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Pretty sure my old Huskee had an Intek as well and it was a fine engine. On the brand bashing one thing that dismays me is when someone buys the lowest priced mower they can find, abuses the heck out of it, it breaks, then claims it was the biggest piece of junk ever.

I feel like if you want to buy an LT or GT and want it to last, start at the transaxle--buy the most heavy duty one you can afford. Only caveat to that is the Husqvarna TS348s with the K66 and weak frame. Man, that is close to the best deal in a new GT available--if not for that frame. Almost worth it to buy one and immediately reinforce it. To heck with the warranty.
Agreed. However, it's why I think the Cub XT2 54D takes that honor. Much better frame and the K62 isn't that far off of a K66 in application.
 
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I bought a new Craftsman and after 10 years it had multiple issues after only being used on a 1/4 acre lawn. I replaced it with a used Simplicity Prestige and couldn't be happier. I paid $2400 for it 10 years ago with about 250 hrs. on it. It did cost $300 for new head gaskets 2 years ago but after ten years it mows better than anything I have ever had. It also has power steering, power deck lift, electric pto. I bought a house with a big lot and steep hills when I bought the Simplicity. That's what I would do again.
 

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Has anyone checked if John Deere actually assembles a machine destined only for a retail seller? I've always wondered why any manufacturer like John Deere would purposely build one machine for retail and another for dealers. The result would be the same consumer dissatisfaction with the color.
 

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I'm going to be buying a riding mower, 42 or 46 inch, from Lowe's, and I need some advice. I'm buying from Lowe's because I have about $500 in gift cards from there, plus I get a 10% discount for being retired military. I need a mower that is reliable, simple to service, and comes with a good warranty. I know that is asking a lot, but hey, you never know until you ask, right? My yard is maybe 1.2 acres, completely flat, with only a few trees. I don't want or need a zero turn mower. Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated!
I'm going to be buying a riding mower, 42 or 46 inch, from Lowe's, and I need some advice. I'm buying from Lowe's because I have about $500 in gift cards from there, plus I get a 10% discount for being retired military. I need a mower that is reliable, simple to service, and comes with a good warranty. I know that is asking a lot, but hey, you never know until you ask, right? My yard is maybe 1.2 acres, completely flat, with only a few trees. I don't want or need a zero turn mower. Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated!
 

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Has anyone checked if John Deere actually assembles a machine destined only for a retail seller? I've always wondered why any manufacturer like John Deere would purposely build one machine for retail and another for dealers. The result would be the same consumer dissatisfaction with the color.
The old D125/D130 were sort of exclusive to the box stores. I think Home Depot sold the D125 and Lowe's sold the D130. I believe both were also available through a dealer. I'm not sure there were any differences between the two besides the stickers and horsepower ratings....which mean nothing.
 

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Has anyone checked if John Deere actually assembles a machine destined only for a retail seller? I've always wondered why any manufacturer like John Deere would purposely build one machine for retail and another for dealers. The result would be the same consumer dissatisfaction with the color.
It's just like other companies that supply grocery stores do....They make the brand name and then there is the watered down slightly, not as good tasting no name/store brand. Probably built on the same line, but cheaper parts go in, thus less cost.
 

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Has anyone checked if John Deere actually assembles a machine destined only for a retail seller? I've always wondered why any manufacturer like John Deere would purposely build one machine for retail and another for dealers. The result would be the same consumer dissatisfaction with the color.
All JD machines in the box stores are out of a JD plant, and a local JD dealer does final prep for them.
 

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Lowe’s sells Deere S series tractors now. They are more than adequate for you needs as described. Choose the best fit for your budget and enjoy. We had a D series that is now with a friend, more than 10 years old and is still going strong. They are not 7 series but you don’t need one to mow you 1 - 1 1/2 acres of flat lawn.
 

