First time Buyer

MParr

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See if you can borrow the other neighbors zero turn and see if you really dislike them as most people love the faster cutting times,no gear selecting,better handling and steering of zero turns.. 3 blades vs 2 blades is a much better,faster cut in my opinion,and 50" zero turns can be found reasonably priced vs bigger fancier ZTs.. On the other hand most 2 bladed 42,46,48 standard riding mowers are all built by 1 or 2 companies such as AYP, and almost all the same other than paint,decals,engine choices and they generally have the same problems, wear the same,about the same maintenance costs,etc.
Major brands like JD,Skag,Grasshopper,and other higher end mowers and ZTs get pretty pricey quickly and often have higher parts costs than the more generic AYP brands ; Husqvarna, Craftsman, Murray,Cub Cadet,Troy Bilt,box stores Toro,etc... if price is no object then go find a Kubota stealership and throw down on one of their diesel models which are pretty good if you want super fast cutting,and don't mind the costs..
AYP was gobbled up by Husqvarna
MTD is now Stanley Black and Decker. They build the majority of lawn tractors. Cub Cadet, Craftsman, Troy Bilt, and etc.
Toro is Toro and Exmark. Toro does not make lawn tractors.
Briggs and Stratton makes Snapper, Simplicity, and Ferris. Ferris doesn’t make lawn tractors. Snapper and Simplicity are becoming an endangered species in the lawn tractor world.
John Deere makes all of their lawn tractors and do not subcontract out their manufacturing.
 

MParr

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Hello everybody!

I'd like to start off by saying how amazed I am at the level of expertise and experience on here. I discovered this forum today as I began research to purchase my very first ride-on lawn mower and have been very appreciative of the knowledge that's floating around these threads.

With that said, while I am actively researching the old posts on here, I am in a bit of a time crunch because I need to decide if I'll be continuing with my lawn service next week and so I wanted to simultaneously start a thread here to take a more direct approach at information-gathering.

My property is roughly 1 acre with a small-medium slope at two locations. Most of what I found online pointed to the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro line as a budget-friendly but reliable residential tractor. Of those, the 46" or 50" stands out to me as a good width. I used my neighbor's 2010 Troy Bilt (42" deck) to establish the time I'll need to commit if I make this switch, and I finished the mowing part in an hour and 15 minutes. So, I figure the 46/50 will shave some time off that while still allowing me to reach the tight spots that I was able to get into with my neighbor's tractor.

As to those two models, besides the cutting width, the other factors are the engine size (kohler 22hp vs. 24hp) and the deck (stamped vs. fabricated). I have a CC snowblower that has served me well for several years so I am partial to the big yellow SOBs, but I'm also receptive to hearing if someone recommends going a different route (Deere, Toro, etc..). I should say, I am not terribly interested in a zero turn as I don't have much property and I think I'll be using this in the winter for some light plowing as well.

The other X-factor that I've had a hard time finding info on is whether the XT2 is worth the bump in cost for the "premium" parts. Not sure if that's more marketing or actual substantial and superior quality.

Thank you in advance for any and all contributions and happy mowing!
For your particular application, I would look at a 48” John Deere lawn tractor.
Do yourself a favor and go to the local John Deere dealer to purchase any new John Deere lawn tractor.
 

GearHead36

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My problem with 2-blade mowers is that most of them have single cylinder engines. The twins from Briggs, Kaw, and Kohler are all better than their singles, and run smoother with less vibration.
 

SeniorCitizen

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I've cut 48-in deck riding lawn mowers in a standard Chevy 8-ft pickup bed many times.
It's not convenient and you have to pull the deck up above one side onto the wheel well but it can be done.
I have a much easier suggestion to load a 48 " tractor mower . Leave the tail gate down allowing the rear wheels to rest on the gate .
 
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My problem with 2-blade mowers is that most of them have single cylinder engines. The twins from Briggs, Kaw, and Kohler are all better than their singles, and run smoother with less vibration.
They run much cooler too.
 

