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  1. #11
    Platinum Member tractorshopper's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    904
    Location
    Upstate South Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2380

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    All I can say about the hydro systems is that I've never had a problem with any of the 3 tractors I've owned now. People put many many hours on these things and I do hope someone with an older machine will chime in. I can tell you these are small, but they are real tractors and very high quality. Nothing like lawn tractors of any brand in any regard at all. My tractor will climb some gnarly stuff.
    David

  2. #12
    Elite Member Deere Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2,825
    Location
    Beaver Dam Wisconsin then to Hohenwald, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    I would think a John Deere X7XX something would work nice, maybe one with 4wd. I also put fluid in the tires and I have 2 sets of cast iron weights on the wheels. For hills like that I would run with chains on and I had that until I bought a house with a flat lawn.

    They have a much lower profile and less prone to tipping that SCUTs. They can have bullit proof Yanmar diesels which are of the same caliber as the bigger tractors and the hydrostatic transmission is a beast.

    They can be found used for 6-8000. I would get a new one but for someone squeamish about a new 12,000 garden tractor, good used ones are out there to be had. I just looked.

    I don't know the angle of the hill next to my house but the trail up is dirt. The front of the tractor bobs up at every little bump, but still goes up with ease. I don't have chains on anymore so I don't go up when it is wet or I would be sliding through the woods to the barn unless a tree would stop me first.

    I don't mow it but if your lawn is anything as steep as my hill the X7XX is the only GT I would even consider using full time. My X7XX is 2 wheel drive and going sideways on the hill that steep is doable but a 4 wd for going sideways would definitely help. I can't imaging a CUT or a SCUT with a high profile working in those conditions.
    JD 3720 with R4s and bulldozer capabilities.
    X740

    12 Millimeter = 1/2"
    100 Millimeter = 4"
    1 Meter = 40"
    1 Kilometer = 3300'

  3. #13
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    81
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Tractor
    Craftsman Excellerator GT (2010)

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deere Dude View Post
    I would think a John Deere X7XX something would work nice, maybe one with 4wd. I also put fluid in the tires and I have 2 sets of cast iron weights on the wheels. For hills like that I would run with chains on and I had that until I bought a house with a flat lawn.

    They have a much lower profile and less prone to tipping that SCUTs. They can have bullit proof Yanmar diesels which are of the same caliber as the bigger tractors and the hydrostatic transmission is a beast.

    They can be found used for 6-8000. I would get a new one but for someone squeamish about a new 12,000 garden tractor, good used ones are out there to be had. I just looked.

    I don't know the angle of the hill next to my house but the trail up is dirt. The front of the tractor bobs up at every little bump, but still goes up with ease. I don't have chains on anymore so I don't go up when it is wet or I would be sliding through the woods to the barn unless a tree would stop me first.

    I don't mow it but if your lawn is anything as steep as my hill the X7XX is the only GT I would even consider using full time. My X7XX is 2 wheel drive and going sideways on the hill that steep is doable but a 4 wd for going sideways would definitely help. I can't imaging a CUT or a SCUT with a high profile working in those conditions.
    The Deere X7?? series 4x4 diesel is what the fellow from Vernon Del recommended as a very high quality, very long lasting and extremely well cutting option for $12,000. He suggested that garden tractor (on steroids!) would be a lifetime purchase and provide amazing cut quality compared to my retail store stamped deck... and cut it faster, safer and for the rest of my mortal life as long as I maintained the unit properly.

    LOL, and I get it... I know he (and you) are correct in that this tractor is a beast and that it would replace my aging Craftsman and I would never again need to shop for a tractor..... But then there is that super cool fun side of having the backhoe and bucket to play with!

    That 700 series Deere at $12K is what got me originally thinking along the slippery slope.... If I spend 12K... why not look at 12.5K for a Massey (or similar) sub compact with front bucket... But if I am going to spend $12.5K.... why not spend $18.5K on one with all of that and the very useful backhoe!? And honestly.... I have even started loosing my mind a couple times and started thinking about going up a level to a compact! Not because I need it. Just because... well.... you know. It's kind of how men are. Buy that big truck, get the big tractor. Buy the .45 pistol. Put bigger tires on the truck. It goes on and on.
    2010 Craftsman Excellerator GT
    26HP Kohler Courage / Hydro Gear G730
    54" Deck, chains and wheel weights.

  4. #14
    Gold Member plowhog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    384
    Location
    Northern NV and Northern CA
    Tractor
    Massey GC1710, Massey 1758 cab model

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    I own a Husqvarna GT48DXLS riding mower/lawn tractor. It's a great machine and I use it on my flat level lawn. For about $3k you can't find any other machine that has a Kawasaki engine, K66 transaxle, and locking differential. In a league of its own it seems. Might be a match for some lower end needs you have.

