Huzzas for Branson
Most (if not all) of the compact tractors built these days are well-built. In my area all of the dealers are competent and helpful. We bought the Branson (3510H) for many reasons:
- Much more steel than plastic. It felt heavier, more stable, more durable than others.
- Nothing hanging out below the body/frame (nothing to catch, drag, and wreak havoc).
- Very easy to access all maintenance points (except one zerk that hides from me - or more precisely, hides from my memory).
- Really well-designed 3-point hitch - I can't explain it as well as a dealer could; it's just far, far easier to attach implements than some I've seen.
- Draw bar is a bit longer, more secure and more versatile.
- Adjustable speed on hitch up/down. Surprisingly, not all tractors I tried out had this feature.
- Loader design made it easy and secure to install (weld) hooks for chains/cable/rope for pulling and for securing loads such as brush.
- Visibility from seat over hood better than some tractors.
- Very comfortable, adjustable seat. Less back pain and (hopefully) no more hemorrhoids.
- Intuitive console. It's easy to see everything operational thing I need to know.
- I don't know how other tractors are designed, but on my Branson there are two places to go to control PTO. That's a good thing, because I frequently bump into one of the controls and accidentally put it in the ON position. However, the PTO doesn't spin until I use the other control, as well. That bumping thing is my problem - I'm not very graceful. My wife - and others - don't seem to have that problem.
- Did I mention PRICE? I saved enough over green/yellow and orange and blue tractors to pay for my implements and have enough left over for some tofu. I wanted to have the dealer throw in some cans of paint so I could paint it to look like those other tractors and pretend to have spent more money than I really spent (all that extra money like my neighbors spent) . The dealer refused.
- Warranty. Branson has
- 2 year standard tractor warranty which covers most of the tractor components.
- 4 year limited warranty on the power train/drive train systems
My insignificant gripes:
- Differential lock is awkward to use - the pedal is in the wrong place. I rarely use it, but when I do I wish I could cuss in Korean.
- There are two hydraulic fluid filters. You access them from the underside, and they are aligned vertically. That means that the lower filter blocks direct access to the upper filter. To compound the problem, the lower filter is bigger than the upper, thereby blocking access even more. Fortunately the filters don't need changing often.
- Getting in and out of the starboard side of the cockpit is awkward. So I have to pretend it's a horse and always mount/dismount on the left side. Don't get me wrong - it's quite doable for someone younger, looser, and less clumsy than I am.
- It's so good at what we ask it to do, and so comfortable - I have to get up early to get to Mighty Mo (our Branson) before my wife does (we each have our own projects and tasks). My gripe is having to get up early.
- No matter how great a guy my dogs think I am - smart, generous, handsome, etc. - I still have to write a check for it every month.
What might I change?
- On the hitch, one side link is hydraulic. While the other side link and the top link are manually adjustable, I'd like to make all 3 hydraulic. My lovely bride grades gravel roads. To fine tune the grading you can make adjustments to how the 'land plane' works - but the manual adjustments are a pain. By the way, to see a land plane-type grader in action, check YouTube. Here's one of the videos: Land Pride Grading Scrapers - YouTube
- Add something so that I can carry essential tools with me. The Branson has two small tool trays built in, but the tool I need is always in the Branson Tools Tool Box (not an official Branson device) in the shop. Since we grow trees, when in the woods I often need various tools, , chains, cables, snatch blocks, a chain saw (and tool box, bar oil, etc.), pruners, and such. I use the FEL to schlep those around - unless I'm using the FEL for working instead of being an expensive cart.
Most of the compacts from reputable dealers are good enough. I think Branson is far better than good enough. Of course if you ask me 5000 miles from now my attitude might be different. And your hourage may vary.
Re: Huzzas for Branson
SandyBeach, you have my sympathies on the tractor, my wife is the same way, I am not allowed to drive even the lawn mower except on the hills. Getting up early is a pain, especially as the coffee is still perking. I bought the wife her own tractor finally just to get to use mine, this holds water until snow flys, then she wants the cab. Darn women...
[QUOTE=sandybeach;2994740]Most (if not all) of the compact tractors built these days are well-built. In my area all of the dealers are competent and helpful. We bought the Branson (3510H) for many reasons:
Thank you for the interesting and witty review of the Branson 35. I hope you will keep us updated with frequent additions.
Rod in Forfar, Ontario
'95 TAFE 351DI
'81 Bolens G174
'60 Massey Ferguson 35 (Perkins)
'47 Massey Harris 30
'04 Polaris Ranger TM
By the time I'd figured out how to do it, the job was done.