Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Trying To Determine What Gt To Buy


  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 27, 2013 - 10:27 PM

Hi,

     first time on the forum. I'll be moving into a new house in a month and I'll be needing a tractor of some sort to mow and also keep the garden. This is 5 acres, about 4 of which I'll need to maintain. At the very least, I'll need to mow it. Part of the grass is cut like a lawn and the rest is tall weeds that will need to be cut.

     I am going to want a big garden that could get up to 1/2 acre or more. So, I thought a rear-towed rotatiller would be a good idea. I wasn't sure if one would be powerful enough to initially break up the turf. I'm guessing for the first planting, multiple passes would be required and it would probably be very slow going. Anyway, there seems to be a giant price jump from the largest of lawn tractors up to compact tractors. I'd love a nice John Deere Compact Tractor but I don't have $20k or more to spend with attachments. So, I started looking at Sears and others that might have the pull behind, motorized rotatillers. I was trying to get as much power as possible, like in the 27 hp range. Are there GT's that come with rear PTO's such that I might not need a powered rotatiller? Or would it be better that it's powered separately anyway?

 

Thanks for any suggestions.


  • boyscout862, JRJ and Papasmirf have said thanks

#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

wvbuzzmaster

    Squeaky Wheel

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1792
  • 4,493 Thanks
  • 7,341 posts
  • Location: West Virginia

Posted October 27, 2013 - 10:54 PM

Sounds like compact tractor task to me. Since you can't buy a new one, what about something like an old Farmall A with woods belly mower and some plows?

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, October 27, 2013 - 10:55 PM.

  • JRJ said thank you

#3 Cat385B ONLINE  

Cat385B

    Therapy CAT

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8002
  • 11,758 Thanks
  • 8,928 posts
  • Location: MN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 04:35 AM

Welcome to the forum, Jeff. Your tractor needs are going to be directly tied to how much spare time you have. If your time at home is at a premium, spend as much as you can afford on a used large GT or SCUT now that has a mower deck and a tiller. With 5 acres, a loader would be a great time saver, also. If your schedule gives you time to work on your yard a bit at a time, an older garden tractor will suit you fine if your willing to spend some time wrenching and fixing things that come up.

 

In my opinion, forget about horsepower. A 27 hp garden tractor sitting on the local Sears showroom floor will get it's butt kicked all over that 5 acres by something 40 years old that has 16 or 18 hp. They don't build them like they used to.

 

It all depends on how much spare time you have and what your budget is. How much are you looking to spend? I have a 1978 Bolens tractor that is 15 hp that would easily handle what you're describing, with a 48" mower deck and a 42" tiller. But it's going to take a while.


  • JRJ said thank you

#4 KennyP ONLINE  

KennyP

    FORDoholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2253
  • 28,525 Thanks
  • 39,746 posts
  • Location: Collinsville, Oklahoma

Posted October 28, 2013 - 05:06 AM

Welcome to the forum.If you can get something with a 60" deck, that would speed up the mowing time a lot.


  • JRJ said thank you

#5 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 05:07 AM

Sounds like compact tractor task to me. Since you can't buy a new one, what about something like an old Farmall A with woods belly mower and some plows?

Since I don't know much about scut's in order to evaluate a used one, I'd rather go with new no matter what I buy. I did have a lawn cutting business of sorts back in high school and we used a 12 hp LT. So, I'm not totally inept, but I don't want to take any chances buying used equipment.


  • JRJ said thank you

#6 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 05:30 AM


It all depends on how much spare time you have and what your budget is. How much are you looking to spend?

 

I don't really have a budget per se, but I would like to keep it under 6 to 7k if possible. I could be talked into $10k if there were some good argument for it. Your question about how much time I'll be expecting to put into this is a good one, and the problem is that the answer can vary. I am not retired, so I work from about 5am to 2pm and have the rest of the day to work with. I know that most GT's of 54" and up will probably mow the property ok; the bigger the better. The issue seems to be how much gardening I want or need to do. I will start small with the garden, like 1/8 acre and go up from there. I might want to do a huge garden at some point though, even as much as an acre. Is that likely? Probably not, but I would like to have the option.

     I had read another blog somewhere where the suggestion was to at least pay someone with a larger tractor to initially bust up the ground for the garden, then one could maintain it with a smaller rig. However reading about some of the pull behind rotatillers, it seems some of them would work pretty well, but just expect that the first run will be slow and tedious and have to be done in multiple passes.

