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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #1
As ive posted im in the market for a GT to match my new house. I went today after researching and looked at a Husq GT52xls. It looks really nice and i like how it feels and appears well built (that mowing deck looks like a tank). The salesmen, and all you guys on here, talk about the capabilities of the GT. The topic inevitably comes up when people ask which brand and which model. I always hear buy old and buy used or buy a deere. SOOO.... tell me what can GT's realistically do and not do? What can the 52xls do? What cant it or other tractors do? Sounds vague but im serious...i plan on mowing (ALOT), maybe towing a utility cart with firewood or dirt / gravel, pulling bushes or clearing brush, maybe plowing snow or spreading gravel. Then maybe down the road as small patch of garden that i will till for tomatoes etc. I would think my choice of tractor should do that and more for MANY years to come. What are people doing with these things that they are looking for a tank? the salesmen example was pulling the boat in and out of the garage or moving a camper etc. Ive would have just used the truck but can a GT do stuff like this too. educate me fellers....
 

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For towing, read the specs for this modified GT.

Anything the big tractors can do, can also be done with GTs, within their limited size and weight restrictions. It just takes a bit more time and the proper attachments. I use my GT as an industrial tractor/loader, not as an agricultural tractor. It has lifted beams into place 9' above grade, excavated my driveway to a depth of 3' (about 150 yards of material removed), dug trenches for power supplies to a depth of 32" (different bucket), loaded a snow machine into a truck with a cap on the box (no ramp, just picked it up by the back end and loaded it in), lifted engines out of vehicles, spread and leveled 68 yards of sinter in my 165' driveway in 12 hours (that stuff is heavy), pulled cars and trucks out pf snowbanks and ditches, lifted and carried a 12'x16' pool deck from my house to my next door neighbour's and put it on place, lifted and carried a 6'x8' pool shed and put that in place between fence posts 8' apart, loaded 5700 lb of gyproc through the front window of a house that I was renovating (4 - 4'x12' sheets at a lift), lifted shinges and plywood for a new roof on that project to the roof of the carport, and the list goes on from projects over a 22 year period with that tractor.

Don't even think of trying most of these tasks with your Husqvarna. It isn't a 36 year old MF1655 GT with a Sundstrand hydro, frame rails 5/16" thick, and a base weight before attachments and ballasting of over 1000 lb. It weighs over 2400 lb when it goes to work, and can lift over 1000 lb to full height. My 7 year old MF GC2310 SCUT can't touch its lifting capability.
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Well said Bob:rauch10:

Just wanted to put in a good word for 35-40 yr old Ford GTs. I think a lot of the reason the older GTs were so good was the era in which they were built. This was before big box grocery stores and fruit markets and 24hr delivery of fruits and vegetables from Florida.

People really did garden and on a big scale. They had to if they wanted to eat. Horses had been phased out and people needed good ground engaging small tractors to tackle all types of soil. The manufacturers saw the need and filled it. My first actual tractor was a 7hp Sears, full ground engaging, plow, discs, harrows and all.

Today, it is how fast can you cut the grass, and that is the need the manufacturers are fulfilling with 20 and 25hp grass cutters. Unfortunately, how cheaply can you make it is the second half of the equasion.

There are also 2 types of property owners, those who just cut the grass, and those like Bob and I and many others on the forum who are constantly changing and improving our property. We don't need a full size tractor and don't have $10-$15 thousand dollars for a new ground engaging GT. Hence many of us keep our old GTs going and love them.

Follow this forum for awhile and you will quickly learn which are the good units and which you should avoid. There are very experienced people here on every type or brand of tractor and they don't mind passing their wisdom along to others.
 

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There are 3 classes of GTs, light (what you have, under 750 lb), medium (750-950 lb), and heavy, or super GT (over 950 lb). The weights are without ballasting or attachments, just the bare bones tractor.

Medium and heavy GTs have much stronger rear axles for doing serious, and sustained, heavy pulling or load carrying tasks. They also have frames to go with the heavier running gear.

The light GTs will do an amazing amount of heavy work when equipped properly, but their smaller physical size and lighter weight does put a limit on them in comparison to the medium and heavy GTs.

My first FEL equipped GT was a light MF12H. People laughed at that little tractor with its big loader..... right up until it went to work. They didn't laugh afterwards, except in disbelief.

That one dug 2' deep trenches around my yard for pool hoses and such, spread gravel, lifted V-8 engines, pulled our 18' travel trailer (3600 lb) like it wasn't there, plowed snow and piled it over 7' high, and many other chores during the 7 years that I had the FEL on it back in the late '70's early '80's until I got the MF1655. There was a huge difference in the capabilities of those 2 tractors with the same loader on each of them. The little one would get the job done, but at a much slower pace.

