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DIXON TRACTORS: Does this company have the slightest clue about this market?


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#31 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2011 - 04:15 PM

Without question, there have been a lot of very capable garden tractors made over the years that did not come with any hydraulics. Speedex, Pond, Red E ......just to name a few. The Suburbans are also in that league. The fact that so many of these are alive, well and still out there plowing, disc'ing and tilling is a testament to their strength and durability. In fairness, it is not always easy to define exactly what makes a garden tractor a garden tractor but most of us know one when we see one. If anything, I was hasty in my definition but rather than edit what I wrote in some lame attempt at saving face, I'd much rather modify what I said. The whole LT vs YT vs GT vs Super GT vs sub-CUT vs CUT isn't as clear cut as we would like it.

Even Sears offered a 3 pt hitch, albeit an Armstrong type and they also offered a very extensive line of ground engagement equipment to go with their tractors. Linear actuators are available to do the lifting when hydraulics are not. Dixon needs to get with the program if they want to compete in the GT market and they need to be more forthcoming with important information on their website if they wish to be taken seriously.

#32 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2011 - 07:59 PM

I was hasty in my definition but rather than edit what I wrote in some lame attempt at saving face, I'd much rather modify what I said. The whole LT vs YT vs GT vs Super GT vs sub-CUT vs CUT isn't as clear cut as we would like it.

.


Maybe it came across wrong in my post, I was not attempting to "call you out". I appoligize if you took it that way.

Yea the whole Lt, Yt, GT thing is very blurry even back in the day when Ground engagment meant using a plow. The lines are only going to get worse with new definition of GT that is in use now. As I over heard the salesman at box store telling a prospective buyer that was looking at the top end Husqy "The transmisson is rated for ground engagment attachments like an aireator, dethatcher, roller"

#33 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2011 - 10:13 PM

No apologies needed, coldone. You just caused me to take another look at my wording and I found it wanting. So I corrected what I said. While it is true that aerators, dethatchers and rollers do engage the ground, so does a dump trailer but none of them are in the same league as a turning plow, harrows or rototiller. To my mind, if a modern tractor does not offer a rototiller as an optional attachment, then it can't be called a garden tractor......and I am not referring to tillers that are self-powered either. The tiller must draw its power from the tractor's engine in one form or another.

#34 Deck_Drive OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2011 - 04:43 PM

No apologies needed, coldone. You just caused me to take another look at my wording and I found it wanting. So I corrected what I said. While it is true that aerators, dethatchers and rollers do engage the ground, so does a dump trailer but none of them are in the same league as a turning plow, harrows or rototiller. To my mind, if a modern tractor does not offer a rototiller as an optional attachment, then it can't be called a garden tractor......and I am not referring to tillers that are self-powered either. The tiller must draw its power from the tractor's engine in one form or another.


I vote that 3pt self powered tillers should be included in the line of true GT attachments.

#35 KIRO-1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2011 - 04:58 PM

One way that I have to define GT vs LT is by the rear wheels as well as looking at the rear end. I count the lugs then look at the rear end to see if it's capable of pushing or pulling ground attachments.(is it cast or tin) Heck, a good heavy duty 17 cf. dump cart with 600 lbs of gravel in it is gonna do a number on the LT after a few hauls.

#36 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2011 - 05:54 PM

I look for FOUR things in it being a true Garden Tractor:
Horizontal shaft engine
12 inch rear wheels that bolt on
8 inch wheels up front
And then a frame that can hold up to pulling a plow.

With that said my definition fits a 1988 Craftsman GT18 / GT6000 and it does not have 3 pt hitch or tillers powered off the tractor's engine. But I can assure you I abuse the crap out of it and it has yet to really break on me. I am making updates to it in order to make it last longer than it has already, as I have had it just over 2 years, and tried to overwork it, by pulling steel I beams that weight 500 pounds easy, dragging other tractors around as needed, and just recently used it to plow with a 10 inch plow, and planning to try out a 12 inch next. I don't get why some people believe that some tractors from the modern box store can't be considered a real GT, but I think the higher end can be even if you don't think it is. I know they are making them more cheesy and more expensive each year but I think you can still get a real GT from a box store, but I don't think most can afford it for what we can get that is 20 or 30 years old that is more tractor than today's standards. So please, check your definition, I think it needs adjustment.

#37 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 12:03 PM

Back in the last century, manufacturers certainly knew the difference between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor. They did not try to blur the definition. Even today, Deere reserves the term "garden tractor" exclusively for their top model, the X700 Series. So...please tell me how it is possible for Sears to offer a true garden tractor for less than $4000.00 if Deere is unable to do so until the $9600.00 level is reached? Do you realize that true garden tractors back in the sixties and seventies cost about the same as the X700 does today? All that has happened in the years between then and now is inflation.

