Well, after working all weekend, including several hours with my Bolens HT23, I am even more determined to get a SCUT with 4 wheel drive, power steering and a decent turn radius. I had become ambivalent whether I wanted hydrostatic power or a shuttle, but, while the Bolens wore me out working in my back yard with all the incremental turns, the forward and reverse pedal is so sweet, and it's almost Second Nature to me, now.
However, even with chains on, I had to work hard to avoid getting stuck--working in about 4 inches of slushy snow...
So, although the Bolens definitely will remain in my stable, (I just bought a diesel to repower it with--but don't let it know, it's a surprise...), I definitely want to get a SCUT with certain features that the Bolens doesn't have like 4 wheel drive and a good turn radius. Here's my basic criteria
- 4 wheel drive
- Diesel Engine
- Cat 1 3PH
- Good turn radius
- Power Steering (Willing to put an add-on kit on if I can find one).
- Minimum 16 hp--18 to 22 preferable
- Weight under 2,000 lbs (including loader)
- Overall length NMT~ 100 inches, w/ 3Ph at horizontal
- Wheel base 56" or under
- NMT 46 inches wide (for access to my back yard.)
- Ground Clearance at least 7.5 inches.
- Hydrostatic Trans preferable--2 range; followed by shuttle shift, I will consider a manual trans.
I wouild primarily be using it for FEL and scraper work, plus bush hogging, and post hole digging. Having a mower isn't a concern as I have several others.
So, I've been poring over Tractor Data, com, and eBay, Craig's List, and the local classified.
Here's my short list:
Yanmar YM1510D - I'm seriously considering both of these machines due to ther size, decent power, and good reputation. And, even though they're grey market machines, parts are available from Hoyes, etc.
Others I might consider if I got a great price on a lower hour machine (under 1,000 hours):
A/C 5015/Simplicity 9518/Hinomoto C174D
I know there's some Grey Market machines listed, but there are a couple dealers in the Pacific Northwest that sell these, so freight won't be a concern.
I've thought of the mid-sized Bolens/Iseki (174??) but I'm not sure how good they are for parts availability.
I'd like to spend NMT $5,000 incl front loader.
Anyway... if anyone has any of these machines -- OR -- can recommend a similar machine, please let me know.