manual vs automatic trans riding mower

Discussion in 'The Counter' started by fez, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    florida
    I'm 73 and still mow the lawn with a self propelled walking mower. It's not a big property. About 40x40 back and a little bigger front. In this Florida heat I now mow the back one day front another. I also have trimming, land scaping etc to do. I realize that as I wind down I will eventually have to go for a rider. If I last long enough then a lawn service. When the time comes for a rider which would you consider a more durable trans? Manual{clutch replacement understood) or auto? Thanks.
     
  2. tx-rvr

    tx-rvr Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Abilene Texas
    I have had 2 riding mowers. One was over 30 years ago and the other was about 10 years ago. The first one was a cheap well used mower and the second was a Snapper rear engine. Both were belt drive manual trans. The snapper was a 30 inch and after my heart transplant I was able to use my walk behind mower. The rider was just too much trouble to get into tight places if I did not have to use it so I sold it. I now have 2 grandsons that are old enough to mow for me. :D:D:D :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    The auto may be a good ideal.

    Steve
     
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  3. JR37

    JR37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
    I had a manual transmission mower for several years. Replaced it this year with a mower with a CVT transmission (not quite an automatic) Neither one has a clutch, belts with idler pullies. The reason I went with the CVT transmission mower (Troy Bilt Bronco 42 inch) was they did not have the size mower I was using ,39 inch with anti scalp wheels. My old mower did not have anti scalp wheels, and the blades were digging in on turns and on the hill. New mower does a great job. I have had to learn when to keep right foot on the go pedal, and when to let off of it. I nearly knocked my mail box down and ran through the hedge the first time I used it. I am doing better now. I believe the manual mower was more comfortable to drive. When you let off of the brake pedal and the mower started moving, you just put both feed on the foot plates, and mow. I do like my anti scalp wheels. I don't have an opinion on the full auto mower. It was several hundred dollars more than the one I bought. Wife say I am a cheapskate.
     
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  4. 62-10

    62-10 Well-Known Member

    417
    Jan 18, 2015
    I have a 1995 Simplicity Coronet rider with a 34" deck & hydro drive. Trans still works great.

    Before that, I had a mid-80's Roper rider with a smaller deck (maybe 30") & manual trans.

    Before that, self-propelled push mowers.

    I'll take the hydro drive every time; makes it easy to vary speed on the fly & far more convenient to rapidly change direction of travel, such as when cutting close to trees & manuevering small areas.
     
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  5. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

    711
    Aug 21, 2015
    Fez your lawn sounds like a good candidate for a snapper. They just brought back the old school model. Simple machines well suited for a smaller lawn. It’s well suited for fine cutting not bush hogging rough terrain. They have a belt driven blade and a different drive system. They have a reputation of long life for those who properly care for their machines, I suspect you are such an individual.
     
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  6. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Over the past 10 years I've messed with several Craftsman 42 inch riders. All used, all around the same age. All belts & pulleys. The automatic one was much easier to mow with.

    Like 62-20 said easier to control speed with the variable ration trans & leave the motor reved up to cut.

    For now the self propelled walk behind electric is the bees knees.
     
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  7. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    florida
    All good input. I'll keep these tips in mind. For now though I'll keep on walking as long as I can. I consider it my exercise. LOL. By the way you might be wondering why not mow in the a.m. or later in the evening? In the a.m. the lawn is too wet from the dew. Clogs up the mower. Have to stop every 3 or 4 passes to clean out the grass. Makes ruts also. If I wait to long into the afternoon the thunder storms are active. Nature will make you do it on her schedule. LOL.
     
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  8. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    My last mower was a Snapper self propelled, good mower. The new electric is half the weight or less (still a steel deck) & starts soooooooooooo much easier. I do have to wait until the grass gets good & dry. Batteries have come a long ways.
     
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  9. JR37

    JR37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
    I used a walk behind self propelled mower until I was around 70. Back got to hurting and mowing the hill behind the house got harder. Doctor suggested I get a rider. I tried to get him to write me a prescription for a riding mower so Medicare would pay for it. No luck.
     
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  10. Greg B.

    Greg B. Well-Known Member

    191
    Dec 12, 2018
    North Carolina
    I'd skip the rider and go straight to the lawn service.
     
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  11. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

    711
    Aug 21, 2015
    Had a lawn guy for a few years. Kept upping the price. Got to the point I could have been making a car payment. Showed up twice a month for 45 min to an hour. It’s good to get out in the sun, I will mow mine and save that money.
     
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  12. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    florida
    I don't want to give up yet. I like to stay active but there will come a point to scale back. I will buy a reasonable priced rider when the time comes. Maybe a style like a Weed Eater One. It still will be less expensive then a service. I'll try to keep it going as long as I can.
     
  13. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

    711
    Aug 21, 2015
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  14. jonnin

    jonnin Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2010
    I don't know 100% but I suspect its like a car... manuals easier to work on (cheaper) and easier to build (cheaper up front cost) and more rugged (if user does not screw up and shift in a way that can break it, or if it can prevent such things?). May also let you kick start it on a dead battery (at least a car can do that).

    Autos are just a lot easier to use.

    A LOT of lawn stuff is going full electric. Is there an electric rider out yet? I don't know, but if not, wait for it, won't be too long.
     
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  15. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    With such a small yard, what about a robot? The roomba for outside?
    For exercise and entertainment, get a nerf gun and target practice.

    Lop
     
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  16. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

    711
    Aug 21, 2015

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-3...V3_3jBx3FGAZ9EAQYGiABEgLRQvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
     
  17. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    florida
    I used the Weed Eater as an example of the style I like. Maybe something like a Troy. On a fixed income I can't break the bank. About 1k vicinity. When the time comes I may peruse some pre-owned ones also. Too bad I wasn't ready as I saw a Troy tb30r, I think, a year ago at a private sale. Looked very clean. The guy wanted 500 and I take away. Was just seeing what was out there at the time.
     
  18. oldsouth

    oldsouth Member

    7
    Aug 17, 2019
    Well, you can always go to the Redneck Auto Mower. Cross between a push and a rider. Just gotta get the edges.

     
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  19. JR37

    JR37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
    My grandson was mowing for me until his mother decided to move close to her family. Now my SIL mows and trims. He and my wife think I am too old to get out in the heat and mow. I still want to do what I can, and riding the mower is one thing I can still do. I won't say I enjoy mowing, but I do like seeing the way the yard looks when I finish. If I slow down in the next two years like I have the past two, thinking about mowing will tire me out.
    PS. DIL also took my handyman with her. Jack Jr.
     
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  20. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    florida
    A big family was not in the cards for me. My son never pulled the trigger to get married. My daughter is satisfied with her stepson. Who ever is left is scattered to the 4 winds. There is communication but no one is real close anymore. When I think back when folks were still alive on my side and the wife's it kinda saddens me when I think of the big holiday get togethers we used to have. Hey, but that's getting off track. LOL.
     
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