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post #1 of 7 Old 04-26-2017, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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1st Tractor 1st Opinion

This is my opinion/review on owning my first tractor and my first opinion on it. With any tool that a person owns, the purpose and expectation of the tool is the most important need to be met. I bought my tractor with the expectation of it making my life easier when it came to mowing a 4 acre fire line consisting of mustard grass, sage and wild grass on varied terrain around my home. I only bought it for that reason. After months of research, I bought a Cub Cadet XT1 42" and here's why.

PURPOSE: This above all is the most important. Why are you even buying the machine? Is it to mow your lawn, trim weeds, plow, grade ect. My use for the mower is 100% to trim weeds for my fire line and that's it. I've been reading this forum for a few months and I think that the use of the tractor is slightly neglected to talk people into buying far more than they will ever need. You don't need to buy the $5,000 garden tractor to cut your lawn or keep the weeds away. Regular trimming to the weeds(if they're under control) will put very little stress on the tractor, no more than if you're mowing your lawn. If they've grown into some sort of jungle around your home, I would recommend using some sort of tool one time like a brush hog or heavy line trimmer after the brush is down. Then do regular maintenance with the riding mower. I do have a lawn that has Bermuda grass but I don't have it to flaunt it off to the neighborhood. My house is on 21 acres and none of my neighbors see my lawn and lawn envy does not exist. I have the grass for the kids and dog to enjoy and that's it. The quality of cut the mower provides to me is not all that important.

Price: Here's the age old price argument. I spent $1545.00 on my 2017 XT1 42". For mowers in that price range, nearly all of them were made by MTD. I could had bought an MTD Troy built with a larger deck and more engine, but then it is less maneuverable, no hydro transmission and also had a worse warranty. For $200 more, I could had bought a John Deere with again a worse warranty and less HP and other options. I found the cub cadet to be a happy medium on price and value per dollar.

Maneuverability: I needed the smaller deck to get into some tight fitting spots and on some steep terrain. The larger the deck, the harder it would be for me to get the mower into the hard to get to spots. While I have less engine with the smaller deck, I also have less rotational mass on the blades to spin. I'm not an expert when it comes to mowers/tractors but that seems to me less load on the engine thus not needing a larger engine to power the mower. Also included in this section is "Steep and hilly terrain". The Steep and Hilly term is subjective. I've tried my tractor out on different types of terrain and whenever I find my self having to do some sort of weight transfer of my body in any direction to feel "safe" I've probably gone too far and I'm in hand tool territory.

Some people will make the argument that if I had bought a better tractor, I could do the same amount of work in less time or I'd get a cleaner cut blah blah blah. But it all comes back to use and expectation. I'm happy my ride on mower has reduced my trimming time with a hand held trimmer from days into an hour. I'm also happy with the extra $3,500 I saved because I have more time than money. Ask yourself why am I considering a riding mower/garden tractor VS this post on the forums said I need this. I bought the cheapest riding mower Cub Cadet offers and it has fulfilled my purpose and I'm very happy.

Attached below is a before and after picture of a small snapshot of an acre of weeds on my property in my front yard. It took me about 20 minutes to have these weeds down to 2" with absolutely no issues at all.

BEFORE



AFTER

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post #2 of 7 Old 04-26-2017, 05:20 AM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

You don’t have to justify your tractor selection- the most important part is “are you happy” with your selection? You picked the tractor that you feel is “right” for you. Everyone’s needs and expectations are different. Doesn’t mean their choice is wrong or your choice is wrong. Congrats on your new tractor!! I hope you feel same way 3 or 4 years down road!! If you do then you will know you made the right choice

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-26-2017, 05:45 AM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

I've only bought one new lawn tractor in my life... a cub 1050 from lowes. The trans got weaker /slower the first summer and worsened the second yr. Sold it at big loss , and won't make that mistake twice. I'd of been better off spending my 2g on a used JD GT.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-26-2017, 07:32 AM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

We give the best advice from our own experience from years of use of our equipment. No one is forced to use it. I hope you are as happy with your choice as I'm with mine. I bought my garden tractor 40 years ago and it is still mowing my 2 acres of lawn.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-29-2018, 10:19 PM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

Would love to see a picture of that 40 year old tractor...at least tell us what it is
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 07:00 PM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

I read your post, then looked at your username.

One of my jammers has a Gibson ES5. He ordered it custom made in 1957 and plays it daily. My LT won't last anywhere near as long, and it doesn't deal with any grades of more than 3% except the sides of an 18" deep ditch.

On the other hand, my 40 year old MF1655 with FEL served me well for 24 years, and the previous owner for 5 years. It was retired when I bought a new SCUT that is now 12 years old.

My GT averaged 100 hours per year, and never mowed a blade of grass in my service, but it sure moved a lot of snowflakes and dirt.

Durability is a very important aspect in the decision making process when purchasing a tractor. A LT will serve you for 5-10 years judging by the pics that you posted. A light GT with a hydro, 15-25 years. A heavy GT will do its last cut when your grandson is an adult.

Of course, every part of a tractor can be replaced when it fails. You just have to figure out how much money you want to pour into replacement parts to determine when to replace the whole tractor. My 40 year old GT needed about $200 in parts and paint to put it back in operation when I retired it, about $2000 to restore it back to original, and $10,000 to replace it with a brand new comparable tractor, otherwise known as a SCUT. The original price of a MF1655 was C$3175 in 1977.

Bob

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Last edited by TUDOR; 03-30-2018 at 07:05 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-15-2018, 04:01 AM
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Re: 1st Tractor 1st Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
I read your post, then looked at your username.

One of my jammers has a Gibson ES5. He ordered it custom made in 1957 and plays it daily. My LT won't last anywhere near as long, and it doesn't deal with any grades of more than 3% except the sides of an 18" deep ditch.

On the other hand, my 40 year old MF1655 with FEL served me well for 24 years, and the previous owner for 5 years. It was retired when I bought a new SCUT that is now 12 years old.

My GT averaged 100 hours per year, and never mowed a blade of grass in my service, but it sure moved a lot of snowflakes and dirt.

Durability is a very important aspect in the decision making process when purchasing a tractor. A LT will serve you for 5-10 years judging by the pics that you posted. A light GT with a hydro, 15-25 years. A heavy GT will do its last cut when your grandson is an adult.

Of course, every part of a tractor can be replaced when it fails. You just have to figure out how much money you want to pour into replacement parts to determine when to replace the whole tractor. My 40 year old GT needed about $200 in parts and paint to put it back in operation when I retired it, about $2000 to restore it back to original, and $10,000 to replace it with a brand new comparable tractor, otherwise known as a SCUT. The original price of a MF1655 was C$3175 in 1977.
We can lead a horse to water but can not make him drink. But they all drink in time. A lesson learnt the hard way maybe the best solution. To some our experience and wisdom is meaningless.
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