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milacqua

Does anyone really, really want their LT to last ten years?

13 years ago

There are a lot of guys on this forum that appear to be very knowledgeable about a variety of tractors. Some might be mechanics, some even dealers but for the most part people here are like me - a LT user. I have to assume then that this knowledge comes from owing and using these tractors rather than selling or working on them.

We all know that if you get the right tractor for the job and properly maintain it you should get 10 years, maybe more, out of a tractor regardless of brand. But do you really want that? I mean, it seems that most people here have more tractors than one every ten years and that is how they have become so knowledgeable about them. Cutting grass and plowing snow is a chore but using tractors like we do makes it somewhat fun and tractors are almost a hobby in themselves for us.

I have a perfectly operational five year old Sears but I want a Deere. No particular reason except I just want a Deere and always have. So, do you guys who talk frequently about maintenance and long tractor life really, really want to keep the same tractor year after year after year until it dies, or are you like me who is just looking for an excuse to buy a new one?

Comments (57)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, it's all well and good that some of us were around in the golden age of everything and able to afford premium quality products but there are many that are shopping now and are buying what is on the market now.

    I love the old stuff and it's true that they don't make 'em like they used to... except for Bunn coffee makers and KItchen Aid stand mixers.

    I loved my 58 Beetle and it went through everyhting middle Atlantic winters could throw at it but my wife's new Subaru laughs at snow and ice that would have reduced the bug to a bump on the shoulder or a roller skate on the ice.

    For better or worse we buy what is available now or live in the past and pray to never see the day where that part you need is NLA and your beloved 70's JD or Wheelhorse or Case is reduced to being a planter in the front yard.

    There is no right or wrong... people buy Beemers cause they want Beemers not cause they can't afford a Benz. People buy new tractors cause the old one is out of service or they're bored with it or they just plain want a new one. Only they have the right to decide if the expense is justified... some would rather ride than repair and some would rather work on 'em that ride 'em.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ok,I forgot a dynamark 1 year owned traded it got what I paid for it, 2 a John Deere, 3 a John DEERE and sold none of them for problems just wanted a bigger gat. Have 1 tractor and 1 woman. Had her during all 3 mowers.

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  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Rusty wrote:
    "The makers of new stuff, no matter what it is, play on the envy factor! They feel that a fellow riding on a lawn tractor that might be 15-20 years old, but runs well, Will be looked at by his neighbors as being cheap, old fashioned, dumb, cranky, not able to be affected by fancy advertising! And, thats what sells new stuff! "

    I am proud to be that guy driving the 41 year old garden tractor. I used to own two but I moved to a place with no garage and a tiny shed so I am down to one.

    My one neighbor has a nice Cub. Funny thing is his old MTD was too good so he fixed it and took it to work. He works at National airport and yes, his MTD keeps some area around the maintenance area cleared!

    My other neighbor has a WHite. Seems like a nice enough machine but and LT not a GT. He finds my Wheel Horse interesting!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Most companies now put their money into the marketing department instead of the engineering department. Just look at Microsoft if you think I'm wrong. It costs far less to make people think you put out a good product than to actually put a good product on the shelf. It is the business model of the new century.

    That's why they don't make 'em like they used to...

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Both my tractors are about 25 years old and in good condition. They were good when I got them and they still are good. Why keep spending money for junk?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If your mower is doing the job,use it, if your happy you got it beat. Never ever unersize a mower.I made that mistake for 2 of them now I have what I should have bought 20 years ago , but didnt have the coin. I can tell you I have more to worry about than puttin on a show for the horses A I live by . Look at cars it is what money you want to part with or more important can afford. they have a captive audience... IF you think a new item is goin to change your life you are cruely disolutioned......

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Use it up,
    Wear it out;
    Make it do,
    Or do without."

