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Old 04-20-2021, 07:13 AM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default Lawn/Garden Tractor Talk

Greetings!
Since I replaced my snowblower this past winter, I've been thinking about upgrading my tractor this summer. I currently have a Craftsman LT3000 42" that, with only (good) fuel and new oil at the end of each season, hasn't skipped a beat.
I know "garden" tractors are "heavier duty," but do any come stock with tow hitches? I use mine with a custom-welded hitch to tow my splitter and utility trailer around, but I know it's probably taxing the machine a bit.
I'd also be interested in other things to consider, including transmission style, engine size, etc. I won't be using it with a bucket or snowblower attachment or anything like that, I just want a tough(er) machine that can do some towing.

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Old 04-20-2021, 07:18 AM   #2
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I would run that one until it dies. I would think Hydrostatic trans would be the way to go. I still like Japanese engines- Honda, Kawasaki
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:25 PM   #3
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Post Lawn/Garden Tractor Talk

Hi thinkxingu, I had an older LT 1000 Craftsmen two cylinder mower given to me by a Rancher here that had a starting problem, and through cleaning the carb and fuel system and replacing the bearings on the mowing deck and general maintenance. I then used it to mow lawns in many local towns here. Never had any more problems with it, I pulled a lawn sweeper while mowing, in some instances the lawns would be higher than the tractor with no slowdowns, for 4 years when the temps got to be over 100 degrees for over 70 days in a row, so I then found something ells to do and sold it all.

Of course, you can spend what you want, but like VitaBene has said, I would keep it.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Greetings!
Since I replaced my snowblower this past winter, I've been thinking about upgrading my tractor this summer. I currently have a Craftsman LT3000 42" that, with only (good) fuel and new oil at the end of each season, hasn't skipped a beat.
I know "garden" tractors are "heavier duty," but do any come stock with tow hitches? I use mine with a custom-welded hitch to tow my splitter and utility trailer around, but I know it's probably taxing the machine a bit.
I'd also be interested in other things to consider, including transmission style, engine size, etc. I won't be using it with a bucket or snowblower attachment or anything like that, I just want a tough(er) machine that can do some towing.

Not clear whether you are seeking a riding mower or a smaller compact tractor sometimes called a landscape tractor.

Take a ride to Ryan Tractor at Exit 20 in Tilton and view what is in stock.

Or take a ride to Warner, NH and view the Mahindra tractors.

LINK
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:18 AM   #5
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Not clear whether you are seeking a riding mower or a smaller compact tractor sometimes called a landscape tractor.

Take a ride to Ryan Tractor at Exit 20 in Tilton and view what is in stock.

Or take a ride to Warner, NH and view the Mahindra tractors.

LINK
I guess what I'm looking for is a heavy duty riding mower. I don't need a bucket/snowblower attachment, etc. but I'd like a heavy enough frame to tow things around.

It's sounding like what I've got should last me a while longer, so maybe I'll just put some money into tune-up parts.

So, can someone suggest what I should be replacing? I'm embarrassed to say I've not done a thing other than oil/filter, blades, battery, and fuel.

I'm thinking:
Spark plug
Deck rebuild kit w/new spindles/belt
Fuel filter

The machine starts and runs perfectly, but it takes time for the blades to wind up and wind down and it doesn't seem to cut as well on one side.

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Old 04-22-2021, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
I guess what I'm looking for is a heavy duty riding mower. I don't need a bucket/snowblower attachment, etc. but I'd like a heavy enough frame to tow things around.

It's sounding like what I've got should last me a while longer, so maybe I'll just put some money into tune-up parts.

So, can someone suggest what I should be replacing? I'm embarrassed to say I've not done a thing other than oil/filter, blades, battery, and fuel.

I'm thinking:
Spark plug
Deck rebuild kit w/new spindles/belt
Fuel filter

The machine starts and runs perfectly, but it takes time for the blades to wind up and wind down and it doesn't seem to cut as well on one side.