    I also own a Massey GC1710 TLB, similar to the 1720 you want. Very slight differences between these two models. I use the Massey to brush hog several acres. As good as the Husqvarna is, there is simply no comparison in how robust the Massey is compared to it. Which makes sense when you compare price. The power, diesel engine, and overall strength and quality of the Massey is impressive. It has done everything I have wanted it to do, and then some. I added a "thumb" to the backhoe so I can also pick up and move large boulders. And added hooks to the front bucket, as I find myself often chaining up something, lifting it, and moving it around. And on and on and on. The utility of a SCUT is tremendous. I can't comment on longevity of the hydro, as I only have about 80 hours on it. But I don't think I've heard of any hydro failures or problems.

    In several years of attending this forum, I believe I read just one poster who complained about the Massey not traveling uphill at high speed in high gear. I can't remember the circumstances, but, I find that I always brush hog in low gear, as that range gives me the speed I want for brush hogging/mowing. If I tried to mow in high gear I believe the ride would be extremely uncomfortable, not to mention affecting the cut quality. My property in NV has a slight slope which is no challenge when traveling in any direction. My property in CA has some significant areas of slope whereby I travel up/down and only turn around at the top and bottom. You can do that, but you want to go slow and be careful you don't drop a wheel in a hole. There are many threads here about mowing on slopes-- read them all for some good tips. I don't think mowing in high gear is practical. I find myself using low gear for almost everything, and only use high gear if I want to get from point A to point B-- not use it when doing actual work. Read the threads here also about safety, and going slower is usually the safer route as well.

    Yes, I get it about gravitating to the biggest and baddest things. Like a .45acp. Or a .45/70 rifle. Or quad cab diesel truck. Not only are those fun but they also have great utility. I believe if you buy a Massey 1720 you will never regret it. There is just great utility capability. Buy something lesser than a SCUT, and probably keep getting the job done but forever wonder "maybe I should have ...."
    Massey GC1710 TLB, Massey 1758 cab model.

  5. #15
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    81
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Tractor
    Craftsman Excellerator GT (2010)

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    @plowhog From what I have read on various forums, the seat on the 1720 is a $1500 item alone, and is a desired upgrade over the base model seat on the 1710. Did you look at both and consider the seats? I am seeing a $1,000 price difference between the 10 and 20, so that is like getting 30 percent off on the better seat, and then getting the bigger fuel pump that gives a little power boost for free! That is why I was thinking of the 1720. I just don't want to save a grand and then always wonder if it would have been better had I got the 25HP version..... Do you ever think that you should have spent that $1,000 more?

    I am seeing $17,495 for MMM/Hoe/loader 1710 and the same set up for a 1720 at $18,495. That is over the phone quote, so I assume that there is up to $2,000 worth of money for me to attempt to beat them down from those numbers?
    2010 Craftsman Excellerator GT
    26HP Kohler Courage / Hydro Gear G730
    54" Deck, chains and wheel weights.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,404
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Crawler View Post
    My biggest fear that I think I have articulated at least 2 times before in this thread is about the life of the hydro systems. The transmission/hydro system will be taking a beating and work hard being that there does not exist a semi level spot of ground within 30 miles of the Pittsburgh Pa area. You going up or your going down... or your floating level in a river. Car tires don't last hear like in most of the country. Fuel economy sucks here compared to most of the country. Lawn and Garden tractor hydro units start to whine loudly and stop working fairly quick here compared to the rest of the country. These are facts of life :-(

    One topic that I do not see folks comparing on these sub compacts is the individual hydro unit, axle unit and general drivetrain component list and determine who uses the very best rated parts. When you look at Hydr Gear or Tuff Torq units in Yard or in Garden tractors you start to realize that not all Garden or Yard tractors are created equally. Some are built with the bigger and higher rated parts and others are built around much smaller/weaker/cheaper axles/transmissions. I would assume that between Massey, LS, kubota, Deere, Mahindra and New Holland Sub Compacts that there has to varying levels of drive train components available to the manufactures?

    Another assumption I have is that these will all be sourced with higher end contractor/professional engines rather than retail/consumer grade junk like my Kohler Courage that has an EPA median hours to failure rating of 500 hours? 500 hours of trouble free service does not impress me, I want to hear about 5,000 hours of trouble free service, or even 10,000 hours.
    The modern "subcut" type tractor has only been marketed since about 2000, however these units use engines and transmissions derived from slightly larger tractors that have been around for more than 40 years. The small diesels in these tractors are also used in many extreme duty applications (marine, generators, portable lighting, etc.), and are some of the most long-lasting, reliable power sources on the planet. With good maintenance, a little diesel should still be running like new when you are as old as me.