Whether or not the new breed of hydros will stand up to that type of use as well as the older ones is a question that only time will tell. When I sold my MF12H in '85, after removing the FEL, it was 18 years old and still going strong. The new owner (I was talking to him 3 days ago) used it for about 12 more years before he sold it, and it was still going strong.
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #5
Ok well I fall in the category of the grass mower than wants a machine to help him occasionally. I've got a honey do list a mile long but never really thought of my GT helping on these chores. I need to install train lines, remove old gravel pad and replace with dirt/grass, also looking to buy additional land beside me and would be nice to use it for clearing / maintaining etc. the other ideas of lifting engines, loading trucks pulling stumps are all things I will encounter in my life but I never really considered my GT as an assistant to these chores. If I knew what a "good" old heavy GT was and how to price one fairly from Craigslist etc I would go that route but it scares me because at this point a reliable mower for my clean 2 acres of various terrain is most important.
 

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The Husqvarna GT Can do the Following
Tiller work with a Bercomac 30inch Tiller or a Agri-Fab Pull Behind separate engine tiller. I recommend the Bercomac tiller
Slip Bucket work with a either a Johnny Bucket Jr. or Agri-Fab scoop I recommend the Johnny Bucket
Sleeve hitch work with a 10inch Plow, Cultivator, Disc, Rear Blade, Box scrape and Rock Rake to Name a few.

Back In the early 1990's the Husqvarna GT Could do Loader work with a (Kwik-way) Loader But Not anymore. It's a Big reason they don't Build a Loader for them anymore There Just Not strong enough for it anymore.
:thThumbsU
 

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You have the right machine for your current list of tasks. How long it will last for your future list of tasks is an open question. It may last very well if used with a goodly portion of common sense.

The list of heavy GTs is surprisingly long. Most manufacturers had at least one, if not several. Craftsman had the FF series, Power King, Simplicity Sunstar, Wheel horse D series, Cub Cadet has a couple (I am not familiar with which models), JD has several in the 400, X5xx, and X7xx series, MF 1655/1855 and with the MF1450/1650 very close, and several others. Some in this list are not quite up to the 950 lb weight that I suggested as the range for heavy GTs, but their drive components are the same as for those that are. Some forum members have picked up one of these tractors for less than $1000 and it has been known to happen that a FEL was included at that price.

Having to give these GTs some TLC is a given. Many of them are 30+ years old, but they all have very robust hydros/rear ends which is the heart and soul of any tractor. For some, parts are on short supply or NLA, but for the most part, that can be worked around. They are not complicated machines, but they are engineered very well.
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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May I offer you the best of both worlds ?

Buy the wife a big box mower, new for $1500, 2 yrs old for $8-$900 and let her enjoy the seat time, outdoors in the country.

Now, you look for an older GT with some implements, maybe a loader, to do the "man work". The '70s and '80s GT were on the whole, bulletproof. $1000-$1500 will get you a real good machine. $2500-$3500 if you find one with a loader. New at any dealer you are looking at $12-$15 thousand, plus tax. (for one machine)

This way, you aren't always dropping the deck to get into the rough stuff, or the tiller and blade to cut grass.
If you should overdo it and break something on the working machine, the grass still gets cut and the wife and neighbours are still happy.

That's the arrangement we have. Generally we are out together, the wife on the nice quiet Honda mower, and me, playing around on the Ford with the Kohler barking away.
And life goes on.
 

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I am with you Chuckles in your buying process. I need a mower and light tower but would like to have a GT that will allow me to do more. I want the capability to keep it for 10-15 years and put it to good use whe I get more property.

What I may end up doing is buying an entry level GT now and then a used heavier duty GT down the road. End up with something close to what Larry described.
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #10
man i love the idea of having a machine that could do all those things. there is a REAL possibility that i may end up with more land that is pretty over grown and rough and the idea of a scraper blade, bucket, maybe even a light bushhog type attachment (if one is made) is sweet. As for the idea of having both a box store tractor and an old GT well ive already got a box tractor. Bought a 2009 craftsman YTS3000 new with a 6 speed manual and 42inch deck when they were still made by ayp. With some tire chains, maybe ag tires, and weights it should mow the hill i have and the yard nicely. I just wanted to upgrade to hydro and larger deck to save time in the grass cutting dept and i wanted to option to expand a little on the abilities of my tractor. Maybe ill keep evaluating this purchase and watch CL for a while and see how my current mower does before jumping off the deep end....

is CL the best place to shop for used heavy GT or are there secret stashes of these things people can steer me towards?
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Craigslist or Kijiji is the place to find the bargains, but know this. You better have truck and trailer ready, I mean ready to go, now, if you see a bargain, because if you see it, so did a hundred other prospective buyers. On one here, I offered first 50 over asking, then 100 over, and still lost out.

