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Discussion Starter #1
And pound for pound, what's the best lawn tractor around?
I am looking to purchase a new lawn tractor. I have an MTD I bought new in 2002 and it has never given me a bit of problem...... until about a year ago. And it has given me nothing but problems since:crybaby: :banghead3 . I paid $1100.00 for it new and have spent about half that much in the last year on parts for it.
Anyway, I'd like to upgrade to a better quality machine. I read in another post that the big box stores tend to sell the low end of the spectrum machines. I don't mind spending a little more for a quality machine. Any thoughts? I have an acre of flat land that I mow twice a week.
BTW, I would really like to go with a John Deere but we don't have any J.D. dealers close by. That's a concern for me.
I know it's like asking whats best, Ford or Chevy, but I would love some of your thoughts and experiences on this.
Thanks.
 

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The Magnificent
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So you have $1600 in a machine that has lasted 7 years. That isn't too bad. You would have to pay more than twice that to get something really nice like a Husqvarna with a Vanguard engine and locking differential, or a JD x300. You could also get into a Simplicity or Kubota at that price (you did say lawn tractor and not GT).

No guarantee that at twice the price of a box mower you would get twice the 7 years you've gotten out of your MTD.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I'm old fashioned but I expect the tractor to last longer than the battery that came with it. Seriously, I replaced the battery for the first time last spring because at 6 years old it was dead.
Maybe my expectations are just to high. I expect to have to do routine maintenance and even at 6 years some more than routine repairs. For example, I have had to replace both front axles (the left one last year, the right one this year) replaced all the bushings in the wheels and struts, replaced both ball joints (that is one I would consider routine at 6 years) and am now having both engine and rear end (I think) problems. Having two front axles crack, in the exact same spot, a year apart really has soured me. I don't misuse or abuse this unit. My lot is flat and smooth. No reason what so ever that I can see why both axles would crack, other than a poor machine design.
I would hope a higher end machine would last longer. Maybe I'm just living in the wrong decade.
 

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A consumer grade (Read: Sheetmetal and a transaxle) will last if it's impeccably maintained, garage kept etc.. Now, I think you have to buy a "decent" consumer grade machine to get it to last that long.

The truth is, nothing beats a real tractor, and real tractors cost lots of moolah. A green machine that will last more than one generation? Figure 12-14K.... That's more than sheet metal... That's iron... And that's a Diesel...

I paid just about 3K for the one you see in my avatar and I don't expect it to last more than a year or two. Or perhaps I should word that differently.... I expect it to live in my garage for a year or two and then I am going back to a real tractor.. Something like a JD 700 Select series with a Diesel...
 

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I say Buy a BOLENS! not the new ones of today but a nice one from the 60's-70's. If you know a little bit about engines these will last forever.:thThumbsU
 

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The Magnificent
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A consumer grade (Read: Sheetmetal and a transaxle) will last if it's impeccably maintained, garage kept etc.. Now, I think you have to buy a "decent" consumer grade machine to get it to last that long.

The truth is, nothing beats a real tractor, and real tractors cost lots of moolah. A green machine that will last more than one generation? Figure 12-14K.... That's more than sheet metal... That's iron... And that's a Diesel...

I paid just about 3K for the one you see in my avatar and I don't expect it to last more than a year or two. Or perhaps I should word that differently.... I expect it to live in my garage for a year or two and then I am going back to a real tractor.. Something like a JD 700 Select series with a Diesel...
Even the "real" machines of yesteryear cost a boatload back then. So 12-14K for an x700 is no more expensive than $5000 was for a 318 22 years ago.

And well cared for, your GT5000 should see an easy 10 years, whether in your garage or someone else.
 

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All Fired Up
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I f I paid $3K for a mower that I had to put $1500 in in five years to keep it going, I would be ****** beyond belief. I have a Craftsman II with an 18 hp that I bought in 84, 85. It lasted almost twenty years cutting 3 acres, pulling boats and cars, pushing snow, and about any other use I could find. I don't think it cost me three hundred in all that time, and that was for mandrels and belts.

I bought a DGT6000 in 03, 04 and I expect the same service out of it.
 

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The Magnificent
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Half acre yards out here command $50-$80 per mowing. Assume a short 16 week mowing season, that's $800-$1280 per year to have someone do it.

The OP spent a mere $1100 7 years ago, and $500 in repair parts recently. $1100 gets you the low end of the Sears line. That's the same money as having someone mow for two years. How is he money behind?

