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Gents,

Our garden is starting to wind down, and we have been pulling the plants that have quit producing. I tilled those sections of the garden that are vacant in preparation for hauling in some manure to do some fall prep for spring. After years of using small arm jerking walk behind tillers, I am still amazed at the pure pleasure of tilling with our H14 equipped with the 36" tiller. Bolens got it right 40 years ago. And that is a ditto for the snow blowers, too!

It is tough to go into Lowes without my nose elevating when I pass the crass throw away offerings that they have near the front door! I wonder how many of those will still be operating in 40+ years?

I realize that I am preaching to the choir here. I have shown some of my friends my tractor, and see no spark of interest in their eyes, which is probably a good thing. If more people appreciated these tractors, they would be much harder to pick up.

Regards,

Doug
 

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DR. Bolens
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Yep its a sad reality, but those piles of %$# you see at lowes are exactly what todays consumer is after, Everyone has been sold on "Cheap" and big HP and manufactures are catering to the market.

When these Bolens were being sold most people had a basic understanding of how an engine operated and likely even knew what a grease gun was, and when they bought them it was like buying a car, you took care of it!

Garden Tractors are pretty much a thing of the past in the new manufactures lineup since the average homeowner simply, dosent have a need for a garden or the other tools they offered, most want a turn the key and go to cut the grass and when it runs out of oil or stops working they buy a new one for $600. A lousy economy dosent help much either but the majority do not have the desire or mindset to justify $6000+ for an equivalent machine today.
 

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Every time I try to justify to myself that a "new" ZTR mower is in my future, I just look at my lawn and remind myself it's just not needed. 20160909_200159.jpg

I'm surrounded by primarily Simplicity and Deere mowers in my neighborhood, yet I am consistently complimented on how nice my grass looks. When the leaves fall, I pull the sweeper behind me or put the GRS attachment on. When the snow flies, I put the blade or blower on and go to work. In the spring, I can pull the yard roller with ease. If I want to put out a garden, I'm covered. I can accomplish all of this with one garden tractor. Why would I need another piece of machinery to maintain that is only dedicated to one task?
 

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Tractorholic
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I know what your saying! I do use a newer sub compact tractor to do my mowing and snow removal, but it's pretty sad that I had to go to that level of tractor and pay the huge price tag to compare to a Bolens gt. I had a cub cadet gt at 1st and it was garbage! $7500 cub that the paint fell off non stop, the grease fittings would pull out while greasing it, and general poor quality plagued that tractor. The tractor visited the dealer 3x in 25hrs of use and I traded it for my sub compact. I wish I would of bought a large frame with all the attachments back when I was looking for a nice tractor, I'd be $12000 richer and have more attachments for way less money.
 

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Oh boy can I relate!

Just a few days ago, I was helping a buddy out with his Bolens 1250, and had to make a parts run to Ace Hardware.

As we were waiting to checkout in the lawn and garden dept., I strayed off 10 feet to look at a CC snowblower. (I wasn't paying 4 the parts anyway) I was 1st shocked by the price on it, then started looking at the build quality, and I started to laugh so much that my buddy asked "what's so funny" I grabbed onto the auger housing that runs vertical in the front on either side of the auger with my thumb and pointer finger to feel the thickness of the metal, and couldn't believe how much flex was there. By this time, he was checking out, so I hope he wasnt too embarrassed at me laughing and pointing out the fact people actually buy stuff like this.

Now, not to play a double edge sword here, but the only advantage I see with stuff like this is someone that does not have alot of strength, but needs to get a big job done quickly, yep, that'd do it, but last 30-40-50+ years....certainly not. Its a throw away society now folks, and yep, that shiny paint gets em sales evey time! Cheers;)
 

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Yes, different day and age for sure.

Today, 4 homes are built on a subdivided lot that used to occupy a single house. The amount of landscaping work for many people these days is very little, or none at all which requires lighter equipment. Decades ago, that single house required something a little bigger and a little heavier vs. making four stripes across the lawn. Different day and age.

