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How much can I REALLY tow with a garden tractor?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Yarzy, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My mid 70s orange lawn tractor had no problem playing small dump truck as long as it was dry.

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  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    My cart holds about 1/6 of a cord and the Craftsman tractor has no trouble at all with it.
  3. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Yarzy, what is your exact tractor model number. You say 22hp John Deere. What is that, a D160 or something? Or are we talking an older LX something or other? It makes a big difference.
    TreePointer likes this.
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Is that an old Kubota? Those are GREAT little tractors. If you put some ag tires on it, it would go anywhere thru anything (at the expense of your turf, however). I used one a lot back when I was landscaping. Put them in granny gear and they either pull it or dig 4 holes trying.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My '68 IH Cub Cadet 125 (12 hp hydro) pulls this effortlessly up or down hill.
    [​IMG]
    The only problem is that the original trailer tires couldn't handle the weight. I found an old set of Cub Cadet front wheels. They hold up OK, but I have had one bearing failure so far. I have to find a trailer that is as capable as the tractor some time.
    [​IMG]
    I only go with two rows on the snow. Even with chains, hill climbing is nearly impossible once the snow turns to ice.
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. 2WD L245. Did a lot of things pretty well: towed the dump trailer, 6' finish mower, 5' brush hog, 8' rake, 4' tiller, 5' front snow blade. Other than put fuel in it, the only thing I ever did was replace a hydraulic line that dry rotted.
  7. phatfarmerbob

    phatfarmerbob New Member

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    How bout stacking in onion crates and buying a little fork lift to shuffle the crates to the house.,,, or put them on skis and winch em through the snow
  8. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I had same trouble with my cart so I put some car dummy tires and 1.25" axle shaft with bearing blocks. Don't have much trouble in the snow but I have liquid filled ATV tires on my tractor, 170lbs of wheel weights and 200lbs of hanging weights.

  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    "How much can I REALLY tow with a garden tractor?"

    Don't know about yours, but I would estimate this at 3000+ :lol:

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  10. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    You do like your big seats, don't you? ;-)
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It is also a cushion ride. :cheese:

    You should see the $600 one that is on my big mower (brand new, that was given to me). That sucker is air cushion, fully adjustable with fold down arm rests. Best riding of any mower in the land. :lol:

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  12. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    My 70's cub cadets can pull alot more than it can stop. I have a ball hitch adapter on the 3pt and pull around my 6x10 around the yard (1400# empty weight) with varying amounts of wood. About the heaviest I can go is around 3,000# until the front end starts bouncing up in the air. Sure it could pull more but you cant steer when your front wheels arent on the ground! Working on some front ballast weight as we speak. Out in the woods on rough ground/hills though is an entirely different story, and usually limited by traction. The ground is uneven and steep and even a 12cu ft dump cart load requires skill to get back from the woods to the truck, and thats with oversized fluid filled atv tires and wheel weights. I've never had much a problem with engine power even at only 10hp.
  13. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    I have a little Agri Fab trailer that i think is rated for @ 1500 lbs that i load up at the woodshed and take to the bsement door with my litle sears 26 HP Garden tractor. When i bought the tractor i knew i was going to be doing a little bit of snow plowing (doesn't normally get that deep) and wood moving so i got the wheel weights and the chains along with the 48" deck and dozer blade. I really load that trailer down pileing it over the top edge sometimes as it has a rail running about 10-12 inches above the rim above the trailer...kind of like small rack. Like said before, the big problem is maintaining traction and what i can push later. I've bent the flat cheep steel coupler on the tounge of the trailer many times. I finally put a piece of heavier flat steel on it instead and it works better. With one load i normally get a pile about 7-8 feet long and about 3' tall or better inside the basement. i ballance the load so i can disconnect it from the trailer, after i back it near the door on the concrete pad; open the doors (french i guess) and push it into the basement like a rickshaw (short tounge is too hard to manouver into the basement with the tractor). If its not just right, its a bear getting it up over the door cill. I normally stack about 1-2 cord downstairs, inside next to the stove. Sure beats running the wheelborrow.

