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DaveTenney

My thoughts on everything I have owned...

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DaveTenney

No doubt there are those around here with more simplicity/allis experience than I...But I thought it might be fun to start a bunch of arguments :)

 

First off....the footdraggers.

PRO's - These are the best looking tractors. They have a nice tight turning radius, and the effort to steer is very easy. Almost everyone of these has a rear lift from the factory. They all have Briggs engines. You can start them witha rope.

Cons - The hood is a pain to get off, and sometimes hard to get back on if something is bent. The mid PTO isn't that great of a design. They can flip over easier than the RB tractors if your going up a steep hill (don't ask how I know this). 

The RBT's

PRO's - The hood is easy to get open. In fact the tractor is all around easier to work on becasue it is bigger. The cone clutch is awesome. They are quiter because they have a bigger muffler. They are more stable going up hills that are steeper than you should be going up. They are more comfortable to drive if your tall. They came with the excellent sunstrand hydro. 

Cons - Steering system requires more effort, and more fiddling with to keep it working. Some of them have Kohler engines. They are not as cool looking as the older ones.

Finally...why I like Briggs better than Kohler.

A Briggs doesn't need a fuel pump. It also doesn't need a battery to run it's ignition. A briggs starter doesn't sound like a garbage disposal with a fork caught in it. The exhaust note of the Briggs motor is more manly. A Briggs motor can make 16 hp with 32 cu in, not 34 like the kohler. The Briggs motor keeps your tractor clean by washing it with gas as it sits in the barn.

comments 

dave

 

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Edited by DaveTenney
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jlasater

Having never owned anything with an Onan engine, I wasn't expecting much in my 9020, but actually find that the engine sounds pretty dang healthy, especially for only a 7:1 compression ratio. Now...having to pull the engine to get to the starter...what kind of design crap is that?

 

The late model (square headlight) AC 716H has been a workhorse. Bought it back in 2002. Tractor/mowerdeck/tiller for $750. Guy said it didn't charge, he was tired of fooling with it, and bought a new smaller Toro lawn tractor. $3 replacement fuse holder in the charging circuit and it's been fine ever since. Sounds like it has a rod knock, but it's been doing that since I bought it. The carb seems sensitive to dirt in the fuel-side, even with a fuel filter. But...it just keeps on mowing.

After having hydro's on both tractors, I don't think I'd go back to a gear transmission again.

Edited by jlasater
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DaveTenney

My 712H has been a great tractor as well. It is my wife's tractor if I were to be completely honest with you...I am rebuilding a 16hp Briggs right now to replace the tired k301. 

I still like the geared tractors best, but I'm not sure why. Probably because it's what I grew up with. I had a shuttle for a while and it seemed like a good compromise; not sure why I sold it!

Dave

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Talntedmrgreen

Great points made!  I also agree with the sound of an old single Briggs...I don't care for the exhaust note of a Kohler single, but do like the sound of a KT or magnum twin.  I can't stand the ring gear starter sound at all, on anything!  I actually pull start several of mine, to keep battery costs down (and because of those darn roundhoods being such a pain to remove)

Overall I am more comfortable getting on and off of, and operating a footdragger.  But, I like the seat on an RBT better, and on my FDT's, prefer the pan style seat on the Simplicity's vs the backrest style on the AC's and early flip hoods.  I don't care for the 700/7000 series at all.  Don't like the looks, don't like the seating position, don't care for the view or the feel of the steering.  Not a big fan of electric lift vs hydro lift.  I love the 900/7100's though.  To me they feel night and day different.  The ride, and the view are great and I think the steering is lighter, even with a twin or diesel out front.  I really like the early style power steering on them, but feel that not having a float position for hydrolift was a fail.  They are a handful to push or blow snow with for that reason.

I really like the flip hood design (Wonderboy, 700, 725, B-1), and despite the more attractive look of later round hoods, wish they had suck with a hinged design.  I LOVE the use of hydrolift with float and counterweights for fine tuning ground engaging work.  I also like the look of the Guide lights on early tractors, and enjoy running a 3 speed (though both the Sundstrand and Vickers are fantastic).

I'm really enjoying the Powermax world.  Great tractors, though I kinda feel like I'm driving a ticking timebomb.  I never want to have to repower one, fought countless battles with fuel pumps and timing, despite having only owned 2 low hour machines, and with the 2 driveshafts off the Onan, I feel like something could let loose at any time.  I have twice caught loose driveshafts ready to explode due to loose bolts.  The steering just sucks on them, but they are brute's and driving one is pure joy regardless.  They are great looking machines that get respect from any vintage tractor guy.  I love using 3pt and rear PTO, and have mixed feelings over how good of a loader machine I would find them to be, after years using legacy's with power steering, differential lock and 4x4.  I can't imagine mowing with a Powermax unless I had wide open spaces with minimal turns and obstacles.  They do cut beautifully, but I would get an upper body workout mowing with one at my place.

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Gary

We used to have an Allis-Chalmers dealer, in my small rural town.  I remember seeing the yellow AC garden tractors he had sitting outside.  Never even stopped in to look at them.  But when they changed the color to orange, I thought they were pretty cool.  Guess I must have thought they didn't take the L&G business serious enough to use orange paint.  LOL.  I've owned an A/C 710 6 Speed, a 917 Hydro (completely redone), a 7116 Hydro (given to me for a parts tractor), and a 918H Agco-Allis (currently being used by my son)

To say I love the RBT's, would be an understatement.  Nothing against anything else made by our beloved company, just never owned anything other than the large frame.  Having the Kohler M18 in my 917 Hydro, has made this tractor about perfect.  Updated all steering points has made it easy enough for my wife of 43 years to steer.

