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42" Lawn Riding Mower Recommendations

5/3/24 @ 7:13 AM
INITIAL POST
Timmothy A
User since 5/17/09

I am in the market for a new 42" traditional riding lawn mower.  I have a large lot with a lot of pine tress that I go around.  The current 42" deck gets me between 95% of them.  A tight turning radius is a key feature (duh right?).  Currently it takes me a solid hour to mow it.  I am thinking about getting something just a tad smaller deck due to the trees if that matters to your thought process. I also do quite of bit of towing a large cart full of landscaping materials. 

The budget is about $2500 max with the closer to $2000 or under the better.  I want something that will last me 20 years plus.  The Poulon I bought 10 years ago is ok but the hydrostatic tranny is not holding up.  Hit me with recommendations or ones to avoid.

Displaying 1 to 15 of 24 posts
7/10/24 @ 7:33 AM
hockeyguy39
User since 8/24/07
Decided to go with the L120 2 cylinder. Best part of the deal is the guy we bought it from runs a small engine repair business and went through each of them in detail and replaced what was needed and tuned it all up. He mentioned he's very particular about the decks and them being level so he personally guaranteed they're spot on. Nice that he's only 15 minutes away and more than happy to fix anything that goes wrong in the future, although he said it was pretty unlikely. 
River, as for the push mower territory, been doing it that way for the past two years. Certainly doable; however, we want to fit in with our neighbors a bit more and were the only ones without a rider lol. Not anymore!!
7/10/24 @ 7:00 AM
arthur1957
arthur1957
User since 6/24/01
Does anyone personally know anyone who has bought a new battery powered tractor? I considered the Cub Cadet ion powered before I bought a new Snapper SPX, but reviews were sketchy. Ryobi has some zero turn models. I got 25 seasons out of my last aliens tractor. At 66, if I live long enough to wear out this Snapper, I will be hiring someone to mow by yard by then. 
7/10/24 @ 5:52 AM
westfieldW
westfieldW
User since 10/9/16
We have owned a John Deere 100 series for 23 years. I bought this from a dealer before they started selling them in stores. We cut three of the five acres that we own. The only problem I had with this  tractor is the front wheel on the deck broke off. Started up the we welder and it took care of that problem. because we are getting older I purchased a new John Deere x390 with a 54" deck so we have two lawn tractors to work on the grass. I could not use the old one because of my back problems. This one has a much better suspension seat. My back still hurts when I'm done mowing the grass, but not as much as it did with the 110. In my opinion John Deere is the only way to go. But buy it from a dealer.
7/9/24 @ 7:53 PM
Fishrun
Fishrun
User since 6/8/20
Search chickanic youtube. She's got a lot of content on all kinds of small engine topics.
7/9/24 @ 3:02 PM
river_chaser
User since 10/3/12
HockeyGuy on 1/3 acre your still in push mower territory LOL

What fails quicker than most engines is the components. Things start to break especiall on small cheap tractors. For example how level is the deck on each mower. Condition of the blades. Ease of removing deck and blades for service.  On engines the most frequent malfunction to my experience is the carborator. Carbs have always been a sore spot for me.  As far as one lung or 2 lungs. 2 lungs have more longevity as each lung works half as hard. The other thought is is whats going to fit in your garage easier. Does your garage and yard have room for the larger tractor?  All else being equal I would prefer the 2 cylinder
7/9/24 @ 11:09 AM
vegas492
vegas492
User since 5/21/03
Not last year, but the year before, I got a new John Deere riding mower to replace my very old Yardman that I got when we bought the house.

It is crazy good.  I got it from a "real" Deere dealer, I believe it was the X350R model, or something like that.  So, the Yardman was old, but it was functional, no doubt about it.  But this Deere?  Crazy good.  It has the one touch mulching system, and I mulch grass as well as my leaves in the fall.  Yard is pretty big, too.  That mulcher pulverizes everything.  You don't even see any leaf or grass remains after it was mulched.  And it is very powerful, there is a little hill in my yard, not a slope, but a hill.  It goes down the hill easily and safely and has a lot of power to get back up.

About the only negative I can say is that I did buy the collection basket to collect leaves and grass clipping, when not mulching.  I've yet to swap out the mulching insert to get the bagger to work.  I've not had a need.  But I do know that it is not as simple as my Yardman.  With the Deere, I have to unscrew a "plug", then replace it with the bagger attachment.

