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New Lawn Tractor Advice

cub cadet. john deere

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#16 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 12:15 AM

You've received a lot of good advice and I have only one suggestion to add. If your going with something new or used a foot controlled hydro (direction control) is a big plus and really cuts down on mowing time and effort. 

Good luck in your search. 


Edited by Cvans, January 08, 2016 - 12:16 AM.


#17 zippy1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 12:54 AM

Well why not throw in my two cents.

"IF" I was going to buy new it sure as heck wouldn't be from a big box store, where the majority of their sales people don't know a nut from a bolt...

"IF" you still are bound and determine you're buying new, go to a reputable dealer as was mentioned earlier. At least you're dealing with one person on most occasions, and if not you can talk with the owner with you concerns. And WHEN you need a repair you've by that time possibly gained a mutual understanding of what's expected of them with your repairs...

If you buy the tractor from "him" the dealer you'll/should get better service than bringing one of the same color to him that you bought someplace else. See what I mean here?

But for two Geez you aren't going to get much. As a buddy of mine once said in a song:

"My car cost me fifteen grand,

Some say I got a deal.
Melt it down, I've got a thousand pounds of junk
And ten dollars worth of steel."

Enjoy the quest for the "perfect" lawn cutting machine. And please let us know what you end up with.


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#18 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 04:14 AM

Personally I would go with the Deere, they can take an awful beating and keep right on mowing! Never saw a good cut from a cub with out hours of fussing!! And I hate Deere too, just ask anyone here, but... I will credit where credit is due, and the Deere is a much better mowing machine than cub cadud. There is a reason the cub has more deck wheels... And it ain't good for you...
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#19 BNK OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 06:49 AM

I have wrenched on a few newer model Cubs. I was blown away how cheap they are made. No more "Ross" steering gears/columns (now straight shaft and the wear on those bronze bushings). Frames are assembled using sheet metal hardware that will loosen up and missing. And when Kohler engines introduced the "Courage" models with the plastic cams/lifters...they will/can fail after 140 hrs but fairly simple to replace. Also I have made several weld repairs on the mowing decks with about the same hrs of use. Then there is the paint lifting issue from the powder coat.

I will state this...two of my neighbor's run Husqvarnas, one is really abused mowing way too much to include Trailways outback . I have welded a repair on his mowing deck, weld failed on the deck hanger. After seeing what he has put it thru...I have to say I would own one. The deck height is adjustable after wrenching. When it was new I talked him into adjusting the anti scalp rollers from the top to bottom mounting hole. I am impressed with the heaving built mowing deck(s).

#20 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 08:34 AM

Several years ago I was using an ZTR lever steer Dixon, cone drive.   Killer on the shoulders.  Got another used one I really didn't like.  Decided I wanted a hydro foot controlled, and a front deck machine.  Found a John Deer, one owner F525 with 48" deck, from the original owner.  He bought a new one with a 60" deck as he hated to mow.  I gave a little over 1/2 of your budget.  Have 4 acres and mow about 1.5 A takes about 3 hours for mowing and trimming with a line trimmer, and have several buildings trees, shrubs, bushes, etc. etc.  Only expense I have had is a battery, 2 deck belts and a traction assist cable.  I am not a fan of JD.  I would not buy a new JD.  I would not sell my F525 unless something came along that is a lot better for a darn good price.  You have 3 month before you need to think about mowing.  Now is the time to start looking for a good used machine.  Make sure the owner starts it and you can run it, even if only in his drive.


Edited by chieffan, January 08, 2016 - 08:36 AM.

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#21 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 08:49 AM

If all you're going to do is mow, I'd be looking at small zero turns.



#22 GoTigers16 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 10:40 AM

i will be pulling a cart to haul dirt around. Part of the reason I am doing this is because after paying for a bob cat rental I can just buy a LT and cart. The wear and tear may shorten the LT life but I am looking at it like getting a free used LT after I am done.

#23 James Bosma ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 09:14 PM

Not sure if it is the same in the States as Canada but it seems the John Deere's at Lowe's maybe made by MTD. A friend bought one and the rear end started leaking oil and to his discovery there was no fill hole. Found out that model used a sealed unit from the factory and only way to fix was replace whole rear axle unit. Those Deere's also have bushings instead of bearings in many areas. The models at Lowe's are produced only to sell at the big box stores to cut into that market and are not available at the dealer. Going to the dealer you would find better built machines but also a heftier cost.

