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post #1 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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How useful is a GT with a loader on it

I'm looking at GTs with a loader to clean up my woods. It would be used to move some brush and leaf piles, to pull up some small trees (1-2" in diameter), and to dig up some earth and grade. Will need to pick up 3/4 crushed stone from a pile, and topsoil from a pile on my driveway too.

The tractors that I've found on Craigslist with loaders that are in my budget are an early 90s craftsman GT6000, a Wheelhorse 414-8, A simplicity 3314H. They all have weight boxes and AGs or Chains.The Craftsman and the Simplicity have Johnson loaders on them and the wheelhorse has an ARK 500.

I have seen some PowerKings, although the ones in my budget have seemed to disappear pretty quickly.

So to those of you with older GTs with loaders, what kinds of tasks do you use them for, and how effective do you think they'd be at the things I'd like to do? Is there anything specific I should look for? Am I better off with a Hydro than a gear transmission? My gut says the hydro will be a lot easier to operate, but I worry about the durability.
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post #2 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:06 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

I think you might be disappointed. I have a 4wd SCUT, it is too light for some of the tasks you describe. It works great as a wheel barrow but it doesn't have adequate power and weight for excavating and grading, moving heavy snow is a real battle.
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post #3 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:20 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Just useful enough to make you wish you had a bigger tractor.

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post #4 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:29 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

When you get into a GT that is a suitable loader platform, durability of the hydro is not in question. Most of the older, less expensive, GTs will have the Sundstrand Series 15, Eaton 11, or Eaton 12 hydros that are at the top of the heap for power delivery and durability.

Gear transmissions cannot match the rear axle torque delivery of a top of the line hydro, and the constant back and forth is much easier to do with a hydro. Rowing a stick gets real old, real fast, with loader work.

The list of tasks that a GT loader can do is endless, including the ones on your list, provided that suitable ballast is applied to the tractor. It does take practice for an operator to become effective with the capabilities of the equipment.

For solo work, it can have the same effect as having a 3 or 4 man crew working with you. It can spread and level a 12 yard load of gravel in as little as an hour with the right GT and sufficient operator experience. Uprooting small saplings, such as you describe, is also within the capabilities

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post #5 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:44 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
When you get into a GT that is a suitable loader platform, durability of the hydro is not in question. Most of the older, less expensive, GTs will have the Sundstrand Series 15, Eaton 11, or Eaton 12 hydros that are at the top of the heap for power delivery and durability.

Gear transmissions cannot match the rear axle torque delivery of a top of the line hydro, and the constant back and forth is much easier to do with a hydro. Rowing a stick gets real old, real fast, with loader work.

The list of tasks that a GT loader can do is endless, including the ones on your list, provided that suitable ballast is applied to the tractor. It does take practice for an operator to become effective with the capabilities of the equipment.

For solo work, it can have the same effect as having a 3 or 4 man crew working with you. It can spread and level a 12 yard load of gravel in as little as an hour with the right GT and sufficient operator experience. Uprooting small saplings, such as you describe, is also within the capabilities
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post #6 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Roy, Lance

Thanks for the reply. I'm well aware of what I'm NOT getting. I don't expect these tasks to be accomplished effortlessly like they would be with a larger machine. I'm OK with working at it. I just don't want to have to do this type of work by hand! I don't have a big enough property or budget to warrant a larger machine.

Tudor,
I think you've convinced me I don't want a stick. The Sears and Wheelhorse I've been eyeing are both manual, so I guess they're out. It was my gut feeling that the hydro would make more sense.

Please keep the feedback coming, especially if you own one. Again, I don't have delusions of grandeur for a machine this size, I just want to limit the amount of shoveling and raking I have to do.
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post #7 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:47 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Hi - I'm afraid a small GT w/o 4WD will not dig like you would like to do? The other issue is the GT's are very light! even w/a weight box, traction is poor. I have a 4x4 JD x595 diesel with the JD 45 loader. it works good digging, snow removal, moving material, but I've added oversize loaded tires (R4 skid - steer tires) , upgraded the hydraulics (raised the pressure) along with the 900 lbs weight box all added to an already 1,200 lbs tractor. And there are still times I wished I had a larger machine! Try shopping around for an older mid-size tractor/loader. the 2wd units are not as popular and can be had cheaper than the newer compact 4x4 machines. I have way to much money into my tractor!!LOL Some of the older JD's (the 140 hydro, and the early 400 series) worked ok w/a loader, but resale prices can reflect that. what kind of budget are you trying to work with?? best regards - WH

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post #8 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 01:52 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

HI Daverulz - I just noticed you are in CT?? Where abouts?? I'm in Shelton! regards - WH

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post #9 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

My budget is 2-3k. The cheaper the better, but I haven't found much below 2k. A bigger tractor is not in the cards. I have a heavy duty 5x8 trailer with a 3500lb axle. The tractor needs to fit on that. If I need a bigger tractor it will have to be rented. I'd rather not "throw my money away" that way. The ideal situation is to have the tractor ready to work whenever I need it, so I can fit in a half hour of work here or there whenever I have time. Instead of trying to cram all the work into a weekend or two only for two weeks down the road to say "I wish I'd done this while the machine was here".

I don't expect the machine to be able to dig a hole in undisturbed soil, but I would like it to be able to scrape the top couple of inches off the ground without much trouble. I've watched some videos of these machines working on youtube and while sometimes they seem to struggle it seems like with patience they should be able to get the job done.

