Who Makes What? – All 2015 Lawn, Yard And Garden Tractor Manufacturers

Go here to see the complete list of manufactures currently producing riding mowers, tractors and zero turns: Riding Mower Brands – The Complete list

There is still a lot of confusion and mis-information about who makes the current lawn and garden tractors so I am going to list the information again differently so more of you can find the right info. This list will also include the non-zero turn riders and multi-purpose tractors like the Husqvarna Articulated and Ventrac.

American home owners have mowed lawns and tilled garden with these since the 50’s. The love affair for the tractor style mower has always been a mystery to the manufactures because there are so many more efficient ways to mow your lawn and maintain your garden. But the desire still lives on. Todays lawn tractors mow faster, are more fuel efficient and in general cost much less than the ones built in the 60’s and 70’s. If the price of a lawn tractor kept up with inflation a typical one today would cost over $25,000! They are one of the best consumer bargains on the planet.

The 1975 36 inch, 10 hp Craftsman lawn tractor sold for $1099 in the catalog. The 16 hp Sears Garden Tractor was $1969 plus $484 for the 48 inch deck. You could buy a 1975 Ford F-150 truck for about the same price, $2778.90 or $2200 out the door. House: $42,600. Gas: $0.57. Bread: $0.28. Gallon of Milk: $1.40. Stamp: 13 cents. Every other area of the economy except lawn tractors and computers now cost 10 times as much. (1976 Apple computer sold for $666.)  

This article lists:

1. All manufacturers currently producing lawn tractors, yard tractors and garden tractors for sale in the United States.
2. What brands names are used by these manufactures
3. I will list many of the brands no longer being made.

I’ve included multi-purpose riding mowers and tractors in this article but it does not include the dedicated mowers like zero-turns. Go here to see the complete manufactures currently riding mowers, tractors and zero turns: Riding Mower Brands

1. Current Manufactures:

These manufactures make all of the lawn tractors, yard tractors or garden tractors. They all have assembly plants here in the U.S. and except where noted all of the tractors you will find at your local dealer, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, and Tractor Supply are made here in the U.S.

MTD: All lawn tractors, garden tractors and zero-turns are assembled in various locations around the U.S. I’m not sure where the assembly of the rider takes place.

Husqvarna: All riders, lawn tractors, garden tractors, and zero-turns are made at their assembly plant in South Carolina. The Articulated Rider is made in Europe.

John Deere: All riders, lawn tractors, garden tractors, and zero-turns are made at their assembly plants in Greenville, TN and Horicon, WI

Briggs & Stratton: All riders, lawn tractors, garden tractors, and zero-turns are made at their assembly plants in the U’S. Simplicity is made in Port Washington, Wi? Snapper mowers are made in McDonough, Georgia, Munnsville, New York, and Tupelo, MS.

Kubota: – Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA) is Kubota’s North American manufacturing base. KMA manufactures and assembles Kubota lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, sub-compact tractors, utility vehicles, loaders, backhoes and other implements. Today, approximately one-half of all Kubota branded equipment sold in the United States is manufactured or assembled at its 151-acre Gainesville, Georgia facility.

Stiener: – Manufactured by Schiller Grounds Care, Inc, Johnson Creek facility in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin.

Ventrac: – Manufactured by – Venture Products, Inc. in Orrville, Ohio, USA

Denver Global Products: Their assembly plant and warehouse is in LINCOLNTON, NC. The Raven is a completely new and refreshing way to work around your property. It looks like an ATV, drives like your favorite Golf Car, mows like a commercial zero-turn and has a built-in self-propelled portable/standby generator!

2. Current Brands Names For Lawn & Garden Tractors:

Allis Chalmers Lawn Tractors – Current manufacture – Briggs & Stratton. You will see this line mainly at Simplicty and ag dealers. In 2008, Briggs & Stratton Power Products, LLC, announced it would be restoring the Allis-Chalmers brand to the lawn and garden industry with two new lawn tractors. Available at Simplicity dealerships, the tractors harken back to the glory days of the Allis-Chalmers farm tractor. The design of the new AC130 lawn tractor is reminiscent of these products, leaning heavily on the familiar orange color and distinctive Allis-Chalmers logo.

