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Help choosing a lawn tractor


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#1 resiak OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 12:00 PM

So I'm in desperate need of a lawn tractor asap. I was hit by a car on my motorcycle a while back and still have some chronic pain. I recently moved to a house with a pretty big yard and pushing the mower is taking its toll, especially when I have to mow it like every 3 days.

Anyways, I've been hunting craigslist for about a week and researching everyone that looks good. What I'd like to do with it is mow my lawn, clearing snow, and towing a trailer with compost etc. Well I keep finding out that the trailers that I'm interested in can't handle these things because of crappy transmissions, most of them anyways, there are a few that I couldn't find out whether or not it can't handle it.

Could I please have some advice on what features I should be looking for, brands, models etc? I do have some mild slopes in my yard if that's relevant. Also, I'm looking to spend about $1000

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

#2 dthomp17 ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 12:28 PM

I would recommend a garden tractor rather than a lawn tractor because they are much more rugged and bullet proof.  I personally prefer the older ones built in the 60's, 70's, and 80's and don't know much about the newer ones.  If you decide to get one of the older ones,  it helps if you're mechanically inclined and enjoy working on stuff like that because there's a good chance that it may need some work..


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#3 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 12:38 PM

I agree, as the newer ones are not built like they used to be, as in much thinner gauge metal so they won't take much hard use and tend to be"throw a ways" if the smallest thing does go wrong. There is a reason why so many people are still using 30+ year old machines. Today's units won't be around in 30 years but many of the ones that are that old now will still be around in another 30. Common wear parts are still available for most where they never made alot of stuff available for the newer ones from the get go.
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#4 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 12:51 PM

i recommend an older john deere or cub cadet, first choice being a john deere 318 because of the power steering and hydraulic lift. i dont know how it rides though, my jd 300 rides like a lumber wagon. but then again i am running with my tail between my legs up a gravel driveway at full speed most of the time. 

 

you can find dozer blades for the jd pretty easy i would think.  


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#5 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 03:42 PM

:welcometogttalk:

I have no idea your location, but the local CL has had several nice machines in your budget. Look for a older wheel horse or sears. They are usually cheaper than the a JD or Cub. Maybe expand you search area a little. As has been said; the older GTs will last a long time with a little maintenance.


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#6 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 05:01 PM

Welcome to GTT. You are in a situation where you probably can not afford to be let down by your lawn mowing machine. I will give you prices for my area. You can get a good condition lawn tractor, for mowing the lawn, for around $250. They will mow but you shouldn't tow alot with it. You can pick up a fair condition real garden tractor for about $500 with mowing deck and snow plow or snowblower. A real garden tractor has a cast iron engine, cast iron transaxle, and the ability to handle a variety of attachments.

I'm mentioning two tractors because when you play with these old ones, there are breakdowns. You want to have an extra machine to take over if the primary can't do it.

Freebies from along the road can often be easy to fix. Often they only need a new battery, a safety switch replaced, and the fuel system cleanned. Do you have the ability to work on these yourself?

Ask questions as they occur to you. I hope that you heal fully. Good Luck, Rick

Depending on your physical abilities, you may want hydraulic lift.

Where are you?

Edited by boyscout862, June 14, 2016 - 05:22 PM.

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#7 John Arsenault OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 05:09 PM

Any of the older tractors can fit your needs. Its finding a good one that has the attachments your going to need, attachments can be hard to find. Also consider the availability of any attachments you will be needing if your purchase does not have those attachments. I would say you can get a good running older tractor with a mower deck and a snow blower for about 500.00-800.00 that you could be pretty happy with. The best deal you will find won't be on a certain brand as much as it will be whats available and the condition that it is in. 

 

Check out some of the classified ad on this site as well I see a lot of nice tractors you may get lucky and find one close to you. 

 

If you do find something you like you can always research that brand and model a bit it always helps to understand what to look for before you go to purchase. 


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#8 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 05:22 PM

:wewantpics:



#9 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 07:34 PM

So I'm in desperate need of a lawn tractor asap. I was hit by a car on my motorcycle a while back and still have some chronic pain. I recently moved to a house with a pretty big yard and pushing the mower is taking its toll, especially when I have to mow it like every 3 days.

 

What I'd like to do with it is mow my lawn, clearing snow, and towing a trailer with compost etc. Well I keep finding out that the trailers that I'm interested in can't handle these things because of crappy transmissions, most of them anyways, there are a few that I couldn't find out whether or not it can't handle it.

 

 I'm looking to spend about $1000

If you want to push snow you'll need 5 bolt rear wheels, those have strong enough transmissions so they won't break under heavy load.  1990s and earlier will be in your price range with that kind of rear end.  You will need to do basic maintenance and repairs b/c of the age.

You can find a mower+plow tractor with hydro (easier on disabilities) in that price range but being desperate asap doesn't help you find a good one.  watch out for crooked sellers preying on the desperate "in season." this time of year you'll need to move fast, everybody needs a mower in spring.

As for what brand it depends what dealers were nearby over the decades when they built these machines.  Try to find a common local brand in case you need spare parts down the road.  Having a trailer or truck ready to go can help you snag a good deal, good luck to you.


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#10 tom tractor OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 07:40 PM

I would look for a C series Wheel Horse with hydro transmission. They are easy to work on and reliable.

Remember most of the early garden tractors were good. Condition of what you purchase makes the difference - not so much which model/make.
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#11 dualresponse1731 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 07:45 PM

You need to pull a trailer? How big? is it THIS BIG?!?!?!? ( I can't resist sharing Keith's dad's tractor video-sorry Keith!) :rocker2:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube....bed/bwNKgYHe7hw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

I can't stop laughing when I watch it. I chuckle every time at how huge that trailer is! Very impressive indeed!!!! WOW!!!   :D  :D  :D  :D

 

 

The whole point is this. You cannot get much of a new tractor in a box store for $1000.

You can get an older garden  tractor for $1000, but it will need work and maintenance. The tractor in the video above had the engine switched out for a larger engine. It needed welding, time, a donor tractor/engine,  and a fairly eager mechanical aptitude.

 

This doesn't mean you need to go hot rodding garden tractors  to get a good one. What it does mean is that on a 40 year old tractor, parts have may have worn out and will need maintenance or replacement.

 

Perhaps you could share some of the local craigslist listing in your area, and the community here could comment on the plusses and minuses of the local offerings. Each of these older brands will have their own strengths and weaknesses.  More important perhaps is the condition. One that has 40 years of abuse and rust will be a nightmare. So too will be a worn out workhorse that needs an immediate engine rebuild. One in good condition will cost more- but be will worth it.  The more you know, the better, and the more you are willing to tackle your own projects- the better too.

 

Good luck


Edited by dualresponse1731, June 14, 2016 - 08:27 PM.

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#12 jd.rasentrac ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2016 - 11:12 PM

:welcometogttalk: :nothingtoadd:


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