looking for an ideal garden tractor

  
  • Thread Starter
#21  
OP
B

blivy

Bronze Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Athens, Georgia
Tractor
1997 Gravely 564
appreciate all the feedback everyone. I've been scouring craigslist and marketplace trying to find that deal sweet enough not to pass up.
Any other locations y'all would recommend (especially in the southeast United States)?
thanks!
 

gtunney

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Western Mass, USA
Tractor
JD X585, New Holland TC29D (Dad owns tractor, I paid for its backhoe)
Consider an old X series JD. You can get a lot for under $10K. If I exclude my snowblower on my X585 (its selectable 2/4wd), I got a loader, 3pt hitch, 54" deck with 14 bushel collection system. I don't have the rear PTO, but it can be added and I would still have been under $10k. Cuts grass very well.
 
Last edited:

bartjoebob

Bronze Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
80
Location
Bow
Tractor
TBD
Greetings everyone from Athens, GA.

Looking to get advice on what folks here think would be the ideal tractor for my needs. I'm going to post a similar thread in the larger forum area, but thought I'd start on the vintage tractor page as I own and like working on older things, and frankly don't want to have to drop down $10-25k on a new garden tractor.

A bit about what I'm hoping to do, starting with some info on the property I'm on...
For starters, I have about 5 acres. About an acre is a wooded hillside that i maintain with loppers, bushaxe, spray, as needed. However, sometimes a tree falls and I end up doing a lot of sawing and hauling. The rest is in a floodplain on the river. I removed about 4 acres of privet when I first got the place, and now maintain about 2 acres as a shady lawn (plant fescue, clover, and allow whatever nature wants to come up grow as well--as long as it can be mowed). The other 2 acres is wooded and i just maintain a trail through it that goes to the river. I also have a long gravel drive (about 1,000 feet) that needs to be maintained.

As far as equipment I already have:
I have 2 walk behind Gravelys. One i keep a 40" kidney deck on to mow with. The other has AG tires with dual spacers that i use with my scraper blade to help maintain the drive, use with my tiller or my rotary plow for gardening, or use with my bushog to do a yearly trim of all the areas in the floodplain that I don't mow as lawn.
I also have a small saw mill that came with the property. I don't use it a ton, but occasionally when a friend or family member may have a tree come down or does some clearing it can see a lot of use (I have about 20 trees stacked along my drive right now in various stages of being milled).

I love my Gravelys (how sturdy they are, their versatility and attachments, plus how easy they are to work on) but I'm starting to want something that has a bit more power and that could help me do some jobs faster and easier. And...while I like that I get my steps in when I mow with the Gravely, I would like to be able to ride and carry my little boy along with me (i have a sulky for the gravely, but it's not good for 2-up, nor is it good for going around trees).

I'm thinking about garden tractors as I would like something smaller than a standard tractor (I had borrowed a buddy's Kubota a few years back and while it was great, it just didn't fit into all the places I'd like to go). I like the idea of a garden tractor as I think that it would not rut or compact the lawn area I mow sometimes weekly (but at least every two weeks) down in the flood plain.

Ideally, I'd find a tractor with a belly mower (at least 50"), a front end loader (to help lift up log spars for the saw mill), and the ability to drag an angle blade or a box blade to help maintain the gravel driveway. If one existed that had PTO take offs on the front and rear, I'd love that as well.
Early on I was looking a lot at the Gravely 8000 series or the larger G models (20G, 24G) but I'm not sure of two things:
1) the availability of front end loaders for these
2) whether the hydraulics could support both the front end loader and the belly mower at the same time (or if they'd conflict)

In any case, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on what they'd recommend.
I don't really have a budget set yet as I'm just starting to learn what's out there.

Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thank you all in advance!

You have pretty much described a subcompact. Massey GC line will be tough to beat spec wise and build quality. Green and orange paint is expensive.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#24  
OP
B

blivy

Bronze Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Athens, Georgia
Tractor
1997 Gravely 564
Wanted to revive this thread now that I've had a chance to look a bit more into it.