Ariens Lawn Tractors  – Current lawn and garden tractors are made for Ariens by Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Ariens owns the brand. Ariens® lawn and garden equipment has been the choice of discerning homeowners for more than 75 years. Built tough but easy to operate, Ariens delivers a heritage of reliable performance, year after year.  Ariens products are available at independent power equipment dealers in North America and Europe, The Home Depot stores, broadline MRO (maintenance, repair and operating) suppliers, regional farm retailers and select on-line retailers.

Bolens Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – MTD – The name is only used for low priced Yard Machines style lawn tractors. MTD owns the Brand

Craftsman Lawn Tractors  – Current lawn tractors are made for Craftsman by MTD. Sears Holdings Company owns the brand
Craftsman Yard & Garden Tractors  – Current yard and garden tractors are made for Craftsman by Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Sears Holdings Company owns the brand. With a best-in-class 6″ turning radius
and a new top speed of 7.5 mph, no other mower turns this tightly and cuts this quickly.
Craftsman Pro  – Current lawn tractors are made for Craftsman by MTD. Sears Holdings Company owns the brand

Cub Cadet Lawn & Garden Tractors  – Current manufacture – MTD. MTD owns the Brand. MTD was founded over 80 years ago based on some basic values: Stewardship; Integrity; Hard Work; Reliance on and Respect for People; Innovation; Willingness to take Risks; Gratitude for Customers and Promotion from Within. Today, we’re proud to say these values still continue to drive our decisions. They’ve been integral to our success and growth.

Dixon Lawn Tractors  – Discontinued – Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Husqvarna owns the Brand
Husqvarna Lawn Tractors, Husqvarna Riders  – Current manufacture – Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Husqvarna owns the Brand. What makes a Husqvarna? How come people all over the world expect a certain feel and finish when picking up, or getting on, a Husqvarna product? We’d like to think that our significant experience has a lot to do with it – of which we have almost 400 years.

John Deere 100 and 300 Series Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – John Deere. Since its founding in 1837, John Deere has seen a great many changes in its business, its products, its services. Change always comes with opportunity. And Deere has always been ready and willing to embrace it. Yet, through it all, John Deere is still dedicated to those who are linked to the land – farmers and ranchers, landowners, builders, and loggers. And Deere has never outgrown, nor forgotten, its founder’s original core values. Those values determine the way we work, the quality we offer, and the unsurpassed treatment you get as a customer, investor, employee.

Kubota Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – Kubota Manufacturing of America. Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA) was formed in 1988 as Kubota’s North American manufacturing base. KMA manufactures and assembles Kubota lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, sub-compact tractors, utility vehicles, loaders, backhoes and other implements. Today, approximately one-half of all Kubota branded equipment sold in the United States is manufactured or assembled at its Gainesville, Georgia facility.

Massey Ferguson Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – Primarily sold in Canada – Briggs & Stratton.
Poulan Lawn TractorsPoulan Pro Lawn Tractors   – Current manufacture – Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Husqvarna owns the Brand

Raven MPV 7100 – Denver Global Products . Their assembly plant and warehouse is in LINCOLNTON, NC. The Raven is a completely new and refreshing way to work around your property. It looks like an ATV, drives like your favorite Golf Car, mows like a commercial zero-turn and has a built-in self-propelled portable/standby generator!

Simplicity Lawn & Garden Tractors  – Current manufacture – Briggs & Stratton. Briggs & Stratton owns the Brand
Snapper Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – Briggs & Stratton. Briggs & Stratton owns the Brand
Steiner Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – Schiller Grounds Care. Steiner production is now done through the Johnson Creek facility in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin with a new and bright outlook for the future.

Toro Lawn & Garden Tractors  – Current lawn and garden tractors are made for Toro by MTD. Toro owns the Brand
Troy-Bilt Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – MTD. MTD owns the Brand

Ventrac Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – Venture Products, Inc.  VENTRAC’s versatility offers over 30 different attachments. Combining these with our Ventrac Mount System (less than a minute to attach or detach attachments) gives you a small power pack designed for maximum performance and versatility for many different market places, including the following: Landscapers, Municipalities, Churches, Universities, Golf Courses, Home owners, Parks, Sport Facilities, Shopping Malls, Tree Growers, Rental Yards, Nurseries, Airports and much more. Venture Products, Inc. has two major facilities in Orrville, Ohio, USA.

White Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – MTD – The name is only used for low priced Yard Machines style lawn tractors. MTD owns the Brand
Yard Machines & Yardman Lawn Tractors  – Current manufacture – MTD – MTD owns the Brand

No Longer Made Brands:

There have been over 100 different brands of lawn tractors that are no longer made and here is a list of the most common ones. Many of these were popular in the 60’s and the majority of them used horizontal shaft motors, heavy channel frames and automotive style gear drive transmissions. In general they were just horrible to drive compared to today’s equipment. (source  TractorData.com database.) If you would like to see what they looked like just do a Google image search. for example search “Ford Lawn Tractor” or “Panzer Garden Tractor”


General Electric
J.I. Case
New Holland
Wheel Horse

The data is being updated constantly and I know there are names I missed. If you know of a lawn tractor brand that is not listed, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. Angola, IN

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your insight on the mowers. I think we’ll be going with the John Deere S240. It has many upgrades that are usually only found on their 300 series, yet is still priced competitively. Thanks again for your help!

  2. Location: Angola, Indiana
    Hi Paul,
    I just discovered your web page here and I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your comments regarding lawn/garden tractors.
    I have a question for you: My wife and I are planning to purchase a new rider mower in the near future for our new home and we need some advice. (Long story short, we just sold our old home last week, and with it, our 54″ cut 26 HP Kohler Craftsman rider).
    We spoke to our local John Deere dealer yesterday about purchasing a smaller lawn tractor, something with a 42″ deck or less. (We currently own about a half acre lake lot that is perfectly flat). The salesman was very knowledgeable and educated us about the various features of the JD 125 and JD 130 models, which he said we’re they’re best-selling models.
    I like that JD’s are still made in the US. Also, I assume that the heftier price tag on the JD (compared to comparable 42″ cut mowers of an alternate brand, such as Craftsman) is worth it because it’s a JD. Am I correct in thinking this?

    I’m also looking at the Simplicity Regent in 42″ cut, but it appears to be about $200 more than the JD 125. I’m not sure why, because they both have the same exact B&S 22 HP engine.

    Bottom line, if you were in my shoes, what brand would you recommend in terms of being the best quality for the money?

    P.S. What would you think if I were to look for an older JD rider that was in good shape vs. buying a new JD? Will the quality of the new JD be “as good” as the old style?

    Thank you for your time and your thoughts,

    • Hi Michael, Just so you know – all lawn and garden tractors are made in the U.S. There are a few MTD models in the $1200 range that use Chinese engines but the tractors themselves are built here.

      Simplicity is over priced, especially in the Regent. Other than the engine I can’t see why that tractor should cost more than $1200.

      The JD D125 and D130 are priced competitively at $1799. The comparable Craftsman is the 20390 at $1700. Yes, you get to pay a little more for green paint.

      I’m surprised the JD dealer din’t show you the S240. It’s one of the better value tractors they have and everyone who has bought one this year really likes it. You can read about it here: S240

  3. Hi Paul:
    We’re in the Gulf Islands of southern BC, along the border. We have about 2 acres to mow, with some slopes. Leaning toward your recommendations for heavy duty ZTR 42 inch, but major concern for us is wife’s need to collect grass for compost. Would appreciate more info on machines that are able to collect grass easily and efficiently. Saw somewhere your comment about Walker hopper mowers and was interested, but we no longer have a dealer close by. Is it worth the effort to seek out a Walker (in other words, are they far and away the best choice?) or can you recommend any other machines that can have grass collecting equipment added without making them too cumbersome? Thanks.

    • Hi Ron, Yes, they are the best – period.

      Walker does things differently. I suggest you go to Walkermowers.com and use the contact page to discuss dealer options.

      I did a quick dealer locator on their page and got the following 3 places near Victoria. (am I close?)

      Western One Rentals 2200A Keating X Road, Victoria, BC V8M 2A6 (250)652-5550 10
      Port Angeles Power Equipment 2624 E Highway 101, Port Angeles , WA 98362 360-452-4652 23
      Fraser Valley Equipment 13399 – 72 Ave, Surrey, BC V3W 2N5 1-604-590-1433 55

      ExMark has the Navigator but the Walker has so many more options for you to choose from.

