First Riding mower - Help me out.

Messages
9,794
Location
Ontario, Canada
I think my only real criteria for a rider for that usage is, can I drain and fill the transmission? Without taking the transmission out that is... The rest of it is easily repaired. Even without a proper drain and fill plug on flat ground a HST should go for quite a while. Mine refuses to die and its 20+ years old and spends alot of time on the hills, but I cringe at what the fluid is like in there.
 
Messages
2,072
Location
South Central PA (Fulton Co)
I have the Cub Cadet XT1 with the 22HP Kohler and 46" deck. I don't have 3/4 of an acre to mow, so it does seem kind of excessive, but my mowing takes half the time verses my old 30" Craftsman. I like the mower, it has plenty of power and cuts well once you get used to it. Has a really good turning radius as well. I could have gotten by with the 42" version, but I wanted the better engine.
 
Messages
5,191
Location
Midwest
Take the $2000 and buy a used low hour X300 series Deere. The D/E/S series deere have been know for transmission problems.
 
Messages
19
i bought a jd 110 about 5-6 years ago , it has always run incredible , weakest point on them is the transmission made by tuff torque, when they get up in hrs , i would stay away from cub cadet , heard they are problematic , wouldnt be afraid of husquervarna
good luck
 
Messages
2,148
Location
Mississippi
I have a Troy-Bilt pony with a 15.5 hp Briggs engine. It was what I could afford at the time. It's going into season 6 with very few problems. I replaced the battery. I've kept the oil changed and greased it when needed. It cuts an acre very well. With that being said, the Cub Cadets and John Deere would be considered a better grade mower than what I have so I think you should be good with those. A 42 inch cut would be fine.
 
Messages
2,166
Location
missouri
Not everyone can use a zero turn. My ex wife could not, and my current GF can not either. You have to have finesse to prevent spinning the rear tires turning.

Rod
 
Messages
131
Location
Montague, NJ
Do you store it in a shed ? Make sure you can get it in the door. My shed will only handle a 42'' deck without door surgery. Inside storage and proper oil changes/maintenance one will last for decades.
3/4 of a acre a 42'' rider will suffice. After shifting my 14 hp 1996 Craftsman to my camp's mowing chores, minimal, and getting and rebuilding the deck on family members dealer bought JD 100 17hp Briggs 42'' I'll say the JD is a better machine.
 
Messages
1,030
Location
Pennsylvania
Get something with a V-Twin. You will appreciate the extra power. I have the John Deere D140 with the 22 HP V-Twin and a 48-inch deck. My in-laws have an older (LA115?) model with a 19 HP single cylinder Briggs and a 42-inch deck. My terrain is more challenging and yet I get the job done in half the time.

Also note that the larger one-cylinder Briggs engines on these machines are notorious for head gasket issues 10 to 15 years into the game. This is all over the web; you don't need to trust me on this point. I think my in-laws spent $500 to $700 on that one repair.
 
Messages
356
Location
Iowa
Hey all,

My wife and I just built a new home on 3/4 Acre of land that’s basically all flat except slight grade away from the foundation.

previous home was on less than 1/4 of an Acre so I pushed mowed it with an AWD Husqvarna self propelled mower with a 6.5hp Briggs on it.

Im looking at purchasing a rider for $2,000 or so. My options on new units in this price range are;

1. Cub Cadet XT1 18.5hp Single with 42” deck - $1,699

2. Cub Cadet XT1 22HP Twin with 46” deck - $1,999

3. John Deere S100 17.5hp single 42” deck - $1,799

4. John Deere S120 22hp twin 42” deck - $1,999

5. Husqvarna YTH2246V 22hp twin 46” deck - 1,899

Im leaning toward one of the Cubs, but would love some experiences/advice as I don’t have any riding mower experience really other than old snappers I used to use as a kid.

FWIW, my take is my boys are moving on and momma and I ain't getting any younger, so I bought a used 2002 LT150 last spring. I thought it was a really good deal at the time. Maybe not as attractive now, but still worth the money to get into a genuine Deere mower. I have had to do some work to it since then, but nothing I can't handle. It needed new tires, a tune up and this year I put on a new carb and crank seal to solve a small engine leak. Long story short all the parts are available at the local dealer, Amazon or the local farm store.

If it were me I'd look at used in good condition and get into an LT, LX or X300 series. Lots of used ones on Craiglist usually.

Just my $0.02
 
Last edited:
Messages
632
Location
Cleveland, OH
Hey all,

My wife and I just built a new home on 3/4 Acre of land that’s basically all flat except slight grade away from the foundation.

previous home was on less than 1/4 of an Acre so I pushed mowed it with an AWD Husqvarna self propelled mower with a 6.5hp Briggs on it.

