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Craftsman all the way 👍👍👍
 

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WH with the blower especially if it's a 2 stage version

I have 4 Ariens GTs and I started with a blade on one, and looked and looked and LOOKED for a compatible snowblower for one for a few years, at the time I couldn't touch "just a blower" within driving distance for under $800 "when" they even showed up as available for sale.
I happened across a complete tractor that had sustained a barn fire with a nice deck (that somehow escaped the fire) but still had to drive 3 hours each way to get that for $125.
I took that blower all apart every nut and bolt, then had to torch off a couple of pulleys (those were expensive and difficult to find at the time) and I sent all the sheet metal out to be blasted and powder coated, which in itself was almost $400. Replaced all bearings and bushings, added conveyor belt material to every other vane on the 2nd stage impeller (conveyor belt on 3 vanes) all new belts, and with a normal snow (not the sloppiest heaviest of snow) I put snow on the neighbor's roof every time. With a blade, I run out of places to put snow and I go 3 feet and get stuck especially in that sloppy heart attack snow.
I'm sure I have every bit of $700 in my blower, not counting anything for my labor/ but everything that counts is brand new about 3 seasons ago (didn't even need the blower last winter, not complaining about that one bit) and so far it has been worth it.
I think that I have more money into that blower than I do in my 4 tractors combined.
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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That craftsman plow is not light weight. My guess would be between 120-150lbs. Neighbor has a FF20 with a plow and I helped him put the plow back on a couple of months ago after I made up a set of new heavier pins for it. He's pretty rough on it and the pins were bent up and badly worn. His has 26 12x12 AG tires that are filled with calcium.


That thing does gets stuck in his yard all of the darn time. The last time my neighbor got his FF20 stuck it took a big 3/4 ton 4x4 diesel truck to get it out. His 1/2 ton truck wouldn't budge it. He was cutting a ditch in with the plow and buried the rear end up to the transaxle in mud.

The engine in the Craftsman sits rite above the front axle which doesn't help. The Wheel Horses engine sits behind the front axle. Wheel Horse has the advantage in weight transfer.

Without any added weight on the FF20 I'm going to say the Wheel Horse would win.

I do like the down pressure of the FF20 though. You can lift the front of the tractor up with the plow if the pins and holes are not all wallered out and bent up like his was.
 

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I don't think we are comparing apples to apples here. If both had the same implement it would be nice.
 

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Tractorholic
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That craftsman plow is not light weight. My guess would be between 120-150lbs. Neighbor has a FF20 with a plow and I helped him put the plow back on a couple of months ago after I made up a set of new heavier pins for it. He's pretty rough on it and the pins were bent up and badly worn. His has 26 12x12 AG tires that are filled with calcium.

The engine in the Craftsman sits rite above the front axle which doesn't help. The Wheel Horses engine sits behind the front axle. Wheel Horse has the advantage in weight transfer..
The plow is a lighter weight relative to the weight of a snow thrower is what I meant.

As far as where the engine is located, an Onan weighs about 140 lb, but the approximate 50 lb difference in weight shift relative to the rear axle with the thrower is going to negate the few pounds gained by the Onan being further back in the tractor.

As they sit in the pics (can't see if the tires are loaded), the Craftsman will have about 500 lb on the rear tires and the wheel horse about 250 lb. Loaded tires will add 210 - 280 lb to the weight for the Craftsman and 110 - 146 lb for the Wheel Horse. Since the operator weights are unknown, I didn't include them.

While I appreciate the loyalty to the brands of the tractors involved, when push comes to pull, it all comes down to how much weight is on the drive wheels. The Wheel Horse simply doesn't have enough.

I suggest that you tell your neighbour to line up a spare set of rear rims for his tractor. Calcium tends to rust out the rims in about 12 years in my experience. Back in the day when I was using CaCl, Rim Guard wasn't available as it is now.
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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His Craftsman has heavy tubes in the rear tires. Just took a load of tomatoes down to him today and he says they are loaded with Beet juice which is what Rim Guard is. Rimguards tire sheet says 89lbs per tire for a 26x12-12 tire. His flotation type AG tires were pumped full and burped so they probibly weight closer to 100lbs each. They are pretty darn heavy.

Both have Onan engines. Craftsman has a Onan B48G and wheel Horse has a Onan P216G.

I'm a tube frame Bolens/Cub Cadet guy at heart but I like all garden tractors as long as they are built 1/2 decent lol. Truethfully the Only reason that I own a Wheel Horse is because I got it cheap. I put a few bucks in it (for the IMO overly expencive Onan ignition parts) and got it running. It is a nice easy tractor to operate so I mow with it. It has just over 700 hours on it and the paint on it still shines like a new penny.
 

