Monday, June 15, 2009

Cub Cadet GT 2554

In 2005, we were getting ready to build our current home, which was finished in 2006. We had purchased a little over 20 acres in 2003 and needed something to help us get started in the immediate area around our house with yard work and mowing. This was before I knew anything about tractors. At this point, I knew I needed one, I knew they were loud, powerful, and could cut/knock down most anything I put in their way. What I didn't really know how to do was figure out what size of a tractor I would need for this undertaking.
Goal one was to keep my budget low. Goal two was to be able to mow about 2-3 acres immediately around my house. Goal 3 was it had to be something my 5' tall wife could drive. This would NOT be a large tractor. Other than that, I was pretty clueless. I knew I couldn't get a large tractor because the boss wanted to use it. I knew I needed something more powerful than a lawn tractor, as I knew the hills on our property would destroy drive belts. The next step up were the garden tractors, solid shaft drive type.
We found a very friendly and accommodating dealer in Franklin, Indiana (Jacoby Sales and Service). I had visited Kubota, John Deere, Cat, all the big names, and just wasn't finding what I needed. Cub Cadet had a nice line-up, and at the time, they had a 12mos same as cash deal, which fit my budget perfectly. I was able to save up the money over the course of a year and pay it in full when the time came (and yes, I did just that).
At a little over $4k it was the right tool, at the right price, at the right time.
The GT 2554 is a 25hp unleaded fuel tractor. Shaft drive (cast iron) hydrostatic transmission, front PTO, with a 54" mowing deck. There is no 3pt connection or PTO off the back, which is something I wanted, but I got by without it. It has a somewhat solid hitch hole on the rear, but the attachments I use have taken somewhat of a toll on it over the last 3 years. Still a very functional hitch.
I have used this tractor, with an upgrade to Ag tires in the rear, to mow over 10 acres, grade (with a DR Power Grader) a 1/4 mile+ driveway multiple times a year, till a large garden (with a pull behind tiller), seed over an acre of ground (for a yard), and it still runs like a champ as of June 2009.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this tractor. Where it does lack is in the mower deck wheel design. I have broken off the left rear deck wheel 4 times, and now don't even mount it anymore. I have also broken off the front right deck wheel and assembly. The entire pivoting assembly broke on when mowing. That was an $80 assembly I never want to have to do again. I plan on solid mounting all 4 corners in the near future. My neighbor is a welder by trade. Look for a write up to on that in the future.

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