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#1 Black River OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hey, new fella here from NE Arkansas..  I hope to be in the market for a classic garden tractor soon, and have been looking around this site and a couple of others to try to gain some perspective of what type tractor would meet my needs.  My wife and I have two fairly large garden areas and want to expand them even more to sell vegetables at local farmer's markets.  It's becoming quite a chore to maintain them with a rear tine tiller.  I want to be able to plow and disc them.  Whatever garden tractor I end up buying will be put to good use in that area. So far most of the tractors I've been able to locate in my area have been John Deere 110's, Wheel Horse, and a couple of Speedex tractors.  I really like the look of most of these. I like the ones that actually look like a small field tractor.... :D  The problem is, as far as I know there aren't any local tractor shows I could attend to see any of these first hand.  I'd like to hear from some of the folks here about what type tractor you have, what things you like about it, and in your opinion would be best suited to plowing, discing, and cultivating work in the garden. What's the power of your tractor like?  What engine hp would you consider best?  I'd like to find one that is cheaper and needs some work.  Hydraulics would be ok but not necessary.  I've been working with newer Briggs engines the past couple of years and seem to have a knack for it, I've spent over half my vacation turning wrenches on one mower engine or another for fun.  I love old machines and I can't wait to get acquainted with a cast iron Kohler.  Any opinions would be appreciated.


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#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 01:31 PM

There are so many brands it's impossible to say which one is the best, as that depends on the owner mostly.  The main thing to consider is parts availability.  With internet buying, that helps immensely though, so you're not isolated from parts like in years past.  If you can find & afford, I recommend getting one with 3 point lift & rear pto.  A 3 point tiller ran off a rear pto is absolutely to die for, and if you ever get one, you'll understand me completely.  If possible, get one with 1" front axle spindles.  I've broken a couple or three 3/4" spindles myself.  I would go with a minimum of 14 to 16hp.  I prefer diesel these days, but they do cost more, and if they do go down....moocho bucks to fix.  2 cylinder gas engines are smoother & pull better I feel, but the old Kohler K singles are great engines, and parts easy to get.  I also prefer hydrostatic, not the new ones, but the older Sundstrands are king!  Plus most hydro tractors have on-board hydraulics.  Just my opinions, and others will chime in soon.


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#3 bigcountry48 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 01:40 PM

I've never owned one myself, but I've got a buddy who owns several Speedex tractors and he loves them. He does a purdy decent size garden every year with them and a whole lot more! So that's my 2 cent. Me personally though I'd look for an allis chalmers b10 they can have tillers plows cultivators and much more hooked to them( and I'm a bit partial toward ac) good luck and welcome to the forum!

#4 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 02:13 PM

This might be worth looking at if you are somewhat close to it:

 

http://jonesboro.cra...3939646113.html


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#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 02:16 PM

Welcome to GTT. I favor AC B10s and Bolens 1250s but they are common in my area. You should look at what is available in your area and the prices. If you are a good mechanic, you can pick up something cheap that needs to be resurrected. If you fix one up and find that it is too small, you can use it to trade up. If your garden is going to be more than a couple acres then you should consider a compact tractor or and old farm tractor( 8n Ford size). Check with friends and coworkers, Somebody probably has an old tractor that they don't want. Start out cheap.

 

By the way check out our photo galleries and our Manuals section. You can download three free manuals per day. Good Luck, Rick

 

I just saw OBs post of the Bolens, that is real nice. Seems alittle high priced.


Edited by boyscout862, July 23, 2013 - 02:18 PM.


#6 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 02:52 PM

This might be worth looking at if you are somewhat close to it:

 

http://jonesboro.cra...3939646113.html

 

That would make a nice tractor for a truck garden!  



#7 nra1ifer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 03:10 PM

This might be worth looking at if you are somewhat close to it:

 

http://jonesboro.cra...3939646113.html

 

Welcome to the forum, fellow Arkansan!

 

That little "real" tractor would be good for what you are wanting to do.



#8 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 03:28 PM

... I just saw OBs post of the Bolens, that is real nice. Seems alittle high priced. ...

 

If you consider the fact that it's pretty much equivalent to the current SCUT tractors selling in the 11-14,000 range I'd say that it's danged cheap.


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#9 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 03:40 PM

I think it's a great price!  The finish mower is worth at least $500.  Hydro, 3 point, 540 pto.....all you'd ever need for a tiny farm, or smaller truck gardening.



#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 04:09 PM

I was looking at this ad and compared it to the other ad. This is near me but I don't need it.

http://providence.cr...3950077531.html


CL > rhode island > all for sale / wanted > farm & garden - by owner
Reply rtqwb-3950077531@sale.craigslist.org [?]

flag [?] : miscategorized prohibited spam best of
Posted: 2013-07-21, 1:15PM EDT

Bolens diesel lawn/garden tractor for sale - $1650 (E. Conn.)




I'm listing my G152 Bolens tractor for sale. 2WD, has the 3 cylinder diesel engine that starts with glow plugs in colder weather. Engine starts and runs very well.

Tractor has no attachments, but does have 3 speed PTO and 3 pt. hitch. Tractor has high and low range gearshift with 6F and 2R speeds. Gearshift is very smooth.

Tractor has good rubber all around.

