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Trying To Determine What Gt To Buy


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#16 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 08:21 AM

We seem to be writing at the same time. One other consideration is how good of a dealer you can find. They can make all the difference. If you buy a compact tractor with 3ph and PTO new, you may be able to pick up the post hole digger and the tiller used. A CAT 1 hitch will give you lots more options. Good Luck, Rick


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#17 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 08:50 AM

Honestly, by reading all the post and having been on the board for a while, you will be hard pressed for a lot of people out here to give you recommendations on brand new tractors other than maybe box store grass cutters, we all seem to be of the vintage models.

In the sense you want new, I would recommend the Simplicity, they seem to always be towards the top when it comes to actually being a true HD garden tractor and have many implement selections. While I'm an older Sers guy, I do not take much stock in the newer Craftsman although I will say some guys work them hard and for the money, maybe a decent value over higher scale brands.

I have also seen the newer model Massey's in our local Rural king farm store, while they are $15K with a mower and loader & 4x4, they can be big enough to handle some acreage, but small enough not to be cumbersome.

If it were me in your situation, I personally would look towards a nuce SCUT or even the bigger garden tractors for my ground work, then maybe by a fairly newer used zero turn or the likes to do my grass cutting duties, but I'm good with several tractors, maybe you just want one piece to do it all.



#18 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 09:32 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).

Well, I hope you would have bought the mustang.   :-)

 

I appreciate what you're saying about the quality of the older models and after you've discussed the price, I can see why.

I'll be doing as suggested and gettting further educated. It might be worth getting a higher end model for the extra attachments like post hole digger.

 

Thanks again.


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#19 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 10:00 AM

I was 17 and only making $1.65 per hour after school. I think that you can tell that I was dreaming of it. Now my son wants one. Maybe we will finally get one. Good Luck, Rick

#20 UncleWillie OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 11:19 AM

IN 2007 I bought a brand spanking new Poulan 26 HP with the 54 inch deck(the Hemorrhoid) . For $2800. Since I have owned it I have had to replace the head gaskets, rebuild the carb twice, replace the fuel pump (which needs to be done again), rebuilt the deck spindles twice ( the need to be done again), replaced the ignition switch, and the discharge chute, and a bunch of other small stuff. The tractor will not pull much. It is in constant need of attention. IT has elebenty hundred safety switches which get messed up. Has an electric clutch on the deck so if the battery is weak the blades won't engage. A conservative estimate is that I have spent another $600 in upkeep not counting regular maintenance.

 

 

A couple of years ago I bought an 81 Craftsman GTV-18(the DragonFly) for $150. Brought it home and rebuilt the carb, painted it, replaced the clutch return spring, put on new belts, and sharpened the blades. It has not had one problem since then. It now needs new belts, but it pulls way more than it was ever intended to pull on a daily basis. I may have $200 more in it than I paid.

 

 

Now I said all that to say this. You may think newer will be better and easier to care for, and you may be wrong.

 

I can pick either end of the Hemorrhoid off the ground (before I weighted the tires) because is is so lightly built. I cannot begin to lift either end of the DragonFly without requiring a doctors care afterwards.

 

The other thing to think of is how many older machines can you buy for the price of one new one. Say you spend $3000 on a new tractor. 3000 divided by 200 (average price I pay for a good running older machine) =15. You can replace an older machine 15 times for the cost of one new machine. Why is that important? When you new machine dies and you go to buy another one you have to shell out another $3000. When an old machine dies (even though they can usually be brought back from the dead) you can replace it 15 times before you reach you initial investment of a new tractor. So if you use them for 2 years each you get 30 years of service for the cost of one new tractor that will not last 10 years.

 

Plus the older stuff is way cooler and if you buy them cheaper there is more money for beer and cigars!

 

 

That's my $.02


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#21 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 11:35 AM

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.


I understand not wanting used. I myself am about to buy a new compact tractor. But for power and capability an old farm tractor well maintained, or even restored would be within budget and perform as needed.

#22 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:08 PM

We seem to be writing at the same time. One other consideration is how good of a dealer you can find. They can make all the difference. If you buy a compact tractor with 3ph and PTO new, you may be able to pick up the post hole digger and the tiller used. A CAT 1 hitch will give you lots more options. Good Luck, Rick

I'll check around. It will be at least a month before we move in. I'll keep that in mind though and try to work a good deal.

Thanks



#23 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:09 PM

Honestly, by reading all the post and having been on the board for a while, you will be hard pressed for a lot of people out here to give you recommendations on brand new tractors other than maybe box store grass cutters, we all seem to be of the vintage models.

