Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, and Toro

ibmotoMay 9, 2008

Good evening. I'm trying to buy my first garden tractor and hope forum members can help me decide which garden tractor would serve me best. I have one acre of pasture to mow (rough with gopher and ground squirrel holes and a rogue oak tree branch now and then to consume) and a short gravel driveway to smooth-out with a box scraper when the ground softens with the winter rain. I can't afford a subcompact tractor and I haven't had any luck finding a durable used garden tractor. So, does anyone have a recommendation amongst the Cub Cadet GT2544, Husky 2748GLS or Toro GT2200 for my situation? I've got a couple of dealers in Bakersfield to buy from, except that they haven't any of these particular GTs to show me. Thanks for your advice...I promise you pictures and a running log of my experience of whatever I buy, to help others like myself.

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Well looking at your choices you listed I would get the Cub.Also I would give your search for a used GT more time if possible. I bought a used GT235 last year for 1900. with a new 48 deck and am very pleased with it.

Have you tried the site below for used?;pageseq=845930&intRedir=1163795374.4497499&intRedir=1163795374.4497499

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 7:21AM
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The Cub has a better motor and finish than the other two. It weighs about 200lbs more than the other two. I think the Husky 2748 gls is almost the same as the Craftsman 6500(Husky makes both) and it has foot contols and is about $500 less. I'd probably pass on the Toro.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 10:27AM
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i just ordered a Husqvarna 2754GLS today which is the same exact tractor as the 2748GLS except it has a 54" deck for $100 more. for your mow area i'd say the 48" is a better choice all around if you went that route. i don't know much about the cub or toro to comment.

flipping through the Husky catalog I noticed a 2346XLS with a similar build but with a locking rear differential for better wet traction and hills. the marketing in the catalog makes it look tougher than the GLS line mentioned above but when you dig a little deeper its a K46 tranny (not K66) and not rated as ground engaging like you would use it.

Husky dealer support in my area is really strong. 3 dealers within about 10-15 miles and 1 only 1/2 mile away. i would give your own dealer situation for each brand some consideration in your choice.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:25PM
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Thanks guys. I'm leaning towards the Husqvarna 2748GLS today, as the dealer seems more helpful, the price is easier on my wallet and fender mounted hydrostatic lever instead of a foot control seems more handy and doesn't appear require a separate cruise control lever. The machinefinder page didn't list any garden tractors in my region. Craigslist Bakersfield didn't have anything for GTs, nor did Ebay within my region.

Do any of you have experience with the Agri-Fab box scraper mounted with a sleeve hitch? I'm wondering if it will do much with compacted dirt/gravel after a good winter rain soaking, or if I'm dreaming about working a situation that is beyond a sleeve-hitch mounted box scraper's ability. Thanks again for your advice.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 3:47AM
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without actually using the fender mount drive control, i'm hoping that i'll like it (coming from a foot control machine). the dealer gave me the impression that it's basically like using cruise control all the time without actually having to engage anything. his opinion of the regular cruise control feature on todays tractors is that it gets used very little. one plus for foot control though is that putting it in reverse is almost instantaneous. i think hand control would be better for working with attachments though.

by the way, i looked at the catalog again on the 2346xls and it does say heavy duty 'lawn' tractor and not garden tractor. i would think it would be a great option though for someone with steep hills.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 10:28AM
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If I were you I'd get a test drive on a fender mounted hydro control before committing to it.

Like you, to me, it seemed like a good idea at the time but on the seat was counterintuitive and meant one hand on the steering wheel too often which was tough in some situations.

