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Garden Tractor Pulling - Garden Tractor Pull

Isaac won 2nd place with the John Deere 112 in the 1100 lb class and 3rd place in the 1300 lb class with the little Gravely.  Jim won 1st in the 1100 lb class and 1300 lb class.

We sold our Mini Rod, Banana (because it was yellow). It was a little hard to let it go.  Got a note from the new owner of Banana and he just loves it.  If you'd like to see a picture of Banana there is one on the home page.  The other Mini Rod "Lone Wolf", owned by our next door neighbor and tractor puller Brian Hoffman, just went to Michigan.  Brian and Lone Wolf got 1st place almost every time they pulled.  We have another garden tractor puller for sale, we are thinning our herd of Deere's.

Isaac Barden is our grandson and a motor head like his dad and grandpa.  Isaac drove in the 1100 lb class with a John Deere 112 powered by a 10 HP diesel engine.  He drove the little Gravely this year in the 1300 lb class too.  Isaac won 1st place in his class at the Rivertown Days garden tractor pull in Hastings MN and at 3 other garden tractor pulls.  He has 6 trophies proudly displayed on his Mom's mantle.  Isaac did pretty well for the 2005 season and is pulling in some other classes this year with some of Jim's garden tractor pullers.  He is a quick learner and likes working on the tractors out in the shop.

Looking for suitcase weights and weight brackets?

Garden Tractor pulling questions and answers:

Garden tractor pull - Isaac on his John Deere 112 powered with a 10 HP diesel engine

Isaac and his John Deere 112
Pulled in the  1100 lb. Class
and won 2nd place. 
Jim won 1st place, it's hard to compete against Grandpa.
 The 112 has a
10 HP Diesel Engine

Garden Tractor pull - John Deere 332 powered by a 20 HP Yanmar diesel engine

Jim and the John Deere 332
It won  1st place in Goodhue
in the 1300 lb class.

 Has a 20 HP Yanmar Engine

Garden Tractor puller for sale

Garden Tractor Puller for sale:  Jim is selling this puller.  It did very well getting 2nd place for 2005  Details:


Garden Tractor Pulling - John Deere 317 garden tractor puller
Jim (Kaz) and the
John Deere

Jim got 1st place in Goodhue

Hopped up Kawasaki
Water Cooled Engine


Garden Tractor pull - Gravely garden tractor puller

Jim and the Gravely

Pulled in 1300 lb class
Rear mounted 20 HP
Kohler engine - Jim won 2nd place and Isaac won 3rd place. Jim got 1st place with the JD 332.  We've been pulling this one since the early 1990's

Garden Tractor Pull - John Deere old style 112 garden tractor puller

Jim and the old style
John Deere 112

Pulls in the 950 lb.
Stock Altered Class
14 HP 1 Cylinder
Kohler Engine

The garden tractor pullers loaded and ready to go to a garden tractor pull

The load ready to leave for Sauk Center MN


Jim went to his first garden tractor pull in 1973 at the Washington County fair in Minnesota.  He pulled with the John Deere 140 that we still use today.  His next garden tractor pull was in Prescott Wisconsin in 1973.  He brought our John Deere 140 and a homebuilt little car/tractor Jim and his dad built when he was in his teens.  He won with both and was hooked after that.

Click this link for a 1992 video clip of the John Deere 317 version of the Geo garden tractor puller on YouTube
And another taken about a month later

If you want to build a garden tractor pulling tractor of your own, give us a call:
 1-800-618-8738.  Or email us: jim@jimsrepairjimstractors.comJim has the engine, tires, weights, and advise you need.  Or maybe you would like to give us some advise!

Garden Tractor Pulling Questions and Answers:

Q: I got a free Sears Custom 10Xl, it is an older model, probably a 1960's. I am wondering if this was a good puller. It has a 3 speed transmission and a 2 speed rear end but it is belt driven because the belt runs from a pulley on the side of the engine to the rear end. Would this make it not a good puller?

A: This tractor is a good puller. Don’t worry about it being a belt drive as that is really no problem.

Q: You mention a HD transmission in your 110 puller. What does that amount to?

A: Yes I took those rear ends or transaxles apart and put in a heavy duty limited slip rear end.

