Probably Time to Buy a New Ride-on Lawn Mower....

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Probably Time to Buy a New Ride-on Lawn Mower....

Postby Rudi » Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:30 pm

K guys:

Gonna need some input here. Em and I were at Sears this morning. Wow! New Lawn Tractors ---- LT 2000 for $2199.99, LT 3000 for $2399.99 and LT 4000 -- I can only guess but it is more than $2599.99. Lots of scratch.....

Soooo, I was thinking. If we end up with a NEW Lawn Tractor, what are the New Cub Cadets like? Anybody got one? I know they are MTD's. In the MTD lineup the YardMan is top of the line, the red MTD is bargain basement.... so where does the CC fit in this lineup???

Thoughs please??

Thanks
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Postby Bigdog » Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:53 pm

Rudi, I was in the same boat a couple of years ago. I looked closely at the cub cadets (don't like Sears). Even talked to a dealer who was a friend of mine and checked on his best price. As much as I hate to admit it, as many fellows here already know, I ended up buying a John Deere LX277 with a 48" deck instead of a cub cadet. I didn't see a whole lot of difference in quality between the low end cadets and deere's. A couple of factors that swayed my decision (since the prices were very competetive between comparable models) was the ease of mounting and dismounting the tractor for my wife and ease of access for maintenance items. Plus, I really liked that Kawasaki Twin cylinder engine. I have mowed 2 seasons with it now and I have to say I really like it. I went from a cub cadet 782 garden tractor with a twin cylinder Kohler and hydrostat to the JD with the 17 horse Kaw and hydrostat. The difference is that the LX is a deluxe lawn tractor, not a garden tractor so it is not as beefy as the cadet was. But I kept my cadet so I still have the utility of it's attachments etc. so I figured I didn't need the expense of another garden tractor type machine. I just needed a reliable mower.
I'm not saying buy a deere. I'm saying - assess your needs and buy a quality machine that meets those needs.
A lot of folks like those Sears machines. I have never been impressed with them. Nor have I been impressed with Sears service.
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Postby George Willer » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:06 pm

Rudi,

As you may know, my doctors won't permit me to ride a tractor this year... so Marilyn and my grandson will have to do the mowing. She absolutely refuses to ride a tractor (she never has) so I have to buy a mower! :cry: :cry: :cry: There are 11 tractors here already that can mow but other than the old Dixon and the little L&G machines, they are all mowers aded to tractors. I'm looking at the possibility of a used commercial machine. What currently has my attention is the Kubota F2400... and I think she will go along with the idea. The 3 I'm looking at are in TX, PA, and VA. Sure would like to find one closer to home.
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Postby Paul B » Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:12 pm

It all depends on what you are going to do with it. If you are just going to cut grass on fairly level ground, a lawn tractor will be OK. If you want do more than that, plow /blow snow, plow a garden, mow on hilly ground then a garden tractor is what you need. The 2000 and 3000 series Cub Cadet tractors are shaft driven and good tractors. The 1000 series is low end to compete with mowers from Sears and the big box stores (my Cub Cadet dealer said he would not sell me a 1000 series Cub Cadet). I am not a fan of belt driven tractors, some of them will not pull themselves and an operator up a any kind of hill, and some of the JD's are a nightmare to change the belts on. Most belt driven tractors have light duty Peerless transaxles, some that are sealed and not serviceable as far as fluid and filters go. The 3000 series Cub Cadet are several thousand dollars US in todays money, but they are really no more expensive than the earlier Cub Cadets were in the money of day. I would buy the best that I could afford, from a dealer that can support and service it, and a brand that will still have parts available 10-15 years down the road, something that is not necessarly true of some of the low end models and/or brands. Cub Cadet dealers can still supply most, with very few exceptions, mechanical parts for Cub Cadets back to the first model in 1961, something that even John Deere does not do. That is not to say other brands don't make some good tractors also, because they do.

This is one area I suppose you get what you pay for, but in my opinion, most of the $2000 dollar, or less, tractors are not designed for long term use. Most are basically designed to be replaced about every 4- 5 years or so, and it seems the average consumer is willing to spend the money to do that. There are not many builders of lawn/garden tractors left. MTD builds about 85-90% of all lawn/garden tractors, I believe American Yard products builds most Craftsman, Murray builds some, John Deere builds some but not all of their's, Kubota, and there are probably a few more.

