My experience with Wheel Horse began several years ago when I bought a used 312H. I heard the Wheel Horse name but didn't know much about them. They are not nearly as popular in Canada. I had owned two IH tractors before, a Cub Cadet 149, built like a tank and a Farmall Cub.
I saw the Economy/Power King tractors in Michigan back in the 70's but the difference in our dollar and import duties made bringing one to Canada too expensive.
I was uncertain of the Wheel Horse belt drive but my 312 turned out to be a great little tractor. The Kohler Magnum never let me down and nothing ever slipped. I was impressed with the simplicity of the Wheel Horse design.
Eight years ago we moved to a larger property, 1 1/2 acres, I wanted a bigger tractor. I checked out other Wheel Horse models deciding on a 520. I considered a 60 inch deck, bidding on eBay without success. Finally I found a very clean 416H in Lancaster PA. with 300 hours on it. I mowed with it for 4 years. It was awesome! Loved the sound of the Onan.
Shortly after buying the 416, I came across a 520 here in Ontario, I bought it too thinking I would sell the 416. I sold the 312, kept the 520 and the 416, both had 48" decks. My 520 was a 1990 so it did not have the gear reduction steering. I liked the 416 better and sold the 520. Within weeks my 416 lost power. We tore it down to find the valve seat popped right out of the block. The repair estimate was ball parked at $2200.00. This was the first engine I ever had completely fail.
I was upset at the Onan/Wheel Horse. I sold the rolling chassis and all my bits and pieces includng my cart. I bought a used John Deere 265. I felt the JD 265 was comparable to W/H. I did not want a box store tractor. I cut with the JD for a few weeks but did not like the cut. It had the upgraded 48" 3 in 1 mower deck. I did not like the 6 points of attachment for the deck. The design was much more complicated than a Wheel Horse deck. The Kawasaki 17 HP was a great engine but overall the JD was no comparison to the Wheel Horse. I decided I needed another Wheel Horse.
This time, not wanting any more Onan issues I searched for the latest hydro Wheel Horse made with a Kohler engine, a '97 314H. I watched ebay and went to my first Wheel Horse Show in PA. I learned about R/S. I also got to see a lot of 16 HP Kohler singles there. I joined R/S and later found a 314H for sale in CT. It was a long drive but it was exactly what I wanted an in great condition. Later I bought a 416-8 for the M16 and it was fitted with 10.50 rear wheels. In the same trip I added a two stage snow blower, a 520 front end, gear reduction steering, front hubs, a pair of Vredestein front tires, 10.50 AG's with rims and cast iron wheel weights. I transformed my 314H into a custom Wheel Horse then added Matt 860's motion pedal kit.
The 14 Kohler now powers the 416 chassis. The 16 Kohler makes a noticable difference combined with the Eaton 1100. I have two 48" decks, a single stage thrower as well as a modified dozer blade. I've added a custom light kit, class II hitch and suitcase weights when necessary.
I enjoy this site and have learned a lot from the members here making some friends along the way.
REDSQUARE is a great resource which I support.