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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I am a true newbie... moving from a house on .03 acres (or something like that) to 2.75 acres. Heck, I grew up in a rowhouse in the city! I am looking for a mower, and the Craftsman PGT9000 has caught my attention.
Does anyone know where I can find what model transaxle is in this mower? There is a decent slope to one side of the yard, and the its fairly bumpy / rocky. And... I am assuming that a decent transaxle is important for a large slope.

I went to a local cub cadet dealer to look at a GT 1554, and when the salesman found out where the property was, he suggested that I look at the PGT9000 (because of my limitation on available funds. Of course he wanted me to by a $5000 cub, but when he saw my tears, I think he felt sorry for me.) I figured it must be a decent tractor, or he has a cousin that works at Sears.
Thanks!
John
 

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:Welcome1: and enjoy the forum. There is also a lot of good used equipment out there if you have the time to look. Take your time and see whats available to you in your area. Do some research and just don't jump in and get something that won't hold up to your needs and wind up replacing it in a year or two. What do you plan on using it for. Whatever you buy make sure it's up to the task and don't push it beyond it's designed limits. Enjoy the hunt and post some pics of it when you get it. slkpk
 

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The bumpy yard is what the diciding factor is IMHO. So what kinda skill level do you have?? Can you fix, and repair things yourself?? Are you handy at all? Also what kinda a budjet are you working with???

My fear is that the bumpy yard will tear up the front axle/steering parts in short order.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I typically don't venture beyond basic maintenance, but I do have a close friend that is a mechanic, and is handy in general.

I've really got to stay in the $3,000 range.

Regarding the front axle on the PGT9000, I am no expert (as previously admitted), but the front axle looked well made, on par or better than most of the mowers I saw on the Sears showroom. Is it a concern?

My initial plan is to use for mowing and lawn maintenance (de-thatching, aeration, etc). I am not planning to do any type of gardening.
 

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Retired Aug.31 2007
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Welcome to the forum. I am not familiar with that model of tractor. Some one should be along who knows all about it.
 

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I typically don't venture beyond basic maintenance, but I do have a close friend that is a mechanic, and is handy in general.

I've really got to stay in the $3,000 range.

Regarding the front axle on the PGT9000, I am no expert (as previously admitted), but the front axle looked well made, on par or better than most of the mowers I saw on the Sears showroom. Is it a concern?

My initial plan is to use for mowing and lawn maintenance (de-thatching, aeration, etc). I am not planning to do any type of gardening.
In the 3k range I would recomend checking out a Simplicity, or Massey Fergason dealer [bolth the same tractors] Last I checked for just a tick over 3k will get you in a real nice, well built and tough yard tractor. Also you will get dealer support along with the deal!!! Check them out. the build quilty is real good.

http://www.simplicitymfg.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the 3k range I would recomend checking out a Simplicity, or Massey Fergason dealer [bolth the same tractors] Last I checked for just a tick over 3k will get you in a real nice, well built and tough yard tractor. Also you will get dealer support along with the deal!!! Check them out. the build quilty is real good.

http://www.simplicitymfg.com/
I am in a dead zone for Massey Ferguson... closest dealer is 45 miles away. The Simplicity site lists the cheapest "yard tractor" at $5400. They do have a "lawn tractor" listed in the $3k range, but it has a "K46" transaxle, which seems to be a light duty transaxle... (not based on experience, just from what I read-up on the 'net.)

My thinking is that a high-end Craftsman that I can afford might be better than a low-end Simplicity / Husquvarna / Deere / Cadet. Am I going to get myself in trouble with that approach?

I am shying away from the used tractors... I don't think I've ever even owned a used car. I like to know that a piece of equipment is well-maintained. You never know what you're going to get when you buy something used. But, I am not getting a good feeling about this PGT9000 based on the responses here, so I am considering revising my approach...
 

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The Magnificent
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Welcome John,
On 2.75 acres, you are going to eventually do a little more than mow. That was one of your reasons for moving out of the city.

You are right that a heavier transaxle as well as a heavier frame and front axle are what you need.

Here's my story that everyone else has heard til their sick of it, but...
I moved to a little over an acre and was just tapped out, so I bought the biggest yard tractor which Sears had on clearance. Used it a little more like a farm tractor and wore it out after 5 mowing seasons.

Knew I wanted a Garden Tractor as I started the search for replacements. Knew I wanted to garden, so my total budget for tractor, implements, accessories, etc was $5000. Not much new in that range besides the low end cub GT or a Sears GT.