Q: I inherited a 1975 Gravely 816s riding tractor. I just had the transmission rebuilt as well as fixed anything else that wasn't working. I spent far more money than I should have, but now have a rugged "little" garden tractor that is ready for work. They have a garden tractor pull here in August during the Fair and I want to enter the Gravely. I don't know any of the rules at this time but I am only interested in stock...nothing souped up, and I think they do have an event for that. I haven't ever been to a tractor pull (lots of horse pulls though). This gravely has a Briggs and Stratton 16 hp engine (rear mounted), 4 forward speeds and a hi and lo range. Also has wheel weights on the rear wheels. How much weight should I try to pull without damaging the machine, what "technique" would you recommend, ie. is 1st gear, lo range the best or is it better to use a higher gear (can't shift it once it is moving), do you give it full throttle before engaging the transmission, or do you rev it up gradually as you are dragging, etc.? Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.

A: Put the transmission in the high side on your 2 speed rear end. Shift the transmission into second gear. Open your throttle lever wide open. When it is time to take off, then push your clutch lever forward, and watch yourself come into first place. Remember if you start running out of power, do not pull the clutch back. Let it go until you kill the engine. Let me know how things went.

Q: I see that you have used a 10 diesel in a John Deere. I have a 129 cub that I am going to pull in a hydro only class and I am thinking of using the diesel engine.

A: The main thing with a hydro is to listen to your engine and operate the hydro with a nice even change.

Q: I have been debating over the past year about building a tractor for pulling and had a few questions. I have a Craftsman 2 with a 16 HP twin Kohler engine and a 5 speed transmission. I was wondering if this would be a worthwhile tractor to make into a pulling tractor? If so, what gear would I pull in and what RPM would I set the engine at? I also have my eye on a Jacobson but I don't know much about it except that it is big with a 2 speed rear end. If I am able to get the Jacobson, I would like to turn both of them into pulling tractors. I would like to pull at our local fair but I have no idea what class the Craftsman would even pull in?

A: A Sears tractor would be a very good puller. The Jacobson is good also but with hydrostatic transmissions it takes a while to learn how to drive them. Pull in third depending on the weight class you are in. You will have to set the engine RPMs according to a rules of the group you are pulling with.

Q:  I am thinking about entering my completely stock John Deere 112 garden tractor in a stock pulling class in one week. I've never done it before and would like to know a little before I go. Can you give me some hints and tips to get the tractor ready? And also maybe how to pull it. What gear to pull it in and should I use the variable speed lever at all? I have a 10 HP Kohler engine and the 4 speed transmission and like I said, everything is completely stock. Do I need wheelie bars and a kill switch? I'm really not sure what to expect.

A:  First find out the rule on the hitch height. Get it set up to the maximum specified height. Put about 6 lbs in the rear tires. Adjust our engine RPM's up to 4000 or if they let you run wide open, that would be better yet. You need to talk to whoever you are pulling with to find out if you need wheelie bars and a kill switch for safety. Pull the tractor in 3rd gear and put your variable speed lever all the way forward. Then let the clutch out and keep traveling until you hear the engine pulling down a good amount.
Then pull the variable speed lever back 1 notch and be listening to the engine. You maybe have to hurry up and pull it back another notch as you are traveling farther down the track. Do not move it back any more than 1 notch at a time when under a load or the belt may slip. This should take you into a pretty good position of winning if you don't slip out of gear and lose the pull completely. Of course, I'm really not a pulling expert, but that's my advise anyways. Be careful, last fall I was building a puller that didn't have the wheelie bars on it yet and it went over backwards on me and pinned me down. I didn't get hurt too bad but I was hurting.

Q:  I really want to leave the tractor as close to stock as possible. I don't want to make it a full time pull tractor. Is there any way of making a temporary wheelie bar without drilling or welding?

A:  You can just bolt the wheelie bar to the hitch and you would not have to weld it on the tractor. Our club required the wheelie bar.

Q: I was wondering how I would start to build my own garden tractor puller? I have a Tractor but I need some assistance on where to go next.

A: The first thing you need to do is decide what class you want to pull in with whatever garden tractor pulling association you have in your area. You would need to talk to them and get their rules for the class you want to pull in, and then build a tractor for that class.

