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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, let me begin by stating I know almost nothing about small, house-hold riding mowers however I'm *thinking* about purchasing a used one for the exclusive purpose of moving two of my trailer's from my backyard out to the street in front of my house but before I do I have a couple of questions for those of you who have more experience with these things than I do.



1) How much weight could one of these small riding mowers reliably move? Of the two trailers it would be moving the heaviest is 1,500 LBS the lightest ~1,000 LBS. Is that realistic for these small mowers to move?



2) What size engine? Yeah, I know bigger is better but of the used ones in my area I'm seeing engine sizes around 8 HP. Will that be enough?



3) I know I'll need to add a hitch or two since Ideally I'd like to have a ball in the rear and in the front (the trailer's have squeeze through a tight spot and I suck at backing-up) I can weld and do some fab but is there generally enough material around the frame (I.E. Is it stout enough to weld a ball-mount to)?



4) Particular brand prefrence? My budget (if I do this) is $500 and so far a quick search of Craig's List in my area shows I should be able to buy a fairly well-used riding mower for that amount. Craftsman (Sears) mowers seem to be most popular in my area.



Now for some back-story: My trailers live in the back yard and the only way to get them to the driveway and street is to move them through a very narrow side yard which I can't get my trucks down (besides I suck at backing-up, see above). So far I've had to heavily modify a decorative steel gate to make it hinge wide enough to get the trailers through, a crew from my work is going to take-out part of a brick planter which is also in the way and I have trim-back (or remove) some foilage which the wider of the two trailer's snags but it's still better than paying $220 a month to store these two trailers at a rental yard. Moving the trailers solo is a challange because they sit on gravel (though I've done it now twice). I gave some thought to adding a hitch to my Manx-Type dune buggy but have put that plan on hold since I couldn't come-up with a hitch design which looked "right" on the 'Buggy. Total distance the mower would need to move the trailer (or trailers) would be about 250' one way from where they live in the backyard to where I typically load them on the street in front of my house.



Thanks in advance for any comments. To keep this TW-rleated one of the two trailers is my 'Buggy/quad trailer which I added a skid to and occasionally haul a TW on! =)



--Kevin "The only difference between a good idea and a bad idea is the amount of thought which goes into the bad idea"
 

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I would be inclined to agree with Rich. We had a very 'cheap' Yard Machine that I would drive around the place when I had nothing better to do. They seem to be geared very low The stamped steel 'body' on ours would likey make securing a hitch a bit of a challenge. Having used the word 'gravel' causes me some concern, for small wheels and lots of torque may not mix well with a gravel base. Good luck, Gerry
 

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Do your trailers have dolly wheels near the tongues? If not, get one and swap it out after you and your crew drag the first one to where you want it. If necessary, use old sheets of plywood to prevent the wheels from sinking into the gravel. You'd be surprised what a motivated crew (plenty of beer and food after wards, not before) can accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for comments guys! In answer to a couple of questions: Yes, both of the trailers have a plastic dolly wheel on the leg, and they both roll pretty well, the gravel is just deep enough that the plastic wheel digs it's self a hole and keeps the trailer from moving quite nicely, however it also prevents moving the trailer without picking-up the tongue. The gravel isn't very deep, maybe a couple of inches not deep enough that I'd have to worry about burying a mower or whatever trying to move one of these trailers. I'll check-out those video's, could be some ideas there. I hate asking for help, from friends, neighbors or family members (don't like to inconvience people) plus it always seems the trailers need to be moved when no one is around, plus their not heavy, just a little awkward so I'd like to be able to move them by myself.



I'll let you guys know if I decide to do this, could be a fun little project, just have to be careful not to wrap too much $$ into it.



--Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Boret, thanks I actually used to have one of those. It worked pretty well but still required some pushing from behind by a second person in order to get things rolling (at least for the 1,500 LBS trailer) but if I end-up not doing the riding mower thing or adding a second gate and driveway on the other side of the yard so I'll than have true RV access (which is what we want to do eventually but probably not right now) then I'll probably pick-up another dolly like that. Harbor Freight right?



--Kevin
 

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Boret, thanks I actually used to have one of those. It worked pretty well but still required some pushing from behind by a second person in order to get things rolling (at least for the 1,500 LBS trailer) but if I end-up not doing the riding mower thing or adding a second gate and driveway on the other side of the yard so I'll than have true RV access (which is what we want to do eventually but probably not right now) then I'll probably pick-up another dolly like that. Harbor Freight right?



--Kevin


Yeah, follow the link in my previous message. You can have it for $50 + tax with free shipping.
 

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If you had a Cyclerack on the Tdub I would hitch it up somehow to that Harbor Freight dolly and use the Tdub as your tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
TurtleChaser, I had thought about that, although instead of the TW I could use our Kawasaki Bayou 220 utility quad (comes from the factory with a ball-mount pre-installed) however that quad only has a centrifical clutch and I'm worried that moving trailers with a 19 year old quad might be the end of it.



I still haven't pulled the trigger on getting a riding mower, so far it's only been once-a-month that i've needed to get one of the two trailers (usually the car trailer) out. If I came across the right looking mower at the right price though I might get back into this project. And in a couple of months when quad riding and camping season is in full-swing and we're using the trailers more often that might be sways me into getting something motorized to haul these trailers back and forth.



Thanks for the comments!



--Kevin
 
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