The folks at Mowersdirect.com (MD) have come up with their recommendations for the best lawn tractors 2011. I think that those guys are worth listening to, so I’m going to take a look at what they have to say in this post.
Please note I don’t have any affiliate relationship with MD, so I don’t stand to gain anything if you head on over there to order one of these machine. I do, however, think that it is very worthwhile keeping abreast of what all the experts are currently thinking, that way I can bring the best information to you.
MD used field tests, customer feedback and their own research and insights to come up with their recommendations.
I presume that MD’s survey was restricted to the range of the lawn tractors that they actually stock. That is a pretty wide range and includes leading manufacturers such as Simplicity and Husqvarna.
However, as far as I can see, MD doesn’t stock some other big names, such as John Deere, Craftsman and Cub Cadet. So, be aware that you should probably put at least those other three brands in the mix if you are in the process of making your choice.
Now, on with the picks …
Best Entry Level Lawn Tractors 2011
MD came up with the following machines as their top 3 entry level lawn tractors:
- Allis Chalmers 46 inch, 23Hp all wheel steer lawn tractor (model AC130 )
- Husqvarna 48 inch, 23Hp lawn tractor (model YTH23V48 )
- Toro 42 inch, 20 Hp lawn tractor (model LX423).
I don’t have any real beef with these, or indeed any of the MD selections. It is interesting that the Allis Chalmers all wheel steer model topped the charts. It looks like this feature is going to be increasingly popular as manufactures look for something extra and consumers demand ever-more time and labor saving options.
Although not an all wheel steer model, I would throw the keys to a John Deere D140 into the ring for consideration at one of the best lawn tractors of 2011 at the entry level. It comes out at around the same price as the Allis AC130 and has a wider deck (48 inches) and only slightly less power (22 Hp).
The Husqvarna YTH23V48 is no doubt a very good machine for around the same price as the Allis Chalmers and the Deere D140 and features the solid Briggs and Stratton Intek engine and Tuff Torq hydrostatic transmission.
There is also a Craftsman model that I think deserves a mention in the entry level category. It is a fair bit cheaper than those already mentioned, so will suit the budget conscious buyer.
The one I’m referring to is the Craftsman 28856. This 24 Hp, 42 inch deck model features a twin cylinder engine, Craftsman’s tight turn technology for great manuevering and hydrostatic transmission – all for around $1,500.
Best Mid-Grade Lawn Tractors 2011
In this grade MD cited the following as their top 3:
- Simplicity Broadmoor 44 inch, 22Hp lawn tractor (model 2690823)
- Snapper 46 inch, 23Hp NXT lawn tractor (model NXT2346 )
- Husqvarna 54 inch, 24Hp lawn tractor (model LGT24K54 ).
No arguments with the Simplicity Broadmoor at number 1. I’d be inclined to slot the John Deere X324 into this category as it is a great all-wheel steer model. It’s a bit more expensive than the Broadmoor but with a bit more cutting width.
The Snapper is also a good choice. This is quite an innovative machine. It has a reputation for great handling and for delivering an excellent cut. It has a cooling high-back mesh seat and a digital dashboard display panel.
If you like Snappers and are into the all-wheel steer option, you could also consider the Snapper 7800545 LT130 AWS Series 46-Inch 23 HP Briggs & Stratton ELS Twin Riding Lawn Mower. This has the Briggs and Stratton Extended Life Series (ELS) engine, automatic hydrostatic transmission and cruise control. This Snapper is a strong and powerful machine, although the steering could be a bit heavy for some. It should cost around $2,700, so it’s a fair but cheaper than the Broadmoor and substantially cheaper than the John Deere X324.
Best Semi-Pro Lawn Tractors
Here Simplicity lawn tractors swept the MD board:
- Simplicity Conquest 52 inch, 24Hp garden tractor (model 2690817)
- Simplicity Conquest 46 inch, 23Hp garden tarctor (model 2690816)
- Simplicity Broadmoor 52 inch, 20Hp lawn tractor (model 2690815).
And I’m not about to disagree with that. You can check out our full reviews here:
Don’t forget, that the best lawn tractor for you, is the one that will suit your particular requirements best. You can’t really look at these things without relating them to the job you want them to do. Therefore, you need to treat anybody’s recommendations (mine, the good folks at Mowers Direct and whoever else) as a no more than a guide to what might be worth looking at.
In fact, if you look at our free 44 page e-book, ‘How to avoid costly mistakes when selecting your lawn tractor’ you’ll see that the starting point is not the machine but your own needs. Only when you’ve clearly analysed those should you start looking at the various lawn tractors.
That said, it is certainly fun to compare machines and weigh up the various pros and cons. So, what do you think? Are the lawn tractors mentioned here amongst the best lawn tractors for 2011 or are there any glaring omissions?
Please give us your thoughts in the comments below.