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Best Garden Tractor To Buy


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#1 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:07 AM

First---- I'm not trying to start a war here..But was wondering what is a good rugged garden tractor to buy ( USED )... I would like it to be rugged

Be able to get parts on a regular basis
Have lots of implaments to attch to it---Plow---tiller--blower mower, etc.
good size tires for better ride
dependable well named brand

And anything else I may have missed !!!!


Are Deeres over priced,, and are there better years than others ???

Simplicity seems to have been around a long time-- Which I know nothing about..

Cub Cadets ??


I have a Bolens husky now--- 1477-- with a few attatchments.. But parts are getting harder and harder to get,,, and they don't make them any more..

For instance !! the wife was going thru some taller grass and hit a 2" stump.. It cost about $ 500.00 to rebuild the mower deck top to bottom.. And parts were all E-Bay and mail order.. Not to the local dealer.. So it took weeks to fix..


Any input would be app. Thanks sodi

#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:15 AM

80's and 90's Craftsman Gt6000

#3 tractorbeam OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:15 AM

So many good choices out there. Deeres are like anything else, certainly overpriced, and there are good and bad models. I would cruise craigslist and ebay perhaps, for local garden tractors. Check them out, sit on them, drive them and so on. Before purchasing ANYTHING..... always check for parts availibility. Case in point......... Everyone claims John Deere to have the best parts support of them all, and they are at the top without question. In my area for instance, there are 3 Deere dealers to one Kubota / New Holland dealer and every other make outside of what home depot sells, is 60 miles away. BUT! I had a John Deere 316 with an Onan motor, of which Deere no longer made parts for, and you had to go through other outlets and pay huge sums of money. As a result, John Deere is essentially killing off the 316 318 and 420 line up on account of the Onan motors being out of production. SO! John Deer is a very well known brand but some models are destined to go out. I can tell you for sure that in the realm of used tractors in my area, I got WAY more orange (Kubota) tractor for my money, than I would have gooten at the John Deere dealer, of which we were great friends with, having brought them much business including the purchase of 2 tractors in the past.

Edited by tractorbeam, March 28, 2012 - 10:27 AM.

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#4 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:35 AM

Well, you are already familiar with Bolens.

I'd say one of the Bolens Tube Frames. They have a much larger variety of attachments, and the more commonly used attachments are pretty easy to find.

Nothing against the large frames...I have one. But If I had to get rid of all but one of my Bolens...I'd keep one of the 1256's.
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#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 10:45 AM

I would look on craigslist and local resources. I'd look for a GT with the accessories you want. Then make a few calls to see who has parts and service locally. If you are not brand loyal, it will open lots of possibilities.
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#6 LTD OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 11:26 AM

I would go with an 82 series Cub Cadet. They are built very well and parts are readily available. You can get all the implements you were looking for for them too. A 782 would be a very nice one to have. 17 horse,Hydraulic lift,Hydrostatic,make sure it has a series ll Kohler engine though.
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#7 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 02:55 PM

i DON'T KNOW IF THERE IS A BEST? I have a John Deere 318 and am pleased. My main reason for going Green was that in my daily commute there are two JD dealers within a mile of my my daily route that stock parts for my machine. I'll be the first to admit John Deere gets everything they are worth for the machines and parts. But then I think all makers do.
There may well be a best for you, based on what's available in your area. I would reccomend you look at the best dealers in your area with parts availability and /Customer Support. A good dealer is priceless regardless of the color of the paint on your machine.

And Daytime Dave is giving good advice, buy a machine with as many accesories you want and need in the initial purchase. I'm looking for a tiller for my 318 and when you can find them they are scarce and pricey.
I'm considering $700-1300 used- and $2000 for a new tiller?
I may be better off finding another GT with the tiller in the deal than buying one for my 318?

Edited by JD DANNELS, March 28, 2012 - 03:01 PM.