Your criteria is biased to include your beloved Craftsman. There are LAWN tractors out there with 12" rear rims that bolt on and 8" fronts. Deere sells two D-Series that meet those two specs. If your Craftsman horizontal shaft engine is unable to power a tiller, then how does that crank orientation make your Craftsman better than any LT with a vertical crank engine? All you can do with your tractor's engine is power a mowing deck or a snow blower. Any D Series Deere or 1000 Series Cub can power both of those attachments too. Even a LT can tow a self-powered tiller. I just went to Sears.com and looked at their line-up. They offer this tractor

Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more

Sears says it is a Professional Garden Tractor but the rear wheels are 10.5" and the fronts are 7.5". Therefore, by your criteria, it isn't a true garden tractor. It is on sale for well over three grand but they don't list a single attachment for it in the ad. Why not? Sears has a couple more that they claim are GT's but you can't find full specs on them nor a single bit of info as to what attachments are specifically available to work with those models. And all of those weigh less than 600 lbs which happens to be a little on the light side for a true garden tractor. The ONLY model that Sears sells which could be considered to be in the garden tractor class weighs in at well over 900 lbs but costs more than seven grand. And even that model has little in the way of pertinent information included in the Sears listing. Why should anyone take Sears serious when they neglect or refuse to freely disclose what their tractors are capable of doing?

#38 nra1ifer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 12:26 PM

Well, crap! All these years, I've been gardening with several non-garden-tractor garden tractors! What have I been thinking??? :bigrofl:

I'll admit that the term "garden tractor" gets applied to some questionable machines, but my bare-minimum expectation is that the "garden tractor" can be expected to pull a plow any time I want it to without shredding the transmission. Some accomplish this better than others. All of my "non-garden-tractor" garden tractors have done this nicely. The only Craftsman experience I have personally is WAY back with my dad's SS-16 garden tractor (or not.... I'm so confused!!!) and with my own 1994 GT6000 and 2009 PGT9000. Dad's was a geared transmission, and both of mine are Hydro-Gear hydro's. All three worked/work beautifully. Other than that, my Cub 123 works very well (non-GT??), and especially my Speedex 1631 is a great garden tractor. Based on all of the "non-garden-tractor"-produced goodies that have traversed my digestive system and the lack of broken pieces, I'd say they do pretty good, regardless of what they are called. Are any of them what I'd have if money was no object? Absolutely not! BUT, until I have an extra $10K to spend, they fit the bill for me! Call them what you want! (within the confines of forum rules, of course!)

Craftsman's GT's: the 10.5" tread width is a 23" tall tire on a 12" diameter rim. Coupled with a transmission capable of "ground-engaging" attachments, they work well in a garden.

The Sears site lists this for the mentioned PGT9000:
ACCESSORIES ACCEPTED:
2 Bin Bagger: N/A
3 Bin Bagger: #24020
Accepts Bagger: #24020
Dozer Blade: Yes
Electric Lift Kit: Yes
Ground-Engaging Attach.: Yes
Hauling Equipment: Yes
Mulch Kit: #33069
Snow Blade or Thrower: Yes
Lawn Care Attach: Yes

It also has the all-important cup holder! Always a plus in the garden, for sure!

Edited by nra1ifer, May 16, 2011 - 12:47 PM.


#39 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 12:44 PM

I didn't intentionally include my Craftsman, as I originally bought it for the engine to go into something capable. However, I failed to realize that it was more capable than it looked and as I started to use it I started to find that it could do what I wanted. But because it can't power a tiller off the engine thru a regular PTO doesn't mean anything. The 1970s Gilsons had a rear tiller that was power by a shaft added underneath the tractor from front to back. Case/Ingersoll chose hydraulics, and GE chose electric for their tiller. So none of those tractors which fit your description because they have a tiller have a regular PTO setup with a 3 point hitch, most required only a sleeve hitch to have a tiller, and the Gilson tiller just hooks directly to the frame. So how can you say those are real garden tractors when the Craftsman can have any of those 3 setups but adding either a bigger alternator/generator, a hydraulic pump and reservoir, or a jackshaft from front to back? Now granted most of those setups require a little fab work, but anyone can hire a fabricator to work for them if they can't do it themselves. I just think you are hasty to judge a tractor by its face value, Especially Craftsmans because even though they cost half of a John Deere it doesn't mean anything about the tractor because we all know that with John Deere you buy the name because they are reputable. It is no different than buying a truck made by Mack (high end) when a Freightliner is just as good but may cost way less. The lines might be fuzzy now, but the fact of it is, you can not just accept face value for what it is. Look at a silver dollar and tell me you see a dollar, back then it was, but today it is worth well more than a dollar, is that too inflation??

#40 metalwiz OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 01:15 PM

Posted Image Originally Posted by hydriv Posted Image
"Your criteria is biased to include your beloved Craftsman. There are LAWN tractors out there with 12" rear rims that bolt on and 8" fronts. Deere sells two D-Series that meet those two specs. If your Craftsman horizontal shaft engine is unable to power a tiller, then how does that crank orientation make your Craftsman better than any LT with a vertical crank engine? All you can do with your tractor's engine is power a mowing deck or a snow blower. Any D Series Deere or 1000 Series Cub can power both of those attachments too. Even a LT can tow a self-powered tiller. I just went to Sears.com and looked at their line-up. They offer this tractor"
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I don't quite see the point you are trying to make, except to try to establish the notion of some sort of "elite GT category." Those are now known as CUTS btw. I subscribe to the idea that a garden tractor is one which, as previously mentioned, has a sturdy frame intended for ground engagement. Doesn't have anything to do with options offered, wheel size ( although taller the better), number of cup holders, and certainly not PRICE$! Seems like any time we get beyond the basic definition, we always get bogged down in trying to find another way to say " mine's better than yours, " but it's really all just semantics...sound and fury signifying nothing. I'm certainly not gonna try to tell some guy he doesn't have a REAL garden tractor, just because it doesn't have a 3pt hitch or a tiller attachment. That's more than ludicrous. Happy Gardening!

