I own 40 hilly acres, with slopes sometimes at 45 degrees. I wanted a general purpose tractor, something that would go anywhere and do most generic sort of hobby farm tasks. Given that our area has wine production, the Antonio Carraro was strongly suggested, but its entry price was far more than I could afford. I looked at putting dualies on a TYM tractor, and then the PT came into my radar.
I purchased the PT used, and the previous owner had left it to rot. The factory did a restoration, but did not replace a lot of things (they got it running, went through it and repaired the obvious, but for cost reasons did not replace numerous things that failed fairly quickly on me) but the purchase price made it all worth it.
The 1850 is a 65 HP tractor that can handle 45 degree slopes sideways. Due to it being all hydraulic, it would be fair to equate the PT to a 40HP tractor. It has 3 pumps attached to the Deutz engine, one for PTO, one for wheels, and one for steering, lift and tilt. The tractor has a very light lift capability (1200lbs) for the engine HP, but this design is to keep the machine safe on the slopes. I am seldom hampered by the lift amount, but I did expect more for a 65HP tractor.
The 1850 is articulated, so its turn radius is very small, making it a fantastic mower, and a great tight spaces tractor. The seat tilts to accommodate slopes, and this takes a lot to get used to. Gauges are simple, nothing elaborate. It would be nice if the machine had a low oil warning and hydraulic temperature gauge but it does not.
BUYER BE WARNED - While I love the PT, and I really do, it is not a machine that is for the casual user. You need to know how to turn a wrench, and don't mind getting soaked in oil. Or you have deep pocket and someone who can do the repairs for you. The tractor itself is pretty darn simple, and uses off the shelf parts. Fit and finish from the factory are marginal. If you buy new, I strongly suggest going to the factory, and drive the machine for a few hours before you load it. Failure rate is pretty high on the machine, and once you take it warranty freight is on you as there are no dealers anywhere. But, Factory support is impeccable. You can speak to the designers and mechanics directly. They pick up every time you call and they know who you are.
Modifications are rampant on the PT. Owners are constantly thinking up new schemes to make the machine work better for them.
The weak link in the PT system is the engine cooling. Deutz itself is a tank of an engine. You cannot go wrong with it. The engine is oil cooled and the radiator that is used is for a clean environment. When you mow, or work in dusty conditions, you need to clean frequently.
It is hard to write a short article on the machine. Suffice it to say it is a unique design, but one of the most versatile I have ever seen. If you have severe slopes, you can't go wrong with the machine. It is a machine that is a jack of all trades, it will do everything you want.
This website is also a major bonus. If you got PT you must become a part of this site, the guys here will help you through all the repairs and there will be plenty.