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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm in the market for a used small tractor with [at minimum] a loader. With a hoe as well would be great, but I'm finding I'm priced out for a used Kubota BX25 or the like, so I'm having to downsize my wants to something like a BX2200 or a comparable machine. I need some advice on what brands/models I should be keeping an eye for.

I don't need anything fancy, just something I could haul mulch/dirt with mostly. Maybe also hook up a wider finish mower to, so as to cut down my time on my current 50" deck (Craftman tractor). Matter of fact, the more simple the tractor the better, I need this thing as bulletproof as possible.

Preferably 4wd, but at minimum a locking diffy because I got terrain here. I'm hoping to keep it under $7k. Any pointers from you guys would be much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks much for reply. I've been on that site, do check it occasionally. I'm hoping to get some pointers on specific tractors. I was looking into older Case 600 series or Ingersoll 6000 series tractors. BTW, would love to get into a MF GC1700 seat to try it out but there are no dealers near me. :(
 

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Ha Country, guess what I bought? A MF! We upped our budget, got a very gently used GC1710. I mean very gently, barely made it past the first 50 hr service. I've been working that bad boy hard the last few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeh that ratchet rake is awesome, I did a lot with it these last few days. 300 bux, money well spent.
 

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Now THAT is an attachment worth having for dealing with underbrush! :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I bought their snow edge attachment as well:

 

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That video wouldn't convince me to buy a snow edge.

First, the angle of the bucket would wear out a steel edge on asphalt and dig holes in gravel. A back blade with a squeegee edge would be a better tool for the snow in the video.

Second, 2" of slushy snow is not worth the gas to clean up unless the temperature is going to drop to below freezing and more snow is forecast.

Third, the asphalt and ground are frozen in my locality and any marks that the steel edge leaves don't last past the spring rains.

Fourth, a service life of only 30 hours means changing the edge outside in the cold at least three times a season. I don't mind driving my tractor in the winter, but working on it is only for emergencies in cold weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey it's cool to each his own. Up to know, I've been plowing my blacktop with the craftsman tractor and a snow blade, with huge banks forming after a few snow falls. So, this will work for me just fine.
 

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I'm a snowblower guy myself. Specifically a rear mounted unit. Yeah, you have to turn around to use it, but I'm able to sit almost sideways on the seat. Rear mount snowblowers are cheap, readily available (at least around here), and you won't need to dismount your loader so no need to change back and forth. Your machine will handle a 60" unit, which can easily be had for under $1000 in very good condition. Skip the 48" model. Being a hydro, it's very easy to just slow down when the snow gets deep.

The one pictured is an MK Martin Meteor, older model. It was completely refurbished (less the auger) when I bought it for $1000. Stripped and powdercoated housing and chute, new drive shaft, new bearings, new chain & sprockets, new chute cable, new polyethylene scraper edge. It ran darn near dead silent - no rattle, no creaks, no squeaks, no bearing noise, no metal on cement noise. All I could hear was the the snow being processed through the augers. Super cool sound!

Regrettably I ended up selling it last year when I upgraded my tractor. New tractor was a foot wider than the 60" model I had. Super annoying when the machine is wider than the snowblower! Upgraded to another similar unit 84" wide.
 

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That video wouldn't convince me to buy a snow edge.

First, the angle of the bucket would wear out a steel edge on asphalt and dig holes in gravel. A back blade with a squeegee edge would be a better tool for the snow in the video.

Second, 2" of slushy snow is not worth the gas to clean up unless the temperature is going to drop to below freezing and more snow is forecast.

Third, the asphalt and ground are frozen in my locality and any marks that the steel edge leaves don't last past the spring rains.

Fourth, a service life of only 30 hours means changing the edge outside in the cold at least three times a season. I don't mind driving my tractor in the winter, but working on it is only for emergencies in cold weather.
Watching the video, the metal edge of the bucket doesn't touch the surface. There's a 2 and 1/2 inch thick rubber substance on the bottom under the front edge of the bucket touching the driveway surface. Nothing metal is touching the surface. So there's no damage to asphalt or concrete surfaces.

Here's a better video of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=77&v=o64EgCBKKXA
 

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Ha Country, guess what I bought? A MF! We upped our budget, got a very gently used GC1710. I mean very gently, barely made it past the first 50 hr service. I've been working that bad boy hard the last few days.
Awesome, you won't regret that. Great tractor!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pretty nice.
 

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Watching the video, the metal edge of the bucket doesn't touch the surface. There's a 2 and 1/2 inch thick rubber substance on the bottom under the front edge of the bucket touching the driveway surface. Nothing metal is touching the surface. So there's no damage to asphalt or concrete surfaces.
So, not only does it have a 30 hour service life before it needs to be replaced, but it has no edge to undercut snow that has been packed.

The steel cutting edge of my GTs bucket required a dressing about every 1200 hours, would undercut hard pack, and has yet to leave a visible mark on an asphalt driveway, even the first winter after it was laid down.

The city's street plows wear out a set of hardened cutting edges every 24 hours of operation, and they don't leave marks on the pavement in spite of the sparks that can be seen when they go by. They have recently changed to a different material for the cutting edges ... carbide ... for more durability.

The lack of residual marks may be because winter temps around here tend to be well below freezing and asphalt becomes very hard when frozen. My concrete rear walkway doesn't get marked either and I used serious downpressure to undercut the hardpack/ice when necessary.

Keep in mind that this is my perspective from here in the Great White North, and from using a GT sized loader for snow removal for 40 years. Your conditions may be completely different and a composite bucket edge may work satisfactorily.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Look everybody needs to figure out what works for their application. Me, I have blacktop driveway, around 100 ft long, around 2.5 car widths maybe, a side apron, and another smaller side drive.

For the last 3 winters, I've been using a craftman snow blade with a poly strip I sandwiched between the blade and the wear bar. Has the poly strip worn some? Yes, it's got a bevel to it now. Has it been 30 hours with that strip? I dunno, I'm thinking probably not. But, I do know I would have gotten at minimum another 2 winters out of that strip before I had unbolt and flip it over.

Now I don't know what material that ratchet rake's snow edge is made out of, but if I could get 5 winter seasons out of it before having to replace the wear strip for $50 plus shipping, I'm cool with it. If it wears out too fast, I'll just buy a thick poly strip, drill and counterbore some holes, end of story.

As far as the snow blade design itself and how it's utilized with the bucket, I personally think it's great. But again, some prefer a snow blower, some a back blade, some a real plow up front, whatever, do your thing boys.
 
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