I guess one could say that after having a Sears tractor, 2000 T to be exact, since 2001, you would think the rating would be much higher...? Wrong!
In addition to the 2001 I have a ZTR as well and love the beast. I keep this old reelect Sears around to tinker with and improve from the original.
Since the original motor blew up in the spring of 2003, instead of sending ole Betsey, as my youngest Daughter calls her, to the scrap heap... I thought why not re-engineer and learn from the experience?
This began the long life and history of " Ole Betsey"!
Betsey has become one of the family..... Heck we've even done a few mower races with the old girl (funny what a little nitro methane can do to a 18.5 HP Briggs motor).Yes, you experts out there know the original motor was a 17 HP Briggs.
Problem was/is with that little mower the rocker on the piston arms wares out much too early. I went as far as to manufacture one out of steel and not cast iron. But wait... the weight of the tractor with the combined weight of the internal added steel arm causes too much load on that under powered motor and the temperature (heat for those of you living in Batesville, AR) will warp the head and in 2.75 years and you are back to rebuilding another Briggs motor. Don't get me wrong, I think Briggs builds some work horses, but let's face it they are not built to last 20 years.
For those of you not glazed over by my ramblings yet, I will continue.
Well, Ole Betsey, has become part of the family. I even added halogen lights to the nose cone and am currently working on a three point hitch addition, of course built to her load and scale!
Problem you have in the tractor world is the lack of for hire competent mechanics. The good ones work for bigger tractor supply houses and can make much more money. Most of we "gentlemen farmers" is most of us do not want to get our hands dirty. Most view small tractors as throw away items.
I really wish you well on your reviews on Tractor by Net. The world of ZTR's excites me and I think this is a great venue for educating the public by introducing us to a step above the Sears specials.
In conclusion (and I promise to stop my ramblings), I know that I have but one vantage point here (for those of you in Mississippi that means opinion) and I suggest you "gentlemen farmers " start thinking outside the box when you are setting for two hours on the comfortable seat of your Walker, Bad Boy, Dixie chopper, etc.......
All the best to you my brethren.... Pecos Bill!