  4. Hi Paul,
    I could really use your help. I need to buy my daughter a sit down lawn mower for Columbia, MO. The house is on a 1/2 acre hill. My head is spinning between what the dealers tell you, and the reviews I read. My gut is telling me a used John Deere, Kubota is to expensive (new or used) and I had a MTD Yard Bud in the past which was junk. I have been told the Husqvarna and the new Cub Cadets are no longer quality. A dealer has a close out on a Dixon sit (non-ZTR) with the 3 year warranty. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    • Hi Larry, The “new ones are no longer quality” is a relative term. I’m glad I can mow a 2 acre lawn with todays mowers in an hour when it used to take all day with the old Cub Cadet’s and 110 Deeres. Besides at least the new one swill turn in less than a 1/2 acre and turn just as sharp both ways!

      Anyway, The Dixon is a Husqvarna. I like the 3 year warranty and you can’t really go wrong with it. They are as heavy of a tractor you will find.

  5. Saratoga Springs, New York
    I have less than an acre of flat lawn to mow and have done so for over 15 years with a Craftsman 42″ lawn tractor with a 15.5 Kohler engine. In the fall the tractor is used to pull a Cyclone Rake which gets loaded down with oak leaves and pine needles. It’s time for a new dependable, well built model that would break the bank. I was set to purchase a Cub Cadet XT1 LT46 from a local dealer but I’m not sure this is the best for my situation. Do you have any recommendations/suggestions so I can get the best product for the money?

    • Hi Todd, I am going to assume you had the 6-speed geared transmission in your old Craftsman. Even though your lawn is flat I am a little nervous about recommending a 46 inch XT1, XT2 (or Craftsman Pro) because you pull the Cyclone Rake. The K46 transmission in those mowers are lawn tractor transmissions and designed for mowing – not pulling heavy loads.

      If you are only catching leaves you will be all right. If you also use it for grass clippings I highly suggest you keep the loads under 500 lbs including the Cyclone.

      A lawn tractor with a stronger transmission is the Craftsman 20391. You can read my review here: 20391 Review

      • Saratoga Springs, New York
        Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, my old Craftsman has the 6-speed geared transmission. I am not sure of the exact weight but I can tell you the Cyclone Rake has been so weighted down that it lifted the Craftsman’s frontend slightly. I was hoping not to exceed a 46″ deck because of some tight openings I drive through (shed door & fence gate) and many obstacles (trees, pool, shed, play-set, garden, planters) I have to maneuver. Would you have a runner-up option?
        My original comment should have read “that would NOT break the bank” and your choice does fit in that category.
        Obviously you know a lot more about lawn tractors than I do. I greatly appreciate your time in replying. Thank you again.
        Also, in your opinion, is a fabricated deck worth the extra cost?

        • Ok Todd, Is $6000 too much? :)

          There are a few other alternatives. The Craftsman 22HP 42” Turn Tight® Fast Riding Mower – Non-CA is a 42 inch V-Twin and is comparable to the Cub Cadet XT1 LY46 except it has a stronger CVT foot control transmission and the 6 inch Turn-Tight steering. One added feature is it will buzz around your yard at 7.5 mph! This deck has the same discharge opening as your old tractor.

          Two other cheaper alternatives. First the Craftsman 25081. About $1500 19HP 42 in. Turn Tight® Automatic Riding Mower. Again this one has the RS 800 CVT trans but it is a fender control like your old Craftsman. (by the way these transmissions can handle 800 lbs or more on the axle and not break.) 19 HP single cylinder Briggs Platinum. (this engine is rated for 25% longer life than your old 15.5) 6 inch turn-tight and the same seat you have now. This deck has the same discharge opening as your old tractor.

          Finally, the 25083. About $1549. Same as the 25081 above with a 46 inch two blade deck. 19HP 46 in. Turn Tight® Automatic Riding Mower

  6. I have an acre and a quarter to keep mowed and I’m looking at a few different riding mowers and trying to get the best product for the money between them. The Ariens A20VA46 seems to be very close to the Husqvarna YTH22V46 (both made by Husqvarna) with the exception of the transmissions. Both have the Briggs and Stratton 22 HO V-Twin engine. The Ariens has an automatic and the Husqvarna has a hydrostatic but I don’t know the difference. The third is the Cub Cadet XT1 with the 22 HP Kohler V-Twin engine. They are all about the same price but the Ariens is about $100 cheaper. I’m guessing the difference in the transmission is why it cost less. Which mower would be the best for the money?