    I believe in and practice this, except that I'm fortunate enough to not have to "do without." I apply this to tools (including lawn equipment) and cars. So, YES, I want (and expect) my lawn tractors to last more than ten years.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    still have my fist lawn tractor,and use it like i stole it. it's a 1971 john deere 112 with the kohler single cylinder engine.at 39 years old,i think i got my money out of it.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We bought a used 1995 Buick Century sedan off a person's front lawn, ten or so years ago. Ran good then and still runs good now! I can see no need to replace it, and have all of those high payments to worry about!
    Mr 1997 Ranger, i bought it wrecked, for $900! 3 summers ago. Fixed it, and drive it every day.
    Why go into debt to buy a new truck, when this one runs well?! And, my old tractors and riders keep going and going and go----

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Heck have only owned agricultural units both gas and diesel front end loader and back blades one with front mounted blower , sure wish i had kept that one lol . Never owned a lawn unit have worked on numerous for acquaintance's thought. Like anything else mechanical maintain them and don't cut corners on the oil / grease and filters and they will last quite a while . Oh and don't abuse them , common sense right ?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Let's start off with a little bit of understanding here. There's a huge difference between how a true garden tractor is built compared to a lawn tractor. Someone called a Deere 110 a lawn tractor and that's incorrect. A 110 is a GT and doesn't fit in with this discussion. So let's stop mixing apples and oranges here because it just confuses the issue.

    For the past 60 years, lawn tractors have existed and most of them hit the scrap yard in less than 20 years after they were originally sold. Compared to GT's, very few of them remain today and for the same reasons that the current crop of LT's end up being scrapped. They are all made to meet a certain price point that was acceptable to a large portion of the buying public.

    Those LT's used to sell for just a few hundred dollars in the fifties and sixties and for a guy making $60.00 a week, that was a fair chunk of change. Many of those LT's were little more than a single-bladed rotary mowing deck with a seat perched on it and a pair of handlebars to steer it.

    Today, the Deere LA Series or the Cub Cadet 1000 series would seem like a Lincoln and a Cadillac by comparison to a Moffat Mowett. Nonetheless, consumers expect value for their money so I'd have to say that most LT buyers damn well expect that shiny, new tractor to last more than 10 years and still have some decent residual value when they either sell it privately or trade it in.

    So, what happened to this dream that turned it into the nightmare it is today? Several things, in my opinion. Back in the fifties and sixties, the LT's didn't look anything like the GT's of the day. Many of the GT's were made by long-time AG equipment makers such as Deere, I/H, Ford, Case, Allis-Chalmers, Minneapolis-Moline, White, Oliver and Massey-Ferguson.

    All of these looked like miniature farm tractors and they were built like a farm tractor with cast iron front and rear axles. It's the inherent strength of these old GT's that have allowed them to stand the test of time so that 40 years later, they are still in use daily. Today, the LT's "look" like those older, miniature AG tractors but they are no longer built like them. Yes, Deere's LA series uses a cast iron front axle but it's made so light that it frequently snaps in two.

    Gone too, are the old 2 speed, cast-iron trans-axles that all the old GT's had. Replacing them are single-speed cast aluminum trans-axles that also house a hydrostatic pump and hydraulic drive motor that is belt driven. The old trans-axles all had real bearings and bushings in them that could be replaced if they were worn. Today, the aluminum trans-axle often become the substitute for true bearings and bushings so when it's worn, there are no replaceable parts that can solve the problem for a low cost.

    On the cheapest units, the unit is "sealed for life" which means that the homeowner can't so much as change the oil in the hydro or top it up. If the oil goes bad or a tiny part in any part of the hydro drive fails, the LT owner is faced with buying a brand new trans-axle unit that often costs more than what the current value of his LT is. At that point, what value does his LT have to ANYONE? Who would want to buy this machine? What good is it? Sure, then engine might still be fine but what does one do with a vertical shaft 23 hp Vee-twin?

    The old GT's all came with horizontal shaft engines and those could easily be pulled and put to other uses, thanks to their crankshaft orientation. The rest of the parts often fit only the tractors in the same series and since all of those are built the same way, there isn't much of a market for the parts from an old LT. And when you consider how many were sold and the death rate of these LT's, there is a glut of used parts around that go for cheap money.

    Another part of the problem is "owner ignorance". This novices buy a LT and because it "looks just like the Deere 500" or the CC 2500 they think that it can do they same work. The next thing you know, they are using it as if it was a GT and are then shocked and dismayed when a catastrophic failure happens, entirely due to their negligence. And when warranty is denied, they go howling to every forum on the internet whining about what happened and telling everyone not to buy anything from that manufacturer.

    Then you have the person who just bought his very first home but can't afford a new LT but needs something reliable to look after his acre plus. In an ideal world, he should be able to buy a late model used LT with confidence but....can he? Knowing what WE know about how these entry-level LT's are made, how can we tell him to go and buy a 8 year old LA or 1000 series CC? Not even the dealer can predict how many hours are left in the life of that costly trans-axle.

