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Which Garden Tractor Will Work For Me?

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#1 Redbridge89 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:01 PM

I built a front end loader for my JD L108 lawn mower .  I use the loader all the time and I would like to put it on a more heavy duty garden tractor.  What garden tractors are out there that have a heavy duty hydrostatic transaxle(foot controlled), mows well but doesn't cost a ton of money.  Are the Craftsmen GTs any count? Do the older John Deere 316 and 318's have foot controlled drive?   


Thanks for any input or recommendations.

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#2 Texas Deere and Horse ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:08 PM

Welcome to GTtalk, :wave:  Post some photos when you can. There will be several guys by shortly to give some ideas.. :thumbs:

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#3 nbent ONLINE  



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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:26 PM



the 316 and 318 didn't have a factory foot control but some where i saw some one convert one to a foot control 

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:28 PM

Massey Ferguson 1450 or 1655 are good tractors that have the foot control. I would like to see pictures of your loader when you can get them.

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#5 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  


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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:32 PM

:welcometogttalk:   I think, an older gt will be the better gt for this,

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#6 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:52 PM

Welcome to GTT. I'd recommend an older Bolens Large Frame like my 1250. Look in our Galleries for pictures. Our Manuals Section will allow you to download 3 free manuals per day. Look around your area to see what was popular. Good Luck, Rick

#7 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:21 PM

Any older big frame would be great, and the foot control is much simpler to use. I had an 1855 Massey Ferguson with a loader. The only thing I would worry about is that the big frames may require serious mods to your loader to fit. I don't know how big the loader is.

#8 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:27 PM

What garden tractors are out there that have a heavy duty hydrostatic transaxle(foot controlled), mows well but doesn't cost a ton of money.  Are the Craftsmen GTs any count?


If possible probably best to have dedicated loader for loader work, not use for mowing, Maybe keep current tractor for mowing?
Better ground clearance w/o mower, save wear&tear, mowing hard on engine.   Look for  GT w/foot pedal hydro for ease operation, stout front end, loader is hard on spindles&steering and steel frame not sheet metal.  I'd bolt a weight box on back not worry about rear hitch just use the loader as a loader just my 02

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#9 Redbridge89 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:31 PM



Thanks for the replies.  Attached is a picture of the loader. 

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#10 A.C.T. OFFLINE  


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Posted March 27, 2014 - 04:28 PM

untitled welcome.png

That L108 has attitude!

However as you know that is a lawn tractor that is seriously under weight (462). Many GT's will be double that weight. Consider hand operated Hydro's as it will really open the field and keep the cost low. 



Good luck. So many so little time!11-18-200960059PM.jpg



Edited by A.C.T., March 27, 2014 - 04:35 PM.

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#11 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted March 27, 2014 - 04:54 PM

Every Bolens with a hydrostatic transmission it foot controlled.

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#12 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 05:00 PM

Welcome aboard! Are those cylinders electrically operated? What kind of load does it handle now? Nice job by the way, had to reread original post to catch that. If that set-up is lightweight any GT should do.
I am partial to Ford LGT's myself. http://gardentractor...l-on-my-lgt195/
good luck Tom
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#13 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted March 27, 2014 - 05:38 PM

Had to wonder how a loader could fit that light tractor???  I have a bigger version and love it for mowing and have had snow blade, but that is most it works.  They say rears don't hold up in these, no problem with mine yet. Yours acting up now?  That is a neat light loader, the electric cylinders seem different for sure. Are they slow then??  Once you have that foot control, the others just don't seem as handy for sure. I have wheelhorse  in past and Cubs, all a pain to mow with and have to have hand on the drive almost constant with up/down  yard like mine. Think you would have to go quite a bit bigger to get machine with those controls, and would think the loader would need to be heavier then too.  I would look for older rig with the loader all ready on, needing fixing or whatever if money is the issue. As noted Bolens Hydros are all foot controled, but make sure you get bigger model.

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#14 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 07:23 PM


#15 Dieselcubmike OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 07:48 PM

Hello and welcome :wave: