Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
Rickkop,I have been trying to see one of these i-series zero turn tractors. But I'd like to see one in person before I plunk down my money. I have contacted every dealer for as far away as a hundred miles and nobody has any.
Is there a problem with these tractors that I should know about.
Cub used to sell a 42", 46" (not 44), and 50" deck i-Series. I didn't realize they have dropped the 46 until your posting and I checked the website. I don't think this series took off like Cub wanted so I'd guess dropping one model is a way of cutting overhead (less expensive to have less variation).
I have the i-1050 and have had no significant issues, but I do stay on top of the preventative maintenance pretty religiously. I use it to cut, vacuum, core aerate, snowplow and snowblow. See the links in my sig for examples of these.
Having steerable front wheels opened up the ability to have front attachments which is specifically why I chose the i-Series instead of a standard ZTR with lapbar and front casters. That said, I have seen postings and youtube videos about ZTRs with casters that have front attachments like a snowblade, so it can be done but I think doing so is not advisable due to having less control.
Problems I have not had myself but read about tend to be with the linkages, drive pedal travel, and steering component toughness. the first two can be chalked up to poor assembly (usually at a Big Box Store) or adjustment. As you might guess the steering mechanics is complex in this design and there are a lot of moving parts. As long as you don't ram a wheel straight into a tree or your house foundation at full speed you should be fine.
One issue I did have which I've also read of others having was front wheel alignment, but I was able to adjust this easily myself with a couple wrenches. Pictures of this in an earlier post of mine, down around Post 21.
Also the i-Series is not a "garden tractor" grade design, so don't plan on moving earth with it. It's tougher than Cub's 1000 series but not as tough as the 2000 series. It's main function is to do routine jobs quickly because it is so manueverable. It also has a wide stance and low center of gravity so it's especially good on hills where other tractors feel less stable.
There aren't a lot of i-Series owners out there compared to standard Cub models and lap-bar type ZTRs in general, so I've been keeping a list of other i-Series owners on MTF in case I had questions I could PM one of them. As of last count there were just under 30: 15 i1042's, 8 i1046's, and 5 i1050's (including myself). I can't attest that all of these people still own them. This is gathered from postings as early as April 2008.
There are quite a few threads on MTF about using an i-Series to plow or blow snow. For example Plowing Snow with a Cub i1046. You can use the MTF search feature to find more.
Not sure where in NY you are, but I'm just south of Rochester. You're welcome to come by and test drive mine sometime if that's not too far for you. PM me if you're interested.