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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Southwest Virginia
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4231TD

    Default Ventrac Question

    I have been looking at the Ventrac 4000 series for a couple of months now and am hoping I can get some expert advice from the group. BTW, I have enjoyed reading the different post on the site and appreciate any feedback.

    A couple of years ago we moved to a new house with approx. 4.25 acres and several hills. The slope gauge on my Toyota FJ showed 35 degrees on the steepest hill with most of the hills being at 30 degrees. (I hope I got the degree vs. grade thing correct. I am still new at this). I have tried to get several mowing services to come out and all but one have taken one look at it and run the other way. The one that tried it with a ZTR mower went up half way on one of the lesser hills and then apologized for taking the job and left. In addition to mowing, I don't think I can go through another winter like last year without getting something to handle the snow. We are approx. a half mile off the state maintained road with part of it being gravel and the other half paved.

    Again, I appreciate any feedback on the following questions:
    Does anyone know why Ventrac has discontinued the 4231 Vanguard 31 hp Liquid Cooled Gas engine model? If I was to purchase one what are the risk?

    What are the benefits / risk of getting the 4131 Vanguard Air Cooled Gas model with the 4100 Accessory kit versus the 4231TD Vanguard Liquid Cooled Diesel model? From what I can deduce, I may not have a choice given the hills and the 4231TD痴 oil system.

    What are the tradeoffs between the slip scoop and the excavator bucket? Not sure I have a planned need for either, but think it would be nice to level out a section near the top of the mountain and move dirt to the garden and spots in the yard.

    I really appreciate everyone痴 feedback and patience.

  2. #2
    Gold Member BKBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    330
    Location
    Madison, VA
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4231 Gas

    Thumbs up Re: Ventrac Question

    Hi,
    I have had a Ventrac since 2004 -- Using the 4231 Gas with duals I can easily mow the back side of my pond dam and I have measured it at 39 degrees in some places. I go up and down as opposed to across using the backrest for support.

    I loved my first Ventrac 4231 Gas so much that I recently traded it in on a new one. Ventrac (unlike some companies) has made some changes and ALL that I have seen are for the better (either stronger, easier, or more responsive)

    I understand that now (unless you find one that is already made or is used) the 31 Hp Gas model will not be available because of stupid EPA rules.

    I would not hesitate to buy a Ventrac and there are many attachments that make it a very versitile machine.

    Try to contact them for a demo. The web site has a dealer locator.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    561
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    Ventrac 4000 series tractors with DUAL WHEELS are capable of operating on slopes not exceeding 30 degrees. For steep slope operations, Ventrac has specific engine requirements. If you are only INTERMITTENTLY on slopes of up to 30 degrees but more than 25 degrees, any available engine provided by Ventrac for 4000 series tractors will work fine. If you need to be able to operate CONTINUOUSLY on slopes exceeding 25 degrees but no more than 30 degrees a Diesel engine is required. These engines have had special adaptations made to prevent oil starvation for continuous steep slope operations. The 31 hp gasoline engines are, therefore, not suitable for CONTINUOUS 30 degree operations. The line is not clearly drawn in distinguishing Continuous vs. Intermittent, but by viewing some of the Slope videos on the Ventrac website Ventrac Compact Tractors & Attachments you can get an idea of how they are being used. For example, see the video clips of me mowing on a 25 degree levee in Ohio and of Jeff Hostettler at his horse farm/estate in West Virginia.

    I have owned 4231 tractors with the Vanguard Liquid Cooled 31 Turbo Diesel and the 31 hp Gasoline engine. Performance is basically indistinguishable between the two, but, as noted, the Gasoline versionis no longer available. (There is a Gasoline version now offered on EBay.) I don't have any experience with the 31 hp air cooled version, but with the Accessory Kit, the features are the same as the 4200s. You absolutely must have the Weight Transfer system and a full set of rear weights on a 4100 to be able to operate on hills. These are standard on 4200 models.

    The Slip Scoop is great for scooping up and moving loose materials. If you need to actually DIG into firm soil, the Excavator scoop is better.

    Since you have both paved and gravel roadways, the V-Blade is probably your best choice for clearing snow. The Snow Blower is outstanding on paved surfaces.

  4. #4
    Gold Member American Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    328
    Location
    Honesdale, PA

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    The gas model is cheaper than the diesel, and it runs on gas. Supposedly the EPA is making a mess with small motor regulations, and this is probably why certain engines are being discontinued. I recdently traded my 4231 gas for a Turbo Diesel model. It doesn't really have much more power, but it runs better, gets far better gas mileage, and just generally seems to be smoother. The diesels are rated for continuous operation on 30 degree slopes. They can handle a bit more intermittently, but that is their rating. I mow 30 degree slopes with the 84" contour mower, and it is no problem.