    So, because of the way these big-box store tractors are constructed and often abused, the re-sale value is extremely low. Even the dealers don't really want them because they're afraid to resell them. Even though everyone knows that the warranty is long gone, a buyer will still expect the dealer to stand behind what he sold. If the trans-axle fails 30 days after someone buys a used tractor from a dealer, the smartest thing the dealer can do is to just give back 100 percent of the purchase price.

    Next time, he'll just send those trade-in tractors to the auction, take what he can get and distance himself from the transaction. Many dealers refuse to take an LT in on trade and convince the owner to sell it privately because he'll get a lot more money that way than what the dealer will allow him on trade. So, while these tractors should last 10 years and longer for the original owner, they often do not. That fact makes the cost of ownership on an annual basis kind of high for most people and that's one of the reasons behind them buying an older, well-used GT that they can work on themselves using regular tools. Wear-parts are often easy to come by and not all that expensive.

    I'd much rather buy a $400.00 GT, dismantle it to the bare frame and spend another $1000.00 on it to make it like new once again than drop $2400.00 at HD or Lowes for some tin-can LT with a predetermined lifespan. When you sell your Sears for $200.00 and then spend two grand to buy that Deere LT only to find out that you won't get half what you paid for it three years from now, then you'll begin to understand why the guys on this forum provide the advice they do.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A 10 year old one is a throw away.I have four all John Deere ranging from 2 years old to 35 years old and all in good shape.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Komp: Good Points of Information . In Summary "You only Get What You Pay For !" Yeah the days of truly refurbish-able or at least feasible repairable LT's left us back in the 60's sad to say .

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks everyone for all the responses to my question. The thread has certainly given various opinions and lots of good information. I'm in my 60s so I want a new LT every five years, even if it is the top of the line, built like a tank and in new condition. If I can afford it that is. I just don't have many ten year intervals left in my life. If I have the cash, I'll buy one, if not, I'll wait until I come up with the money but if I plan right I should be able to save enough for a new one every five years. If I was younger I might want to hold on to the LT for longer but at my age now, I'm not going to deny myself anything (as long as I can afford it).

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mil: I like Your Philosophy Dude !

    P.S. Were of the Same Vintage Bro , enjoy your search :)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Right on Mil im 50 and think your way also.I have never seen a U-haul being towed behind a hearse

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    And I've never seen any playthings in the box, although my wife's grandfather was buried in his bib overalls and felt hat.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    you can never have to many John Deere's so keep them. Just buy a new one every 5 years.I have a X320 LX277 318 300 and always looking for more.The one who dies with the most trsctors wins.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The one who dies with the most tractors wins". Ha!, I like that one. That is what I was looking for when I asked the original question. Just buy tractors whenever you want them and can afford them. Makes no difference if the old ones work or not. I only have two so I better start catching up!!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello: This is in reference to kompressor's post of October 28 in this thread. I have been looking at various posts trying to glean enough information to help me make an informed decision about a riding mower for my new yard. The lawn is just big enough to make pushing difficult for 63 year old legs. I made it this last summer by breaking it into segments on different days. I was mowing around four days each week. I can see the time coming when I will need a rider. The dilemma appeared to be; buy a lower cost rider LT and expect problems and lose value before very long or spend considerably more money to get a GT that is more machine than necessary for basic mowing. I am surprised to discover that a number of people have multiple machines and plan to acquire more. I guess is the same way I have six aquariums. Kompressor offers a potentially valid third option of finding a used machine that is worth fixing up. I will take the plunge and ask if anyone cares to suggest a rider (GT or LT) worth rebuilding. I have decent mechanical skills and a fair collection of tools. I also will have time if I ever get this house squared away.

    I suppose some sort of criteria need to be in place. Parts should be available so that some critical item is not difficult to find or outrageously expensive. I have seen several used machines for sale, but did not know what to look for. One was a zero turn Cub Cadet that had the sealed transmission mentioned in his post. I passed it up and now do not regret doing so. I do have a small hilly area to deal with. I have not, as yet, chosen a favorite brand.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Do you have any family owned mower shops nearby? You could pick up a used rider, such as a 30" Snapper, for under a $1000 that would last you for another 20 years.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There is a Snapper dealer close by. Early on in my investigations, I looked at the new machines. I liked the mid engine (30 inch cut?), but the price seemed high compared to the Craftsman LT's. I now understand that the general LT's are built to a price point and that may be why they seem to be a better deal at first. I have not looked at other dealers nor checked into used machines. I suspect this dealer's prices may be higher than the norm. I will look into this. Snapper's are advertised as having a disk drive and I do not know how that works. Is it ok for hills? I also was unsure about the smaller cut, but it will not make a huge difference on my size lawn. Thanks

