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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Aug 2006
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    Western MD

    Default Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    My Frigidaire-made tractor has seen better days and I need something else, mostly for mowing a couple acres (I bag and compost), dragging wagons around, and possibly adding a snow-thrower in the future. I swore to get something better made the next time but I can't afford new right now. I was at my small local "independent" dealership the other day and they have a 1997 Toro 267-H for sale (they mostly sell a variety of ZTR brands.)

    Problem is, I've done extensive research on the web including this terrific site and frankly I haven't come up with much on this model. I'm not sure if it was a bad tractor or simply not widely sold. Some sites call it a "riding mower" others call it a garden tractor. I usually don't care much for "labels" in life but this is one of those cases where I believe it does matter. So, which is it? Flimsy mower or robust tractor?

    I also looked at the otherwise excellent Toro web site but they do not say how their tractors have evolved, i.e. I can't figure out which of the 6 tractor lines at Toro - Lawn & Garden Tractors the 260 series was turned into. Anyone knows?

    This was a trade-in I believe and the dealer unfortunately wasn't the one maintaining it, nor do they have maintenance records from the owner. They do give a "30 day warranty" against major problems. I'm not sure what the small print is though... I do know these folks have a reputation of being high-priced but doing good work and being honest around here. They say they give their used units a "go over" to make sure everything is in working order and do very basic things like put in new oil/filters and belts if needed. The tractor is clean and appears well-built (well, at least much better-built than my current machine.)

    They are asking $1,500 and one guy told me that "new, this was a $5,000 tractor." Hmmm... true?

    In any case, 1,500 bucks seems a bit high and is as high as I can go right now anyway. I am tired of all these power-robbing, high-maintenance belts and I was hoping to find a reliable, low-hours shaft tractor but I don't think I'm even in the ballpark am I LOL?

    The tractor has about 500 hours on the meter. There is a 52-inch "recycler" triple-blade deck that appears to be in good shape. The engine is a Kohler CV18S which appears to be this Kohler Command 18HP:
    Small Engine Warehouse: CV18S-61528 - Kohler Engine 18 HP Command Twin Vertical 1 x3 5 32 Shaft OHV Electric Start 15 Amp Alternator Fuel Pump.
    Is it a reliable engine? How many hours can these normally take - assuming one always does good maintenance and checks which I do - before they conk
    out? 1,000 hours? 2,000?

    I've never bought a used tractor before and I would appreciate any help I can get from fellow gardeners/mowers/AG experts. Here are two more questions if I may (but I'm sure I forgot something important, please chime in!)


    A specific question

    If you own or have owned a 260 series Toro, what do you think of it? PLEASE share!


    A general question

    What are the pitfalls here? What should I be looking for or asking the dealer about to minimize the chances of bad surprises down the road?

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,711
    Location
    Catt county New York
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    I haven't owned that tractor but I'll add my opinion anyway. In 1997 Toro was still Toro, now it is part of MTD. They always made good quality equipment. The Koehler engine should last wekk iver 1000 hours and longer if you change the oil regulary and if it were mine I'd use synthetic oil.

    In the past I've purchased several Cub Cadet's in the 127,128,147 etc series with a 12 hp koehler for under $450 that have served me well mowing 3.5 hilly acres. They have had 48" decks and have lasted an average of 10 years each. So if your looking for a reliable shaft drive low cost mower you may want to look for one of these. In the last 2 cases the deck went long before the mower. They still run and my Grandchildren use them to ride around on.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    139
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Tractor
    Toro WH 520XI

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    orgt,

    I can answer a few of your questions. I owned a 1998 Toro WH 314-8 GT, and currently own a Toro WH 520xi GT. The Toro WH 260 series is a beefy lawn tractor. It can handle tow behind attachments like an areator, drop and broadcast spreaders, wagons/carts and lawn sweepers. In my 1998 Toro WH brochure the 260 series tractor is suppose to handle a 48" dozer blade, 42" single stage snow thrower, 36" rear tiller and 11 cu. ft. twin bagger and vac bagger. You cannot use any type of ground engaging attachments that require a sleeve hitch, though. That would be a garden plow, disc, cultivator, etc.

    The now 400XT series Toro WH tractor is the same as the older 260 series. If you are interested in ground engaging attachments you should look at the 300 and 500 series Toro WH GT's. This is what my local dealer recommended. They have a heavier drive train and frames for sleeve hitch attachments. I visited my local dealer recently to buy some parts to do my 200 hour service on my 520xi. He told me that Toro is probably not going to make any of the 300, 400 and 500 series tractors anymore. The main concern for profits is with Toro's zero turn mowers.

