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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD 450C Trackloader w/ backhoe

    Default Implement Selection

    I'm early on in the process of rationalizing the purchase of a CUT. What follows is my attempt to distill some of the salient wisdom I've gleaned from reading a few thousand TBN posts. Mind you, I haven't even sat on a CUT yet, so I'd appreciate comments and criticisms of my conclusions from those that have.

    <font color=green>Overview:</font color=green> Tractor will be used to maintain/improve a 13 acre (half heavily wooded, half lawn with pond) property. Lots of tops and branches remain on the property from previous timbering.

    <font color=green>Specific Objectives:</font color=green> Mowing, snow clearing (400ft flat driveway), garden prep, utility &amp; drainage installs, lawn area prep, log/branch clean up, stump removal, dirt road/trail maintenance, landscaping projects.

    <font color=green>Considerations:</font color=green> In general, for these projects, I'm willing to use a piece of equipment that is capable, but perhaps not optimal, for the tasks. i.e. I realize it may take a long time to get some stumps out. I'd like not to spend more than I have to, but equally, I'd like to not end up being disappointed in having purchased an undersized piece of equipment for my projects. I've been looking primarily at the BX22 and the JD 4210.

    <font color=green>Preliminary Conclusions:</font color=green> My approach has been to try to identify the implements/attachements I require and then buy the tractor necessary to operate them.

    The implements I think I need are: mower, loader, backhoe, snow blower, tiller, lawn rake with blade, and a chipper/shreader. In detail:

    1) Mower: I'm torn between getting a mid-mount mower (better finish, less ground clearance) and a 3pt finish mower (worse finish, attach/detach hassle, better clearance, easier to mow pond edges).

    2) Loader: The consensus seems to be that everyone should have one of these and that 2-3 chain hooks should be welded on, the bucket reinforced, and a toothbar added. It isn't clear to me whether the toothbar should be welded or bolted on. Is there a time when it would be adventageous to remove the toothbar? The BX22 lift capacity of 400+ lbs seems marginal (five 80lb bags of concrete mix max)? Should that be a concern?

    3) Backhoe: Everyone that has one seems to think they're a blast... what other justification do you need? Seriously, trenching and stump removal would seem to make this a necessity.

    4) Snow blower: Any concerns about winter operation of a CUT?

    5 &amp; 6) Tiller &amp; Lawn rake w/ blade: It seems like this combination would obviate the need for a box blade. The tiller would seem to be appropriate for the garden prep, the lawn area prep (a one time thing), and for helping smooth/maintain the dirt roads/trails. The lawn rake helps with leaves and the constant branches from the "weed trees" near the pond, and the blade smooths the dirt roads that have been tilled.

    7) Chipper/Shredder: There are lots of tops and piles of branches around here so this seems like an obvious answer. We can use the mulch for landscaping beds and the trails. My understanding is that the BX22 is rather small for this attachment so I'd likely be limited to chipping logs up to 4" or 5". Any reason I couldn't split and then chip larger logs that wouldn't make good firewood?


    I'd be grateful for answers to any of the questions I've posed, thoughts on other things I should be considering, and the like. This forum is indeed a wonderful resource...

    - Mark

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,750
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    Welcome to the forum! Your uses sound similar to mine. 145 acres of hardwood forest from which I harvest firewood, 7 acres of meadow with pond and fruit trees, much harsh winter weather with deep snow. Let me address your specifics from my POV:

    First, I think you need a larger tractor. When moving heavy stuff, or doing serious digging, mass is king. I started out with a 20hp kubota and quickly realized it was too little tractor for what I needed it to do. Ended up trading up to an L3010, which does a great job.

    Mower: If you think mounting a 3PH finish mower is a hassle, wait till you mount and dismount a MMM a few times! Have had them both, and I vastly prefer the rear discharge mower for finish work. Easier to mount, better finish (mine is a rear discharge mower, so I'm left with none of those nasty windrows to clean up), and much easier to mow under branches and around obstructions.

    Loader: Wouldn't be caught dead without one. Since I use the FEL to smooth a lot, I don't use a toothbar. But an FEL with minimal lift is frustrating. This is one reason I think you'd be happier with a larger tractor. The B2910 or L3010/3410 from Kubota, the 4300 from JD, and the equivalent offerings from HN, MF and Kioti would give you much more in this area.

    Backhoe: Love mine. My absolute favorite implement in the world. Mine runs off the tractor hydraulics, so I avoided the hassle and wear &amp; tear of a PTO-driven pump. But considering how much my ballasted L3010 gets tossed around when using it, can't imagine using one on a smaller tractor.

    Snow blower and use in winter: My neighbor is a ski resort, so we get plenty of snow. Nevertheless, I have yet to see a single snowblower in use except for the little hand-steered models. Probably because most of our snow comes 2-3" at a time...and the three large snow dumps each winter can't justify a blower. I use my rear blade to plow snow into piles, and the FEL to push those piles out of the way. Works fine. As for winter operation: dress warmly, get a block heater, and let your tractor warm up thoroughly before using.