Seems to me there must be something that could cut 60" and also tow a good motorized rotatiller behind it for less than $10k new. I do realize there are always questions about quality and reliability. From what I'm reading though, it seems a lot of the GT manufacturers might be made at the same place anyway. Seems various brands are almost interchangeable. And while John Deere is supposed to be one of the best, I had read that for some of their cheaper GT line, they third party the manufacturing. So, it's hard to know what is good other than reading as many reviews as possible.


  • JRJ said thank you

#7 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

OldBuzzard

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 805
  • 6,488 Thanks
  • 4,634 posts
  • Location: Oberlin, OH

Posted October 28, 2013 - 05:45 AM

If you are thinking about an older GT, it sounds like you are describing the Bolens two cylinder Large Frames, the 1886, HT18, HT20 or HT23. They have front and rear PTO, and there are a great number of attachments for them. 54'  deck, 3-pt hitch, front end loader, tiller, plow, disc, snow/dirt blade, snow blower, Sickle Bar mower, and others.

 

There are some other older GTs that will work as well.  The big Allis-Chalmers like the 620, the Massy 1855, at just two off the top of my head.

 

Any one of those will go pretty much toe to toe with a new X700 Deere.

 

The Bolens Square Back tiller for the large frames is capable of tilling virgin ground, but if you are talking about a 1/2 acre garden, I'd suggest that you either hire someone to plow it first, or get your own plow.  Rototilling 1/2 acre of virgin ground with a rototiller would be along slow job.

 

ETA:

 

The International Cub, Cub Lo-Boy, and the Iseki-Bolens sub compacts would be worth looking at as well.


Edited by OldBuzzard, October 28, 2013 - 06:04 AM.

  • JRJ said thank you

#8 Alc ONLINE  

Alc

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1094
  • 5,459 Thanks
  • 6,630 posts
  • Location: Bangor Pa

Posted October 28, 2013 - 05:46 AM

My son has a White GT2554 ( think that's the model #  )  it really is only ment for grass cutting , maybe snow plowing but I used it a few times but impressed with the way it cut some pretty rough grass . I think there a few made that size under different brands . They sell used pretty cheap , under $1500 . That would leave some $$ for a  nice older GT that you could leave set-up for gardening , oh yea WELCOME TO GTTalk !


  • JRJ said thank you

#9 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 06:18 AM

If you are thinking about an older GT,

 

Noted above, I'm looking for new. Thanks for your equipment suggestions though.


  • JRJ said thank you

#10 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

boyscout862
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8923
  • 9,807 Thanks
  • 7,547 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted October 28, 2013 - 06:19 AM

Welcome to GTT. Relax and enjoy the site. You have good questions that have a number of possible solutions. I suggest that you take your time. Read the threads on here and increase your knowledge. I sense that you really don't want to work on older equipment. As with anything else it is a time verses money decision. Most of us prefer to fix old tractors because it is cheaper, they are better built, and the old stuff is more interesting. Most of the new stuff is made by MTD or AYP and are fairly light duty.

 

The rototiller question is another complicated one. Many of the better GTs have power take off (PTO) powered rototillers and other attachments. I had one of the self powered tiller attachments years ago but did not like it. I still sits unused for 25 years. My best setup is a 1976 Bolens H14 with a driveshaft driven rear mounted tiller. The transmission is hydrostatic so that the rate of movement can be matched to the tillers ability. It also has hydraulic lift to make the lifting easy. It has a 42" mower, 42" snow plow, and a 10" garden plow for breaking up tough ground. This machine has already lasted longer than any of the new stuff can dream of. I got it for free but had to spend a bunch of time and money($160) on it to get it running. It does(and currently is) brokendown. When fixed it can out work anything sold today for under $5000. With older equipment you need several for backup.

 

You have time, so make use of it. Check out the tractor dealerships in your area, collect literature, and keep a notebook of prices. Notice which tractors are light weight aluminum and steel stampings. They won't last. Learn the catagories: LT, YT, GT, and SCUT. Will one tractor be enough? Learn as much as you can to help you make a good choice for you. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, October 28, 2013 - 06:26 AM.

  • JRJ and TomLGT195 have said thanks

#11 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 06:28 AM

My son has a White GT2554 ( think that's the model #  )  it really is only ment for grass cutting , maybe snow plowing but I used it a few times but impressed with the way it cut some pretty rough grass . I think there a few made that size under different brands . They sell used pretty cheap , under $1500 . That would leave some $$ for a  nice older GT that you could leave set-up for gardening , oh yea WELCOME TO GTTalk !

