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Best riding lawn mower brands? by Rickady88GT
Started on: 03-25-2014 12:28 PM
Replies: 31 (938 views)
Last post by: Rickady88GT on 03-27-2014 02:32 PM
Rickady88GT
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Report this Post03-25-2014 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Need to purchase a riding lawn mower, trying to find out what the heavy duty or well built brands are? Don't want it to fall apart in a couple years. Not sure yet if I'll find a used one or just buy new.

Anyone with some experience?? I have a large flat grass area to mow.

Thanks!
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NEPTUNE
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Report this Post03-25-2014 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NEPTUNESend a Private Message to NEPTUNEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Snapper used to be one of the best. Since it isn't owned by the family anymore, that may have changed.
I'm very disappointed with my Cub Cadet. It LOOKS rugged and durable.
The engine is great.
It's a very heavy machine, but the plastic gear drive belies its heavy duty Humvee appearance.
I wouldn't recommend one./
Dixie Choppers look good.
http://www.dixiechopper.com/
I buy $100.00 mowers on Craigslist, and when they get too expensive to repair, I just pitch it and get another one.
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post03-25-2014 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yup, I have an old MTD, rear engine. Works for me. I can still get parts and everything seems to be made well. The newer ones seem to have problems (lower quality parts/materials) that are more costly to fix. I would love a new one, but I can't justify the ROI.

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tesmith66
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Report this Post03-25-2014 01:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tesmith66Send a Private Message to tesmith66Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buy from a real turf dealer, not a box store. The stuff you see at Lowe's and Home Depot is pure MTD junk. I bought a used Lesco Z-Two zero turn from a lawn care company a few years ago. It wasn't new, but it was well maintained with a new engine (25 HP Kawasaki twin) and it's a freakin' tank!

Here's a pic I found online of one like mine:

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

I paid $1500 for it and all it's needed in 3 seasons is blades.

It's made by Cub Cadet Commercial and was over $5000 new. I can still get every part for it.

Edit- Motor is 25HP not 35.

[This message has been edited by tesmith66 (edited 03-25-2014).]

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Report this Post03-25-2014 01:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FlyinFierosSend a Private Message to FlyinFierosEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nothing beats an Exmark mower.

 
quote
Originally posted by tesmith66:
Buy from a real turf dealer, not a box store. The stuff you see at Lowe's and Home Depot is pure MTD junk.

Solid advice right here.

[This message has been edited by FlyinFieros (edited 03-25-2014).]

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olejoedad
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Report this Post03-25-2014 01:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nothing runs like a Deere.......
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lurker
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Report this Post03-25-2014 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lurkerClick Here to Email lurkerSend a Private Message to lurkerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
husqvarna is good.
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spark1
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Report this Post03-25-2014 02:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
FWIW, Consumer Reports recommends 30 different models with the Troy Built Mustang 42" at #1 with a list price of $2300.

A lot depends upon what you want; zero turn radius, wide cut, stability on hillsides etc.
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post03-25-2014 02:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by spark1:

FWIW, Consumer Reports recommends 30 different models with the Troy Built Mustang 42" at #1 with a list price of $2300.

A lot depends upon what you want; zero turn radius, wide cut, stability on hillsides etc.


cough.. $2300... cough...

I guess it depends on how much you want to spend, also. Buy a $1000 one and throw it away in 10 years... replace with new $1000 one
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DanFiero
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Report this Post03-25-2014 02:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DanFieroClick Here to Email DanFieroSend a Private Message to DanFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I bought a John Deere about 3 years ago, I've had Home Depot brand and it jsut didn't last. A friend said to go to Lowes and try to pick up the rear of a John Deere rider and then go to a John Deere dealer and try to do the same thing to the upper model. Just be careful as John Deere dealers will sell the same model as Lowes so you have to make sure your looking at the upper end of their line and not the discount line. I bought an X300 4 wheel steer and love it!! (I wanted a zero turn but wife couldn't get the hang of it so this was our compromise).