    • Hi Patrick, It’s actually the engine.

      The Ariens A20VA46 has the RS800 CVT it’s actually the strongest trans of the three but it has the Briggs Intek engine. The Intek is good for flat lawns but the owners who use it on hills don’t get the life they expect.

      The Husqvarna YTH22V46 also uses the Intek engine but is has a K46 hydrostatic. Husqvarna as a brand name, the hydro and the extra 2 horses equals $200 more than the Ariens.

      In the Briggs engines you want an Intek Plus, Craftsman Platinum, John Deere 100 series of Intek ELS for hills and the longest life. Craftsman advertises 25% more life compared to the Intek.

      The Cub Cadet XT1 LT46 has the same K46 trans as the Husqvanra. But it has the best engine of the three. The Kohler 7000 is the same quality (some will argue better) as the Intek Plus/Craftsman Platinum.

      So if you are looking at the mechanics of the lawn tractor the Cub Cadet is the best of the three for the money especially if you have hills to mow.

  7. I’m looking at buying a new riding mower. I’ve got about 1/2 to 3/4 acres. Going to get a tractor style. I don’t like cutting grass, but don’t want to pay to get it done. What do you recommend for a dependable inexpensive mower. Was thinking the Ariens gear driven mower what do you think? Any insight would be great. Thanks I live on the Eastern shore of Virginia.

    • @Kenny, I have a better solution for you than the gear drive transmission. But first, I would stay away from the Ariens/Poulan Pro/Craftsman/Husqvarna gear drive lawn tractors. They don’t have a clutch in them. When you step on the clutch pedal you just release the belt that goes between the engine and transmission. That’s fine until you go to move again. The tractors jerk and if you have it a higher gear will actually jerk the front wheels off the ground. Because of that many people hate their gear drive tractors.

      The solution is one of the automatics. For only $100 more you get the General Transmissions CVT automatic and it makes a world of difference in how the mower handles. You just press on the right foot control and you go. No jerking – it’s very easy to use.

      The nice thing about the Ariens is it’s made by Husqvarna so all of the Husqvarna and Craftsman Yard tractor attachments will fit. Side discharge, mulching and bagging blades. Even the 2-bin bagger all fit.

      Here is the automatic. You can buy it online and pick it up at you nearest Home Depot: Ariens Lawn Mowers A19A42 42 in. 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower 960460061

    • @Jody, Loncin. Toro has been using Loncin engines in many of their products since 2009. Exmark is also using the engines and just put out a press release on their’s

      Exmark Introduces Its Own Single- and Twin-Cylinder Engines

      With an eye toward delivering a better overall customer experience in a number of product lines, Exmark has unveiled two new Exmark-branded engines. Developed specifically for Exmark zero-turn mower applications, the new single- and twin-cylinder engines offer a number of unique features designed to enhance performance, simplify maintenance and increase durability.

      According to Daryn Walters, Exmark’s director of marketing, development of the new engines began more than four years ago, and prototype engines have been exhaustively tested for performance and durability on the dyno, in the laboratory and in the field.

      “The Exmark engines have been refined and proven through extensive durability and field testing,” Walters says. “We also tested the engines against similar engines from other manufacturers. Multiple comparison tests were made in heavy grass using identical mowers fitted with competitive engines. In all cases, performance of the Exmark engines was equal to or better than the other engines tested.”

      Both Exmark engines feature overhead valve (OHV) designs to decrease fuel consumption and emissions and reduce engine operating temperature. Additionally, the engines are tuned for quicker, stronger governor response to deliver more power precisely when it’s needed. A wide power band gives operators the confidence to tackle challenging jobs without fear of stalling the engine.

      Durability-enhancing features such as cast iron cylinder liners, oversized crankshaft bearings and triple-ring pistons increase the long-term durability of both engines. Exmark is so confident in the engines that it offers a three-year warranty on both, with parts and warranty support available from more than 1,500 Exmark dealers across the nation.

