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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2001
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    889
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    Green Bay, WI
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    Kubota F2400, Kubota F2100, Farmtrac 360, Tool Cat

    Default Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Does anybody here own or operate a ventrac?

    I noticed some differences from the power trac.
    The ventrac offers a 3 point hitch and dual tires front and back for extra traction and stability.

    I am also wondering why ventracs are different than Steiners, considering they are from the same parent company. The ventrac has a real loader while the steiner only has a 200# capacity low rise scoop.

    Is the pricing similar?

    Thanks

    Yooper Dave

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2003
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    304
    Location
    western pa.
    Tractor
    12g gravely,pt 422

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    a step up from a steiner,same attachments,one giant step in price.the same family started both, and sold them.both have a fel.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    551
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Dave,

    Well there is quite a bit to tell. I currently own a Ventrac 4200 (with duals front and rear) and have had similar Steiners in the past. See attached photo of me mowing on a 28 degree slope.

    The Steiner was originated by the Steiner family of Orrville, OH, (also home of Smuckers Jams and Jellies) in the mid-70s as an articulated hydrostatic 4WD Turf Tractor. Note that these were primarily conceived as special purpose tractors that could mow in adverse conditions (including steep slopes) and do other turf-related jobs. The mower deck and almost all Steiner attachments connect to the front of the tractor with a Quick-Hitch similar in concept to the Fast Hitch on the rear of certain Farmall tractors of the 50s and 60s. The tractor has evolved over the years but remains similar to the original concept.

    In the late 80s the Steiner family sold the company, its products, and the right to use their name to a grounds care equipment manufacturer (Ransomes) of the UK. They signed an agreement not to compete with similar products for a few years. Ransomes was later acquired by Jacobson, a part of the Turf and Grounds Care Division of Textron. After the original company was sold, Steiner products were manufactured in a new facility located in the adjacent community of Dalton, OH. Recently that facility has been closed and manufacturing moved to Johnson Creek, WI, where other Jacobson products are manufactured.

    In the early 90s the Steiner brothers designed and manufactured a variety of agricultural equipment for livestock farmers. They also built a number of special purpose vehicles turf and grounds care tractors which allowed a person in a wheelchair to drive directly up onto it from the rear and operate it in a manner similar to their former Turf Tractors and front mount attachments.

    In the late 90s they decided to return to the regular turf tractor business. They formed a new company, Venture Products, Inc., and began the design and development of a new generation of turf tractors and attachments. These were similar in concept to their previous tractors (articulated 4WD turf tractors with front mounted attachments) but were greatly refined and improved based on their own experience and that of numerous customers. The new products formally went on the market in the fall of 98 with the brand name Ventrac. Venture Product facilities are located in Orrville, OH, just a few miles from the now-closed Steiner operation.

    With regard to both Steiner and Ventrac tractors, there are 2 types of loaders available. The most popular is called a Slip Scoop that attaches to the quick-hitch on the front. It is a very handy attachment for moving loose materials, bales, rocks, etc, and light-duty excavating. It does not lift very high--only a foot or so--but for many applications where you simply want to move material or objects without LOADING them into a truck or wagon that is fine. Both companies also make a front loader loader that appears similar to most other compact tractor loaders. These can raise to a height that allows the bucket to be dumped into a pickup truck. Note that the Ventrac loader is rated to lift 500 pounds. It also has a quick connect feature that allows for attaching a variety of buckets, forks, and a hydraulically driven post-hole auger.

    Three point hitches are available as options on both Steiner and Ventrac. Neither has position control. Since these tractors are intentionally built "low to the ground" for stability, the implements that can practically be used on the 3 point hitches have to be "short." In other words most implements that work best would be those like the new offerings by King Kutter, Midwest, Woods, Frontier, etc. designed for subcompact tractors.

    Both of these units are built for heavy duty use by commercial grounds care operations, golf courses, parks, municipalities, and homeowners with some special requirement such as slopes that cannot be addressed with standard configuration tractors and equipment. Approximately 30 attachments are available from each company. Many will interchange since the front quick hitch dimensions on each are close.