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Tractorholic
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I've weighed the tires and rims with the bathroom scales when I got them loaded.
  • 26x12-12 Carlisle Multi Trac C/S turfs and rims - 38 lb each
  • Calcium chloride to fill to 75% capacity - 160 lb (13 gallons per tire)
  • Rim Guard to fill to 75% capacity ........... - 140 lb
  • Agri- Lym (WWF) to fill to 75% capacity - 105 lb

There are several typos for volumes and weights in the Rim Guard chart.

A 75% fill is approximately 1" - 1.5" above the outer edge of the rim where dew or frost forms on the tire to indicate the actual level. That puts the tire valve several inches below the level of the fluid when installed.

I have also weighed the 23x8.50-12 turfs, wheels, and CaCl on my MF12H about 45 years ago (105 lb total weight each).
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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Oh wow. Quite a bit more to fill.

I did drain slightly over 8 gallon of calcium out of 1 of my brothers 3000 series Cub Cadet rear tires a couple of years ago. The other one had leaked most of the calcium out through the rusted out valve stem hole. They were 23 10.50 12 turf tires. Rims were way to far gone so I had to find a set for him. Luckily I know a few people that part mowers out and I was able to get 2 good used rims for him.



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Here is another chart from a different product called counterweight blue. This product isn't much heavier than Water. It says 11.3 gallon to fill a 26x 12 12 tire to 75% @ 103lbs. 11.3 gallon of water weighs just over 94lbs. Counterweight blue is most likely a Glycol based fluid similar to Antifreeze by the weight. Sounds a bit more realistic than the Rim Guard chart for sure.


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Tractorholic
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There are several ways to find or estimate the volume of a tire fill.
  • Stand a 23x10.50-12 tire beside a 26x12-12 tire and note the difference in bulk.
  • Calculate the gross interior volume of the mounted tire and multiply by 0.75.
  • Calculate just the difference in larger and smaller diameters of the two tires noted above and multiply by 0.75.
  • Weigh the difference between air filled and liquid filled tires.

Note that calculations will be modified to reflect the changes caused by the width of the rim, design of rim, the pressure within the tire, and the load applied to the tire. Taking these modifications into account, I have run the calculations for the air space in a 26x12-12 tire several times over the past 12 years and found that volume to be approximately 19 gallons, 75% of which comes out to approximately14.25 gallons. Allowing for the discrepancies noted above, I feel that 13 gallons is an acceptable number and is proven out by actual weights.

All of the methods above indicate that the volumes as stated in the charts is correct for the 23x10.50-12 tire and incorrect for the 26x12-12 tire.

Rim Guard weighs 10.7 lb per gallon. 10.7 X 13 = 139.1 lb. Weigh scales indicate 140 lb for an acceptable error of less than 1%.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Both tractors should eventually win over Mother Nature but she is a strong adversary that can make things challenging especially when the Snow Fairy and Mr Wind get in a playful mood - just my opinion.
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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Both tractors are 1,000x better built than any of this newer junk. Dumb neighbor fella down the street just spent $3,899 for a new 2022 JD x350 with 48" deck. He says that he got a good deal because they retail for $4,499.

I took a quick look at it and chuckled to myself and shook my head.

Typical thin and very brittle plastic JD hood. Ya that will be broken the 1st time you drop something even remotely heavy on it or bump into anything.

Tuff Torq K46 transaxle and what looks to be a Kawasaki V twin engine.

Ah yes, just looked it up and they have a 21.5 hp Kawasaki FR651V. Is it just me or are all Kawasaki V-Twin engines plagued with multiple Camshaft and Carburetor and governor problems?

Pretty sure he could have saved atleast $2500 by buying a 100 series from Home Depot if he needed a JD. They use the same Garbage transaxle, same thin brittle plastic hood but shaped a bit different. The X300 series has a slightly heavier frame and steering components and possibly slightly heavier gauge decks but definitely not worth double the price.
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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Quick pic of my neighbors FF20. The seat cover came off so he just puts it back on when he uses it. He is in the market for a new high back seat if anyone has any suggestions.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Plant Automotive tire


If you have any ignition problems with a Points ignition Onan put a Harley Points ignition coil in it.

Did this conversion on his 6 years ago and it starts easier and runs better than it ever did with the original oil filled Onan Coil.

Gas Motor vehicle Auto part Composite material Temperature
 
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