MParr

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My problem with 2-blade mowers is that most of them have single cylinder engines. The twins from Briggs, Kaw, and Kohler are all better than their singles, and run smoother with less vibration.
My problem with 2-blade mowers is that most of them have single cylinder engines. The twins from Briggs, Kaw, and Kohler are all better than their singles, and run smoother with less vibration.
That’s not necessarily the case. Look at the John Deere lineup.
Example: https://www.deere.com/en/mowers/lawn-tractors/100-series/s140-lawn-tractor/
 

stirs

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Hello everybody!

I'd like to start off by saying how amazed I am at the level of expertise and experience on here. I discovered this forum today as I began research to purchase my very first ride-on lawn mower and have been very appreciative of the knowledge that's floating around these threads.

With that said, while I am actively researching the old posts on here, I am in a bit of a time crunch because I need to decide if I'll be continuing with my lawn service next week and so I wanted to simultaneously start a thread here to take a more direct approach at information-gathering.

My property is roughly 1 acre with a small-medium slope at two locations. Most of what I found online pointed to the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro line as a budget-friendly but reliable residential tractor. Of those, the 46" or 50" stands out to me as a good width. I used my neighbor's 2010 Troy Bilt (42" deck) to establish the time I'll need to commit if I make this switch, and I finished the mowing part in an hour and 15 minutes. So, I figure the 46/50 will shave some time off that while still allowing me to reach the tight spots that I was able to get into with my neighbor's tractor.

As to those two models, besides the cutting width, the other factors are the engine size (kohler 22hp vs. 24hp) and the deck (stamped vs. fabricated). I have a CC snowblower that has served me well for several years so I am partial to the big yellow SOBs, but I'm also receptive to hearing if someone recommends going a different route (Deere, Toro, etc..). I should say, I am not terribly interested in a zero turn as I don't have much property and I think I'll be using this in the winter for some light plowing as well.

The other X-factor that I've had a hard time finding info on is whether the XT2 is worth the bump in cost for the "premium" parts. Not sure if that's more marketing or actual substantial and superior quality.

Thank you in advance for any and all contributions and happy mowing!
I have 1 acre all flat with trees, gardens and a wild spot. I been using my 2005 Super Bronco Troy 42'' cut and it still going strong. I do all the service which has been belts, blades, oil service etc. My neighbor has 2 acres using a Toro Zero turn. Last Fall he was having trouble so he burrowed my Troy. He just bought a Cub Cadet rider hope he gets a good one. At my 1/3 acre primary residence I bought a 12hp Ranch King (MTD) that lasted 32 years. I replaced it with a cheap Lowe's JD 17hp. New is nice time will tell. They rate it 10 year life span.
 

TobyU

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AYP was gobbled up by Husqvarna
MTD is now Stanley Black and Decker. They build the majority of lawn tractors. Cub Cadet, Craftsman, Troy Bilt, and etc.
Toro is Toro and Exmark. Toro does not make lawn tractors.
Briggs and Stratton makes Snapper, Simplicity, and Ferris. Ferris doesn’t make lawn tractors. Snapper and Simplicity are becoming an endangered species in the lawn tractor world.
John Deere makes all of their lawn tractors and do not subcontract out their manufacturing.
Have to be careful how we state the things about Toro and lawn tractors...
While it is true that Toro does not currently (and hasn't for some time) their own lawn tractor style mowers BUT they do make all of their zero turns and there walk behind mowers.
We're not really talking about the 21 and 22 in walk behind mowers but they do make those too.
I'm talking about the larger walk behind that are typically from at least 30 in up to 60 or maybe even more.
Just like with their zero turns, they have a residential line of these like the time master (which I really just don't like because of maintenance and durability issues) and then they that I believe they called proline for a long time and many of them had the t-bar handle as opposed to pistol grips like many of the other brands had.

On the zero turns, they had the residential line which they used to call TimeCutter and then they had the commercial line which were their z master
They've changed a bunch of the names around now and are using a couple of letters and then a number but they still have the residential style zero turns and the commercial grade ones and they make all of these themselves because those are not actually lawn tractors.

On the John Deere part, they might make everything they sell now but that's only because they stop selling most of the things they were having made for them!.
Over the past 3 decades they have sold a number of string trimmers etc that were made for them by other companies.
The last walk behind mowers they were selling like all of the JS series mowers we're all made by snapper.
A few years ago, probably around 2016 or so they got out of that market and stop carrying any types of smaller walk behind mowers of the John Deere brand at the dealerships.
 
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