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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Charlottesville, VA

    Default Choosing the right Garden Tractor


    Trying to gain some insight into choosing the right garden tractor for our lawn (1.5 acres). We have plenty of trees, and a driveway that could use some grading.


    M Jenkins

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Charlevoix Mi
    JD 790, JD4100,JD318,JD216 Grasshopper 322D,Wright 52 Stander

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor

    So there are alot of options out there. First off how much do you want to spend? What brand is your favorite? Let's start there.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor


  4. #4
    Veteran Member powerscol's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Colorado
    CT 235

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by murphy1244 View Post
    Nothing runs like a Deere when being chased by a Kioti

    I was going to add or a Bobcat

    M Jenkins - I am currently looking into the same situation. I have a 30 year old Sears Garden tractor, capably of using ground engaging equipment. True Garden tractors are hard to find. Most out there are Lawn or Yard tractors.

    My old Sears is built like a tank ( but I cant get certain parts now), the new stuff (Probably MTD built) is a lot lighter.

    I'm am now looking at the Sears GT model that has the manual trans (old school) and a JD Garden model - more $$$$

    However you could also consider moving up to a CUT (Compact Tractor) look at the Bobcat or kubota, or Kioti. They have smaller models that also give you a FEL and can mount a belly mower and handle other 3pt attachments.

    Good luck
    2011 CT 235 with FEL, Filled rear tires, RBT3584 Rear Blade, Ansung Terra Force YJR074 tiller, Ansung Terra Force 42 inch pallet forks, Kubota RA1035 rotary rake, IH 1300 9 ft sickle mower, Hesston 4550 baler, Kuhn PZ 170 drum mower, Kuhn 222T Tedder, Maschio Giraffetta 160SE Flail Mower, Hydraulic top link. Kuhns Mfg 205 Compact Bale Grabber, Overhead light bar, tool box, various Titan hitch adapters, along with rear flood light on the tractor.

  5. #5
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    2012 Gravely Pro Turn 152

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor

    I recommend Husqvarna lawn tractors for the best bang for your buck(NOT big box store models, but buy from a Husqvarna "dealer"). For 1.5 acres don't get a low-end model. Let us know what your max budget is and we will recommend some specific models(the more money....the better quality like with anything).

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Vancouver Wa.
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor

    Would be nice to know what the intended use is.

    Over the last 40 yrs I've had 3 different GT's. All had horiz engines with direct drive to the trans. 2 of the 3 also had shaft drive to the mower deck. Personally I would not ever have a vert shaft engine mounted in a GT. Also prefer cast iron rear differential housing.

    With a lot of trees to get around, a HST is called for.

    Since I don't try and keep up with the Jones's so to speak, I can't offer much in the way of brand recommendations. I do know Cub's 2xxx & 3xxx series use horiz engines, shaft drive the trans and cast iron rear differential/axle housing. The 2xxx series uses a twisted belt for the mower deck drive. The 3xxx uses shaft drive for the mower deck. These 2 models include oil filter for the trans/differential.

    My HD 48" mower deck tips the scale @ 265#, uses tapered roller bearings on the spindles, has a doz grease fittings and adj caster wheels and rear rollers. This ain't your momma's lawnmower. It is built to last.

    As for the tractor, again, lots of grease fittings and hyd steering and aux hyd attachments.

    I'm sure there are other brands/models that are built as tough. When I bought the Cub, I looked at the comp JD and the Cub weighed 75# more and that is not including the mower deck. That extra weight was very visible.

    Good luck on your search.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  7. #7
    Member ILLUMN8R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Cub Cadet GT2100


    I was in the market for a new garden tractor a year ago, I had a 1978 John Deere 210 with a 4 speed manual gearbox, 39" 3 blade deck and 42"'front blade, but I was working on it as much as operating it so the old girl had to go. I looked extensively at what was on the market and found out "they don't make em like they used to", I quickly ruled out anything from a box store and looked at what real equipment dealers had to offer. I looked at green, orange, blue and yellow tractors, each had their own good qualities, attachment options & features and there was a wide price range. I needed a unit that would be stable enough to mow fairly steep hills, have a deck less than 48", pull a 1000lb + trailer and have a front blade to push heavy wet Nebraska snow, all while staying in my price range <$5000. The only unit I could find that met all of these criteria was the Cub Cadet GT2000 series, as mentioned by a previous reply, they have a heavy duty cast iron hydrostatic transmission that holds 6 quarts of fluid and has a large external spin on filter. If you are going to be using ground engaging equipment like a rear blade to grade your drive, you need a stout tranny, & Johnny bucket makes a nice rear sleeve hitch with electric actuator. I ended up buying a GT2100, the difference from the GT2000 is it has a larger 23HP V twin Kohler command engine, 23/10.5/12 rear tires and an electric actuator that lifts the mower deck and lifts the snow blade also (my favorite feature). I believe the Kohler Command series to be some of the best small engines made today, check them out, the engine is connected directly to the transmission with a drive shaft, no belt, in fact the only belt on it is from the PTO to the deck! To find another "garden tractor" with shaft drive I discovered it would cost twice as much. Cub sells its mower decks separately so you can choose what you need, they have 3 stamped deck options (I have the 42" with a mulch kit) and 2 commercial quality fabricated deck options, I have less than an acre, you may want the fab deck, especially if you have rough terrain or are cutting wild grass & weeds.
    I attached some photos of my tractor, it has met and exceeded all my expectations. Happy hunting!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Choosing the right Garden Tractor-image-2241505669-jpg   Choosing the right Garden Tractor-image-687621899-jpg   Choosing the right Garden Tractor-image-3573128141-jpg  

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    somewhere usa
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Choosing the right Garden Tractor

    For a garden tractor I would look at the x744 for a nice mower with 4ws or an x534, x324 depends on budget and expectations. The x744 is a diesel and is available with a limited three point hitch for various implements. I have an x749 4x4ws diesel but it has been discontinued this year. For a simple yet capable mower I like the x320 but would take about two hours to mow 1 1/2 acres with 20 to 30 trees to trim around. I wouldn't recommend any thing less than the x320 in the Deere line.

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