      Exmark also includes a QR code on each engine, which allows for scanning with a smartphone or tablet to provide the user with maintenance and service information for the engine, as well as specifications and other information.

      The Exmark 708cc V-twin engine

      Designed from the ground up as a zero-turn mower engine, the new Exmark 708cc V-twin engine introduces a number of new performance and serviceability enhancements to the marketplace. The innovations bolster the professional-grade performance and durability of Exmark’s small and mid-sized zero-turn riding mowers.

      The innovative air intake design reduces dust and debris build-up with a constant flow of pre-screened air. The design of the air box cover and air filter virtually eliminate the possibility of an incorrectly installed filter allowing engine-killing dust and debris into the engine. Combined with a standard dual-barrel carburetor, the intake system delivers more air to the engine for increased power and fuel efficiency, and reduced operating temperature.

      The Exmark 708cc V-twin engine also features a vacuum choke override for increased startability and smoother running at start-up.

      A standard quick-drain system eases oil changes by offering the ability to drain oil without tools. The long drain hose eliminates the messiness traditionally associated with draining the oil from the engine, and the design dramatically reduces the time required for routine oil changes. The quarter-turn twist-lock dipstick design makes oil level checks quick and easy.

      Exmark’s revamped Quest E- and S-Series machines are the first machines to be available with Exmark’s new twin-cylinder engine. The engine will be standard on Quest E-Series mowers with 42- or 54-inch cutting decks, and Quest S-Series machines with 42- or 50-inch cutting decks.

      The Exmark 452cc single-cylinder engine

      The new Exmark 452cc single-cylinder engine is designed to deliver exceptional performance and durability in the company’s small zero-turn mowers. Tuned for the specific requirements of Exmark machines, the new single-cylinder engine features an OHV design to increase efficiency and decrease emissions.

      An optimized balance shaft design reduces engine vibration, while an automatic compression release combines with electric starting to deliver quick, easy starts.

      The Exmark 452cc single-cylinder engine also introduces a number of features to ease maintenance and increase engine reliability.

      Full-pressure lubrication and a standard dual-stage oil filtration system increase durability by delivering an ample supply of clean engine oil to vital engine parts. The air filter features easy, tools-free access to speed and simplify cleaning, and a quarter-turn dipstick makes it easy to check engine oil level, or add oil to the engine.

      The new Exmark 452cc single-cylinder engine will first be available on 34-inch Quest S-Series machines, with additional applications expected in 2015 and beyond.

      Learn more about the new Exmark single- and twin-cylinder engines at http://Exmark.com/Exmark-Advantage/Recent-Innovations/Exmark-Engines.

  8. Paul, you stated that a spring would be installed to stabilize the washer and thus eliminate the grinding sound in the cvt trans. When do you think that will occur?
    Williamston, NC

  9. Williamston, NC
    Your excellent writing has convinced me to buy the Craftsman tractor T3000 20390. Are there any updates for the 2015 model year?

    • @John, No, that tractor did very well last year. When you get it I want you to know the transmission may be noisy for the first 2 hours of use. The gear oil settles way to the bottom of the tranny if it’s not used for a couple of months. (from the time it’s made until you first use it)

      After that you will like it a lot.

    • Two of those tractors were made by someone in Boscobel, Wi. When I talked to him 10 years ago he was trying to find funding. I never did find out where his shop was located and I’ve lost track of him. It was called the Bosco Mutt.

  10. TORO lawn tractors are awsome, I took mine through snow in the winter time and it barely got stuck, and it climed my mountain of a driveway with no tire chains. Those KOHLER COURAGE engines that the TOROs have in them are very reliable, and have plenty of power. In the winter and Fall those engines warm up quick. Only problem with most of the new lawn tractors are the transmissions are cheap quality, and dont last long enough in my opinion.

    • @Joeseph, The old Toro tractors were built off the old Wheel Horse design. Today’s Toro tractors (since 2007) have and are made by MTD. The are built off the same fream as the Troy-Bilt/Cub Cadet tractors.

