Comparing riding mowers and getting the most usage for the money spent.

Sears Craftsman complete line of mowers and prices.

Lowes Kahului Husqvarna mowers and prices.


John Deere mowers and prices online purchasing.


Ariens mowers and prices Kahului.


Cub Cadet mowers and prices.


Excel Hustler mowers Kahului.


From a totally mechanical perspective, mine, and I will give you a little of my mechanical background to let you know the experience this overview carries in fact.


Lead Mechanic American Machinery1996 - 2001 Maui Hawaii - Kahului

Pay = $23.00 per hour + benefits. Reference Gorden Ogi President


United States Patents 3 issued.

US-5,669,090 Bariatric Rehabilitaion Bed - generated sales to date 240 million US dollars and began with a new factory in Ellis Kansas and approximately 8 employees in the shop 1993. Manual wheelchairs made out of stainless steel tubing were hand welded from hand fabricated parts. The rehabilitation bed of my design and patent allowed an agricultural community consisting of part time farmers to build another factory manufacturing the bed of my patent with over 200 local employees to date. Distributors in all 50 states and abroad Wheelchairs of Kansas.


US-5,819,345 Linear Actuator - Used for hospital beds-XL-1000-Mighty Rest- Diamond Acute- and other trademarked rehabilitation beds.


US-D281853 Tight Spot Wrench- 0 profit 1st patent issued to me didn't have a clue about the inventing profession and I was an idiot for passing up 1 and a half cents per wrench.


John Deere industrial(yellow) mechanic 30+ years experience 1984 started deighta.com assisting inventors write and draw patents.


Caterpillar mechanic experience 8 years Holt Brothers CAT, starting Ogden utah 1977.

Weber Basin Job Corps - Heavy equipment Operation and Repair.


Operating Engineers #3 Equipment Operator Mechanic 14,000 acredited hours (1984 - 1994) of experience documented.


Asphalt Plant Engineer Operating Engineers and CFR 1910.120 Hazmat trained certificate 1989.


Welder in factories (1973 - 1977)that manufacture farm equipment, Excel Industries (equipment cab manufacturing), Hesston Corporation ( swathers and hay equipment), Moridge Manufacturing (grain driers), Great Bend Manufacturing (loader attachments for tractors), Great Bend Industries(hydraulic cylinder manufacturing).


Operated farm tractors from 1967 - 1973, Massey Furgeson, Mineapolis Moline, John Deere, International, Case.


Operating Engineers A hire engineer heavy duty repairman ( Journeyman) Equipment Operator ( asphalt plant, cable crane 150ft boom, dozer, scraper, motor grader, articulated 5 yard loader, Cat 245 Excavator, all backhoe loaders, paving machines, rollers.


So the entire life experience that I have had is mechanical so I feel that I am qualified to make a comparison for the riding lawn mowers.





Riding Mower Review and how do I make the choice of what to purchase?



Riding mowers are required in this terrain, there are to many rocks hills and wet areas that require a riding mower to keep up with the yard maintenance. Weed eaters or "string trimmers" are also another tool required to maintain your yard in the Hana area.


So the question of do I spend minimum ( $1,200.00 - $1,400.00), a little more ($1,401.00 - $1,799.00), just a slight bit more ($1,800.00 - $2,300.00) for the homeowners models or; do I go to a mower with more warranty like the $5,0000 - $9,000.00 models. How much do I expect and what am I willing to spend? Which riding mower is right for me and operates the longest with the least repairs needed?


Every one of the mowers compared to one another have several items in common, one of which is an engine. There are several small engine manufacturers and most all riding mower manufacturing companies do not manufacture their own engines for the homeowners models of riding mowers. All are compareable and adequate, come with warranties, and need to be serviced regularly. There are many different makes of riding mower engines and click here to review the different choices.