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The blade issue is most likely a belt problem. They may have worn and stretched over time. Not an expensive fix
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:26 AM   #7
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Professor,
Ryan Tractor at exit 20 is now MB Tractor and nothing like the original. Luckily though George Ryan is still selling tractors and equipment and has opened a new dealership just outside of Concord on Route 4. As before he specializes in small compacts and I would recommend his company as the first place to visit for anyone looking for a 4wd diesel.
Thinkxingu, I'd recommend that you visit another Concord dealership as your first stop, Greenlands Equipment. Greenlands is now located lass than a half a mile off I-93 on Manchester Street (exit 13). For the residential user they sell primarily Simplicity and Snapper. The Broadmoor series tractor has both rear suspension and a limited slip differential and will pull very impressive loads. Also, the company has been continuously in business since 1937 and when you eventually walk in with a service need or question you'll get an immediate knowledgeable answer. Because of their expertise they would also a good be a good place to consider having the Craftsman serviced but it might prove to be more costly than the machine is worth as box store machines are mostly designed to be tossed rather than serviced ...a sad statement on our wasteful society. If all it needs is a belt and new blades than the Craftsman is likely worth fixing and running into the ground, but if it needs more than that you might want to consider trading it in.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:34 AM   #8
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Post These Vidios should help you

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
I guess what I'm looking for is a heavy duty riding mower. I don't need a bucket/snowblower attachment, etc. but I'd like a heavy enough frame to tow things around.

It's sounding like what I've got should last me a while longer, so maybe I'll just put some money into tune-up parts.

So, can someone suggest what I should be replacing? I'm embarrassed to say I've not done a thing other than oil/filter, blades, battery, and fuel.

I'm thinking:
Spark plug
Deck rebuild kit w/new spindles/belt
Fuel filter

The machine starts and runs perfectly, but it takes time for the blades to wind up and wind down and it doesn't seem to cut as well on one side.

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The bracket at the lower back with hole to mount a trailer ball or what ever you need to tow with.

I've been a heavy Truck & Equipment mechanic most of my life so working on a lawn tractor was pretty easy for me. These Vidios should help you thinkxingu.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/s...88&action=view
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:33 PM   #9
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The bracket at the lower back with hole to mount a trailer ball or what ever you need to tow with.

I've been a heavy Truck & Equipment mechanic most of my life so working on a lawn tractor was pretty easy for me. These Vidios should help you thinkxingu.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/s...88&action=view
Yeah, I welded a hitch to the back plate so that I could tow more than just a garden trailer, but I know I'm probably at/beyond its expected use.

I'll check out the vids, thanks!

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Old 04-22-2021, 03:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NH.Solar View Post
Professor,
Ryan Tractor at exit 20 is now MB Tractor and nothing like the original. Luckily though George Ryan is still selling tractors and equipment and has opened a new dealership just outside of Concord on Route 4. As before he specializes in small compacts and I would recommend his company as the first place to visit for anyone looking for a 4wd diesel.
Thinkxingu, I'd recommend that you visit another Concord dealership as your first stop, Greenlands Equipment. Greenlands is now located lass than a half a mile off I-93 on Manchester Street (exit 13). For the residential user they sell primarily Simplicity and Snapper. The Broadmoor series tractor has both rear suspension and a limited slip differential and will pull very impressive loads. Also, the company has been continuously in business since 1937 and when you eventually walk in with a service need or question you'll get an immediate knowledgeable answer. Because of their expertise they would also a good be a good place to consider having the Craftsman serviced but it might prove to be more costly than the machine is worth as box store machines are mostly designed to be tossed rather than serviced ...a sad statement on our wasteful society. If all it needs is a belt and new blades than the Craftsman is likely worth fixing and running into the ground, but if it needs more than that you might want to consider trading it in.
Excellent information for all.
Thank you.

Some folks have a knack about keeping old equipment going.
Others do not.

Sears never made anything. Sears would contract out to various suppliers for machinery that Sears sold. The supplier could change year to year and model to model. Sometimes real good. Sometimes junk.

At a certain age and certain condition - it might be better to bite the bullet and purchase new. No harm in getting it checked out at a qualified shop located as stated above.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:07 PM   #11
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Post Vidios

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Yeah, I welded a hitch to the back plate so that I could tow more than just a garden trailer, but I know I'm probably at/beyond its expected use.

I'll check out the vids, thanks!

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When you get to the Vids just scroll through them and they show you how to rebuild the mower deck.
I used to have an even older tractor at the Canp on Paugus Bay that i used for yard work, mowing, towing and such, ran good too! I got most of anything from Ryan Tractor in Tilton. they were great!

