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Old 04-09-2020, 09:37 PM   #1
dajn
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Lawn mowers.

I have a 2003 john deere L110 that I bought used about 8 years ago for $600. Its been ok but that's john Deere cheapest model. And it shows. It has around 800 hours. I have approximately an acre to mow and lots of trees to mow around. I am thinking of finally treating myself to a brand new zero turn. Post up your lawn mowers and feel free to offer advice on a good zero turn mowers. I dont want the bottom of the barrel model but I also dont need some commercial grade mower. Just a nice quality dependable mower. Nothing more annoying than working a long six day week and barely having time to mow and of course their she sits on a flat tire again and dead battery.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I want something in the 3k range that I can hop on, fire up, and pound out that acre fast. I hop 3k is enough to get me something good.
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I have a Kubota 48" cut with a gas engine , had it 8 or 10 years with no problems . I mow about 4 acres with several trees , great machine but cost more than $3K .
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: Lawn mowers.

So is 3k basically a bottom of the barrel zero turn mower? Maybe that's good enough for what I need but I absolutely despise poor quality. Maybe I will just have to spend more and look for a good financing option.
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:50 PM   #5
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I’d say look for a good used zero turn. Stay away from John Deere and anything you would find at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I used to work for a Kubota dealer and they build good mowers. If I was buying one it would be a Scag, simple good frames and decks and common parts. Exmark also makes good mowers and use a lot of the same parts. It’s been my experience that mowers that have separate hydrostats and drive motors (2 of each) are better quality.They usually have a separate oil tank with a filter. The mowers that have combo pump/motors are not serviceable and used on cheap mowers. Also stay away from anything with the Kohler Courage engine. Kohler Command or Kawasaki is best, Briggs had an issue a few years ago where the air filter mounts were bad and the replaced A LOT of engines under warranty because they were getting dusted and using oil.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:13 AM   #6
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Thanks. Great information. I know next to nothing about it. Just did a little research off of the brands you mentioned and I see exmark is headquartered in Bloomington Minnesota. I work in Bloomington often. Also about the quality thing, a relative of mine has an older john deere. I forget the model but I know it has a Kawasaki engine and the machine is solid. It really made me realize what a cheap pos my l110 is
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:52 AM   #7
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Those big box John Deeres and Internationals have the paint job and logos and that's about it.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Kubota.. 8200 tractor still running with no major repairs since late 80's.. 6200 same vintage was traded in for one of the zero turns..

folks ran the z021 and zd331 20ish years or longer.. I overhauled the deck on the z021 couple of years ago..

they've mowed hundreds of acres with no major issues other than one deck overhaul, just regular maintenance..

Kubotas are extremely well made and durable, their diesels are bullet proof..

I'll ask my mom what the hour meters are on them, just got them back from dealer for spring service, they work hard during mowing season..







some pictures of my dad, he'd run them anywhere they'd go and tow 'em out where they wouldn't





they've cut a LOT of grass around the buildings, roadways, and woodland trails.. I'd never consider another brand.. and I'd bet you could turn up a good used one that will outlive a lot of new off brands..

good luck!



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Old 04-10-2020, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I mow two acres with a Poulon Pro 48'' ZTR with 22 HP Briggs engine. The 48'' cut for me is ideal as a larger mower would not allow me to get into the tighter places. Moving from a 42'' tractor style to the ZTR cut my mowing time in half. Don't ever plan to go back to the tractor style altho still have it as a backup plan if need be. My Poulon was about $4K. Have had it since May of '06 and has just under 600 hours. Replaced two drive belts as they do stretch, a few batteries and one blade on/off switch. Try to change oil and grease about every 50 hours of cutting. Have three sets of blades so can change and mow instead of remove blades, sharpen, clean the under the deck, install and then mow.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:23 AM   #10
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I bought a used Emark with 70 hours on it for $3500 about six years ago. It now has about 350 hours on it and we mow 2.5 acres weekly or more often. Also mow the neighbors empty lot every third time which is about 1.5 acres. If we and two of our neighbors didn’t mow it the owner would let it get head high.
My Exmark has a 20 horse Kawasaki engine. Only issue I’ve had is the rectifier ground got dirty and the unit stopped charging.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:16 AM   #11
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Re: Lawn mowers.

When I bought my home with 3.5 acres a few years ago, I looked at everything under the sun. I really couldn't tell a difference in brand to brand, especially in the residential line of mowers. The difference came when you get in to the $4000 range of mowers, the build quality doubles.

