154, 185 or Yanmar?

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154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby Goatman1970 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:48 pm

Hello, first post!

I currently have a Yanmar YM146 diesel tractor with a tow behind Swisher 44" mower. Its a nice setup but its very long when it comes to storage. the original owner removed the belly mower and front PTO and the only guy with the parts I need is 6 hours away and wants more than I paid for the tractor for the parts. The Low Boy is a very sexy looking tractor and I absolutley love the way they look.

I have been offered a trade for a Low Boy 154 that's been repainted factory colors and has a new clutch with the 59" mower. My set up plus $500 is what he wants.

There is also a local guy selling a LB 185 that he's got mostly restored and I figured I may offer him a trade deal too.


I've read a couple of posts about how the Low Boys eat up clutches and PTO parts. I know my Yanmar is pretty much bulletproof. Should I stay with what I have or are the LB's just as durable? I have about a acre that I cut plus yard work, etc.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby Landreo » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:13 pm

If the Yanmar is what I am thinking of, it is a garden tractor and is a good bit smaller than a 154 or 185. I have no idea what the Yanmar is worth but it may be tough to sell without a mower so the 154 for your tractor and $500 seems to be a good deal. Folks in my area seem to be asking 2500-3000 for a running 154 in clean condition. I am not sure what they actually sell for but I expect close to the asking price.

1 acre is not that much, so depending on your age and any physical limitations, you may find the 154 is bigger than you need. A small $800 lawn tractor may be a better fit. I have bulldozers and tractors that I will never really use so there is nothing wrong with wanting something just to have it but depending on your yard, the 154 may not be ideal.

As far as the clutches and PTO issues, I am not sure that is true. I have literally thousands of hours on both 154s and 185 and have yet to have a main clutch fail. The only PTO problems I have had was one bad bearing that was $15 new at a bearing store. However, the cub is going to be 10 years or so older than your Yanmar and may have many more hours on it so expect there may be some repairs. Parts likely will be less expensive than the Yanmar. It is a bigger heavier tractor, will ride smoother, with fewer speeds, less fuel efficient engine but easy to repair and also bulletproof.

If I had to chose between your current setup, a 154 or 185, or an F-cub, there would be no hesitation, a 185 with a 154 as a close second.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby DanBuckman » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:10 pm

Quote Landreo "1 acre is not that much, so depending on your age and any physical limitations, you may find the 154 is bigger than you need."

Trying to figure out which way this works. Does and old cripple need the larger tractor or the smaller one?

I need to remember to ask my father next time he's giving me a hard time about something.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby Landreo » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:03 pm

It can be either way. When I was younger, one acre was push mower size. I mow around 5 acres with my tractors but still cut close to one acre with a walk behind mower although I finally upgraded a few years ago to a self propelled mower. My daughter is 19 but has yet to hit 5 feet or 100 lbs so the 154 is a handfull for her although she does prefer it for cutting the grass. My lawn tractor is much easier to get on and off than is my 154 or 185. Steering is slightly easier also. I have not been snowboarding or windsurfing in a few years simply because it is getting harder to recover from a face plant in the snow or being launched over the board into the water. The older I get, the less climbing I want to do.

If all I had to mow was 1 acre, I would not have a 154 just for mowing. I would either mow with a push mower or use a small riding mower. Parkinsons, heart disease, COPD may limit someone's ability to walk behind a mower and the riding option including a 154 may be better.

Having a 154 just because you want one may also be a good reason. I lived in a gated golf course community years ago with a 1/3 acre yard. My neighbors all had the big black Mercedes. In that yard I had a JD B, cub, and earthmaster tractor. I still cut the grass with a pushmower!

