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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm in the middle of researching which lawn tractor to buy. As you well know, it's a jungle out there! I'd welcome your opinions on this.

Here are my immediate needs: mowing a flat, Kansas yard that is maybe 1-2 acres; pulling a mini-spreader (horse manure) whose specs require 15HP lawn tractor or ATV; and perhaps some light duty towing (wheelbarrow).

Troy-bilt has a new 18HP, 42" this year called "The Tuffy" that can be had at Lowe's for $999. But I've only found very sketchy information about the brand since MTG took over. And Consumer Reports has no information on Troy-bilts at all.

The other option for the same price range is the Craftsman LT 1000 (Mfr: 27275) which rates really high in Consumer Reports.

Eventually, I will need a full-size tractor, but for now, I am hoping a lawn will do. What do you think?
 

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From reading your other post it seems like you have a little bit of land. Eaven if you do get a bigger tractor in the future, I think you will be amazed how much you use the little one. Not knowing your budjet, I would say try to jump up into a garden tractor. They are a bit tougher, and a bit stronger. Better able to tow, and deal with some rough feilds once in a wile. If you are looking for a good value, and have to go new, there are a lot out there. The Craftsmans are nice, but there are a lot others out there also. Best thing? Give us an idea what you would like to spend, and REALY think what you may need to use that tractor for in the future. Give us a shout, and we will help you out.
 

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This is probablyl not what you are going to want to hear, but what the heck hmmmmm

Personally and from most of me conversations with chums who have MTD lawn tractors - don't waste your money! They are a lawn mower to ride on - period.

Same with the Craftsman. I have a 12.5hp B&S Deluxe and it is the biggest pain :argh: :mad:#[email protected]$: in the posterior I have ever owned! Gawd, I hate that lawnmower... I have spent more money on keeping it running and fixing the deck - and I probably could have bought two more by now with the money I spent. I know I am going to get a lot of roasting over this, but I have over 12 years of experience with these ride-ons, and the only reason I keep it around is cause I have a couple of areas that I cannot do with my Cub as they are too steep.

First, you are getting into the area that requires a much bigger machine. I have 2 to 3 acres to mow and it takes up the better part of the day with my ride-on, way too long. The mowing job is not up to standards as well.

I do not know about the Garden tractors that are the bigger cousins to the Lawn tractors, but I will probably bet dollars to donuts that they are just bigger not better.

Second, is HP rating.

Two fundamental differences that I see here.
In the new LT and GT's, hp is defined as developed and not drawbar or useable. I am not sure what 10 hp at the drawbar would relate to in developed hp, but I can tell you this, I would never be able to yard a 20 foot or 30 foot tree with my Craftsman:confused: and it supposedly has 12.5 hp.

Now my Cub - that is a different story... 20 or 30 foot tree has posed no problems, plowing my driveway with all the snow we get has posed no problems, hauling my winter wood is a snap, plowing, discing, hilling and cultivating my garden is a breeze. This year I am going to mow with my Cub as well.

I seriously would recommend that you include in your deliberations a McCormick Deering International Farmall Cub! Go to the manual server at the link in the sig line and read up on em! There is very little that a Cub cannot do. No it is not a 40hp farm tractor, but neither is it a Lawn mower!

Also, what is really nice about them is that you do not need a mechanics diploma to maintain one. I have no mechanical skills at all, and I have brought mine from the brink of a major rebuild to tip tip shape by myself with a lot of help from the guys on the Cub boards.
 

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I agree with spook (Rudi) the Farmall cub would be a good choice with a belly mower. I don't know how many they have over there but here they are every where and can be picked up anywhere from $1000. to $2000. with belly mowers and disk and harrows. They run forever and easy to work on. Also let me say Welcome to tractorforum glad to have you aboard:friends: You have any pictures of your horses and your place.
Jody
 

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Welcome aboard drafthorse :hello:

I've got a Craftsman GT5000 and had a GT3000 before that. I'm here to tell you, they are one tough little tractor for the money.
 

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I won't recomened one because I own a craftsman GT5000 and it is good IMO, But I am not sure how good LT1000 or the Tuffy are. I will give you this advice: Look at as many different tractors as you can and buy the one that is the most heavy duty for the money. Don't buy one because it has a few more HP than the other. Look at the frame,front axel, steering, mowerdeck transaxel. Good luck and most important, Have fun.

:spinsmile
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow - Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. You've given me some things to think about. I know that I should buy a garden tractor, but it's just not in the budget right now. It's a trade off between having any riding mower at all & being able to put some money toward fencing for the horses too.