I ended up with a Husqvarna tractor with a welded deck. The tractor itself wasn't built a whole lot better than the box store mowers, but the deck was built like a tank. I bet the deck was twice as heavy as anything else out there.

Last year I bought a used JD x724. The JD has all wheel steer and a liquid cooled engine. It almost cut our mow time in half! The mow quality is excellent too. I paid a pretty penny for it, but I feel it was money well spent. It mows good, rides good, and it can push snow. I would put it up against any zero turn.

Anyhow, if you're on a budget, look at the Husqvarnas with the welded decks. If you're going to spend the money, a Deere, Kubota, Exmark, and Toro professional are all excellent mowers.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:33 AM   #12
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Re: Lawn mowers.

-
I have 3 acres I mow now and I had 2 at my former residence. I bought a new Kubota B51 lawn tractor/mower in 1982 and used it at the former residence and the new residence until I traded it in on a SCAG Wildcat 61" zero turn mower about 6 or 7 years ago. The Kawasaki liquid cooled engine finally gave up the ghost on the SCAG so I bought a used Kubota 72" and have been mowing with it for the last couple of years. I finally replaced the engine in the SCAG with a B&S air cooled engine and about 3 months after the warranty ran out on the B&S it no longer has spark........ I haven't checked into what the problem is at this point because I still have the Kubota to use. I really liked the SCAG and for me it was easier to use than the Kubota but they both mow good.

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Old 04-10-2020, 10:49 AM   #13
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I mow a little over 6 acres. I bought a new Kubota G6200 with a RC48G deck in the
late 80's. I used if to 20 years. I paid about five thousand for it. During the time I
owned it, I changed the deck belt 3 times and the PTO belts 3 times. I replaced the
flex plate (recall) and a head gasket. Besides blades and fuel filters every couple
of years, this was the only maintenance required.

I found the aftermarket blades cheaper than the Kubota blades and just as good.
I do believe in grease and greased it before each mowing. I upgraded to a ZD326.
The G6200 had about 800 hours on it and still worked great. I sold it for two
thousand dollars.

The ZD326 cut my mowing time in half

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Old 04-10-2020, 02:03 PM   #14
dajn
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Here is my husqvarna I bought for my mom last spring. Honda engine. Which makes me wish honda built zero turns. One pull start everytime. $400. With her age and slowly deteriorating physical abilities I had to get her something decent. I wanted to get her the decked out honda with electric start and everything but $1000 for a walk behind mower is tough to do. Maybe next time. Anyways thanks for the information. The biggest thing I get from this is go big or go home. I am not going to buy some cheap model from a box store for sure now after reading all of these threads. Maybe the 110 will have to do another year and then get something really nice that will last me 25 years.
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Old 04-10-2020, 02:06 PM   #15
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Re: Lawn mowers.

And here sits the beater. I have done head gasket, spindles and pulleys, belt. Nothing major but the thing is just not designed to last at all. Super chinsy deck on it also.
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Old 04-10-2020, 02:44 PM   #16
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Out of all the box store type, your forced to look since they're at the entrance, I would get the Ariens. I like the fabricated deck,all welded, not stamped like the others next to them, and under $3k. I have just under an acre and use a 50 year-old garden tractor, don't care for zero turns
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:48 PM   #17
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Re: Lawn mowers.

We have a JD zero turn. Commericial grade 54" deck. My wife is the driver. She loves it. Had it about 12 years. Replaced the battery once. Replaced the belts a couple time. Every three year I take it to the JD dealer ship and have them do a complete service. I do minor maintinece yearly. It has been bullet proof. We mow about 3 acres.
I would for low hour Exmark or JD for around that $4000 price.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:50 PM   #18
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Back in 2007 or 8 I finally got tired of buying the cheap $300 mowers. I cut about 3 acres each week (2 are mine 1 next door neighbors) It would normally take me 4-5 hours each week between getting them running and fixing breakdowns. I gave all 3 of them away went to the Kubota dealership and decided on the ZG327 gas 60" zero turn. It was $9100 (but the same in diesel was $14k) which equated into $135 per month no money down. In the years since only things I have done is oil & Filter changes, 2 sets of blades and one battery. There was a recall for the blade engagement handle that i had fixed as well. I still cut the same amount of grass as before but the Kubota just turned 140 hours on the clock. Other than the dead battery it has never failed to start since new. WHat ever you decide, I highly recommend NOT getting one with a stamped deck. Get a welded deck. The only thing I do not care for with the zero turn is you have to be careful when turning sharp or you will cut up the yard.