Yep, we can find fault with any of our Simple Tractors, but why would we.  They're Simply the best.

Edited by Gary
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720nut

I guess I'm partial to the footdraggers  B 110/112's remember wanting dad to buy one when Bob Martin still owned Sandy Lake Implement but he always said you'll never make a living mowing grass, well he's since eaten those words.

Really love my 620 / 720 and as far as steering have never considered it a problem, I use both in my business and all gardening is done by them.

All in all I like the entire line especially the Allis line, but will settle for a Simplicity as I own several of those too.  As always just my $.02

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gravey72

As far as looks I think the old ones always really cool but when theres work to do and time is short I'll stick to a modern sovereign. I'm still partial to the old kt kohler engines, I feel its a real engine with cylinders and heads and will give you a hernia. Old cast iron cant be beat. I have a command and a Honda but the kt is the winner

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fishnwiz

In all fairness to the Briggs/ Kohler favorite issue.....it's kind of like asking someone which one of their kids they like better, it's a question you hate to or can't really answer! 9_9

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Talntedmrgreen
2 hours ago, fishnwiz said:

In all fairness to the Briggs/ Kohler favorite issue.....it's kind of like asking someone which one of their kids they like better, it's a question you hate to or can't really answer! 9_9

I have a favorite kid.  I also have a leat favorite and a runner-up. One is for sale. 

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B-16_IC

I will admit I have seriously strong opinions. My wife calls me opinionated, like it's a bad thing! 666 As far as my kids, I have a favorite son, and a favorite daughter. Of course I only have the one of each so that's easy, but when it comes to L&G equipment I ain't so diplomatic! 

My Briggs powered 900 series mutts have my top spot. I love the reliability and economy of a Briggs single, and the magneto ignition means I can jump start and mow the yard without a battery dedicated to the machine, big savings. I can steer a well lubed version with one hand leaving the other free to control the hydro. 

I do like a gear fdt for mold board plowing,  and a Broadmoor is handy for ditch mowing and lawn cart duty. I like my 611 for lawn sweeper duty also. That's the short of it anyway, I could talk on this subject for a looong time. Opinionated, and proud of it! &:)

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Kent

Foot draggers are harder to work on because the center section with the driveshaft is fully enclosed. But they look more like an old farm tractor and not just another riding mower. You sit lower to the ground with a lower center of gravity for more stability on sidehills, and the ones with 48" decks have a longer wheelbase similar to the RBTs, making them less likely to turn over going up and down hills.

FDT hydraulic lift has down-pressure which makes a huge difference when working in dirt regardless of which implement you're using other than center grader blade. IMO, the best of both worlds is a flat hood FDT with a hydro and hydraulic lift...

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dhoadley
20 hours ago, Talntedmrgreen said:

I have a favorite kid.  I also have a leat favorite and a runner-up. One is for sale. 

How much for the one that's for sale? sm03

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fishnwiz
23 hours ago, Talntedmrgreen said:

I have a favorite kid.  I also have a leat favorite and a runner-up. One is for sale. 

Kids bring big money on Ebay! 

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Chris727

I started with small frames (Broadmoor/Homesteader) models but soon after had a B-110 and a Simplicity 3410. I loved them both. Also had an AC 710 6-speed that became my "tilling" tractor. As others have said they all had good and bad points but I feel that the frames were the most rugged on the 3400/7000 Series. I had a 17GTH-L Sovereign since maybe 2005 but never had it working right. A couple years ago I started buying 7100 and 900 Series ACs. The hydrolift is awesome. The KT Twins, while I am afraid to take them near slopes, they sound fantastic and have tons of power. All of mine were either repowered or retrofitted with oil filters. I have the command in my 75th Anniversary Tractor and it does not seem to make the same power, but it did pull a moldboard plow just fine. As far as the Single cylinders go, I prefer the Briggs. I have seen them take incredible abuse and were run low on oil. The Kohler singles seemed to have more issues with oil consumption, knocking, and balance gears. I do like that the parts availability is better overall for the Kohler singles and I have a local machinist that will work on them reasonably. I still have several small-frames but only use one for mowing an off-site location. I haven't had a Powermax, Sunstar, or Legacy and don't really plan on getting one. I feel like I'm a Sovereign guy for life. 

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MikeES

My first garden tractor (the one that gave me the disease) is a HB212, and will always be a favorite, but I like the looks of the 700 series ACs. 

They are the best looking!  If I was a good metal worker I would stretch a 700 hood to fit on a 900.  I have several 900/7100 all with M20s in them.  They would be perfect with 700 hoods on them.

On Kohler vs. Briggs:  I have to sit in the Kohler camp.   They are easier to work on, make more power, consume more fuel :S, and not as durable when neglected.

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DaveTenney
On 8/2/2017 at 6:49 PM, DaveTenney said:

 

I was out mowing with my 3410 for the first time this summer. I usually use my Landlord 101...I really missed the tight turning radius! There are lots of things you can sneak a FDT around that an RBT just won't make.

On the straightaways, the 3410 is much more comfortable and quieter to run. 

I have a 716 6-speed as well, and I only use it to till. Kind of a waste, but I don't like taking the tiller on and off.

I also like the flat hood FDT's. It's rare that I see one for sale around here. I had one as a parts tractor once, but not good enough to put back together. It had that weird variable drive...But it also had a hydro! That's why I bought it...

Dave 

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