Dan
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Hank is Here
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Report this Post03-25-2014 03:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Hank is HereClick Here to Email Hank is HereSend a Private Message to Hank is HereEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am a John Deere green fan. I have a 28 year old 316 with an Onan engine that runs like a top. Personally I think the old 1980's Deere 300 series were the best in terms of being durable and implements.

Watch out for certian brands. Cub Cadet and Troybuilt are MTD brands but you generally won't know it.

The biggie is that you need to define your needs for a tractor. If you want a $1500 lawnmower to act as a graden tractor (plowing, pulling trialer, snow removal) it won't last, I don't care what brand you select.

I would recommend that you buy a tractor a step or two larger than what you think you need. To offset the cost difference I would buy the larger tractor used, instead of new.
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Report this Post03-25-2014 05:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a 1972 Simplicity Landlord 3410H garden tractor (10hp cast iron 1cyl briggs engine). It has the 42" mower deck, grader plow blade, snowblower, and garden tiller attachments. Even being older than me, if I need parts for it, I can go right down to my local Simplicity dealer and order almost anything I need and they can still get it (if they don't already have it in stock). There is even an online forum dedicated to the Simplicity brand full of people who have parts and knowledge who are very friendly and willing to help.

My Simplicity is built like a tank (frame is made of 1/4" thick steel and cast iron pieces), and the only drawback is it is about as heavy as one. It cuts the grass with golf-course quality and it is reliable. The best thing about Simplicity is the ease of which it is to switch out attachments. Usually all you need to do is pull a few pins and a belt (if it is a power attachment) and off the attachment comes. Some attachments are universal over a wide variety of years so that has made it easy for me to acquire "new" attachments (I originally got it only with the grader plow blade and mower deck).

Having been to the dealer I have seen the brand new Simplicity equipment. It still appears to be high quality and finely built (but it does have the price to match).

In contrast, my dad bought a Craftsman lawn tractor and that thing is composed of mainly cheap looking and thin stamped sheet metal components. I think the thickest piece of metal on the frame of that tractor is only about 1/8" thick. About the only good thing about it is it has a 2 cyl "V" OHV briggs engine (20hp) that runs much smoother than my 1cyl 10hp cast iron behemoth. 2 guys can lift his Craftsman tractor into the back of a pickup truck; but you need a crane, lift, or ramps to get my Simplicity onto a trailer (I don't think 4 guys could lift it).

-ryan

[This message has been edited by Darth Fiero (edited 03-25-2014).]

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Report this Post03-25-2014 05:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My father bought a John Deere a few years back, and I've not been impressed at all. I've had to fix so many things on it, and replace a LOT of parts. I'd buy their older stuff, but not any of their last ten years or so. Maybe the $5000+ models are better built than the $2000 ones?
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Report this Post03-25-2014 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jimbolayaClick Here to Email jimbolayaSend a Private Message to jimbolayaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
.

[This message has been edited by jimbolaya (edited 03-25-2014).]

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fastblack
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Report this Post03-25-2014 06:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fastblackSend a Private Message to fastblackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a Toro zero turn we got at Home Depot a few years ago. It is very comfortable, easy to run, and has been fairly reliable. With that being said I would not recommend one. Ours has a 12 hp Briggs on it that is under-powered in my opinion, traction is a constant issue with the thing, the thing hasn't cut good once since I bought it, no matter how sharp the blades are, and it seems to burn too much fuel. I've searched and searched for a possible leak but have not found one.

