Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower (Lt 42 In. 18 Hp)
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This Cub Cadet 42 in. Riding Mower features category-leading strength, comfort and versatility. It comes loaded with an 18 HP Kohler OHV engine for powerful performance and a hydrostatic transmission for smooth, simple operation that eliminates the need for shifting - just push the pedal and go. A 42 in. deck and 16 in. turning radius can maneuver around obstacles with ease, while the adjustable seating and comfort-grip steering provide cushion and support while operating.
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Follow up - There is a short draining the battery, which I ground to be common on the Cub Cadets. OF COURSE - Cub Cadet has NOT answered any of my emails to fix it under their 3 year warranty (less than 6 months old), But I will keep trying . Will keep updating
Next, I had a rider from Sears; I suspect that Troy-Built may have been the manufacturer because there was one exactly like it at Home Depot that was made by Troy-Built. That one was such a disappointment after the Husqvarna but it was a lot cheaper. It did not mow in reverse and didn'thave a lot of power; it just felt cheap and not well made. I sold that one after one season.
Enter the Cub Cadet Xt1. This feels like a solid machine and does a great job of my uneven yard. The first thing that I love is that you can set it to mow when you are in reverse; much more of a time-saver than you might think, and the quick ability to turn it off when you are backing into an area that you don't want to mow is pretty handy. Now, with a yard with a lot of roots sticking up (common in South Carolina) I found that there is a large handle you move back and forth to raise and lower the mowing deck; it's so easy to use that I can raise the deck quickly as I mow when I hit a taller root, and quickly lower it when I get past the roots; very nice.
Next, the way to get it into reverse is the simplest that I've ever seen. There are two pedals on the right side, one to put your foot on to move forward, and a second one just behind it to put your heel on to move backward; very simple and effective, no levers to move around to get into reverse, the pedal is great! The turning radius is great and the tractor is very maneuverable.
Of course, it has a cup holder with a small bin next to it, and another small bin forward of the steering wheel; not sure what you would put in either of them to be honest. The seat is comfortable and easily adjustable. The hood is actually plastic, which surprised me, but I kind of like the lightweight hood as opposed to the somewhat heavy hood of the Husqvarna; the body is metal There is no front bumper although there is one available, and I may just get it. The tractor has headlights that I haven't needed yet, but you never know. There is also a cover made for it which might not be such a bad thing to have; it's expensive, but it's sturdy and vented to prevent mold, and it's plenty damp here in the south so I think it's probably another accessory I may get.
This is a lot of mower for the money, but more important, would I buy it again? Absolutely.
I have used mine for only 33 hrs and the real axel seals failed leaking transmission fluid all over the garage floor. Had an authorized service center repair it under the warranty, which only has 60 more days of coverage. If it had happened 60 days later, it would have cost me $250 for the repair. I researched the problem online and found that the seal failure is a common problem.
The service center suggested the only way to avoid such costly failures with such a new unit, is to buy only the better quality models from an implement dealer, which typically have those. Those models are built with quality parts, rather than inferior parts to meet a price point (e.g. Hydrogear transmission, rather than ToughTorque transmission, or threaded grease fittings, rather than pressed in grease fittings, etc.).
You get what you pay for - live and learn!