    Now let's turn to the comparison with Power Trac which also is an articulated hydrostatically driven 4WD tractor. I think the simplest way to think of the differences is this. The Power Trac was fundamentally conceived as a power unit that could be quickly connected to a variety of attachments via an integral front end loader boom and hydraulics. You can't remove the loader boom--everything including mowing attachments works off the boom. It seems ideally suited for loader and related operations, and, incidently, can mow.

    By contrast, the Steiner and Ventrac tractors were primarily conceived of as TURF tractors. They are articulated, built with a very low center of gravity, have capability for weight transfer from the mower deck, can use dual wheels for operations up to 30 degrees side slope, and have the mower deck or other attachments located to oprimize turf operations in adverse conditions. As a secondary matter, they can also do loader work.

    So, in simple terms, it is a matter of emphasis. Power Trac--Loader-------Steiner or Ventrac--mowing in adverse conditions.

    Ventracs and Steiners are sold through dealers and are priced competively when compared on a horsepower-to-horsepower and feature-to-feature basis. There are few dealers compared to most other compact tractors with most being located in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other states to a lesser extent. I have the highest regard for both product lines. Until I purchased my first Steiner in 95, I had to mow a significant part of my back yard and the slopes on ditch banks at my church with a hand-held weedeater. These tractors allow me to operate safely in areas I would not have dared tackle with standard lawn and garden or compact utility tractors. They are not for everyone, but they are outstanding in the jobs they were designed for.

    Maybe this is more than you really wanted to know. I don't think I have mis-spoken here about any details, but if I have please accept my appologies.

    By the way, the websites are:
    Steiner Turf www.steinerturf.com
    Venture Products www.ventrac.com

    JackIL
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    23,747
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Hey, Jack, great information. Thanks [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]


  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Thanks Jack [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    I went to a Steiner dealer in Marinette, WI.

    They were the ones who told me that there was no front end loader for the steiner tractor, only the scoop.

    I should make them look a bit harder for the loader.

    Yooper Dave

    p.s. I went to the Steiner web page and I still cannot find the loader. Can you show me where this is so I can educate my dealer?

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2002
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    406
    Location
    Dexter, MI
    Tractor
    BX-2200

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Did Stiener make a huge articulated 4x4 farm tractor or am I just confusing it with Steiger tractors?

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2000
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    551
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Dave,

    The loader is for the 430 Max tractor only. It is not shown on the website, but it is in every Steiner brochure. The dealer will have it. The Steiner loader is somewhat like the Ventrac loader (that is shown on the Venture Products website), but it does not have some of the features of the Ventrac like quick-change buckets, etc.

    I would be somewhat skeptical of a dealer that was unaware of the line of products he is selling.

    JackIL

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2000
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    551
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Tim,

    Steiger is the name you are thinking of. They made full-sized articulated agricultural tractors for many years. That company is now a part of CaseIH. The latest tractors carry a Steiger identifier along with CaseIH.

    JackIL

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Hey - great info Jack - also just wanted to mention that
    the Steiner and Ventrac have a two speed trans and I think
    that both front and rear wheels are gear driven off the hydro as opposed to PT which uses wheel motors - I think the Gear axles are more expensive which explains some of the difference in price Steiner vs 425 (probably a little better for traction since I don't think that a wheel can stop when one spins as can happen - (not often) with the PT - also the two speed comes in very handy for slopes. The Steiner climbs like a goat - I tested it - very stable - but I went for the PT because I think it has more versatility - also with Steiner hydro attachments have dedicated pumps as well as motors for each attachment which really adds to the cost of the attachment - with PT you just hook it to the hydro PTO

    Jack - have you ever tested the 230 Steiner - was wondering how that one handles slopes and cuts - it turn very tight but no 4 wheel drive



  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2000
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    Illinois
    Tractor
    Ventrac 4500

    Default Re: Ventrac vs PowerTrac

    Ed,

    I had a Steiner dealer demo both a 220 (predecessor or the 230) and 420 on my slopes before my first purchase in 95. The 220 and 230 have a hydraulically controlled traction booster system that transfers part of the mower deck weight to the tractor. Even so the 220 could not handle my slopes which go up to 28 degrees. It wasn't close to turning over, but the uphill wheel just spun out. The 420 with duals could handle it without difficulty.

    JackIL

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