Recently there have been some posts about increasing traction and locking rear ends. A simple solution would be to look for an older Bolens tubeframe with a locking rear. Many can be found in running condition for less than $500. Recently I picked up a '69 1050 for $75 needing a little tinkering and a battery. Even though only 10hp they have plenty of pulling power and will handle almost anything you can throw at them. You can also find 12hp and 14hp models such as a G14. There is a knob in the center of the left rear wheel that you can tighten to obtain the desired degree of traction. Although not a shift on the fly setup, it only takes a few seconds to stop the tractor and spin the knob. This can be done while still in gear so there is no need for shifting back to neutral. Another plus in looking for these tractors on the cheap is that there is an end play adjustment for the rears which most people ignore. Over time the tranny will slip and make all kinds of knocking noises. Don't be scared off if you start one and try to drive it and this happens. By all means pay accordingly as if the rear is gone, but before swapping it out try the end play adjustment. Another common repair would be a stuck clutch from sitting outside, it can usually be freed up with a screwdriver and hammer. Here's a photo of the traction control knob...
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