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Basic Reliability


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#1 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:30 PM

Remember back in the last century, there was this story about a guy who used his garden tractor to drive from Iowa to Minnisota to visit a relative? He pulled a trailer to haul his stuff down the highway.

If you were to do that today, what would be the most reliable new GT to use. I don't care about how it mows or if the hood is plastic. I'm talking about driving to Minnisota without breaking down on the road.

#2 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:36 PM

This will be interesting. If Gravely was still making a 4 wheeler, I'd say go for that. I think Ingersoll still makes them the old fashioned way, just not sure the Hydrive system would be up for a long trip.
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#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:37 PM

I really couldnt tell you what would be the most reliable today as I dont really know what brands/models are available since I focus on the old tractors.

Are you thinking about doing this? :D

#4 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 03:51 PM

Well, just about everything is made by MTD now so they are all more or less the same.I really have no idea what is probuced now anyway, like Brian, I am focused on older stuff.

#5 dave8338 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 04:09 PM

I think most anything built today, would make the trip. It would likely be shot by the time you arrived, though. :confuse:

#6 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 05:23 PM

Like the others, I focus on older garden tractors too, but if I had to make a choice of a reliable new gt, I would say either John Deere, Kubota (If you consider that a garden tractor), or Simplicity with John Deere and Kubota being my first choices. If you are going to do this, why not consider using a older garden tractor???

#7 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 05:56 PM

No, I'm not doing it........ just wishful thinking. Someone would have to pry my wife off the hood. :laughingteeth: Seems like a good idea for a fundraiser don't it?

Using an old tractor is a good idea, if it is in reliable, like new condition. Stopping 15 miles from nowhere with a blown head gasket or stuck valve is not a good thing.

#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 06:43 PM

John Deere 700 series garden tractor. If you really want to go for it a diesel model. Should go several thousand hours without any problem.

#9 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 06:43 PM

Minnesota is a lot less than 15 miles from Iowa. In fact, I've stood in both states at the same time.
:smilewink:

#10 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 08:32 PM

Okay, I searched the story and this is what Wikipedia has to say; http://en.wikipedia...._Straight_Story

Regardless of the details, my question still pertains to tractor reliability.

#11 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 08:59 PM

I would think that many of the old and new garden tractor brands could make the trip. Not sure about the majority of the lawn tractors since many of their transaxles have bushings instead of bearings and probably would fail after a few continuous miles. Biggest issue I can see is the idler pulleys on the belt drive machines and keeping the front wheel bearings greased..

The Straight Story is one of my favorite movies since I detest the "unbelievability" of most of today's movies. Right after I saw the movie for the first time a few years ago I thought about putting together a garden tractor drive across Michigan event. I looked at going from Advance on Lake Michigan's shore to Alpena on Lake Huron's shore on highway M32, a total of about 115 miles. Figured we could get the local fire departments along the way to escort us through their districts. Averaging 6 miles an hour for three eight hour days would leave time for gas breaks. Never panned out though.

If the GT speeds could be raised up to 10 to 12 mph there might be a chance they could be allowed to drive across the Mackinaw Bridge with the farm tractors on the one day a year that event is held. September 14, 2012 this year. http://www.mackinawc...r-crossing-136/

Just thinking out loud.

Edited by GTTinkerer, July 31, 2012 - 09:02 PM.

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#12 HydroHarold OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2012 - 11:40 PM

The old "Reliability Grail" that I so dearly sought back in '03-'04... I bought my tractor relying not a small amount on the repair incidents that I read on as many forums as I could read. First, which brand had the least breakdown reports. Second, which brand was showing less problems with the dealer network, etc. (I was looking "new" at the time.)

I chose a John Deere GX335 and it's performance (780+hrs so far) has born out the research. I don't know if I could make Vegas on it or even Atlantic City without a breakdown, but I'd put it right up there with the other lower maintenance machines of any brand. Tractors today ain't your Grandpa's (or my) Gravely "L's", they're made for different folks buying habits and different manufacturers ideas of what they can sell for the most profit to the current crop of buyers who will expect far less from a tractor than an original Gravely "L" buyer back in the day.

One thing for sure, with the proper "set-up" a Gravely sulky will give a pretty nice ride down along the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway and you won't have to do much steering correction along the way either.
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#13 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 07:18 AM

I thought about putting together a garden tractor drive across Michigan event. I looked at going from Advance on Lake Michigan's shore to Alpena on Lake Huron's shore on highway M32, a total of about 115 miles. Figured we could get the local fire departments along the way to escort us through their districts. Averaging 6 miles an hour for three eight hour days would leave time for gas breaks. Never panned out though.


Wouldn't that be something! That would make a great fund raiser for a worthy charity. Have people promise to give based on your milage. The biggest problem I see, as you noticed, is having that many tractors on the open road unescorted. Also, handling the break downs. Some of you guys might try this on a smaller scale. 5-10 miles. If so, report back to us.

One thing for sure, with the proper "set-up" a Gravely sulky will give a pretty nice ride down along the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway and you won't have to do much steering correction along the way either.


I forgot about the 'L'. The first couple of years I worked at the Illinois Tollway, I spent the summer riding down the road on a Gravely Sulky trimming of the weeds around each reflector post and guards rail the tractors couldn't get. I made about 4-5 miles a day. I swear, in two years I must have made enough miles to drive from Illinois to Omaha! This was during the time that Gravely switched from the L engine to a Kohler. I almost think the L was better.

#14 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 11:17 AM

Minnesota is a lot less than 15 miles from Iowa. In fact, I've stood in both states at the same time.
:smilewink:


That would depend on where in Iowa you are. I'm a few mile north of I80(just south of the centr of Iowa) and Mapquest say's it's 171 miles to Albert Lea, the first town of any size in Minnesota on I35.

Edited by JD DANNELS, August 01, 2012 - 11:26 AM.


#15 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2012 - 11:27 AM

I think if I were to do this I would choose a gear drive machine. I base this on a Man I knew. Red was a known drinker and lost his drivers license after several infractions he lost it for life. He mowed parks and cemetarys in a town about 15 miles away. Since he could not drive his pickup and tow his tractor a new at the time John Deere 400. He drove the tractor instead and burnt out the hydro. Granted much has been done to improve the Hydro's over the years but I think I would prefer gear drive.




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