My neighbor had purchased a John Deere 318 new in 1986 and he used to lap me mowing. I chatted with him a bit, and decided to go look at used JD 318s. For $1950 I brought home a 1987 model with PS, Hydraulic deck lift, etc, etc. Best decision I made in a long time.

There are lots of good used machines in your price range.
 

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Johnm304,
Bet you meant 0.3 acre as where you moved from, still small compared to nearly 3 acres.

The Sears Garden Tractors have strong trany and frames/front axel. My avatar is of one with the manual 3x2 manual transaxel. It is heavy duty.

I mow about 3 acres and have used ground engagement on the GT6000, it has 1200 hours or so on it and going strong....it has a L-Head (Flat Head) two cylinder B&S. All the machines are overhead valves these days, but I'm not sure they are stronger (longer lasting) engines, just cleaner burning I think.

I'm not up on the latest Craftsman designations but I take the PGT to be their top of the line, Professional Garden Tractor. That should have one of the better engines too, B&S ELS or better, or Kohler Pro. It should be a good tractor for your needs, and if you can get a sale, you'll save enough for an attachment or two..I'd recommend a dozer blade if you expect an snow to move and some ground to level.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Jerry,

I went with your advice... I bought the PGT 9000. It has the Briggs and Stratton 28 HP XLS with electronic fuel management. Still have no clue what kind of transaxle it has. I looked up the parts schematic, but I can't find a match on the Hydro-gear website.

Last Sunday, I ended up buying during a "friends and family promotion," on top of its sales price. $2600 for a $3600 tractor seemed "reasonable".

I had just started poking around at used tractors at a local JD/Kubota dealership. Quite frankly, they weren't too friendly when they found out what my budget was. I was kind of frustrated, and happen to the Sears coupon the same day. Seemed like fate.

Thanks everyone for your advice...

John
 

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Looks like a great deal to me. Sears puts a heavy duty transmission in their GT line.

The B&S engine sounds interesting, something new I guess. Electronic fuel management, could that be fuel injection?

What size mowing deck did you get?

I spent a bit over an hour today mowing a lower meadow that is just over an acre. I couldn't get some of it because it still had standing water (puddles), but had to cut what I could, the grass is a heavy pasture grass and was at least 6" high, plus the stick-up stuff at 10" or more. I mowed with the old GT6000, manual in 3rd gear, that is a ground speed just above middle. The way the two speed rear end works, transmission "3" if a faster ground speed than is "4". I tuned up the cutting edge on the three gator blades and cleaned the deck before starting. Another hardworking 1.5 hours on machine, the old "boy" just cut right along, no problems.
 

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I have asked the question on trans and the answer was that many different ones are used on the same tractors. It can be a crap shoot. I only have one suggestion having lived in Washington state. I had a hill all around the house. I had a hydro and it made it easy when I had to turn at the bottom of the hill and start up. In that NW part of the state things stay wet. My JD with a hydro gave me a running start. I had a tractor with a stick and when I stopped I could not go up the hill and it was not so steep that you would think it would slip. If you are going to use it in a garden you need a stick not a hydro. I have a good JD and a cheap Craftsman. They both do a great job for what they were designed to do.
 

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I am surprised the Craftsman GT doesn't have a specific hydro... but it has a GT rating and that means it can handle ground engagement. I don't know that that means you can pull a plow all day long, but who would want to?

My old GT6000 has no problem with a grader on gravel, or even the box scraper on dirt. I also use it for pull my plug aerator, not sure the last requires a GT, but I use the GT.

If one is going to plow a acre, then get a "real" tractor, a Utility or Compact as I understand the naming convention.
 

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John,
According to Grapeknutz, the trannys should be tuff torque.
Referenced link


My experience with my 2008 GT Pro is, I've pulled my 900 lb. yard roller while mowing 3.5 acres and I'm very impressed. Mine has the K66 Tuff torque. In fact I believe it does a better job of pulling it than my old 1991 GT6000.

Dave
 

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When you get your tractor (if you haven't already taken delivery), you can simply look on the transaxle and see what it is. I think mine even stated it somewhere else, maybe where the model number is under the seat, I can't remember.

Either way, from what I've read on here if you have the K66 or the Hydro gear they're both supposed to be pretty stout tranny's.

Have fun,
Dave
 

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Not sure, according to the parts direct website, it certainly looks like a hydro-gear.
Well, it's not a K66. The case splits the wrong way.
 
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