Cub Cadet 3180
by Lew McDaniel
Purchased new a few years back, this has proven to be a good riding mower. Features I like:
- Hydraulic deck lift works well in the uneven areas I mow. A detent device on the deck provides a low range stop and you can use the deck either in ground following method or suspend it so it remains a constant height.
- Power steering that is easy on my arthritic hands and shoulders. I added a spinner (we called them “suicide knobs” in my younger days when we put them on auto steering wheels) from Lowe’s to make it easier still.
- The foot operated hydraulic transmission is easy to use. One pedal is for forward, one for reverse.
- Lubrication points are easily accessible, as is the oil change location and process. Hood and side panels are easily removable in case you have to get to engine components. Adding transmission fluid is easy and fortunately does not have to be done often. The only awkward process is replacing the battery.
- At 24 hp, the mower has plenty of power for my hilly area. I have the rear tires loaded with windshield washer fluid to add weight and that works well.
- The mower deck can be removed easily with 2 latches and simply rolled out from under the tractor.
Dislikes are the “cruise control” which disengages with the slightest jolt and the places I mow produce quite a few of those. And, at 500 hours, the seat is on the edge of needing replacement.
The only problem I have had – and it was an expensive one to repair – is mice building nests on the motor and eating the electrical wires. I did not know this had occurred until the tractor would not run right. At this point, I discovered chewed wires. The next mowing season, I took all the panels off, and used my leaf blower and air compressor to blow about a 5 gallon bucket of nest material off the engine. I thought I had it all, but did not. The remainder was sufficient to build up enough heat that smoke came from the motor and the heads were warped. Replacement heads and gaskets and several thousand dollars later, I was back in business. This was not a tractor shortcoming, but be warned if rodents find your tractor.