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Old Garden Tractor Vs New Garden Tractor

john deere

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#31 redcarkids OFFLINE  



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Posted November 29, 2014 - 02:27 PM

I might add that I may have gotten a lemon, built last hr of the day on Friday lol.  I had to have the coil replaced after the 5th mowing,  it burnt up, literally had smoke coming out of the top of the engine.  I had to have the bottom seal replaced, leaking oil, first 10 mowing's, I had a spring that goes on the pedal, to make it go, break and was under warranty.  All this happened before the transmission went out after the warranty.   As far as pushing it, no!  I mow 4 acres and had 2 kids on riders.  I did the rough stuff with a yardman 50 inch cut, 1 kid ran a free give away John Deere stx 30 in the back yard and the other kid ran the new John Deere around the front yard and house.  never used it for anything except mowing.  Now it does the ditches and that's it.  I got a Gravely 60 zero turn mower 26 kal engine and would not trade it for anything except a new one.   Yea it cost me 5 grand but wow what a mower.  I suppose 5 grand in a John Deere would make me happy also, its just I got such a sour taste with the 120 that I would never go back.

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Posted December 06, 2014 - 12:27 PM

I put my oldie's in car shows parades and bring them all out and put in my driveway lined up mostly all different models and people stop and say what is that ? I love it. And I will not own a new one.
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#33 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2014 - 08:37 AM

Just how many of the GT we look at today are NOT made by MTD?  John Deer builds their own and so does Allis/Simplicity, as far as I know anyway.  Not sure one could even buy a new MF GT anymore.   Many of the rest are built by MTD.  Look what they did to Bolens.  They are all junk right out the front door.  Made out of plastic and old barn tin with a couple tires under it.  Drop a B&S utility motor in it and call it a GT.   I do my mowing with a 15 YO JD F525 with a 48" deck.  But that is all it is good for - mowing.  It don't see the light of day for 5 months or more during the winter.  My Bolens, now that they are both up and going strong will be used rear around.  The newer GT's will not take the stress of even the flimsy made snow throwers hanging on the front year after year.  After a couple years the front axle pin hole will be like a goose egg.  I will take the old solid frame tractor any day over new ones.  Don't really care what color it is as they all start out the same - rusty brown.

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#34 Leonard VanCamp OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2014 - 10:34 PM

Here's another difference, how many people today have actual gardens? Growing up next door to my grandmother and uncle we had three different gardens to work on. My uncle was a busy man with his Sears GT14, he had almost every garden attachment for that tractor. Nowadays most people don't even have a garden, if they do its usually small, so the demand for rugged built tractors has tapered off. Most people nowadays just mow their postage stamp yard and plow the snow off their postage stamp driveway. Me myself having been raised on a farm and having seen the quality built in the older machines I will take a old used tractor that can use a lot of attachments over any of the new stuff.

Edited by Leonard VanCamp, December 22, 2014 - 10:35 PM.

#35 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2014 - 07:42 PM

I work as the head technician at one of your competitors down in Kokomo, IN.  From the folks I have talked to that has lost "that loving feeling for big green" has to do with the plastic dog house on the all the JD's.  They feel for the money they are spending, it should be stamped metal or atleast partial metl with a fiberglass top like the old 300/400 series JD's used to have.  The lack of shaft drive till you get well above $5000 is also a turn of to many with any brand.  For what a decent garden tractor costs today, you are a short, make that a very short jump into a SCUT with 4wd, diesel engine and rear 3pt with PTO.  In our line up that is the Legacy XL.  Even the top model Simplicity garden tractor is still a vertical shaft engine, but is rated for rear ground engaging implements.  My old 920 diesel, burning oil at the moment, can still work circles around pretty much any new garden tractor.  And folks are taking notice, between the huge increase in collecting this old ones, fixing them up and reselling on sites such as this and Craigslist.  So they hunting down either a model that maybe they always wanted, like a 318, or 430 diesel ect, or fixing up the one they have.  Even with a full overhaul on the Onan B or P series engine, a 318 will still cost less than anything JD has and IMHO built better as well.  Once folks get to a certain price point, they start looking at ZTR's and retire the GT to yard work and moving snow.  Its rare that we get a "good" older GT traded in.  But we get plenty of the big box store level stuff!   But then, how many of your customers truely need the ablities of a true GT?  How many really put out big gardens anymore.  If they have just a large area to mow, they go for the faster ZTR now.  If they need true tractor ablities, most start looking at a small SCUT once they see what a new GT costs, and what they gain by spending just a little bit more on the SCUT.    MIke

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#36 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted January 21, 2015 - 11:45 AM

I run a gardening business in the UK. I love old machinery but in terms of breakdowns on modern kit, you can get the parts quickly whereas my Bolens would take a few weeks to source and get the parts delivered (not that my Bolens ever break down!). so for me modern kit with their parts support, servcing, economical fuel usage and safety features it's a no brainier. However, for build quality, nostalgia and fun, I would never ever replace my old garden tractors. I have used my Bolens as back up when my modern ride on mower is being serviced.

I guess I am sitting on the fence with this one!

#37 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2015 - 06:05 PM

Another thing I recently got to thinking about is the amount of tractors out there today far exceeds what was available from the 70's and older. Most manufactures didn't really start making GT's until the 60's and at that time they were the latest and greatest thing that no one had so the demand was high and they were flying off the showroom floors. There was no "Used" garden tractors in the early days.


Since many were built to last they are still surviving and millions exist thus the demand for something new is less than it ever was before due to someone buying second hand or having them passed down. Plus like others have mentioned, besides the guys on these forums who else really needs a real Garden Tractor anymore? Not many people gardening or cutting their own grass anymore.

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#38 larrybl ONLINE  


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Posted February 25, 2015 - 10:24 PM

Thread was an enjoyable read. I have never owned a "new" mower. Push or otherwise. I bought 5 acres of Texas prairie and was in dyer need of a rider. My 1st one was a 11hp Montgomery Wards bought from a co-worker. needless to say I wore it out quickly, but did learn from it with all the repairs (jury rigging) I did to it. Finally found a 1990 Craftsman, and a second one that I fixed both up, put the best parts (deck) on one and sold the other. The one I kept is known as RED, and has mowed the 3 cleared acres ever sense. I purchased RED for $100.00 and couldn't say what I have invested, but have rebuilt twice, and each time make inprovements, LED lights, changed the nylon bushings to brass, etc.

Then there is Hulk II, 1988 Craftsman II, purchased for $80.00, I have around $2,500.00 invested, and he has a 44" deck (used once) 38" blade and sleeve hitch (Used a lot) and a spare 18 HP Opposed Brigs (Long story)

And don't forget BMP aka Blue Money Pit 1983 Ford LGT 145, 50" deck (Used twice) I paid $60.00 scrap price, and invested around $2,800.00. BMP is used mainly for trailer towing.

And lastly "Old Girl" 1978 Roper 20T, Purchased for $200.00 but I did get a Snow Blower and chains. She has a 48" deck and a 20hp Onan. Still in restore process.

Bottom line, why spend $2,500.00+ for new, when for the same amount you get a much stouter GT, does the same thing or more, and the enjoyment and knowledge of what you have.

Mind that I could buy new if I needed to, but I have looked at the "new" offerings and have chuckled to my self. I too would need a SCUT to be close to content, but then the cost is daunting.    

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