New mower time

Not sure this is really in topic but I guess it falls into landscaping … I liked to hear opinions on mowers. I will be cutting 2 to 2.5 acres roughly. I have to cut around 30 to 40 fruit trees and I am on hilly terrain. I think I want a John deer S240 or a Husqvarna YT42LS. I narrowed it down to these two mowers as I wanted a 42 inch deck which I felt would make it easier to cut around my trees (I fence my young trees so there is very limited spacing in some cases) and I felt the Kawasaki engines would be better than Kohler or Briggs.

I have had a positive experience with Craftsmen in the past but given that Sears is selling Craftsmen to Black and Decker I want nothing to do with Craftsmen. I currently have a higher end Troybilt and it has been a total lemon. I think I may have done myself a favor today and hit a stump and bent the shaft. It amazes me the abuse I put the craftsmen through and never bent a shaft. No matter there are no Troybilt’s mowers in my future.

Anyone own the S240 or YT42LS? Comments about Kawasaki vs other engines? Other recommendations?

1 Like

I don’t have the exact Husqvarna model you’re inquiring about, but I do have a YTH24V48. We bought it the year we moved up here, in 2014, so we’ve used it for now going on our fourth season. We bought it from Lowe’s, the sticker price was right at $2k, and we bought the extended warranty on it, out another 2 years, I think.

I considered this model and a similar John Deere mower (D140?), but went with this one. The Deere seemed a bit over priced for the same features. I’m sure it would be a fine pick, but I just felt more comfortable with the Husky. The H also has a reinforced mowing deck that the Deere lacked.

We have about 3 acres to mow, now that I’m mowing around our newly planted fruit trees. It’s hilly, from behind our house, down to the old house. It has a decent sized gas tank, about 3 galllons, and I can mow the whole property with one tank. As noted in the model number, it has a 48" cut, with three blades. So, a large cutting swath.

First two years I mowed with the original blades, but my wife didn’t like all the grass discharge, so I replaced them with mulching blades and a discharge chute cover. That seemed to clog the mower deck up more often, so I removed the cover but left the blades.

We have very thick often damp grass, and it handles it very well, unless it’s like 6" deep or excessively wet. The engine is a V type with two cylinders and 24HP, and handles the hills just fine. The engine is a Briggs & Stratton. The transmission is a hydrostatic, which means no shifting, which is handy, for me anyway.

We’ve haven’t had any real issues with it yet, except the battery had to be charged at the start of the season, but it’s started fine since then. It sits in an unheated shed during the winter, so that is tough on batteries regardless. I imagine we’ll have to replace the battery next spring.

This is the first year I’ve mowed around my fruit trees, which are enclosed in individual circular fencing. On some of the bigger fences, I can make it around in one pass, but others require a few more passes. It has a decent turning radius for its size.

So, I would give it a thumbs up so far. I think Lowe’s still sells a similar model for the same price, so can’t say if it’s the same quality wise… If you’re lucky, sometimes they run promotions, and they’ll throw in a free wagon or some such.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply, all good info. Do you like the electric blade engagement?

1 Like

Anyone with an orchard considering a new mower should take a look at the commercial walk behind mowers. Mine is a Toro 48" gear drive that I bought 12 years ago. It is recoil start. It has no battery. The belt is manually engaged with a lever. The gears are manually engaged with a lever. The deck is heavy steel reinforced all around which prevents damage when bashing into anything. I have not had to replace anything major on the mower not even the belts. I changed the oil and the spark plugs and one of the big spindle bolts ($9.00) that I bent by mowing over a tree stump. Mowing close to and around trees is relatively easy. I have the sulky, allowing me to stand up and mow saving my back. If you have bad knees you will not be able to duck under low branches like I do.
A buyer of this kind of mower can expect to spend around $1000 to $1500 more than a mower from a big box store. This cost is well worth it for the years of use you will get out of it plus its resale value.


You’re welcome.

?? Sorry, I don’t know what you mean, it doesn’t have such a blade engagement. On this model, to get the blades going, you pull up on the engagement button, just a mechanical switch. It is loud when those three blades do kick in!

1 Like

My bad - I thought it had an electric engagement.

1 Like

I’m not familiar with the 2 model nos. you list. If you are just mowing with the machine, buy a dedicated mower with a welded not stamped deck. Welded decks are much stronger and do a better job of clipping dispersal, especially when wet. I prefer a hydrostat model to a belt drive because a belt drive model can slip belts when wet while the hydrostat has no drive belts. Commercial duty mowers are expensive but with your limited use they last a lifetime for a homeowner.
Kaw engines are the best!

This is just my opinion so take it for what its worth. I personally would never buy a consumer grade lawn tractor or mower.
When I buy a piece of equipment, I want it to last 20 years and not 5 at best.
I have a John Deere Z950a commercial zero turn and couldn’t be happier. I bought it from a lawn service that happens to be one of my clients for $3000. It had 800 hours on it and I expect it to go another 2000 hours at least. This mower goes 11mph and it takes me an hour to mow 2.5 acres with 30 trees.