatility exceeds a garden tractor, and the cost is much less. Even though one of these models can be considered a collector if in prime shape, you may still only pay $2000-$2500. At this price you are at half the price of a middle priced deere with a wider cut.

    Good luck with your decision!

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