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Educate me on garden tractors


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#16 Tecumseh power OFFLINE  

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Posted October 23, 2016 - 06:41 PM

Just want to say if you want attachments, and you live in pa like me. You can find sears suburbans everywhere. You can also find just about any attachments you want for them here too. Seems like that's all that's around here is sears. That's why I have so many of them myself.

#17 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted October 23, 2016 - 06:59 PM

As you can see, we all could go for weeks, even months on this. All brands have their advantages and disadvantages. You need to search clist and see what's the most common. Or even what may fancy your style. I've owned lots of different brands. I've never owned a Bolens but have worked one. My main work horse is a John Deere 420. It's equipped with a 60" deck and 3 point hitch. Also has a diff lock and 2 range transmission. Plus, power steering which will spoil you. I mainly have Case and Massey Ferguson but the Deere is my main workhorse. Deere still offers full support and attachments are always around. Not really the cheapest though. That's a tough machine to beat for convenience and ease of use. There's a diesel version, 430, also if you rather have it. Funny thing is, I'm not a huge Deere fan but this is about right for my 1.5 acres. Cub Cadet and Bolens make equivalent, just Deere is more common around here. Find some ads, post some links and we can all give you advice. What to look for, etc.

Oh and welcome to Gttalk.com!!! This is the most knowledgeable and friendly group of enthusiasts in the neighborhood. Just don't forget pictures of what you find. People get a little hostile about the lack of.

Eric



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#18 DZG OFFLINE  

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Posted October 23, 2016 - 08:36 PM

If you go with a tractor in the 8N or Cub class keep in mind that if you should ever want to run a tiller behind them you will need to go very slow. Whatever you get should have gearing that will allow you to creep. Most older farm tractors that I'm aware of can not creep. The 8N's did come with Sherman step down transmissions as an option and those should allow you to run a tiller.
Your on the right track though. Ask questions and do your research before making a purchase and you should be good to go.
Good luck with your search.
:welcometogttalk:

Thats a great point about the tiller. I didnt think of that.

Them sherman trannys are a kick though, IIRC we clocked my grandpas once at 35 or so in high range 4th, and in low first it would run slower then a slow walk.

I think however, since he wants to mow as well, a cub would suit him better if he went with a farm style tractor. Belly mowers are everywhere for cubs and they mow well.

I really think a cub would suit him well overall, not trying to turn him off to GTs, but a cub is like a GT on steroids.

EDIT.

A few pics of cubs outfitted with what you said youre looking for.

64416_opt.jpgwindows screenshot

cub_steve_9.jpgprint screen
lookingforcub.jpggifs upload

Edited by DZG, October 23, 2016 - 08:43 PM.

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#19 Escapegoat OFFLINE  

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Posted October 23, 2016 - 11:53 PM

Wow, I didn't expect so many responses.  You guys have already given me a lot to think about.  Getting a cub or 8N is an interesting idea, but it would be overkill and it would take up too much valuable garage space.  I think a garden tractor could do what I need and I could store it in the shed.  Also, with my $2500 budget, I meant $2500 total to get a good usable machine, including attachments/repairs/tires/maintenance/etc.  So I'm probably looking for something with a considerably lower purchase price unless it's already well equipped and in good shape.

 

Would you guys recommend a hydrostatic drive or a simpler gear drive?  I have some experience with hydrostatic walk-behind commercial mowers, and I wouldn't buy a used one simply because a new pump or wheel motor costs as much as a used mower.  A belt drive is so much cheaper and simpler and it works well enough.  But then again most garden tractors probably don't see nearly as a heavy a duty cycle as a commercial mower, so maybe their hydrostatic drives rarely fail.  The durability of the transmission and rear end is a big concern for me.  It's pretty easy to get another engine if I need to repower one, but drivetrains are not as universal and in some cases they can be oddball and expensive.  I want something with a good transmission and rear end that won't be too expensive to fix if I manage to break it.

Her is a couple leads of older Simplicitys.

 

http://limaohio.crai...5814605526.html This has a lot with it.

 

http://limaohio.crai...5777459978.html this doesn't give much info as to what or where.

That first Simplicity looks pretty good, but I'm not sure I would buy one that doesn't run because a nonrunning engine can hide a lot of other problems.

 

Being in Northern Ohio puts you in "Bolens Country".

