The search for a tractor
Posted April 02, 2017 - 12:18 PM
I like the look of the more antique tractors, but worry about reliability and working with them often. Definitely need something that can mow the lawn easily as well.
Found a Work Horse GT1100 for $400. The guys says it is recently serviced and needs nothing. Is this a good tractor and price? What attachments can it accept? Comes with cutting deck.
Also, found a Massey ferguson mf12 for $250. Very rough shape cosmetically, but does run and drive. Comes with cutting deck. Manual lift, gear driven I believe.
Older wheelhorse 800 project of $200 or best offer. No deck. Looks clean though, I think it only needs minor work.
Jacobsen gt14, no deck. Runs and drives $250
My budget is about 500 right now. In your opinions, what is the best value and machine?
Posted April 02, 2017 - 12:20 PM
- Cvans said thank you
Posted April 02, 2017 - 12:37 PM
You have a budget that should get you a good machine. I like WHs and have 6 of them. The most common problem that I run across with them is that the decks rot out. I have only one good deck.
Try to find a machine that has the attachments, you want, with it. Attachments seem to be getting harder to find. Look in our Manuals Section where you can download the manuals for tractors that you are interested in. Downloads are limited per day so, plan what you want.
Bolens and AC/Simplicity were probably the most popular and seem to still have plenty of attachments around. You have to decide how much work you are willing to do on them. At this time of year, you should be able to pick up some free lawn tractors. Usually they have dead batteries, water in the gas,and/or corroded safety contacts. A little work and maintanance and you have a working mower and cart puller. That should give you more time to hunt for your machine. Remember the swap meets will be starting in a couple of weeks and there are often some good deals at them. I have gotten many good deals on CL but have also gotten many by spotting something in a yard, stopping and asking. Good Luck, Rick
I am leaning towards hydro now and really prefer the foot controlls. I'm working on a Ford LGT 125 now and look forward to it being a comfortable machine unlike some of my others(MTD and John Deere) which are too small. Make sure the machine fits you before you buy.
Edited by boyscout862, April 02, 2017 - 12:40 PM.
- Cvans, propane1, MolonLabe and 1 other said thanks
Posted April 02, 2017 - 12:37 PM
Leaning towards the work horse gt1100 if it is a good machine
of what you list as chioces, I'd agree.
I was at an auction yesterday, they had a real nice original Cub 147 that went for $475, had electric lift too.... oldest machine there but brought the most $$ had a Poulan with a 22hp V twin, (POS in my opinion even though it was in decent shape) that bid $175 but the owner said "no sale" a Husq with a 20-22 hp V twin, newest tractor there (like the Poulan more of a LT) went for $375. then they had a newer Cub zero turn, definitely "just" a mower, had a 22hp Kawi transplanted from something John Deere, that went for almost the same money as the 147 but not quite.
This was in an east Central IL town, had a town wide community auction at the main park in town, instead of everyone doing individual garage sales, of which there were a couple of them going on alongside of this auction....
Edited by dodge trucker, April 02, 2017 - 12:39 PM.
- Cvans, boyscout862 and Bterrier have said thanks
Posted April 02, 2017 - 12:39 PM
Bolens and Ariens practically non existent around here, Cub, Deere most popular, :some" Simplicity and WH around too. most people have newer, box store throw away crap though....
- boyscout862, propane1 and Bterrier have said thanks
Posted April 02, 2017 - 01:35 PM
Posted April 02, 2017 - 02:30 PM
They were nice machines but anything you look at is very condition dependant. Demonstrated good working condition is very important. "It was just running" is a very common lie. Until you have physically evaluated the GT, the machine has no value. Do not be afraid to walk away from anything that doesn't seem right. Its better to miss a good deal than to buy a bad deal. Good Luck, Rick
You can search through our threads for topics on particular tractors. Just use the search near the top of the page.
Edited by boyscout862, April 02, 2017 - 02:32 PM.
- Cvans, Doug E. and Bterrier have said thanks
Posted April 04, 2017 - 06:16 AM
Like others have alluded to, if you can't see it run, heavily discount the price. There are some cases that there may be exceptions to how much you might discount the price, such as if it looks like a creampuff that has been stored out of the weather for years.
Check the little things for signs of how it was maintained. What is the level and condition of the oil? Tranny fluid? Are parts worn?
You don't mention what attachments you are looking for. Around here, there seems to be a threshold on the price that most people will not go over. But if the tractor has a good selection of attachments, it is often a much better deal than a tractor with few or none.
Don't hesitate to ask if there are more parts/attachments to the tractor. Often drivelines, wheel weights, chains, spares, etc., are forgotten. Jog their memory.
Consider the condition of the tires also. They aren't cheap and not getting any cheaper either. I picked up a couple of non working tractors very cheap, and later realized what bargains I got because the tires are in such good shape, and worth more than what I paid for the tractors.
I scour craigslist a couple of times a day. Bargains do show up, but you have to hunt for them. I also drive slower to look more on the sides of the road to spot garden tractors in people side yards and fields. Doesn't hurt to ask at yard sales either.
Just some thoughts. Enjoy the chase!
- boyscout862 said thank you
Posted April 05, 2017 - 11:39 AM
Watch for an older Wheel Horse with the Kohler engines. Those are probably the easiest and least expensive to buy attachments for. The Tecumseh engines are not as robust and parts are getting more scarce, If they have the electronic CDI ignition, parts are long NLA and expensive if the ignition module fails. The Kohler cast iron K series are one of the best small engines out there, parts are easy to find and they are easy to rebuild. My Commando 8 runs the K181, 8 horse power Kohler. You DO NOT need high horse power V twins to mow grass, or even plow with a farm type moldboard plow. If getting a gear driven wheel horse, look for one that has the high/low range lever. Or you can watch for the hydrostatic drive, called Wheel A Matic by Wheel Horse. I run a 32" cut, twin blade rear discharge mower deck on mine, nice clean cut due to the timed mower blades that overlap as they spin. Mike
Posted April 05, 2017 - 06:50 PM
I have to toss another vote out there for a Wheel Horse. They seem to be built with quality components and if reasonably taken care of over the years you can expect it to be around awhile. The nice thing is they are pretty simple and straight forward to work on compared to some brands. Look for one that is 1973 (I think) or later with the tach-matic implement mounting points on the front and mid as they accept many of the later implements. Around here most implements are fairly common and dirt cheap compared to other brands.
A few years back I was all ready to part with almost 10K for a JD X530 or X540 with plow blade and snow blower. As luck would have it a neighbor had a 1973 WH 16 auto that had just blown the engine and offered it to me for the taking as they didn't want to be bothered with it. Best thing I ever did GT wise. I repaired the still in spec engine along with removing the balance gears. Stripped the entire machine down to a pile of parts, repainted everything and replaced anything worn along with a new set of tires. Found locally a late model blade and hardly used tall chute blower and have been using it ever since. The final $ total came out to about 1/10th the price of the new JD! Far as I'm concerned the only thing I'm missing out with the new JD is power steer and the WH steers easy without power steer, even with the blower on.