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Discussion Starter #1
I need a new lawn tractor for my 1 acre property, to replace my 2006 craftsman. My choices are Troy Built, Craftsman, John Deere, Cuba Cadet or Husquvarna. I am looking at 18 - 20 HP models with a 42inch deck. Are any of these better than the others? What should I be looking for? I want to be able to mulch the clippings rather than pick them up. The only time I will need to use the bagger function is for the leaves in the fall, which I use to mulch my garden over the winter.

As an aside, I have the craftsman bagger for the old tractor. Does anyone know of they are "standard" do as to fit the new tractor? I hate to spend $300 or more extra on an attachment that I use only once or twice per year.

Thanks in advance.

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Well, I might be able to help you with what not to choose...
1) Stay away from single cylinder engines. A lot less vibration on duel cylinder motors.
2) Stay away from anything with a K46 transmission. They are junk and won't last.
That should narrow the field quite a bit for you.
 

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Make Better Mowers
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I'm all for getting a garden tractor rather than lawn tractor. Just mowing grass, it'll last so much longer! I'm not into buying new anymore and with the increase in plastic and other cost cutting procedures, I'd look into older models. Craigslist has been good to me for mowers and cars and trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I might be able to help you with what not to choose...
1) Stay away from single cylinder engines. A lot less vibration on duel cylinder motors.
2) Stay away from anything with a K46 transmission. They are junk and won't last.
That should narrow the field quite a bit for you.
Can you give me some details on why you say the K46 transmission is junk? All of the tractors I can find, seem to have that transmission.

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Can you give me some details on why you say the K46 transmission is junk? All of the tractors I can find, seem to have that transmission.

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I don't think they're junk but as Dirty Harry once said, "A man's got to know his limitations." Kanzaki Tuff Torq says you can change the oil in their transaxles and many people do. The tractor manufacturers say no need.
Do the manufacturers think the rest of the tractor will wear out before the transaxle? :dunno:

A lot of guys on here, myself included say these are lighter duty transaxles meant for mowing lawn and once in awhile pulling a small cart, never pulling ground engaging equipment like a rototiller, plows, discs, cultivators, etc.

Search the forum and you'll find people who have got hundreds of hours out of them without a problem and people who didn't.

At any rate if I had more than an acre to mow I'd probably be looking for something with a higher numbered transaxle. If your budget doesn't allow for a new one there are plenty of older models if well taken care that are still serviceable after 10, 15 even 20 years.
 

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Well, I might be able to help you with what not to choose...
1) Stay away from single cylinder engines. A lot less vibration on duel cylinder motors.
2) Stay away from anything with a K46 transmission. They are junk and won't last.
That should narrow the field quite a bit for you.
Can you give me some details on why you say the K46 transmission is junk? All of the tractors I can find, seem to have that transmission.

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The K46 is VERY light duty, overheating issues, etc. Search for it on these forms.
You said you have an acre to mow. That's quite a bit for a light duty mower. Spend a little more for a medium duty, you won't regret it.
I believe Huskq has a medium duty with a K56 transmission and 2 cylinder motor in the mid 2000's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I am seeing a 42 inch Craftsman lawn tractors with the K58 transmission, and a John Degree and a different Craftsman with a CT hydrogear T2. Are those heavier duty and recommended?
To be clear, I will not be using any tillers, snow removal, etc types of equipment. I would be mowing the lawn, and occasionally trailering a cart of mulch, and throwing seed and fertilizer .

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I would get the K58. It will last you a lot longer. I bought a X590 with a K72, but I'm old lol. My back needed a break. Good luck.
 

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How is your property? Relatively flat?

The K46 is a fine lawn tractor transaxle, but it's biggest weakness is heat. Always run wide-open throttle when operating the lawn tractor, that keeps the cooling fan going faster. Keep debris cleared off the transaxle, that will help with airflow. You can do some towing with them, but use common sense. Don't be afraid to make more, smaller, trips. The K46 is also fine for pushing a snowblower, as it doesn't stress the transaxle- but on the same note I wouldn't plow snow with one.

The problem with the K46 is that while the oil can (and should) be changed, they're pushed as non-servicable, so people don't bother with it. Well, as the trasnaxle heats up the oil breaks down, and it just goes from there.

So, in short, the K46 works fine for most residential mowing.

Got hills? More than two acres? Or you know you have a history of pushing your equipment? Go for a garden tractor. You'll never regret buying more machine than you think you'll need.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I believe i am going with the Craftsman T-130. It has a hydrostatic transmission (not sure what that is and how it differs from the K46 or K58). It also accepts the bagger I currently own, which is why I chose that tractor.



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The T130 is NOT a hydrostatic transmission......it's what they call a belt-driven automatic. I don't think you'll be happy with it. When buying a new or used machine, you really need to get on the ground and inspect it. The T130 also has little weight to it at just over 500 pounds. I would look for bolted rear wheels rather than a keyway, too.
 
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