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Old 03-29-2012, 01:49 PM
 
2,728 posts, read 4,531,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I think the most dependable mowers that I ever encountered were old Worthington’s. I think the company was the predecessor of Jacobson? I found a man that had a junk yard with 25 of these old mowers. That was back in the 1970’s. I bought all 25 for about fifty dollars. I managed to get half of the 25 running - just scrounging parts. Some of them had been sitting for decades in the scrap yard.

Those Worthington’s had ball bearing wheels and a full quarter inch thick steel deck. They were heavy - but maneuverable. They also had the round disc blade with four separate blades attached - similar to the Jacobson’s. They had two cycle motors - also like Jacobson’s. They were also basically indestructible. However; the whole front of the mower was wide open - no safety features back then.
Ahhhh, the good old days - before all that safety crap ruined everything!



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Old 03-29-2012, 04:35 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 10,271,505 times
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How much for that old Allen Oxford? It's just what my new sod needs.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,895 posts, read 12,695,051 times
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Big George,

I was also a Gravely dealer - besides Toro. I currently have one of their 12 hp four wheel riders. They are great machines - but the parts are very expensive and getting harder to locate.

As far as safety - yes; they did not even invent the name back then! Those two wheelers were great at cracking ribs. Just stand in-between the handlebars and hit a rock or a tree! That thirty inch open front mower could also throw a pretty sizable rock. However; it was very hard to damage a half inch thick steel blade.

That is the first time I ever saw a Allen Oxford. It looks like a nice collectable. They don’t build equipment like that anymore.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Floribama
15,870 posts, read 32,927,769 times
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Craftsman, Husqvarna, and Poulan are all the same mower, they're all now made by AYP, and I believe AYP is also owned by Electrolux.

Just pick your favorite color.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,895 posts, read 12,695,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
Craftsman, Husqvarna, and Poulan are all the same mower, they're all now made by AYP, and I believe AYP is also owned by Electrolux.

Just pick your favorite color.
From what I see; Husqvarna was owned by Electrolux - but they spun it off in 2006: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poulan. However; I believe that they are still connected since they have their board meetings in Stockholm. It does appear that Poulan is owned by Husqvarna (I was also a Poulan dealer in the 1970’s - before Husqvarna).

As far as Craftsman and Husqvarna or Poulan; Sears has always made deals, with major manufactures, to build equipment to their specifications. It is one of the reasons that parts were a problem back in the 1970‘s - too many changes and too many parts to stock.

PS I still have two Poulan chain saws from when I was in business in the 1970's. I also have a Husqvarna and a Stihl.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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My wife tried out our Craftsman 22 inch self-propelled lawn mower yesterday. She immediately started squawking that the self-propelled feature was lousy and she had to struggle to push the mower around the yard. Then she discovered that she forgot to engage the self-propelled mechanism. I told her "Honey just pull back on that red bar" and Voila! It worked. The lawn mower almost dragged her across the yard like a runaway freight train. We can't be too quick to judge a Craftsman.

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 04-02-2012 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,895 posts, read 12,695,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
My wife tried out our Craftsman 22 inch self-propelled lawn mower yesterday. She immediately started squawking that the self-propelled feature was lousy and she had to struggle to push the mower around the yard. Then she discovered that she forgot to engage the self-propelled mechanism. I told her "Honey just pull back on that red bar" and Voila! It worked. The lawn mower almost dragged her across the yard like a runaway freight train. We can't be too quick to judge a Craftsman.
I sold a Toro front wheel drive self-propelled mower to an elderly woman back in the 1970’s. She immediately complained that it did not work. I went to her house; she did not live too far away. I asked her to show me the problem. She pulled down on the handlebar and lifted the front wheels off the ground!

She did have a hilly property. She was used to the clunky old reel mowers that pulled you along as they mowed - she expected a ride up her hills. The newer, light weight mowers, are not designed to support the weight of the human. I showed her how to mow back and forth on the side hill and the mower worked fine.

PS I like the Craftsman hand tools. I am just not a fan of their lawn/garden equipment. Plus; I am afraid that they might not be in business too much longer.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Bright lights Baked Ziti
491 posts, read 1,368,387 times
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Go with the Honda GCV190. A landscaper uses this daily and recommended it. He said it's abused but just keeps on going.
From the size of your lot, it would certainly help. It has a 190cc Honda engine. It's self propelled with a hydrostatic cruise control and also variable speed. The 4 in 1 Versamow system really makes bagging and mulching easy.
It also has a Roto Stop blade system so you don't have to stop the engine if you need to move something aside while mowing, eg. sticks, branches, or whatever is in the way. I was on sale at HD and bought it and love it.

21 in. Nexite Deck Blade Stop System Cruise Control Gas Mower GCV190-HRX217HYA at The Home Depot
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:45 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 10,271,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I sold a Toro front wheel drive self-propelled mower to an elderly woman back in the 1970’s. She immediately complained that it did not work. I went to her house; she did not live too far away. I asked her to show me the problem. She pulled down on the handlebar and lifted the front wheels off the ground!

She did have a hilly property. She was used to the clunky old reel mowers that pulled you along as they mowed - she expected a ride up her hills. The newer, light weight mowers, are not designed to support the weight of the human. I showed her how to mow back and forth on the side hill and the mower worked fine.

PS I like the Craftsman hand tools. I am just not a fan of their lawn/garden equipment. Plus; I am afraid that they might not be in business too much longer.
LOL What a sweet and ambitious old lady. I would have mowed her lawn for that El Toro display of self-determination on hilly terrain. LOL
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 21,241,387 times
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FWIW my whole 1/3 acre yard has a slope to it (rather steep in some spots) and I have a Toro bought when I moved here 9 years ago. Works pretty well, but this is the only self-propelled mower I've ever used so I can't compare the Personal Pace to others very much. I have been pretty hard on it, and it runs well. Has Briggs & Stratton 6.5HP engine. Damn thing still starts on 1-2 pulls reliably, pulls easily. Amazing to me with some of the old crap I used growing up. Part of me was originally kinda bummed I didn't get something with Honda power (I had to get it kinda quickly as the old owners left the grass kinda high, and there was a Toro dealer just up the street), but this B&S has been plenty good to me.

My neighbor wishes he fixed his old Honda (circa, dunno, 20 years old maybe) because he liked it better than his new Honda (circa 2-3 years ago now), heh. Just how it goes sometimes, don't make 'em like they used to and all. Not sure if that is true of the Toro 9 years later, but certainly the one I got then seems to be built well enough. I replaced the drive cable once, did it myself.

1/4 acre is borderline for self-propelled as others have said. If you have a LIGHT push mower, it might work. Otherwise that's going to get old methinks, even though, yes, the self-propelled mechanism adds a bunch of things to break and wear out. The Toro I have is really heavy, even with the cast aluminum deck (not sure it's even meant to be lighter than the steel ones). It'll never rust, but really, do I care if it never rusts? Will I be using it THAT long? Sometimes the drive setup feels like not the best, but this hill out back would be difficult for anything. Most of the time it works okay.

One thing that can certainly be mildly irritating: at least on mine it doesn't fully disengage the drive unless you nudge the mower forward with no pressure on the drive handle. If you don't do that, it gives resistance when you try to pull it backwards. I am used to it, and I don't really run around out there wondering what it would be like with a mower that operates differently, but I don't have a ton of obstacles that I need to back and forth around usually. For some that could be a deal killer. I don't think this behavior with the Personal Pace has changed in the intervening years.
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