What would you say are the primary "quality" checks to make? I read a post about Bolens having cast front axles but not back... I've noticed Yardmachines that have plastic engine tops instead of metal grates... Some units have plastic rollers on the deck and some don't.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the Craftsman but haven't looked into the LT2000 enough to understand the differences between models. (Geesh, I think they make it confusing on purpose with the multiple models in each line).

There is a $1500 DLT3000 20 HP that looks nice, but I really wanted to find something appropriate at right around $1000. It seems that I can find a 18HP in that price range - which makes me feel a little safer pulling the minispreader (recommended at 15HP). And I understand that the stated HP isn't always what you actually get in regular useage.

I've learned so much from reading all the posts here. This rocks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OH - And I also want to check out those Cubs. I didn't know there were ones in the $1-2K range.

I don't want to be anal about making this decision, but I know that I can't afford what I really, really should get. So, I want the best I can for what I've got cuz it's got to last a while.

And, in future, I really want to get an old 8N.
 

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I have to agree with the garden tractor as a minium theory. If you could hold out and get a bigger machine that would be best. How much are you looking to spend??:tractorsm
 

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Can you fix things? If so, and older top of the line GT can be had for not much more then that. My Ingersoll 444 cost under a grand, and wile it needed a little work, nothing someone with a little abilty cant handle.
 

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drafthorse:

Yup, you betcha, you can get a good running, in reasonable shape Cub anywhere from $300.00 to $2500.00 US usually including a few implements , such as a mower deck, blade, plow, harrow etc. -- look at TimT's posts at Cub Forum. He paid $300.00 and got implements with it and it was running in good shape, he just finished a restore on it.

Andy, sorry but these places are the only ones I know of that list Cubs for sale -

These forums have classifieds that regularily list Cubs.

YT Classifieds
ATIS Classifieds
and
FarmallCub Classifieds

Also, you can click Cub Manuals which you can find in any of my posts. There is a comprehensive server there with all kinds of info on Cubs (my favourite tractor)! Everything from FAQ's to Ads, Brochures and Manuals for the Cub and Implements. Lots of reading.

For my money, if I had the choice to spend $1,000.00 US on a garden tractor, hands down it would be on a Cub. Not a Lo-boy, but an FCub. You can do far more with a Cub than any modern garden tractor. The Cub was designed for the small truck garden farmer who had 40 acres or less. The Cub could plow 1 acre per hour, which meant that 2-3 days a full 40 acres could be plowed. Cultivating and mowing are many times faster as the load is not as great.

If you have questions on the Cub, do not hesitate to ask, I will do my best to help. Oh, as an added bonus, there were over 250,000 FCubs built from 1947-1979 which means they are plentiful. Also as an aside, it goes to prove what we all say, the Cub is the best garden tractor EVER built and the numbers prove it!

Convince you yet?????

Cheers
 

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Originally posted by drafthorse

And, in future, I really want to get an old 8N.
Just as a side note. A N is probably not the best "only" tractor. Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but can't imange haveing to do ALL the lawn mowing with it. Fields sure, but probably not the best for around the house mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, okay. You've convinced me to hang on and check out the ads for used stuff. And, I was thinking about what I really need a tractor/lawn mower from in the first place...

Aside from mowing & pulling a spreader, one of the big chores that I will eventually need done is moving round bales of hay from the pasture.

Am I wrong? I don't think any of the garden tractors will do that. I can just picture the front end of the tractor up in the air with the back attached to a bale!

So I suppose, I'm torn now. Get a new tractor to serve small mowing and pulling needs & get a big tractor in addition later (then I'd have the best of both worlds and a spare in case one breaks down). OR - try to get a bigger, used garden tractor now to serve all the needs.

-Konfusion in Kansas!
 

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Again it depends on what you need. If you are going to be doing farm chores with it, then a bigger tractor is needed say a Super A.

If the hardest thing you are going to do it to move hay bales around then a Cub with a wagon is all you need. Plus the Cub will do plowing, mowing, snow plowings, cultivating chores and what have you.

I am in the process of building a finish reel mower (scrounging parts as I wait for the drawings to be emailed to me) that will be my primary lawn mower. That way I can leave the ride-on for my teenage girls to mow grass with.

A garden tractor such as a Sears etc., WILL NOT be able to move hay bales around I would not think. Course, my ride-on was not supposed to be able to grade my driveway with a drag either.

I would suggest you make up a list of all the things that you want to be able to do with the tractor. Then post the list and see what kind of responses you get.

Oh, as an aside, I will not stop using my ride-on, as the Cub is not a suitable tractor to mow steep hills and such or trim next to the house/buildings trees etc., the closest you could probably get would be 6-12 inches. The rest would have to be cleaned up with a pushem or a weedeater..
 
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