Do you use TractorData.com ? everytime you see something listed, key the make and model# in and get to know the "good ones".. Get the specs and like Bob said, the heavier it is, the stronger it is and the more it will do. If you see hydro and 2 or 3qts of oil, it is light duty. If you see 6 or 8qts, its hd and will pull like a bear. If you see not serviceable, don't touch it, period!

Keep reading this forum and you will quickly learn what to look for and soon be the proud owner.
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #12
yea i learned alot back in 09 when i joined and bought my mower....but back then it was a 1/2 flat city lot i was mowing. Now im finally getting back out in the county and we just bought out dream home. I hope to live, raise my family, retire, and die in the house so im not afraid to invest in good equipment and hopefully get the additional land around me if able to use the equipment on. Its just alot to learn and like you said the "good ones" go fast!
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Chuckles

The biggest part is knowing what you want first. You will miss one then two then three and then your turn will come.

If it looks older, heavier, boxier, noisier and has a solid steel hood, it is probably worth going after. If it has a plastic hood that looks like a pregnant roller skate, keep walking.

Have you got any dealers nearby that you can check out the trade ins. If the salesman gets to know you are interested, you may even get a call on a "potential trade in", that would help seal his deal and get you what you want as well.
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #14

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
you hit the nail on the head sir! I dont know what i want lol.... Its one of those things where new looks great and is probably adequate but old is cool and manly. the wife would prob prefer cheap but doesnt understand cheap and old usually means maintenance. Must be a woman thing to think you can buy something (house, car, tractor, appliances etc) and it just work forever and not cost any money to keep it going. I guess i just dont know whats out there. Ive heard of JD, sears suburbans, simplicitys, MTD's, CC's, gravley, and a few others i just have no idea if something is just old or if its one of those tractors that you can deck out like a swiss army knife. I do indeed need to keep reading.

Probably gonna open a can of worms with this next part but here goes....
What would you guys suggest i keep my eyes open for? Not your favorite tractor or your dream machine but what is a good, usually common, serviceable, and accessorize-able (if thats a word) tractor?
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #16

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Simplicity is a good solid older make. Price to me is high without a tiller or other attachment. (only got pic, no write up). You want one with a pto and 3ph (a rear pic helps) if you are going to really work with it. Lots of tractors came "without" and were just very over specked lawn mowers. My passion is old Fords. Go into the Simplicity forum and see what you can find out about it. Start your own thread and see what feed back you get from the guys available over the weekend.

One thing about bargains, there is always another one right around the corner.
 

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NEWBIE LEARNING!
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Discussion Starter #18
you know one other option is a newer GT like the Husky as a heavy duty and durable yard machine, mower, and utility vehicle and if i get the land and need more tractor down the road i could upgrade to one of those larger bx kabota, JD 1 series type tractors or even something older and larger with a bushhog, blade/bucket setup. The Kubota/JD's seem like NICE machines and very capable and i also see alot of older larger tractors listed cheap on CL. I guess people are upgrading to newer 4x4 stuff with options and attachments.

Its alot...i know you guys say buy more tractor than you need but if you dont stop your mind from running away you end up convincing yourself you need one of those coal excavators you see on mega machines just to maintain 4 acres, a yard, and maybe a horse and a few chickens.
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Try this again, system just ate last reply. I have and swear by the LGT series as would many of the guys on the Ford forum. Reason, bulletproof (40 yr old) Kohler single cyl engines. Bulletproof (40 yr old) Peerless/Eaton hydro transaxel, welded tube frame, solid cast front axel. Many of the guys have earlier model Fords from the '60s with Tecumseh std/trans and a lot less hp, but swear by them and wouldn't part with them. They've got pto drives and 3ph and run tillers, blowers and graders. A little slower, but get the job done all the same.

In the other brand forums, you will find guys who will also swear by their product and know which are the good ones. There was a whole era of great GTs because people actually gardened, not just cut the grass.
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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http://parkersburg.craigslist.org/grd/3784111636.html

this is close too but never heard of it....im mechanically inclined but buying something that run scares me a little bit. can engines be had for these old mowers or retrofitted with newer stuff?
I think that is an older MTD, back when MTD made a good tractor, before the big box junk era. Can't see the grill and I'm no expert. They were rebranded under many names. My Ford is actually a Jacobsen and later models were also marketed under the Lawnboy logo. Don't forget about the 3ph and pto.

Slow down and do your research and when you make your decision, it will be an informed one
 
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