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Newbie Questions About PTO, TPH and SH

1123 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BullShark

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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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 ( to give you some earth moving capability. You can also run a tiller, but will need to add a sleeve hitch.

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.

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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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:

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).

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:

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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