Just my $.02
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carnut122
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Report this Post03-25-2014 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My neighbor gave me his old John Deere L110 because he thought the motor was going. I replaced a $2.00 bushing on the mower deck, the seat, the front tires (from my Murray) and the blades. I'm in for about $120 and it runs well and looks almost new. The automatic tranny is kind of nice too. However, I like my 16 year old Murray better. It has a lower center of gravity (important on my hilly property) and I don't have to worry about the tranny going out on it like I do the John Deere.
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Report this Post03-25-2014 06:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hnthompsClick Here to Email hnthompsSend a Private Message to hnthompsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a John Deere D110 (42 inch cut and auto transmission) that I bought two years ago for about $1500. I have not used it very much but do like the way it handles and cuts. That being said, I just had to replace the PTO switch and the shop told me I also had a bad battery ground cable. At that time I had a total of 24.9 operating hours on the lawn tractor. I hope that nothing else happens soon since it is out of warranty (two years and/or 200 operating hours).

Nelson
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Report this Post03-25-2014 06:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TaijiguyClick Here to Email TaijiguySend a Private Message to TaijiguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A lot of the common brands like Craftsman, Deere, Cadet etc. are made by MTD which by most standards is total junk. If it's just light duty and you take good care of it it should be OK but it won't last and you'll replace blades, spindles, idler pulleys, stuff like that. If you have a large enough area to justify it, get an Exmark, a Scag, or a Grasshopper. You'll spend as much for a used one as you would for a new lesser model. But if you take halfway decent care of it it will last forever. And zero turn mowers cut your mowing time in half, which means less gas and more time for beer.

I s***canned our Craftsman mower a few years back in exchange for an Exmark 50" zero turn. I typically mow about 2.5 acres, plus some, and lots of navigating around trees and paths. The Exmark cut my mowing time from about 6 hours down to 2.

[This message has been edited by Taijiguy (edited 03-25-2014).]

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maryjane
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Report this Post03-25-2014 07:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Stay clear of Cub Regret.

Troy should never have bilt a damn thing.
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Report this Post03-25-2014 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DodgerunnerClick Here to visit Dodgerunner's HomePageClick Here to Email DodgerunnerSend a Private Message to DodgerunnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have a Sears 50" with 23hp Kohler motor. 11 years old. Mow 3 acres, spray trees and blade snow with it. Not had a problem other then a couple idler pulley bearing making noise. Just had to replace the starter solenoid since the contacts where wearing out. $28.
If you look for a mower that has a solid case front cross bar for the steering and not a stamped steel one its one sign of a little better mower. At least a start.
No idea what the quality of their mowers is now.

[This message has been edited by Dodgerunner (edited 03-25-2014).]

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1988holleyformula
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Report this Post03-26-2014 08:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1988holleyformulaSend a Private Message to 1988holleyformulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Taijiguy:

*snip*
And zero turn mowers cut your mowing time in half, which means less gas and more time for beer.

I s***canned our Craftsman mower a few years back in exchange for an Exmark 50" zero turn. I typically mow about 2.5 acres, plus some, and lots of navigating around trees and paths. The Exmark cut my mowing time from about 6 hours down to 2.



My family's Exmark Laser-Z has been an excellent mower as well. We bought it off my grandpa when he was upgrading, so we got a steal on year-old model that had only been used a handful of times. The only problem we've had with it is rough starts, or the batteries losing a charge for some reason. Mechanically though, it has been problem-free. Besides it cutting down on mowing time, it seems to be more fuel efficient than our old Snapper rider, 1 tank of gas seems to last the entire summer!
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Report this Post03-26-2014 09:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rhino 6' cut FTW.
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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post03-26-2014 10:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for all the input. I got the John Deere 130.
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Report this Post03-26-2014 07:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiackid86Click Here to Email pontiackid86Send a Private Message to pontiackid86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Old school shaft driven Cub cadets...
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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post03-26-2014 07:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pontiackid86:

Old school shaft driven Cub cadets...


I wanted a shaft drive. But some looking around led me to think that the "newer" mowers are just about the same = kind of crappy? They cut a lot of corners to keep the price down.

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Report this Post03-26-2014 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Hank is HereClick Here to Email Hank is HereSend a Private Message to Hank is HereEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Shaft drive ins't really necessary for "lawn mowers" as they don't generally gut put through the same stress and strain as garden tractors which may plow or push snow. The same can be said about cast front axles versus welded front axles.