The agreement that I have with the wife is that I will buy a used machine that will maintain its value. Use it all summer to do the work we need to do, and then sell it. From watching craigslist in this area I know that GTs with loaders go for 2-3k (or more) and that unless I do something to destroy it I should not have a problem getting what I put into it back, so long as I buy it smart.

I've looked at JDs, missed out on a 318 with a loader and I'm kicking myself for that. 400s with loaders are still outside of the budget. I don't see a huge advantage to the 140 over say the Simplicity 3314 that is listed for $2300 below and the JD will come with a huge premium, granted that may relay to an easier sell down the road. I also missed an Ingersoll 6018 that I'm REALLY kicking myself for.

Here are links to the 3 tractors I've had my eye on recently:
https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/for/6005555269.html - This one is appealing because it is so cheap. But I think it's the lightest machine, and resale is a concern

https://newlondon.craigslist.org/grd/6010162153.html - I had an Allis Chalmers just like this. With the Kohler not the briggs. I loved the machine but it broke down a lot. It wasn't hard to fix but I was wrenching on it more often than I'd like. That is my hesitance here.

https://hartford.craigslist.org/grd/5999099552.html - This one is regarded as a pretty tough machine, but the asking price is a little high, and the condition of the loader appears to be a little suspect, at least from the pictures.

I saw several Power Kings like this one for between 2 and 3k also
https://hartford.craigslist.org/grd/6020254854.html

Of course out of all of those, only the Simplicity has a Hydro. My Allis did really good with the dirt plow on it grading and pushing piles of junk in the woods. So I think this machine would be up to the tasks I have for it. My only hesitance is the maintenance. I would love to get a machine with a little bit more modern motor on it - I know this sounds silly.

Again...keep the feedback coming!

Edit: I'm in Madison

Last edited by daverulz; 02-27-2017 at 02:19 PM.
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post #10 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 02:33 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Hi - that is a tough budget. Getting a John Deere in that price range w/loader will be rare - but keep your eyes open! A hydro-trans is must with a loader, easy back and forth and you can vary your ground speed when scooping which saves stress and wear on the machine. The SEARS w/a loader - would be really concerned about the trans! ; they are very light-weight, pot metal cases! the simplicity is a stout machine, the Eco-KIngs I think are all manual trans?? I had a first generation 1993 JD 425 (20 HP Kawasaki gas motor); I put a JD loader on it (loader was worth more than the tractor). It worked pretty good for a 2wd. The nice thing about the JD 400's - the 2wd's have a rear differential lock that you press with your left foot to lock the rear wheels together for much improved traction.
Yeah - the trailer thing is important - I got burned, I had a small 6 x12' 3000# landscape trailer that I moved the 425 on. the weight was borderline. when is sold the 425 and moved on to the x595 - the trailer was way overloaded, I sold the trailer. have you looked in the "Bargain News"? I think it is still published?? they used to have decent photo adds and dedicated "equipment" sections.
good luck - WH

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post #11 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 02:41 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

HI - just saw the wheel horse. it's the old design - when it was really Wheel Horse!! yes a tough machine - then. WH got bought-out by TORO in the 80's I think; then the quality suffered. My Dad had a 1971 12HP Kolher WH tractor. It was a tough machine - all cast iron trans, steel channel frame, only thing - manual trans again. Do you have access to a welder - could beef up the bucket if you wanted. Yeah a JD would be easier to re-sell down the road. I sold my JD 425 w/loader & snowplow in 4 days.

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post #12 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

From what I've read of that vintage Craftsman GT, that trans is indestructible. Not cheap like the LTs. It has a 3 speed with high and low and is built for ground engaging implements. But that machine without the loader only weighs in at 6-700 lbs which I don't think is heavy enough for what I want to do.

Regardless, manual transmissions are out. So the Craftsman, the Wheelhorse and the Power Kings are all out.

Just saw this Ariens pop up right within my 2 hour drive time radius and the price seems reasonable
https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/grd/6017968079.html

And this JD420 that is a little outside the budget but maybe worth it since it shouldn't be hard to sell down the road
https://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/grd/6019482120.html

The downside to spending more is it will be much harder when the time comes to sell to convince my wife that we shouldn't Which is kinda also the plan, if you catch my drift.

I do have a welder, just a small 110v Lincoln Electric MIG (with the gas, not just flux core) but is probably sufficient for any welding needed on a GT.

I need to pick up a bargain news...great idea.

Last edited by daverulz; 02-27-2017 at 03:06 PM.
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post #13 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 03:05 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

If you can do it - go with the JD 420, it's very similar to my old 425, a real workhorse - it will carry the Ariens around in it's bucket all day long. the 420 bare tractor weighs in around 1,000lbs, the ariens - maybe 550 - 650 lbs? And re-sale will be a snap with a JD & a JD loader. JD loaders are built very sturdy - commercial grade! the other GT's - it's after -market or home made? The 420 I think also has aux. hydraulics - you can outfit it w/a 3-pt hitch, and attachments are still available - ie. snow plow, tiller, snow blower. good luck! WH

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post #14 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 03:12 PM
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Keep in mind most GT loaders are only rated for 400-450 lbs, which means a full bucket of soil can weigh more than the rated capacity. Overload the bucket and you can break front axles.

With your budget you could pick up an older small tractor with a fel that weighs 2500 lbs and will safely do the type of chores you want to do, it will still fit your trailer and its easier to sell.

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post #15 of 144 Old 02-27-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How useful is a GT with a loader on it

Lance,

What models should I be looking for? My search term on when I look for these is very general: "tractor". I haven't seen anything in the price range within 200 miles of my locale that is what I would classify as much more than a GT.
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