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Best tractor for ground engagement activites


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#1 JoshBrown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 06:33 PM

I know this is all subjective but I am going to ask it anyway because I am new to heavy duty old GT's and want everybody's opinion. So here goes!!!
What is the absolute best GT for ground engagement activities?
What is the absolute best all around GT?

#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 06:43 PM

Well, Since I'm a Bolens Guy I will give you some Bolens Facts :D


Bolens offer a wide range of attachments, the most common being: Tillers, snow casters, mower decks, mold board plows, Dirt/snow Plows ect..

Most of the time A Bolens can be purchased for a fairly reasonable price.
The Tubeframes cost less (generally $1000 or less with numerous attachments)
The Large frames run a bit higher and can be anywhere from $300-2,000 Depending on condition and amount of attachments.


Here are some pictures of a Tubeframe and Large frame,



Here is the Tubeframe:
bolens sig pic.jpg


Now the Large Frame

1250 2.jpg

Attached Thumbnails

  • plow.jpg
  • pg 2.jpg
  • 1250 3.jpg
  • ht 20.jpg
  • HT20 (2).jpg


#3 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 06:50 PM

Here it goes, the all time best all around is Case/Ingersoll because they are a hydraulic drive setup with full hydraulic lifts, and are still being produced today. However, they come at a price, and that usually makes them cost prohibitive for most. A good compromise is any older GT with a cast iron transaxle and preferably gear. It also should have a cast iron or cast steel front axle for strength. I will go out on a limb and say if it has a cast iron block engine it is far superior to anything with aluminum block, but not always required to be considered a great tractor. So with all this said it comes down to preference of..... color and name brand.. good luck. :D

#4 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 07:30 PM

Josh,

I would like my 2 cents worth, and this may turn some ears back, hopefully not.
There are several different brands out there, it mainly comes down to personal preference. I was a BIG Wheel Horse fan, because that what dad bought when I was a small boy and thats what we had to do it all with. We even tractor pulled with it and did very well, winning a lot Championships. Now that I have been out on my own for several years, I have purchased many different brands of tractors, and have come to the conclusion that most all of them are great. Ariens, Bolens, A/C-Simplicity, Case/IngersolRand, Jacobsen/Ford, Gilson, Power King/Economy, and of coarse John Deere and Cub Cadet.
The main thing you need to look at in opinion is what you can do with your machine, whats available in attachments, and parts availability. I wouldn't buy anything that has been built in the last 10 to 15 years, unless you can afford the big buck machinery. Check around and see what people use in your area, where do you live? Lots of time you can find tractors with several pieces of equipment on the "sales sites" for less than $1000.00. I have owned and used all listed above but, Case/IR andP.King/Economy.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you and it got very long winded, but I Hope this helps.
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#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 07:31 PM

JoshBrown

Glad to see you are in the swing of things already. There are many good choices out there. I would give the advice of something 12 hp or more. Something from the mid 60's onward. I would look at 3 pt vs sleeve hitch.

If I had to pick one, provided I could afford it, I would get a Case or Ingersoll. I don't have one, but I am really looking them over.

Second place would go to a Cub Cadet.

Third place would be a Bolens.

Just my .02. Good luck
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#6 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 07:43 PM

JoshBrown

Glad to see you are in the swing of things already. There are many good choices out there. I would give the advice of something 12 hp or more. Something from the mid 60's onward. I would look at 3 pt vs sleeve hitch.

If I had to pick one, provided I could afford it, I would get a Case or Ingersoll. I don't have one, but I am really looking them over.

Second place would go to a Cub Cadet.

Third place wouldbe a Bolens.

Just my .02. Good luck


Ican help you out on either of those depnding on how much work you want to do or what you want to trade. :D

#7 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 07:46 PM

Josh,

I would like my 2 cents worth, and this may turn some ears back, hopefully not.
There are several different brands out there, it mainly comes down to personal preference. I was a BIG Wheel Horse fan, because that what dad bought when I was a small boy and thats what we had to do it all with. We even tractor pulled with it and did very well, winning a lot Championships. Now that I have been out on my own for several years, I have purchased many different brands of tractors, and have come to the conclusion that most all of them are great. Ariens, Bolens, A/C-Simplicity, Case/IngersolRand, Jacobsen/Ford, Gilson, Power King/Economy, and of coarse John Deere and Cub Cadet.
The main thing you need to look at in opinion is what you can do with your machine, whats available in attachments, and parts availability. I wouldn't buy anything that has been built in the last 10 to 15 years, unless you can afford the big buck machinery. Check around and see what people use in your area, where do you live? Lots of time you can find tractors with several pieces of equipment on the "sales sites" for less than $1000.00. I have owned and used all listed above but, Case/IR andP.King/Economy.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you and it got very long winded, but I Hope this helps.


Very well Said Brian

#8 broken2 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:05 PM

There are many brands and models out there that will do the job for you. I suggest looking around this site- pictures,posts,articles etc. to get an idea of the different brands and see if anything stands out to you. Then look on craigslist a lot until you see a garden tractor that you think will fit your needs, is in good shape and at a good price. When you find one you think might fit the bill ask about it here on GTtalk and we'll help you decide if its the one for you. If you can find one that comes with attachments you want it will usually save you money vs. buying them later. Just a warning, if you buy one GT, more will follow.
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#9 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:06 PM

Everyone has their personal preference, everyone's judgement being flavored by sentimentality. I couldn't agree more with the idea that all of them has pro's and con's. Something I might suggest is holding off on purchase until you see what the local support situation is. Go to a couple shows, look at your options, fall in love with a couple of brands & then google them for common problems. Price the repairs. Then follow your heart. There really aren't any bad choices, all of them have their idiosyncrasies, all of them have their engineering marvels.