All of these builders have built some good ones and some bad ones over the years. IH used the Cub Cadet name on GARDEN tractors only. The lawn tractors were called Cadet, not Cub Cadet. Cub Cadet got a bad name after MTD bought the line and put the Cub Cadet name on LAWN tractors for the first time, and people bought them to replace and older Cub Cadet and then discovered they would not hold up and/or do what their older Cub Cadet did. They still use the Cub Cadet name on both, but do point out the difference between what model is a lawn tractor and what model is a garden tractor.
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Postby Cub-Bud » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:43 pm

Hey Rudi,

I need a new mower. This is the one I will buy.......when I get the $$$...that may be a while. :roll:

http://www.cubcadet.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_14101_10220_16206_-1
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Postby spaulman » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:38 pm

We bought a Cub Cadet 3204 with a 54" deck about two years ago. It is heads and shoulders above the 1000 series Cub Cadets. It is very stout. My dad had several Cub Cadets growing up and the 3204 is every bit as good of a garden tractor in my opinion. It is probably a little more than I need but I wanted something that was going to last and not need replaced/constant maintenance in 5 years. I ended up mowing about every 4 days last year which doesn't leave much time for fixing in between.
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Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:01 pm

Rudi, you need to get a Woods for your cub.
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Postby Rudi » Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:48 pm

Guys:

Well some of my questions have been answered.

John:

Yup a Woods would be nice :!: :idea: :D , but I will have to do with the reel mower that I am building for Ellie and Granny. However, the problem is that I have areas in my yard that the Cubs just will not be able to mow - EVER - steep hills and such that just are NOT safe to do with the Cub. In my front yard is a hill that is basically a 45 degree monster :evil: that I have gotten used to mowing with the ride on over the years.

Also there are areas such as between my grape vines and flower beds that are too constricted for Ellie.

The reel mower will be for the large areas in the back where Em really doesn't want the lawn mower to play in.


George:

Will have to have a look at the Kubota series and see what they are going to cost... I have a feeling though that they are probably well out of my price bracket and are probably too much for what I need.

I sure hope that you will be able to play with your tractors soon. I know how frustrated I am in not being able to get some seat time, I can only imagine how you feel.

BD:

Been thinkin on the Green thing, but not too sure about it at all. I just don't like JD's period. I would much rather have a red lawn tractor, just not an MTD... or a Murray and definitely not a Roper ever again.

I know what you mean. I cannot justify spending big bucks for a Garden Tractor. I just need a good lawn mower, one that Em and I both will like and be able to use easily.

As for the Sears stuff - well I am absolutely disgusted with Sears Service Techs - I know more than they do, and I know that I know diddley squat :!: :D :shock: :roll: :roll: :lol: As for the quality of their gear - I am not too impressed either. Funny, cause every major appliance in our house is a Kenmore....... :? :? :?

Paul:

I have been thinkin on the Cub Cadets and am hoping maybe that we can afford one. Seeing as it is made by MTD, I am wondering if it actually has a frame under it or if it is just stamped steel like most ride ons are. I also am not a big fan of belt driven lawn tractors and I really do not like the Peerless transaxles... I have two of them and they are both garbage as far as I am concerned. I would much rather have a shaft drive or something similar.

My buddy Gordon says that the Yard Man (MTD top end) have a frame under them similar to the old MTD Garden Tractors from the late 70's and early 80's. Frames are good. Much stronger and probably will last longer.

CB:

I visited the site you linked to - darn nice CC. I wonder what that will cost in Canadian dollars :?: :?: :?:

I am going to have to visit the CC Dealer here and see what is up. I hope I can find one in Moncton and not have to go to Sussex.....

One thing I do not need considering that I have 2 working Cubs now is a Garden Tractor. All I really need and want is a ride on mower, but one that will last a long time. I am basically done with Craftsman LT's, but I really do not want to spend an arm and a leg to mow the lawn. I also have to buy a walk behind as well. My 3 walk behinds now are basically ready for consignment to the scrap pile. The newest one is 20 years old :!: :roll: :roll:

I have a feeling, Em and I are going to be shopping for a while for this one...
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Postby Scott » Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:09 pm

I saw some cub cadets at Tractor supply. They looked to be nice machines.
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Postby George Willer » Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:11 pm

Last Thursday I drove for the first time since early October. Drove all the way to the L&G dealer... about 3 or 4 miles. Marilyn is happy now... I bought her a new commercial zero turn machine, a 5' Toro. It cost more than our first house! It will be delivered in a day or two.
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Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:09 pm

No further than that, why didn't she just drive it home?
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Postby George Willer » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:21 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:No further than that, why didn't she just drive it home?


She might have, except for the 4 lane and that the dealer has to perform the initial servicing before delivery.
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Postby Chris Jones » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:57 pm

Rudi, I know a lot of people don't like Sears and I'm not saying they're great but I got a new Sears lawn tractor December of 2001 for about $1700. It is a 18hp single cyl Kohler with hydrostatic trans and 42" cut. It took over grass cutting from my 1975 Wheel Horse B80 which has a 8hp Kohler and 36" cut which was having a rash of starting problems at the time. I've been pretty pleased. It is faster cutting my yard with the Sears and I haven't had any problems with it at all--so far.

The Wheel Horse is much better at being a tractor and frankly cuts evener as the mower has it's own wheels that set it's height and follow the ground while the sears mower only has antiscalp wheels--the height is set by how far down the tractor lets it hang down. The Sears frame flexes before lifting a front wheel when crossing deep ditches at an angle while the Wheel Hourse doesn't. I do take it easier on the Sears when working around that ditch. Both pull my trailer vac just fine but the hitch on the sears is not nearly as heavy and bent (had to unbend it and fix a small tear) when the wagon turned over on it's side once while the wheel horse turned over with it trailer another time (no damage). Thankfully the only two times I've turned it over.

One thing I've always liked about Sears is the always have a parts breakdown in their manuals so I can always see how things are put together. I can also locate those obscure special parts and if desired order using those numbers even 10-15 years later. I've got sears power tools here that are 25 years old and Sears still recognizes those numbers and will ship me a part.

I never have Sears come out and service the machine--I do all that myself or will take it somewhere other than Sears if needed. And with Sears if you aren't satisfied you can return it--I've never had a problem with that either but then I wouldn't wait a year myself. I don't know if it's true or not but I've heard of people buying them in the spring using them all summer and returning them saying they were unsatisfied with it in the fall (same on them). I got a sears air compressor one time and it was way too noisy for me so I returned it a couple weeks later w/o any questions.

I had really wanted a new Wheel Horse Classic tractor but couldn't afford the $5000 price. I kept my 1975 Wheel Horse just because I love it. Now it doesn't have to get all dusty cutting grass. Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Postby ljw » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:51 am

I bought a Sears 12 HP Craftsman II for $1199.00 in 1988 and I still use it today. I had to replace a spindle a while back. The other spindle, I drilled a hole in the side of the housing and installed a zerk fitting. It is still holding up. I mow about 1 acre every season. After a few tears, I had to rock the mower each time I wanted to shift to get it in and out of gear. I changed the oil every season on the B&S engine. I'm fairly certain it has the same spark plugs as when new. I guess it would be considered a little flimsy, but has never failed to start unless it needed a battery. I recently purchased a CC 1604 about the same age, but haven't had a chance to compare them. Just looking at them, the Cadet wins for beefyness(?) and looks. But I have tortured my Sears mower down through the years and it's still alive. I guess we're a lot alike! :shock:
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Postby Marion(57 Loboy) » Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:46 pm

Hey George,

it's best if anyone who doesn't have the experience or desire to "master" operating farm equipment that they stay off it. Safety first. My wife has absolutely no desire to even pose for a picture on the cub let alone mow or anything else, so I don't even make it an issue. My daughter gave it a try but that was enough for her...son was a bit more adept at catching on, however, he never did feel comfortable with the way it behaves regarding the pto and clutch around obstacles. Let's face it, if ya run into the house with the rider...it stops. If ya run into the house with the cub you can wind up cashing in your chips.

I have a loooong workday/workweek and we mow 5+ acres. So, I did like you, and got a zero turn commercial mower. Best investment I ever made in timesaving. I got a 72" exmark with liquid cooled 27hp Kaw engine. A very small price to pay for safety and peace of mind....and to get the grass mowed!!! They almost 'sign up' on the calendar to do it!

My son took to it like tossing a catfish in the pond. Jessica is still working on making straight lines !!! HAHAHAHA And my better half thought I was nuts to spend that kind of $$$$ til she found out how much time it saved on the chore.

Here's a funny story I 'can' relate to ya's bout the little woman ......she watched me and the kids using the exmark for about 2 months or so, still thinking I wasted almost 10g's. Then she started kinda hangin around outside while we were mowing......all the while, I say nuttin...you guys know where I'm going with this!!!hehehe...ok, so one time when I was mowing (and I was the only other person home), she wants to know if she can try it...HALLELLUIA and AMEN!!!! (I say to myself of course!). So I give her some instructions and such and then she's off on her first 'tryout run' without the blades running of course.....and I see her heading for the wellhead in the backyard here.......closer...closer....if she just keeps going straight she'll miss it to the left for sure.....NOT !!!!! she pushed forward on the RIGHT handle and goes LEFT right into it with the side of the deck!!!!then it skids off the deck and turns left some more...now she's got the wellhead pipe between the back of the deck and the front of the left tire!! ROFLMAO!!!! She had the thing hopping around and around the well head in circles!!!! I'm laughing my a** off again right now as I type !!! It was hilarious-wish I'd had the video camera!! Well, after getting the thing stopped for her and allowing for her to settle down(mostly from embarrassment), I had her back on her way for more practice out in the OPEN part of the yard. I told her to just go out and have at it- turn here, turn there, stop, start, just put it through the paces and learn what it does when you do something with the handles. I did specifically show her how she can turn by both speeding up one side OR slowing it down. She mows like a pro now! OH! After I got the thing shut off at the wellhead, she took off the earmuffs and said, and I quote..."I'm glad you found that amusing" !!! I most certainly did!!!

All kidding aside, the commercial mower was the way to go for me. I still put the deck on the Loboy and mow the backyard from time to time if I have the spare time, can't beat the experience of being on the tractor sometimes.

As for rider's(lawn tractor) I don't think I'll ever own one of those ever again-for mowing anyway.

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