    For slope operation, you definitely need the dual wheels, and the weight transfer springs.

    A ZTR mower doesn't have a chance on slopes like that.
    Deere 5520, Deere 450H Dozer, Power Trac PT1460, Ventrac 4231 Turbo Diesel, Deere Z-Track 757, Ferris 3100Z 6 foot deck. Never too many toys!

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Southwest Virginia
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4231TD

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    Thanks for the feedback. I have a demo scheduled for next Friday.

    In addition to talking about the tractors, the sales guy and I spent a little time talking through mowers and dozer blades and wanted to get y'alls thoughts.

    My previous thinking was to get the offset 72" side discharge deck, but the sales guy brought up the fact that the offset deck will pull you to the side when going up the hills; thus, making it a little harder to track straight, and in my current place I really don't have a need for the offset.

    As a result, I am torn between the 60" side discharge and the 72" side discharge. Are there any issues if you use the 60" deck when the footprint of the ventrac with duals is 70"? Is it just a productivity thing? Will this affect the Ventrac's striping ability?

    Additionally what are y'alls thoughts on getting the poly edge on the dozer blade?

    Thanks again for all the help.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    561
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    You can get away with a 60 inch deck with the 70" duals if you always mow short, but the standard 72 inch deck will give you much better results for all sizes of grass.

    When considering blades, if your primary application is snow removal the V-Blade is outstanding. Poly blades are used to minimize scratching on asphalt, so if all of your blading will be on well-maintained asphalt then they are a good investment.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    39
    Tractor
    Ventrac

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    I would go with the 72" deck (that is what I have with the Duals), but the 60" would do just fine. I actually tried out the 60" deck with the duals and I think I remembered it cutting fine, but the annoyance was trying to figure out exactly where my last mowing pass ended since there was a small strip of grass that was pressed down by the extra length of the duals. You would probably get used to it, but as far as striping or mowing I wouldn't see it being a problem with the 60", maybe just a slightly lighter press on the outside of your line? Don't know just a guess.

    As far as poly edge, they are perfect if you are moving snow on cement. Perfect finish and no scratches on nicer cement driveways. If you want to dig in the dirt, I would suggest sticking with the hardened edge. But for snow, the poly edge is a great choice!

  8. #8
    Gold Member American Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    328
    Location
    Honesdale, PA

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    I think the contour deck is the ultimate mowing machine. I also have the 72" deck, but rarely use it. I can't imagine dropping down to a 60". It will be difficult to cut up against obstructions, such as trees, flower beds, etc. Your weed wacker will have to work overtime.
    Deere 5520, Deere 450H Dozer, Power Trac PT1460, Ventrac 4231 Turbo Diesel, Deere Z-Track 757, Ferris 3100Z 6 foot deck. Never too many toys!

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Southwest Virginia
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4231TD

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    I appreciate everyone's help with this. I was extremely impressed with both the machine and my local dealer. He truly wanted to make sure we got the right solution even if that reduce the overall cost. A trait that is becoming very rare these days.

    My new 4231TD ventrac was delivered yesterday morning!!! During mowing of the back yard, I pushed it a little harder than the demo unit and am amazed at this machine. At one point I felt like I could just lean forward a tad and I would have been standing straight up on the pegs. I now know why everyone was talking about armrest on another thread. I think that's going to be a purchase in the near future.

    Again, I appreciate the advice and am sure I'm going to need more as I near the maintenance schedules.

    Thanks,






    Last edited by heliman; 09-17-2011 at 09:52 AM.

  10. #10
    Gold Member BKBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    330
    Location
    Madison, VA
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4231 Gas

    Default Re: Ventrac Question

    I'm sure you will be happy with your new Ventrac !
    I didn't see where you live, but if you get a great deal of snow the Ventrac will also handle the blower just fine on gravel if you keep the skids as low as they will go and Keep most of the weight off the blower with the hydro lift.

    I did 9 long gravel drives and over 1/2 mile of gravel road with my blower when we had 20+" and then 24+" snows.

    I got the regular 60" blade before the V-blade was available and it is fine if you have a place to push the snow.
    V-bar chains make the Ventrac nearly impossible to stop and it has amazed people with what it will pull when they were stuck.

    Have fun with your machine !

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