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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Default Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush Hog!

    Good Morning...I must admit to a bad case of Craftsman lawn tractor abuse

    Once a year I use my 25HP Craftsman w/wheel heights and chains to "mow" my 2-3 acre field...which I "reclaimed" from the wild about 5-6 years ago (again with the Craftsman).

    Well, yesterday was the worse ever...I think I am a week early AND this has been a very productive summer growing season. The tall grass/"hay" was not too bad...could generally take about 1/2 "new" in each pass...BUT the terrible weeds are something else! The weed have required me to just take maybe 10" of new cut each time around. The mower was indeed under stress...I would slow when it began to lug and did manage to not blow the engine.

    Well, I got about 2/3 done and today will be my attempt to finish! At least I have not broken any spindles on the filed this year...broke two last year. I have become quite good at spindle replacement...did not even know what they were until I began to "mow" my field.

    Maybe hay and weeds sb bundled into bales?...sure is quite a bit Just kidding.

    Since I began "wanting a tractor with a three point hitch and PTO I have created a list of first "uses"...

    1) Basic brush hog use for my field and trails on my property...nearly a mile of trails that I also mow with my Craftsman. BTW...do you drive over saplings to get them to the brush hog? Is there anything under the tractor that can be damaged by the small trees?

    2) Box Blade? to "smooth" rough portions of one of my trails...kind of gravely soil I think a Box Blade should help?

    3) Degraded stump removal...either front end loader or heavy duty back blade?

    4) Brush removal?...not sure if you can push brush out with a sturdy front end loader or ?

    5) Field "plowing"...I would like to "work" the dirt to the point that I have a "nice" field that produces a "hay like" product...eliminate the noxious weeds and smooth out the terrain. Probably a disc/plow and ????

    This is just what I have "missed" by not having a tractor...I am sure there will be many more applications?

    BTW...you may notice I use the word "sturdy" often?...I think I need to consider my current use (abuse) of my Craftsman as I look at choices in the tractor world? I don't think I would want "light weight" attachments but should look to the sturdier choices?

    Well, my field is current drying the morning dew...best go fill up the Craftsman with gasoline and go back to work...hope I don't break it I DO have a spare deck if I need it...Thank You All...TMR

    P.S. I should add that my 25HP Craftsman is one tough little machine. The motor just keep running and now that I know how to replace spindles I can keep the decks working also. I have 7-8 years on this tractor and will probably move to our cabin at 10 years. For about $1,500 it is one tough, durable (albeit over matched) machine. The weights and chains increase its' capability...but also contribute to the damage I can "inflict" on it as the tires do not slip w/o significant impediments. Also, my use is "calculated" by the age and cost of the tractor...I DO take good care of my equipment...just that the Craftsman has served me for these purposes quite well even though it is just a "little guy". TMR
    Last edited by TMR; 08-27-2011 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Zxyrthe's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    117
    Location
    Ashland, VA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20 HST

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    I bought my Kioti CK20HST with an FEL and 54" Woods Box blade for similar reasons.

    Life.
    Changing.

    There are times when I could use a rough cut mower for work similar to what you described but it would literally take me more time to mount the mower than do the work. I'll continue to abuse my riding mower for the time being. When the overgrowth does start to get to be "too much", I plow it all up with the box blade.

    Happy mowing.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,435
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    Texas

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    1) Basic brush hog use for my field and trails on my property...nearly a mile of trails that I also mow with my Craftsman. BTW...do you drive over saplings to get them to the brush hog? Is there anything under the tractor that can be damaged by the small trees?
    You can drive over very small ones. Usually nothing under the tractor will be damaged, but if you drive part way over, then try to back up, you very likely will damage something.

    2) Box Blade? to "smooth" rough portions of one of my trails...kind of gravely soil I think a Box Blade should help?
    Yes.

    3) Degraded stump removal...either front end loader or heavy duty back blade
    IF the FEL is strong enough, but I would not expect a back blade to help. The box blade would be better.

    4) Brush removal?...not sure if you can push brush out with a sturdy front end loader or ?
    Depends on size of brush, type of brush, and type of soil. I've pushed out 6" trees from sandy soil and other times found 2" ones I could not budge.

