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Old 04-11-2017, 08:32 AM
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Hydrostatic mower question.

I am looking into purchasing a riding mower to help out a neighbor at the lake. In order to get from my house to the neighbors, I will have to go up my asphalt driveway, which is about 150 feet long and at least a 35 degree incline. Our old golf cart with the belt/clutch has no problem going up the driveway with me, the wife, and our 90 lb. dog on it.
I was at Lowe’s last night getting ready to purchase a John Deere D110 and I was chatting with another customer, and he said that I should stay away from a hydrostatic mower if I had to go up a steep incline. Checking online, the opinions seem about 50/50. Any of you guys have any experience with this?
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:13 AM
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I have hydro on a older Toro commercial unit and it is awesome. I would be more worried about the belt and pulley then hydro.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:36 AM
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It's all about how tough the hydro components are. In my mind residential = no way and commercial = no worries. The D110 comes with a Tuff Torq TLT200A transmission. It looks pretty residential grade to me. If you decide to roll the dice at least change the fluid regularly.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahhudgins View Post
I was at Lowe’s last night getting ready to purchase a John Deere D110 and I was chatting with another customer, and he said that I should stay away from a hydrostatic mower if I had to go up a steep incline.
This customer has no idea what he/she is talking about.

First of all, going down a steep incline on anything but clean pavement with a belt driven system is what you should be worried about when in a ride on lawn mower. You're relying on nothing but a free spinning wheel and cheap Chinese brakes to stop you. Golf carts are different in comparison due to a better center of gravity from the wider wheel base & weight distribution, and have much better brakes in comparison to a ride on lawn mower.

In either direction up or down, a machine with a hydro transmission will provide 10 times the traction & control than that of a belt driven machine. Maybe more, it's honestly no comparison.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:27 AM
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Not sure how much land you mow, so my answer may not be relevant.

I live in a subdivision where all the lots are 3+ mowed acres . When someone who has not previously mowed that much land moves into the subdivision they almost always buy a large (54+ inch deck) garden tractor type mower. In about 2-3 years, they are selling that and buying a zero turn mower. I did the same thing. I cut my mow time in 1/2 going from a tractor to zero turn mower.

I believe that all zero turn mowers are hydraulic controlled and I have had no issues with those. Unless you are 100% sure you are going to do something other than mow with the tractor, then I suggest you re-think and go zero-turn. You can pull a trailer with many zero-turns, so things like spreaders, sprayers, utility trailer are all options (check the brand/model you are looking at to confirm).
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kscrib View Post
Not sure how much land you mow, so my answer may not be relevant.

I live in a subdivision where all the lots are 3+ mowed acres . When someone who has not previously mowed that much land moves into the subdivision they almost always buy a large (54+ inch deck) garden tractor type mower. In about 2-3 years, they are selling that and buying a zero turn mower. I did the same thing. I cut my mow time in 1/2 going from a tractor to zero turn mower.
In addition to this, you can find a lot of great deals on used commercial grade zero turn, floating deck, hydraulic driven machines either walk behind or ride on. 4 years ago I bought a 2003 Exmark ZTR with 1400 hours for $2000, put about $800 in it, and it was a fantastic machine for a 1/4 of the price new (sold it when I moved to TX).

If I was to do it again I would get a used 60" walk behind.

Good luck OP!
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:30 AM
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Just got off the phone with 2 John Deere dealers. Both said that the D series is the entry level mower (Lowes & Home Depot) and is perfect for flat to mild grades. They did not try to sell me a mower, but both service guys said that they would not recommend the D series transaxle on an asphalt grade that steep. The hydrostatic system is good, but the transaxle is very small on the D series.

I wanted a new mower to avoid buying someone else's problems, but I guess I'll find a used one and keep it at the neighbor's place (with no key). They have been friends and neighbors for a long time but they are a little shady.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintpollz View Post
In addition to this, you can find a lot of great deals on used commercial grade zero turn, floating deck, hydraulic driven machines either walk behind or ride on. 4 years ago I bought a 2003 Exmark ZTR with 1400 hours for $2000, put about $800 in it, and it was a fantastic machine for a 1/4 of the price new (sold it when I moved to TX).

If I was to do it again I would get a used 60" walk behind.

Good luck OP!
2K was going to be my limit. I have no need for a riding mower at the lake but I could use it at home for getting up leaves and seeding. I'm in good shape for being 55, but even walking behind my self propelled up the driveway is a workout!
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:13 PM
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my neighbor has a deer and has a similar incline, the hydrostatic went out after about a year and a half, instead of buying a new mower he did what a lot of guys do, he purchased a rear end from either 1 or 2 models above his and has not had a problem since then. I guess what i'm saying is they work but expect problems with inclines eventually unless you plan on swapping out your mower often. Either that or just plan on getting a larger/beefier rear end for the tractor.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:35 PM
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