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August 2016 Bolens HT23 with a Danuser CD-1 Post Hole Diggerfeatured tractor
WrenchinOnIt (Kevin) suggested that I do this, so here goes.
I am nominating one of my Bolens Large Frames (an HT23) with a Danuser CD-1 post hole digger. I got the tractor, which according to the tag is probably a 1979 model year, some time after moving to a country property where I needed to mow about 3 acres. At the time I had a Gravely 1238H rider, which had been adequate for a smaller property, but not what I needed to care for the greater acreage. It would take most of every weekend to keep up with the yard work, especially in the Spring here in Illinois where we have such rich dirt that stuff grows while you are watching it. A friend knew I was looking for something bigger and told me another friend of ours was losing his storage on “a big garden tractor”. I tried to trade a couple of compact cars that I had fixed on the side for the “big garden tractor” with 54” mowing deck and 48” snowblower, but the friend with the machinery did not want the cars. BUT, he owed money to yet another friend who did want the cars, so the tractor and attachments went to him and I made my original trade of cars for the Bolens with him instead. That got me into Bolens tractors, and the rest, as they say, is history. Clearly I got the bug. If you notice the power steering, I added that later. And the wheel weights came with the tractor, too.
The Danuser CD-1 post hole digger has an equally weird story. Many of you know that I grew up in Maine, just outside Bangor. I still have family there. I saw the post hole digger on eBay, saw it was mostly set up for a Bolens Large Frame, saw it was located in Maine, and figured I could get my youngest brother to pick it up and store it until the next time I was in Maine. So I bid on it, and the price kept going up, so I kept bidding. In the end, I lost the auction because I was not using sniping software. I thought it was probably gone for good.
About a year later I saw what I thought at first was another Danuser CD-1 post hole digger on eBay. It was in Connecticut, but it struck me that the pics looked familiar. I double-checked my saved pics, and sure enough, it was the same unit and the seller was using the pics from the original listing. The guy who bought it had been trying to fit it up to an International Cub, but found out the PTO turned the wrong way, so he could not use it. I bought it from him for less than he had paid for it when it was still in Maine. I did happen to be in Maine when I won the auction that time, so I made a somewhat longer return trip to Illinois by swinging through Connecticut to pick up the digger. It just fit into the back of my Audi A6 sedan with the rear seats folded down after the guy and his wife in Connecticut and I wrestled it into the car. On the road the car then felt like I had a couple of sumo wrestlers in the back. I did have presence of mind enough to spread a tarp under it to minimize the filth transferring to the car.
To mount the digger on the tractor it was necessary to fabricate a top mount to go between the frame rails of the tractor. Glenn Danuser, the grandson of the founder of the company, was only able to confirm that the digger would have been painted School Bus Yellow when I talked to him on the phone, but that only gives me a range of color, so I painted the new mount in a color that I thought would look appropriate. I have seen other CD-1 post hole diggers, but never another for a Bolens Large Frame. The pic of me on the tractor using the digger was taken a few years ago at AJ’s Garden Tractor Jamboree near Oregon, IL. Although it was late Spring, somehow AJ always seems to have picked the cold, blustery weekend for that show.
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