Who Makes Bolens Lawn Tractors: Industry Insider Information

Did you know that Bolens, a brand cherished by many garden enthusiasts, has a history dating back to 1850? Surprisingly, despite the common belief that Bolens tractors are no longer in production, they are still active under the Garden Way and Troy-Bilt names​​.

This post will explore the fascinating history of Bolens lawn tractors, detailing their journey through various acquisitions and their current status in the market. You will discover everything you need to know about the manufacturers behind Bolens, providing clarity and insight into one of the most respected names in outdoor power equipment.

Keynote: Who Makes Bolens Lawn Tractors?

Bolens lawn tractors, known for their durability and innovation, were manufactured by MTD Products Inc. until around 2010. The Bolens brand continues under MTD’s umbrella, offering reliable outdoor power equipment through brands like Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet.

History of Bolens Lawn Tractors

Bolens was established in 1850 in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Initially, the company focused on producing agricultural equipment, marking the beginning of a long and innovative journey in the outdoor power equipment industry​​.

Introduction of Key Products:

  • 1919: Bolens introduced the first power-driven garden tractor, revolutionizing the way gardens were maintained​ (TractorData)​.
  • 1947: The company launched its first compact tractor, which quickly became popular for its efficiency and ease of use​ (TractorData)​​ (MTD Products)​.

Acquisition History

In 1987, Bolens was acquired by Garden Way, a company known for its high-quality outdoor power equipment​​.

In 2001, Garden Way, including the Bolens brand, was purchased by MTD Products Inc., a major manufacturer of outdoor power equipment founded in 1932​​. MTD has since continued to produce Bolens equipment, maintaining its reputation for durability and performance​​.

Current Manufacturer(s) of Bolens Lawn Tractors

Bolens lawn tractors were manufactured by MTD Products Inc. until around 2010​​. MTD, a significant player in the outdoor equipment industry, continued to produce Bolens equipment under its brand umbrella.

MTD Products Inc., founded in 1932, is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. Known for its innovation and quality, MTD produces a wide range of products, including lawn tractors, mowers, and garden tools. Over the years, MTD has acquired several well-known brands, including Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, and Craftsman​​.

Branding and Product Line Changes

MTD phased out the Bolens brand around 2010. The decision to discontinue the Bolens line was influenced by market dynamics and the strategic focus on consolidating their product lines under stronger, more recognized brands like Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet​​.

Current Lawn Tractor Lines by MTD

Today, MTD’s product lineup includes lawn tractors under the Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet brands, which can be considered the successors of the Bolens tractors. These brands continue the legacy of quality and reliability that Bolens was known for, providing modern features and innovations to meet the needs of today’s consumers​.

Where to Find Bolens Lawn Tractors (New or Used)

Authorized Dealers and Online Presence

Although new Bolens lawn tractors are no longer produced, similar models under the MTD brand can be found through authorized dealers. MTD’s website provides a dealer locator to help you find local retailers carrying their current product lines, such as Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet.

Manufacturer’s Website for Direct Sales

Visit the MTD Products Inc. website to explore their current range of lawn tractors. While you won’t find new Bolens tractors, you can purchase similar models directly through their site or locate authorized dealers​.

Online Marketplaces

Used Bolens lawn tractors can be found on various online marketplaces, including eBay. These platforms offer a wide range of models and conditions, allowing you to find the right tractor for your needs​ (Joy of Mowing)​. Websites like Sam’s Bolens, LLC also specialize in vintage and used Bolens equipment, providing detailed listings and parts​ (TractorData)​.

Local Dealerships or Repair Shops

Check with local lawn equipment dealerships or repair shops. These businesses often have used equipment for sale or can point you to local sellers who specialize in Bolens tractors.

Note on Potential Scams

When purchasing used tractors, be cautious of potential scams. Ensure you verify the seller’s credibility, request detailed photos, and, if possible, inspect the tractor in person before finalizing the purchase. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, as they often are​.

Parts and Service for Bolens Lawn Tractors

You can obtain parts for Bolens lawn tractors through the MTD Products website, which offers a comprehensive catalog of parts for various models. MTD provides detailed part numbers and descriptions to help you find the exact components you need​.

Authorized dealers are another reliable source for Bolens parts. They can provide OEM parts and ensure compatibility, especially for older models that may have specific requirements. Dealers often have access to parts catalogs and can order directly from the manufacturer if needed​.

For servicing your Bolens lawn tractor, authorized MTD dealers and service departments are your best bet. These professionals are trained to handle Bolens equipment and have access to the necessary parts and tools to perform repairs and maintenance​.

Independent repair shops that specialize in lawn tractors can also provide service for Bolens models. Websites like Sam’s Bolens, LLC, offer directories and resources to locate experienced repair shops in your area. These shops often have a wealth of experience with older Bolens models and can provide expert service and advice​.

Alternatives to Bolens Lawn Tractors

When exploring alternatives to Bolens lawn tractors, several reputable brands come to mind:

John Deere

John Deere is renowned for its durability, advanced features, and robust performance. Their lawn tractors are equipped with powerful engines and offer a wide range of models to suit different property sizes​.


