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Cost = Quality?

1957 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  leolav
I have been really giving this one some honest thought. In 1997 I bought a 96 Craftsman 19HP B&S TwinCool Hydrostatic AT 46" LT with lawn bagging kit etc. for $1000.00 --- (it had been used commercially for less than one year but I didn't have the $ to worry about that - I needed a LT help cut my 10 acres. (I didn't have any tractor at that point) It was a medium grade model with non-cast iron front axles, no super-duty tranny, drive or oil filter. When I tell you that this LT has seen some time on the greens, I am simply not kidding. It cut everything from bushhogging duties (with grass 5' tall) down to regular lawn maintenance (and everything in between) - simply great engine.

It held up and kept going. I have only had to perform regular oil changes (tons), carb rebuild once, engine top-end rebuild - gasket replacements once, deck and drive belt once. It is still strong as an ox. I hear all of this BS about cast-iron axles but this plated/pressed steel axle has BEEN THROUGH HELL and shows no signs of wear and tear. Then I go and spend nearly 3x for a brand new showroom GT and am left wondering if that was the smartest choice for me. :)

I really like my GT5000, but sometimes I feel I got carried away with the shiny red paint and big tires! :D --- No really, I like my unit --- I just wish I got more replies on my thread "What can my GT5000 really do?" ---- I guess my point with all of this is that simply --- sometimes you do get a great deal on a great machine and sometimes things break down on the most expensive models. I guess I didn't get a bad model the first time around and after thousands and thousands of hours on that 96, it still runs like a top and will cut through anything. No buyer's remorse here --- just some silly ramblings...


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I'll tell you a story about a Craftsman lawn mower (made by Murray at that time) that don't sound just right, but I swear its the truth. In 1977 I bought a Sears LT 10 Craftsman 10HP lawnmower. It cut 2 acres for about the first 5 years and then down to just one acre. I replaced the carb. when it was about 6 or 7 years old. I replaced the transaxel once, and lost count of the jackshaft bearings. When it was about 10 years old, I bought another brand thinking I would give it a rest. The new one didn't last long. Since 1994 I have bought 6 new mowers. The one I am using now is a 2001 Murray 15.5 HP. But in 2000, I gave the 10HP to my son. He used it two years and gave it to a friend of his. For the kicker. When he gave it to his friend, it had the original oil and spark plug. The air filter had been changed many times though. I'm going to ask him if it is still going.
It just goes to show you...

that sometimes you get a GREAT machine and it will last forever and sometimes you get a lemon. (made by some crafty lemonade suppliers) --- :)

Does it upset me? Not really. I guess I feel in retrospect that I could have used that flashy $$ for something more useful ~ like a new stocked wetbar and refrigerator for my barn and a fancy Guatemala trip with my wifey. :D ---- HAHA! (oh the plans!)

I guess I got a good one. Hopefully my new shiny red one will last just as long and be as productive. :)

I'll tell you that my 95-96 Craftsman has been to hell and back and hasn't missed a step yet. I have cut just about everything with that mower. My neighbor across the street has an area in front of her house that is foot high grass bordering her front lawn. Twice a year, she has some guy come in and brush hog it.

About three weeks ago, we were over her house and she said it was time for the brush hog guy to come by. She was paying $150 each time he shows up!!

I went over her house with my 42" 16.5 hp Craftsman, blades fully up and proceeded to mow her "hayfield". This time of year, I also have my Mow N Vac riding in back and it sucked up all her tall stuff.

After I finished, I cut it again at a lower level. After that, she said she can now keep it maintained with her mower.

What I'm tryiing to get at is if that older "toy" can do that, what can my 5000 d0??? I am just like you Andy, I'm treating her like a sports car more than a lawn mower.

Some of the other things I do with that beast: Plow snow, haul firewood (5-6 cord/ year), haul my boat around, move mulch, rocks and anything else that needs moving. I even hauled my Dad's model T when it broke down up the road from his house. I have some pictures of that because it was in the local paper. It looks like the Model T is losing a tug of war!!!. I framed it and gave it to dad on fathers day!!
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