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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I am having some thoughts on a new to me used tractor.

I currently have an 82 Power King 1614. I like it well enough for what it is. Well built/heavy. Now, I used my brother's Bolens HT23 a bit yesterday tilling my garden and I have to say that old machine really impressed me. Very powerful and easy to operate with the hydraulic drive. I noticed it felt like it "Floated" over rough ground better than the 1614, likely as the tires are wider?

In fact, I found it to be a much superior machine to the 1614. I'm left thinking the hydro drive IS the way to go....

No, I don't want a Bolens HT23. I think they're maybe a little too hard to find and would complicate ownership/parts sourcing etc. But what has come to my interest are the Ingersol Tractors. Specifically, the 4020 w/power steering

I guess what I looking for is a little input/thoughts from the forum here. Has anyone owned both a PK and and an Ingersol?

I have maybe 3 acres to mow, somewhat hilly.
 

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Well, i don't want to discourage you from the Case/Ingersoll line, but if what you liked about the hydrostatic tractor was the ease of directional control, i have to tell you the Case/Ingersoll tractors don't operate exactly that smoothly.

A hydrostatic transmission uses a variable displacement pump hooked to a fixed displacement motor. You can vary the displacement infinitely from 0 to max, whatever max is. The Case tractors are a fixed displacement pump hooked to a fixed displacement motor, and you are simply controlling a valve in between them. In theory it should be possible to have the same smooth response, but in practice it's an imperfect art. Comparing the hydrostat to the 'regular' hydraulic system of a Case, it's like standing still on your feet and then starting to walk, versus letting the clutch out on a car with a running engine. Yeah, you can be real smooth if you want to, but it's not as intuitive. I find my Case to be harder to start off smoothly with than my clutch+gears Kubota b6100, for example. It does somewhat depend on condition of the linkages that hook to the travel valve.

So i'd say see if you can drive one before you buy. I have a Case 444 with that drive system and i love it for what it is, but if you're coming from a gear drive to a hydrostat specifically to make changing directions smoother and less finicky, im just worried the Case isn't actually the thing you'd be looking for. They're known for 'accidental wheelies'. It's a cool thing, but it's not the easiest thing to operate smoothly compared to true hydrostatic trans garden tractors.

Also, garden tractors with power steering are pretty hard to find aside from the John Deeres. If power steering and hydrostatic is the combination you want, the easiest thing to actually locate will probably be a John Deere. But i would say that power steering is not much of an issue if you aren't hanging some kind of extra weight off the front end. Or, to put it another way, if you want to reduce steering effort you can hang weight off the BACK end, since a lot of the best garden tractors have either a 3pt or sleeve hitch. For example, I have a B8200 tractor with a front end loader and a backhoe with no power steering that steers pretty easily. That's a 4000lb tractor. The backhoe shifts enough weight back off the front wheels that it doesn't really feel like it needs power steering. The same effect can be had just putting weight on the 3pt or sleeve hitch of a garden tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vigo thanks for your post. I haven't had the pleasure of using a Case/Ingersol tractor, so I appreciate your thoughts.

Ease of directional control is what I'm looking for.

I am not sure how my Brother's Bolens HT23 is plumbed, but I assume it is probably similar to the Ingersol? It may be a true Hydrostat, I don't know. I did find it very smooth to operate. (It's probably 1300lbs counting his cast iron weights).

Power steering isn't a make or break deal on a garden tractor for me, just a plus. It's hill country here and I put weights on. I have 250lbs on the back of my PK and could use a little on front maybe. (If the front end is too light I have a hard time steering on some hillsides).
 

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I would have to agree with Vigo. I have two Case tractors. A 446 and a 224. You have to get use to them for sure. They work fine, but defiantly different than a hydro. And the Cases tend to roll a bit on hills. So you have to have a good working brake. You have to read the manual to get an understanding of how to operate a Case tractor. Now, some of the newer ones came with a holding valve which helps with the rolling. I’ve never had one, so no experience with that.

Noel
 

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Basically the same. The 4020 may have the holding valve built in to it. The 4020 with power steering has a little larger pump. And mine throw the grass out the left side of the tractor. Ingersoll designed there’s to throw out the right side of the tractor, which is more normal.
Picture of my two.
Speeds of my 446 and a 4020 are the same.

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the 4020 is the same tractor as a 446, only differance is the hp

with 3 acres to mow I would be looking for a zero turn.... cuts your mowing time in half
Maybe so Lance, I really don't doubt you there. I am stuck in the past in some ways I guess. A riding zero turn is more than I would want to spend on a riding mower. I paid 1400 for the PK I have now, and could probably pick up one of those Ingersols for that or less needing some work.

It's probably 3-5 acres I'm mowing, but 1 here, 1-2 there and 1-2 there. (Not all the same properties)..

I kinda like the idea of a "Garden Tractor" that can handle a blade, tiller and such...

Until I bought that PK last summer I was using a pair of commercial Honda push mowers from the early 1990s that I bought at an auction a few years ago. ($6 each). They're finally "about" worn out, blowing smoke.
 

