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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9
    Location
    west Atlanta, GA
    Tractor
    2000 Craftsman GT

    Default Using garden tractor implements

    Hello all:

    I found this site looking for information on small garden tractors. I recently bought a used Craftsman GT tractor with 22HP Kohler and 6 speed hi-lo transmission. Along with the tractor I got a disc harrow, all-purpose plow, grading blade and box blade.

    I have used "real" tractors and I don't want to expect too much from this little guy. I would appreciate any experiences about other useful attachments or implements. I am considering maybe getting a front plow blade but I'm not sure if if would be all that useful. I also found the implements to be quite heavy when trying to raise them with the blade handle so I fab'd a mounting plate and bought an electric sleeve from Northern Tool. MUCH more useful and easier to use, especially when smoothing out the driveway. For some reason Craftsman decided to design the lift with either up or down and virtually no way to feather the blade. This is the kind of information/experiences I am wondering about.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Wolfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,058
    Location
    a small town
    Tractor
    Ford 1710 & 1600, Kubota G6200, Simplicty 2010, Allis Chalmers B110, Montgomery Wards Squire 9

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    I have a fleet of garden tractors, there are 3 chores I find them really good for. 1-mowing, 2-pulling a splitter or small trailer, 3-pushing snow. If you have like a small driveway, or a path to the back door, they really shine there. After all, they used to be relied on before the BXs took over. Wheel weights and tire chains are a must have. The bigger garden tractors can handle deep snow, but 2 to 4 inches at a time is much easier. Also, the first storm, push back plenty. They really don't have the power or traction to break through snow banks.

  3. #3
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,230
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    Welcome to TBN.

    Moving dirt or gravel with a garden tractor is pushing the limit of these little machines. The blades are great for moving snow, though. A rotary snow thrower works even better.

    Get a little dump cart. I think most of the box stores have them for about $100. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it. Other implements to consider include a lawn aerator, dethatcher, and tow behind sprayer. Your machine may have an available tiller, too. That's a slick option.

    What kind of ground do you have? What kind of tasks do you usually do around your property?
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9
    Location
    west Atlanta, GA
    Tractor
    2000 Craftsman GT

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    Just for saying, I really wanted a small "real" tractor but the CFO wouldn't approve 8-10K. I particularly wanted a front end loader. She just doesn't see how much trouble I can stay out of at home.

    Wolfy,
    We usually don't have much snow down here in "Gawga." I'm starting a fleet- this one, a Deere mower, and the old Murray. Twenty years out of one of those is about as good as it gets. Might make a baby bushhog out of it. I am considering some wheel weights but I did change the tires to some 6 ply lugs with a lot better traction. Another good reason not to give up biscuits and sausage gravy.

    Iplayfarmer,
    I got a dump cart with the Deere and I have a 25 gal sprayer that I put in the cart. Not too concerned with thatch; I don't think it is as big a problem universally as some do. As for aerating, I prefer a good plugger and that just ain't gonna work with one of these little guys- IMO. I have just a country acre. Some yard, woods on one end and my edge of an old field. The box blade is great for smoothing the gravel drive and both blades will work loose or soft dirt but will not cut new ground with grass/roots. I have a moldboard plow ordered at Home Depot. I hope it will at least cut practical rows for the veg garden and flower beds. Then smooth it with the harrow and work it with the cultivator. Just like a big tractor!

    Thanks for all the great input.
    Richard

  5. #5
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,230
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ga Downunder View Post
    ...I particularly wanted a front end loader.
    People have put front end loaders on garden tractors...
    Loader Plans, CAD Plans, Build a Loader, Front End Loader - Blank Page

    Backhoes can be added, too.
    Backhoe, Backhoe plans, Build a Backhoe, CAD plans - welcome to Backhoeplans.com

    If you don't have one already, my crystal ball shows a welder in your future.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    9
    Location
    west Atlanta, GA
    Tractor
    2000 Craftsman GT

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    If you don't have one already, my crystal ball shows a welder in your future.
    Would a wire welder count?

  7. #7
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,230
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ga Downunder View Post
    Would a wire welder count?
    That's what I had figured you'd end up with.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    Gravely 9000 commercial

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    I have a 2007 model craftsman gt with a 26hp briggs and I have been tickled to death with it. It has a large mowing deck I think maybe 52 or 54", a sleave hitch, grader blade, moldboard plow, cultivator and the front scoop. I disagree with the gentlman that said your asking too much of these machines to move dirt and rocks. Now big rocks yeah, no doubt. Things I have accomplished with my craftsman. Mowed of course, leveled my back yard for a swimming pool using the grader blade and tiller, graded my drive way too many times to mention and spreaded gravel, large and small alike, plowed my garden each year, hauled mulch, and whatever would fit in the front bucket. I moved 8 ton of sand using the front scoop bucket in an afternoon for the pool installation. I love this little tractor. If you take care of them they will last forever. I recently installed a linear actuator on the sleave hitch so my shoulder could have it a bit easier and am in the process of building a new and improved front mount with linear actuators for the snow plow and front bucket.
    Now these are not kubotas or cub cadets, but for the money they do what they were intended to do. Just my two cents worth.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9
    Location
    west Atlanta, GA
    Tractor
    2000 Craftsman GT

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    Peavy,

    Thanks for your input! I went to HD last summer and got them to special order a moldboard plow for me. Best implement I own in my opinion. The cultivator and harrow are good for what they were made for (Isn't that the main point anyway?) but they will not break new ground. With the lug tires I added I can dig anything I want now.

    One of the first things I updated was adding an electric actuator for the sleeve hitch. With any weight on the implements, my back just wouldn't let me raise and lower the lever. Good thing is that with the infinite control of the electric, I can feather out the gravel in the drive as good as any hydraulics, just a bit slower.

    I made a bracket for the hitch instead of using the original linkage and got the actuator from Northern Industrial.

    One day I would like to add a front loader. Any thought or suggestions on that- where to buy, what to look for?

    Thanks again for your reply. It sounds like we both are on the same page with use and expectations of these little guys.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    Gravely 9000 commercial

    Default Re: Using garden tractor implements

    GA Downunder,
    I have no problem breaking new ground with my plow, make sure you set the angle of the plow using the adjustment linkage (this seems to help). Sounds like you are cheap like me. I did the same thing with the actuator except I ordered mine from Surplus Hydraulics for $99.99. Got out the welder, drill, plasma cutter and fabricated a bracket for the rear hitch. Actually just finished it late last night. As far as the front scoop bucket, I have the one from sears and it does well for what it is, however in my quest to always make it better I am going to make a double H frame (johnny bucket style).
    I will beef up the front hitch and do away with the tilt and lift arms and repalce them with actuators. If you want a front bucket and you use the mower for grass cutting also I think this is the best way to go. My advice is save your money and make everything yourself. That is of courseif you have the tools and are handy with them. Look at johnny buckets web site, it is a simple design that seems to work.

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