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First Zero Turn: LIFE CHANGING

ByronF

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Mine is supposed to have only 10 psi in rear tires, 12 in front. If pumping them up like road tires I'd air down and see how it feels.
 

RG Coburn

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I bought a 42"kubota zero turn about 3-4 years ago or so,after suffering thru numerous Deere "lawn tractors" and watching them just fall apart. I will never buy anything Deere,ever again. I chose a 42",the smallest they made at that time,because of maneuverability.It will go between things those really wide ones won't. 13 HP Kawasaki engine,I think. Been reliable. It is noticeably faster than lawn tractors,no wasted motion. It mows in any direction you run,and turning at the ends of runs is zero wasted time and motion. I don't think mine is considered commercial,but is made a hell of a lot more rugged than junk Deere.
You do need to slow down if your yard is bumpy. Mine is,with lots of mole hills. Had to tell my daughter to slow down,she was mowing too fast,and because she didn't weigh all that much,she would bounce out of the seat enough to cause the seat cut-out switch to engage.
 

Invictus77

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From around 2015 to 2020 we had a "homeowner grade" zero turn, 60" I bought used made by Swisher. It was our first zero turn and even used, it was miles ahead of the tractor style mowers we had in the past. It had a Briggs & Stratton engine and a welded deck, so I thought it would be solid. I got it for $1,500 and I was wrong on the "solid" part. We (actually she) mow about 3 acres of yard.

In 2020 after 5 years of almost continuous monthly headaches of broken belts, broken linkages, yada, yada, I studied on mowers with good research and went out with full intention to buy a new Scag commercial unit. I have two Scag dealers within 40 miles and I knew this was a $8K-ish purchase, so I visited both.

The first dealer I visited was the closest. He gave me a price on the new Scag I wanted ($8K-ish), but asked "would you be interested in a used mower?" and I immediately said "no". Then he explained the used one he was putting out there that was a Husquavarna (which I will get back to in a moment).

As I drove to the other Scag dealer to check prices there, I called my Dad to research this particular Husquavarna mower online and see what he could find on it. The other Scag dealer was $500 higher, so I headed back to the first dealer to buy the Scag. Dad called me back as I was driving.

This Husquvarna was an $11,000 mower new. Reports dad read said it was possibly the best mower on the market. The dealer that had it had recommended it and sold it to his own church the year before. They had a new church member with a lawn mowing business who took on the mowing for the church, but wanted to use his own equipment, so the church decided to sell the mower. It had 52 hours on it.

I got a practically new, top of the line, commercial mower which sold less than a year before at $11K, for $6K. Wrote the check to the church. No sales tax or dealers fees. It is night and day difference from the old "homeowner" Lowes sold type zero turn. The homeowner models beat the crap out of a tractor style mower, but the air-ride seat, power, ease of maintenance, reliability, and everything else on this one is head and shoulders above that.

"Buy once, cry once" is usually a good business model. I got damn lucky and got this one for nearly half price, but if I knew then what I know now, I think it was worth paying full price if I had to do it again. YMMV.
 

SpringerXD

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While we're on this topic, I reached a milestone today. I finally got the z-turn stuck. There's a spot in my yard that becomes a mud pit if I mow too soon after a rain. That was the case today, but if I didn't grab the chance, it might be several more days before I could mow (storming right now, in fact) and the yard looked like crap . I usually just go through this little ditch/depression quickly so it's never been a problem. Well, it finally got my number and I had to pull it out with the truck.
 

gunplumber

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Do you need to disengage the hydro drives before doing that?

Manual says supposed to or will damage the hdros, although I don't understand why. On the walker it's just a pull pin on each side, then it can be towed. Manual does not stipulate but company video says "1 mile/hour." Which I don't get if th ehydros are disengaged, why does it matter?
 

okiefarmer

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From around 2015 to 2020 we had a "homeowner grade" zero turn, 60" I bought used made by Swisher. It was our first zero turn and even used, it was miles ahead of the tractor style mowers we had in the past. It had a Briggs & Stratton engine and a welded deck, so I thought it would be solid. I got it for $1,500 and I was wrong on the "solid" part. We (actually she) mow about 3 acres of yard.

In 2020 after 5 years of almost continuous monthly headaches of broken belts, broken linkages, yada, yada, I studied on mowers with good research and went out with full intention to buy a new Scag commercial unit. I have two Scag dealers within 40 miles and I knew this was a $8K-ish purchase, so I visited both.