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Real mowers have a steering wheel. Hehe

Noel
Hey.I got a steering wheel... and while technically its not a ZT it can cut tight against a 4" fence post in one pass ;)

I prefer these to the two handle bar type controls on most ZTs but the joystick controlled models are pretty nice to use... at least you still have one hand free for your beverage of choice.Lol

I used to mow 3 acres at my old place with a nice foot controlled Ford LGT145 with 50" deck... had lots of trees, old trucks and tractors and other various obstacles.... I would do a little at a time but all in it took nearly 9 hours.. first time I used one these Simplicity built front mowers I was done in 3.5 hrs... no more mowing with a tractor for me. As a bonus the decks come off these units much easier and quicker than a belly mower under a tractor, there is 3 very easy access pins and you slip the belt off the idler pulley and its off so it can be flipped upside down and cleaned or sharpened.

Now I dont need a mower like this so its going up for sale soon... I expect to get $1600-$1800 for it after I give it a full service.

I hate posting pics of that Ford before I cleaned it up but thats the only pic with the deck under it... but that tractor did clean up nicely ;)

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These is also a huge differance in fuel usage with a ZT... mostly because the job is done quicker but also because they are newer machines with engines that dont suck fuel like an older engine.... my Agco Allis has a 16 hp Briggs Vanguard twin that will run nearly twice as long an a gal of fuel than an old briggs or kohler cast iron single... and those big Onan twins are not easy on fuel... I have a 20hp right now in a Sears and even with a manual gearbox its hard on fuel.... hydrostatic and hydraulic drive tractors use even more fuel.
 

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... but all that aside... if you have your heart set on that Ingersol go for it... very nice tractors... Ive had several of the big wheel Case models and Ive liked them all... not enough to keep one for myself but it would be tuff to run a business if I kept all the tractors I liked. lol

I havent owned a PK to make that comparison but I have owned and sold 223 tractors to date so I have a pretty good idea how tractors in general compare and what they are capable of. Those Ingersol/Case models are alot lighter than they look and I have seen them with frame problems more than once but I think people may have added alot of ballast to both ends to create the problems. The hydraulic drive systems work well and I think a 4020 would have the stop valve so it shouldnt run away down hill. Every Case big wheel Ive had sold for over $2000 so if you can get that Ingersol for less its a great deal IMO.

edit: had to check TD for your PK specs... its over 200 lbs heavier than the Ingersol/Case big wheel tractors so if your gardening or pushing snow the PK will have a slight advantage both in capabilities and fuel use but the Ingersol will do all the same chores.
 

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I have a PK, a Bolens HT23, and a couple 448’s.
PK Is what it is… neat old tractor, depends what you want to do.
Early Case 448 nice tractor no holding valve a little scary at times. Light in the front end for certain. Good tough tractor though, and holding vale can be installed. But figure in a few hundred bucks if it doesn’t have one already.
Later model Ingersoll 448 holding valve built in much nicer feel, and sense of security. Still light in the front, and still same drive system as described in prior responses. A lot of implements were made for these rigs, and they are pretty easy to get your hands on, but for the most part, they don’t come cheap. They have a good following, and hold their value, so if you run across a deal on a Ingersoll 400, or 4000 series I wouldn’t hesitate. Once you get used to it, they maneuver pretty fluidly.
Bolens HT23, smoothest moving GT I have operated to date. Wonderful tractor. Foot controlled hydro is seemless. I ran mine for 3 hours this evening. It is my favorite.
I also have a Wheel Horse 520Lxi which is a nice heavy duty tractor. A lot of nice features power steering, cruise, tilt wheel, comfortable lay out, and foot controlled hydro. This is the liquid cooled version, and it is a very quiet smooth running machine. Hydro pedal is a little awkward in comparison to the Bolens, and the drive is not as smooth as the Bolens, but that may be in part to some type of stopping distance requirements, so from that standpoint, it is a bit jerky when you let off the hydro pedal. Still a very nice tractor, but as the HT23, a bit hard to find stuff for.
Good luck in your search, and with whatever you decide on.
 

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Almost bought one of these years ago, it was a Massey Ferguson branded one. I like the deck out front like that. I had a Noma, Park 2000 years ago. Deck out front, rear discharge. Trim with either side of the deck. Great for doing under trees. You could go around a 90 degree corner and basically not miss any grass. Steered in the middle. Nice adjustable spring loaded seat. Very comfortable ride. But it was so worn out. Broke in 1/2 twice, the pin in the middle of the articulated part. Drive pulley was so worn by the belt, it broke in half. Driver cogs we’re so worn the chain would jump over the teeth. Was a lot of hours on this machine before I got it. But it had a steering wheel. Real mowers have a steering wheel. Hehe.

Noel
 

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I have had 3 ZTR mowers and will never have another. Every one started to leave donut rings around evey tree, bush or shrub. Will stay with the tractor & deck set up. The 1862 with 54" deck is a great combination and does a nice job of mowing. JMO>
 

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I have had 3 ZTR mowers and will never have another. Every one started to leave donut rings around evey tree, bush or shrub. Will stay with the tractor & deck set up. The 1862 with 54" deck is a great combination and does a nice job of mowing. JMO>
What kind of rings? From the inside tire?? I havent used ZTs alot myself but I used a JD525 front mower for two years before switching to the Simplicty front mower models and Ive been using them about 4 years now... and none have left any marks... they dont turn quite as tight as a ZT and both have steering wheels.... just guessin' but maybe with a ZT you may need to be more careful since the two wheels have independant controls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What a great mix of opinions here, looks like I came to the right place. Now, I have another "thought" There is a guy up north that has a Gravely Pro16, I am thinking to go take a look at it. Appears to be a gearbox trans with a pedal that can "clutch" forward and reverse similar to a hydro. Kohler Magnum engine. I've always heard Kohlers were durable, but I find one downside-they seem loud to me.
 
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