Also?  The deer has pedals for forward and reverse.  My old mower had a clutch and was controlled by a lever (joystick).  Took me about 5 minutes to get used to the new way to cut.  My wife wouldn't use the old mower, as she wasn't comfortable with that clutch.  The Deere?  She will use it if she has to.  She says it is much easier to control.

Onto a big piece that I love. The mowing deck itself.  I'm not sure what it is called, maybe it is "hydrostatic leveling".  But, when I'm on an incline, so too is the mower.  Wasn't that way with my old one.  It just much better as my yard has a crown to it.  And this deck can be set to any height with a simple adjustment while on the seat.

Oh, and it has a cupholder, cuz you know, why not?  :)

But seriously, I don't care what you buy.  But look at a Deere.  New or used.  They are pretty amazing machines.  I purposefully got one a little larger than what I need and it is just great.  Mine also has an attachment to clear snow, I don't have that yet, but I may.  I have little doubt that it would be amazing when clearing the driveway.
7/9/24 @ 11:01 AM
Esox JJ
Esox JJ
PRO MEMBER User since 6/4/05
I'm all in with John Deere. I have an STX 38 from 1997. Haven't had any serious problems with it . Had to put a clutch, starter, blades, belts and of course batteries on it throughout the years. Those are normal wear and tear things though. She's old. I run it hard in the fall pulling a cyclone rake that gets heavy when it's full of mulched leaves.
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7/9/24 @ 8:45 AM
Deerlake1
User since 6/20/13
In my opinion find a used John Deere with a Kawasaki engine not a Briggs engine and a tractor with a heavier duty transmission if your hauling or pulling stuff. I just got done  buying a new John Deere and took possession of a new S240 with a 48” cut and heavy 10 gauge deck yesterday. Too much money but will be the last machine I buy because of me being old! I still have my LT 190 that is 20 years old with the Kawasaki engine and no problems ever with it.
There is a chick That does you tube videos on what are good lawn tractors and which aren’t good. I think she goes by Mechanix Chick!
Good luck.
7/9/24 @ 8:21 AM
hockeyguy39
User since 8/24/07
Finally pulling the trigger and getting a rider (used). Options are a JD L120, 312 hrs, 2 cylinder engine or a L115, new engine with 200 hrs, single cylinder engine. Both are the same price so I'm not sure which to go with. Regarding the 2 cylinder, is that just more vroom vroom? I only have a 1/3 acre lot so anything more than my walking pace is a win. Any insight/opinions would be appreciated!
5/8/24 @ 6:46 PM
Fishrun
Fishrun
User since 6/8/20
Replaced my JD 160 with a 38" deck after 35 years. Got a JD E140 with a 48" deck. The turning radius on the bigger deck is tighter than the old smaller deck. Hope to get 35 years out of this one.
5/8/24 @ 12:49 PM
Timmothy A
User since 5/17/09
I believe I am going the brews4995 route and getting a Deere from a Deere dealer.  They are $100 more at the dealer vs big box, but that $100 is priceless to have the ability to get it fixed/serviced by the place I bought it from in the town I work in.
5/5/24 @ 9:59 AM
dufferfish
User since 1/28/07
I have a john deere 42" deck hydro static home depot ​works great.D125 model
5/5/24 @ 9:54 AM
brews4995
brews4995
User since 4/2/10
Get a John Deere 100 series from an actual John Deere dealer, not box store like Lowe's. The 110 or 120 will be under $3000, will have a 3 year warranty and they are solid machines. Maintenance is a breeze also. 
5/5/24 @ 8:27 AM
Zmaniac
Zmaniac
PRO MEMBER User since 2/8/06
Arthur… There are mixed reviews on the battery powered Cubs. The people that have recently purchased one love it, but the people that have owned one for a few years aren’t happy. It seems that people that need them serviced are very disappointed in the support from the manufacturer. They are manufactured by MTD who makes quality gas mowers sold under different brands, but the electric line of large mowers have had reliability issues. 
5/5/24 @ 7:54 AM
arthur1957
arthur1957
User since 6/24/01
Has anyone here bought a Cub Cadet battery powered tractor? Know anyone that has one & what real world experience is? I thought about it for a few minutes. Then the local dealer went our of business. i would never buy from a big box store. I worked at Farm & Fleet for 7 months before i retired. I saw teen agers assembling all the lawn equipment in the warehouse.   Wouldn't trust anything they assembled. 
Displaying 1 to 15 of 24 posts
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