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Buying New - Need Advice

3141 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Austen
Hey Guys,

I'm in the market for a new riding mower and I'm confused about a few things. First let me state that my only experience with a riding mower is with a White Outdoor model LT542H and thus I've developed a few opinions about things that I'd rather avoid going forward.

The belts have always been an issue. If I use the deck belt as recommended by the OEM it is constantly slipping off. I developed a work around by simply buying the next size down but this creates a safety issue as this makes the blade turn constantly. And if the drive belt slips off; its pure heck getting it back on. So as I consider a new mower, what options do I have to eliminate the slipping and perhaps even eliminate the drive belt? Also, what is this "Direct Shaft Drive" I've heard about from Cub and does it address my drive belt issue?

As for an engine, I asked my local small engine repair guy for an opinion and he was pretty set against the Kohler brand. His first choice was BS followed by Kawasaki. Some additional on line research turned up several negative opinions about the Kohler Courage engine.

The mowing deck on my White requires an occassional manual adjustment to level the deck. Is this a necessity for all brands?

Last of all is the PTO. Am I better off with manual or electric?

I know this is a lot of requested information but believe me, I kept it brief. All opinions and assistence will be appreciated.
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Welcome to the site, Crown&Water!

First off, it sounds like there is something going on with the belt tensioning on the deck of your current machine. Obviously, having the belt slip off is definitely not something that is supposed to happen and not something you should find with any manufacture unless there is a problem.

As quoted on Cub Cadet's website:

"Cub Cadet direct shaft drive means there are no belts to slip or break.Giving you maximum power and reliability, even when using attachments. Cast-iron transmissions and front axle give you maximum toughness and long life."

So instead of a belt running to the transmission, it is a shaft much like a car. It is a nice setup that elminates any chance of slipage unlike a belt and is more of a commmercial, heavy duty setup. And of course like you mentioned, it also means simply one less belt to deal with. :) The mowing deck however will still have a belt, or belts running the blades though.

Regarding an engine, you can't really go wrong with either brand. Part of it is really all about how you take of the engine imo on how it will hold up. Keep in mind though, the higher end the machine or model that is from the manufacture, the more durable the design of the engine and drivetrain will usually be. Make sure to purchase a machine that is comperable to the type and area of mowing that you are intending it for. In other words, don't expect a smaller machine that is designed to mow 2 acres a day to hold up long for 5 acres of mowing year after year.

The mowing decks should already come pre-adjusted from the manufacture. Once they are adjusted, they should be fine and not need it for a long time to come unless you are mowing on really rough terrain that requires it more often. If you remove and reinstall the deck, it may or may not require it then as well.

Most all the new machines come with electric PTO's, I don't think you will find too many with the manual. Either way, I think it is matter of opinion on which you prefer.
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Thanks Austen and here's another question. Most all transmissions I've seen are hydrostatic. What exctly does that mean? Also, ocassionally I see a manual and question why anyone would prefer the manual transmission.
Hydrostatic essentially means that it's an automatic, so there are no gears.

The machine will either have a lever, or more commonly found, forward and reverse pedals. The further you push the pedal or lever, the faster the machine will go and vice versa. A manual transmission will have gears and a clutch. Most people tend to prefer the hydrostatic type for average mowing use due to it's ease of use and quicker forward and reverse transitions over the manual transmission machines.
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