 

If you aren't afraid to travel a bit, there is a Bolens  HT23, which is just about the best GT ever built, just north of Detroit listed on CL.

 

http://detroit.craig...5766989756.html

 

Bolens parts, should you need any are still readily available.

What made Bolens more popular here?  I'm in Erie County, not far from Sandusky.  I think Cub Cadets are popular here too.  I've seen a few, and two of my coworkers race them.  Yeah, I definitely need to know which models to look for and which ones are lemons that I should avoid.  That HT23 might be exactly what I'm looking for, but it's a little far away.  If it's still for sale in a month or two I might look into it.  My dad has a Bolens, but it's an MTD POS.  I know they were much better back in the day.

 

Welcome to GTtalk. I'd say close to the lake depending on wind the lake effect snow can be staggering. All good solid advice stated here. If your going to start off in town ( your rental) i'd lean towards a blower over a blade if I had a choice. Your in snow country now and you are solid in your thinking about getting prepared.

I like all of 'em. They all have pros and cons, your mechanical ability and the fact you recognize older units may require some work is in your favor. You have something else going for you, you joined the best GT forum out there! Tremendous amount of ALL BRANDS knowledge here, plus our sponsors can be huge help with parts ! If you see something you like post it here and the loyalists to that particular brand will help steer you staight.
Don't know how close you are to this:

http://pittsburgh.cr...5787878160.html.

IMO he's a little high ( if you hang out here long enough you'll find out pricing things sometimes can get controversial) however cash will talk I'm sure, these are VERY stout units, the Kohler K series are bullit proof, again IMO nothing beats an Ariens 2stage sno-caster, not a man killer to get on and off and they blow the snow into the next county.This is package that could fill your need.Good luck with your search.

That one looks great.  If it looks as good in person and if he comes down a little on the price it might be perfect.



#20 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 04:55 AM

That Ariens in the Pittsburg add looks like it is some ones baby.
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#21 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 04:58 AM

If I were you I would spend some time looking around, see what's common in your area then decide what you like. All garden tractor brands have their ups and downs but a universal rule is that attachments are hard to find. I personally really like allis chalmers/simplicity tractors from the 60's, great machines that are very durable and versatile with lots of fairly easily found and mounted attachments. Good luck in your search.

#22 DZG OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 06:58 AM

I would really tell ya to look for cub cadets, the IH ones.

Go to youtube and look up "cub cadet hydro pulls", this should silence any doubt you have about their durability.

If you go with a gear drive one, they run the same gearbox as a farmall cub.

But in all honesty, you cant go wrong with anything pre mid 80s.

#23 Escapegoat OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 11:27 AM

What do you guys think of Gravelys?  I just know they make good commercial mowers, and some website I found said that their garden tractor attachments all interchange from the early models to present day.

 

http://cleveland.cra...5807644648.html

 

http://toledo.craigs...5840027006.html



#24 Escapegoat OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 12:37 PM

I'm finding some cheap Wheel Horse tractors around here.  How about these?  I know a snowblower would work better than a plow, but I'm thinking I might start with a plow and see if its good enough, since it's cheaper and simpler and useful for other things besides snow.  If I still want a snow blower I can get one later.

 

http://mansfield.cra...5840745361.html

 

http://cleveland.cra...5843685741.html

 

http://toledo.craigs...5821047130.html

 

http://toledo.craigs...5842380719.html

 

http://cleveland.cra...5838734057.html



#25 IHCubGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 03:47 PM

If you even remotely think you may want to use a snow blower in the future I would get a tractor with enough horsepower to run it easily.  All those gravely and Wheel Horse's you posted are great machines but in my opinion are at the bottom of the power level you'll want.  I use my 107 Cub Cadet as my snow thrower tractor as it's my hydrostatic machine but I've been looking for a few years now for something with 14hp at the very least.  I would suggest 14hp to be a minimum personally.  With 2 acres a bigger deck tractor and something a little heavy duty will go a long ways in longevity.  As far as gear drive versus hydrostatic, I can't speak for anything besides Cub Cadets but both are extremely durable machines.  Many, many, many hydrostatics are used every year for garden plowing with moldboard plows and do very well.  In fact my 107 is used every year for a plowday here in central PA.