So Dan, to answer your question: your father needs to sit in a lazyboy style chair, in the shade, drinking an ice cold sweet tea that you brought to him, with his large tractor on the grass next to him while you cut the grass with the old Lawnboy 2 cycle mower. He should also point out that you missed a small spot over there on the left and remind you that you almost ran over the flowers that your mother planted. At least that was the vision I had 19 years ago when my children were born.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby DanBuckman » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:09 pm

"So Dan, to answer your question: your father needs to sit in a lazyboy style chair, in the shade, drinking an ice cold sweet tea that you brought to him, with his large tractor on the grass next to him while you cut the grass with the old Lawnboy 2 cycle mower. He should also point out that you missed a small spot over there on the left and remind you that you almost ran over the flowers that your mother planted. At least that was the vision I had 19 years ago when my children were born"

I take it you don't have a clue about my pop.
77 next month..
Last year I had a string of injuries. Torn rotator, Achilles tendinitis on the left crushed my right ankle when the backhoe bucket knocked me to the trailer deck, then pulled my back swinging for an overhead kill in RB. Almost two weeks after the back pull I was trying to play some easy raquetball and second game the back started spazzing so I opted to quit. I was a little bummed I'd never had things hang on so long, I guess dad was there the next morning and someone told him.. he comes bouncing up my stairs and says "I heard you quit" then he has to say,, " I'm 25 years older than you and I think I'm in better shape than you are" A few more bounces to rub it in.
Justice was right around the corner, perhaps two weeks later we are at his farm. (family tennis night) and he is moving awful slow .. Mom said he twisted his foot,, got it caught somehow by lowering the boom on one of his skid loaders on it.
He has a f cub low boy, it's the smallest tractor he has. Also 2 Kubota's 2 8N fords, one with a 6 and one with a V8 , and least I heard 25 Olivers.
No, I'm quite certain he never ever dreamed of sitting in a chair watching someone else work.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby SONNY » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:17 am

The 185 that I bought DOES have pto clutch scattered and master clutch shaft splines worn about off, and I have talked to others who have the same problem!--AND VERY costly to fix, considering a complete NEW pto unit from IH is over $1,600!! ----Kit is $260, but dont have everything in it, so YA,---they are spendy to own!
As far as comfort , they cant be beat!---I love the fact that you sit in the center of the tractor and can see on both sides of the tractor!----Regular cub, you gotta lay clear over to see on the left, (a royal pain in the butt to use). thanks; sonny
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby outdoors4evr » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:59 am

Why not just get a woods mower deck for the Yanmar? Pick one up on ebay or craigslist.

The 154, 185, and 184 are nice machines, but what else do you want to do with it? If you mentioned anything having to do with a 540 RPM PTO, like running a generator, then I wouldn't look at the loboys.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby BigBill » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:55 am

I have only two acres and like using the 154 for mowing with the 3260 deck. (60") I normally hate mowing for most of my life but now with the tractors its kind of fun. I want to be comfortable and want to do it as quick as possible. The 60" deck makes short work mowing two acres. I also use a 122 cub cadet with a 48" deck, a 104 cub cadet with a 38" deck and a cub cadet 108 with a 42" deck. It just matters how fast i want to get'er done or just have it off idle and enjoy the view and seat time. But there's no ride like the int154 series tractor for mowing. Our local lawn mower repair guy calls them "a mowing machine".

With my first int154 with the 3pt hitch i fabricated a ripper tooth for it and broke loose smaller rocks on the surface in my field. You can still find used attachments for the 154 with its live PTO too. Since many of us use the cub cadet in the field and for garden work the int154 can also be used too. I think there easy to work on too. There are still parts on ebay for it too.

There have to be others who liked the int154 series tractors too because if we look at the production and sales numbers they out sold the fcub for a few years. I think the 154 can do anything the fcub can do, but the look of it made it sell to estate owners who wanted a larger mower over owning a farm tractor. I like both the fcub and the 154 tractors but for mowing and comfort the 154 is unmatched, unless you like the farmtractor look.

Restoring either tractor makes sense to me if we do it right it should last another 50+ years. Do you think the newer tractors will last that long? Do you think anything can match the cub cadet/int154/fcub quality wise in a new machine today? To get a decent mower today its around $3k, i was looking at first with the new place. Its all thinner sheetmetal and cheap looking quality wise. We don't get much of a tractor for 3k nowadays.

