which rider mower?

Messages
2,561
Location
wv
been shopping and looking at other forums.. anyone here have a newer rider in the $1200-$1500 range? Consumer reports says go with John Deere.. but it has a briggs/stratton engine... and most forums say go with kohler. Just curious if anyone has any good or bad stories on any riders in this price range.
 
Messages
6,318
Location
Canton, GA
well,I can add to this question.I have a 2006 Cub Cadet LT-1045 with the 20hp Kohler Courage V-twin engine.I use this tractor year round,as I also plow snow with it.I think it is just as good as a John Deere,but their are always going to be bias opinions out their.btw,I have 70 hrs. on it so far.Honestly,the Briggs & Straton is a very good engine.If you compare the two side by side,you will see they are both very well built machines.It all depends on your personal preference.
 
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Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
My sister has an 8-year old Deere that hasn't missed a beat. Yearly oil change, spark plug and filter changes and it mows her huge yard like it's new. I've been doing her yearly service for a few years now and I've observed how 'stout' the mower is built. It's my opinion that they're worth the investment.
 
Messages
1,373
Location
Somerset County, PA
 Quote:
but it has a briggs/stratton engine.
Nothing wrong with B&S!! Change oil/filter (check the threads here for the ones to use, so you don't get gouged $12-15 for OEM) regularly and it'll probably outlast you. \:\!
 

JTK

Messages
13,153
Location
Buffalo, NY
The engine is a small fraction of the bigger picture. Your new machines in this price range are going to be about the same. I've been down this road myself. There's not a lot of data to be had in regards to 2008 & 2009 model year Cub 1K series and general MTD machines, but given the issues I've seen with the low end HydroGear brand hydrostatic drives on these machines, I'd go with a make and model that uses Tufftorq. JD and Sears use TT. I'd stay away from anything spec'd as "Automatic Transmission". They tend to be belt/variator drive that is not reliable in this price range. Go with full gear drive or a real hydrostatic drive. Cub uses a terroidal (sp?) CVT on their lowest end model that is brand-new. No real usage data on it yet, however I'd still go with this new CVT over the open variator system. Joel
 

JTK

Messages
13,153
Location
Buffalo, NY
OT, but the thing is, the iron beasts of the 1960's, 70's and 80's were thousands of dollars, even back then. Bascially the same reason no one makes them now aside from high end JD garden tractors, Simplicity high end stuff, Cub 3K series or Ingersoll. You're talking around $7K+. Not a big market seeing you can step up to a compact utility tractor for not much more. Joel
 
Messages
862
Location
Massena, NY
I'd definitely go with the JD. We have a JD C210 from 1985 that still runs like new with a Kohler K321 engine. Sure it burns anything less than a 40wt oil but [censored] it thats a [censored] good tractor. It's been mowing 5+ acres usually twice a week every summer since it was new.
 
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1,461
Location
Vermont
Whatever you choose, stay away from hydrostatic transmissions IMHO. I have had terrible experiences with them, stick with the standard trans!! Save a little cash that way too.
 
Messages
6,318
Location
Canton, GA
 Originally Posted By: bigdreama
Whatever you choose, stay away from hydrostatic transmissions IMHO. I have had terrible experiences with them, stick with the standard trans!! Save a little cash that way too.
their like anything else,you have to take care of it.like I mentioned above,I plow snow,pull a sweeper,mow the lawn,pulled a heavy tree limb from my property once (probably should not have done that though)that was asking alot from it.my point is,take care of it,and you increase the chances of it taking care of you back.
 
Messages
520
Location
FL
The B&S engine on a JD in that price range, i.e. LA105, is still the better ELS series (full pressure lube & filter) so it would be a great engine. My dad has that motor on a 5-6 yr. old pre-Kohler Cub 1000 series and it is still a great runner needing nothing other than maintenance. I also reccomend the use an economical AC PF53 equivalent filter rather than the $14 B&S ones.
 
Messages
1,373
Location
Somerset County, PA
 Quote:
I also reccomend the use an economical AC PF53 equivalent filter rather than the $14 B&S ones.
Or Purolator L10241, or MC FL400S or ST3600/3614, etc...... \:\!
 

JTK

Messages
13,153
Location
Buffalo, NY
 Originally Posted By: bigdreama
Whatever you choose, stay away from hydrostatic transmissions IMHO. I have had terrible experiences with them, stick with the standard trans!! Save a little cash that way too.
Ehhh.. Not so much. There are no heavy-duty gear drive lawn/garden tractors anymore. The last was the Sears/Craftsman garden tractor with the dual range, between the knees shift, or the Wheel Horse Classic. Both gone. The ~$1000 units with fender shift gear drive barely cut the mustard. Hydrostatic drives are the cat's [censored] for mowing. Once you go that route, you'll never go back to gearing/clutching when it comes to mowing. Joel
 
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
Don't mean to threadjack, but I'd like to save my sister some big $$$ on repairs. Can anyone tell me about maintenance on the hydrostatic drive units? Is it a simple fluid drain and refill? I don't know if my sister has ever had it done.
 

JTK

Messages
13,153
Location
Buffalo, NY
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
...Can anyone tell me about maintenance on the hydrostatic drive units? Is it a simple fluid drain and refill? I don't know if my sister has ever had it done.
It depends on what hydrostatic drive we're talking. The less expensive units typically have no drain or fill plugs on them. One way to 'service' them is remove the whole rear end from the tractor, flip it over and drain it out it's top vent. Most hold a quart or two of 10w30, 15w40 or 20w50 HDEO. Higher dollar JD units have drain/fill plugs and a cartridge filter. My Cub 2544 is as easy as doing an engine oil change. Joel
 
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
Thanks for the info. What would I do without the internet? manuals.deere.com: The transmission is a sealed component. No maintenance is required on this transmission. If you suspect any transmission problems, please contact your authorized dealer.
 
Messages
6,318
Location
Canton, GA
my CC LT-1045 has a serviceable drain/fill plug.The problem is,I can`t get to the fill plug unless I drop the whole rear a few inches. stupid set up`s,I think they need to go back to dipstick`s,and fill through their.
 
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Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
Wow...planned obsolescence at its best. "We don't want you changing the oil, but when the unit burns up because of old oil, just replace it." They probably figure that this 'sealed unit - no maintenance' jive gives people warm fuzzy feelings about the durability of their products (uh-hem-Mercedes-Benz-uh-hem). People like me, however think they're stupid for not providing a drain plug. Some people actually enjoy taking care of their equipment. My sister lives in Atlanta and I'm in Dallas, so when I go see her for Christmas, I do all the maintenance on her mower. I don't see myself taking out her transmission during my visit, so I guess she's on her own for this one. She'll just drive it 'til it burns up, and go buy another JD. She loves it. Another kink thrown into her mix is that the two closest JD dealerships closed their doors earlier this year. Thanks for the link. Interesting stuff.
 
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