    Rake: I got one for the junk branches you mentioned, but found that they fall at such a slow rate it's less time consuming to simply pick them up by hand when they fall. I suppose I could let them accumulate for a couple of months, but then the grass would hide them. Besides, if they're small enough I simply mow them into pieces. But I do use my rake to dethatch the meadow in early spring, to derock my road and driveways on occasion, and to rake up leaves in the fall.

    Rear blade: Mine sees a lot of use: snowplowing, sculpting my winter luge run, crowning the road, and even plowing the garden under.

    Tiller and chipper: Trying to convince the wife we need a tiller. Not having much luck. But after I "till" her garden expansion with the backhoe she might change her mind! A shredder I can't justify. Burn piles are much less expensive and easier to maintain.

    Hope this helps. Sorry to have been so long winded.

    Pete in northern Vermont

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    102
    Location
    Northeast OH
    Tractor
    TC33D

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    I live in the snow belt of NE ohio (lake effect snow) and I've never needed a snow blower, just the rear blade and FEL. I do think that a larger tractor should be considered. I have a similar property doing the same tasks as you describe. Stumps once freed up can be very heavy to move. I believe the larger tractor will offer more traction and FEL ablity to help with snow removal and the stump removal. I just ordered a New Holland TC33D with a BH so this will be my first backhoe[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]. Just sold my JD950 with FEL. 3PT mower much easier to take on and off as compared to MMM and to back along pond and tree edges. I too am thinking about a chipper, there seems to be a lot of good things mentioned about the DR chippers, I don't want to tie my tractor up with a 3PT model. Good luck, your sure to find all the information that you need on this forum

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    856
    Location
    South West Pa/Greene county
    Tractor
    Long/Landtrac360DTC

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth here.

    1. As far as mowers, a mid mount is not an option for me as my Long Landtrac 360DTC does not support one. Even if it did I think I would go with the rear finish mower for ease of attachment/removal. Mowing the yard was not what I had in mind when I purchased my tractor any way, I have a Sears lawn tractor that does thid job fine.

    2. Go with a bolt-on toothbar, there are many applications where it is easier with a smooth edge, while the tooth bar makes digging with the loader much easier. The only thing difficult about attaching/removing the toothbar is the weight. It takes a little grunting to manuver it into and out of posistion to attach/remove.

    3. I have a backhoe, and I just love it. I find myself thinking up projects just to use it.

    4. In my area, southwestern Pa, the snowblower would just be an expensive "white elephant." I have yet to get enough snow that I couldn't remove it with the backblade and the loader.

    5. I wouldn't recomend a tiller for road work. You usually want a hard packed surface with gravel embedded, I think the tiller would defeat this by constantly softening the road surface. If you plan on a large garden, the tiller will be great for that.

    6. I plan on purchasing a chipper/shredder within the next few months, but I consider anything over 2" diameter to be firewood, either for heating or campfires, so I wouldn't feel it nessisary to chip any thing larger.

    I would definitly go for something larger, for the added weight and horsepower.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    582
    Location
    Seattle area
    Tractor
    JD 855 4WD, HST

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    Puter,

    It sounds like you do need a little more oomph than you are looking at. I'm sure either of the machines you mentioned would be sufficient but I think you may want more HP.

    I would agree with the others as far as mowers go. Although I don't have either a 3PH mower (yet) or a belly mower everything I've gleaned from the experts here suggests that the rear finish mower is clearly the better choice if you have enough room to maneuver. I read many horror stories about how much of a pain the belly mower can be to put on and take off.

    I think you might want either a box blade or a rear blade to do your dirt road/trail maintenance.

    You might want a bush hog of some sort as well to help clear off those projected trail areas.

    The FEL is a must in my opinion.

    Definitely get the backhoe if you have the extra money. I would love to have one of those. Good luck


  6. #6
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,522
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    In my opinion, you are getting excellent advice so far. Hope I don't change that with my comments. Go with more HP, (my suggestion would be the Deere 4310 or 4410, or its equivalent which to me depends on the dealer that you can work with), and go for a FEL (with forks), a front blade (or rear as a second choice), removable bucket teeth, a HD bucket that doesn't need additional beefing up, and an i-match 3pt (or equivalent). For the tiller, I would initially rent to decide if purchase is necessary. For chipping, I would wait and see if removing firewood (2" and up) and burning brush piles (using the forks and bucket to pile) would suffice (no chips though). The backhoe will be something you can always use.

