Another mower thread, recommendations

Looking for a riding mower to tackle the 3 acres around our house which consists of lots of trees, hills, and obstacles.

Currently using an old husky zero turn but am kind of thinking about getting a riding mower instead so I can also drag the arena, and pull the manure spreader.

Any recommendations? I’ve been researching all day and seems every time I think I land on one I read a bunch of negative reviews!

what ever you get makes sure it has a fabricated steel mowing deck … not a pressed steel mowing deck

Not a new Craftsman for sure. The older ones are supposed to be good. My two year old T1200 Craftsman is headed for the junk pile - bent axle, problems with steering that has never been correctable, a part of the deck got bent and I had to cut it off, and now I can only run it for a few minutes and then it stops. Repairman has been out 3 times and I’m about to return the new carburetor I got for it because there is so much else wrong. Plus it doesn’t mow in reverse which is awkward. My neighbor bought a Club Cadet and returned it after a few weeks - not sure what the problem was but he’s looking for an older Craftsman. Consumer Reports lists several John Deere mowers and I’m thinking about the $1999 s-120 at Home Depot. I bought a Murry years ago per their recommendation and should never have let it go.

Clanter how do you tell if the mowing deck is fabricated rather than pressed steel?

Thank you! I was looking at the Cub Cadets, Craftsman, and Husqvarna riding mowers yesterday and they all had some VERY mixed reviews.

My mom has a Deere riding mower that she hasn’t had any problems with, but she’s only had it two years.

What about Toro? Our tractor supply has a decent inventory of them…

Great advice.

I just had a lawn mower lesson from my Dad and we purchased a Toro Time Cutter w/ a 54" deck. It had the thickest steel deck and a great dealer near by with a three year warranty. Mows like a dream and super easy to adjust the mower deck.

If you can find one, an older Yardman will be a good investment.
I got mine when I bought my farm in 2004 - it was not new then, was in the garage & I asked seller if it was included. He hesitated, but gave in.

It served me well for over 10yrs, even though I abused it by mowing rutted pasture as well as ~2ac of lawn. I replaced a bent spindle twice (Pilot Error), battery maybe 3 times and had blades sharpened annually, but no other maintenance besides running it dry & adding Stabil to the tank for Winter.
I sold it to a friend when I got tired of mowing & hired that out.

My mower before the Craftsman was a Toro. I pretty much beat it up and wanted a new mower. The Craftsman immediately was harder to drive and I should have returned it. Consumer Reports for some reason only reviews the zero turn Toros and they all get high ratings. I would look into one myself as I mow around trees, rocks, and hills but they are not in the budget this time around. So essentially I had the Murry, the Toro, and the Craftsman over 25 years.

If you want it to be able to do more than mow, you may need 4 wheel drive. My old John Deere could everything except pull a light drag through the arena. No traction in the sand. Abused it for 20 years. Replaced it with another Deere 2yrs ago.


if buying new the data sheet will be specific saying fabricated deck. Usually it will be not lighter then 14 ga steel plate that is wielded together. All fabricated decks I am aware of have at least 10 year warranty or most have lifetime warranty.

I am not aware of any of the Big Box store John Deere lawn tractors having a fabricated deck, all are formed steel that tends to bend very easily. Once bent those decks can be straighten back out but the process is not simple

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Yeah, if you go with a Deere, go to a Deere dealer. I got a very nice used one from my local dealer

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I have a 2018 Husqvarna garden tractor with the locking rear differential, reinforced steel 54" deck. That sucker is like a Cadillac, complete with cruise, armrests and a cupholder. No issues or problems, but I bought it from a Husqvarna dealer. The same “model” from big box was lacking some options and more $$$.
Our place is very hilly and the locker makes off camber and slippery ground, no problem. The hydrostatic transmission is super convenient. It was pricey, but I am happy with it.

I will admit that my loyalty still belongs to my 1968 Snapper Comet that mows the pastures. It’s slow, noisey and little uncomfortable but, that thing is the toughest little machine, if it can bend it over it can cut it…

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