  11. I recently purchased a Simplicity Broadmoor to mow about 1.25 acres of a combination of flat and hilly terrain. When the turf is dry, the mower does a great job. However, if there is moisture present, it loses traction quickly. Not sure if changing tires will help…or if there any other solutions????
    Spartanburg, SC

    • @Randy, Weight – it needs weight. The Broadmoor is just like all the other lawn tractors now-days. Aluminum cased transmission, stamped steel frame.

      A lot of owners add wheel weights or will put fluid in the tires. Others who don’t pull anything will add a weight box to the rear (only about 50 LBS)

  12. I have a 10 acre field to mow. Is the Raven a good choice for fairly level ground with some small hills. The grass (hay if left to grow) is easy to mow if it is cut at least once a week. My children are afraid that there is no one in our area to service this machine. Is there a local dealer?

    • @Carol, You didn’t tell me where you live. Denver Global is in the process of setting up a nationwide service network.

      But, right now the best way to purchase the Raven MPV-7100 is through DRPower. Their service network is ready to serve. Here is the link to them: Raven MPV-7100

  13. Good response, your excerpt tells the tale of the evolution of riding mower exactly as I explain it to others. I’ve needed to explain myself to friends over the years when I’ve spent a $1000 on a jd 212 or 216 from 1980, but won’t consider a big box special for that price.
    I agree that people in general have changed, I feel marketing has steered many in the directions they have gone. The old saying of “just because all your friends are jumping off the golden gate should you?” comes to mind. Every one seems to “need” a large useless stretch of grass that they spend countless hours manicuring, for no real benefit, only in their mind as they “keep up with the Jones’s”.

    I find myself having to do many things for others that a couple of decades ago most could accomplish themselves. If it were just because their time was precious and they paid me so they could do something meaningful, or more productive, that’d be fine. But most are going into debt to buy things of little return. Then paying me to perform necessary tasks while they either watch, or they are working their tail off doing expensive pointless cosmetic “upgrades” to the property.

    Sorry for the rant, I guess my issue is with the throwaway, pursuit of diminishing returns society that is looking to be taken care of that is embodied by this topic and not your personal views.

    I will agree that most lawn mowers today cut grass better and much faster than my ’66 sears suburban 12 hp…but that one has pulled a 45′ 4800# oak log, and then taken me and my 30 closest friends riding my equipment trailer with picnic tables on a joyride through the countryside. How can you put a price on those memories, I certainly can’t recall anything about my last lawnmowing adventure….
    Keep up the good work!

    And yes I’d love a compact 4wd tractor…out of my budget currently though

    • @bill, I am from the same generation and still do everything I can using my own manual labor, but I have always had my Grandfather’s hand-me-down Super H Farmall to pull the hayrack rides and the 4H float…..

  14. I’ve read a number of your articles and all their comments. I believe you are quite knowledgeable about new products and their features, and you are quite helpful & nice to many nonmechanically inclined commentors. However I’m going to respectfully disagree with your assertions. So I hope you don’t take it personally when I express contention over your opinions you present as facts. I realize that your statements are concluded from a paradigm of these machines being grass cutters with some doubling as wheelbarrows.

    In your writing you express disdain towards anything from the 50’s-80’s. Most of your hate is on their transmissions. I have yet to see a garden tractor in the past 10-20yrs that could handle the work load of a 2300 peerless for under $6000. The older models in the $2000 range could do many more tasks like tilling, plowing and cultivating soil, some even had loaders. What is regarded as a load today is 600-800lbs…older models handled 4000#+ regularly with only trouble stopping and turning down long grades. Our family’s main tractor was a ’72 jd 112, 12 hp electric lift and pto. It served til around 2004-5 snowblowing, tilling, mowing, logging, making firewood and a young boy’s atv. There were odd tasks it performed like a one bottom plow, midmount grader blade and the horizontal pto allowed running a variety of belt drive equipment like table saws.

    With snowblowing several peoples property and tilling multiple gardens alone it brought probably $1000 a yr in on average for 30 yrs. On this site people seem pleased with 3 yrs of personal use mowing lawn trouble free. For your inflation sheltering great value concept to be valid the machines would need to perform the same tasks. They do not, in fact many 70’s models were 10x the machine in both capabilities and longevity. So you would need $20k to get the same jobs done.

    Some of the things that gave the garden tractors of yesteryear their capability are 1/4″ thick frames, cast iron transaxles, and a 40# flywheel.

