I'm just looking for some opinions on some good garden tractors to build a loader for and know you guys would be the ones to ask.
Which tractors have you guys built loaders for?
How well do they work?
Would it be worth the extra cost to look for one with on board hydraulics/controls sufficient enough for a loader?
My primary use for this tractor would be for a loader, but I'd like to have it as a backup/second machine for mowing lawn as well.
I'm partial to Simplicity/Allis and John Deere, but open to other makes.
I currently have a Soverign 7116 that runs great that I use for my primary mower. I also have a tiller, lawn vac, and snowblower for it. It's a great machine.
I also have an Ariens S18H with a snowblower, deck and 3pt hitch that I'm considering selling/trading for a loader candidate tractor as it does not have power steering.
Thanks in advance,
Probably the only GT with enough hydraulic pressure is a Case or Ingersoll. 10 gpm 2000 psi. I believe the rest all need a loader with its own pump. Not a bad setup just a belt off a pulley most of the loader frames out there should have their own pump or rig up an old ps pump off a car if missing.
As for power steering. Running a loader you should have a few hundred pounds out back between a box, wheel weights, tire fluid, whatever. That will keep the steering light enough and look for some wide front tires also. If you pick up so much weight that you need power steering, you are probably risking the health of your front end, as in snapping something when you least need it.
If you really need to lift a lot of weight constantly with a GT why not look for a factory built Case loader, the old ones sell for 2k or less needing some work. newer ones with ps cost around 2500+. or like rick said an old farm tractor could cost less than that and pick up more weight with a lot more options on the rear hitch.
You could go with a Deere 318 or similar with a Johnson etc loader and it would probably be fine if you keep the weight to a certain limit. But we generally push our machines over the limit especially with a loader, it just happens.
Buying a heavy GT in good shape plus a decent Johnson etc loader then puting it all together can run up close to 2k and you still won't have the lifting capacity or front end of a case 600 series. Also a belly mower on a loader can be more of a pita than it is worth. Personally i'd keep the Ariens or simplicity for mowing and everything else, while looking for a dedicated loader tractor no matter what brand, good luck