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  1. #1
    Veteran Member DmansPadge's Avatar
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    Orange, TX
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    Kubota B2620, Toro 2000 Series Z Master

    Default Which brand to buy?

    I am looking to buy a riding tractor to mow 1 1/2 acres of flat land, do some light duty towing and using a front blade to smooth sand and maintain about a 100 ft driveway. I have been looking at Cub Cadet, kubota, and many others. I want something to last me 20+ years. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    S. IN
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    Look them up on Consumer Reports. They have recently tested lawn tractors in that range comparing their abilities as well as their durability. They accept no advertising money, so their reports are as they see them; not slanted by advertising money.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( their reports are as they see them; not slanted by advertising money. )</font>

    Just their personal prejudices and opinions???? Before you take their opinion, be sure to read the entire report carefully because the "features" they consider important may or may not be the same ones you consider important for your use. I dropped my subscription long ago.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Dexter, MI
    Tractor
    BX-2200

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    Power Trac makes a nice little tractor for your needs called a PT180. Check them out on the web

    Power Trac

  5. #5
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    <font color="red"> I dropped my subscription long ago. </font>

    Bird, my brother lives and breathes by the Consumer Reports guides, he won't buy anything unless they say it is the thing to buy. Me, I try stuff out and see if it works for me. I recently needed to buy a car for one of my VPs and picked up a new Chrysler 300 for him, he LOVES that car, but Consumer Reports basically dislikes Chrysler in all shapes and sizes.

    For me, I think Cub Cadet makes some good stuff, but they also make some really light duty stuff that I would not ever consider, the lower end of their scale appears to be built for cost, so it can compete in the Big Box stores.

    I doubt running a light duty lawn tractor with a front blade would be an advisable thing to do, but running a well made garden tractor that is heavily built with the same front blade won't stress the machine and will likely yield a decade or two of good service. I think it all goes back to the old saying "you get what you pay for." If you want a 20 year machine, then you have 2 choices, buy a good quality machine that is actually built for the tasks, or buy a machine that you will likely have to hold together with bailing wire because you beat it up by working it too hard. Now I am not endorsing any brand, I'm just saying that asking a LT to do the work of a GT is not advisable, even if both machines outwardly look the same, the guts of the drive train, frame, gearing, etc will likely be different and those are the things, along with the engine, that you will really be working.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    northeast PA
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    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    If you want a machine that has a chance of lasting 20+ years, you should be looking at high end garden tractors. For 1 1/2 acres, you don't need the size or extra strength of a compact utility tractor, and a light duty lawn tractor has less of a chance of lasting as long as you want. (Some folks can get more than 20 years out of a $999 machine, but I suspect the last 10 years are less than fun) I'd be looking at the Deere 300 series, Cub 3000 series, Ingersoll 4000 series, Simplicity Prestige and Legacy and their Massey Ferguson and Agco clones, Toro 5xi series, kubota "G" and "BX" series. All of these machines are expensive, strong, durable. You didn't mention a budget, so these are what I'd be looking at if money wasn't a problem. Sit on them, and see how they feel as to control layout, seat comfort, leg room, ease of getting on and off. Check out the dealer's service area for parts inventory, is it clean and professional looking? Are the mechanics hotrodding around out back on customer's machines? Compare warantees, financing, etc. and who you think will be there for you for service and repairs.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    gray,maine
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    2003 toro 419xt

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    has anyone heard that kubota is coming out with a new garden tractor that has 4 wheel drive and is called the gr series.does anyone know anything about it

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    Yeah, Bob, all of us, including the guys at Consumer Reports, have our personal preferences that shadow our opinions. I say you need to only consider their opinion if you read the entire report for several reasons. A few examples:

    We bought a new '82 Isuzu Imark sedan with the diesel engine. When Consumer Reports did their evaluation, they compared it to the compact Oldsmobile and a compact Toyota; both with gasoline engines. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] How's that for a comparison? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] They had also sent out questionnaires to owners of those three vehicles, and I was one of those who answered the questionnaire (I was also a subscriber at the time). Of course Consumer Reports recommended the Toyota (if you go by Consumer Reports, you'd never buy a motor vehicle unless it said "Toyota" on it, would you? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) In the first paragraph of the report, the author plainly stated that he did not like diesel powered automobiles unless it said "Mercedes" on it. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] And in the narrative, his only criticism of the Isuzu was that it was awkward to get in and out of the back seat. He was right, but I doubt that it was worse than the other two and wasn't something I cared about. And in the chart he had of their survey results, customer satisfaction and reliability were higher on the Isuzu than either the Olds or Toyota. Unbiased report? I think not.

    Another of their "evaluations" was of walk behind lawnmowers. Now the best walk behind lawnmowers I ever used were the old 2-stroke Lawnboys made by OMC. Consumer Reports rated them very poorly because they didn't have the power of a Briggs and Stratton engine in foot high grass. Since I never let my lawn get a foot high, that didn't mean much to me.

    And how many remember how they deep sixed the Suzuki Samurai because it was too easy to turn over? They killed a very popular little car, then got lots less publicity later when they admitted it was more stable than a Ford Bronco.

    So, they're entitled to their opinion and the rest of us are entitled to ours. I don't happen to believe their reports are "unbiased" as they claim, but I have no proof; I just don't take their word for what's best, and I don't subscribe to their magazine anymore.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member sneaky_pete's Avatar
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    Parker County, Texas and Santa Fe County, New Mexico
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    Kubota B7400HSD, G1800

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( if you go by Consumer Reports, you'd never buy a motor vehicle unless it said "Toyota" on it, would you? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] )</font>

    I knew there was something I must like about that magazine... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

    Pete

  10. #10
    Veteran Member GreenRules's Avatar
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    Limerick, Maine
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    John Deere 4110, 325,Gt225,, 110, XUV550S4, Kubota L275

    Default Re: Which brand to buy?

    I agree with Bob. I am fond of Cub Cadet and John Deere both, but I don't think either one's bottom shelf product would last for 20 years when used as a "yard" tractor. I like John Deere's GT series. They are reasonably affordable and built to last. I also like Cub Cadet's 2500 series with the cast iron transaxle and filter. It's pretty hard to beat shaft drive. I am sure kubota and NH have good GT versions as well, but I am not familiar with them.
    I guess my point is that I don't think you will be satisfied using a light duty tractor for blading, and I agree that you get what you pay for.
    As a final point, look for a motor with full pressure lubrication. That should extend it's lifetime provided you keep up the maintenance.
    Good luck!

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