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First riding mower - thinking Cub Cadet XT2 with Kawasaki engine?


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#1 Enderman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2015 - 04:38 PM

I was just recently given the go-ahead by the Mrs (don't judge, happy wife - happy life, as one friend says  :D) to purchase my first riding lawn mower for this upcoming season. I have only owned a couple walk-behinds and have never really loved either of them. They both had minor issues here and there, so I have no brand loyalty whatsoever.

That being said, after all my searching and reading reviews, reports, opinions, and so on, I believe I have arrived at one of the new Cub Cadet models, specifically the XT2 LX42 with the Kawasaki engine. I have just over a third of an acre to mow, with some very light sloping in a couple parts, so I don't need anything huge.

So, my primary question is, at the price point I'm looking at for the XT2 42" with the Kawasaki engine - $1799, is there something else comparable in another brand that I should also be considering? So far nothing else has stood out to me. And I'll be honest and say that I'm pretty sold on this mower, but I don't have anything to go on aside from the reviews I've read and the specs I'm comparing. I will say that I believe every neighbor I have has a John Deere of various sorts. I may get some funny looks on the first mow of the season when I pull out something that's not green and yellow, but honestly I don't feel as impressed or confident in a similarly priced JD, based solely on reviews I've read.

Secondly, I just wanted to get some confirmation that my wanting the Kawasaki engine is the definite way to go. In most everything I've read, it seemed like it was the obvious choice over the Kohler 7000 motor for $100 less. Again though, this is all fairly new to me.

Thanks in advance for any advice or info that might help!
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#2 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2015 - 07:23 PM

For lower priced GT's, I always thought the new Husquvarna (spell?) were pretty nice tractors. Not sure what engine they have right off. I have spent a little more for a Kohler in my light John Deere over the same size Briggs and don't think it is much better in any way now that I have owned a few years. Don't get too small of back wheels like many are trying to sell now days.



#3 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 09:41 AM

I am going to post MY opinion and thoughts on tractors in general.  I mean no offense to anyone, some may even agree with me.

 

The newer tractors, department store tractors, ect are junk for any hard use.  If you plan to use any attachments, plow snow, blow snow, ect ect.  They aren't going to hold up.  The frames are flimsy, the decks are stamped sheet metal, a lot of plastic parts, and most of them are built to last x number of hours(I seen one manual that said life of tractor was 276 hours of use)  I've messed with some newer tractors that have PLASTIC PULLEYS ON THE DECK!!

 

I have picked up a couple 2 year old cubs that were bought new from Home depot to fix and resell for quick cash.  Both of them had the spindle ripped out of the deck where the sheet metal ripped apart.  A 2 year old tractor that was kicked to the curb because of big failures.

 

If you are going to spend 2 grand on a new tractor, get on craigslist, find a Cub Cadet 128, or any of the early mid 70s model cubs.   Pick it up for 500 dollars.  Spend 500 dollars on repairs and upgrades.  You will have a tractor your great grand children can use.

 

We have a 128 Cub that my Dad bought used years ago, in the early 90s.  I figured out that we alone have put over 2,000 hours on it figuring 4 hours use a week for the last 20 years(7 months out of the year)  Tractor is 99% original.  Motor was original till this past summer when it started blowing smoke and using a large amount of oil.  Motor is now rebuilt sitting on the shelf ready for many more hours of use.  Tractor now has a 16HP engine in it.

 

Like I said these are just my thoughts on tractors.  If I needed a new tractor right now, I would honestly go pick up a 40 year old cub. 


Edited by toomanytoys84, January 12, 2015 - 09:41 AM.

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#4 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 11:01 AM

WELCOME to GTTalk!

#5 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 11:20 AM

Honestly, Kawasaki engines are not better than Briggs or Kohler engines at this price point. These are the entry level Kawasaki's.

 

I also suggest you spend even a little more and get a Garden Tractor model with a more heavy duty built transmission to add versatility to your rig, or else you will be limited to just lawn mowing.

 

As the poster above said, few of the modern tractors compare to the tractors of the past. Not so much because of build quality alone but because of today's consumer trends of buying things in SPECIFIC Market Segments. Today everything fits in a narrow category unlike back in the 70's.

 

Before people were interested in Small Tractors for Their Suburban Home. It was very broad, so the tractors were built with more strength and versatility to handle many tasks for many different people.

 

Today, everyone wants something SPECIFIC within a specific set of parameters. Such as low price, only mowing, or medium price for mowing and snow blowing, or high price for a bunch of other features, etc.

 

It's the same with Automobiles, Computers, pretty much everything. Specific Consumer Buying Behavior dictates all these variations.

 

 You are doing the right thing by buying from an independent dealer vs a Department Store. You will find higher quality specs in these pieces of equipment.

 

You should also look into:

 

Simplicity Tractors too. They have a wide range of variations that may fit your needs.

 

- FT


Edited by FilledTires, January 12, 2015 - 11:27 AM.

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#6 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 11:25 AM

And BTW, Welcome! Riding Mowers, Small Tractors, are lots of fun! and Useful too!


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#7 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 03:46 PM

... Today, everyone wants something SPECIFIC within a specific set of parameters. Such as low price, only mowing, or medium price for mowing and snow blowing, or high price for a bunch of other features, etc. ...

 

 

 

Well said!

 

The problem is the there just isn't the market for the "GTs of the past".

 

 

The manufacturers like MTD, etc. haven't forced the cheap throwaway tractors on us,  The consumers have demanded that they build them by their buying habits,

 

The vast majority of people buying riding tractors want something cheap and capable of mowing a fairly flat lawn, and nothing else.