 

I've noticed a lot of folks talking about how good the old models from years ago were. That's really sad when you think about it. All this technological improvement and folks talk badly of the new stuff. Is it like cars, with too many new bells and whistles that break over time? Or are the new ones just junk? My wife thinks it's going to be a great idea to keep her 2012 Ford Fusion forever. I told her; nope, we get rid of any car over 5 years old because you just end up replacing all those darned sensors and other safety and ease of use "features" that will cost you $300 a shot every other month. My 2000 Dodge truck is like that. Darn nickle and dime me every other day with those goofy sensors and it probably has very few compared to newer models.


  • boyscout862 and JRJ have said thanks

#12 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 06:34 AM


You have time, so make use of it. Check out the tractor dealerships in your area, collect literature, and keep a notebook of prices. Notice which tractors are light weight aluminum and steel stampings. They won't last. Learn the catagories: LT, YT, GT, and SCUT. Will one tractor be enough? Learn as much as you can to help you make a good choice for you. Good Luck, Rick

 

==============================

 

It's ironic that you were writing again about how good the old stuff is just as I was commenting about that. It is pathetic that new tractors are just crap, I guess. Now I'm sure someone could get on and start talking about some of the $15k models out there. I guess that's what it's all about. The $ just doesn't buy much any more.

 

I agree that I should check local outfits and get some advice from various dealers in the area as they'll be the ones servicing.

Thanks for your suggestions.

 

 

 


  • boyscout862 and JRJ have said thanks

#13 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:40 AM

I thought I'd check what I think are non-box store models like John Deere, Simplicity, Toro, Snapper, Ariens and Gravely. I realize some make cheaper box store LTs, but anyway. Seems a number of these only make zero turn mowers and not tractors. Simplicity looks like it has what I might need including the tiller option on their Legacy XL Subcompact tractor. But, the price?

 

http://www.powerequi...CFSEV7AodA0EAdQ

 

First question. Are the Kohler or Briggs engines used for the Legacy the same as on a Sears for example? If so, why wouldn't I just buy two or three Sears 27 hp tractors instead of one Simplicity? Same question for John Deere too as I think their non-box lines in that same category are in a similar price point as Simplicity.


  • JRJ said thank you

#14 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

jeff_gt
  • Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 49006
  • 14 Thanks
  • 21 posts
  • Location: TN

Posted October 28, 2013 - 08:07 AM

I thought I'd check what I think are non-box store models like John Deere, Simplicity, Toro, Snapper, Ariens and Gravely. I realize some make cheaper box store LTs, but anyway. Seems a number of these only make zero turn mowers and not tractors. Simplicity looks like it has what I might need including the tiller option on their Legacy XL Subcompact tractor. But, the price?

 

http://www.powerequi...CFSEV7AodA0EAdQ

 

First question. Are the Kohler or Briggs engines used for the Legacy the same as on a Sears for example? If so, why wouldn't I just buy two or three Sears 27 hp tractors instead of one Simplicity? Same question for John Deere too as I think their non-box lines in that same category are in a similar price point as Simplicity.

Answering part of my question myself. Looks like Simplicity has at least some lower end models that are not so awfully expensive. And I see that this Legacy model comes in 4wd and has a post hole digger option. I have to say that that is one option I forgot to mention that I might want. Oh well, it seems any tractor that is going to do all of what I want is going to indeed be in at least the $15k and up range. I'll just have to decide if I need all that.

 

thanks.


  • JRJ said thank you

#15 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

boyscout862
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8923
  • 9,807 Thanks
  • 7,547 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted October 28, 2013 - 08:16 AM

First, the old GTs from the 60s and 70s weren't cheap. My 68 Bolens 1250 with several good attachments was the same price as a new VW Beetle. If I went for a front end loader(FEL) it would have been close to the sale price of a new 68 Mustang($2300).

Things have gotten more complicated and the quality in many cases has been cut. Take a look at some of the old GTs before you do any shopping of the new ones. Compare a 1973 Simplicity to a new one. Pay attention to the heft of the transaxle. The new tractors have many safety switches to protect you from yourself. The older are simpler.

If taken good care of you might get 100,000 miles out of a 1973 car. Now you can count on 200,000 miles out of a 2013 car. Some techology, especially oils have improved greatly. There were good and bad then and still are now. The GTs that have survived have proven themselves.

It is not easy to decide. Remember: "we're pulling for you, we're all in this together". Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, October 28, 2013 - 08:17 AM.

  • JRJ said thank you




Top