After running my first int154 i bit the bullet and purchased two more int154's. This way i can leave the 3260 deck on one for mowing, the 54" ih snowplow on another and build an FEL/backhoe on my third one. As I/we get older i won't have to lug attachments on and off the tractor to change them. My cub cadets are the sameway too each machine has its one attachment. I watch my 76 yo neighbor struggle to get stuff done so i'm setting myself up now. I hate to bother my kids to get stuff done. BB

You can run a generator using pullies to speed it up or down on the int154 with a belt. I'm finding out i really don't need a 540pto but if you have a larger place and need a heavier duty machine then its different.

My body is battered and wornout too from working hard most of my life but when i threw a leg over the seat on the motorcycles the pain seemed to go away for that time when the adreniline took over. I get the same feeling on my tractor the pain goes away just a little but it comes back when i get off it. Somedays the pain meds do nothing to help the pain. Then i'm a pain in the butt on the puter. My point is don't work so hard if your still young and in good shape, save some for when you get older. Enjoy life everyday if you have your health now. It can go sour overnight trust me i know.
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby Landreo » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:53 am

DanBuckman wrote: Does and old cripple need the larger tractor or the smaller one?


Not words I would use but ergonomics is important. Certain physical conditions are more common at different ages and may be an important consideration in choosing a tractor to mow grass. ALS, MS, CP, spinal stenosis all affect "younger" people and may limit that persons strength, climbing ability etc.. while osteoarthritis, herniated disc may affect an "older" persons ability to run equipment. Needs should be customized for the individual. Bigger is not always better.


I take it you don't have a clue about my pop.


No, danbuckman, I don't have a clue about your father, why would I? I think most people would have taken my statement as a joke not a literal comment about your father. My intership was in psychiatry and family dynamics were often the central theme in the care of the patient even in what would be considered an organic mental illness. I thought my own father was a mean as can be. His parenting skills were definitely from the old country. We were expected to succeed at anything we did and quitting was not allowed. I wanted to be a welder but it told me that that was not going to happen and told me what my basic career path was going to be. My father died years ago but now when I look back I see a man with a deformed shoulder from carrying coal in a basket on his shoulder as a child so they had coal for cooking and heat, mined coal on his knees because the seams were too low to stand up and shovel, a man that worked 3 jobs to pay for our education, someone who never quit and never complained. 4 children, 2 valadictorians, 3 doctorate degrees, magna cum laude was the lowest in college, all sucessful moral ethical children that did not succum to what affected many in my generation. Overall I have to say he did good. When my father came home limping or sore, it never would have entered my mind that that was somehow justice for something he had done to me.

My son was going to Dartmouth, to med school, to dermatology. Recently he got the idea he wants to be an auto mechanic so I have agreed to let that happen. That never would have happened under my father and I expect years from now both my son and I will be sorry for his decision. Sometimes the tough father is the better father. My son does bring me ice tea every friday evening. I get home around 7 pm, sit in my recliner with the leg thing raised, eagerly awaiting the latest episode of whale wars. At 7:30 pm my son walks in with sweet tea and a large Quiznoes sub. He has a part time job delivering food from area resturants and delivers what I ordered online a few hours earlier! Without his boss giving him the order to deliver, it would never enter his teenage brain to bring me ice tea. But I can hope.

So family dynamics are tough and require some work. I have no clue about you or your father, but then again, maybe maybe I do.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby DanBuckman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:37 pm

Landeao:
No, danbuckman, I don't have a clue about your father, why would I? I think most people would have taken my statement as a joke not a literal comment about your father

Right but now it kind of looks like you missed my own humor,
or you just wanted everyone to know how wonderful you are?

But now I'm not joking
Let the kid get an honest job,, if he works real hard he can make up for some of the parasites sucking off the world,, you know the ones with all the collage degrees.

I wonder if a 5' mower would fit under the Yammar?
It looks kind of small but it probably has enough power, I think we need more details about it before wisedumb can prevail.
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Re: 154, 185 or Yanmar?

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:28 pm

OK, this discussion has gone far enough. It doesn't look like there will be any more comments that help with the original question. The original poster has not been back on the site to read any of this anyway. If he does come back and still has a question, he can start a new thread.

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