Tractor is very well built and solid, a nice running, nice driving unit.

Email if interested. • Location: E. Conn.
•it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests



The picture looked nice but I'm unable to copy it. Good Luck with whatever you get. Rick

Edited by boyscout862, July 23, 2013 - 04:11 PM.

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#11 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 04:16 PM

I was looking at this ad and compared it to the other ad. This is near me but I don't need it.

http://providence.cr...3950077531.html

  Good Luck with whatever you get. Rick

 

Here is the pic of the one in your area, and not a bad price, but considering no attachments, about the same price as the other one, considering it has the heavy duty finish mower.

 

bolens.jpg

 

But I've found that the hydro tractors hook up much better plowing.  My Massey 1010 will wheel spin easily even with fluid filled tires pulling just a 10" plow, when my hydro GT's walk on with the same plow.  I love the infinite speed selections of hydro way over a stick shift.  My 1010 is a bit slow in 2nd mowing, and 3rd is freaking road gear! Wish it were hydro!


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#12 OkieGt OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 04:34 PM

How big of area are you going to garden? Will you be using it to mow as well? What other uses will it have to perform? That will tell you more about what tractor you need, then we can help you narrow it down to a type/brand. Availbilty of attachemnts is the biggest plus for me, Sears, Cub and Wheel Horse made and sold lots of attachments, Tractors like Speedex and even Deere to some degree  (just because the rarity of raer lifts) for that matter are harder to find attachments for. I like a three point, but tthose attachments are in the 300.00-400.00 dollar range, versus sleeve hitch attachments that are in the 150.00 range and tons more plentiful. Tell us more about your needs. I'm not that far awy and do searches all the time, but tractors down south are rare, Most of mine came from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinios. Ariens GTs and Allis 700/900 series tractors are my workhorses and are much more common than the Kohler powered Massey 14/16 and 1450/1650/1655s. The 200 series Case is a great tractor, but I think you will need something larger, maybe like a 400 series Case, but then you get into a lot of money for a rear PTO 3point/ sleeve hitch and attachments that cost as much as some tractors. I really like the Kohler K series 14/16 horse, very simple, cheap to rebuild and almost as much torque and power as many 16hp twins. I know where a nice Case 444 and 446 are in Ft Smith


Edited by OkieGt, July 23, 2013 - 04:41 PM.

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#13 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 05:28 PM

I am going to be different. No brand suggestion from me. Get a decent older gt thats iin your price range. Use it for a year or two and figure out what you like and dont like about it. Then upgrade to whatever you feel you need. Until you actually start using one you want know what you like and dont like. i started out with a sears suburban, didnt like the manual 3pth. Got lucky and upgraded to a snapper 1855 (massey 1855) with hydro and hydraulic lift. Sold the sears but modded the attachments to fit the snapper.

 

I dont think anybody gets the right GT for them the first time.


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#14 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 05:37 PM

Well you came to the right place!! There is a wealth of knowledge here. Welcome!!
Buying used you have to learn what is available in your area or at least close enough you can get it to your place Watch Craig List, I looked for two months but found a bargain by being patient and persistent.
I bought a Compact utility Ford 1500 diesel to work my 7000 sq ft of garden and keep up my 9 acres.
I have two Garden tractors, but the longer wheelbase and added weight beats up the body a lot less after a long day in the saddle.
BTW since it is only 20 hp it would be considered a scut by todays standards.
I paid $3200 with a 5ft brush mower, rear blade and dirt scoop for the 3 point.
I have since added a middle buster, landscape rake and a 48 inch pto driven tiller.
Like Daniel said diesel is a plus, my ford burns quite a bit less fuel than my John Deere 318 per hour.
Besides the advice you get here there are a couple sites I would recommend.
Tractor Data has specs on most tractors and they have a section for garden tractors.
You can learn a lot by studying the specs.
I also recommend Tractor House(especially if your looking at compact tractors) will give you a good idea what tractors are going for around the country.

Edited by JD DANNELS, July 23, 2013 - 05:39 PM.


#15 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2013 - 07:16 PM

:welcome: to GTTalk,
I agree that you will want to try to find the "right tool for the job" the first time... But very often Coldone is right, you find "close enough" and work up from there.

As for parts availability, older JDs are a good bet because they are still well supported by the dealers.
Most of the brands have a decent amount of organ donors still, so don't let that keep you from buying a good runner of an out of business company.

Every tractor brand has its followers, and every brand has its advantages and disadvantages too.
I have an Allis B112 that is possibly the best tiller I've ever used, the mower deck is among the best for cut, the tractor has plenty of power... But I,m not a big fan of the tractor driving wise and you have to pull the engine to do almost anything to it.

The early Massey and Sears tractors I seem drawn to are capable, easy to use machines, but they tend to be on the smaller end of the HP scale and usually parts are getting a little harder (not impossible) to find. Especially the Tecumseh engines.

In the end, finding a well cared for tractor in your price range and with the attachments (at least available) in your area is the most important thing. Also, make sure the tractor "fits". I am not apt to run out and buy a MG mini any time soon partly because I wouldn't be able to drive it... Make sure you aren't uncomfortable while getting Seat Time.

Good luck, please let us know of any concerns or questions and be sure to show us your new family member when you make up your mind.




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