The first dealer I visited was the closest. He gave me a price on the new Scag I wanted ($8K-ish), but asked "would you be interested in a used mower?" and I immediately said "no". Then he explained the used one he was putting out there that was a Husquavarna (which I will get back to in a moment).

As I drove to the other Scag dealer to check prices there, I called my Dad to research this particular Husquavarna mower online and see what he could find on it. The other Scag dealer was $500 higher, so I headed back to the first dealer to buy the Scag. Dad called me back as I was driving.

This Husquvarna was an $11,000 mower new. Reports dad read said it was possibly the best mower on the market. The dealer that had it had recommended it and sold it to his own church the year before. They had a new church member with a lawn mowing business who took on the mowing for the church, but wanted to use his own equipment, so the church decided to sell the mower. It had 52 hours on it.

I got a practically new, top of the line, commercial mower which sold less than a year before at $11K, for $6K.
I’ve got two commercial mowers now. Have run a Scag 61” Tiger for years, and most recently, bought Dad’s Dixon after he passed. The Scag is a hell of a beast, but I’d rather ride the Dixon for comfort and ease of operation of deck lift and quietness. Dixon is no longer, I understand Husqvarna bought them. So maybe they will use the better attributes of both mowers to build a super mower.
 

ByronF

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I’ve got two commercial mowers now. Have run a Scag 61” Tiger for years, and most recently, bought Dad’s Dixon after he passed. The Scag is a hell of a beast, but I’d rather ride the Dixon for comfort and ease of operation of deck lift and quietness. Dixon is no longer, I understand Husqvarna bought them. So maybe they will use the better attributes of both mowers to build a super mower.
Like when Husqvarna bought the previously-awesome Poulan brand?
 

SpringerXD

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Do you need to disengage the hydro drives before doing that?
Yeah. Mine has a little wire pin on each side that you pull back and lock in place to disengage the hydros. Naturally, I forgot to re-engage them once it was pulled out of the ditch and wondered why I wasn't going anywhere when I pushed the handles.
 

ByronF

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Clue me in. Did the the Poulan line. The Husky saws were great.
Poulan used to be a premier brand. Husqvarna (Electrolux, actually) bought them out, made Poulan the junk department store brand.

I like most Husqvarna saws. Some seem ho-hum, few are turds, but good brand overall.
 

okiefarmer

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Poulan used to be a premier brand. Husqvarna (Electrolux, actually) bought them out, made Poulan the junk department store brand.

I like most Husqvarna saws. Some seem ho-hum, few are turds, but good brand overall.
I wonder if there is a difference in the saws. Is there a consumer and commercial grade too, like mowers. Locally, Deere dealers sell Stihl, so does Atwood’s, and Slowe’s might even carry them. Deere always a bit pricier.
 

ByronF

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I wonder if there is a difference in the saws. Is there a consumer and commercial grade too, like mowers. Locally, Deere dealers sell Stihl, so does Atwood’s, and Slowe’s might even carry them. Deere always a bit pricier.
Difference between Husqvarna and Poulan? There is very much a difference. But Craftsman and Poulan often have some cross-over. The Poulan Pro saws aren't a bad choice for a guy who wants an occasional saw for yard cleanup.

What one will notice by examining saw specs is that if Husqvarna puts an 18" bar on a 50cc saw then Poulan will put on a 20". I suppose this serves two purposes: it draws an uninformed buyer to mistakenly price-compare a 42cc Poulan with a 50cc Husqvarna because the bars are same length. Other purpose is to ensure there is never a Poulan 18" bar saw that comes anywhere close to the performance of their Husqvarna brand 18" saw.

Another thing to know: there are NO Poulan/Craftsman saws thst are pro-grade. And while Husqvarna from TSC or box stores is way better than a Poulan/Craftsman, they aren't pro-grade either.

I don't have any pro saws but I have a couple high quality saws that are what I'd call premium homeowner saws. One is a Husqvarna 350, the other a Husqvarna 55 (closed port version). Also have a Stihl MS291 but haven't made up my mind on it yet. I suspect I'll lile it just fine, but at $600 I still preferred the used older Husqvarna 55 for which I paid $125.
 

