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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy!

I just bought a 2008 6500 with the K 66Y tranny, c channel frame and 48" mowing deck. I bought it mostly because I needed a durable but affordable mower that was ready to work right now. I've been doing three acres by hand for a couple years and it just eats up too much of my time. I can't even keep up with it in the summer. I know a garden tractor is capable of much more than a lawn tractor but I'm still fuzzy on some of the particulars of how the hitches and pto work.

First off the pto... I was thinking that the garden tractor would have a rear pto but it seems that for the most part that isn't the case. As far as I have been able to figure out it looks like the thing under the frame that powers the cutting deck is the pto. Are there other tools besides the mower that can be powered from it? I'd especially be interested in a tiller or mini excavator.

When it comes to hitches it looks like the two main kinds are the sleeve and the three point. Is one of these better than the other to have on a garden tractor? How are they different?
 

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The Magnificent
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Welcome bullshark. I grew up in Pensacola and am very familiar with your type.

Anyway, to start off with, you did a the right thing by selecting a garden tractor for your 3 acres.

As for the rear PTO, there were some GTs that came standard with one, but they were optional on most. Today, you pretty much have to jump to a SCUT (sub-compact utility tractor) to get a rear PTO. You have a front PTO that runs at engine speed.

The 6500 just isn't a heavy enough frame for a very large implement. You can run a snowblower off the front PTO, and you could get a bucket or blade like the Johnny Bucket (johnnybucket.com) to give you some earth moving capability. You can also run a tiller, but will need to add a sleeve hitch.
http://bercomac.com/accessoiresDetails_ang.php?noAccessoire=45&directe=1

A sleeve hitch is basically a hinged hitch that allow up and down movement thus raising and lowering an implement. It mounts to the tractor at two points, and is therefore sometimes call a two point hitch. Johnny Products makes an electrically operated one if you think you will be operating with implements you might find heavy.

A 3-point hitch mounts to the tractor at 3 points: two lift arms and a top link to stablize the implement. They are usually hydraulicly operated and since you don't have hydraulics, not really an option for you. There are some clever folks who have built an electrically or winch operated 3PH for your type of GT.

3-point hitches come in several categories: category 0, limited category 1, cat 1, cat 2, and cat 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-point_hitch

As you browse the forum, you will note a lot of crafty folk who have made true front end loaders, generators, pumps, hitches, boom poles, etc for their modern GTs.

Look around and you may get some ideas.
 

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Retired Aug.31 2007
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Welcome to the forum. Glad you joined us. I can't add anything to D-Dogg's explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses.

In regards to the front pto, unless I'm missing the obvious I don't really think I saw anything much about it in the manual. Is there somewhere I could go to learn a bit more about it? The only thing I remember seeing a reference to was the electric clutch but iirc that strictly drives the mower.

I would have loved to have gotten a SCUT or CUT but the money just wasn't there. I looked at locally available used machines but the ones I found were either in rough shape or beyond what I could really pay. I could tell from running a neighbor's Husqvarna lawn tractor on my place that it was marginal at best. I almost went for a sub-$1000 MTD unit but fortunately I found these forums during my research and realized I really needed something more rugged if it was to last more than a year or two. I live back in the woods and wild hogs periodically run through and root things up. Not only does my tractor need to be able to handle broken terrain but it'd also be nice to be able to do some grading. My line of thought was that the garden tractor could handle most of what I need done and hopefully tide me over for a few years till I can afford a more capable machine. Alternatively it'll give me a working tractor to use while I fix up a an affordable used machine, then when the used machine proves itself I can sell the 6500 if I'd like to recoup some of that money.
 

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The Magnificent
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The electric clutch mounting to the engine crankshaft is your front PTO (power take off). This same clutch will drive the snowblower that you shouldn't need in Florida.

You probably need a box blade with scarifiers to repair the hog damage. At least a grader blade. Here is a source for sleeve hitch mountable rear blades and a few other attachments:
http://www.agri-fab.com/type/ground-engaging_attachments.aspx

You will need additional traction to pull any such attachment. I would suggest a set of Ag tires such as Carlisle Tru-powers which will not mar your lawn even when liquid filled (which adds 60-90lbs per wheel depending upon media choice).
http://www.carlisletire.com/products/big_biters/trupower/index.html

Consider some craftsman wheel weights in addition to weighted lug tires, as Florida can get muddy.

For an affordable used machine, I'm kind of partial to the John Deere 318. They go for $1000-$2200 for the tractor with a deck and are beasts. Here's a little video of some of the stuff I do with mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKVIJveMn4k

Look at my signature and see the goodies I have for mine (a bit over $5000 total invested).

I think that properly accessorized your Craftsman should be up to quite a few of the tasks you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The electric clutch mounting to the engine crankshaft is your front PTO (power take off). This same clutch will drive the snowblower that you shouldn't need in Florida.
Yeah, but if I could find a snowcone maker that ran off my front pto I'd be in business! :bannana:

Thanks a lot for the links and information.

I was thinking about liquid filling my tires but I wanted to try it out a few times and see how it handle first. On my neighbor's Husqvarna lawn tractor I've noticed that there are a few places in particular it liked to get stuck and a few others I could tell were really hard on the machine. Of course that's just mowing and I'm sure the picture changes when you're running ground engaging attachments.

I think a bercomac tiller is definitely on my list and probably a JBJR too. I get the impression that between the two I'd probably be able to smooth over most of the rough spots. They don't have to be perfectly flat as long as they aren't ankle twistingly rutted.

Consider some craftsman wheel weights in addition to weighted lug tires, as Florida can get muddy.
Yeah, no kidding! In a really rainy year one or even two acres can be submerged under a few inches to over a foot and a half of water! That's ok, when it floods I'll just grow rice. I don't really have a lawn, just a "field."

For an affordable used machine, I'm kind of partial to the John Deere 318. They go for $1000-$2200 for the tractor with a deck and are beasts. Here's a little video of some of the stuff I do with mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKVIJveMn4k

Look at my signature and see the goodies I have for mine (a bit over $5000 total invested).
I'll be keeping an eye out. Honestly the more I read about this stuff the more I'm afraid it's going in the same direction as my guns and other man things. Right now I'm torn between either restoring an old beast of a machine or trying to assemble off the shelf components into a totally custom sub-CUT. In my other thread I was talking about comparing a few different new gt's in my price range. The more I looked at the frames the more I kept thinking to myself "hey, I could do better than that on my forge..." How hard could it be to hook a K92 up to a Kohler Command Pro or maybe one of their diesels?

Hopefully my Craftsman will put in a few years of good service to tide me over till I can move on to bigger and better things. Maybe I'll get to planting a mess of palms to cover the cost of an upgrade five or ten years down the road.
 
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