Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Bolivar, MO

    Default PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Hello everyone. I have been 'lurking' on TBN for some time and would like to thank everyone here for providing such an amazing amount of useful information. The rising prices are leading me to think that it is time I finally take the plunge and make a purchase, before I have to go back to the CFO and beg for even more of our resources to be earmarked for this purchase. So I figure I better get to asking some questions.

    I have read back at least a couple of years worth of posts, and the general consensus seems to be that anyone with lower than average mechanical skills would be better off with a tractor that offers better support from a company with a dealer network. Knowing all this, I am still leaning towards the Power Trac. (I'll get back to my reasons why.)

    I feel completely comfortable with performing all the necessary maintenance work that I am reading about here, but I am pretty nervous about troubleshooting and repairing any breakdowns that occur. I have checked into the Robin engines and there is a lawn equipment dealer here in town that is an authorized service center for them and will handle warranty work. I have dealt with this company before and feel pretty comfortable with them. The hydraulic portion of the PT has me a little more worried though. I guess the main thing I am curious about is how others have fared in similar circumstances. I get the impression that most of the guys who do the majority of the posting are pretty handy and maybe are not the best suited to answer my questions. How about some of you other guys that have bought PTs but don't own every tool known to man? What kind of experiences have you had with getting repairs done, and/or learning to do them yourselves? When you have a breakdown, have you been able to diagnose the problem and get the machine back in service with the help of Power Trac and the resources available here at TBN? Would you buy a PT again, or would you go with something else?

    I will back up here and give a little info on my specific needs and circumstances. We just finished building a new home on 8 acres. The house is built on a hillside that ranges in slope from 10 to 20 degrees as best as I can figure it, with a smallish front yard that is fairly flat. Currently about a half acre is cleared for lawn, but that could grow to as much as an acre later on. Most of this area is also heavily treed, so my tired old MTD lawn tractor gets a real workout, and it takes forever to mow. I also have about 3 acres of pasture that I would like to brushhog a few times per year, and the balance is in timber. I have a gravel driveway that is probably 400' long and has one nasty 20 degree grade. So my needs in order are 1) mowing/hogging, 2) snow removal, 3) drive maintenance and 4) ability to move dirt and gravel for landscape work.

    I initially planned on buying an old used tractor, or grey market tractor plus a zero turn mower. Thanks to all the invaluable info here at TBN, I soon learned that 4wd would be a must for the tractor, and that the zero turn idea wasn't so hot, due to the slope of our land. (Also, any tractor I could reasonably afford, be it used, grey, or chinese would have similar service issues to a PT.)

    Another huge factor is storage. I designed the house with a walkout basement with an overhead door, so that I could park all the machinery in a shop area of the basement. Unfortunately, those plans went somewhat awry. The slope was so great at the back of the house that I had to go with a retaining wall along the back. In order not to lose the shade trees behind the house (west side) I only ended up with about 10-11 feet to swing into the door. Not much room to manuever a traditional CUT, and my wife isn't going for the idea of her car sitting out to make room for a tractor in the main floor garage. So now I am looking at building a barn, or a tractor sitting out in the weather. Way too many dollars going out at once on top of the new house (which of course, was grossly over budget itself.)

    So basically, I am now thinking that a PT 425 with a 48" mower, brush hog, snow blade and a bucket (I'm leaning towards the light material, but willing to listen to arguments) would fit my needs. It works financially, should fit into my garage and hopefully solves all my needs with one machine instead of two. But will I be able to keep the darned thing running? Any and all feedback will be appreciated.

    Sorry for the length of this and thanks to everyone at TBN for all the info. Special thanks to Fourteen for braving the wrath of the Chinese Tractor forum and bringing the PT to my attention and to MossRoad for his great website.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    584
    Location
    NW Tasmania, Australia
    Tractor
    Kubota F-2880

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    First of all... welcome to TBN and the Power Trac forum!!

    In brief, between a small engine (or diesel) mechanic, a hydraulic shop, and a welder, ANYTHING can be repaired or replaced locally on a PT. There are many more specialized parts and unique OEM componants on any brand of CUT.

    The PT-425 seems like it would handle the tasks you laid out, although with the number of acres and pasture you might consider one of the diesel models.