Im looking at purchasing a rider for $2,000 or so. My options on new units in this price range are;

1. Cub Cadet XT1 18.5hp Single with 42” deck - $1,699

2. Cub Cadet XT1 22HP Twin with 46” deck - $1,999

3. John Deere S100 17.5hp single 42” deck - $1,799

4. John Deere S120 22hp twin 42” deck - $1,999

5. Husqvarna YTH2246V 22hp twin 46” deck - 1,899

Im leaning toward one of the Cubs, but would love some experiences/advice as I don’t have any riding mower experience really other than old snappers I used to use as a kid.
There is a good YouTube review comparing the JD 100 to the 110. I would definitely avoid the100. There is a significant quality jump from the JD 100. Search Western Equipment on YouTube for the video. The 120 is the rider I've been considering after research, you can replace the 30 second quick change system cheaply and easily with oem parts too.
 
Messages
1,397
Location
PEARL River la
I have John Deere with 19 hp which seems to be same family as 17.5. I have hydrostatic transmission and this combination has proven to be a winner. I have worked the crap out of it, got it so stuck i used Caravan to remove it. I cut 3 acres with it and only problems were a battery as well as starter solenoid in 150 hrs. I run synthetic 5w30 in hot Louisiana summers. With this I would go with 17.5 since you aren't cutting large acres or working it.
 
Messages
9,122
Location
Marshfield , MA
Basically the same size lot. In '18, I retired my first sit down mower. A free '77 IH Cadet 80. It had a 38" deck. I could mow my yard in 45minutes. It was originally sold with an 8 HP vertical. When I acquired it , it had an 11HP BS. Great mower but the steering wore out and parts were NLA. Replacement is a '00 Craftsman/ Husqavarna with a 17.5 HP Kohler and a 42' deck. Aftermkt parts are cheap and plentiful. Anything with a vertical shaft is just a mower. For a flat lawn of only 3/4 acre you don't need a twin cylinder 20+HP. In fact, that is the major difference between the 2. Larger mower is noticeably heavier to steer.
 

donnyj08

Thread starter
Messages
3,507
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I ended up having a Family member give me a well taken care of 1 owner John Deere LA105 since they Inherited an X300 series from another family member. This one was just collecting dust.

the 105 has had its oil changed every season with Deere filters and Deere 10w30. It has 260hrs and has spent its life mowing only 1/4 acre lot. It’s in great shape. It’s has a 19.5hp Briggs Single

I’m going to mow with the LA105 and sit aside my current $2k and in a few years upgrade by throwing some extra money with the current budget to buy a
 
Messages
5,191
Location
Midwest
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I ended up having a Family member give me a well taken care of 1 owner John Deere LA105 since they Inherited an X300 series from another family member. This one was just collecting dust.

the 105 has had its oil changed every season with Deere filters and Deere 10w30. It has 260hrs and has spent its life mowing only 1/4 acre lot. It’s in great shape. It’s has a 19.5hp Briggs Single

I’m going to mow with the LA105 and sit aside my current $2k and in a few years upgrade by throwing some extra money with the current budget to buy a
Can't complain about that! That's a good lawn mower for the price!
 
Messages
43
A have a JD data point for you .

I had a Scotts 2348 tractor, just traded it in after 20+ years and it was still going strong. It was basically a rebadged JD, with a Kohler Command engine, w hydraulic lifters. IMO the Kohler commands are the best engines Kohler makes. The tractor was trouble free for the first 10 years . In the end, the engine had a bit of blue smoke on cold startup, and I had to do a couple of repairs, mostly to the deck every summer in the past 10-ish years.

Replacing pulleys, some heavy cast iron brackets (Looked like a tank , but they would just snap in half anyway).

The powerflow bagger housing would drag, and that would wear a hole at the bottom. I would repair it by layering hockey tape and epoxy, creating a poor man's version "fiber" glass... The deck anti-scalp wheels near the blower housing would drag and wear down to a nub, and the brackets holding them would easily bend out of shape, esp if I hit something mowing. I was forever bending these back...
but it was still running smooth, vibration free and cutting great. (it is possible that the trouble spot was caused by the rear tire on that side being constantly low).

Another problem I was having trouble with my tires, frequently getting punctured by driving over locust branches and what not.
I put inner tubes in the originally tubeless shells, but those would get also holed eventually. My next door neighbor recommended to put some
heavy duty tire slime with some fiber reinforcement that then would just automatically seal any punctures. I think that works better if there is no inner tube.

I was doing yearly oil changes, with full synthetic oil, and Fram UG filters. I would grease all the grease fittings yearly, and always balance the blades perfectly.

All in all, I was rather happy with the old thing... perhaps less so if I was less handy. Some of the breakage I was able to fix would have cost real money if I had to take it to someone to get worked on.

I changed the hydro fluid once, after the break-in, I think I put M-1 20W50 synthetic motor oil and never looked at it again.

Replaced it w. an Ariens Apex 52" Zt, with the power bagger, and the residential ( FR691) Kawi engine.
Mostly, because I do not have a lot of time these days to either mow, or to work on the mower.
 
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