I try to stick to tractors that were available in my local area. We had a Ariens, Bolens, Toro dealer in the town I grew up in, I actually worked there in the early through mid 80’s. There was a Wheel Horse dealer in the next town to the east, where I live now. A IH / Cub Cadet dealer next town to the west, and a Simplicity dealer next town to the north, just over the NH boarder, and a Case dealer a couple towns to the north east that I still buy stuff from.
I became good friends with all these people, not just in the power equipment sense, but personally, and spent time with their families. Many have now passed on, but I’m still friends with their kids, and their families.
So long story a little shorter, I stick to the tractors that I thought were the best of what was available in my immediate area. With that being said, Ive found some nice examples very local, but have traveled quite the distance to gather what I have. The only tractors I have that were not available in my couple town radius were my Economy PK 1614, and my fiberglass Power King 2518. Those I just thought were neat, and rare in my area.
Anyway, I have Ariens GT’s, Bolens HT23, and now a couple Iseki Bolens, Case 448’s, Cub Cadet, Simplicity Powermax’s, and Sunstars, and to round out my GT collection, Wheel Horse D160, 520H’s, and 5xi’s.
I also have a IH 460 utility, a AC C, and my everyday use tractor is a LS XJ2025H with cab, loader, and backhoe. Plus I have flail mower, bush hog, chipper, skidding winch, post hole digger, grapple rake, forks, back blade, clamp on snow plow, fence line mower, 3 point splitter, and weight box with tool holder for it.
The LS is my go to tractor. The other tractors are a hobby. I do use them, and my kids use them. I have a good selection of the implements that go with the various GT,s, and my kids share whatever they need to do certain jobs… Lastly, I guess I’m just fortunate enough to be able to preserve some of what I thought were the best locally available Garden Tractors of my 40 years in this hobby.