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Of course I want my lawn mower to last 10 years. Unless you compromised on the initial purchase, why wouldn't you? As long as you bought the right tool for the job, it should provide the same benefit after two years or twenty years. They don't become obsolete; it's always been just about making long grass into short grass. As for garden tractors, the Brinly sleeve hitch implements for your Deere X500 work just fine with a Deere 110.
    Things I don't expect to last 10 years: TV, computer, tires, debate with my wife about whether to buy a boat...
    Just because you have a reason to buy a new tractor doesn't mean you want your old one to die. Two tractors are better than one.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    To: SKJ: My two Snappers are both rear engine, disc drives, and both do a good job of mowing, and cart hauling.
    One is the 33 inch deck, with the Hi-vac grass collection system, 12 h.p. engine, disc drive. I bought it new in 1983, and have not had any bad trouble with it. I had to finally replace the drive disc this summer, and i have installed 3 deck drive belts, since it was new! The original engine finally gave out, so i installed a good used one this past Spring. I can't complain about that. I have replaced a number of lawn tractors over the years.
    The smaller one is a "rat" in looks, but runs well and mows well, too. I had to install a used engine on it, when the gasoline filled the engine block, caused by a carburetor that had a sticking-down float. Made a loud "BANG" right behind me! Startling, to say the least!
    Neither of my Snappers have cost very much money for parts or repairs.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I had an Ariens rear-motor, 30", built similarly to the Snapper of the same style. Cut an acre with it for a good 15 years and never needed anything. Has the drive disc and I live on the side of a mountain, so it's always up, down, cutting. Sold it when I got more land, but these things are really built well.

    My local dealer in the Lehigh Valley has a used Snapper with a bagger for about $1100, and that's where I got my estimate of cost.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy either of these models. The drive disc and the motor are about the only things that wear out. And the disc isn't hard to change.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    skjl47

    Choosing a tractor isn't always easy because homeowners often have differing needs and property conditions. So, what is right for one person may not be best for someone else. You mention that your property is not dead flat. That's a variable that must be taken into consideration because traction, stability and longevity of the drive-train come into play.

    One other factor is the number and type of obstructions that must be negotiated. The whole purpose of owning a tractor is to make cutting the grass a pleasant experience instead of a chore. The tractor should have a deck that is narrow enough to go anywhere on the property but is wide enough to make trimming the edges of flower beds easy and mow the lawn area as quickly as possible.

    Since we don't know anything about the details of your property, this is something that you have to work out. Tractors with manual transmissions are fine for large properties with long, continuous runs of cutting but they are a nuisance on small properties where obstructions require the Operator to constantly change between forward and reverse. That's where a hydrostatic or hydraulic drive tractor shines because all you are doing is changing the direction of oil flow instead of struggling with mechanical devices.

    If you have modest mechanical skills and enjoy the challenge of restoring machinery back to its former glory, then picking up an old garden tractor that's built like the proverbial brick s&*t house, then that would be my recommendation. Over the past 40 plus years, there have been several very sturdy garden tractors made by various manufacturers but my choice for you would be either a Case 200 series or an Ingersoll 3000 series.

    Essentially, the latter is the same as the former because Case sold this division to Ingersoll in 1983 and while the name changed, the high quality continued. Any 220, 222, 224 Case or 3010,3012 or 3014 Ingersoll are all good choices. The Case tractors definitely have Kohler K engines in them and many of the Ingersoll's have Kohler M series.

    These engines are very easy to rebuild and for a very low cost however they are as tough as nails and have a very long life if looked after properly. Do not concern yourself about the fact that these are 10, 12 and 14 hp engines because it is torque that matters and there is no lack of torque in the Kohler K/M engines.

    These tractors are made from structural steel instead of stamped sheet metal. There very little plastic to be found on them. Parts are not a problem and many of the wear parts are generic, meaning they can be sourced from local suppliers. Unlike the rest of the crowd, these tractors are hydraulic (not hydrostatic) drive. Instead of an integrated trans-axle that is belt driven, the engine is directly coupled to the hydraulic pump and then the fluid is delivered in a controlled manner to a drive motor that is bolted to the exterior of the cast-iron 2 speed trans-axle.