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I'm going to be buying a riding mower, 42 or 46 inch, from Lowe's, and I need some advice. I'm buying from Lowe's because I have about $500 in gift cards from there, plus I get a 10% discount for being retired military. I need a mower that is reliable, simple to service, and comes with a good warranty. I know that is asking a lot, but hey, you never know until you ask, right? My yard is maybe 1.2 acres, completely flat, with only a few trees. I don't want or need a zero turn mower. Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated!
In 2009 purchased a new LA-115 from Lowe's paid $2251 with tax. I did get the JD 24 year max warranty. Today still use it daily with 299 hours. Easy to repair the head gasket blow last year cost me $15.00 dollars to repairs. The decks' parts fairly inexpensive to find on Amazon. Some basic small engine skills not hard to maintain to last a long time. My property is just under 1 acre flat. The motor is B&S 19.5 with the K46 trans. The trans is a sealed unit you can't change the oil. I never had any issues.
 

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A lot of bad information in this thread based on opinion or one particular personal experience and not a lot of experience or knowledge.
There is absolutely no reason to not buy a mower that meets your needs from a big-box store. As a matter of fact there are a couple of benefits from buying one.
with a 10% off coupon or a military discount you will probably get a better price and if you decide you don't like it you can easily return it with no questions asked. Also if you get a lemon that has to be repaired multiple times or even if you're past your warranty. They will usually step up and give you your money back towards something else.

Now on to John Deere. All mowers are just a combination of their parts with Engines & Transmissions being the deal breakers.
John Deere often has the manufacturers use a different part number for a transmission but in reality it's exactly the same as far as durability.
It doesn't matter what brand the mower is and the dealer setup is a bunch of crap.
You wouldn't believe what I see on brand new mowers and John Deere's that were supposed to be set up by a dealer or a John Deere rep.
A John Deere with a certain engine or a k46 transmission is not going to be a bit better then another machine with a k46 transmission.

Also, somebody said something about getting one with a k46 like it was more durable! This is the entry-level transmission that dominates riding mowers and it's wimpy and subpar at best. It will get the average person by for 8 or 10 years if they don't pull anything and if they have flat ground and they mow a half acre or less but start putting the hours on it and it's just not going to give you tons and tons of service.
It all boils down to engine transmission and price. Whether it's an orange Husqvarna or a green John Deere makes no difference.
 

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It all boils down to engine transmission and price. Whether it's an orange Husqvarna or a green John Deere makes no difference.
While I disagree with much of your post, it is your opinion.

I would however, add that durability of frame is also important. 👍
 
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This post is for the OP. Watch these videos. Hope these help you out some with regards to the S series and machine setup importance and in general what to look for.


Like they say knowledge is power from what I learned from the forum. I guess I got lucky so far with my La-115. Definitely would step up to something more heavy duty like the trans & Maybe trouble free engine like a Kawasaki ?
 

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A lot of bad information in this thread based on opinion or one particular personal experience and not a lot of experience or knowledge.
There is absolutely no reason to not buy a mower that meets your needs from a big-box store. As a matter of fact there are a couple of benefits from buying one.
with a 10% off coupon or a military discount you will probably get a better price and if you decide you don't like it you can easily return it with no questions asked. Also if you get a lemon that has to be repaired multiple times or even if you're past your warranty. They will usually step up and give you your money back towards something else.

Now on to John Deere. All mowers are just a combination of their parts with Engines & Transmissions being the deal breakers.
John Deere often has the manufacturers use a different part number for a transmission but in reality it's exactly the same as far as durability.
It doesn't matter what brand the mower is and the dealer setup is a bunch of crap.
You wouldn't believe what I see on brand new mowers and John Deere's that were supposed to be set up by a dealer or a John Deere rep.
A John Deere with a certain engine or a k46 transmission is not going to be a bit better then another machine with a k46 transmission.

Also, somebody said something about getting one with a k46 like it was more durable! This is the entry-level transmission that dominates riding mowers and it's wimpy and subpar at best. It will get the average person by for 8 or 10 years if they don't pull anything and if they have flat ground and they mow a half acre or less but start putting the hours on it and it's just not going to give you tons and tons of service.
It all boils down to engine transmission and price. Whether it's an orange Husqvarna or a green John Deere makes no difference.

As someone else mentioned, while I disagree with much of your post... I respect that your entitled to your opinion.

MOST big box store tractors are yard / lawn tractors. MOST are set up by "whoever" and more often than not you are better off having a dealer set up mower vs whoever happens to work for lowes or home depot.

