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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today We Bought A New John Deere Mower

New mower on left - old mower on right - already on craigslist for $1200.

I had to wait until 1998 when I was 50 years old to get my first riding mower. I was recovering from cancer surgery and Lulu was feeling sorry for me. I got a Honda 1011 Rider with a 30 inch blade. When we moved to Tallahassee in 2004 - we decided to hire a lawn service for $45 a week - and we sold the Honda. 

In 2010 we bought the brick house with the 1.4 acre lot and a bought a John Deere 48 inch wide belly mower. It has served us well. Usually I could mow the lawn in a little over an hour. In 4 years I used it for 125 hours - cutting the lawns of both of our Seminole Drive homes. 

I always envied those "bump steer" mowers - the ones that have two tillers. Since we are now "cracker rich" from selling the other house - I decided it was time to get one of those little sports car types of a lawnmower. I have been shopping quite a while. 

The official name of the type of mower is a zero turn. By pushing one handle forward and the other one back - you can turn on a dime. I remember as a kid - at the fair the farmers would do tractor square dancing. With one of these zero turn mowers you could be a ballerina. 

John Deere zero turn mowers could be bought for as little as $3000 and as much as $10,000. Professional grade ones are made to run all day every day. Residential grade ones - like mine - are made for a couple acres a week. Lowes and Home Depot sell the Z425 mower with a 54 inch blade for $3999. The local AgPro dealer wanted $4300 for one. I like buying there because they do the service on site. They serviced my old mower.

I set my son - Drew - to look for a bargain for me. He found a 10% off coupon for Lowes. I emailed Matt at AgPro - and he agreed to match the deal. I paid $3600 plus tax. $3870 total. I was pretty happy. I put the trailer on our Prius and picked up the mower this morning. 

It takes a little getting used to - mowing using the two tillers. I stayed away from obstacles until I got better. 

My John Deere Z425 has a 54 inch wide blade - really 3 blades. It has a 22 horsepower 2 cylinder engine. It cuts from 1 to 4 inches high in 1/4 inch increments. It holds 3.5 gallons of gasoline. 

It used to take me 1 to 1.5 hours with my old mower. My first mowing of the lawn took 42 minutes.  I went 2.32 miles. This mower is capable of going 8.5 miles per hour. 

AgPro sells and services a long line of John Deere products.

I bought this trailer on craigslist a long time ago for $250.

John Deere Z425

Bump steer

42 minutes later.

This is the pattern from my iPhone. The front yard went slower because it was first. Note the green area in the back yard - I was really moving there. 

Home Depot wanted $3999. Drew found a 10% coupon. AgPro matched it and sold it to me for $3600.

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