Hey folks, I'm hoping to get some advice on buying a garden tractor. I've never owned one before, so I'm not quite sure what I need or what is a good deal. First a little background:
I recently moved from Tennessee to Ohio. Garden tractors aren't very common where I'm from, especially older ones like Cub Cadet, Wheel Horse, Sears Suburban, etc. Most people just buy a cheapo lawn tractor every 5-10 years, or people with a lot of money to blow buy a new Deere or Kubota. But up here I'm seeing a lot of older garden tractors and they look like really interesting and handy machines. I've seen several with plows and snowblowers and tiller attachments. I've never used a snowblower, but now I'm near Lake Erie so I guess I'll need one. I got an old Toro Snow Pup, and I think it will be fine for the house I'm renting in town. But I'm looking at buying a place with two acres and a fairly long driveway, and I think I'll need something bigger. I also might want to plant a garden, and of course I'll have two acres to mow. A garden tractor seems like the way to go. I have a lot of experience as a mechanic and fabricator, so I'm not worried about keeping an old machine running as long as parts are available. But if something a little newer would do the job, maybe that's the way to go? Some people here tell me that relatively modern garden tractors aren't really comparable to older ones from the 60's and 70's. I think I could budget around $2500 for the tractor and attachments. I have no particular brand loyalty. I just want something simple and reliable to move snow and cut grass. What do you guys recommend?