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#8 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 03:22 PM

First of all get something that has local support. Most of the major brands can be supported off of the internet but there are times when the wait is a real problem. Other than that most of the large frame tractors are worth considering. I've owned quite a few and it seems they all come with something that could be considered a week point. Some it is just the steering others came with questionable engines or gear boxes. Nothing beats research before the purchase. And shopping for the right one is half the fun.
Good luck with your search.
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#9 CASENUT OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 06:31 PM

IMHO skip support, if you're gonna do the work yourself ...who cares? Find something abundant where you can buy a tractor reasonably, something you would enjoy learning about and spending time with. There is no 'best' choice, now some tractors will be better than others...and all of this hinges on how much restoring do you want to do? Hard to beat a Case garden tractor too, The choice is yours and asking a question like that in a GT forum is bound to spark some debate...Use your head, you'll come up with something...there are no bad choices, stick to something 60's-80's range and you'll be just fine. Cubs, Gravelys, Masseys, Bolens, Fords, Case, IH, JD, Simplicity, and the rest all have loyal followerships and will help you find what you're looking for...
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#10 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 07:13 PM

IMHO skip support

What I meant by support was "parts" not service. I should have been more clear.

#11 CASENUT OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 07:27 PM

What I meant by support was "parts" not service. I should have been more clear.


LOL skip it Chris, no big deal! even parts - we can all find parts for almost any tractor at Joes, or Ebay... I think in spite of this guys 'non - chlant' question, he knew what this was going to do, I am shocked that I even got onboard...

#12 Bolens iseki OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 07:34 PM

try to find a kubota some kind of compact tractor then you could get eny implament you can thing and they have meny more sizes ranges

#13 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2012 - 08:44 PM

Most all of the old garden tractors had lots of attachments available. I like the Simplicity because all my implements will work on either of my tractors which are about 10 years apart. Replacement parts are mostly still available and the machines are easy to work on when or if needed. (watch it guys :smilewink: )

But the next guy that has a Deere will say the same, the guy after him with a Ford or Sears or Bolens or Case or.........(sorry if I missed yours) will say the same, and I think we are all RIGHT. Just as the choice of what we drive is different, the choice of our toys tools is also different. Check all of the big name brands out and talk to any local owners. Make your best judgement from there.
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#14 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2012 - 07:41 PM

I love my John Deere 420, and by your description of what you want, I'd recommend one for you. It's the model, not the green paint, that's important though. A garden tractor is a frame with components bolted to it. The engines are made by engine manufacturers, the hydraulics by hydraulics manufacturers, and so on. They are relatively simple machines and if you can't get the original parts, you can generally find something that will work.

What I'd suggest is that you look for something with a sturdy frame, a 3 point hitch, a 540 RPM rear PTO (my only complaint about mine is the 2000 RPM PTO makes it hard to find implements for), and a front end loader (or at the least the capacity to attach one). If you end up with an orange one and really wanted a green one, you can always buy some paint.

#15 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2012 - 07:13 PM

I guess I'd have to ask first, how much land do you own? Each attachment, is based on how much abuse you are going to put it through, and how big of a project you have, will determine just what size of garden or compact tractor you will need. Depending on the size of the tractor you need, will also determine what size motor you should have. If you're needing a compact tractor, then you will narrow down your choices. If you have a half to full acre, then go with a garden tractor. If you have two to five acres, then go with a compact tractor.

If you are going to plant a garden, say 20 feet by 60 feet, then a garden tractor will handle it. If you're looking to plant a garden bigger than 60 feet by 80 feet, then I'd recommend buying a compact. I guess in short, it all depends on the size of projects. Once you have this determined, then look around at the availability of the size of tractor you need. Don't be afraid to shop around a little. Whatever you do, don't buy the first tractor you find. When you find something you're interested in, come back on here, and ask us about our opinions on the particular tractor or brand, and we'll go from there. Take it all one step at a time.

As for brands, believe it or not, each brand had good points and bad. Yes, I'm a John Deere man, "but" I'll be the first to admit, that John Deere didn't have all the best attachments. Some Cub Cadet tillers were better than what John Deere had to offer. Massey's snowblower's were better than Wheel Horse's. John Deere made a mower deck betther than Allis Chalmers. In my opinion, no certain brand was better than another, when comparing attachments. In all of my years of collecting, I never heard anybody say that they collect "X-Brand", because they are the only manufacturer with the best attachments. In a perfect world, it would be nice if all brands of attachments would be interchangeable, just as they are with Farm Tractors.

Good luck to you, and I wish you well with your search. Keep us posted with what you come up with, and which way you decide to go, as far as garden or compact tractor.




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