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#1 GreenAcreHomestead OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 01:20 PM

I've been a Snapper RER guy long as I've been on a rider. I just purchased some land and am now faced with 4 acres of mowing. And while my snapper will climb the face of a mule without hesitation or slipping, the 30" cut is killing my weekends.  :(  So I've been looking around on Craigslist. I want a quality machine, something that has a good cut width, but is also more of a garden tractor than lawn tractor. I want to be able to climb hills and handle slopes, have hookup and/or power to pull implements behind me for gardening (trailer, tiller, blade, etc.), and still mow the yard with ease.

 

There are so many machines out there nowadays. What are some good ones to keep an eye out for? I get the feeling most items I will see are junk.

 

Thanks!


Edited by GreenAcreHomestead, July 31, 2015 - 01:22 PM.

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#2 Buck Tales OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 02:11 PM

I been a Craftsman guy for a long time and I believe there are 40+" cutters out there for less money than most others. I have a 42" cut and it cruises with sharp blades and makes quick work of 1/2 acre of grass. I believe there is something like a 48" deck also but you may be able to find a tow behind even wider to help cut you down on time also. Then the tractor make won't be as important to you if your towing a mower behind it. I like mine because it is dependable and my attachments can go on any other tractor I have also. Keep watching areas like craigslist and such for deals with attachments included. Good luck but beware, once you start collecting........................................! 


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#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 02:33 PM

Most you see now are lawn tractors(LT) that can mow for a few years and then are worn out. An old Garden Tractor(GT) is built heavy duty and will last much longer if taken care of. If you want used, try for a Snapper 1600 or so. Mine is heavy duty and can do alot. It has a 16hp Kohler and a 50" deck. Look through our Galleries and Manuals Section(3 free downloads per day) to learn more. There are many well built GTs from the 60s and 70s still around.

 

If you want new, there are few acceptible GTs made now but, they are atleast $5000. I'm not comfortable with any of the newer GTs and stick with one built before 1990. I do not know your mechanical capabilities and situation. There may be other aspects of your situation that would make a bigger tractor more practical for you. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, July 31, 2015 - 02:34 PM.


#4 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 05:55 PM

Definitely go for an older model if you want your money's worth. The new stamped steel crap isn't worth the expense.


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#5 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 07:16 PM

Watch for an older Simplicity/Allis Chalmers garden tractor, they are one of the easiest to find attachments for as they were shared among several models and over many years. Bearings are common sizes that can be gotten from most any bearing wholesaler.  Check craigslist for your area and the local papers. I found my Allis 920 thru that method although it ultimately came in thru my shop were I work as he was a customer there as well.  I got my 1964 Landlord, a good mower in its own right, thru a wanted post here.  Most any of the older brands, Simplicity, Case/Ingersoll, IH built Cub Cadets and John Deeres are good machines.  The Cubs and Deeres fetch the most money localy. Case's can be had from 600-2500 depending on what they come with and have a really nice all hyd drive system, no belts other than for the mower deck. I have a Case 220 and its the smoothest operating tractor I have. Cases can be found with both Kohler K series or Onan twins. The Kohlers are usualy the best option as they are cheap to rebuild and easy on fuel.  That goes for any brand with a Kohler cast iron K series.   Good luck in your hunt.  Mike



#6 Marty'70 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 07:50 PM

[quote name="Buck Tales" post="595898" timestamp="1438369875"] Good luck but beware, once you start collecting..................................

You hit the nail on the head Buck Tales

#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 31, 2015 - 08:02 PM

If you want it all in a GT try to find a lightly used JD 700 series AWD AWS diesel. They are expensive but will climb hills like a mountain goat. The AWS on those really makes them very maneuverable in tight spots. 


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#8 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2015 - 05:15 AM

Consider 2 tractors if you can.  1 for mowing 1 for gardening.  4 acres is a lot of grass.  a newer, cheaper rider for mowing just change oil and sharpen blades.  12" wheels, 40" deck, 16hp+.   Any brand if in good shape, maybe see what your town uses on the ball fields etc.  1990s-up are pretty cheap used should last a while just cutting grass or pulling a small trailer. 

 

Then find an old heavy duty GT for tilling, blading, hauling wood etc.  Pre-2000.  Everyone has a favorite brand they all have pros and cons.  Find one in good shape with some attachments.  You can get a lot more years of heavy ground use esp if mowing with something else.  Whatever brand you can get help here finding & fixing, good luck


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#9 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2015 - 06:13 AM

You might want to think about the deck size & hp if you don't want to spend so much time mowing . If your yard is hilly as mine the independent rear brakes work great on side cutting because you can just slightly press the brake on the upper wheel to keep it from spinning. I have a JD 318 w/ 50" deck I'm only cutting what's left of a 1 3/4 acre lot and wish it had a bigger deck . The other suggestion would be how my friend does his ,about your size , older Gts all around 48" decks because he has lots of thing to mow that a bigger deck wouldn't fit . He bought a 46" Swisher pull behind mower so he hooks that up when he mows he wide open areas with the over lap he's cutting over 80" a pass !

#10 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2015 - 06:55 AM

Where are you in NC? How much money are you looking to spend? Is that land flat or hilly? 4 acres is a decent amount to mow. If its flat land you can get away with a bigger deck, if its hilly and rough and you want a good looking mow you may need to stick with a 48 inch deck. I went from a 48 to a 54 and had to relearn how to mow my yard.

 

Older Gts require more hands on maintenance. Newer GTs dont seem as heavily built. Sometimes you can find an old tractor for the same price as a decent GT. It all depends on your needs as to what to get. Its always better to have a little more machine than what you need.



#11 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 01, 2015 - 07:08 AM

Let me get this correct; you want my suggestion for a mower tractor and price is no object? Is a CUT more than you want to pony up? Even a used one will do much more, faster than a GT will.



#12 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2015 - 01:04 PM

I'm gonna weigh in with a vote for the CUT as well, if your doing more than just cutting grass - which is usually the case with multiple acres. At some point a CUT just becomes more efficient...

 

 I love to tinker with my GT's, but my 2320 is my go-to machine for cutting more ground than a few acres of field.

 

Your in a WHOLE 'nuther range of $$$, but the capability is also much more. Diesel 4x4, larger tires, more weight, wider stance, loader with much more lift capacity/height, true cat 1 - 3 point with lots more attachments that are easy to find, etc.

 

I have a 5 ft mid-mount mower that turns the tractor into a giant lawn mower,  plus a 6 ft 3 pt finish mower or 4 ft bush hog. Plus box blades, rakes, and many other tools for landscaping, care and upkeep.

 

Your at the point where, depending on what you need to DO, a CUT begins to start making sense... Painful while paying for it, but GREAT after that!!!







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