 

Jim 



#24 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2016 - 09:37 PM

I believe they are made by Deere but I firmly believe they are made much cheaper. Bushings vs bearings is a great point James made. Our society wants the cheapest thing they can buy. Most people don't have sense enough to figure out how to clean an air filter. They don't want to service their machines. They don't want quality. They want cheap.

Most of the stuff sold today isn't even made to be serviced. It's made to be thrown away.

Awhile ago someone took a picture of an owners manual for a new lawn tractor and it said the life expectancy(or serviceable use) was something like 250 hours. That's not a long time. The cub 128 sees 5 or more hours a week cutting grass.

The original poster said he has a half acre. So maybe 1 hour a week. That's a few years of use.

The cub 128 I plan to give to my son one day. I bet it will still be running just fine. The original motor went from 1973 to 2014 before needing rebuilt and even then it was just a hone and rings and new gasket set.

OP you can probably see a lot of us here are pretty passionate about garden tractors. We may all be a little nutty!

If I had 2 grand to buy a tractor. Craigslist to find a 500 dollar 70s cub in good shape. Tear it down replace bearings, check for leaks, repoace belts, change all tge fluids ect. Put it back together and run it. Might be out 700 for the total package. Then you'd have a solid tractor that will run for another 50 years.

Edited by toomanytoys84, January 08, 2016 - 09:44 PM.

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#25 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 09:35 AM

I did a quick search of South Carolina craigslist

 

http://charlotte.cra...5391981999.html  1200 dollars, restored, and quite a nice tractor!  Depending on how well it we restored, I don't think 1200 is a terrible price.

 

http://charlotte.cra...5360959528.html  Might be a nice zero turn, but probably moot since you want to pull a wagon.



#26 MiCarl OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 12:33 PM

I did a quick search of South Carolina craigslist

 

http://charlotte.cra...5391981999.html  1200 dollars, restored, and quite a nice tractor!  Depending on how well it we restored, I don't think 1200 is a terrible price.

 

http://charlotte.cra...5360959528.html  Might be a nice zero turn, but probably moot since you want to pull a wagon.

 

You could buy the cub tractor and put $800 in the bank for eventual repairs.   Only problem is it's not hydro-static.  Hard to beat hydro-static for mowing.

 

As far as the zero turn, you can buy hitches for them.  If the wagon is heavy or you expect to do much backing up probably not the way to go though.



#27 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 12:36 PM

  Only problem is it's not hydro-static.  Hard to beat hydro-static for mowing.

 

I agree and disagree. Hydro puts in way more moving parts.  I have a 129 down right now for a bad seal on the pump.  Easy enough to fix, but my gear drive tractors have never failed me!  Plus I hate hand control hydro......



#28 MiCarl OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 03:37 PM

I've never used a foot control hydro, been very happy with the hand control on the Craftsman.

 

I agree, you almost never hear of a gear box failure where hydros are more likely to have a problem.  We went with the hydro because Mrs. had no idea what a clutch is.  Turns out she also has no idea how to steer, I spent more time doing repairs to the tractor and shed than I saved by having her mow.  She's been banned from driving tractors.  She's not even allowed within 30 feet of the Speedex.

 

Still, it's nice to be able to slow down near hazards (come to think of it, she probably doesn't know how to work the hydro either!) without backing off the throttle or slipping the clutch.


Edited by MiCarl, January 09, 2016 - 03:39 PM.

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#29 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 03:57 PM

I really like a foot control. It's so easy to ease back and slow down when needed.


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#30 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2016 - 04:56 PM

How about a Zero turn to mow the lawn and an older GT to haul the trailer ? A GT will hold up better to pulling a trailer.

I went with an Ariens LT that just mows the lawn and use my GT's to do everything else. I bought the Ariens from the local power equipment dealer and with a bagger paid under $1500. I have a 1/2 acre lot and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour( if bagging) to mow everything, trimming is extra . It's the smaller 42" with a single 19 hp Kohler and the hand controlled hydro. It does a fine job and should last a long time as it never pulls anything. Best of all when I do need something, he sells the parts I need, or services the tractor without any issues. Only problem I've had in 3 years is replacing the spindle housing when I hit a large piece of angle iron. He had the parts and it was repaired in less than a week.


Edited by TomLGT195, January 09, 2016 - 04:57 PM.





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