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Discussion Starter #1
It's getting to that time of year when the grass starts growing again, especially after the 3" of rain we had last week. We've got 3 acres, but only about 2 acres needs to be mowed. The vast majority of the block is sloped - some steep(ish).

We've currently got an old ride-on (11hp / 32") that was bought to "prepare" the block, before we'd upgrade to a bigger, better, faster one. Anyway, the time to upgrade has come.

We're trying to keep our business local, which essentially gives a choice of about four brands - Toro, John Deere, Husqvarna and Cox (Aussie brand). We've narrowed our search down to three mowers from two manufacturers:

  • JD 20hp / 42" - AUD$4000
  • JD 22hp / 48" - AUD$4700
  • Husky 20hp / 42" - AUD$4400
I've been doing some research and I've found that the two 20hp mowers are pretty much the same, but for engines; The Husky has a Kohler engine, while the JD has a Briggs & Straton. They do just about everything the same.

However, the 20hp Husky has the same tranny as the 22hp JD (Tuff Torq K46), while the 20hp JD has a Tuff Torq T40J. I can't find ANY info on the T40J, even from TT's website.

So, is there anything that would make one stand out from the other? Is the Husky $400 better? Is the K46 tranny $400 better???


Now, when it comes to separating the two JD's, the 22hp has these "advantages" over the 20hp:

  • 2hp
  • Bigger wheels (22" over 20")
  • High-back seat
  • 6" wider deck
  • Electric PTO
When you look at that list, does it make you want to spend $700 more? For almost every advantage, I see a disadvantage. Electric PTO? That's a $300 part that is going to need replacing in 5 years, or so. Bigger wheels? Cost more to replace. Wider deck? More blades to replace.



So, help me out, guys (or gals). Give me any advice you've got on the subject. Just don't throw other brands into the mix. It's gonna be one of these two. We've been warned away from Toro and Cox just doesn't have enough features for the money they ask.

Thanks in advance,

Jason (cookeetree)
 

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I'll give you my :2cents: on engines, which is pretty much how I look at a mower to start the narrowing. We have a Sabre, which was a low-end line for JD some time ago, and it has a Briggs & Stratton. The real JDs had Kawi engines, IIRC, at the time.

This mower, just one month out of warranty, started flooding the crankcase with gas. Turns out the carb wasn't stopping the flow when the engine was shut off. I rebuilt the carb, changing out every single item excluding the aluminum casing itself, and still had the problem. Now I have this f'n manual valve in the fuel line to prevent the problem.

My father-in-law has a B&S engine in his weed whacker and has exactly the same problem. My future will not include any B&S engines, EVAR. The added cost for a quality grade engine simply can't be overstated, IMHO.
 

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STAY AWAY FROM BRIGGS

I had a commercial lawn business a while ago and all I can say is stay away from the briggs. if possible find something with a kawasaki motor. we ran the shit out of these things and they just wouldnt die.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Huh, I've never heard such bad reviews of the B&S engines. Had always seen them as a good all-around engine.

Thanks for the advice, guys. :thumb:
 

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or just have your missus pull a push mower behind her 250 while you throw back some Fosters :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ARKninjaZX9 said:
or just have your missus pull a push mower behind her 250 while you throw back some Fosters :cheers:
Hey, now there's some lateral thinking! :cheers:


One salesman suggested we buy a Zero-turn mower (you know, two levers for steering, turn like a Bobcat), but I told him they're no good as you can't hold a beer while you're mowing. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, we settled on a mower yesterday arvo. Didn't get any of the ones we were looking at; the JD's were discarded due to the Brigg's engine and the Husky was too expensive for what you got.

In the end, we did get a Husky, but got a bigger one that was ex-demo. It's got six hours on the clock and was offered to us for AUD$600 below retail @ AUD$4900.

It's a 25hp Kohler with 48" cut. Biiiiiiig wheels that bolt onto hubs, instead of sitting on the shaft and all the goodies you could ask for and more. Being so big, it'll roar over our lawn without blinking. I really didn't want to get something that would struggle at all.

It gets delivered this arvo, so my lawn should look beautiful by the time night falls! :D
 

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Please let us know how the engine works out for you after say, a year. Yami and Kawi engines are pricey so some other option would be nice.
 

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wooooohooooooo ! now get back to important things and lube the chain on the ZZR :twofinger :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
kanwisch said:
Please let us know how the engine works out for you after say, a year. Yami and Kawi engines are pricey so some other option would be nice.
I've heard nothing but good things about Kohler engines. My neighbour's JD has one. It's at least five years old and he's had no problems with it.



ARK, lubed the chain just last night. :thumb:
 

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Cookee, my wife wants to know what your name means cookeetree, does it have any significance ? thanks mate
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ARKninjaZX9 said:
Cookee, my wife wants to know what your name means cookeetree, does it have any significance ? thanks mate
It's a bit of a long story, but bear with me:

A few years ago, after we bought our block of land, Mrs Tree and I were trying to think of a name for it.

We just happened to be going through a McD's drive-thru when Mrs Tree made a most unusual comment about the young girl who'd served us (she was a past student of Mrs Tree's). She said, "She's a lovely girl, but she's not the brightest cookie in the tree." Now, that didn't make a whole lotta sense to me then and it still doesn't, but it did make me laugh for days (and still does).

Long story short, I struck on what she said and came up with the name "Cookie Tree" for our block. However, when I went to get the yahoo email address with that name, I found someone already had it (go figure). So, I changed the spelling and, voila, "Cookeetree" was born.

I ended up making a sign for our gate. I cut all of the letters out on a scroll saw and stuck them to a cut log. Everyone who see it loves it and they all ask the same question; "What does the name mean?"

I must've told this story a hundred times already, but I never get sick of it. It reminds me of how much I love the quirky things my wife says and does.

Here's a pic of the sign...

 

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thats so badass I cant even come up with words for it....thanks bro...God bless...its now our screen saver by order of Mrs. ark
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ARKninjaZX9 said:
thats so badass I cant even come up with words for it....thanks bro...God bless...its now our screen saver by order of Mrs. ark
Hmmm, sounds a little Single White Female. ;)

Just kidding. Thanks, I'm flattered that you both like it so much.

I've had requests from neighbours for signs for their gates, but a) it's a whooooole lotta work and b) wouldn't be quite so special if everyone had one, now would it? :D

My Dad was a cabinet maker / carpenter, which is where I got my love of all things wood (he's given me so many tools over the years, including the scroll saw).

I made our letterbox, too. I attached it to an old post I had lying around. The numbers are made from one piece of timber each and were, once again, done on a scroll saw. We had it the wedding, so that people could "post" their cards to us. I wanted to put our name on it, too, but Mrs Tree doesn't want any students to see it and find out where she lives. Here's a pic..

 

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Cookee,

Good choice on the Kohler engine. I've never had a problem with B&S, but Kohler has always had the better reputation.

I think you missed the Husky you should have bought though. You'd need multiple units, but think of the time you'd save!

http://www.automower.us/
 

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lol....didnt mean to sound girly...nice work, you missed your calling :cheers: i was kinda deep into my glass last night :rolleyes:
 

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cause todays my BIRTHDAY! yes today Im 44, and slightly hung over :squid:
 
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