    This has proven to be the most bullet-proof arrangement to date as it has been in use since it was first patented back in 1962. It is easy to repair as well as being inexpensive. Mower decks are either 38" wide or 44" normally but the 14 hp models are fine with a 48" deck. You can familiarize yourself with the brand by doing some research on e-Bay. Just punch "case lawn mower" into the search engine. You will find tractors, implements and parts showing up in the 1000 plus listings.

    These are very easy tractors to work on and restore. If you conduct a thorough restoration, that will be the end of it because many of these tractors are still out there cutting grass, blowing snow and plowing gardens after 40 years have gone by.
    If you use the link below, you can see what the 2010 Ingersolls look like.

    A new 3000 model with a deck sells for around $8000.00 so that should give you an idea as to the kind of quality I'm talking about here. However, a used 200 series Case with deck can often be bought for as little as $250.00 to $600.00 depending on all the usual factors.

    Take a look and tell me what you think.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ingersoll

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If your looking for a GT you have to go back more then 10 years to get one worth owning.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I expect my LT to outlast my car. My car is 13 years old.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello: Did a search the other day and found a thread about the history of Case / Ingersoll. Seems the company has changed hands several times and is now trying to produce a quality product. I also cannot find a dealer any closer than Nashville TN. I am in north eastern TN, within a few miles of the Cumberland Gap National Park. I will eventually do a search for used machines. Snapper may be the more practical choice as there is a dealer close by. I also did a search : hydraulic vs. hydrostatic vs. disc. I still am unsure of the difference between hydraulic and hydrostatic transmissions, both systems use oil. Hydrostatic allows for quick direction change but is not especially suited for hilly terrain. Hydraulic appears use an engine run pump to power a transmission and perhaps the transmission can have discrete gearing. I also have not found a description of how a disc drive works. I have determined that a CVT type setup is for light duty mowing. With respect to this thread, I do want a machine that will last ten years or at least be worth repairing at ten years.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Hydrostatic allows for quick direction change but is not especially suited for hilly terrain".

    You need to do more research BEFORE you make that statement.

    The JD Select X7xx series uses a HYDROSTATIC transaxle and some models are paired with a Yanmar diesel and full time 4wd with a 3 point hitch and PTO on the rear.

    I'm confident that a JD X749 will go up any hill you can walk up dragging another garden tractor behind it.

    An Ingersoll in it's current iteration is a formidable tractor for sure but they can get bought out or fold anytime in today's economy and then there's no parts.

    A machine that is worth repairing in 10 years is a good want, but how about one that won't break in 10 years and if it does the dealer and the company will still be around to support the product?

    You're right on the CVT... just for mowing small, flat lawns.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello; I attempted to qualify my comments on hydroststic transmissions by saying they were not especially suited to hilly terrain. Several search results mentioned the oil becoming too hot during heavy use. I may be wrong, but some posts may have made similar statements to mine. I am still learning about the various systems. I do not know of the machine (JD X749) you mentioned, but will check it out. I will be more careful about the wording of future comments and not assume that everyone has read my previous posts where I mentioned that I am new to this forum and have little experience with riding mowers. I am learning from those of you who care to respond.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As with most things... there are hydrostatics and there are HYDROSTATICS.

    If you carefully read the posts on the net criticizing hydrostatics you will find that most people are using lawn tractors for what garden tractors should be doing.

    A prime example are those who rail against the TT K46 in the JD X300 Select Series lawn tractor cause they blow out the trannies pulling 500 lb rollers and carts full of firewood up inclines.

    What you won't and don't see on the internet are the millions of people whose tractors with hydrostats do the jobs they are suited to year after year after year.

    BTW, the current Simplicity and Snapper garden tractors also use Tuff Torq hydrostatic transaxles.

    Here facts and details regarding current Tuff Torq hydrostatics... http://www.tufftorq.com/TransComp.asp

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Please allow me to clear up a few misconceptions you may have.

    In 1962, the Johnson brothers began a company called Colt Manufacturing that began to produce garden tractors with their patented hydraulic drive system. This caught the attention of the J.I. Case company of Racine , Wisconsin that has been in business for more than 180 years and Case bought Colt in late 1964. From 1965 to 1983, Case continued to own and operate the Colt plant in Winneconne, Wisc and produced thousands of lawn and garden tractors during that period.