 

A lot of folks fail to remember that 'back then' there were also a lot of 'cheap' mowers as well.  We don't see them all that often today because they weren't built to the same quality of the GTs of the day.

 

Using an inflation calculator on the net, I plugged in $2,000.00 in todays money to see what it could have been in 1967.

 

The result?  $282.87.  Now if you think that any of the GTs in 1967 were that cheap, I have a bridge that you might be interested in.

 

What you would have gotten with that kind of money would have been one of those 'little seats above the mower deck' riders that we all think are so ''cute' when they occasionally show up. The ones sold by Western Auto, and other similar businesses that were the box stores of their day.

 

Now, I used 1967 for a reason because I have a copy of the Bolens Dealers Order Form from 1967.

 

The 1050 had a DEALERS cost of $708.75.  That would be $5,011.14 in todays dollars.  Now add 25% for profit and you are looking at $6263.93.  That's pretty much what you would have to pay for a current tractor with the capability of the 1050.


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#8 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 04:06 PM

http://tractors.wiki...l_Cub_Cadet_128

 

cost of a 128 new was 1300 dollars according to the above website.

 

It would be 7500.00 today!!!

 

You are right old buzzard.  I am not old enough to remember "the good old days".  But I had asked my Dad how often he seen the old cubs, and john deere tractors running around new.  He said never.  His family had cheapo tractors, department store grade stuff.  Everyone had cheapo tractors.

 

My thing is, that I would probably take an old cub, john deere, ect, over any "new" tractor any day.  The era of the true garden tractor is done.

 

The only thing I would remotely consider new would be a Kubota BX series.  And that is a step above a Garden tractor.  And quite a bit above the 2000 dollar price tag.



#9 Enderman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 09:54 PM

Thanks for the input so far everyone! I definitely see what you're saying in regards to the tractors of the past being much more capable than those of today.

 

I'll put it right out there and say that I feel like I'm pretty much that consumer of today that we're describing here. I have a certain price point that fits in the budget, and I only need it to do certain things. I'm nowhere close to retirement age when I can throw down $5k on the zero-turn just because I can, like my neighbor across the street. At the same time though, I'd like to make the best possible choice I can for my ~$2000. I'd like to hold out hope that there are still products made today that might last me 20 years or more if maintained properly. Perhaps that's just the inexperienced (no experience) tractor owner in me talking though. 

 

I have that third of an acre that's mostly flat that I want a machine to mow and not really anything else. I have no real small engine know-how to work on an old tractor if I did get one. Truth is I've been push mowing the lawn for the past two years since we've had the house, so this is not a necessity. I'm just feeling fortunate that I've been sanctioned to spend ~$2000 to be getting something that will make my summer weekends much easier. :)  Anything more expensive than that, and the wife might retract the benevolent offering. :D  

 

Which, is what keeps me tossing around things like the Cub Cadet XT2 LX42 or the John Deere D125. Just trying to make the most intelligent decision based on my needs and what's available for my budget.


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#10 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 10:41 PM

The bugeteer gave you the go ahead so either one should handle your needs more than adequately.  The Kawi engine is compatable with other engines of that class so its a good one.  Creature comforts, Turning radius are things that you should consider.  With .33 acres you will be done in about 15-20 minutes so you can get back to whatever you do when you aren't mowing..   I'd go look at both of them and whichever one fits you and your needs best, buy..  Good Luck and welcome aboard!


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#11 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted January 12, 2015 - 11:25 PM

Just keep it serviced annually, with new oil, air, and fuel filters, and you should be good for several years. 

 

If you ever have any questions, this is a great place to ask!


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#12 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2015 - 07:25 AM

If you're going to mow 1/3 acre and do nothing else with it, by zero turn, you will never go back to mowing with a tractor. If you wanted a good quality older tractor, you certainly do not need to go back to 70's Cubs, the Simplicities made into the 90's are every bit the measure and many had power steering, etc... That's just one example, many 80's-early 90's machines are as good as any ever built.



#13 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2015 - 07:29 AM

I think I'd push mow .33 acres of flat ground for the exercise and spend 2000 dollars on beer :rocker2:

 

If that's all you plan to ever do with it.

 

http://www.sears.com...=1&blockType=G1

 

Save some cash and buy a sears, 1249.

 

Or their little snapper knock off

 

http://www.sears.com...=3&blockType=G3

 

Tell your wife you spent 2 grand and buy something you enjoy.


Edited by toomanytoys84, January 13, 2015 - 07:34 AM.

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#14 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2015 - 08:08 AM

You might take a look at the Husqvarna R120S articulated mower.

 

http://www.husqvarna.../riders/r-120s/

 

It would do well on your small area.

 

I've mowed with a Bolens Estate Keeper, and the articulateds do a great job of mowing.


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#15 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted January 13, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Welcome to GTtalk, Enderman.  I'm not sure where you are at but I think if you shopped around you could find the Cub a bit cheaper at least from what I have seen on web prices, maybe not in your area. 

 

Your choice of a Kawasaki engine is a good one.  I have several customers that have Kawasaki engines in there tractors (Mostly JD tractors) and other then normal maintenance they have required little maintenance.  

 

As far as the tractor goes I would just say to make sure that is all you want it to do. So often I hear "I just need it to do this ..." but then when you get it you find other things you would like to do with it.  Case in point 14 years ago, when we move out here, I just thought I would be OK with a lawn tractor.  Soon after I found my self trying to do things that the LT couldn't do or do very well like hauling heavy loads. mowing down thick under brush etc.  I moved up to a GT and have been happy ever since.

 

Something else you may want to consider.  If you buy the tractor from a box store are you going to be able to get it serviced?  Good luck with your new tractor.


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