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Old 04-10-2020, 05:04 PM   #19
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Re: Lawn mowers.

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Originally Posted by richard2717 View Post
Back in 2007 or 8 I finally got tired of buying the cheap $300 mowers. I cut about 3 acres each week (2 are mine 1 next door neighbors) It would normally take me 4-5 hours each week between getting them running and fixing breakdowns. I gave all 3 of them away went to the Kubota dealership and decided on the ZG327 gas 60" zero turn. It was $9100 (but the same in diesel was $14k) which equated into $135 per month no money down. In the years since only things I have done is oil & Filter changes, 2 sets of blades and one battery. There was a recall for the blade engagement handle that i had fixed as well. I still cut the same amount of grass as before but the Kubota just turned 140 hours on the clock. Other than the dead battery it has never failed to start since new. WHat ever you decide, I highly recommend NOT getting one with a stamped deck. Get a welded deck. The only thing I do not care for with the zero turn is you have to be careful when turning sharp or you will cut up the yard.

.
That pretty much makes up my mind on what to do. I am just going to do that. The same way I bought my big red. Just finance a really nice one and be done with it. Like you say, they offer such good financing if you have good credit it's hard to beat. Then a guy can go 20 years with minimal maintenance. 9k is a lot of money. But when you can get a super low interest 5 year loan it's less then a guys cell phone bill.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:15 PM   #20
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Re: Lawn mowers.

I have a 50in deck Toro with a Kawasaki Motor. I do wish it had a welded deck but if you do regular maintence and keep blades sharp it does Fine. It's called a Timecutter and it lived up to it's name.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:17 PM   #21
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Re: Lawn mowers.

This gives you some idea of what I have for a lawn. Plus there is lawn behind the building. Also, the fence line is about 50 feet behind me in this pic and I eventually want to have the lawn go there. So it will get bigger. And much like you guys my neighbor sometimes needs help. so then its massive. You cant even see the end in the pic when you add his. He is a retired guy that stays in Florida most of the year. Good guy.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:27 PM   #22
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dajn View Post
That pretty much makes up my mind on what to do. I am just going to do that. The same way I bought my big red. Just finance a really nice one and be done with it. Like you say, they offer such good financing if you have good credit it's hard to beat. Then a guy can go 20 years with minimal maintenance. 9k is a lot of money. But when you can get a super low interest 5 year loan it's less then a guys cell phone bill.
I don't think you will regret it, especially if you value your time for other things than cutting the grass. I would bet with this virus deal you could still get a good deal even if credit was not so good

With the welded deck I also have no issue using it for a light weight bush hog and have cut up to 1" diameter brush with it.
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Old 04-11-2020, 10:43 PM   #23
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Re: Lawn mowers.

Here is what I would buy. We have had a Cub for ten years, with no problem whatsoever. I think they are available from the big box stores too. We have other higher priced mowers, but for the money, and personal use, this is the best bet.

https://www.mowersdirect.com/Cub-Cad...9c90e655f843b&
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:20 AM   #24
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Re: Lawn mowers.

My FIL just bought a cub like the other Larry posted above. He had me bring it to my house and give it the once over to make sure it was ready to go. He’s 75 and my wife and I take care of his place and my wife used it for the first time this past week. She gave it an initial favorable review.

I’ll be the maintenance man for the most part. I’ve got a 21 year old John Deere lt133 that still has the original deck and I’ve replaced belts, blades and front wheel bearings. The only two major repairs were starter and I replaced the weak factory 3 amp stator with a 15 amp so the battery would not run down when using a pull behind sprayer.

Get a good one, don’t abuse it, maintain it and it will serve you well. Pretty much sums up my mantra for all equipment.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:38 AM   #25
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Re: Lawn mowers.

The main reason I chose a Kubota is my yard is hilly and sloped in several areas and I wanted to try a machine out on my own yard to see if it would mow those steep slopes . All the places I went to told me I had to try it on their level grassy areas . Except Kubota , they delivered me a brand new machine , unloaded it , showed me what did what and turned me loose on it . This was on a Saturday evening , I talked him into letting me it the whole weekend . I bought it the following Monday , all I have done is changed the blades and belts and routine maintenance .
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