Wishing you well thinkxingu.
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:53 AM   #12
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Don't know where your located or if your interested but there's also a John Deere dealership on Rte 16 not sure of the town. Follow Rte 25 to the end and turn right at the Yankee Smokehouse the dealer is maybe 6-10 miles on your left. They always seem to have a lot of product there for sale.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:35 AM   #13
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Default Lawn/Garden Tractor Talk

The name of the John Deere dealer on Rt 16 (Ossipee) is United Ag & Turf, 1220 Rt 16, Ossipee, NH 03864, phone - 1-603-539-1303, fax - 1-603-539-3786.

They are real nice people, do quality work, and charge fair prices.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:27 AM   #14
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That Broadmoor series looks pretty sweet, but there's so many complications.

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Old 04-26-2021, 04:09 PM   #15
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The wood splitter and small open trailer aren't taxing your machine at all, IMO. The belt drives can take quite a bit of weight and if they slip then you know you're at the limits.

I recently picked up a new riding mower however this is my first one with a hydrostatic trans. The convenience of the HST is nice for mowing and such however I found out immediately that the tow capacity is not great at all compared to the belt driven riders I've owned.

To put what I mean into perspective, I went from being able to move a 4x6 open trailer with ease to barely being able to move a garden trailer full of soil. The limitation is in the HST driven machine.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:52 PM   #16
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The wood splitter and small open trailer aren't taxing your machine at all, IMO. The belt drives can take quite a bit of weight and if they slip then you know you're at the limits.

I recently picked up a new riding mower however this is my first one with a hydrostatic trans. The convenience of the HST is nice for mowing and such however I found out immediately that the tow capacity is not great at all compared to the belt driven riders I've owned.

To put what I mean into perspective, I went from being able to move a 4x6 open trailer with ease to barely being able to move a garden trailer full of soil. The limitation is in the HST driven machine.

Gear drive tractors will always put more power to the ground for sure, hydro tractors are nice that you can whip them around easy.

I have both - my old JD 214 which is a belt driven gear box will sit there and spin the wheels until it runs out of gas

My JD X748 4x4 Diesel Hydro has great power but will pop the pressure relief before the tires spin if the traction is good.

Small tractors are not designed to pull heavy loads. Be carful doing so, if the braking system is through the transmission (gear drive) and your towing on a grade and blow it up your freewheeling until you either crash or level off.

Most hydro tractors have a separate braking system (wet disc in some) but the hydro itself will brake the tractor also.

I hear the rule of thumb is to not tow more than the tractor weighs
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Old 07-29-2023, 05:08 PM   #17
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Coming back around to this because, well, I've not done all of what I need to yet.

I swapped the fuel filter and spark plug last year, replace the oil and air filter every season, and always use treated fuel.

The machine is in fine shape, so I'm thinking of selling and replacing in the off-season rather than replacing all the stuff that probably needs replacing (belts, pulleys, other?)—I've not touched any of those things in 16 years.

Questions:
1. Anyone have a rough idea of cost to replace the deck components/belts, and is it really worth doing on a machine from '07 vs. just investing in a new machine?

2. Suggestions on new machines to look for? We've only got 3/4 acre and I'm only towing the splitter and a garden trailer a couple times a year.

Thanks!

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Old 07-30-2023, 08:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Coming back around to this because, well, I've not done all of what I need to yet.

I swapped the fuel filter and spark plug last year, replace the oil and air filter every season, and always use treated fuel.

The machine is in fine shape, so I'm thinking of selling and replacing in the off-season rather than replacing all the stuff that probably needs replacing (belts, pulleys, other?)—I've not touched any of those things in 16 years.

Questions:
1. Anyone have a rough idea of cost to replace the deck components/belts, and is it really worth doing on a machine from '07 vs. just investing in a new machine?

2. Suggestions on new machines to look for? We've only got 3/4 acre and I'm only towing the splitter and a garden trailer a couple times a year.

Thanks!

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If the machine runs fine, then nothing needs to be replaced other than maintenance items like oil or a spark plug if it starts running rough. It's up to you, if you want something new, go for it. But it sounds like your machine is running well, I'd run it into the ground. Belts are usually easy to replace yourself or cheap to have someone do it. But again, I wouldn't bother until something goes wrong.
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Old 07-30-2023, 10:54 AM   #19
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From the post... I was thinking he needed a new mower deck.
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Old 07-30-2023, 02:13 PM   #20
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I don't need a new deck, but it does leave little mohawks in the middle and, when I take corners, sometimes leaves lower cuts. It's also a little difficult to engage the blades and sometimes continues to spin for a couple seconds after disengagement.