A used garden tractor, if not completely neglected, will out last most of your big box store lawn tractors... and are capable of a lot more to boot. Fact of the matter is, most light duty lawn / yard tractors aren't very serviceable. At least not compared to the garden tractors that cost 2 to 3 times as much to start.

I'm not looking for an argument, and I do agree that you CAN wind up with a tractor that does you well at a big box store. It's just not the average persons experience. A K46 is probably as heavy a rear end as you'll find in a yard / lawn tractor for the most part. The entry level rear in a garden tractor is significantly more heavy duty.

I have a little MTD yard machines tractor that's well outlived it's expectations by now. For every one like mine, there are many more that do not. I also do not know that lowes or home depot will glady take a machine back and refund you. I'd tend to think they have set warranty periods. Most of them will likely tell you that your out of luck if your warranty periods up.
 

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This post is for the OP. Watch these videos. Hope these help you out some with regards to the S series and machine setup importance and in general what to look for.
After watching the second video, it confirmed what I have always suspected. That is, in most cases no dealer is doing the setup on these. Also, he's right....these things sit outside chained together like prisoners until they are sold to the unsuspecting.

WOULD NOT HAVE IT!
 

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I think you need to start at the beginning before jumping into all these small details like brands and what type of transmissions?
We can't really help unless you post back with more info?

I think Mark (LI) in the first page has the best suggestion. What are you going to do with the machine?
From what you said flat, 1.2 acres and mowing grass a ZT hands down will mow circles around a garden tractor. I know I have had both. BUT if you plan to do anything else a Garden tractor will be the weapon of choice. You already seem to have decided on a garden tractor with a 42" or 46" deck. Why?

Why don''t you want a ZT? Have you ever used one? If not then go try one out right now!
They are so easy to use that my wife even likes to mow with it. Before using the garden tractor to mow it was just a chore.

Then second what is your budget? We know you get a 10% discount and you have a $500 gift certificate. OK that's a start.

But we need more details or all this talk is of no value?
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I think you need to start at the beginning before jumping into all these small details like brands and what type of transmissions?
We can't really help unless you post back with more info?

I think Mark (LI) in the first page has the best suggestion. What are you going to do with the machine?
From what you said flat, 1.2 acres and mowing grass a ZT hands down will mow circles around a garden tractor. I know I have had both. BUT if you plan to do anything else a Garden tractor will be the weapon of choice. You already seem to have decided on a garden tractor with a 42" or 46" deck. Why?

Why don''t you want a ZT? Have you ever used one? If not then go try one out right now!
They are so easy to use that my wife even likes to mow with it. Before using the garden tractor to mow it was just a chore.

Then second what is your budget? We know you get a 10% discount and you have a $500 gift certificate. OK that's a start.

But we need more details or all this talk is of no value?
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I agree once you go to zero turn you never wanna go back. Even though I don’t owe one because there’s no need. The cost is about the same as a garden tractor I believe.
 

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I agree once you go to zero turn you never wanna go back. Even though I don’t owe one because there’s no need. The cost is about the same as a garden tractor I believe.
I have a Simplicity Broadmoor and my dad has a Simplicity zero turn. Both have excellent cuts. But, the ZT is just a grass cutter whereas the Broadmoor is much more flexible.

Even if I were just mowing grass I know there would come a time where I needed to do a task not fit for a ZT. So, for me, tractors are the hedge.
 

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I have a Simplicity Broadmoor and my dad has a Simplicity zero turn. Both have excellent cuts. But, the ZT is just a grass cutter whereas the Broadmoor is much more flexible.

Even if I were just mowing grass I know there would come a time where I needed to do a task not fit for a ZT. So, for me, tractors are the hedge.
To keep this on topic, so to speak, I agree that if I had a nice flat larger plot of ground to mow with no unsafe slopes... I'd go zero turn in a heart beat. Mowing a good 25 to 30 times per season like I do.... saving 30 min to an hour each time adds up.

The OP hasn't responded much, or at all that I've seen... maybe they got inundated with the bombardment of replies... but the OP did say they didn't want or need a zero turn. I'm not quite sure why. Seems like personal preference really. But that is a part of it.
 
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