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Need Help Deciding Between 3 Machines


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#1 4running OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hi guys,

I am new to the forum, but needed help deciding on a GT. I have 1 acre to mow, and need a machine to clear my driveway in the winter months.


Heres the three-

Ariens GT20 MINT shape low hours time capsule condition. $1800
two stage blower included, no other attchments.

Ingersoll 3018, real clean, VERY nice shape $1800
Hydro driven vac assited bager, snow caster.

Toro Wheel Horse 520-H average shape $1500
Vac Assisted 3 bin bagger, snow caster.

I had my heart set on a machine with a diff lock. But thats none of these. I wonder if I need a diff lock for minnesota winters and a driveway with an incline?

The tractor that is the UGLIEST is the Ariens. I am sorry but it is not an attractive machine in my mind. But it is the one I am leaning towards given that it has a 2 stage blower, and it is in such amazing condition. My objections are that it is also the one that doesnt have a vacuum bagger (although I wonder how easy it is to make it a mulcher?).

What does everyone think?

#2 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 02:50 PM

Welcome to GTT very warm place here, but boy is your question loaded lol!
If the Ariens is horizontal shafted powered and a hydro trans, I would take that even with out the bagger. Ingersols are ok but can have some real funky drivetrain issues, and if your not into hydraulics, then it might not be for you?
I can't comment on the wheelhorse, as I really have not seen enough to say, that being said, might mean they are very dependable, and that is my frame of mind on them, let's see what gets stirred up :)
Again, welcome aboard ,post lots of pics, and enjoy the comradery.
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#3 4running OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:05 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Ariens GT20 has a front and rear PTO. And of course everything for it is shaft driven. Attachments appear to be very scarce.

#4 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:40 PM

REALLY! WAY COOL! Tons of attachment out there, you just need to look , Bolens Eliminator stuff will work too;)

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:45 PM

The Ariens does not have a dif lock but it has a very strong hydro and Dana rear axle. With some weight and chains it would be a great platform for a snow blower. The Ariens blowers are a cut above most out there. Very well made with a cast iron gearbox.
I can tell you from experience with a large GT (JD x475) that having weight on the wheels and a good set of chains is much more effective in icy conditions than a dif lock alone. The x475 had one and I rarely used it when plowing except with very heavy snow. If you are blowing the snow then the need for the dif lock would be less but you'd still want some weight and chains.
If the Ariens is low hours then that's a big consideration as well.

#6 jwc3232 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:48 PM

my vote would be the 3018 asome machine and with the hydro bagger and snow caster a steel those hydro baggers will suck the crome off a trailer hitch as the hyd goes very strong system and trouble free i am bias because i run only case and ingerssol in my lawn care buss jim

#7 jwc3232 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:51 PM

ps also for got to add i use my machines for snow removal we get some wicked lake affect snow here jim

#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 03:57 PM

There's probably not a loser in the bunch just a bunch of different strengths and weaknesses. Parts availability is something to look at as well! It's hard to make a quick decision on something like this. If it's like up here most of the good tractors sell very quickly.

#9 bowtiebutler956 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 04:07 PM

I'd vote Wheel Horse myself, as they are a very sturdy machine, and attachments can be found easily. The 520 is an awesome machine, and their hydros are very reliable. Just my 2 cents. :thumbs:

Matt

#10 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 04:20 PM

I am a Wheel Horse man. Having said that, the Ingersol is in a league of it's own. The snowcaster is legendary. The only negative thing I have heard is that if the hydraulics are not properly equipped, they are dangerous on a hill. The main thing that keeps me away from Case/Ingersol is the premium price. The price you have quoted sounds pretty good.

Okay, now the Wheel Horse; that is the model that everyone wants and it will do you good, too. Almost all WH attachments from 1973 - 2006 will interchange between models and there are a LOT of attachments.

#11 CASENUT OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 05:03 PM

NO DOUBT, take the ingersoll. the bagger will work like a champ, the tractors are stout and the hydraulic drive system will amaze you. The tractors are smooth, well thought out and very robust. $1800 isn't free but that is one hell of a tractor...you will not run into any power issues regardless of how much grass you mow, or how much snow you blow...that is an awesome tractor.

Good Luck...

#12 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 05:28 PM

Can we add a choice for a Power King? LOL! If I had to choose between one of those I think it would be close between the Ingersoll and the Wheel Horse. Although, I would probably take the Ingy. Although the 520 is a great tractor, the 3018 would most likely be better if you ever decided you wanted to do other GT jobs.

#13 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 05:35 PM

I almost forgot! :welcometogttalk:

#14 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 05:41 PM

I would maybe go with the Ariens due to the rear (& front) pto. I love my rear 3pt tiller, and almost any make of Cat 0 three point shaft drive tiller will work, as they are all 2000rpm.

#15 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2012 - 05:52 PM

Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you joined and started with a great dilemma.

I have to say that I have no experience with Wheel Horse or Ingersol. I had an Ariens smaller GT years ago and it was great.

Based on reputation, I would recommend the Ingersol. Those who have them seem to like them. Hopefully more of them will be along soon with some experience to back up the recommendation.




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