Back then, consumers and manufactures seemed to take more pride in their power equipment than our society does today. Read a vintage owners manual and it's easy to see the manufacture was proud of their equipment, wanted it to last, and seemed to know that the consumer did too by explaining in minute detail how to maintain every square inch. And believe me, the consumer wanted to as well because they were proud of it. Same goes for vehicles. Manufactures used to put artistic designs in the visual aspect of their vehicles. Today, they are considered appliances and electronic based technology wins over. Ever have the opportunity to purchase a vintage piece of equipment from the original owner? More than likely, they'll describe it as one of their most prized possessions, how well they took care of it, and how every neighbor on the bock was jealous at the time. Ask the original owner of a 4-year old box store lawnmower that's sitting on the side of the road with a "free" sign next to it why they're getting rid of it and they'll tell you it eventually seized up because the oil was never changed. "Purchasing a new one is easier." Different day and age.

The typical Millennial, who appreciates a new home/condo/apartment in a subdivision over acreage in the country, was raised in an electronic age and not a machine-driven period like garden tractors were. The Miranda Lambert song called "Automatic" comes to mind. You can't necessarily be critical as it is just a different technology they were raised around which included different priorities to match. When garden tractors and other heavy OPE were in their heyday, there were no i-Phones or Call of Duty. People spent more time outdoors back then. Instead of downloading new songs to their i-Tunes, they were enjoying their pride and joy, possibly a Bolens piece of equipment on their lot. How often do you really see people working in their yards anymore? Think about it. What is one of the things you see the most while flipping through a classic OPE brochure? People working in their yards or fields demonstrating a wide variety of attachments. You don't see that much anymore. Unless I'm talking with another enthusiast or someone who lived in the same era as the equipment, most people question why I appreciate operating & collecting vintage power equipment as they don't have the same understanding. Different day and age.

Manufactures today don't need to build standard consumer based OPE in the way same ways they did back then because the end cost would be too expensive and people wouldn't see the value and purpose in buying them.
 

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I grew up in a time and day that if it broke, you fix it. Now if anything breaks it's brought in for repair. Good for the repair man, bad for the owner, as he/she will never gain experience in maintaining and repairing your own equipment.

And as someone else mentioned, it's a throwaway society today, and a never throw away time years ago. When "things" did finally give up the ghost, it was parked out back for a parts machine. Never know when something from it could be repurposed for something else.

I make my rounds throughout the year, end up in all the big box stores, and have to make my way over to the lawn & garden section, to just see what's "new and improved". And to me it's enjoying to sit and listen to the potential buyer, that seems to have no clue as to what he's getting himself into. The sales clerk is blowing so much smoke up this guys a#$, and he's buying into everything they tell him.

Once and awhile I manage to make my way over to the potential buyer and explain to him he would be better off, and money ahead looking for a good used old piece of iron, and still have something that'll be working long after this new "piece of equipment" will be resting in a junk pile... But most say they don't have any experience in turning a wrench, so they have to buy new to get something "reliable". Poor guy. :(
 

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I do the same thing sometimes. I even give them a few cards of my neighbor who does small engine work. As for working outside, I had a neighbor report me for running a business out of my house because he can't believe someone works on and welds and grinds for fun. As far as throw away stuff, I hate how we have shifted to that. I guess I am old soul trapped in a youngish guy body.

Mike "Squirrelly" Kitko
 

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Know what you mean guys! We flip some machines to pay for hobby. The customers we get through here look down on my keepers at times, or know what they see and try to buy them! The new stuff is so cheaply made and quality is sub par for sure!

Will not trade my Bolens or my Craftsman/Sears keepers ( all 1996 to 1967 ) for any new stuff!
 

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I do the same thing sometimes. I even give them a few cards of my neighbor who does small engine work. As for working outside, I had a neighbor report me for running a business out of my house because he can't believe someone works on and welds and grinds for fun. As far as throw away stuff, I hate how we have shifted to that. I guess I am old soul trapped in a youngish guy body.

Mike "Squirrelly" Kitko
Shoot we "Bribed" all of our neighbors! We all get along and we gave them all a tractor or tractors! One neighbors wife was kinda unfriendly to dad. He gave her husband two tractors and "Babysits" his chickens. She likes dad now! :)
 

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Shoot we "Bribed" all of our neighbors! We all get along and we gave them all a tractor or tractors! One neighbors wife was kinda unfriendly to dad. He gave her husband two tractors and "Babysits" his chickens. She likes dad now! :)
He's new to the neighborhood and doesn't know yet that their are three of us who plow driveways for fun when the snow comes. We're gonna give him a chance.

Mike "Squirrelly" Kitko
 
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