With 70+acres to maintain at Rosslyn, ADK Oasis “Highlawn”, and ADK Oasis “Lakeside”, the John Deere Gator is an omnipresent and much depended upon utility vehicle for us. Whether hauling compost or pulling the wood splitter or chipper; moving fire pits or transporting waterskis, windsurfers, paddle boards, wetsuits and life jackets back-and-forth, to-and-from the boathouse; assisting with peach, apple, and pear harvest or just a quick inspection of the wildlife habitat along Library Brook; our Gators are indispensable.
And so it happens that we decided at the end of last summer that it was time to place an order for a new TH 6×4 John Deere. This workhorse remains one of the best performance utility vehicles in their lineup, and we’ve been fans for a long time. But, speaking of long times, this 6-wheeler wasn’t always a 6-wheeler. What? That’s right, you can see the new arrival above. Two front wheels for steering, and four wheels under the bed to help spread the heavy load and provide reliable 4×4 traction. But if you look at the middle of three John Deere utility vehicles in the first / top image (above) you’ll see that it only has five wheels. That’s right, only one wheel up front.
John Deere Gator Wrangling
For the sake of accuracy it’s worth noting that the 5-wheeler technically isn’t a Gator. It’s a John Deere AMT 626, and it was the oldest of these utility vehicles in our fleet. We actually inherited from my parents when they sold their Rock Harbor home a couple of years ago. It’s vintage! But it was built John Deere tough, and I expect it’s got a good many years still in it.
That said, it wasn’t starting. Not sure why, but it would crank and fail to catch. So we combined delivery of the new Gator with servicing for the AMT 626 and our other 6-wheel Gator. With luck we’ll get good news on the 5-wheeler AND 6-wheeler soon which means we’ll have the chance to re-home the AMT 626. We had good luck re-homing our Husqvarna EZ4824 zero turn mower earlier this summer, so I’m waxing Pollyanna on another opportunity to downsize while helping out a neighbor. Stay tuned.
As it turns out, watching the recovery of the unwilling-to-start AMT 626 was fun, so I posted a short Instagram video update, “Gator Wrangling?!?!” Perhaps my sense of humor (and wonder) is an acquired taste…
In the photo above the older John Deere Gator (left) and the 5-wheel John Deere AMT 626 are loaded onto the flatbed for the journey north to United Ag & Turf for service. Many thanks for the delivery and pickup. And thank you, Mowie (supervising from the Gator bed in the photo below) for supervising.