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Discussion Starter #1
I trying to decide between a Cub and John Deere riding lawn mower. The dealer says that the gt 2544 is the best all around mower(best cut). Is this true? Are these good mowers? Please help me make my decision.
 

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What JD were you looking at to compare to the GT2544?
I own a older version of the GT2500 series which is a Cub Cadet 2206 it's the ame Tractor except it has a auluminum Transaxle case and a 48inch deck and I have had it 7 years and use it mostly as a tilling platform for the 30inch Hydraulic tiller. Only problem I have had with it is one Flat tire (wife ran over a Rake or so she says). They are good medium Garden tractors and good mowing plateforms. The only complaints I have really seen on the forum on the 2500 series is the new composite hoods alot do not like them on this forum they wish Cub had kept the steel hoods. But other than that most Peole like there 2500 series. The a great price for what you get meaning shaft drive over a belt drive and a Rugged machine. :thThumbsU
 

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My 2166 does a great job at cutting nice and even. Cub uses a very simple yet effective design to hold the deck, which makes an even cut, but also very easy to pull the deck off. Which John Deere are you looking at? There are some minor flaws, like the mounts on the hood crack easy on the 2544, but overall they are great. The tranny is very strong, and the kohler command motor is a good motor, however it is a little more noisy than a Vanguard or Kawasiki.
 

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I have a new GT2544, I moved up from a Cub LT1045. As far as that goes the GT2544 is twice the tractor the 1045. I can't compare it to a JD as I never test drove any outside of a base X500. I have rode around on their LA series and you couldn't give me one, but the X series I can't talk about. The Kohler command engine is superb, it actually has a nice throaty sound idleing with the throttle back :) . Going from a single cylinder in the 1045 to the V-Twin is night and day. The 2500 series has the cast iron rear end that is serviceable, that's really nice when you compare to an aluminum rear end. I believe my 2544 outweighs the 1045 by about 225 pounds too.

As far as the cut goes I can't complain, I have always mowed on the highest setting (6) with both mowers. I have noticed that level 6 on the 1045 was a higher cut than 6 on the 2544. I have used both the mulch plug and discharge, I have mowed 3 acres 3 times now and have no complaints of clumping. I just wish my bagger from the 1045 would have worked, no big deal though.

If you have any hills or slopes to navigate you'll really appreciate the shaft drive. I could feel the aluminum tranny and single cylinder straining some in my back yard, this Kohler and shaft drive now is a huge difference, you can't even tell a difference in the tone of the engine or tranny. That was my biggest reason for upgrading.

I don't know but I have some friends who have X500 series w/4 wheel steering JD's and they said for what you pay $3600ish for the Cub, you would have to pay $5000ish to get matching specs in a JD. Again, I don't know I did do some price comparisons first, but I also knew I wanted a shaft drive, so that made me somewhat biased I didn't shop brands too much. My 1045 has been good to me 150+ hours in 1.5 years, brand loyalty I guess.

Now for the negative... The hood. I'm not going into a lot of detail but there are several people who have had issues with their hoods, you can read the posts. Mine was within a week of purchase and the dealer took full responsibility. I have been more than pleased with the interaction with my dealer after the sale. I've also had ballast put in my rear tires from them. If you're comparing a big box mower vs. an independent dealer I don't care what brand you go with, you should always get more individual service from a dealer who's reputation is on the line. I've read about some people talk about the seat, personally I love it moving up from a mid rise seat to something with a full back and arm rest. They say it leans forward too much, but I haven't found that with mine, maybe it's just me. It is a comfortable ride to me. I have noticed the safety deck disengage is somewhat sensitive depending on how much you wiggle your butt or rise up in the air. It seems the 1045 had a larger grace period so to say.

Overall I feel the GT2544 is good for the money, I didn't want the GT2542 due to wanting bigger front tires and engine and I can't use the GT2550 due to the deck width and my neighbor has a 48" gate on her yard so I can't get in there to mow. I do wish that cub would address the hood issue, that's the biggest prick in the side I see right now. I only have 6.3 hours so the mower is still practically new.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have looked at the x300 series tractor. JD goes either 42 or 48 decks. the 48 is probably to big for getting around my trees. Alll I know is that it has got to be faster than using the 21in jd self propelled mower I have now. It took me 2.5 hours to mow and bloww off the drive the other day.
 

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Can't help you much directly since I only have used a Cub, not a JD, but have you posted a similar question over in the JD forum as well?

You *might* get a bit of a Cub bias over here in the Cub forum:D . Would be interesting to see if you get mostly pro-Cub in the Cub forum and mostly pro-JD in the JD forum (which I would consider cancelling each other out), or if you see a consistent favorite coming out of both places...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did post in both forums so that I can get as much info as possible. I would expect the cub guys to be a little biased:D as well as the JD guys also. I just want to be as educated as possible to the pro's and con's of both brands.
 

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Keep in mind that the JD X300's and the Cub 2500's aren't really meant to compete against each other. The fact that they're priced evenly isn't by design. The JD is a lawn tractor, designed for mowing. It does that well, is more maneuverable, and quieter. JD generally pays more attention to fit and finish as well.

The Cub is a GT, designed to take on mowing chores as well as ground engaging. As a result the Cub spends the bulk of your $$'s on the heart of the machine: transmission, engine and frame. That leaves little for fit and finish and general polish.

If you have a good Cub dealer, you'll be happy with the Cub for many years. It really needs a good dealer to go over it before delivery. The JD's are more thoroughly set up by the factory, so they tend to provide a more consistently good end-user experience.

If you just want a mower, then the JD is the safe bet. If you want an all-around tractor, then the Cub is the better choice.
 

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Re: Cub Cadet 2542

I have had a 2166 cub, I bought a 2542 because I wanted a cast iron transaxle. They are both good machines,never had a problem,with them.Buy a machine that is to your needs.Phil.
 

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My neighbor has a rand new Cub. Not sure of model but it cuts excellent. He had hernia surgery and had someone come cut his law today. Not sure why he didn't just aske me to do it but oh well. They cut it with an x300 in the back yard and looks terrible compared the Cub. They cut the front with a John Deere ZTR and it looks fabulous. I'm nut against either. Both are good machines. Just my observations.

T.C.
 

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I've found that a lot of your cut depends on how fast you mow, how much you cut off and the size of your deck. Honestly I've never saw anything with a deck over 50" whose cut compares to that of a 38"-40" of the same brand. A guy down the street has a 34" Aeirens and it looks awesome. Around here it seems like anyone who has a ZRT flies as fast as they can, and they all look like poo. I know most people don't like to cut their yard, but I believe if you're on here asking questions you probably care enough about your yard to make it want to look good.
 
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