Husqvarna is another trusted name in outdoor power equipment. Known for their reliability and innovative designs, Husqvarna lawn tractors are a solid choice for homeowners looking for efficient and durable machines​.

Cub Cadet

Cub Cadet, a brand under MTD Products, continues the legacy of producing high-quality lawn tractors. They offer various models with features that cater to both residential and commercial users​.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lawn Tractor

The size of your property is a crucial factor. Larger properties typically require lawn tractors with more powerful engines and wider cutting decks to ensure efficient mowing​.

Your budget will determine the range of options available. While premium brands like John Deere might be more expensive, they offer long-term value through durability and advanced features. Mid-range brands like Cub Cadet provide a good balance between cost and performance.

Consider the features you need, such as hydrostatic transmission for smoother rides, zero-turn capabilities for better maneuverability, and attachments like baggers or mulchers. Assessing these features against your needs will help you choose the right lawn tractor.

Final Thought

The story of Bolens lawn tractors is a testament to the enduring legacy of innovation and quality in outdoor power equipment. From their humble beginnings in 1850 to their integration into MTD Products, Bolens has left an indelible mark on the industry. While the brand itself may no longer be active, its spirit lives on through the reliable and innovative products of MTD’s current lineup​.

As you consider your next lawn tractor purchase, reflect on the rich history and evolution of brands like Bolens. Their journey reminds us that quality and innovation are timeless values in any industry. Whether you choose a modern equivalent or explore alternatives, the legacy of Bolens offers valuable insights into what makes a great lawn tractor​.

Bolens Lawn Tractors (FAQs)

Are Bolens mowers any good?

Yes, Bolens mowers are known for their durability and affordability. They provide solid performance for basic lawn care needs. Customers appreciate their ease of use and low maintenance requirements​.

What is FMC Bolens?

FMC Bolens refers to the period when Bolens was owned by the Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation (FMC). FMC acquired Bolens in 1946 and managed the brand until it was sold to Garden Way in 1987​.

What does MTD mower stand for?

MTD stands for Modern Tool and Die Company. Founded in 1932, MTD is a major manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, including lawn mowers and garden tractors​.

What are the key features that distinguish Bolens lawn tractors from other brands?

Bolens lawn tractors are known for their durability and affordability. They offer reliable engines, sturdy construction, and user-friendly designs. These features make them a popular choice for homeowners seeking efficient and cost-effective lawn care solutions​.

Are there any specific maintenance tips recommended for Bolens lawn tractors?

Yes, regular maintenance is crucial. Change the oil and air filter annually, and keep the blades sharp. Clean the mower deck after each use to prevent grass buildup and inspect belts for wear regularly to ensure optimal performance​.

How did the Bolens name come to be associated with innovative outdoor power equipment?

The Bolens name became synonymous with innovative outdoor power equipment due to their early adoption of new technologies, such as the first power-driven garden tractor introduced in 1919​.

What was unique about the Bolens Estate Keeper?

The Bolens Estate Keeper, introduced post-World War II, featured a compact design that was ahead of its time, making it ideal for tight yard spaces​.

Who were the founders of the Bolens Company?

The Bolens Company was founded by Harry Bolens and John Gilson in 1850 in Port Washington, Wisconsin. They initially focused on agricultural equipment.

What role did the Bolens Husky play in the company’s history?

The Bolens Husky, particularly the models released in the mid-20th century, were renowned for their durability and power, helping establish Bolens as a leader in the lawn tractor market.

What was significant about the introduction of the first hydrostatic transmission by Bolens?

Bolens introduced the first hydrostatic transmission in lawn tractors, allowing for smoother and more efficient speed control, setting a new standard in the industry​.

How did World War II impact Bolens’ production and innovation?

After World War II, Bolens ramped up production and introduced new designs like the Estate Keeper, meeting new demands for efficient yard care equipment​.

What happened to Bolens under the ownership of FMC Corporation?

Under FMC Corporation, Bolens continued to innovate, introducing products like the first mulching mower design and hydrostatic transmissions. This period also saw the company expand its product line and market reach​.

How did Bolens become a worldwide leader in the production of outdoor equipment?

Bolens became a worldwide leader in outdoor equipment production through its progressive engineering program and innovative products, such as the Estate Keeper and HP engine tractors. Their focus on quality and efficiency helped them gain a global reputation.

What was the significance of the PTO in Bolens’ power equipment?

The Power Take-Off (PTO) in Bolens’ power equipment allowed for easy attachment and use of various tools like tillers and snow blowers, enhancing versatility and productivity for Americans using their products.

How did International Harvester contribute to the specialization of Bolens products?

International Harvester’s influence on Bolens products led to a focus on specialization, particularly in developing high-horsepower engines and speed transmissions, which improved the performance and appeal of Bolens tractors and power equipment.

What innovations did Bolens introduce to meet everyday yard care needs?

Bolens introduced several innovations, including advanced steering systems and the integration of Eaton speed transmissions, to meet everyday yard care needs. These features, along with their big tractor designs, made Bolens a preferred choice for homeowners seeking reliable and powerful equipment.

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