    In late 1983, Case sold their Outdoor Power Equipment Division to John Ingersoll and he renamed the Case line of tractors to Ingersoll. The Rothenberger Group bought it in 1991 and then in 2005, the Eastman company purchased the company. Eastman is a well-established company in the business of lawn equipment and produce the HoverMower models that float on a cushion of air so they can mow difficult terrain.

    Eastman is not undergoing any financial difficulties that I'm aware of and there's no basis for the statement made by justalurker. Secondly, Eastman/Ingersoll isn't "trying to produce a quality product". That statement would suggest that there was a problem with the quality of these tractors at some point and nothing could be further from the truth.

    These were high-end garden tractors when the Johnson brother made them and Case, with their vast experience, resources and deep pockets, made them even better. When John Ingersoll took over, he had a deal in place to continue building these tractors for all the Case dealers so quality was still paramount. When that arrangement ended in 1986, the tractors continued to improve in many respects and Eastman has continued to uphold the established legacy.

    Whether you have a local dealer is really unimportant. I can put you in contact with two very honest, reputable dealers who will ship parts to your door, usually within a day or two. If you do the complete rebuild, parts are essentially a non-issue because most owners equate these tractors to that of owning a tank. I'm not saying that parts never fail but I am saying that parts last a long time compared to some other brands and models.

    So let's move to the difference between hydrostatic and the hydraulic drive used in the Colt/Case/Ingersoll tractors. A hydro system is essentially a "closed system" whereas the hydraulic drive is an "open system". Case GT's use a gear pump that puts out 9 gallons of oil every minute when the engine is running at wide open throttle. This oil leaves the pump, travels to the optional rear hydraulic power take-off valve and then goes through the travel/lift valve, the OIL COOLER and back to the large reservoir tank before reaching the pump for the next journey.

    The travel/lift valve is controlled by two levers, one on each side of the steering column. The one on the left allows the operator to change direction and control ground speed and the one on the right hydraulically lifts mower decks, snow blowers, dozer blades or a sleeve hitch for rear mounted attachments effortlessly.

    The rear mounted optional PTO valve is there to power attachments such as rototillers, finishing mowers, bush hog style mowers, chipper/shredders, vacuum units to fill baggers with clippings and leaves and so forth. No other brand of garden tractor has ever offered an array of attachments like those made by this company.

    The travel valve sends oil to the externally mounted hydraulic drive motor that is bolted to the cast-steel trans-axle in a proportion to the desired ground speed. Every part is separately replaceable and you don't need a dealer to do this work.

    Notice too, that this system has a large oil cooler that has air pulled across it by a fan mounted on the front of the engine. Keep the cooler clean and the tractor clean and you will not have any oil overheating issues.

    Hydrostatic drives found in MOST garden tractors consist of a trans-axle that has both the pump and the drive motor housed inside as a single component. Quite often a simple rubber V belt is used to connect the engine crankshaft to the pulley on the top or side of the trans-axle. As pointed out, there are a wide variety of trans-axle units that range from sealed el-cheapo models with aluminum housings to some very rugged units in cast iron or cast steel housings.

    Nothing in my post should be construed as being derogatory about hydrostatic drives. They work very well and the best ones last quite a long time. However, most of these hydro's don't do much more than propel the tractor in one direction or the other. Some of the higher end models have a provision to be tapped into so that hydraulic cylinders can be operated but I've never seen one that will run hydraulic motors. Case's hydraulic system will run motors or cylinders with no problems.

    Lastly, from a repair cost issue, hydro's are expensive and even more expensive to replace. Most homeowners find themselves out of their depth with hydro's but not with the Case system. If I have peaked your interest further, then I suggest that you become a member of the Case, Ingersoll, Colt group at a different site where you can ask all kinds of questions and get lots of replies from people who own these tractors. If you send me an e-mail at hydriv at gmail dot com I'll hook you up.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    kompressor,

    "Eastman is not undergoing any financial difficulties that I'm aware of and there's no basis for the statement made by justalurker"... my statement was "An Ingersoll in it's current iteration is a formidable tractor for sure but they can get bought out or fold anytime in today's economy and then there's no parts". How about putting it in context? I didn't say they were having trouble or were getting bought out... did I?