Q: I am building a pulling rod and want to use a 440 cc Skidoo motor. I would like to use hydrostatic drive so I am looking for a drive that would handle 14000 RPM's. I'm looking for the transmission and rear end. Do you think it would work? My other option is to use a 750 cc Honda bike motor which has a transmission already. Could I link it to a hydrostatic drive?

A: I like my hydros too but the hydro idea will not work or stay together with those high of RPM's. I have run hydros at 5000 to 6000 RPM's and it would not stay together.

Q: I have and old Roper riding tractor and a 14 year old son wanting me to build a puller and I need some advice. I also have a Geo 3 cylinder engine and was thinking of exactly what you did with your John Deere 140. The roper has a 3 speed with a hi and low trans hooked directly to the rear end which looks like it would be pretty tuff but it is belt driven and I was wondering if it would be possible to somehow be able to hook the two together with a clutch and pulley off of the engine with a belt to the trans.

A: If I remember correctly your belt pulley off of the engine is on the right side of your frame rail. It would probably be pretty hard to mount that engine cross ways to your frame rails as that engine is very long.

Q: I have an opportunity to purchase either an MTD garden tractor with a Hydrostatic transmission and a 2 cylinder 18 hp Briggs and Stratton engine or a Jacobsen with hydrostatic transmission and a 16 hp Kohler. Up until I saw your response concerning the use of a Hydrostatic Transmission I was under the impression that only Cub Cadets were suitable for this sport.

A: I would get that Jacobsen if I were you. If I am not mistaken that Jacobsen also has a 2 speed rear end in it. In my opinion only pulling with Cub Cadets is a myth. I've won with all different models and gotten skunked with all different models.

Q: I have a 1860 Cub Cadet hydrostatic drive garden tractor. It quit pulling, I changed the filter and fluid in it but that did not help. Can the hydro pump be rebuilt? I'm looking to find out if any thing can be done to this pump to beef it up so that I may use it in my pulling lawn mower. My friends says it won't hold up in my puller.

A: If this has the same transmission as the 782 Cub Cadet, which is a very good transmission, I will overhaul it for you and send it back to you. This transmission will hold up fine in tractor pulling. I have used that Sundstrand hydro for pulling for years and it does not break down for me.

Q:  Will a John Deere rear end hold up to a 18 Magnum Kohler at stock RPM's?

A:  I have already used that rear end running up to 34 HP and it did O.K. but once in a while we did twist off axles.
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Details on the garden tractor puller for sale:
This is the early 1960's first John Deere garden tractor built.  This unit has a heavy duty 4 speed transmission that works great in tractor pulling.  This garden tractor puller has done very well, it won 2nd place for the entire year.  It has a non stock camshaft in it and is timed different.  The ignition points we are using are the Chevrolet type so can be adjusted accurately.  The connecting rod is converted to the insert type instead of the old Kohler style.  It has a billet built flywheel and has an explosion shield built over the flywheel.  The cylinder head has been planed and is cut at a slight angle.  There is an electric fan mounted on the engine to make it run cooler.  I have a lot of detailed design put into my pulling hitch.  You can adjust the height within 1/8 of an inch.  An electric kill switch is mounted on the back of the tractor puller for the safety shut down.  The wheelie bars are adjustable for loading at 1/2 inch intervals of height changes.  I designed the weight brackets so the tractor puller can be set up for perfect balance.  There is a bracket located on the front of the tractor's belly and also at the rear of the tractor.  This wild engine is set up to run up to 7000 RPM.  The engine started out at a 14 horsepower.  Get this garden tractor puller and you will running at the top of the class.  We put the wheels on the rear of the wheelie bars instead of the obsolete skid plates that plow the ground as you travel.  This puller also has a limited slip rear end system in it.  I did not take the differential and weld the gears together, the cheap way out.  It was done the right (and expensive) way.  I know I will not come close to recovering all the money that went into this garden tractor puller but it should be worth at least $4200, which is what I have invested in the engine.  We are selling it for $2800.  I have aluminum wheels, tires, and suitcase weights available.
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Garden Tractor Pulling - Garden Tractor Pull
 garden tractor pulling border picture