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Recommend a 1st lawn tractor for retirement projects

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#1 Scoots OFFLINE  

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Posted November 15, 2015 - 02:47 PM

Hi fellows,

I'm looking to buy my first used lawn & garden tractor for upcoming projects when I retire in 14 months.


I work for a state agriculture agency and I have quite a bit of experience with lawn & garden tractors, John Deere, Case (quite awhile ago), Bolens (again, quite awhile ago), Ford, Kubota, Craftsman and I'm probably leaving out a few.


I liked the "plug & play" of the Case hydraulic system, but those Case lawn tractors are as rare as hens teeth in Oregon's Willamette Valley and they are now 30+ years of age.  I'll bet parts will be hard to find on the used market.


Anyway, I am looking for recommendations for a smaller lawn tractor that I can run a tiller behind, a snowblower on the front  and put a small bucket loader up front for when I have to do some landscaping work.  At work we have a very worn out Kubota B6100E (14hp + pto for attachments).  It has all of the mentioned attachment listed plus a mower deck and turf tires.  I'd prefer a hydrostatic tractor model if I can find one.


I don't know about anywhere else, but in the Willamette Valley John Deere lawn tractors are the predominant brand available, as are dealerships and parts availability.  What model would best suit my needs is what I don't know, but I would like a hydrostatic model to save my arthritic knees. 


Recommendations are appreciated!  :beerchug:



#2 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted November 15, 2015 - 03:41 PM

Welcome to GTtalk.  i'm sure you will get quite a few recommendations.  It sounds like unless you get a JD you will have to import it from some where else.  I don't know much about the Case tractors, since we don't see many around here, so I will leave that up to the Case guys.  I would think a Kubota or Massy may work well for you.

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#3 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 15, 2015 - 04:56 PM

Welcome to GTT. I think that you should consider whatever good deal presents itself. Talk to friends and relatives and see what comes out of the woods.


I do not know your specific situation but you may find that it is alot more handy to have a couple of tractors so that you don't have to change attachments. I just took the mower deck off of a new to me Case 222. It was one of the worst fights that I ever had with an attachment. Partly it was worn pins hanging up but I really like Bolens, Simplicity, and Wheelhorse better. I'll put a snow blower on the Case for the winter and see how I like it.


Check out our Mauals Section(3 free downloads per day) and our galleries to learn about many different tractors. When you have questions, we are here to help. BTW retirement is great. Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, November 15, 2015 - 04:57 PM.

#4 MolonLabe OFFLINE  


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Posted November 15, 2015 - 05:20 PM

Scoots, welcome to GTT! Enjoy your retirement, I love mine. As far as GT's go I always make sure mine have a horizontal shaft engine and the rear wheels are attached with lug bolts, There are so many brands out there that it's impossible to say which is better than another but regardless of what you end up with, you can make it your own. Have fun and save a few old derelicts on the way.

#5 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted November 15, 2015 - 05:34 PM

"Lawn tractors" have smaller back wheels lighter transaxles just for cutting grass.


"Garden tractors" are heavier, built to engage ground w/tillers, plows, blowers, etc.  most GT loaders are not easily removable, would be easier to have a couple different gt's if you want a loader.  Or get a johny bucket but they don't lift very high.


Deere may have a removable loader in the newer s/cut category, depends how much you want to spend.  Thousands vs. hundreds, Many of us like garden tractors b/c they are a lot cheaper than s/cuts and smaller, easier to store. 


If i had the money i'd get a scut with a front bucket and rear hitch w/pto.  I'd leave the loader on and just change out between a rear mower, tiller, or plow, let the 3pt lift them.  Being retired and broke i have 3 old garden tractors and no loader, just a winch and a tree.  With a shot body i'd rather maintain a couple gt's than wrassle implements on and off just 1.  good luck, welcome to the forum



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Posted November 15, 2015 - 06:38 PM

Before you get too brand specific, I recommend you take a piece of paper and list somr of the projects you wish to acomplish.
Decide what implements are required to accomplish those projects and list them.
Based on that, you can decide what size machine is needed. Do not be afraid to go a little bigger than you think you need,rarely do you hear someone wish they had gotten a smaller tractor.
You say lawn tractor( probably too light to satisfy your needs) but mention the B6100E which is classified as a compact/subcompact a remarkably competent machine. Hydrostatic is very convenient . Depending on your budget there are a lot of fine machines available.
More important than the brand is having a servicing dealer that stocks parts. The newer SCUTS are very nice and I consider them to be this generations super Gt and a great fit for a small estate.
Most have loaders that can be put on and taken off in about 5 minutes.
I have a 20 hp diesel and love it, but there are a few projects I have found where more power would be nice.

Edited by JD DANNELS, November 15, 2015 - 06:46 PM.

#7 Cat385B ONLINE  



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Posted November 15, 2015 - 06:41 PM

How many acres will you be working and what is your target budget range?

#8 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted November 15, 2015 - 07:55 PM

Sounds like you want a little bigger rig.  I was going to say Wheelhorse is one of simplest and easy to work on and attach things to, easy to find parts in Mid-west anyway.  They had "Automatics" offered to that are nice and simple. GT loaders are kinda limited, and you might want more like a SCUT type utility tractor instead if you have big plans for loader work. I say if money is there, buy the biggest and most featured brand you can find in area. New, I would go Massey Ferg or New Holland, of if Greene is around you, might be best to look at those.

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#9 FrozenInTime OFFLINE  

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Posted November 18, 2015 - 11:49 PM

I'm there now, retired.  I get a lot of use out of my Kubota 2370.  I have the front end loader, cat-1 3-point on back.  I pull a 50 inch tiller with no problems, does a great job.  The bucket is great, use it alot but when I don't have the rear tiller on it, I have to put weights on the back to keep it stable with heavy loads.  It is hydro-static, power steering and very easy to use, and a diesel eng.  I picked it up when they were offering no interest for 4 or 6 years.  I also have a Craftsman GT6000.  I mow mostly with it but it can do other things good.  It's more of a light-weight gas tractor.  I'm not saying these are  better than the other brands, they are just what I ended up with.  I would recommend either one of these matched to the job they were built for.  I take care of 5 acres with mine, lots of chicken (manure) work and a large garden.  You don't need big horse power GTs for a small farmstead, could save lots of $$ not getting into the bigger is better rut.  My bota will handle a front snow blower just fine.  U can get them with/with-out a cab.  I never had a use for a cab, I love open stations, even in the winter.


I will add I looked at other brands and found you paid premium $$ for certain color paint.  Some also have a lot of plastic, esp. the hood.  I've been told those plastic parts crack/break easily and alot.  My bota is all metal.

Edited by FrozenInTime, November 18, 2015 - 11:54 PM.

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