    In today's economy that can be said regarding pretty much any company and especially one with a niche market. I don't like that it's true but hiding one's head in the sand serves no purpose... ask Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Mercury... I could continue the list but it's a waste of bandwidth. Simplicity was bought by B&S and MTD bought Cub Cadet.

    Let me be clear, I have no misconceptions. I am intimately familiar with the old Case and the later and current Ingersoll. I agree with some of what you posted and disagree with other points.

    What you call "high-end garden tractors when the Johnson brother made them and Case, with their vast experience, resources and deep pockets, made them even better" were not garden tractors at all, rather they were small gauge REAL tractors that would fit in a garden

    There is no disagreement that the Ingy is a TANK and will (usually) outlast anyone who buys one. It is a great example of an effective way to do a job but I would not buy one for a variety of reasons.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    JAL,
    About all you are doing is splitting hairs and for no purpose. The OP came here looking for constructive advice. I gave him something that he can consider. On the other hand, you are attempting to "warn" him that the sky might be falling. Whether you want to call the Colt, Case and Ingersoll machines garden tractors, compact tractors or small guage real tractors that would fit in a garden, they are tractors that would meet the needs of the OP.

    There's no valid reason for the OP to NOT consider an older Case 200 or 400 Hydriv series tractor. Parts availability is not a concern, even if Eastman were to shut its doors tomorrow. Does that put it in context for you?

    If you have a better suggestion when it comes to a brand of garden tractor for the OP, then why not present that instead of emulating Chicken-Little?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OK, let's put it in context... the OP's original post was questioning the one you need versus the all you want phenomenon.

    He was not questioning brand. You introduced brand into the thread with a rousing sales pitch for Case, Ingersoll, and Eastman because you, no doubt, support that brand and that's OK except you took the opportunity to jump on me for a generalized remark in a previous post that only mentioned Eastman as a general example (after you brought them up)... "can get bought out or fold anytime".

    If the sun rises and sets on your Ingersoll tractor for you then fine... that's why there are 31 flavors.

    So, how about you put your Eastman-Ingersoll stock back in your portfolio and we'll all try to keep more on point?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    JAL,
    The originator of this thread is not the party to whom my "rousing sales pitch" was directed. That part of the thread came and went. The member who more or less took over the discussion was skjl47 who was contemplating purchasing an older, high quality GT that he could restore; rather than toss his money at one of the stamped steel tin cans found at the local big box stores.

    So how about you taking the time to read the thread entirely before sticking your beak in blindly?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So both you and skjl47 hijacked the thread... nicely done.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, the purpose of my original question was to ascertain if the members here, some of whom I recognize for several years, really and truly have (or want) their tractors as long as they imply. Some of you guys are very knowledgeable about a wide variety of brands from Craftsman to Simplicity to Deere and everything in between. Some might be dealers or mechanics but I assume most are like me, just users.

    Everyone speaks of good maintenance and having tractors last years and years. If this is the case, then they might have gained knowledge on one brand, whichever brand that might be that they bought. But I for one just like lawn tractors and think they are neat and, if I can afford it, want a different one every few years whether I need a new one or not. Right now I have a Craftsman that has served me well for five years but I want a Deere. No particular reason other than I just want a Deere and always have.

    How does one get all this knowledge about a Deere if all they have used for the last ten years is a Craftsman or Husky or whatever? That is why I thought people bought different tractors every few years - just because they want a different one and for no other reason. How else would they know so much about all these different brands and manufacturers to speak so "expertly" on such a wide variety of them?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Real knowledge (on ANY subject) comes from first hand experience, good or bad, at different levels.

    That experience can come owning a particular brand and living it's good and bad points, which all brands have.

    That experience can come using a particular brand in the course of their work. In that course you'll see what works, what breaks, how often, and how long it's out of service.

    If you work as a tech in the course of your job you can see what comes in for repairs, how often, how long to get parts, are parts readily available, and so on. you have to temper that experience with knowledge of local market share.

    On these forums you have business owners, retailers, sales people, parts people, repair techs, engineers and on and on, but the thing is the poster is never qualified.

    The most useless info in life is anecdotal evidence... you know, not the I owned one of those and this is how it was but rather the I had a buddy who had one of those and he had nothing but trouble.

    Everyone has an opinion and their opinion is founded in fast, hard facts... at least in their own mind. when you pose a question and get a detailed response challenge them. Make them back up their opinion with reviewable fact.

