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Buying of ride-on mowers; UK or France?


Gudkarma
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I read this thread re ride-on mowers:

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/817046/ShowPost.aspx

...and I'd be interested to know whether they're cheaper in England or France. Also, any advice concerning specific models / dealership chains etc would be really helpful. We're making the move soon and have about an acre of lawn to mow which is reasonably flat and in pretty good general condition.

I know nothing about this part of life whatsoever yet, but have a feeling I soon will!

 

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Rather depends on your budget. Prices vary enormously and you get what you pay for.  For an acre you don't need anything too fancy.  Buying from a local dealer rather than UK will make warranty claims easier if anything goes wrong.  There are loads of local independents and among the main retailer chains there are places like Mr Bricolage, Castorama, etc.

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if you buy in france,try to buy from a store / dealer who has onsite service workshop as some stores such as Gamm Vert do not as i found out much to my cost when a chainsaw was sent for repair to some hell hole a million miles away for 7 weeks !

french stores usually offer a 2  year warranty meaning you will have to get them to deal with problems for that period.

1 flat acre  - as the other member noted is not so demanding so you shouldnt spend too much  - maybe 1200e  -  1500e .

 the novelty factor of a ride on mower doesnt last very long so get the widest cut possible to save time

steve

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"the novelty factor of a ride on mower doesnt last very long so get the widest cut possible to save time"

well that can depend :)

ours has 7 gears (no it's not fancy, it's a 2nd hand John Deere) so can be 'sold' as karting practice to all and sundry :)

Actually I've only had to cut the grass twice since we got it, and I had to insist that it was my turn then!

Maybe the trick is to book the males of the household (and visitors) into karting occasionally?

Works for me :)

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[quote user="hoverfrog"]"the novelty factor of a ride on mower doesnt last very long so get the widest cut possible to save time" well that can depend :) ours has 7 gears (no it's not fancy, it's a 2nd hand John Deere) so can be 'sold' as karting practice to all and sundry :) Actually I've only had to cut the grass twice since we got it, and I had to insist that it was my turn then! Maybe the trick is to book the males of the household (and visitors) into karting occasionally? Works for me :)[/quote]

 I have had to cut ours 3 times so far this year ! donot think I used it last year untill well into March.

You do get what you pay for though , you will know the first time you hit something and the belt snaps/ shears the keyway/ snaps a blade etc. etc . I have a honda 17/24 and 3600m3 of lawn and it takes me min. of 1h 40 mins to cut it ,and wished  i bought a bigger one and a gazoil one rekon mine`s using 4-5ltrs an hour of petrol .

  sure the previous owners thought if you plant a big chunk of metal in the ground it would grow into a steel tree !! maybe he was right because one normally sprouts this time of year... bang ..another €20.

  just for info

               dave

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well ours has only been done once this year - and that s exceptional for this time of year!

I remember reading that in gardening terms the french are a nation of plonkers... they have a large area of lawn and they plonk plants all over it!

I think about this every time I have to cut the lawn - why oh why have so many things that one has to navigate round in a lawn...
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I tried one with gears and it was a pain. I bought a hydraulic gearbox version, bit more expensive but more easier to go round things. I enjoy mowing my grass. I have added a cigar lighter and have a small cool box on the back for my beers and I have my walkman. We have 7,500M2 to cut with the river Aude running along two sides so I can stop off under the trees, what the trout jumping and have a beer, very civilised. If I work at it I can make it last all day, the grass cutting that is.

If you live up north you may want a grass collection system because you will want a nice lawn. Down here in the south it's better not to collect the grass as it mulches the existing and stops the water from evaporating.

Price wise, well the better models are available in both countries so you can use google.fr and google.co.uk to compare prices. Just typing the model number in seems to work. As said by others you get what you pay for.

I also bought a leaf sweeper and a trailer a couple of years back in the sales (50% off). The trailer I use a lot round the garden from moving logs to just taking garden waste away. To be honest the trailer gets the most use. The comment about petrol consumption is also true; I spent ages looking for a leak because it got through so much.

 

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[quote user="Quillan"]

I enjoy mowing my grass. I have added a cigar lighter and have a small cool box on the back for my beers and I have my walkman.