    The same can be said of the HST transmissions. It is rare to hear of a tractor HST drive failure, other than due to poor maintenance.

    As for high end/low end issues with engines, I don't think any tractor manufacturer is using "consumer grade" diesel engines, if there even is such a thing. Some of the major engine builders are Kubota, Yanmar, Iseki, Daedong, Mitsubishi.

    Changing subjects slightly, just a comment about the economics of these things. There is value in investing in higher priced equipment if it does something to improve the safety of your backside while operating it. You would be considerably safer on something with 4WD, robust HST, seatbelts and ROPS, lugged tires, etc., than you are joyriding your Craftsman up and down those slopes. Respectfully suggest that should be a factor in your 1 subcut = x lawnmowers calclulation.

  7. #17
    Gold Member plowhog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    384
    Location
    Northern NV and Northern CA
    Tractor
    Massey GC1710, Massey 1758 cab model

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    When I was shopping it was a $2,000 difference between a 1710 and 1720. The differences are a slight change in power, a better seat, and brackets around the rear lights to offer some protection should you swipe tree limbs as you go by.

    I have not regretted not spending the extra $2k. But if it was only $1k I probably would have opted for the 1720. btw my only complaint about the Massey is the seat, but not about comfort. For me the comfort of the 1710 seat is fine. The Massey has a single seat use in "tractor" and "backhoe" mode. That seat must be flipped up and around to switch between the two modes. I find that process cumbersome. Although dangerous, when trenching with the backhoe I leave the seat in the rear position when moving the tractor forward to work on the next section of trench. Many would cringe at the thought of doing that, but if you are careful you can do it. I just read elsewhere about someone who solved the best of both worlds. When you use the backhoe, just remove the *backrest only* part of the seat, which involved removing 4 bolts, removing the seat back, then replacing the 4 bolts. Then use the flat seat either for backhoe work or moving the tractor forward. I think that is a great idea and I hope to try it soon. Of course, for hours of brush hogging you want the seat back in place, hopefully leaning back on it while letting the cruise control do its thing ....
    Massey GC1710 TLB, Massey 1758 cab model.

  8. #18
    Gold Member plowhog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    384
    Location
    Northern NV and Northern CA
    Tractor
    Massey GC1710, Massey 1758 cab model

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    btw Massey prices you are quoting are less than what I paid, and I shopped around with several dealers and felt I got a pretty good deal ...
    Massey GC1710 TLB, Massey 1758 cab model.

  9. #19
    Elite Member
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    Jun 2006
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    2,564
    Location
    West Cascades, Washington State USA
    Tractor
    PT 422

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Crawler View Post
    Pushing at $17,000 for the Massey Ferguson or Mahindra is a click past my wife's limit... Going into specialty equipment that increases in price and takes away my backhoe would be insurmountable 😟.

    I'm assuming that machine your referring to is going to be notably more expensive and not have the FEL and more importantly... The backhoe. I would buy a MMM/backhoe combo of it existed for cheaper. The FEL is not that interesting to me as I can't imagine that you can really cut in and dig with it on a 1400 lb machine. I don't have a gravel driveway, so the hoe and then my Rhino can likely do everything I would need. The bucket... Meh.... It comes with it so I'll take it 😉
    I don't own one of the big machines, but you can put both a FEL and backhoe on them, among other implements. I have a much smaller 422 that i use on my property, because i don't have much level ground and couldn't find a machine that i tried out, that was as stable.

  10. #20
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    81
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Tractor
    Craftsman Excellerator GT (2010)

    Default Re: South west PA and steep hills with a SCUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by plowhog View Post
    btw Massey prices you are quoting are less than what I paid, and I shopped around with several dealers and felt I got a pretty good deal ...
    I called a place down south of here called Brunos (saw folks on forums talking about them) and learned that I could buy from them for $19,000 shipped to me in the 60" MMM/FEL/BH configured 1720.

    What I do not know is if I ordered out of state and shipped in and then needed warranty support.... would Vernon Del be Johnny-on-the-spot to help me out.... or would I get treated like the bastard child that they want nothing to do with?

    But paying +$500 but saving 6% state sales taxes has a value.... as in $1,110 worth of taxes kind of value. So by ordering from this fellow down yonder, I save $1110 - $500 overpaid = $610 saved with no negotiating or game playing. Is saving $610 worth it instead of buying local? Hmmmm. I'm having doubts. I suspect that the value of driving to Vernon Del and paying ultimately $600 more will net me better future interactions should a warranty type of issue arise.
    2010 Craftsman Excellerator GT
    26HP Kohler Courage / Hydro Gear G730
    54" Deck, chains and wheel weights.

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