    Sorry, I can't tell you anything about the 260 series Kohler engines. I can tell you that I never experienced any problems with the two Kohler engines that I owned and used with my two Toro WH tractors. Other then the normal maintenance service and upkeep. I hope this info is helpful to you.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    139
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Tractor
    Toro WH 520XI

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    orgt,

    If you are interested in a shaft driven GT, look at the 2500 series Cub Cadets. They offer a lot of bang for the buck IMO.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member BillG_in_TX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    1,350
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    none any longer

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    If you do decide to get the Toro, this manual might still be available:
    eBay: Toro Lawn & Garden Tractor Operators Manual 267H (item 230021521756 end time Aug-29-06 08:54:11 PDT)
    Bill

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Western MD

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurb
    orgt,

    I can answer a few of your questions. I owned a 1998 Toro WH 314-8 GT, and currently own a Toro WH 520xi GT. The Toro WH 260 series is a beefy lawn tractor. It can handle tow behind attachments like an areator, drop and broadcast spreaders, wagons/carts and lawn sweepers. In my 1998 Toro WH brochure the 260 series tractor is suppose to handle a 48" dozer blade, 42" single stage snow thrower, 36" rear tiller and 11 cu. ft. twin bagger and vac bagger. You cannot use any type of ground engaging attachments that require a sleeve hitch, though. That would be a garden plow, disc, cultivator, etc.

    The now 400XT series Toro WH tractor is the same as the older 260 series. If you are interested in ground engaging attachments you should look at the 300 and 500 series Toro WH GT's. This is what my local dealer recommended. They have a heavier drive train and frames for sleeve hitch attachments. I visited my local dealer recently to buy some parts to do my 200 hour service on my 520xi. He told me that Toro is probably not going to make any of the 300, 400 and 500 series tractors anymore. The main concern for profits is with Toro's zero turn mowers.

    Sorry, I can't tell you anything about the 260 series Kohler engines. I can tell you that I never experienced any problems with the two Kohler engines that I owned and used with my two Toro WH tractors. Other then the normal maintenance service and upkeep. I hope this info is helpful to you.
    Yes, very helpful thanks. The 400 series does look like the 267 tractor I saw (minus small cosmetic differences) but according to their web site only the GT550/522xi seems to now accept that 52 inch recycler deck, and it's a 7K + machine. Strange.

    You know what's funny? I bet the brochure you've got is the SAME one I had gotten from the local Toro dealership about 7 years ago when I bought that other much cheaper but also much crappier tractor. I kept that brochure in a drawer for all these years and tossed it only about 6 months ago LOL. Toro has a pretty darn good web site but they don't keep "old" brochures and specs and I sure can't blame them for that.

    It's really good to hear from you the 260 series tractor is supposed to handle, I wasn't sure about a snow thrower. I do wonder how that single stage snow thrower would work with the 267 though.

    How many hours did you put on that 1998 Toro WH 314-8 GT's Kohler, and just out of curiosity was it a "command" model?

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Western MD

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    Yup, those 2500 series Cubs are on my short list for when (OK... IF) I can afford something new. Lots of things to like but I do remember the fuel capacity being barely over 2 gallons! That's just absurd especially given that these small engines are such gas guzzlers (unless one can afford one of those wonderful little diesels but what a premium!)

    But thanks for the suggestion just the same, it's much appreciated. Let's hope CC addresses this bizarre shortcoming in their 2007 line (and let's hope mo' money comes my way while we're at it.).

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Western MD

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    Thanks Bill for the suggestion about the manual. You can actually get all that stuff for free in PDF form at the excellent Toro site. They are really worth the download. That was actually my main source of info until I found this truyly incredible community, aside from very few (but good) reviews I found at epinions.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    139
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Tractor
    Toro WH 520XI

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    orgt,

    I put about 600 hours on my 314-8. A Kohler Command engine is designed to have a 1000 hours of use and more on it during regular schedule maintenance. I've read different post where Kohler engine owners have put over 2000 hours on these engines. The Kohler Courage engines in the less expensive lawn tractors are designed to last less then 1000 hours of use from what I've read.

    I traded in my 314-8 for my 520xi. The 314-8 was a belt driven tranny, and the 520xi is a shaft driven tranny. The shaft drive gives you more torque for pushing and pulling with ground engaging attachments. Look around for a used 2500 series CC. You might find a used one that will fit your budget.

  10. #10
    Silver Member jeffmazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    121
    Location
    Cumberland County PA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX22--Wheel Horse 520H

    Default Re: Former and current Toro tractor owners, please help!

    ORGT,

    The price on that 267H seems too high. I have a 1996 520H (300 hrs.) with the bullet proof Onan 20 HP engine. I paid $5,500 new and was told by my Toro dealer that book value is currently $1,200.00. My tractor is in like new condition and the dealer said I might get $100-$200 more.....If this dealer traded this unit he probably gave the guy $500-$600 for it. I would offer no more than $1,000 for this model with 500 hrs. on it.
    Good Luck!

    Jeff

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