#41 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 01:29 PM

With all things being said everyone's opinions on what a true garden tractor is will vary. Always has and always will. The most important factor is that the tractor, whether it is considered a garden tractor or lawn tractor to the owner does what the owner wants it to and they enjoy, then that is what is most important. There are a lot of aftermarket implements that are offered and just because the manufacturer doesn't offer attachments for a specific model doesn't completely rule it out either.

I will offer my .02 on what I consider to be a garden tractor. It should have a rear lift of some sort, whether it is a sleeve hitch type or a 3pt (manual, hydraulic, or electric lift). It should be able to pull a bottom plow, even if it is only a 6" or 8" plow and other types of rear attachments like a disc or cultivator. I am not going to include self powered roto tillers in the mix because not all makers offered them.
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#42 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 03:30 PM

Well, I want to comment on two things. Someone stated that these guys don't know the market by calling this not so capable machine a garden tractor. I think that they DO know the market, we are in the minority here guys. Not too many people care about frame size or ground engaging ability. They care about two things, HP and cutting size. Nothing else. Also I think that these terms we throw around, Lawn tractor vs. Garden tractor, are totally irrelevant especially to the new tractor customer. If your tractor does what you want it to, cool. Does it matter what we call it? I know I might be stepping on some toes here and I apologize for that. I am just trying to share my opinion on the matter.
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#43 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 04:04 PM

Well, I want to comment on two things. Someone stated that these guys don't know the market by calling this not so capable machine a garden tractor. I think that they DO know the market, we are in the minority here guys. Not too many people care about frame size or ground engaging ability. They care about two things, HP and cutting size. Nothing else. Also I think that these terms we throw around, Lawn tractor vs. Garden tractor, are totally irrelevant especially to the new tractor customer. If your tractor does what you want it to, cool. Does it matter what we call it? I know I might be stepping on some toes here and I apologize for that. I am just trying to share my opinion on the matter.


You are absolutely correct in the statement about HP and cutting size. The new owners have one goal in mind, biggest and the baddest, and they buy them to mainly mow with. Now that doesn't mean they are not capable tractors at all, I have seen some of the Lawn Tractors as we most refer to them as doing snow removal just as good as a Garden Tractor. It isn't about what it's called as it is who called it what, and I just wanted to see that it didn't slip into a definition that only an elite group of manufacturers could occupy because they have the highest price or the best lineup for their marketing ploy. It is simple, every manufacturer and their brother will tell you they have what you need, but what needs to be determined (and often isn't) is what do you really need? I see more people buy $2000 dollar plus tractors when the on sale $900 dollar special is more than adequate for their mowing needs. It is all about sales nowadays, and we are in need of a definition clarification here for our own purposes and that is: "What can we expect out of these new tractors?" and "Can we expect them to do some of what we would expect our 30 year old garden tractors to do?" My goal by posting in this thread is to make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact that they are underestimated to a degree, because they look to be built to the same standard as my 1988 Craftsman, and I was pulling a 10 inch plow with mine at Plow Day with minimal weight added. And then Alan had his 2004 Craftsman doing exactly the same thing, so why can't we call the Dixon a real GT??

#44 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 04:28 PM

I can agree to that.

#45 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2011 - 09:15 PM

I did not mean to make this a dogpile on Hydriv or "whats a GT". We all know that there are different classes of GTs and that was what I was trying to get at, not yours is a GT and mine isnt. I believe that the manufacturers of days past Knew the market and their customers. If we step back from our favorites for a minute we can see that there were 3 main catagories of GTs just as there are today.

There was the Basic entry level GT such as the Sears suburban, MF 10/12, Bolens tube frames. They usually had manual lift systems, Gear drive trannies and bare bones setups. There were higher and lower versions of this Basic package but still a basic needs GT.



The Mid level GTs seemed to have blurred the lines slightly with the top end basic models, such as a Tube frame with hydraulic lift, Sears with electric lifts, Hydro trannies, bigger engines usually twin cylinders.

Then there was the high end GTs such as Case 4xx, JD premium line, MF 14/16, Bolens Large frames.

This pattern seems to still hold true, somewhat, today. The big difference I see today versus years back is the different definition of "ground engagement". Years back it meant it could handle a plow, be it 6 inch or 12 inch it could still turn the dirt. Today most so called GTs cant do that but still get labled as "ground engagment". IMO if it wasnt designed to handle a mouldboard plow or something similar (gravely rotary plow) then, to me, it isnt a GT.
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