    For me snowblowing is top priority. I mow perhaps twice a week at most (my lawn grows a foot tall in a week during May and June). However, living on a wind swept hill surrounded by field, snow drift removal can be daily. I also clear off a half acre of snow and mow the same amount. If grass gets tall whooptydoo…if the driveways buried I can’t get to work. Newer machines in the lower price range are too light, and can’t handle the 300#’s of weight on back I find ideal for snowblowing.

    In a time when people want things compact and versatile, coupled with the rising popularity of organic gardening… for a self sustaining homestead, I am of the opinion that a small machine that can do it all is just the ticket.

    • @Bill, I welcome your comments. Yes there are still two or three people who still want to use a Garden Tractor for gardening work. The rest have switched to a sub-compact or compact tractor. The sub-compacts all have standard 3 pt hitches, 540 PTO and hydraulics. Most have power steering and take many attachments the 70’s garden tractor couldn’t. The prices are very comparable to the old garden tractors and are a much better value than today’s cars and pickup trucks when you factor in inflation. Kubota and the suburban homeowner killed the garden tractor.

      I want to agree with you about Garden Tractors but there have been a couple of tractors introduced specifically to replace the Allis G (The Bosco Mutt for example) over the last ten years that have fallen on flat sales.

      Here is a paragraph I wrote about why the new Raven MPV-7100 is such a hit.

      “50 years ago our grandparents wanted a tractor that did work out in the garden and almost as an afterthought mowed lawns. You raised your own vegetables and canned what you needed for the winter. You had small lawns just around the house. The rest of your property was left to nature. That was the hey-day of garden tractors. Heavy, bulky machines that had rudimentary mowing decks. The old tractors like the Cub Cadet’s could plow your garden, grade your gravel driveway and then mow your small lawn. That started to change in the late 70′s. Back then we wanted a nice suburban lawn and riding mowers and lawn tractors were introduced. By the 80′s most of us only had small gardens if at all and we all wanted a beautiful suburban lawn. The garden tractor slowly changed into primarily a lawn mowing machine. The zero-turn was born so we could mow that lawn quickly and then go do something else.
      But just as our life style has changed from work-rest-work so has our priorities for our yards. Many of us now want to work-so-we-can-play and the majority of us want to mow our lawn as quickly as possible and then go out and do other things with our time. If we do want to work around the homestead we want a work vehicle that will haul stuff…and mow the lawn. The new Raven MPV-7100 does this well and just may be the right outdoor appliance for you.”

      Bosco Mutt PrototypeRaven MPV-7100

  15. I just bought a Greenstar 5 tiller for 100 bucks. It seems to be a nice tiller stored indoors it’s entire life. I has forward and reverse, obviously a front tine tiller and slow, medium and fast. It says its made by TSC industries. I did some research and we have a tractor supply company in Alton Illinois, i’m assuming it was made by or for them. It has 4, I guess tines, four blades each. It has a 5hp Briggs and Stratton motor. Is this a good tiller and where can I get parts for it. Also main question , who made it. It looks like it was put away rough and dirty so I had assumed it was running when put away. I cleaned the spark plug and poured a little gas in the carb and it fired right up. 100 bucks I didn’t do bad I don’t think but would sure appreciate the help in finding out more about this since I can’t find a shred of anything about it on the internet. And last of all ur site is amazing, I’ve spent the last 3 hours reading posts and learning about the different needs and requirements of lawn tractors. That 4 wheel drive lawnmower video on youtube was amazing I want one for fun, but it needs a backseat for the wife.
    JC half acre land, planting a garden. Thanks

  16. You fail to mention Murray lawn products in many of your articles. They were manufactured in Lawrenceburg,TN and I believe the name brand has been bought out by Briggs & Stratton

    • @David, It’s so easy to forget about Murray because no one carries them except WalMart and my local Super Wally-World doesn’t carry riders. Yes, Briggs & Stratton continues to tell the press that they are not going to produce anymore “box store” crap, but yet each year this stuff shows up at Wal-Mart and Menards.

      What’s really interesting is Briggs & Stratton does even make the riders. They are all clearly made for them by MTD.

      Here is the link to the website: Murray.com