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    javjacob's Avatar
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    Cabs

    Anyone run a cab on their lawn/garden tractor in the winter for snow removal? I am curious about them and if they are worth the trouble and hassle and what not. Hard cab vs soft cab and ease of access to engine compartment and fuel refill. Do they leave wear marks on the fenders and hood and what do they actually mount to?
    98 John Deere 345

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    That all depends on the cab manufacturer as to how they mount to the tractor, how they are weather-stripped, etc.
    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Cab Question Response

    Quote Originally Posted by javjacob View Post
    Anyone run a cab on their lawn/garden tractor in the winter for snow removal? I am curious about them and if they are worth the trouble and hassle and what not. Hard cab vs soft cab and ease of access to engine compartment and fuel refill. Do they leave wear marks on the fenders and hood and what do they actually mount to?
    I have carefully investigated a cab option for my current tractor, which is a JD 455. It was the only option which I did not purchase with my tractor when I bouight the entire equipment set up new, years ago.

    Here is what I have found with "cabs". Depending upon your tractor model, finding a used one can be very difficult. Also, most companies which make cabs don't seem to continue making cabs for more than a handful of years once the tractor models change.

    In my case, whenever I have located a used cab, it was usually owned by a municipality, or some other commercial applications. This means that they usually spread salt on sidewalks, parking lots, etc in order to prevent falls for customers, etc. This means these cabs are often heavily rusted and rotted from exposure to road salt, etc., at least in the Upper midwest, Great lakes area.

    I just priced a cab for a new tractor, the 1025R. A hard cab, with the heater and wipers, etc was over $6,500. When my tractor was new back in the mid 90's, a new cab for mine was more than $4,500.

    The cabs seem well engineered for allowing easy fuel filling, hood opening, etc. The tractors I have seen which use cabs usually show some small signs of the cab being on the chassis like paint rub where the cab sits on the body, etc. But like most anything, it all depends upon the person who owned it and used it. Some tractors show no signs a cab is used while others show wear signs and scratches from improper install attempts, etc.

    In my earlier years, a cab seemed unimportant. As I age, it becomes more of a priority to get out of the weather. I will say that I plow about a dozen drives and approx 1.5 miles of private roads, so when I go out to plow, I am usually out there for 2.5 to 4 hours each plowing, depending upon the snowfall amounts. Last year I plowed 39 times, which my detailed records indicated I put 179 engine hours on my tractor from October 31st to the following April 1st. That was much more than a usual winter.

    There are several companies which make "weather enclosures", which are the soft sided, clear plastic and usually black vinyl "enclosures" which are installed over a very basic pole / rod type frame. The access in and out is thru zippers or velcro openings. These are far less expensive than the hard or soft sided cabs. They tend to appear to be more universal in their applications, than specific per tractor model. I just can't seem to get excited about these "enclosures", but If I were able to see one in person and get a better look at them, then maybe I would feel differently.

    My primary concern about the "enclosures" is they appear that strong winds and the extensive use I would require would result in a short life the way I would use it. For someone wanting to get out and do their drive and spend 15 to 30 minutes and then return to the garage, these seem designed for that purpose. When I am plowing, I am on and off the tractor as I shovel steps and have a small walk behind blower mounted on the rear of my tractor that I use for some of the walkways. I also have a salt spreader on the back of my tractor so I am afraid that my going in and out of the zipper and velcro doors would result in a failure in a short time.

    Plus, frankly, if I am getting a cab, I want heat and great visibility. I dont want fogged up clear plastic or distorted views as I do most of my plowing before sun rise.

    There are different outfits selling the "weather enclosures" on ebay, etc. In my experience, the smaller the tractor, the less likely a cab was made for it or that if your tractor is not a current or 1st prior year model, most companies have already discontinued making their cabs. Used cabs in good shape are quite rare. I know because I have looked long and hard.

    Hope this insight and experience is helpful to answering your question.
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    grnspot110's Avatar
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    I have an older model soft-side cab on my 314, used it on a 74-112 before that: Click image for larger version. 

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    It mounts with 2-5/16" holes in each fender & 2 in each footrest. I plug the fender holes in the off season with plastic body plugs from an auto parts store. The canvas does buff the hood slightly. I don't need a heater, but a small fan across the windshield stops fogging. I only use it for the snowblower, prefer open air for the 420 w/54 blade! ~~ Lowell
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    Lowell

    1944 JD LA, 1953 JD 40S, 93-755 w/60" deck, '04-790 w/300 loader, 2000-F725, '07 "TS" Gator, 80-314 & numerous attachments!, 1980-2418 Power King, 1948 AC "G" & 1961 International Cub Lo Boy

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    I have a hard sided Curtis cab on my X595, heater and wiper. I love it. I got tired of getting snow covered from the blower and wind changes. And you cannot always blow with the wind. I leave it on year around. It is noisier mowing, so use ear protection.

