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OT - Lawn and garden tractors...

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  • #31
    I had wanted a zero turn to mow my acre or so of ground but it was not for me. They do not deal with hills well. Think of pushing a grocery cart on a hillside. The front wheels are castors and the thing wants to pivot downhill all the time. I helped my neighbor's wife pull the front end of theirs out of their pond with my ATV when it did just that....and his is a rather large one with decent hydraulics. I am told that the largest ones with really big hydraulic pumps are better about this since they have enough fluid flow to hold the front end square on a hillside. You have to bias that side really hard with the controls to keep it square.

    I am not saying they are bad, as they have their applications. My uncle mows maybe 2 of his 5 acres in Kansas and cut his mowing time by about 75 percent when he went with one. His deck size did go up and that made a difference, but the big issue is time wasted with turn arounds. With a traditional garden tractor like I have, you have to do a lot of "mowing around" to keep it cutting uncut grass as your turns at the ends are only so small.

    I have a Husqvarna and bought the heavier "Garden Tractor" series to get the larger engine to help deal with the hills I have. It has a much heavier (and taller) frame than the yard tractor series and as such, I took a hit I didn't realize until I owned it. The deck will not come up as high as I would like. I cut with the deck only down about .5" from fully lifted. This doesn't leave much margin when you want to mow heavy weeds or something.

    One other thing to look for...I have looked at some others recently that did not have adjustable "float wheels" on the deck. This adjustability is pretty important if you have any unevenness to your lawn as it keeps the deck level and the grass with it.

    Paul Carpenter
    Mapleton, IL


    • #32
      Originally posted by Rustybolt
      I never knew that JC Penney sold gardening equipment. I thought they were just clothes and houseware crap.

      I still have some box wrenches I bought from JC Penny in the 70s

      Back in the '80s I bought a Rockwell table saw from JC Penney's. They had one set up there in the store, but the one they gave me was boxed up and required some assembly.
      I got it home and opened the box, surveyed the contents, and started putting it together. There were several major pieces whose purpose I couldn't figure.
      After I got the saw all put together and studied the remaining pieces I could see I was the beneficiary of a really nice, strong stand made of very heavy guage steel, and nice flared legs. Appeared to be a stand for something like a band saw. Since it was about 75 miles back to the store, and judging by the sawdust and obvious prior use marks, my new saw was "NEW" for the second time, I just considered me and JC even.

      My 6" bench grinder lives on it nowadays. Thanks JC Penney.

      (sorry --- this has nothing to do with lawn mowers, but I thought someone might enjoy the story anyway. )
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


      • #33
        I bought a 1980's vintage Ingersoll tractor. Pretty heavy duty for the home lawn, but you can get a snowcaster or blade, a hydraulic lawn vac, and a bunch of other cool hydraulic accessories. My was the 3014, but the high wheel version looks better


        • #34
          MTD 14.5 Horsepower

          Sort of a piece of pure Junk, mine does have a drink trasy i laser cut out and bent up rivettedit to the side. I use it to haul my trailers snowmobiles boat out of the back yard and up the hill to the road, I dont really like it but its still running after 12 years, Just replaced all the belts (what a pain in the arse that job was) anyhow if i could find a old wheel horse tractor id be happy to buy it they are well made, solid frame and hydrostatic drives the way to go.


          • #35
            I have this '85 vintage Montgomery Wards with an 18 horse Briggs, Hydrostatic drive and rototiller on the back. This was made by Gilson, and is a good, stout little tractor. I want to find some wheel weights for it, and eventually build a dozer blade for the front.

            We have a newish "Troy-Bilt" (MTD) that we mow with, and I use it to pull this home brew trailer. The trailer frame is built from aluminum channel that was once 19" server racks. The floor and sides is all scrap lumber from various projects .

            Parked in the barn is a '73 or so International Cub Cadet, 14 horse Kohler, hydrostatic. It needs a lot of work, and I honestly wish I had not bought it. I need to get it sold and out of my way.


            • #36
              Originally posted by barts
              Bolens Husky, made by FMC w/ a Wisconsin engine and Eaton transaxle. Still running after 30+ years... works well, powerful, resistant to abuse, a bit loud.
              I'd say "DITTO" but it might get me in trouble with some politicians
              around here. :-) My Bolens 1050 ran for the 25 yrs I was in PA
              doing about 2 acres of weeds/grass and rototilled garden as well as
              snow blew the 0.3 mi lane quite a few times (I'd rather forget those)
              and was still being used by my brother for a few years after I got out
              of that misserable weather. Wisconsin engine, I did overhaull it once
              or twice. Finally got rid of some of the sheet metal that was always
              in the road but the running gear worked flawlessly.
              Now I use an electric on a postagestamp back yard. :-)


              • #37
                A bit off the track, but does anyone know where to find a non hydrostatic transmission for a garden mower/tractor? I'm looking using one for a speed controller for my shaper. Tried to find a motorcycle gearbox but none were affordable or had a proper form factor.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by dp
                  A bit off the track, but does anyone know where to find a non hydrostatic transmission for a garden mower/tractor? I'm looking using one for a speed controller for my shaper. Tried to find a motorcycle gearbox but none were affordable or had a proper form factor.
                  look for an old rear engine rider, they use four speed trans.


                  • #39
                    I had a Case 12hp with a Kohler engine, and hydrostatic for about 20 years. The thing was rugged as a rock. I really abused it at times while plowing snow. Took a lickin' and kept on tickin'. They were bought out by Ingersol, who seem to have made some minor improvements, but left the basic machine alone. If it wasn't for the implement clutch wearing out, it would still be in use. The original clutch design was only adjustable with shims, and was a real pain. Ingersol has made it adjustable, but retrofitting it was going to cost more than the tractor was worth.