    Welocome and good luck,

    Rip

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,213
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Welcome aboard, you have some very good questions.
    I was in the same boat as you are prior to purchasing my 425 9 months ago.
    My mechanical ability runs from 1 to 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. On the other hand I fear nothing and will jump in and try to figure out something. I did contact local repair shops and found that there is nothing on the PowerTrac that can not be fixed by the local dealers. This would be the same as local support from any CUT brand.
    Now, the real point I want to make is that I aproached my purchase from the standpoint that my 425 would not be breaking but would need only the normal upkeep maintenance. When you see the 425 and how it is designed you feel it could take down a house.
    I have had a few things break but fixed each one myself or had someone come over (weld). The oil changes, grease schedule, filter cleaning etc. is a real breeze. I really enjoy doing the regular maintenance items.
    Having TBN and the PowerTrac owners for support leaves me very comfortable.
    You mentioned you looked at other CUT forums on TBN. You will notice they all do the same thing, talk about how to repair this or that.
    We are here to help you if needed but I think we will probably be here to talk with each other about how great your 425 is and the many projects you have taken care of.
    PJ

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    489
    Location
    Bolivar, pa.
    Tractor
    power trac 422, and agco-allis 5660, john deere 550 dozer ,1845 power trac

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Welcome to the pt forum. I am also from Bolivar, just a different state(PA). I have had my pt 422 for over 4 years and have 600+ hours on it. To date all I have done is change oil, filters, grease , change spark plugs and replace a quick attach hydraulic coupler (coupler was covered by pt under warranty shortly after I got the pt). I am not real mechanically inclined and I believe there are repair shops near me to do any repairs that I cannot do myself. As far as buying another pt I probably would but I might be tempted to go with one larger than my 422 as I have lots of steep hills and we mow over 5 acres with the 48 inch mower. I use the pt quite often to mow over a mile of roads and paths on my property in addition to the 5 acres we mow as our yard. I use my agco allis 5660 to mow several small fields and the roads if I have the brush hog on it , but it is so hard to get the brush hog mounted I usually just use my pt 422 with the finish mower. The pt is very easy to change attachments on compared to the agco allis, and is a lot easier to manuver.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Bolivar, MO

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Thanks Rip and Pajoube for the replies. I would love to go up to the 1430 and get the diesel, but the bucks dictate otherwise. Actually, I had to hide the 180 and 422 price sheets from my wife, or war would have broken out! Pajoube, I hope to some day be able to post pictures of projects that are half as impressive as yours.

    Ernemats, you really got me excited when you said you were from Bolivar. I was half way out to my truck to head over to your house for a test drive before I saw PA. (Is Bolivar, PA also named after the liberator of South America?) Sounds like you really use your 422 hard, and it is encourging to hear that it has been so trouble free. Thanks again for the replies, and after rereading my first post, I didn't mean to imply that I don't want to hear from you mechanical wizards. Your input is also appreciated.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    18,086
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Me thinks you'll make out fine. Just take the time to think about problems in a logical manner. No one can be a Master at everything.

    Egon


  7. #7
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    25,421
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Welcome to TBN! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    123
    Location
    Patuxent River, MD
    Tractor
    MF 2300

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Dakar,
    Have you talked with your local Robin shop about the specifics of the Robin engine in a PowerTrac? My local "authorized" Robin service center all but refused to work on my tractor because it was "too hard". If you're going to depend on them for service, you might want to make sure they understand how the engine is installed in a PowerTrac and get assurance that they're willing to do what's necessary (i.e. pull the engine out of the tractor) if required. Lessons learned.

    All that said, I'd put myself at about the same level of mechanical aptitude that you've rated yourself, and with the help of folks at TBN, Jack at Robin America, and local gearhead friends, I've managed to tackle the few problems I've had.

    Scott

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    324
    Location
    western pa.
    Tractor
    440 Steiner

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    welcome to TBN, i also have a 422 a had a little trouble with the engine.yes, the dealers are scared of the power-trac and it's hyd.set up. they seem to have it in their head they have to start ripping off hoses. so just pull the engine your self and take it to them. I had the engine out and on the back of the truck in a little over an hour.it is very simple no special tools [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] after that the carb. had a dirt problem a simple cleaning that was it, i still put 200 hours on it in a year and a half. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Bolivar, MO

    Default Re: PT\'s for the mechanically challenged (again)

    Thanks guys for the replies. Definitely more food for thought. You have me leaning more towards the PT all the time.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.