    Sometimes an excellent opinion is based on plain old common sense. Don't discount common sense because it might be exactly that, but be wary cause some people make no sense at all and they can get very irritated when that is pointed out to them by using facts.

    What you can do is glean info off these forums and then research the subjects that interest you.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "How else would they know so much about all these different brands and manufacturers to speak so "expertly" on such a wide variety of them?"

    Oh that's easy. They're interested in garden and lawn tractors and tend to read up on everything they can on the subject, even though they don't own a particular brand and model. As Justalurker said, ral knowledge comed from actual ownership. There are a few on this forum who have owned most every brand in existence, but I think most of us are repeating what we have read from actual owners. I, for one, like to read up on the top-of-the-line GT's because they represent the best you can buy, and I like to see how well they handle different attachments, especially the ground engaging type. And what features they offer like power steering, locking diff, diesel power, hydraulically actuated deck lift and ancillary equipment (attachments). I have perused many different brand-dedicated forums to acquire this info...it's like a hobby that doesn't cost anything (until you actually buy something that is). However, I have since pretty much gone to the "dark side" and will sing the praises of the ZTR to anyone who will listen, now that I own one and see how efficient (and fun) they truly are. However, I won't try to ram them down anyone's throat....especially on a "Lawn and Garden Tractor" forum:) I must say though it is some members on this forum that have helped me to "see the light"...LOL! I have a lawn tractor but it just sits there like an old Farmall tractor put out to pasture while I go whizzing around on my ZTR ;) I have a Japanese compact tractor to handle the tiller work, and so I will never go back to lawn or garden tractor to cut grass...and that's from actual experience.....I would be tempted to pick up a nice JD 445 GT at the right price though :)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    might help if I actually proof read my post LOL! That should read:

    "As Justalurker said, real knowledge comes from actual ownership."

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When you purchase something and it performs you tend to lean toward another purchase in the future. The opposite if it doesnt. It is kinda like a car ,had a lot of one brand for years , all but one was complete junk , my wife was buying another brand that performed flawless . Mine in the shop ,hers driving down the road. I changed and never looked back so far. Isnt it like a mower if you see people having good luck with them you tend to steer toward that brand . My family always had DEERE GT , had good luck beat the snot out of them , maintained and a repair here and there , kinda swayed me on what to purchase.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Last ten years....yeah...why not. Bought in 2003...run exclusively on synthetic oil with regular maintenance. Still kickin...so yeah I want it to last 10 years...and it will!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My used Toro LT lasted 25 years. My Deere LT180 is 7 and I hope it goes 25 years too.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I certainly expect mine to. It is now 5 years old and has 38.6 hours. Should hit 100 in 10 years if I work a little harder.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I do! Actually, much longer than that. At least MY mower, which is a 1961 Wheelhorse Suburban. Not as concerned with the Craftsman that came with the Cottage, that Dh uses. That needs to last until I can hunt up a good replacement, like a Gravely rider (like an 812) at a reasonable price. The Craftsman is a good riding mower, but it's not really a tractor. Of course, we can get the $$ together and figure out where we'd keep it, I'd really like an international cub lowboy with a belly mower.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Back to the original question, I would prefer to have something different after 10 years, if paying for it wasn't a controlling issue. I get tired of running the same old thing year after year. You can keep anything running for 20 years if you put enough money and sweat in it. I like running something new when I can afford it. Just like cars....your second biggest purchase after a house (in most cases). But I do understand the satisfaction of keeping something running after its sell by date. Hey, I have a '74 Norton Commando...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    After a decade of owning my 1989 Simplicity 5212 I am thinking about moving on. Maybe I will be motivated by finding a great deal or when something expensive breaks. Hopefully the great deal lol.

    It is important to know your machine. Mine suffers no damage from mowing too tall of grass but doesnt like fast sharp turns or repeatedly changing directions.

  • 8 years ago

    Check my latest post, but, ya, there is a bit of pride in wanted to keep a tractor running a lifetime. Especially something iconic as a Deere. The discussions here you read are exactly that. Guys wanting to keep up a machine that has been good to them and made their lives easier is part of the enjoyment. I can honestly say that my Deere LT has been one of the best investments I have made. Having a brand with a great following and available parts just makes it that much easier.

    If you are passionate about a Deere, go out and get one. If you are just changing to change, that's ok, but there is nothing wrong with keeping your current one up and running. You may consider keeping 2. I am planning to run one in summer and one in winter.., so I am not without one and can maintain each off season.