Sometimes it all boils down to availability and size of the area you're planning on working the dirt in.

12 hp or better, there are possibly more sleeve hitch pieces available in your area used, but the variety of attachments is probably larger with 3point... And more attachment are available if your thinking new.

My 2004 Craftsman GT5000 has been capable, the sleeve hitch has worked well, the brinly plow does a nice job. All in all, It's been a best buy as far as I'm concerned.

#10 JoshBrown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:09 PM

So it looks like tube frame is good for lighter work where the large frame is better for ground engagement. Which I guess it makes sense for heavy duty plowing ect. i guess you need a heavy duty frame and weight. Thanks for the help and info Dr. Bolens.

#11 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:14 PM

But of course, Massey or Bush Hog! Nothing like a non-biased opinion huh! :bigrofl:

But seriously, most all the older garden tractors were tough as nails. I still stand by hydrostatic drive, even above the hydraulic drive, and above gear, but this is more a personal preference than subjective. The infinite speed control is valuable, and I find hydro to be smoother than hydraulic. I plow with my hydro tractors & see nothing but advantages with them as you can instantly change speed without stopping. Hydro with foot control is way and beyond superior when using a front loader or rear blade.
Best advice I can give when looking for a GT is to find friends that will let you try theirs out to get a true life feel for each type of tractor. Then you'll have a true educated idea as to what fits you best. I for one will always let anyone drive my tractors if they drop by for a test.

#12 JoshBrown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:16 PM

Here it goes, the all time best all around is Case/Ingersoll because they are a hydraulic drive setup with full hydraulic lifts, and are still being produced today. However, they come at a price, and that usually makes them cost prohibitive for most. A good compromise is any older GT with a cast iron transaxle and preferably gear. It also should have a cast iron or cast steel front axle for strength. I will go out on a limb and say if it has a cast iron block engine it is far superior to anything with aluminum block, but not always required to be considered a great tractor. So with all this said it comes down to preference of..... color and name brand.. good luck. :D

I actually have looked at several case444, 446, and 448 and really like them sounds like they are pretty solid then.

#13 JoshBrown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:33 PM

Josh,

I would like my 2 cents worth, and this may turn some ears back, hopefully not.
There are several different brands out there, it mainly comes down to personal preference. I was a BIG Wheel Horse fan, because that what dad bought when I was a small boy and thats what we had to do it all with. We even tractor pulled with it and did very well, winning a lot Championships. Now that I have been out on my own for several years, I have purchased many different brands of tractors, and have come to the conclusion that most all of them are great. Ariens, Bolens, A/C-Simplicity, Case/IngersolRand, Jacobsen/Ford, Gilson, Power King/Economy, and of coarse John Deere and Cub Cadet.
The main thing you need to look at in opinion is what you can do with your machine, whats available in attachments, and parts availability. I wouldn't buy anything that has been built in the last 10 to 15 years, unless you can afford the big buck machinery. Check around and see what people use in your area, where do you live? Lots of time you can find tractors with several pieces of equipment on the "sales sites" for less than $1000.00. I have owned and used all listed above but, Case/IR andP.King/Economy.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you and it got very long winded, but I Hope this helps.

Thank you for the advice. I think I will have to ask olcowhand what is the most available around here i like in NE KY.

#14 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:40 PM

Thank you for the advice. I think I will have to ask olcowhand what is the most available around here i like in NE KY.


Cub Cadet is likely the easiest to find in our neck of the woods. My largest GT's all came from out of state except the one Bush Hog JBI which came from near Florence, Ky. Cub Cadets are easy enough to find, plus the Case/IH dealers usually carry a good line of parts even for 40yr old models in stock.

#15 JoshBrown OFFLINE  

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Posted February 05, 2011 - 08:43 PM

But of course, Massey or Bush Hog! Nothing like a non-biased opinion huh! :bigrofl:

But seriously, most all the older garden tractors were tough as nails. I still stand by hydrostatic drive, even above the hydraulic drive, and above gear, but this is more a personal preference than subjective. The infinite speed control is valuable, and I find hydro to be smoother than hydraulic. I plow with my hydro tractors & see nothing but advantages with them as you can instantly change speed without stopping. Hydro with foot control is way and beyond superior when using a front loader or rear blade.
Best advice I can give when looking for a GT is to find friends that will let you try theirs out to get a true life feel for each type of tractor. Then you'll have a true educated idea as to what fits you best. I for one will always let anyone drive my tractors if they drop by for a test.

Thanks for the info. I was wondering what tractors are common around here as far as parts ect. I really like the mf's and the case. There are some case's around here pretty cheap though. I was looking real hard at the mf 1655 that was on ebay the other day but 1525.00 is a whole bunch of money to spend on a tractor that you havent seen and is 7 to 8 hours away!!! I bet it was worth it though. I wonder who got it?




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