[/quote]

Come clean, Quillan.  What you really like is smoking cigars, listening to music and drinking beer. [:D]

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[quote user="Cassis"][quote user="Quillan"]

I enjoy mowing my grass. I have added a cigar lighter and have a small cool box on the back for my beers and I have my walkman.

[/quote]

Come clean, Quillan.  What you really like is smoking cigars, listening to music and drinking beer. [:D]
[/quote]

Actually I role my own AND before you get mixed up with rolling your own and grass I am talking lawn type grass [;-)] . I do like my music and my beer. Anyone tried the stuff from Lidl, 2,69 for 6 'pint' bottles, very good stuff. Oh and I absolutly love women as well, aren't they just gorgeous.

I actually find it (mowing the grass) quite relaxing, a bit like ironing really. Your mind can wonder off all over the place (quite easy for me her in doors says).

Anyway where were we? Oh yes the OP might try looking at the following links.:

http://www.castorama.fr/store/CatalogueDirecte/jardin-materiel-de-jardin-motorise-tondeuse-autoportee-a-ejection-arriere/pl-categorie_2920-categorie_7398.htm

This is a French website and should take you to the ride on mower section. I then picked a couple and did a search on them on google.co.uk to see what I could come up with and found the following.:

The Toro 15.5 150DH is 3249 Euros in France and I found it for £2499 in the UK (http://www.stuartjdaws.com/TOROtractor.php), thats 3688 Euros at todays rate so it's cheaper in France by over 400 Euros.

I found the MacAllister on the B and Q site. It has a smaller cut 92cm as opposed to the 102cm cut on the Castorama website and the prices are as follows,

Castorama 2499 Euros B and Q (Click HERE) £1604 thats about 2367 Euros but then it cuts 10cm narrower than the French one.

You can't base it on just two really so you need to find some more in France and compare them. There is another issue. If you buy from B and Q delivery is free on mainland UK. In France you may well have to pay for delivery (although out of interest I tried to buy one at Casterama and it gave free delivery, mine cost 100 Euros for delivery from them 3 years ago). If you buy in the UK you need to get it to France and that will cost.

Good luck.

 

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At www.speedwaysales.com (taken from other thread) or www.wisesales.com the Toro LX 420 18 Hp Tractor is $1400 (approx £736 or euro 1090).  Add $600 shipping plus TVA then you are looking at euros 1843 approx.  Pay on your credit card, check card protection, and wait 2 weeks.  The tractor is 42'' cut with auto transmission (Hydro) plus cruise control.  2 year warranty.  Optionals include mulching kit.

The Husqavarna's are even cheaper.

Depends how adventurous you are - I have bought items from all over the world.  One item that has just let SWBO down is a Kitchenaid Mixer (110v) bought in the USA some 9 years ago for <£100!! Item was in constant use with 2 children and we detected a change of ''note'' after the last removals, survived the previous 3 moves overseas - 6 months later it died.

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Many thanks to everyone for their contributions to the thread. I think we may as well wait til we get there and head down to the nearest Garden / DIY place on the second day of residence as by early May it will be growing like Topsy.
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You'd think by now that Quillan would know how to paste a link, wouldn't you? [:D]

Chezstevens, you've really whetted my appetite for importing one of those ride-ons.  I was kicking myself for not having bought a second-hand Husqvarna last year when I had the chance.  You may have thrown a lifeline.

Are there any snags with the importation that I should be aware of?  What exactly is the procedure and how/where do you pay the VAT?

I've never heard of Toro before.  Are they better than Husqvarna?

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http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/891132/ShowPost.aspx refers to taxes.  The US tractors tend to start at 18 hp - I won't say cos folks are larger over there or I will be bludgeoned by a skinny ex-colonial.

I bought my tractor thru the USAF base at Aviano, Italy some 9 years ago for <£1000.  Thread refers. 

When our car, a 9 yr old scenic, finally bites the dust I intend to replace it with possibly a Honda or German prestige make from Belgium.  A good starter for price comparisons would be www.autoscout24.be .