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Old 07-30-2023, 03:27 PM   #21
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The uneven cuts could be a lot of things...
Blades out of balance, deck out of balance, tires with lower pressure on one side over the other, or even a bent/worn spindle. Even the belts slipping/catching can have some effect.

The intermittent start and stop of the blades could be the belts.
Not familiar with the Craftsman... but long ago the blades were engaged with a clutch. Basically a plunger attached near the steering wheel on the dash. Mowers of that ilk could see their cables have problems over time. It could be either stretched or sticking, or just simply out of adjustment.
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Old 07-31-2023, 03:59 PM   #22
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Sounds like it just needs a little love. The scalping could be due to a broken wheel on the deck, or a retaining pin out of place or broken. I'd get a blower, clear all the old grass out and give it a visual inspection. If something looks out of place or broken, it probably is. You can decide if you need to fix it. The belts engaging and disengaging issues are probably due to a sticky engagement mechanism or worn belts. They are usually easy to replace and there are usually grease zerks. When I had a lawn tractor, I would hit those zerks a few times a season. Especially on the blade hubs. The blades should not wobble at all, if they do they need to be fixed.
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Old 01-31-2024, 05:43 AM   #23
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I upgraded from a similar situation not long ago. I found that many garden tractors do come with tow hitches, and it's definitely a good move if you're doing a lot of towing. The one I switched to had a hitch, and it made a noticeable difference in handling the load without straining the machine. When you're looking at new tractors, definitely check the specs for towing capacity and transmission type — a hydrostatic transmission has been a game-changer for me, smooth and less hassle than the manual ones.

Also, engine size matters, but you don't always need the biggest one out there. It's more about the build and how the tractor distributes weight when towing. I learned that the hard way after a couple of 'overkill' purchases. And just a heads-up, if you're hunting for options, wickham tractor usually lists detailed specs and towing capacities, which might help you compare your choices.
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Old 06-23-2024, 05:08 AM   #24
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I upgraded from a similar situation not long ago. I found that many garden tractors do come with tow hitches, and it's definitely a good move if you're doing a lot of towing. The one I switched to had a hitch, and it made a noticeable difference in handling the load without straining the machine. When you're looking at new tractors, definitely check the specs for towing capacity and transmission type — a hydrostatic transmission has been a game-changer for me, smooth and less hassle than the manual ones.

Also, engine size matters, but you don't always need the biggest one out there. It's more about the build and how the tractor distributes weight when towing. I learned that the hard way after a couple of 'overkill' purchases. And just a heads-up, if you're hunting for options, wickham tractor usually lists detailed specs and towing capacities, which might help you compare your choices.
I totally missed this response a few months back—what machine did you end up going with?

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Old 06-23-2024, 10:10 AM   #25
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Kubota BX23
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Old 06-23-2024, 01:11 PM   #26
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Good choice!
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Old 06-24-2024, 05:59 PM   #27
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Kubota BX23
What year is the BX 23? There is the newer BX 23S TLB (tractor/loader/backhoe) and the MUCH older BX23 which pre dated the BX24, BX25, etc. ( I have owned 2 BX25D machines which were also TLB)
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Old 06-27-2024, 08:07 PM   #28
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Yes, I had a 1st gen BX23 which I purchased new around 2006. Used around my house in MA and NH. I had the snow blower as I have a long steep drive in MA, never disappointed me. Also blew out my neighbors from time to time when the plows could not handle. With 4WD and tire chains it will go thru anything... Stored outside always, no rust on it when traded in this year for a 2024 BX23S. Same setup as my old one (loader/back-hoe) with a snow blower. Most likely just keeping at my NH house in Meredith. If you want to try it out you are certainly welcome to come over... PM me if you like.
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Old 06-28-2024, 11:41 AM   #29
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Yes, I had a 1st gen BX23 which I purchased new around 2006. Used around my house in MA and NH. I had the snow blower as I have a long steep drive in MA, never disappointed me. Also blew out my neighbors from time to time when the plows could not handle. With 4WD and tire chains it will go thru anything... Stored outside always, no rust on it when traded in this year for a 2024 BX23S. Same setup as my old one (loader/back-hoe) with a snow blower. Most likely just keeping at my NH house in Meredith. If you want to try it out you are certainly welcome to come over... PM me if you like.
Thanks but I still have my BX25D and the HD 55” gear drive snowblower! (BX5455HD)
Sold my mower deck and bought a Kubota Z422 zero turn. Life is good!
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