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gdeangel
08-16-2006, 04:07 PM
I am on the market for a garden tractor. I have some short term needs for special attachments like a tiller and/or box grader and maybe and auger/post hole digger. Long term, this is going be for cutting grass. It seems that there are a number of sub-compact garden tractors with PTO attachments that might fit my needs (Deere x500, Cub Cadet 2500).

I am no expert on tractors, so my question is are these sub-compact tractors using a 3 point hitch (class 0?), or some other proprietary design so it's harder to find OEM attachments? Are there any good recomendations as to new/used models I should look at that would meed my needs. Ideally, I want to pick up the tractor and tiller this season - what do you think is a reasonable budget to spend, with the expectation of picking up some of the other attachments next year for fence building, etc.?

jeffinsgf
08-16-2006, 10:50 PM
When you said tiller, you were okay, but when you added post hole digger and box blade, the big garden tractors are going to leave you disappointed, I think. Look at the John Deere 2305. It is one step bigger, can handle a broader range of more widely available attachments and won't let you down when the heavy work comes around. If that is a budget buster, consider a slightly older JD. I have a 455, which I would stack up against the X500 any day of the week. Going back even farther to say a 430 or a 318, you have over 20 years worth of used attachments out there that will fit. Anything from about 1970 to 1992 will fit any tractor from the same era.

Check out http://www.weekendfreedommachines.org for an interesting history of the JD garden tractor and a forum of dedicated collectors and users.

PHS79
08-16-2006, 11:09 PM
My father had 2-400 JD's, they were 20 hp (gas), 3pt. hitch, front and mid PTO's and an attachment so they could have rear PTO, 2 hyrdo lines to the front. He also had 6way snow plow's, a power broom, tiller, forks for the rear, and box scrapper and 60" decks for both. They were very nice little mowers and they each had over 1200 hrs on them with just reg maintance. He traded them both in on a Kubota BX2230, 23hp (diesel), 4WD, mid and rear PTO's and 2 hydro lines off the joy stick. He has a plow, loader and 60" mower.

I always thought that the 400's were good, but IMO the BX2230 is great!! But it has a pretty little price to go along with it, about $14,000 with the mower deck, front loader, and snow plow.

gdeangel
08-18-2006, 02:14 PM
Sounds like a used 400 series is the way to go. I'd like to stay as close to $5K as possible on the initial budget. The Deere x500 was about the max I can afford new. One thing I don't get - maybe someone can explain - when you look at the next sub-tractor up, the x700, it's price is about the same as the 2300's... how can a sub-compact be worth that much?? I see Case's entry line is over $10,000. I can only guess what Kubota charges for its G -series. So I guess new is out of my price range.

I'm getting a little bit frustrated because around here in NE Ohio there seems to be not much second hand equipment available on the market - any time I see a listing its already been sold. Can anyone recommend a good way to find used equipment?

TAZ
08-18-2006, 02:44 PM
I'm getting a little bit frustrated because around here in NE Ohio there seems to be not much second hand equipment available on the market - any time I see a listing its already been sold. Can anyone recommend a good way to find used equipment?

I have found the same thing. I don't know what it is about this area and garden tractors but anything used that comes out is snagged up imeadiately. In the past I have gotten the paper with a new ad in it at 3:00pm and the units wer sold.

Maybe someone else could help you there. I am interested as well. A garden tractor is a handy piece of equipment to have to use for non-mowing duties.

-TAZ

jeffinsgf
08-18-2006, 08:10 PM
There are several of them, relatively close to you, on eBay.

Home&Garden>Outdoor Power Equipment>Mowers>Riding Mowers

and then they're broken down by brand.

jeffinsgf
08-18-2006, 08:22 PM
... One thing I don't get - maybe someone can explain - when you look at the next sub-tractor up, the x700, it's price is about the same as the 2300's... how can a sub-compact be worth that much?? ...


Just to clear up a little terminology. The X700 is still classed a "garden tractor" The 2305 is a sub-compact utility tractor.

In most cases for most people, I think when you're ready to spend some serious cash, the sub-CUT's are a much better choice. The market niche for the X700 are those guys who want as much power and as many features as they can get and still keep the size down and the maneuverability up. I have a JD 4410 which is a 35 HP CUT and a JD 455 22 HP garden tractor. I bought the 455 strictly for mowing, but it has made itself a bigger part of my work than I ever dreamed it would. It takes a lot of room to turn my 4410 around. My 455 wil turn around in a narrow driveway without getting close to either side. I've got a Turfco Mete-R-Matic spreader that weighs nearly a ton when loaded with sand, and that little 455 pulls it around like it was a feather.

You can do a lot with a big garden tractor, but I am going to stick to my first reply and suggest you shop for a good solid used sub-CUT.

Splicer
08-18-2006, 08:39 PM
Now is NOT a good time to find a GOOD used GT...Though I DO know of a REAL NICE sub-compact for sale here where I live...Cub Cadet...Guy is asking $5900 I believe...It would be a road trip for you but if you would like I will get the phone # for it for you tomorrow...

Other than tat look at the END of the season...You will see a flood of tractors (GT and SUB) both used AND new for incredible deals...I bought my GT for a FANTASTIC price in October of last year...

Good luck and let me know if you want that phone #...

gdeangel
08-18-2006, 11:58 PM
Lot sizes around here are pretty small. I'm going to need a "garden tractor" for sure since mostly its for cutting ... guess I need to get the terminology right. I'll just continue to grade with hand dig the fenceposts, or wait till I can trade up/get another machine... or maybe see what's out there in October...

Does anyone here have experience with a New Holland LS55? Seems like the HP should be enough to break up some serious ground, but then again I know HP can be pretty misleading....