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Buy New Or Used? Looking For Suggestions


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#1 hhb OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 11:28 AM

I traded my old ride on, on it's last legs last year for a good lawn boy push mower with the intention of getting a new lawn tractor this year. I'm going to have a budget of around $2000 tops.

 

My question is, should I buy new or used? I have about 3 acres to mow, all hilly with trees here and there, fairly complicated. Ideally I would love something I could have a plow or snow blower on too for winter. 

 

Obviously I don't have the budget for a new tractor and blower. I've seen used blowers in the $500 range, I'm a little wary of them though as they can take a beating and could just be more frustration. To be honest, I've never used a snow blower or plow on a lawn tractor so I'm thinking simpler is better, and reliability is important (I don't want to be out in freezing temperatures, fiddling with the blower, fixing it every storm). I also don't want to be out fixing the tractor every time I mow in the summer, which was what led to me trading the last one - I never mowed the entire lawn once last year without something breaking.

 

So I'm thinking 2 ways:

 

1. Buy a brand new tractor, forget about the blower, maybe put a snow blade and tire chains on it in the winter. Not sure how well that combination works, but might be good for smaller snowfalls. So I'm looking for some suggestions in the $1500 range (tax and stuff will eat up the rest of my budget).

 

2. Buy used, but decent tractor. Maybe score a deal with a snow blower already attached... I saw an older Bolens, with snow blower, in great shape for $1200. From what I understand they were a pretty good machine. 

 

What would you do? Anyone with experience with snow blower attachments have any advice? Or plows?

 

 


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#2 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 11:57 AM

Welcome to the forum, your question has been asked before, and I think most here would tell you to look for a good used machine with attachments unless you have a big budget.  Folks will be along to give you some specific ideas I'm sure.


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#3 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 12:01 PM

I'd go used all the way...forget new.  $2000 would get you into a real nice, long term package, with a good sized deck and a plow or blower.  Possibly even a later model GT with power steering.  If I had that budget, for only one machine, I would watch patiently for a '90's Simplicity Sovereign with 48" deck and power steering, and blade or blower.  That's my ideal mower/snow moving setup, unless you're just mowing long straight lines, then the PS becomes overkill.  It sure is nice when you have lots to mow around though.  I'll never mow without it again, and your budget allows for it.

 

3 acres is a lot though, and so you may be able to go a bit larger/older on that budget, and get into something with a 60" deck, if you think the terrain and obstacles wouldn't hold you up.


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#4 hhb OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 12:21 PM

I'd go used all the way...forget new.  $2000 would get you into a real nice, long term package, with a good sized deck and a plow or blower.  Possibly even a later model GT with power steering.  If I had that budget, for only one machine, I would watch patiently for a '90's Simplicity Sovereign with 48" deck and power steering, and blade or blower.  That's my ideal mower/snow moving setup, unless you're just mowing long straight lines, then the PS becomes overkill.  It sure is nice when you have lots to mow around though.  I'll never mow without it again, and your budget allows for it.

 

3 acres is a lot though, and so you may be able to go a bit larger/older on that budget, and get into something with a 60" deck, if you think the terrain and obstacles wouldn't hold you up.

 

I definitely have a "complicated" lawn with some pretty steep hills and probably a dozen or so trees to mow around. The front hill is steep enough that I won't mow it sideways for fear of rolling over. My worry with a wide deck like a 60" is all the uneven ground and hills; I don't know how well that would work over terrain like that (there's lots of little hills).


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#5 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 12:38 PM

boy you've opened a can of worms here, as we all have our favorites, and i am not saying that i dont like certain brands but i will agree buy used from the mid 90s. they were still making them tough as nails and rebuildable, now im not talking mtd, noma,and all those light duty riding mowers i am talking "GARDEN TRACTOR". i was talked into a bolens gt2000 great tractor for a person 5'-6" im 6'2" so i find the seating cramped,so find one that fits you. im a wheel horse guy so i might suggest a wh 520h, but i wish wheel horse had foot control on the pedal. now to a suggestion and i know its not american made, and neither am i, but i would suggest a kubota 7100 hydro, 4 x 4 weather its a belly mower or a 3pt mower it will do basically any job and  3pt blowers are readilly available fairly cheap and i think you could get this in your price range 


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#6 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 12:51 PM

I have to ask , how hard are you going to work it?  The new store brand gt's are easy to maintain, most have screw on oil filters, and are easy to get parts for. As for quality, they don't build them like they use to, I have a few old gt's, b-80 Wheel Horse, Sears ss12,and two Ford lgt 165'S. New gt's I have a Craftsman 2000 gt, so far I have replaced the spindals on the deck, repainted the deck,and this spring it will need a axle seal put in it. My main work machine is my ford, I use this to plow, pull my wagon, pull log's, cut fire wood, this summer I will be putting the deck under it and also using it to mow with. IMHO go with the older gt's, look on craig's list and see what's out their, also look around and see what kind of dealer support is around for parts, good luck on your decision and be sure to let us know how you went " be sure to include pic's " LOL   :thumbs:


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#7 jms180 ONLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 01:20 PM

if you are cutting grass on hills you will need a GT that can take the hills. The lawn tractors sold at box stores cant take the hills.