For the same $800 per year as having someone mow over a 7 year period, the OP could buy a JD x520 and be done with it. He would then have a machine he would reasonably expect to get 20 or more years out of.

Our problem is that we like slave labor, and don't expect to pay a fair price for a decent product.
 

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Half acre yards out here command $50-$80 per mowing. Assume a short 16 week mowing season, that's $800-$1280 per year to have someone do it.

The OP spent a mere $1100 7 years ago, and $500 in repair parts recently. $1100 gets you the low end of the Sears line. That's the same money as having someone mow for two years. How is he money behind?

For the same $800 per year as having someone mow over a 7 year period, the OP could buy a JD x520 and be done with it. He would then have a machine he would reasonably expect to get 20 or more years out of.

Our problem is that we like slave labor, and don't expect to pay a fair price for a decent product.

AMEN!

I on the other hand don't mind spending 10K to get a 20/30 year machine. I just can't afford it *right* now.. But I've decided I am saving up cash this time and will be paying cash for my next Deere.
 

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I would go with a riding mower or tractor over hiring someone else unless I just did not have the time. Lucky for me, I do have the time.:D
The differences on box store mowers vs quality tractors can be looked at both sides. I owned a Wizzard 42" with a 12.5 B&S for 14 years. All I did was
change the oil as needed and nothing else. Now at the time I had bought the small mower was 89 and I remember everything on the mower was metal. The thought of buying a heavy duty tractor some day was always in the back of my head. Now that I own one with the FEL and BH and a 60 cutting deck, I would never want to go back to a basic mower. The amount of money I paid for this I never expect to get back. It is the excitement and thrill of getting on this tractor that makes the investment well worth it. Safe to say that it is becoming my major hobby.:thThumbsU
Brett, Im glad that you will be going green in the future but for now you have a nice mower. I really like that seat. When I was shopping for a tractor I was
really impressed with the 3320. When you mowed with it, did it ever leave footprints?
 

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Ref,

Honestly it rarely left footprints. I made sure I never went out when it was wet, or I would not have a lawn left to mow. The 60" 7-Iron didn't cut the grass as nice as the deck does on this Craftsman, but, I could drive into the woods with that deck and mow grass that was taller than I am.... The deck on the 3320 weighs more than this whole tractor! And it was so smooth, oh the ride..... Was like driving a car :) I miss my big tractor!

The next one won't be so crazy, I really don't need a backhoe so I'm thinking 749SE from Deere will fit the bill. :)
 

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Brett,
Thanks for the reply. My next dream tractor in the (far, I hope) future is a cab with A/C.:fing32:
I have heard that the 749SE is so comfortable! Us 2210/2305 owners are wishing we had that seat and suspension.
 

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Ref,

Just looking at the seat is looks comfortable :) My 3320 had the suspension seat (air ride is available in the cab units) but man it was so smooth.. That machine just felt so heavy, ya know? Like nothing ever shook it... I could cruise down through the yard full bore, do that with the craftsman and I'll have to go back and pick up the hood, probably the front wheels, axles... :)
 

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Brett,
Yeah it seems like the larger the tractor, the smoother the ride. My next ride will be a cab tractor mainly because of the 100 plus heat throughout the summer. I was looking for Deere to offer cab and more options on the 2720 but was dissappointed to find out that they did not. The B3030 cab has been catching my eye lately...:DI guess when I get ready I will take a closer look at the 3000 series especially if they don't leave a footprint.
 

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Ref,

I would give the 3K series serious consideration. I ran the Industrial's and had the upgraded 41.60 rears no loading in the tires and I didn't have any issues with it tearing up the ground, so long as it was dry.

I think I will be happy with something slightly larger than a run of the mill garden tractor but smaller than a SCUT. My 3320 was a beast, but really, far too big for my acreage. The next machine must be a diesel though... These gas engines Oy Ve! My Craftsman has a relatively big tank at 4 gallons, and to mow the yard (about an hour) it seems to chew through 2+ gallons of gas.

The 3320 held 13 gallons of diesel and I had to worry about the fuel going bad, because it took so **** long to use it up!
 

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Madman,

That sounds about right.... That's a lot of gas compared to what a Diesel would use.
 

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I think a diesel is an over kill for mowing the lawn at a residence, maybe if you were in that business. The initial cost is to much for me. I feel the same way about my trucks, if you were going to keep it forever, 400,000 miles then maybe, but the average guy might put 150,000 on it and then unloadit for something new.
 

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It's a longevity thing for me.. To get a real quality piece of equipment it will cost 10 grand so why not go an extra 2 for the diesel.
 
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