John Deere LA115 Riding Mower
by A. Racha Prasavi
Our lawn mower is a John Deere LA115, riding tractor model with 19.5 HP engine.
Before this mower, we had a Stiga Villa "zero turn-around" mower, so this review will be mostly a comparison of the two.
In general the John Deere LA115 is very simple to operate. The gears and up/down controls are placed very logically, so it does not take long time to get started driving and mowing. The engine is strong enough to handle also high thick grass, even at fast speeds. We have had this mower for 2 years now, and we have still not needed to change or sharpen the knives, nor any maintenance on the rest of the vehicle (except changing oil, which is factory recommended). Very reliable is our impression.
Steering is more natural with this mower than our old Stiga Villa. The front-placed knives were more easy to keep an overview of, and put into corners, but when driving normally, it took some more concentration to steer the vehicle in a straight line.
The tractor-type mower is also very useful for other purposes, it can be used for what any small tractor can do. While we have not tried to remove the knives yet, the manual states that this is possible. Without knives, it comes as a general purpose home-tractor.
One slight annoyance, which I suspect is general for all tractor-type mowers, that you have to speed down while taking corners. If you do not slow down, the two knifes do do not meet, and they make a small line standing in the middle. This was not a problem with the Stiga Villa, where knives were placed so they overlap directly instead of slightly front/behind each other as on the John Deere LA115.
To conclude: We are very happy with the John Deere LA115. It serves good as a strong lawn mower, and can also be used for other home purposes.