SpringerXD

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Another thing to know: there are NO Poulan/Craftsman saws thst are pro-grade.
I bought a Craftsman two years ago and that SOB is TOUGH to start. I don't care what procedure you use or anything else. It also tends to just die if I leave it at idle with no revving for a few seconds. This is with a freshly-cleaned air filter and non-ethanol fuel.
 

ByronF

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I bought a Craftsman two years ago and that SOB is TOUGH to start. I don't care what procedure you use or anything else. It also tends to just die if I leave it at idle with no revving for a few seconds. This is with a freshly-cleaned air filter and non-ethanol fuel.
Maybe increase the idle with the idle screw (not one of the jets). It probably isnt tuned optimally either. Cut off the carb screw limiter cap titties and try adjusting your carb. Lots of YouTube vids how to adjust.
 

okiefarmer

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Difference between Husqvarna and Poulan? There is very much a difference. But Craftsman and Poulan often have some cross-over. The Poulan Pro saws aren't a bad choice for a guy who wants an occasional saw for yard cleanup.

What one will notice by examining saw specs is that if Husqvarna puts an 18" bar on a 50cc saw then Poulan will put on a 20". I suppose this serves two purposes: it draws an uninformed buyer to mistakenly price-compare a 42cc Poulan with a 50cc Husqvarna because the bars are same length. Other purpose is to ensure there is never a Poulan 18" bar saw that comes anywhere close to the performance of their Husqvarna brand 18" saw.

Another thing to know: there are NO Poulan/Craftsman saws thst are pro-grade. And while Husqvarna from TSC or box stores is way better than a Poulan/Craftsman, they aren't pro-grade either.

I don't have any pro saws but I have a couple high quality saws that are what I'd call premium homeowner saws. One is a Husqvarna 350, the other a Husqvarna 55 (closed port version). Also have a Stihl MS291 but haven't made up my mind on it yet. I suspect I'll lile it just fine, but at $600 I still preferred the used older Husqvarna 55 for which I paid $125.
I meant difference in consumer/commercial on Husky. Like the real Deere lawnmowers you get at a Deere dealer, and the MTD John Deere mower ya gets at the big box stores
 

alphadog58

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The Husqvarna riding mowers that Home Repo and Lowes sell are junk. They cheaped out and put too small transaxles in them. They'll work okay on flat lawns but if you're mowing sloped land the transaxle will burn up pretty quickly. Easiest way to tell if a mower has a decent transaxle will be that the rear wheels are 12" or bigger and will have lug nuts.
Larry
 

SpringerXD

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Yup. Husky, John Deere, or whatever color & decals they have, those "homeowner" models are virtually all identical and virtually all a two-year use throw-away item.
I'll never buy an MTD product again (Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Yard Machines, et al) except for maybe cheap push mowers and weedeaters.
 

cotter

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Another thing with Deere (at least zero turns from my research) is the engine may say Kawasaki but Deere will be the only place to buy parts for that Kaw model. And that means bring out the wheelbarrow $$$.

Saws are only Stihl orange around here. Huskies aren't what they once were.
 

ByronF

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Another thing with Deere (at least zero turns from my research) is the engine may say Kawasaki but Deere will be the only place to buy parts for that Kaw model. And that means bring out the wheelbarrow $$$.

Saws are only Stihl orange around here. Huskies aren't what they once were.
The 4xx series Husqvarnas seems remarkably unremarkable. Maybe not junk, but not what they used to be. These days I think a new saw needs to be pro grade given the race to the bottom to make big box price points.

I don't think Stihl is immune from same. The 291 has an on-board clutch with a plastic clamshell case. That's potentially a LOT of heat against your seal and engine case. Combine that with a hair trigger brake handle and one can expect problems. I don't see much separation between the brands, except OEM repair part costs would motivate me to throw a needy Stihl over the hill, whereas one can rebuild a Husqvarna without getting upside down on costs.
 

ByronF

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I think JD is a failed cult brand similar to Harley Davidson. Their mowers are crap. A zero turn with a stamped deck is a toy. Their frame tubing looks like playground equipment grade. Their parts prices alone are unforgivable. Dad has a JD conventional rider which has been nothing but trouble, all related to circuit board unreliability.
 

meltblown

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I wouldn't use a Poulen (AKA pullon) if someone gave it to me as I was rather pissed with the weed whacker and blower from wasting my money. When it comes to anything 2 stroke it's going to be orange as in Echo or Stihl. Even the mower is orange.
 
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