    I had to purchase a high hour X475 with cab. Both were in good shape, so moved the cab to my X595 and sold the mower. Came our pretty reasonable on my cab. I was amazed when I took the cab off the X475 that there were very few marks from the cab. With a good washing, one could not tell that the X475 used to have a cab except for one bolt hole in each floorboard.

    With the heater, a light jacket and I am good to go. And my neighbors are certainly glad that I got it as I stay out longer and do more of their driveways.
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    Cab

    Quote Originally Posted by carlson76 View Post
    I have a hard sided Curtis cab on my X595, heater and wiper. I love it. I got tired of getting snow covered from the blower and wind changes. And you cannot always blow with the wind. I leave it on year around. It is noisier mowing, so use ear protection.

    I had to purchase a high hour X475 with cab. Both were in good shape, so moved the cab to my X595 and sold the mower. Came our pretty reasonable on my cab. I was amazed when I took the cab off the X475 that there were very few marks from the cab. With a good washing, one could not tell that the X475 used to have a cab except for one bolt hole in each floorboard.

    With the heater, a light jacket and I am good to go. And my neighbors are certainly glad that I got it as I stay out longer and do more of their driveways.
    I can not say enough good things about having a hard cab on a garden tractor. I have a 425 and install it every fall. A bit of work for a lot of comfort. There isn't a heater on this unit. As long as you're dressed for the season a heater is not necessary. I fear that if there is any heat, then the windows may frost up. Great to use when it is windy. Not sure what brand it is. If you need to clear snow a lot, very easy to justify.

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    javjacob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnspot110 View Post
    I have an older model soft-side cab on my 314, used it on a 74-112 before that: Click image for larger version. 

Name:	HPIM2523.JPG 
Views:	29 
Size:	824.1 KB 
ID:	33721 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	HPIM2524.JPG 
Views:	26 
Size:	899.8 KB 
ID:	33722

    It mounts with 2-5/16" holes in each fender & 2 in each footrest. I plug the fender holes in the off season with plastic body plugs from an auto parts store. The canvas does buff the hood slightly. I don't need a heater, but a small fan across the windshield stops fogging. I only use it for the snowblower, prefer open air for the 420 w/54 blade! ~~ Lowell
    That's a really good looking cab on a really good looking tractor! I don't think I am going to be able to find anything like that though. All I have seen are some soft cabs with the plastic glass and I don't like that idea much. They still want $900 for those cheap looking ones.
    98 John Deere 345

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    javjacob's Avatar
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    I am thinking pretty hard on getting one of the manual blade angle kits for my 48" front blade. Looks like no modifications are required like drilling holes. It is a pita having to get off every time to adjust the blade angle. Anyone here have one? how well do they work? Best place to get one?

    Think I might just get the angle kit and get some heated socks and gloves and call it good.
    98 John Deere 345

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    grnspot110's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javjacob View Post
    That's a really good looking cab on a really good looking tractor! I don't think I am going to be able to find anything like that though. All I have seen are some soft cabs with the plastic glass and I don't like that idea much. They still want $900 for those cheap looking ones.
    The canvas is a bit rough along the bottom edges, but it serves the purpose! I bought it off ebay several years ago six hours from home, made a two day trip out of it! It's the older style with the curtain-style doors, I need to make them into the hinged doors! ~~ Lowell
    Lowell

    1944 JD LA, 1953 JD 40S, 93-755 w/60" deck, '04-790 w/300 loader, 2000-F725, '07 "TS" Gator, 80-314 & numerous attachments!, 1980-2418 Power King, 1948 AC "G" & 1961 International Cub Lo Boy

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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javjacob View Post
    I am thinking pretty hard on getting one of the manual blade angle kits for my 48" front blade. Looks like no modifications are required like drilling holes. It is a pita having to get off every time to adjust the blade angle. Anyone here have one? how well do they work? Best place to get one?

    Think I might just get the angle kit and get some heated socks and gloves and call it good.
    I have a hydraulic angle kit on my 455 and I can't imagine life without it. I plow a LOT OF SNOW, and some 0f the private roads I plow have large culdesacs. WIth the power angle kit, I am constantly in motion and rarely have to back up. I can plow the culdesacs as fast if not faster than a pick up truck with plow because when I am moving, I am pushing snow and I am not wasting time backing up to take another run at plowing forward.

    The hydraulic angle or I have even seen some electric servo type angle kits are ideal if you plow snow.

    I have seen various kits on Ebay. Also, depending upon the tractor model, you may be able to either get one from the Deere parts department or retrofit one form another model deere. They are very simple systems.

    Hope this helps.

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