 

As a Cub Cadet guy I would recommend this tractor for you.  It's at the top end of your price range but you could pick up a blade and still be within your budget and you would have one of the best Cub Cadets built.  It is what's considered a "Super" garden tractor due to it's larger frame than a standard garden tractor.  A nice feature for larger lawns and driveways.

 

https://ashtabula.cr...5775708688.html

 

Under edit:  Not sure how close that is to you, just one I found.


Edited by IHCubGuy, October 24, 2016 - 03:48 PM.

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#26 IHCubGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 05:09 PM

From an open minded point of view ignoring brand here are some more.  Not sure if any are in your area or not.  I also do not know what the values are on these units and if they're worth the asking price.

 

https://erie.craigsl...5843069126.html

 

https://erie.craigsl...5833471539.html

 

https://ashtabula.cr...5842969823.html

 

https://youngstown.c...5807688423.html

 

https://mansfield.cr...5791944007.html

 

https://akroncanton....5773776838.html

 

https://sandusky.cra...5775728899.html

 

https://mansfield.cr...5807814944.html

 

https://akroncanton....5790704164.html

 

https://youngstown.c...5783538408.html

 

https://cleveland.cr...5831552716.html

 

https://cleveland.cr...5750780616.html

 

https://mansfield.cr...5814864829.html

 

https://mansfield.cr...5817687054.html

 

https://akroncanton....5842142936.html

 

https://youngstown.c...5802814481.html

 

https://cleveland.cr...5733757681.html

 

https://akroncanton....5829904047.html

 

I guess I got a little carried away looking up tractors!


Edited by IHCubGuy, October 24, 2016 - 05:37 PM.

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#27 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 05:29 PM


  My dad has a Bolens, but it's an MTD POS.  I know they were much better back in the day.

 

You mentioned this before I could. There are a lot of great brands mentioned in this thread. But some of them like Bolens and Cub Cadet have been bought out and are less than what they were. Toro bought out Wheel Horse and started sticking the name on anything they made until they killed the brand.  Also, the John Deeres sold at the box stores aren't the same quality as the ones sold at the dealers. Just keep your eyes open with any of the newer tractors.

 

If Cubs and 8N are to big, you might look at a Power King. They are on the big end of GTs.

 

As for Wheel Horse they are my personal favorite. If you get one that is 1973 or newer, the attachments will interchange between most models. They are strong, simple to work on, and many of them come with the Kohler K series engines. The WH proprietary stick shift transmission is strong and relatively easy to work on.


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#28 Gillis.jim OFFLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 06:42 PM

Have to agree with shorty! Looks like it was very well cared for!


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#29 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted October 24, 2016 - 07:50 PM

IHCubguy that was quite a list. I'd have a heck of a time picking something out of that list. The SunStar for $500. would be hard to walk away from though. 


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#30 Escapegoat OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2016 - 10:52 AM

If you even remotely think you may want to use a snow blower in the future I would get a tractor with enough horsepower to run it easily.  All those gravely and Wheel Horse's you posted are great machines but in my opinion are at the bottom of the power level you'll want.  I use my 107 Cub Cadet as my snow thrower tractor as it's my hydrostatic machine but I've been looking for a few years now for something with 14hp at the very least.  I would suggest 14hp to be a minimum personally.  With 2 acres a bigger deck tractor and something a little heavy duty will go a long ways in longevity.  As far as gear drive versus hydrostatic, I can't speak for anything besides Cub Cadets but both are extremely durable machines.  Many, many, many hydrostatics are used every year for garden plowing with moldboard plows and do very well.  In fact my 107 is used every year for a plowday here in central PA.

 

 

That's a good point.  I doubt I would regret buying a machine that is a little larger and a little more powerful than I need, but I would be disappointed if I got one that I like but I find it isn't powerful enough to run a snowblower.  I also like a wide deck to knock out my mowing faster, and that requires more power.  I'll take your advice here and concentrate my search on the higher horsepower models.  If it comes with a wide deck that's a big plus too.  

 

Apparently there isn't a lot of concern about the hydrostatic drives failing on these tractors.  I'll take you guys' word on that.  I know there are big advantages to a hydrostatic drive, I've just always been scared off by the price.  But we all know that if you wanna play you gotta pay.

 

I really like this one:  http://cleveland.cra...5836950066.html  


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