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Looking for the right GT

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#1 hislip33 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 12:12 PM

Hi all! First post here on the site, super excited to finally have joined an online community that loves garden tractors. Hopefully I am posting this in the right area.


I am currently wrapping up my senior year at university (studying agriculture), winter is moving ever so close here in central Wisconsin and I'm on the hunt for the perfect garden tractor. Currently live at my parents place which is a small hobby farm. What ever tractor I end up buying has to be able to handle some abuse. I would like to be able to do some light logging applications with it, as well as add a snowblower (long driveway), and possibly a garden tiller for my 1/4 acre garden plot. 


I'm not really brand specific at all, but I am very budgeted due to being at college. Would like to spend 1500$ or maybe a bit more to find a unit that at least comes with a snowblower, the other attachments I can find or make myself. 


My big question is, what unit should I look for? My parents have a 2005 Cub Cadet GT1554 (hydro-static, 27 horse) that I have abused since new, its a great unit and I've never had trouble, actually replaced the drive belt for the first time this past summer. I have managed to skid small logs with this GT no problem, however Its never had a snowblower on it. But as I look for a garden tractor for myself, should I stick with the newer hydro-statics? Or move to a gear drive transmission? Also are the newer Cub Cadets with the shaft drive hydros any good? Any advice is much appreciated.


Thank you!


#2 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted November 07, 2017 - 12:56 PM

I prefer using a hydro for snow duty and dirt work. The extra time needed to shift from fwd to rev and back really adds up on a gear tractor. Some dont like to shift well at higher RPMs, which slows down the process even more if you have to back off the throttle.

As for what brand, I had a wheelhorse 417-a that I really liked, but when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, they pretty much all use the same major parts (motor/tx/pto clutch, steering gear, etc). the only difference is how the controls are set up, and that comes down to personal preference.

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#3 poncho62 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 12:58 PM

Welcome....In the $1500 range with attachments, you are going to likely end up with an older tractor in the 70s or 80s I would think. Back then, they were built tough out of steel, not plastic. You should be able to find something decent, be it JD, Cub Cadet, Sears, MTD, Ford, Jacobsen etc. 

Me, I like my Fords.....tough and attachments seem available. 


LGTs 002.JPG

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 04:25 PM

:welcometogttalk:  Keep us posted as to what you find!

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#5 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 04:34 PM

Check on CL to see what's abundant in your area. See what you can buy for what you have to spend.  Then ask away, we'll do our best to give advice. At the end of the day it usually comes down to personal preferences . Hydros' are my preference , but the guys who till prefer gear drive. Make sure parts are easily available in your area too.Good luck .

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#6 John Arsenault OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 04:54 PM

Its hard to recommend a brand because they are all nice, if you plan on getting an older garden tractor for use make sure you can find the things you will need for it. I have found a tractor brand that I like and I plan to stick with and still need to get a few things for it, sometimes the older garden tractors are a bit more work to get together reliability but if your up to and ready for it its very rewarding.


For snow blowing I prefer a hydro with no twist to the snow blower drive belt I also don't want anything fancy to brake or piss me off during the winter so less is best in my book. Manual controlled clanky levers are ok in my book 


If your willing to spend the buck though there is some nice vintage equipment out there that won't need to much work, but you will have to hunt for it. 


If your use to a "2005 Cub Cadet GT1554 (hydro-static, 27 horse)" then my 1968 Sears ss12 maybe to clanky for you. 

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#7 dropped82 ONLINE  


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Posted November 07, 2017 - 04:57 PM

Your in Case country. They're fair priced and abundant up there. They are hydraulic drive as opposed to hydro static. It has a different feel but plenty of pull. Case' Also use hydraulic rear pto for things like the tiller your wanting. There are 200 series with 12" wheels and 400 series with 16" wheels. The 200 series only used sleeve hitch attachments.

The 400 series could use a 3 point or sleeve hitch.

Case designed the tiller to hook to a sleeve hitch so all machines could use the same tiller. For 1500, you could get a decent package. Search Case or Ingersoll (same machine) on Craigslist. I'm sure a bunch will pop up

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#8 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted November 07, 2017 - 05:18 PM

 Welcome to GTT:wave:




Best of luck.

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#9 olds45512 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 05:34 PM

Buy a Cub, 1995 or older. They're built tough and parts/implements are easy to come by.
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#10 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 05:56 PM

yeah/ a Cub would be good for you, but I'm gonna say mid 80s or older. or there seems alot of Ariens up that way, an lder S or GT series would do what you want. 

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#11 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 07:29 PM

I have a cub 1250 for 300 you can buy and work on through the winter the head is off just to replace the gasket and get rid of carbon but the carb was rebuilt and should run when the head goes on I have a front blade I will throw in and a deck that could be rebuilt but they are easy to find here in cent Wisconsin. Snowblowers are also easy pickings hear. If interested shoot me a message.
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#12 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 09:16 PM

Welcome to GTT. There are almost an unlimited number of options open to you. You need to decide what you want, what you can do(repairs), and what is available. Most of the members here prefer the older(60s and 70s) machines because they were very well build, in general. As said before check CL frequently. Also check with family and friends for what is sitting in sheds, barns and garages. With a little luck and effort you can pickup an old machine, fix it up, and have what you want for only a few hundred dollars. Around here, I have found better deals at our GT swap meets, than CL. An example for you, I bought a Case 220 with plow, mower deck, snowblower, wheelweights, and tire chains for $300. The problem was that the piston had split. A $120 engine kit, 30 hours of time and it ran fine.


Look through our Galleries and Manuals Sections to see what you like. Good Luck, Rick

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#13 Doug E. ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 09:17 PM

I have been impressed with the older Bolens tractors with HP of 14 and up.  I have not run across anything around here that I thought was better.  That being said, some of the other brands of tractors mentioned on this board, I have yet to see for sale in my area.  The Bolens dealer in that era was pretty active locally.  Fwiw. 



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#14 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 10:55 PM

Around here bolens is practically non-existent. Occasionally see a few Cases, lots of old roper built Sears, (they we're built 2 miles from me, lots of people who worked there til the end, plus sons and grandsons, of former employees,
Back in the IH days Cub cadets were built less than 50 miles from me so those are plentiful, and of course Deere. Nowadays most have box store crap.
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#15 Cvans ONLINE  



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Posted November 07, 2017 - 11:17 PM

There are some garden tractors that came with larger rear wheels and tires. A few that come to mind are Case, Ingersoll,and Wheel Horse. There might be others. This might be a good option if your going to be dragging felled trees with it. Chains on the larger tires would give you quite a bit more traction and might also improve ground clearance. 

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