    But regardless of the above decisions, have the dealer show (not just describe) how the attachments go on and off. I know how the Deere FEL quickly and easily is removed and hooked up, how the i-match 3pt attachments are easy, I hear that the Backhoe is relatively easy, and I know the MMM is easy (I would initially go with the 3pt rear mower and move to MMM later if needed). Good luck and have fun.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD 450C Trackloader w/ backhoe

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    Thanks to all for the responses. The strong concensus seems to be to look at a larger tractor... so I'll do some more reading.

    I'd concluded (perhaps erroneously) that you can expect to spend an extra 2K or so for each level you step up in tractor size. That doesn't seem to hold once you throw a backhoe into the mix. Unless I'm missing something, stepping up from the BX22 and getting a backhoe is going to be a 5K+ proposition. I understand a JD 4310 w/ FEL &amp; BH would be 27-28K. That's a pretty hefty jump.

    If my understanding is correct, the rationale for getting a larger tractor (in my case) has as much or more to do with the increased tractor weight than the additional HP. The B2410 ups the loader capacity quite a bit (770 lbs), wouldn't that be a good alternative to the larger 2710/2910s?

    If I can be more of a bother, I have a couple other questions.

    1) The mid-PTO specs all cite RPM figures that are faster than the rear PTO RPMs by a factor of 4 or so. How does that translate into mowing performance for MMMs vs. 3pt mowers?

    2) The consensus seems to be that the snowblower is an unnecessary expense for one that has both a blade and the FEL. I'd been looking at a combo land rake with flip down blade and was wondering if that'll be sufficient for snow removal or if I should be looking at separate, perhaps heavier implements?

    Thanks again for the help.

    - Mark

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,750
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    Puter -- Yes, getting a heavier tractor with bh will be a significant jump in price. But going too small comes with a price, too. I wanted a Grande-L series tractor. The wife said an ATV would have to do. We bought a Honda Foreman. Nice piece of equipment, but it couldn't do the job. So we bought a kubota B1750. Nice piece of equipment, but it couldn't do the job. So finally we bought a Kubota L3010. Great piece of machinery, but of course all the 1750 implements were too small and had to be replaced. Cost me in the long run big time, although the B1750 itself sold for $500 more than I had originally paid for it.

    The JD is a nice tractor, but it's a new line. If you look at a line that's longer in the tooth -- like the L-series Kubota -- you might save several thousand off that price. Sort of like when Dodge revolutionized the style of their pickups a few years ago all the other brands had to lower their prices to remain attractive...

    Your other questions:
    1) Implements designed for the mid-PTO are geared differently. You will find no difference in performance related to the faster PTO speed.

    2)Depends on how much snow you get. If you deal with significant amounts, moldboard height will become a significant factor. Some of the cheaper rear blades and rake/blade combos have only about a foot of moldboard height, and the snow goes right over the top. I use a LandPride 3572 with a 17"+ height, and it does a great job.

    Email me if you need some .jpg files. Good luck. Pete

  9. #9
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    I live in a high snow area and use a 7 foot backblade just fine. More versatile implement since you can use it on other things too. Snowblower is pretty expensive and dedicated only to snow.

    ditto on going bigger. I have 11 acres 27 hp and that's just about right. I'd be looking at least at a 25-30hp if I were you. L3010 would be perfect.

    backhoe - nice but you can get that later as finances permit. Worry about the tractor first and add implements as you can. Also unless you have a lot of backhoe work you can rent/hire a lot of work for the $6000 a backhoe is going to cost you.

    mower - personally I bought a separate lawn tractor for $1200 to mow about 1.25 acres of finish lawn. Cheaper than a rear finish mower, a LOT cheaper than a mid mount, and more maneuverable. If I had large open grass and was that concerned with finish cut I'd probably get a 5 or 7 gang reel mower. Better cut and faster

    Loader is a must

    stump removal - see wroughtn harv's stump removal gadget. Great concept and simple/cheap to make

    You should be able to get a 30hp gear w/ loader for under $17K or there-abouts.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    30
    Location
    Wilson NC
    Tractor
    Several

    Default Re: Implement Selection

    You are getting some really good avise from others, and without bias.
    Now mine will be biased but I believe I state facts: a belly mount mower ( and we have consdered strongly to build them ) is MUCH more expensive per lb and working width than a rear mount. I use the rule of thumb of 50% higher ( and no better mowing ).
    Also I have been told many times that clearance is often minimal. You bog down with one of your tractor tinres and now ytou have to worry about the mower clearance.

    Ever since the introduction of FOUR wheel rear mowers and floating-adjustable-clevis-type hitchblocks on them, it has been downhill for Belly Mounts.

    In their defense: you only run over uncut grass with the front tires of the tractor. But, the newer UPLIFT blades on mowers take care of that.

    Choices of Rear Mounts: some 35 brands...Choices of Belly units often no more than THE one provided by the tractor brand you will fit it on. Get the picture on pricing ?

    Make your dealer price the belly unit SEPERATELY when you evaluate cost and then you can compare apples with apples.

    Whatever you decide enjoy it !

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