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Really nice site, and I am a new member. As I kick back and eat my lunch, I could not have imagined that Wheel Horse Tractor owners would have such a cool and well-organized place to ‘meet’ despite being out of production for so long. My name is Ron and I have a 1979 C-81. It has a WH pull-behind cart as well as a snow plow with chains, weights, etc..
The tractor belonged to my grandfather, who purchased it new in 1979 for just over $1,100.00. Some of my best memories are learning to drive it (barely reaching the pedals) and trying to understand the difference between the clutch and brake. I believe at one point it had a lawn sweeper, which eventually just dragged and made skid marks across the lawn until it was retired.
My grandfather drove this tractor year-round for 7 years until he passed away. In the winter it was plowing and hauling logs to the house, in the spring it aerated, fall it mulched, summer it mowed. The C-81 always remained at his house and in my family.
The most interesting part (or at least interesting to me) is that for the last 39 years, this mower has been in-service without missing one season. It has never been out of commission. To this day, we have it picked up for service every year and it is still running on its original 8hp Kohler Engine and cuts just over an acre of lawn. The only major replacements were pulley bearings for the blade deck and a starter motor. It is ultra-quiet and never strains while performing its tasks. So, when you look at the picture, you probably see a beat up old machine, but I can assure you that is a tried-and-true Wheel Horse used year-round for nearly 4 decades and maintained as best we thought possible. It’s a testament to a reliable and powerful brand.
That said, I have decided to lessen the workload on this machine and perhaps get another Wheel Horse as a tribute to my Pop. The main issue is that the cutting deck on this machine is between 32-34” (I believe) and it takes a long time to cut the lawn. (although I enjoy the peaceful feeling of doing it, it’s not conducive with my day job). The secondary issue is that this is a rear-discharge deck. I’d like to somehow bag the clippings for most of my cuts in order to feed my mulch/compost pile. I’m open for suggestions as to what model would be best. I do have some hills (a few steep).
One final note…
I’d love to crown this C-81 with a new (or comparable) seat. My goal is to get one as close to original as possible, with the same bolt patterns. I can provide photos if needed. Any help would be appreciated. Again, glad to be a part of this community, and please bear with me as I get used to navigating this site.
Thanks for reading.
Decided to sell the 314-8, wife wants to mow the lawn more and doesn't like shifting gears. It's a 97 or 98(i don't remember off top of my head) 314-8 hour meter says it has 261 hours but it's broken so if I had to estimate the hours I would 600-800. Mechanically very strong with no issues, I've used it weekly to mow my lawn for the last couple of years. Comes with a 37" side discharge deck and bagger setup if you want it(not pictured). Only trades I'm really interested in would be a full hydro tractor. Let me know if you have any questions.