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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 01:32 PM

Welcome to GTT. Relax and enjoy the site. Take a look at our Galleries and Manuals Sections.

 

You have opened a question that has a different answer for each person. First, I congratulate you for planning ahead. Take your time and research what is available and what features you will want. You need to consider:  What is your mechanical abilities?  How much are you willing to work on the machines? What tasks besides lawn mowing and snow removal do you want?

 

If you can't or do not want to spend time working on the machines you will need to look at a new or near new machine. If you are willing to work on it, you may do best with one or two older machines. Having 2 machines gives you redundancy incase one breaks down. Look for older but popular in your area machines. The brand you choose may be the best deal that is available. I have picked up many GTs for under $100 and then only spent a day getting them working. I prefer 60s era Simplicity/AC and Bolens GTs. Parts and parts machines are still plentiful.

 

Check with family and friends for a GT that may be sitting behind a barn or garage. You may get a good start for free. Ask us when you have questions. We are all in this together. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, February 05, 2014 - 01:34 PM.

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#9 allisb10page OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 02:08 PM

Me personally, I would go with something used, maybe not to old, but not to young either.  Like what was stated before, they just don't build them like they used to.  Have seen plenty 'new' mower/GT's konk out and have either engine problems or transmission problems after the first year of use, and that was on so called 'normal' yards.  My lawn mower is a Cub Cadet 1315, and even though it has had some mechanical issues over the years, I would not trade it for a new one.  I have picked up some AC B-10's for little or nothing (100-150) a pop and have had to only stick under 100 into them to get them up and running (but I may have gotten lucky too). 

My personal opinion for you would be to get something older.  May cost you less at first, will surely be more mechanically sound, not to mention you should be able to work on it yourself, and you might just get the 'bug' like the rest of us here.  But, as always, it is ultimately your decision, and no matter what you choose, you can't go wrong.  Enjoy and happy hunting.


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#10 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 02:09 PM

here's my 2 cents worth. like Rick said there's a lot of variables, but I would look into a newer unit for the mowing and get an older unit to do heavy duty tasks , snow blower , plow , and hauling. could even do backup mowing. most important thing IMO is keep your budget, know what you really plan to do, and DO your research!! check what is available local to you as parts will be easier to get.

we are here for advice good or bad, so don't be afraid to ask more questions as you get closer to a choice. Tom


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#11 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 02:24 PM

Everyone says "they don't build them like they used to." I say they still do but you're not going to find them at a box store.... and they'll cost several times the stated $2000 budget.
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#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 02:45 PM

With 3 acres to mow and snow to push your average 2k new mower won't last you long before it starts to give you trouble. You need to be on the lookout for a good used machine. Spread the word amongst your friends and family. Sometimes you can find a private sale for a package deal that will meet your needs and still not break the bank. 


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#13 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 02:53 PM

mpo on this matter is buy what you can afford. for my self i got a smoking deal on my john deere gt 275 used so thats the way i went. i have nothing against new but used has always been in my budget an i like the look of older gts.


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#14 twostep OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 03:34 PM

Man, this is a can of worms!!! Another topic where you will get as many different answers as people you ask.

 

For me: used no doubt. Since you say your landscape is "difficult" you wouldn't want a 60" deck and 3 acres is a lot of ground for a 40"-48". New in that price range won't last near as long.

 

I'll tell you right now though, you need to either have enough money to pay a service department to work on them or be willing to do it yourself! Also I'll second the opinion of finding a brand that is more common in your area.

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide.


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#15 Bill 76 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2014 - 03:45 PM

I would say away from the box store machines,I think most of them are spec built for the store and corners are cut to keep the price down.Your buying from someone that knows little to nothing about what their selling.They also have no service department when it breaks down,then you have to take it to a real service center and because you didn't buy it there you may get put at the end of the line.

For 2thou there are a lot of good older name brand garden tractors out there with a lotta life left in them-------Just my 2cents worth.


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