IMO, one of the greatest advances in L&G tractors has been reliable foot controlled hydros especially when working with attachments... best example is using a tractor mounted snow thrower. Matching ground speed with an attachment is too easy with a foot control hydro and you keep both hands on the wheel.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Yes, a test drive would be best in reference to the hydrostat hand control. The only practical experience I have with a similar setup was as a farmhand back in the seventies. Back then, only the brake and clutch where foot operated. Gear shifting, throttle control and hydrostats where all hand controlled on the tractors and combines that I operated way-back then. I'm assuming the hydrostat foot controls became popular as compact tractors with hand operated hydraulic loaders came into the culture: hands control loader lever(s) and steering wheel, while feet control forward/backward motion and braking.
So my though process is definitely dated, but hopefully useful for my needs.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Well, I looked at a Cub Cadet GT1554 today, along side of a Husqvarna YTH 2454 Lawn tractor. 'Not the GTs that I plan to buy, but close enough to get a feel for each brands finer details and overall quality.
Prior to that, I looked at a JD X500 just for an ultimate reference (The xenoy hood and the operator controls seemed equal to $3000 GTs; everything else seemed appropriate for a $5600 GT).
The Cub's 54" mower deck looked pretty sturdy and had a full width trailing edge roller system on the back of the deck. The Husqvarna seem to be more carefully detailed/finished and the grease-zerks for the mower deck spindles were on top poking through the plastic guard nacelles; I couldn't see the Cub's mower spindle grease-zerks but the guard nacelles were sturdy metal. The wide front tires on the Cub (7.5") seems like a good idea for rolling over rough pasture. The Cub's hood had better ventilation for the engine, and I think the all plastic hood might muffle the engine slightly more than the Husky's half metal/half plastic hood.
Decisions, decisions...
If anyone reading my descriptions have purchased either the Cub Cadet GT2544 or Husqvarna 2748GLS tractors, or near equivalent to recent models Cub or Husky GTs, please chime in with your experience. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:51PM
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Justa, who drives with two hands? Thank you though; you have a good point that would surely apply with the use of a Johnny bucket or a sleeve hitch implement.

Kw, let me know how your first mowing goes. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 12:01AM
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"... who drives with two hands?"

Anyone not on a manicured lawn or who finished their beer.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Among the things you didn't see... look for which GTs have adjustable steering links. I don't believe the Husq does and it is a good feature to have.

You're right that the CC GT1554 has a far superior mowing deck to the Husq which is the same as a Sears.

Among the Gts you mentioned I'd give a big edge to the CC GT2544 for its shaft drive. IMO just that feature moves the CC a giant leap ahead of everything you've mentioned.

An added bonus to the CC shaft drive is that the engine has a horizontal crankshaft so it's much easier to work on... valve covers on top and all that.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 12:51AM
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since my growing grass can't wait for my tractor to arrive, i got my Regent going to do my first cut of the year. i'll tell you what (to agree with justalurker), my mind noticed whenever my foot was making constant adjustments to the speed because it could with hands on the wheel. i'm not going to lose much sleep over it as i think the tractor i ordered is a lot of tractor for the money but its something to think about.

by the way, i got a little nostalgic driving my Regent around and have decided to keep it as a backup so long as they will both fit in my shed which i think they will. i did a search on completed ebay auctions and if you can wait for one to pop up the deals on them ridiculous - way under priced. there are Regents and Broadmors only a few years old going for $500-1000 if one pops up in your area.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Well Guys,

I ordered the Husqvarna 2748GLS today, along with a Husky HDC1000 10 cu ft capacity tow cart, 50 lbs wheel weight(s) and a Husky front dozer blade. Gosh I hope it snows a lot next winter for the benefit of my dozer purchase. Hopefully it will push gravel as well. I told my wife that it all cost $2K . If she knew it was really twice that, I'd be in the dog house.
I decided to hold off buying the sleeve hitch and box scraper. It looks like Johnny Bucket may have a sturdier sleeve hitch with electric assist, so perhaps I'll buy one when my savings account refills.
Pictures to follow along with a first mow report in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 12:59AM
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The Husqvarna is in the garage and I'm studying the owners manual tonight. Saturday morning will be my first mow. 'Timely, as the Kern County Fire Department just sent me a warning letter about clearing a 100 foot clear vegetation safety zone before June 9 or they'll do it for me and place a lean on my property for the expense. I love Government Bureaucrat intervention...KMA

Does anyone know what tire pressure is idea for turf tires? The owners manual refers me to the tire sidewall. The sidewalls indicate 12 psi max for the front and 10 psi max on the rear. What lower psi level do you use without worry of breaking the tire beads loose? These Carlisle tires are 2-ply.

Best regards

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 2:15AM
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I have a Cub GT2554. It is fine for my purposes. I have no complaints about it.
I would encourage you to test drive/use all the tractors you mentioned to see what will be right for......YOU.
At first I thought I'd dislike the foot pedal drive(vs the hand lever of my old Cub 1872) but have come to like the foot pedal. If you plan to do any snow plowing/blowing the foot pedal is a nice feature, leaving a hand to control the plow/blower.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:17AM
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