In the sense you want new, I would recommend the Simplicity, they seem to always be towards the top when it comes to actually being a true HD garden tractor and have many implement selections. While I'm an older Sers guy, I do not take much stock in the newer Craftsman although I will say some guys work them hard and for the money, maybe a decent value over higher scale brands.

I have also seen the newer model Massey's in our local Rural king farm store, while they are $15K with a mower and loader & 4x4, they can be big enough to handle some acreage, but small enough not to be cumbersome.

If it were me in your situation, I personally would look towards a nuce SCUT or even the bigger garden tractors for my ground work, then maybe by a fairly newer used zero turn or the likes to do my grass cutting duties, but I'm good with several tractors, maybe you just want one piece to do it all.

 

I had good luck with my Sears years ago too. We'll see. I might go cheap first and test the water. Then if I start turning into uber-gardener; I could step up to some of the really good equipment.



#24 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:17 PM

IN 2007 I bought a brand spanking new Poulan 26 HP with the 54 inch deck(the Hemorrhoid) . For $2800. Since I have owned it I have had to replace the head gaskets, rebuild the carb twice, replace the fuel pump (which needs to be done again), rebuilt the deck spindles twice ( the need to be done again), replaced the ignition switch, and the discharge chute, and a bunch of other small stuff. The tractor will not pull much. It is in constant need of attention. IT has elebenty hundred safety switches which get messed up. Has an electric clutch on the deck so if the battery is weak the blades won't engage. A conservative estimate is that I have spent another $600 in upkeep not counting regular maintenance.

 

 

A couple of years ago I bought an 81 Craftsman GTV-18(the DragonFly) for $150. Brought it home and rebuilt the carb, painted it, replaced the clutch return spring, put on new belts, and sharpened the blades. It has not had one problem since then. It now needs new belts, but it pulls way more than it was ever intended to pull on a daily basis. I may have $200 more in it than I paid.

 

 

Now I said all that to say this. You may think newer will be better and easier to care for, and you may be wrong.

 

I can pick either end of the Hemorrhoid off the ground (before I weighted the tires) because is is so lightly built. I cannot begin to lift either end of the DragonFly without requiring a doctors care afterwards.

 

The other thing to think of is how many older machines can you buy for the price of one new one. Say you spend $3000 on a new tractor. 3000 divided by 200 (average price I pay for a good running older machine) =15. You can replace an older machine 15 times for the cost of one new machine. Why is that important? When you new machine dies and you go to buy another one you have to shell out another $3000. When an old machine dies (even though they can usually be brought back from the dead) you can replace it 15 times before you reach you initial investment of a new tractor. So if you use them for 2 years each you get 30 years of service for the cost of one new tractor that will not last 10 years.

 

Plus the older stuff is way cooler and if you buy them cheaper there is more money for beer and cigars!

 

 

That's my $.02

 

I totally agree that the older stuff is way cooler. I see your point about used machines. I guess I remember back to the days of my 2nd Sears. That machine was horrible. It was a twin cyclinder 18 hp. The thing broke down at least twice a year. I had a fantastic warranty on it though. Sears stopped offering that particular warranty because they were loosing so much money from it. They said at one point that my warranty was up and they could not come out to the house any longer as it was on on-site warranty. I think it was for 5 years. Anyway, I read it off to the guy over the phone and he said "oh, you have one of the old warranties". Ok, a tech will be out there in a few days..." 

I guess I'd be hard pressed to find one like that again.


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#25 chuckerfarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:20 PM

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.

if he wants junk shore those would all be great but I think he wants something with a great parts availability and easy to find attachments. Simplicity or bolens? Good luck.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2


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#26 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 07:21 PM

I understand not wanting used. I myself am about to buy a new compact tractor. But for power and capability an old farm tractor well maintained, or even restored would be within budget and perform as needed.

See that's the thing though. I couldn't begin to know if one were well-maintained. I'm just not that experienced. At least with new, it's either their fault or mine for not operating it properly. I think those who in good spirit want to convince me to go used will be disappointed with me. I know they're right in their own way, but I think I have to stay with my own thoughts on this. An exception might be add-ons like a tiller.



#27 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted October 28, 2013 - 08:42 PM

With the additional info you provided, I would recommend a garden tractor. A post hole digger will not work on a GT, however; due to a limited lift height. Other than the novelty and convenience of owning one yourself, a post hole digger is a common rental store item.

