Is a creeper really needed?

Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:05 am

I have justed completed completely overhauling my 104 (10hp) that had been neglected by its previous owner. Including reboring the cylinder and putting new oversize piston and rings. Now it looks great and runs now I want to put it to work. I have bought a blade and snowthrower, and overhauled the 38" mower deck. The guy I bought the thrower from (QA36A) said I really need a creeper drive for this to work properly...which of course I don't have. Is it really needed for this and the blade...? If so does anyone have want they are willing to part with?

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:32 am

You will have to try it and see because it really depends on how deep and heavy the snow is where you live. If you have more than about 4 to 6 inches of snow at a time, regular 1st gear may still be too fast for the snow blower to pick up and move the snow, in which case you will end up pushing snow and eventually overloading the snow blower. The down side to this situation is that you will end up riding the clutch to slow your ground speed in order to let the snow blower keep up. This is where a creeper drive is nice, because you can just shift to a lower gear, and "creep" along, letting the snow blower do it's job. The really BIG down side to a creeper drive is that it slows down reverse gear also. So, when you are at the end of your driveway and trying to back up or turn around quickly, it just doesn't happen, or you end up shifting the creeper drive, which does not shift as easily as your standard gears. This is where Hydrostatic drive tractors really excel, because you have infinite speeds both forward and reverse, at any time.

For snow plowing with a blade, you will most likely use 2nd gear (standard) because you want to move a little faster to roll the snow off of the blade. There is no reason for a creeper drive with a blade. Worst case you overload the blade and the rear tire will spin.

Personally, I would give it a try this winter and see what you think. Keep an eye out for a creeper drive, and if you find one in the meantime, you can install it if you want.


Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:52 am

The creeper was designed for use when you needed a high engine speed and a low tractor speed such as when using a snowthrower or a rear mounted tiller. You don't have to have one to use the snowthrower, but it will be easier on the clutch (and your leg) if you do. The downside to a creeper is they like to "puke" the oil in them out the breather vent, and it is not uncommon for the shifting yoke to be worn in them, which can cause problems with it staying in gear. Most of the parts for them are no longer available, and are getting hard to find. A creeper should not be use to try and increase the pulling power of the tractor, as per the owners manual. It is not a torque amplifier.

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:24 pm

The low range of the creeper puts the engine in the higher rpm & higher torque section of the power band. It moves right along when tilling or blowing snow. The creeper and the snowblower actually gives the blower time to get the snow out before it loads up. If the tractor speed is too fast the blower will load up and choke. All the gear ratios have to be right so the speed is correct for the powered attachment. There is no way i could till a garden without the creeper.

I would look for a used tractor that has a creeper. Never mention the creeper to the seller because the price may go up on a parts tractor. I just look for that little knob and keep quiet and buy it. You can find a parts tractor or a project tractor with a creeper for between $100 to $150. A creeper on ebay will run you as much as $200. I found 3 cadets with creepers so far a cub cadet 100 that needed some work for $100, a running 108 for $150 and a parts 108 for $125. My 100 is my tiller and my 108 is going to get a snowblower soon. Were thinking of putting my 3rd creeper in my 1200.

Remember those sprial pins in the driveshaft can only take so much force. I bent the spiral pins in my 70 CC with the dirt /snowplow pushing dirt with the larger rear tires (15" rims). But now i know the point when breakage can occur and i use the bigger tractors but the cadets are great in the tighter areas.

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:47 pm

try it. if it doesn't work, add smaller rear tires to slow you down

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:53 am

Where are you guys finding cubs do cheap - even parts units?

I was at a consignment auction yesterday that had a 1250 in pretty good looking shape, but the throttle wasn't connected and the PTO was out - went for $550.

Later they had a 149 (manual lift) in rough condition, the belt for the deck was shredded and the PTO might have been out (asked and was told "Maybe")- but it did run, it went for $500.

Stopped at a guy's house advertising a 124 ($200) and a 126 ($250), turned out neither had an engine and both had been stripped of many other parts.

Two years ago I passed on a complete 149 ($150) that had thrown a rod through the side of the block. Its starting to look reasonable.

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:57 pm

I have to agree...I have been looking at parts for ther last 6 months and NOTHING is cheap. What's more, you can never find the things you're looking for...these "parts tractors" must really be location/region specific because I can't find any where I'm at...

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:09 am

The used tractor equipment market is extremely regional and even more so market driven. I have seen used Cub and Cub Cadet tractor and parts prices swing nearly 90% over the past couple of years. Starter generators used to go for around $150, and I saw one sell the other day for $15. I used to fix up and sell cub cadet tractors and get over $500 for ones that were mechanically sound yet not cosmetically perfect, and this year I have seen a couple sell for as little as $50.

I can tell you though that comparing the market conditions of your area with anyone elses across the country is a waste of time. There is no rhyme or reason to it and it is a worthless discussion. The equipment is worth whatever someone will pay for it, wether you are the buyer or seller.

There are a few exceptions, creeper drives, three point hitches, white fiberglass seats, etc., are parts that are few and far between and everyone seems to want them, which drives the prices up. It used to be that Cub Cadet original tractors brought a ton of money, but I think that folks have figured out that there were something like 50,000 of them built, making them higher in production than almost any Cub Cadet model to date. I have seen several very nice ones sell recently for less than $500.

Re: Is a creeper really needed?

Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:50 am

There out there if your constantly looking for them. I just passed up a running 124 with a mower that needed clutch work for $300. I just can't afford the time to fix them right now. I hate to pass them up but i also want to get into the larger farmall tractors too. Once my fel/backhoe on my 154 is done my next project is an FEL on a cub cadet.