In the long run, I may try to get a zero turn for mowing, keep one of my walk behind gravelys for all that it can do (plow, till, push, bush hog, mow...really is perfect!), and get a compact tractor for driveway maintenance and helping with tree clean up and the saw mill.

Right now as mowing is starting to ramp down and fall and winter rains are ramping up I'm thinking more about the compact tractor as the first investment. If it happens to come with a belly mower that can help with leaf mulching then so much the better!

Ultimately (in regards to a tractor), I'd love to have a front end loader and an angle blade on the back. However, finding a compact tractor in my price range (below $7500) that has this ability has been hard. I have found one, but it's slightly larger than what I was looking for. I've also found a few compact tractors that could help me out a good deal, but don't yet have the FEL. Not sure how expensive it is to add one of those in the future, but could get by without the FEL right now if I found a good enough deal on a tractor that could pull a blade and possibly have a belly mower.

Here are three examples of what I can find locally.
Any thoughts on which would be best? Pros/drawbacks of each?


1) A Kubota B8200 4wd with front end loader:
Fits the bill, but has a few drawbacks: I think it's larger than what i probably need on my little property, and it says it's a rebuilt engine. I know that can be a good thing on a small engine like the Kohler's I'm used to, but may be a red flag on a diesel tractor.
Also, from what I've learned, I'd probably prefer an Hydrostatic transmission and this looks like a geared one.


2) A 2005 Kubota BX1850 4WD
Only drawback is it comes with zero implements

3) A Kubtoa B7100HST 4WD
Comes with implements that could be handy. Not sure I need the tiller but could sell that off. Not sure of the issues with the 60" belly mower, but if i could get it working it could help out on some immediate maintenance needs.
Drawbacks for me are that it doesn't have an FEL. I'd also prefer turf tires so i don't tear up the grass as much. Finally, I'm not sure if the clutch "growl" he describes is a big deal or not.

What are y'all's thoughts on the above?
Is adding an FEL a huge deal?
Am i foolish to even think of these for mowing? (can you even have a deck on with the FEL at the same time???)

Lots of questions I know. Looking forward to hearing more good points.
thanks again,
b
 
Last edited:

herm0016

Platinum Member
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
650
Location
Carter lake, Colorado
Tractor
Branson 4720h
i would not worry about turf vs ag tire at your budget. the trufs are nearly useless for anything but mowing.

if you want a loader, save up, increase your budget and/or wait to find something with a loader.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#27  
OP
B

blivy

Bronze Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Athens, Georgia
Tractor
1997 Gravely 564
i would not worry about turf vs ag tire at your budget. the trufs are nearly useless for anything but mowing.

if you want a loader, save up, increase your budget and/or wait to find something with a loader.
Thanks Herm. Good advice...may be hard to follow though as I've got the itch (and an unfortunately limited budget!!).
FEL is a huge plus. But being able to pull a box or scraper blade would be more important for driveway maintenance this winter.

Good point on the tires. I won't let that be a huge factor in decision making.

Between the three do you think any has a clear advantage or disadvantage?
thanks!
 

herm0016

Platinum Member
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
650
Location
Carter lake, Colorado
Tractor
Branson 4720h
i mean... you cant even mow with any of those, the clutch thing and the engine rebuild are red flags to me.

how about you make do with this: pto, cat 0 3 point, solid machine well under your budget that will be worth 2k for a long time. and it will mow the grass without extra stuff.

these are great little tractors, it will pull a harrow no problem for the driveway. pull a cart in the woods, mow the grass, etc.

if you can buy the 7100 for 4k and sell the tiller for 1500 and get the belly mower working, its not a bad deal. should probably split it and change the throw out bearing though.
 
Last edited:

bcp

Super Star Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
11,439
Location
SW WA
Tractor
Kubota BX2360

tuff-bilt.jpg



Bruce
 
 
Top