It has been over 15 year since I was to a John Deere sales classes but things that are new and cheaper aren't necessarily worse. Case in point..until the mid 1990's most Deere tractors had an electric PTO. When they designed the LT series ot tractors they look into account their largest warrenty item and added an easy spring assisted manual PTO. Viola, cheaper to produce with manal PTO, more reliable, with only a minimal effort change to the ower.

I know at this point in time Deere started taking design life (running (hours) of a tractor into account. The design life was about 1.5 time greater than lower end competition at the time with a life for most average homeowners exceeding 20 years.

 
quote
Originally posted by Rickady88GT:
I wanted a shaft drive. But some looking around led me to think that the "newer" mowers are just about the same = kind of crappy? They cut a lot of corners to keep the price down.


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firstfiero
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Report this Post03-27-2014 03:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for firstfieroClick Here to Email firstfieroSend a Private Message to firstfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
<<<<<lowes employee If you want a john deere go buy the real thing from a dealer. Ares are cheap knock offs for the yuppies who want to say they have a deere. Our guys push the husquavarna's as our best tractor. I can tell you from driving them they have a lot of power more comfortable seats and they don't come back to the store with problems like the troy builts and deer
 
quote
Originally posted by tesmith66:

Buy from a real turf dealer, not a box store. The stuff you see at Lowe's and Home Depot is pure MTD junk. I bought a used Lesco Z-Two zero turn from a lawn care company a few years ago. It wasn't new, but it was well maintained with a new engine (25 HP Kawasaki twin) and it's a freakin' tank!

Here's a pic I found online of one like mine:

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

I paid $1500 for it and all it's needed in 3 seasons is blades.

It's made by Cub Cadet Commercial and was over $5000 new. I can still get every part for it.

Edit- Motor is 25HP not 35.


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red88gt
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Report this Post03-27-2014 05:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for red88gtSend a Private Message to red88gtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'll throw in my 2 cents. I have a 46" Craftsman with a 20 hp Kohler. I've renamed it a "Crapsman". Steers awful and eats belts.
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dratts
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Report this Post03-27-2014 11:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just bought two 1/2 acre lots with grass and although I've been shopping on craigslist and following this thread I am no closer to figuring out what I need. I might just let it grow if it doesn't make the neighbors made at me. both lots are off the street and neighboring a ten acre wooded area. There is a very nice insulated barn for my cars and a nice shaded spot for my motorhome. I really don't want to become a slave to a 1 acre lawn.

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Report this Post03-27-2014 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dratts:

I just bought two 1/2 acre lots with grass and although I've been shopping on craigslist and following this thread I am no closer to figuring out what I need. I might just let it grow if it doesn't make the neighbors made at me. both lots are off the street and neighboring a ten acre wooded area. There is a very nice insulated barn for my cars and a nice shaded spot for my motorhome. I really don't want to become a slave to a 1 acre lawn.

Roundup

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dratts
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Report this Post03-27-2014 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:

Roundup


Had to check. I'm going to leave you with my positive rating, but that would be my last choice.
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Rickady88GT
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Report this Post03-27-2014 02:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dratts:

I just bought two 1/2 acre lots with grass and although I've been shopping on craigslist and following this thread I am no closer to figuring out what I need. I might just let it grow if it doesn't make the neighbors made at me. both lots are off the street and neighboring a ten acre wooded area. There is a very nice insulated barn for my cars and a nice shaded spot for my motorhome. I really don't want to become a slave to a 1 acre lawn.


From what I have seen and heard, the lawn mowers now days are basically the same. BUT if you pay more for a mower that you cant get at Lows ( and other big stors) you get a better mower. I got the JD 130, it cant be gotten at Lows, but can only be purchased from a dealer. It is a better mower and can mowe a a very fast speed. BUT I am new at this riding mower stuff so I will have to see what it is like in a few years.

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