To sum up.  If the prices are good (inc shipping and duty), your credit card will insure you against loss, it is a make that you recognise (Husqavarna), you have checked out your supplier then go for it.  Ring them and talk to them (it is free on skype for US numbers).

regards

Vern

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Toro

is an american brand  - they also own other brands inc lawnboy.my local stihl dealer stocks honda and others plus toro so i can get it serviced / parts ok.

engine briggs & stratton as standard.

they are extremely tough and very well made - not sure if they are sold in the uk ?

but anyone who wants to save money should at least investigate the cost savings available buy purchasing in this way,i couldnt have afforded such a machine from the local French dealer and would have had to settle for a less useful bit of kit.

the vat / customs bit is a piece of cake as the parcel company telephone to arrange delivery & tell you what to pay and its always by cheque.

as mentioned before paying by CC on the phone or Paypal etc is as safe as it gets.

 

 

 

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Thanks, Vern.  I know the VAT rate but I was wondering if you (or Steve) knew how the VAT payment is made in practice if importing from the USA to France - like are the goods held in customs until you fill in a mountain of paperwork.

EDIT/ This post crossed with Steve's - thank you both.

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I bought a ride-on mower with the house. Not much use to you, you may think! BUT it's an own-brand from Bricomarche. Have a look under the seat of some of the ride-ons sold in the big DIY places... under the tip-up seat is the manufacturer's plate. Mine is Electrolux, made in USA and has a Briggs and Statton engine. It's quite basic but has a 102cm cut and does the job nicely! You don't have to pay the earth!

Sid

 

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As I noted in another post, Electrolux owns so many names these days (Husqvana / McCullock / Roper / Lawn Boy / AYP etc etc) you are basically buying the same thing just in different colours and with different stickers.  Look under the seat of any of the low end / belt driven ride ons and you will see Made in America for Electrolux, even the Brico own branded machines!  Look at the chassis, steering / cutting decks etc, there are all the same.  The differences are in the engines, the better ones have a B&S or a Honda engine.  But note that there are different qualities of those engines - standard - commercial.

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Mr Bricolage has a 97cm cut machine for 979.95 Euros. Two years warranty, Briggs and Stratton engine (11.5CV), 4 forward and 1 reverse gear. Their own brand as well. It has gears which I personally don't like as I have to many things too go round.
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Any advice, albeit subjective, on best makes. I have about 4 acres to cut, very undulating and would like a larger cut around 48". I am prepared to pay up to £2,500 max and up to now have only really been considering a Honda ? Also anybody recommend a good supplier in or around 32 (Gers).

Gabe

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[quote user="Gabe"]

Any advice, albeit subjective, on best makes. I have about 4 acres to cut, very undulating and would like a larger cut around 48". I am prepared to pay up to £2,500 max and up to now have only really been considering a Honda ? Also anybody recommend a good supplier in or around 32 (Gers).

Gabe

[/quote]

Get a tractor and topper, I think 4 acres is too much for a low end ride on, you need to be looking at the bigger and much more expensive stuff.  An old tractor is the way to go.

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Hi

We got a 12hp (I think) ride on with rear bag from Leroy Merlin for 1500euros and is a cracker, never broken and new ones shouldn't anyway, after a year of owning that one i'd buy another.
Seen 2nd hand ones ere without rear collecter bags for 1000 that was awaiting an engine change.
1500 I think is enough to pay for a toy to cut the grass but depends on how much grass your cutting, we have cows on ours now and again to save any cutting.

Lee

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Before I dash out and waste my cash, do those in the know recommend "LawnBoy" American-made tractors?  Carrefour have an 18hp Tecumseh engined version with transmatic box (clutchless change on the fly) and 107cm cut.  The bag and mulcher cost extra (it just comes with the side eject as standard).  But it seems quite a bit of machine for the money at 1,490 euros delivered to your door.

It is being sold as MTD brand but it is sold in the USA under the LawnBoy

brand reference 13AM772G755.
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It is probably a story that has gathered momentum but I was always told to avoid Tecumseh motors and go for Brigg & Stratton.  I have been told by several friends and my repair/service chap that commercial B&S motors are the dogs b*****ks.  Ask several of your local garden equipment shops (that stock both and Honda) which is best.  I bought a commercial twin cylinder B&S, in an american ride on, and it is still going strong after 9 years - when I asked my service chap when it will require replacement he laughed and said never (and he sells new machines) with the hours our acre uses per annum.

regards

Vern  

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