 

The Simplicity you mentioned would be an excellent choice, but right at the top of your budget. This is the time of year to buy one though, you may find one a dealer wants to unload before the next years models show up. The Legacy has the options for a rear hitch and pto that would enable you to use rear implements that are not brand-specific. (which will save money)

 

The other true garden tractor on the market with a full line of implements and attachments is John Deere. The X700 series has more models than you can shake a stick at:

 

  • X710 - Gas - Carb
  • X730 - Gas - Fuel injected
  • X734 - Gas - FI, 4 wheel steer
  • X738 -  Gas - 4WD
  • X739 - Gas - 4WS, 4WD
  • X750 - Diesel
  • X754 - Diesel - 4WS
  • X758 - Diesel - 4WD

The previous line of JD X700 series were the same as listed above but had different model #'s. Subtract 10 and you will have the equivalent of the list above. The current X710 was previously badged an X700, for example.

 

I don't know about Simplicity, but JD offered a 4 year warranty on the X700 series lineup. Many slightly used units out there with warranty remaining. A new X700 series is above the budget you stated.



#28 jeff_gt OFFLINE  

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Posted October 29, 2013 - 07:04 AM

With the additional info you provided, I would recommend a garden tractor. A post hole digger will not work on a GT, however; due to a limited lift height. Other than the novelty and convenience of owning one yourself, a post hole digger is a common rental store item.

 

The Simplicity you mentioned would be an excellent choice, but right at the top of your budget. This is the time of year to buy one though, you may find one a dealer wants to unload before the next years models show up. The Legacy has the options for a rear hitch and pto that would enable you to use rear implements that are not brand-specific. (which will save money)

 

The other true garden tractor on the market with a full line of implements and attachments is John Deere. The X700 series has more models than you can shake a stick at:

 

  • X710 - Gas - Carb
  • X730 - Gas - Fuel injected
  • X734 - Gas - FI, 4 wheel steer
  • X738 -  Gas - 4WD
  • X739 - Gas - 4WS, 4WD
  • X750 - Diesel
  • X754 - Diesel - 4WS
  • X758 - Diesel - 4WD

The previous line of JD X700 series were the same as listed above but had different model #'s. Subtract 10 and you will have the equivalent of the list above. The current X710 was previously badged an X700, for example.

 

I don't know about Simplicity, but JD offered a 4 year warranty on the X700 series lineup. Many slightly used units out there with warranty remaining. A new X700 series is above the budget you stated.

 

How about a tow behind post hole digger with its own motor and hydraulics? I think I read of such an animal. The problem with a rental is that it would not be ideal for me to try to do the holes all in one shot. I'd like to install a fence myself and it would be a pretty big one. So, it would be most advantageous to do it a bit at a time. Rental in that case is out.

 

Maybe an inexpensive garden tractor with one of those and possibly a pull behind, self powered rototiller. I guess I'm talking about non-pto inexpensive vs expensive pto. At least I could get a feel for how much garden I'm really going to do if I went cheap. If small garden, then the requirements for how robust a machine go down. If I go the non pto route, should I consider a zero turn machine as it seems they are the best choice for mowing large areas? Is that so? I assume that they can at least tow ? Or is a traditional GT still preferable for that?



#29 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted October 29, 2013 - 11:06 AM

For a little more info checkout this new thread: http://gardentractor...d-1500-200-hrs/

 

Good Luck, Rick



#30 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 29, 2013 - 12:10 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.

Welcome to GTTalk!  Thanks for stopping here.

 

SO, I've read through the whole thread, and this is what I've taken away:

1) You would prefer new.

2) You are willing to spend time on the tasks themselves

3) You don't want to spend a lot of money

4) Whether you know it or not, you have taken on a difficult chore with the upkeep of 4-5 acres.

 

The first problem I see is that a good lawn mower that will take care of your 'good' lawn is NOT suitable for what you describe as "weedy" areas.  Also, you won't be happy dragging the belly mower out from under it any time you want to do garden work.  In fact, thinking about it, I'm not sure you should try to get one machine to do all your chores.  One solution would be to have a "lawn mower" for your weekly lawn chores.  Spend 1 to 3 K there, should get a new "dependable" machine.  That one would have to be up for work week after week.  Then get a larger tractor with a bush hog for the 'rough stuff' and plow, disc, and cultivator for the garden.  While you wouldn't want to tinker all the time, the second machine would not be as critical, and you could probably find something for under 5K with life left in it.  Plenty of older Kubota, Yanmar and some others out there, though you would want to make sure you can get parts.

 

Another option would be to get a Zero-turn mower.  I get the impression that these are built heavily enough to handle your good lawn and the weedy area, but I would want another opinion on that.  Then use some money on a dedicated used tractor for your garden.

 

No one has mentioned the Case/Ingersoll tractors yet.  They seem to have kept a legacy of heavy build, power, and dependability alive, though I've never had one and wouldn't know where to get one new.  I don't think they are cheap either.

 

Just my two cent.  Look forward to seeing what decisions you make.


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