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Discussion Starter #1
I hinted at this in another thread comparing two specific tractors, but I'd like to get people's opinions on this in general. Is a step over frame superior to a step through frame for a garden tractor?

There don't seem to really be any modern step over frame garden tractors for sale new. Even the top Craftsman/ Husqvarna tractors, the brands I am looking for, GT6000 and PGT9000 are step over frames. Is the modern step through frame superior to the 6 year old step over frame?

I am looking to fairly extensively use ground engaging implements. Specifically a dozer blade and york/ landscape rake to grade a ~100ft driveway and ~1500ft private road. I will also be using a snowblower and the dozer blade to maintain the road in the winter snows here in NH. My budget does not allow for a compact tractor unfortunately, and I like that I will be able to swap out the mower deck in the summer to maintain the lawn.

The three models I am currently debating are:
c.2006 Husqvarna GTH2754 Used
-27HP Kohler Command Engine
-54in Deck
c.2006 Craftsman GS6500 Used
-26HP Kohler Courage Engine
-54in Deck
New Craftsman GT6000 from Sears Outlet
-26HP Kohler Courage Engine
-54in Deck
-Turn Tight Technology
-Warranty
New Craftsman PGT9000 Sears Outlet
-28HP Briggs & Stratton Pro Engine
-54in Deck
-Warranty
-Different Attachments, Some More Expensive

All of which can be acquired for the same price of ~$2000 (~$2300 delivered), the 2006 models with 10-250hrs depending on which used model but generally with an attachment or two (the Husky comes with a bagger, the Craftsman I wanted was sold but had Craftsman dozer blade, sleeve hitch, and Agri-Fab york rake). For my budget of $2000 for tractor alone, I don't think I can afford a comparable John Deere, and I've heard enough great things about the Kohler engines to really want to stick with them.

FYI. I think I've been sold on the Berco Northeast 48in Snowblower Attachment with the electric chute kit, with the weights and cab that alone will be $3k. So call it $5000 for a whole assembly with snowblower, or $6k with rake and dozer blade and If I'm very lucky, bagger, the complete package.

This is the first time I've added it all up. My fiance is going to kill me. :hide:
 

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Step through vs. step over designs usually have to do with what is under the center tunnel, not the strength of the frame. Most lawn and garden tractors these days have a belt drive from the engine back to the transaxle, so they can be designed as a step through. Even the newer Cub 2xxx series that have a shaft drive from the engine to the transaxle only have a small curved hump in the middle where the drive shaft goes under because the engine sits low enough, and otherwise they are pretty much step through as well. Older tractors that had shaft drive and a higher mounted engine had boxed in center areas between your legs that you had to step over, but they weren't necessarily part of the frame anyway, so didn't really contribute to the strength. You can design a perfectly sound and strong tractor frame that is lower than one that is not as strong, but merely taller. It all depends on the actual design of the frame rails, the material used, the thickness of the material, and how it is put together (welded vs. bolted, vs. press formed box rails, etc.)
 

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Mounting & dismounting is a whole easier on a step thru.But as stated,ver.engines are used mostly with belt under frame.I just like a hoz.shaft eng.so I still get to do the "ole leg over the hood" thing on dismount.
 

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Mounting & dismounting is a whole easier on a step thru.But as stated,ver.engines are used mostly with belt under frame.I just like a hoz.shaft eng.so I still get to do the "ole leg over the hood" thing on dismount.
Maybe we need another thread discussing the merits of the "ole leg over the hood" thing vs the "ole leg over the seat" approach!
 

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I approach the tractor mounting dilemma in a slightly different manner, I call it "Apache Style"... It's sort of a fast run, a leap and grab the wheel just as my butt hits the seat. With practice you can floor the parking brake and turn the key in the same instant. :D
 

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I approach the tractor mounting dilemma in a slightly different manner, I call it "Apache Style"... It's sort of a fast run, a leap and grab the wheel just as my butt hits the seat. With practice you can floor the parking brake and turn the key in the same instant. :D
....and the American judge gives it a 9.....

