Found the forum here while researching my first hydrostatic purchase, a Simplicity Hydro 18, which I reckon is called a Sovereign Series. I know absolutely nothing about these tractors except for the handbook and parts book I recently downloaded from Simplicity. I do have some questions, though, that are not covered in either manual.
First, a couple of photos of the beast, though I'm sure it's a familiar site to the regulars here..
I'm not so concerned on the age of the machine. It's apparent it has been well looked after, and the engine only gives a slight puff of blue on startup, other than that it runs like a champ. The hydrostatic is new to me, and this one seems to do what another of the same model (that I've read on the forum) seems to do: going forward is a nice brisk pace... going backwards is downright scary fast, even with the drive in a lower "gear". That caught me by surprise - once. Now I remember to keep my foot on the brake!
Really, the only question I have concerns the engine and the extra output shaft it has at the front of the tractor:
Since it's key-wayed, it's quite obvious it's there for a pulley of some sort, but what would you put there that would rely on the engine rpm? My plan for the tractor is basic homeowner stuff - cut the grass, plow snow and maybe get a snow blower attachment (even though I have a walk-behind already). I like this beast as it's a far step up from the box-store tractors I've had in years past, even though my last Huskee/MTD lasted nearly 20 years of abuse before the engine finally quit (not of my doing, though..).
Anyway, any insights/input on upkeep on this unit would be appreciated and would anyone happen to know which model snow blowers would fit?