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Thread: Lawn Tractor need some guidance please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Lawn Tractor need some guidance please

    OK I know this sounds very odd given snow flies around here in few weeks normally.
    But I need to be prepared for next year and given the dilemma I find myself in I need time to come to a conclusion of what to buy.
    I also got a quote from my current lawn care guy for the new place and $3000 dollar plus tax is a little steep for cutting grass for 8 months.
    I cannot do this new lawn with a push mower, will be there all week.
    So here is the dilemma.
    Been searching and reading left right and center and what I have read has caused more doubt and uncertainty than clarity of what to do.
    It would be a great deal easier if I knew what our final home looked like. Then I could size the machine to the future need rather than short term.
    Given this desire and the current cost of these machines in Canada right now given our exchange rate, I began leaning to short term fix idea of buying used and low cost. Found a Craftsman Dlt 2000 that looked in good condition for around $1000 dollars. Then did a search and found this model had some tranny issues.
    Then I got to thinking buying used of any brand makes this a potential project in the making.
    Then looked at John Deere and read the Borg homeowner versions were like soda cans so that put me in the higher end category not stocked at Borg's.
    Issue then is where is enough enough and the price goes with it......for what cutting grass.
    A 20hp Borg John Deere runs around $3k Cad here. But if its going to be like a soda can and not wear then I struggle with value.
    The used John Deere in the non Borg lineup going all the way back to the 400 series are selling here as if they were some scarce oil painting.
    We Canadians also seem to think a used item is worth what we paid for it simply because the person buying it is saving the sales tax. Duh. No concept of what a 300 hour wear and tear and no warranty does to a 5 year old lawnmower.
    So I thought let me turn to you all and hear what you have to say.
    I have even been looking in the US within reasonable range of Toronto (NY State up to say Rochester kind of distance ) given better used sense of reality your US side of the border. But then I thought problem is I have no clue on checking one of these things out. I know bike engines but this hydrostatic transmission. Is foreign to me and from what I have researched supposed to be a sealed unit. This brought me back to new with warranty and buy a brand like Deere but not Borg version.
    But then which level to settle on and why.
    I ain't a light weight so thinking HP all I can get. Don't need the fancy turning of rear wheels for tight turns that just sounds like more to go wrong.
    Going to write Jim cause if I recall he has 325 x version or something like that.
    I gotta tell you Deere certainly don't make the choice easy with such a flood of models. Classic marketing to try get one to part with more coin than need be.

    Can anyone shed some light on their choices and experience with this kind of mower.

    Come to conclusion widest deck possible is best.

    I would have liked to have some "insurance" included for future desires. Just like Carol did buying the 400 she rode across US to get. The type of front end mods Carol was doing at least make for more use on next property.
    But is it really real to expect these tractors with this type of tranny to handle a bucket attachment and continue working for long???
    Next step is baby Deere real tractor loader but the leap in outlay is enormous so big deterrent given I have no idea where we will end up right now.

    Any input thoughts experiences would be appreciated.

    BTW how long would you expect a ride on to last you?

    If u got this far thanks for reading please comment.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I bought a 'craftsman' that I thought was a 'garden tractor'. Well, at least that's what it was sold as. Once I got it though, I found that the transaxle it had was not rated for 'ground engagement'. I did get a sleeve hitch and a little blade on it for working the driveway, but it really was never up to the task. It worked fine for mowing my patch of grass, but since I killed that off all I ever do is use it for towing carts around the property. It works fine for that.

    When I did try to use it to grade the driveway, the transaxle would heat up and kind of slow down.

    So, What I'm saying is, make sure you know what you want it to do, and make sure it's rated to handle it. A couple of years of paying to have the yard mowed should break even on something decent.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    while i have no current expierence i can say that several years ago the church i belonged to had a cub cadet and a deer and the cub cadet was much more reliable and required less maint. than the deer. i just checked and here in the states the top models start at less than $3k new. jmho.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Brent has it in one. Huge difference between ground engagement and mowing. If you anticipate ground engagement in the future, then you are in for much more than $3K. In 1979 I bought a 'real' compact tractor (Ford diesel version) with the front end loader that handled mowing. I also put a backhoe on it. Sold it in 2004. Never regretted the nearly $10k I had in it. BTW, sold it for $8K. Plus $6k worth of accessories. It will hold value far beyond the soda can models.

    My tractor repair guy claims borg models are shot in three years. Not worth the cost of repairing them. When the tranny goes, its total toast. I will drop a new motor in my 400 and have a better machine for about a third of a new comparable machine. But I shopped for that thing for over 6 months and had to travel half way across the USA to get it. Yes, its a project that stlll needs completion, but I will have what I want with it. And expect to get out of it what I will have in it.

    The Cubs are rated high, as Don said. My old 400JD has cast iron axles which is why it will handle the front end loader and the backhoe. Manufacturers haven't used cast iron in their mower tractors in decades.

    Now you have more to think about. Go look at compact tractors. There JD is more expensive because of name. And the parts are dear, too. Pun intended. Look for real iron, not formed sheet metal in the axles. Diesel has power up the wazoo. Gasoline is acceptable unless you are really working dirt hard.

    As usual, buy what you really want and need. In the end, you won't regret it.

    BTW, I used a chain over the bucket and lifted more things than I ever lifted dirt. Know I saved the cost of that attachment in chiropractor fees alone!

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Buy some goats.....?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I had a Murray that I bought at HD for $900.00 plus a free cart. Cheap as heck but it lasted cutting 3 acres of grass twice a week for 8 years. 3 or 4 years ago I spent $300.00 on a used JD stx38 that was made in the 80's. I just needed something to last the rest of the season, I was going to buy a new one in the spring when they went on sale. The machine is bullet proof. I can't kill it.
    JD, Cub, Huskie and others make nice machines for under $1500.00. That's all you need. They work fine and last a long time if you take care of them.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Rob, Don't you need a tractor that will handle both lawn mowing and snow removal?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I bought a Craftsman new when we moved into our current house. Except for a few minor issues it has been 100% reliable. I did put tractor style tires on the rear because my land is a hillside. Saved me an hour of mowing time. I use it year round pulling a small trailer for all kinds of tasks. The John Deere mowers sold at BORGs are no better and no worse than other mowers in the same price range. If you plan to move up to a small genuine tractor for real work look at the John Deere line at a Deere dealer or the Kubotas. The Kubota diesel is reputed to be a serious working hoss but noisy and expensive.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I should say that other than the seat cracking and the stickers peeling off, my craftsman has started every time I've used it over the last 8 or so years, so I really can't complain. I use it several times a week for moving stuff. Carts of firewood, weeds, garbage, that kind of stuff. and if I needed it to, I'm sure it'd still mow just fine.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  10. #10
    I own a JD riding mower that I bought from the orange borg. It is going on 10 years old and about 600 hours on it with the original transmission and B & S Vee twin engine. Doesn't burn any oil, only on it's second battery and still has the original spindles as I bought a set of bearings to replace the ones damaged when the wife hit something cutting grass. I'm kind of perplexed as to why everyone thinks the borg models are different somehow.

    Oh and I can't even convince Norma to get a new one. She says there isn't a thing wrong with the current one and there is no sense in replacing something that isn't broken!

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