The next common item is the mower deck and there are quite alot of variations from manufacturer to manufacturer on mower deck configuration. There are manual lever mower deck belt tensioners that allow the blades to begin rotating and then held in a mechanical position to hold the mower deck belt tension tight to continue mowing with the blades rotating. This is a mechanical method whereas a lever made of metal rod, and a connecting metal rod to a lever assembly that is allowed to pivot on one axis that has a spring attached to it located on the mower deck cable end retaining bracket, is all that controls the blades spinning.



This method or manual blade tensioning mechanism is usually on the least expensive models. As a mechanic viewpoint there are several different advantages of this simple lever assembly belt tensioner.


A- is the simplicity over the more expensive models using an electric PTO, a PTO is an acronym for Power Take Off, which is the connection between the engine and the mower deck,  an electric PTO requires an activation switch on the dash panel that costs 40 bucks to replace and a 300 - 400 dollar electric PTO clutch is what is eliminated in the mechanical lever method of tensioning the mower deck belt. In addition an electric PTO clutch requires a wiring harness to connect all that together. This method using the lever does have a cable with a spring that can break, but by looking at the parts of the mechanical lever method, it is easier to identify the problem compared to the electric PTO on the more expensive models, because you don't need a digital multi meter (DMM) to check for electrical potential through the system.



B- is that the lever assembly allows you to gradually start to rotate the mower deck blades to begin mowing. On the electric PTO set up there is an electrical switch that provides electrical potential and current to the PTO (power take off) clutch and in turn causes the mower deck blades to rotate. This is an instant connection that really applies alot of tension and force onto the mower deck belt and rotating parts, especially when someone is running the engine wide open and then pulls the electrical PTO switch on the dash.



C- is the fact of a wet jungle, whereas "everything" oxidizes and rusts or deteriorates into rubbish quickly when exposed to the salt air and humidity. Electrical connections underneath a mower or tractor are subject to dirt, moisture, and obstructions like a stick, a coconut stem and so on. They are the #1 cause of the tractor not working properly for example the PTO clutch wires break at the coil so the harness needs replaced or there will be constant problems with intermittent blade stopages. So simply the environment dictates that the old fashioned mechanical lever system is best for this environment in respect to simplicity to repair, reliability, and become obvious to the homeowner without the use of special tools like the DMM as mentioned earlier in text.


At this point in the evaluation of riding mowers I would purchase a John Deere for price and cost of operation per hour of machine life. I have seen a John Deere L-100 series riding mower reach 1848 hours and outliving it's warranty by 3 times. That mower cost us $1800.00 so initial cost to date was $1.00 per hour. This does not include the maintenance or repairs we did along the way in the test to see just how many hours we could get out of the 100 series John Deere riding mowers. There are some modifications we have made to improve the longevity of the mower decks which are on the mower deck page of this site.


If you purchase a John Deere riding mower that has a hydrostatic drive, that is ideal for all mowing conditions slow or fast it doesn't matter. The key to your mower lasting a lifetime of mowing is how you drive it, for example the speed and grass height, the speed of the riding mower has to be slow enough so that the mower deck belt and the transmission belt do not overheat, this is explained better in the hydrostatic transmission page on this site.


Expect to replace the hydrostatic transmission @ around 500 to 650 engine hours, they cost around 800 to 1200 installed at a shop. There is an option of repair but expect to pay around 400 dollars for that repair. 500 engine hours is like 5 years of hard mowing or more for a homeowner in the mainland. We mow every day here in Hana, even with only 10 acres a week the grass grows around an inch a day on the average.


Also John Deere has the most well refined parts system, the parts drawings on John Deere equipment are identical to the parts in the machine. A mechanic can easily repair a John Deere machine by simply looking at the parts breakdown. A regular homeowner with little mechanical skill can look at the John Deere parts book or CD and easily repair anything on the mower that may break in regular service.


A customer with a John Deere has access to all part numbers and prices, this is nationwide and the customer can simply order the parts online by going to the John Deere parts online or going directly to our contact us page on this site and we can send the info via e-mail to you.