    cass
  14. smithm1979

    smithm1979 New Member

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    A couple people have mentioned that towing/pulling with a hydro tranny is a bad thing. Is that true? I'm looking at getting an older garden tractor (open to suggestions) mainly for mowing and pulling/towing wood. If it works out like I hope it will, I will be somehow pulling/towing /skidding all my wood from a nearby property. Something like a JD 316 has a hydro but is still a heavy duty garden tractor. What is the best bet for pulling? What I've been looking at is the weight of the tractor, going with the general rule that the heavier the tractor, the more it can tow/pull. Any advice/thoughts are welcome.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The garden tractors with hydro are designed to handle it. A lawn mower with variable speed (friction disc) or hydro may not fair out so well. They are designed to move the tractor and not much more.
    A JD 316 will do just fine for towing a yard cart. Get a set of chains for the tires.
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Hyrdostatic transmissions, if properly sized for the task, are the best for towing/pushing/hauling. CAT and JD don't put them in their dozers and other heavy equipment for no reason.

    Generally, weight is your friend when pulling because it gives you the best chance of having more traction/friction than whatever you are trying to pull. The only downside to having more weight is that the ground has less of a chance of being able to hold you up. If the ground is really soft or muddy weight may work against you. And if you get stuck, the heavier it is the harder it is to get out.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If your going to do anything other than haul wood (or whatever) than you most certainly want a hydro. And for mowing, you would be amazed at the difference between a foot operated hydro and one with a hand lever. There is good reason that every new Deere GT (and all but one Lawn Tractor) has a hydro trans. ;)

    I love classic Deere tractors just as much as the next guy, so if you really want a 300 series GT, then here's a few pointers. You mentioned a 316, unless you get a deal on one, I'd be looking for a 318 instead. The 318 was by far the most popular of the 300 series GT's. Used parts for the 318 will be much more readily available than the 314, 316, or dare I speak of it, the 317. Be aware that while the Onan engine that's in the 316 and 318 is a powerhouse, repairing them is generally expensive and parts are getting harder to get every year. Rebuilding one is a major expense (you'll spend close to what you paid for the tractor) and the typical life of one of these engines is between 1500-2500 hours depending on how well it was cared for. I like the 322, 330, and 332 tractors even better (especially the 322, it purrs....) but they really are a rich man's toy when it comes time for parts.

    The 425/445/455 tractors were a major technological leap both in user friendly-ness and capability. 425's can be had for about the price of a clean 318 if you are willing to fix one up cosmetically. Attachments for these machines are easier to obtain, to set-up/use, and there are a LOT more of them out there. All are shaft driven as well. The mower decks available for those 3 machines are far better than the 300 series ever dreamed of as well. They tow more, are much nicer to run, and mow a heckuva lot nicer than any 300 series machine. A 425 with plenty of ballast and bar tires is a beast for towing anything (within reason) you care to chain to it.
    AJS56 likes this.
  18. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I hope the right people take heed of these discussions, a lot of good applied physics here

    When I drained the calcium chloride liquid weight from my Wheelhorse lost a lot of traction. ( Had to it was corrosive )

    Cheers all, Be Safe out there
  19. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    Mine hauls me, her brother and her dad.

    [​IMG]
    smokinj likes this.
  20. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

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    When I was younger I had a real tendency to push the envelope. I can still hear my dad's voice - "Why do you gotta put so much on there?!? Just take two loads!!" I have live and learned if you know what I mean. Just a thought.
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    lol - it is my dad that is usually pushing the envelope and me saying "Just make two trips".
  22. wardk

    wardk Member

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    I agree, I towed my reel gun from field to field with a JD 655 it was diesel 4wd with calcium in the tires, there were a few scary moments pulling that 2500# reel downhill , couple on 2wheels. I have since replaced it with a larger tractor, you don,t want your family standing over your hospital bed saying " Maybe he tried to haul too much". P1000837.jpg 655 P1000869.jpg 3032
  23. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    gonna have to throw a flag here ,I'm seeing Compact tractors not GARDEN tractors P1010878.jpg
  24. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I need a tractor! ;)

    How does a quad do hauling compared to little tractor!
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Most 4x4 utility ATV's can tow what a good garden tractor can. There are machines like the "Super Garden Tractor" class (ie. Deere X700 series) that are even more capable. Many here haul wood out of the forest using ATV's and trailers.

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