10 if you can also set the choke.:thThumbsU
 

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My Orange Jane Deere
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I do the same as Harold but I do 3 back flips before I hit the seat, and the ol lady has it out of the barn and running for me. And i yell Hi Ho Silver when I take off. :sidelaugh
 

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My Orange Jane Deere
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I do the same as Harold but I do 3 back flips before I hit the seat, and the ol lady has it out of the barn and running for me. And i yell Hi Ho Silver when I take off. :sidelaugh

And the neighbor lady tells the police she has a video of the *** old fool doing that.
 

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I do the same as Harold but I do 3 back flips before I hit the seat, and the ol lady has it out of the barn and running for me. And i yell Hi Ho Silver when I take off. :sidelaugh

And the neighbor lady tells the police she has a video of the *** old fool doing that.
:sidelaugh

This either needs to be a thread in the humor section, or we should start a poll for "preferred method of properly intro ducting ones hind quarters to a tractor seat in the most polite manner."
 

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This thread also demonstrates conclusively why tractor manufacturers have, for the most part, abandoned fender lever hydro controls. After several complaints of "interalizations" by the lesser agile, the wisdom of foot controls became readily obvious.
 

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Getting back on topic, for $6K, I would buy three older large frame bolens in the HT series, all the attachments I needed, new tires, chains and still have money to take the wife out to dinner to help sooth the purchase afterward, AND have 3 better tractors than can be bought today.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ratboy,
I am totally unfamiliar with the Bolen's name, can you tell me why I would consider one vs. a considerably more powerful more modern tractor with dual stage snowblower.

It would seem that I have stumbled upon a Husqvarna GTH2754 with snowblower, cab, york rake, box plow, dozer blade, homemade rear weight, 54in deck, bagger, and wheel chains for $3200 delivered, which I am inclined to take, I am scheduled to view it tomorrow before making the transaction.
 

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i like the step through on my craftsman its easy to get on/off

i like the step over on the snapper because of the drive shaft and it looks better IMO
 

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i like the step through on my craftsman its easy to get on/off

i like the step over on the snapper because of the drive shaft and it looks better IMO
Exactly, you'll never overhear a guy wearing a leather jacket pull up to a bar and say, "I was going to buy a Harley, but I wanted easy step-in, electric start, automatic transmission and high-back bucket seats a quiet exhaust and cupholders, so I bought a beige Camry instead."

Tractor makers don't understand the market they are missing...
 

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Exactly, you'll never overhear a guy wearing a leather jacket pull up to a bar and say, "I was going to buy a Harley, but I wanted easy step-in, electric start, automatic transmission and high-back bucket seats a quiet exhaust and cupholders, so I bought a beige Camry instead."

Tractor makers don't understand the market they are missing...
LOL yea i mean i know my snapper has 8" wheels up front and then the mean grip tires in the back, but it just looks "meaner" with the "hump" makes it look like a big boy :trink39:

but for ease of in and out you cant beat the walk through, not so bad at 28 but i would figure after 70 the walk through would be alot easier
 

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It's deceiving ... Its not more powerful... Just a bigger number on the hood...
The older tractors will out pull the newer stuff all day...
 

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Ratboy,
I am totally unfamiliar with the Bolen's name, can you tell me why I would consider one vs. a considerably more powerful more modern tractor with dual stage snowblower.

It would seem that I have stumbled upon a Husqvarna GTH2754 with snowblower, cab, york rake, box plow, dozer blade, homemade rear weight, 54in deck, bagger, and wheel chains for $3200 delivered, which I am inclined to take, I am scheduled to view it tomorrow before making the transaction.
Your first price quote doesn't seem to match your second. 6K vs 3200.

If you just have to have it, buy it. I have not used, rode on, test drove, etc. a husqvarna of any model. That tractor may be worth every penny they are asking for it. But, do yourself a favor. Find out what made a garden tractor a great garden tractor 30 years ago and try to get as close to that quality as you can with a new one. John deere 300 series and 400 series from the 70's-90's. Bolens HT series from the late 70's to 1989, just to name a few. Get with a friend who owns one, crawl all over it, ask him to let you use it for a week. They were built right and made to last. Make sure you find one that is comparable if you want it to last 20+ years.
 
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