    5) Field "plowing"...I would like to "work" the dirt to the point that I have a "nice" field that produces a "hay like" product...eliminate the noxious weeds and smooth out the terrain. Probably a disc/plow and ????
    I think the disk would be good, but you may want to spray a herbicide such as Roundup before starting.
    Bird

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2009
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    1,614
    Location
    The County, ME
    Tractor
    Kubota M5640SUD

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    I was going to suggest one of those walk behind string trimmers if you're on a budget and you only need to cut a few times per season. I bought one this year new at Sears for $320. on sale and it mows down tall grass ..wet or dry...like an Evinrude...

    I'm considering and old POS tractor with a PTO and a second hand brushhog though. Walk behinds are nice for the exercise but it takes forever to do what needs doing.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member DAY's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    664
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Tractor
    Ford 4500 TLB, Kubota L2900GST

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    I'm thinking, after reading here for awhile, of changing my handle to "Bin Thar, Done That"
    I thought I was the only one who used a lawn tractor to "bushhog".

    You have so many questions I suggest that you go to google/videos, and start watching clips on "ratchet rake/bush hog/brush clearing"- or whatever other key words that come to mind.
    Also, check out 'Everything Attachments'- they have lots of videos on how to do stuff.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    With only 2-3 acres to brush-hog, once a year, the most economical thing to do would be to hire someone else to cut it for you.

    However, if you're just trying to justify buying a new toy, that's something else!
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2010
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    Two Harbors, MN

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot62 View Post
    With only 2-3 acres to brush-hog, once a year, the most economical thing to do would be to hire someone else to cut it for you.

    However, if you're just trying to justify buying a new toy, that's something else!
    Thanks Bigfoot...what I was addressing was the "easy" part essentially the 2-3 acres and the one mile of trails are the only "open" land on my total of 120 acres in two locations...30 miles apart.

    I have lots of "potential" uses in making new trails, creating some "feed plots" for the deer, planting and "working" the forest area...etc.

    What I was addressing is what I am doing currently with the 25HP Craftsman.

    Ultimately I think my problem will be the typical...I have uses for 50HP BUT would still like to have some ability to go between trees on occasion...and do not want two tractors.

    Thanks...TMR

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    Finished the job today...an other 6-7 hours...I really can verify that you need a seat with some suspension...oww the back is sore. LOTS of rough terrain.

    Broke the deck dive belt but had a spare...got stuck once in a natural drainage area...had to get the truck to pull it out.

    All in all...I think my body feels like the tractor looks! Field looks like an estate!

    TMR

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Pete Judd's Avatar
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    The Thin Gravy Ranch in The wet PNW
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    Yanmar 186d, JD 314

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    I have a 18 hp Yanmar 4wd and a 5 ft bh. I paid around 3500 for the combo. so it was not a bank breaker. It does a great job of getting around trees, and it keeps a narrow path open down to a creek on the property. I also have a 5 ft finish mower for the 5 or so acres of lawn that I mow weekly. I used to go through the home depot type riding mowers in about 2 years. The motors would still be great, but the rest of it would just start to fall apart and fail. The belt changes alone on the mower deck would draw a lot of blood, and take half an afternoon. To mow with the gas rider, I would use 5-7 gal of gas. To mow that same area with the diesel, takes about a gal, and a lot less time. My land is hilly, and still rough in a lot of areas, I just cleared another 1/2 acre and the brush hog will be used every 2 weeks or so until the stumps rot out.
    Yanmar 186D 1981
    5 foot Unknown brush hog.
    5 foot HF Finish mower.
    5 foot J-Bar back blade.
    HF Quick Hitch.
    Home made land leveler.
    Countyline Middle Buster.

  10. #10
    Elite Member czechsonofagun's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Old Dominion
    Tractor
    Kubota B1750

    Default Re: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Abuse/Don't Take a Knife to a Gun Fight/I DO Need a Brush

    I am with you bro, before the kubota came along I used Craftsman 42" lawn tractor to cut grass on our property. That poor thing had to be welded up every week, I don't even remember how many of those stupid alum spindle housing I replaced.
    Front axle was stamped metal and I had the luck to be able to replace it with a forged one from older mower - that was after the original got bend and the tractor would go straight and to the left but never to the right
    The cutting deck was so beaten up I had to reinforce it with trusses and much much more.
    The land was just too rough for that little thing.
    Regards,

    Prokop


    I was put on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!

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