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Riding Mower....what brand?

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Old 09-02-2004, 07:57 AM
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Default Riding Mower....what brand?

Need to buy a riding mower this weekend w/all the labor day sales I figure now is the best time. I was looking at sears craftsman...but talked to several people and they all complain about it throwing the belt all the time. I was also looking at the Poulan but don't know too much about it. A lot have been telling me to get the John Deere....I can only afford one of the lowest models. I don't need much...only cutting about and acre and 1/2. What brands are you guys using and which one's should I steer clear of?
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

I have an EX-Mark zero turn. Cut my mowing time in half. A little pricey but worth every penny I spent.

http://www.exmark.com/LazerZCT.htm
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

I have a Craftsman DT3000 with the Kohler 20HP V-Twin. It ROCKS! Never thrown a belt. It'll cut through anything, (I have some serious coastal hay on my place.) Got it on sale for less than $1400.
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

Ex Mark, it is the best.
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

My next door neighbor is on his second Craftsman riding mower. He "fixed" the first one, that's why he bought the new one. He never complained about it.
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

I was looking at that DT3000...nice one. Personally I don't think I'll have a problem w/ the craftsman, but some folks have just recently turned me off on it so I'm not sure which one I'm getting now. I like the John Deere but personally I think I'm paying more for that name then anything else. For $1400 I get the bottom of the line John Deere with no oil/fuel filters. For $1400 at sears I'll get a pretty good mower with some goodies on it. But if the Deere will hold up more and be more dependable then I'm all for it.
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

The low priced models of even the best brand names (Cub, Deere, etc) are junk. No better than the value brands. They had to begin mfg the low end (disposable) models to compete at the hardware store. This is straight from the mouth of a good friend who has been a Deere dealer for over 20 years.

If your lawn is relatively tame (no giant roots, no ditches or rocks) then any mower will work. If you get a multi-blade deck (and you should for the size you plan to mow) then you should compare the deck to choose the one that over time will keep the blades in alignment to each other best (bigger bearings, grease fittings, thicker deck material and stiffening ribs) else your blades will get out of level with each other and it'll never cut evenly again.

Craftsman does a good job of keeping parts available pretty much forever for their mowers.

The MTD and Murray mowers make up the lion's share of the hardware store models. As far as low priced mowers go, they are the baseline.

It's hard to beat a single blade rear engine Snapper ride-on, but it's going to be too small for your acreage.
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

I've had a entry level John Deere tractor for about 10 years and NO problems what so ever.
I'd buy another in a second!!
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

I'm stuck between the John Deere entry model/ Sears model with Kohler engine / our Poulan
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Riding Mower....what brand?

All are good... just make sure you get the good engine. If it doesn't have pressure oil (with a filter), pass it up. And add an hour meter. Wash it and wax it, it'll last a long time. My old MTD, (everyone said was junk), lasted me eight HARD years. I gave it to a friend of mine, it's still going strong. It's all about maintanence. I used synthetic oil exclusively.

Another opinion: buy the V-Twin, not a single. The difference is amazing!
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