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  1. #1
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    Default JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the forum and to tractors/farm equipment in general. I have owned a diesel Dodge truck for many years so I do have some understanding of the differences between diesel and gas.

    My wife and I are buying a small horse property here in Albuquerque that already has the arena/paddocks/grass turnout/barn/landscaping and house in place (2+ acres) and we will only need a piece of equipment for utility chores, arena/paddock dragging, hauling hay/manure etc.

    We have pretty much decided on the arena drag below (5.5' model) and will need something capable, sturdy and long-lasting to do the pulling. As you can see, the manufacturer suggests something with a minimum of 20 hp to tow this 390 lb drag.

    Arena Rascal® Pro Best Selling ATV UTV Arena Drag

    We had originally looked at the smaller JD tractors, but after thinking about our needs, we decided that a multi-purpose piece of equipment would be a better choice and we have our sights set on a Gator. In looking at the current models, the standard lineup seems to be limited by HP (topping out at 21) and appears to be marginally capable of hauling the drag day in and day out.

    With increased hp, he crossover XUV line seems to better fit our requirements. I see that the 825i has ~ 50 HP and will go 44 mph. This certainly would tow the drag, but it seems like overkill for my needs. The 855D is the diesel version but with reduced hp (23), so I seem to be back to being just over manufacturer's hp recommendations for the drag.

    So the basic question is - what Gator model would you guys recommend for the person looking for a real workhorse with lots of low-end torque/HP to pull heavy pieces of equipment? Should I be asking more about torque than hp? I like both gas and diesel, so that would not be a limitation. I just want to make sure that we buy a vehicle that won't be challenged by the basic chores around the house.

    Thanks for your help. This is a great forum!

    Steffan

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    May 2009
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    785
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    International 2544 / Gator 825i

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    I'd go with the 825i....you generally don't hear anyone complaining about too much power. They have a nice torquey engine that does pretty well. I just finished grading the driveway with a DR power grader and my 825i...it worked well but I was surprised at how many rpms it was turning while I was pulling the grader...4K

  3. #3
    Elite Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    3,208
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    north of upstate ny
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    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    You need a small tractor not a sxs.I don;t believe it will last with continued pulling of heavy equiptment.The 825's are hard on gas just driveing around and they have a small tank.Yes we do have one in the family.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    May 2006
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    268
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    tennessee
    Tractor
    kubota 95x zd331 rtvx1100, Polaris ranger xp900, m274a2 military mule

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    It looks like that arena drag was built to pulled an atv or utv. I would think either gator would handle the job.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member BarryinMN's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
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    860
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    Minnesota
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    JD, Allis-Chalmers, Zetor

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    I use a diesel 6 wheel gator for dragging just about everything an actual drag cleaning up lakefront developments on steep slopes, an old steel beam hoop for levelling, rock drags, once a Ford Taurus out of a ditch, innumerable trailers up to 4k lbs, it's not nearly as fast as a newer gas machine but I've never had a lack of power.

    I should point out it is an old one with about 15 hp & 15 mph, excellent for letting now 6 kids learn to drive on trails thru the woods on the farm.
    Last edited by BarryinMN; 09-09-2012 at 08:18 PM.
    Veneer Tree Farmer

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    May 2009
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    785
    Location
    Maine
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    International 2544 / Gator 825i

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    You need a small tractor not a sxs.I don;t believe it will last with continued pulling of heavy equiptment.The 825's are hard on gas just driveing around and they have a small tank.Yes we do have one in the family.
    A side by side can pull in low range like nothing....I can't imagine any of the work type machines not holding up to it. (Gator or RTV)

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Dec 2003
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    9,268
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L3830

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    I own a Gator 6x4. I do not think the transmission in a gator is designed for ground engaging euipment use. I have never used mine for ground engaging equipment work but have tried pulling a couple of things. For pulling one had better have the bed on the gator full or near full to obtain all the down force weight possible. With the bed full and the gator coupled to something heavy with a chain for towing the belt will start to slip. With the bed empty the wheels spin. I would suggest a small cut with a loader and weight box.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    Thanks guys,

    I really appreciate all of the input. I will have to continue gathering as much data as possible before making this decision, including calling the arena drag manufacturer, as their website contains youtube videos that show smaller ATV/Utility vehicles being used. I'm just worried about daily use and potentially wearing out an expensive vehicle.
    What is really bad is that we don't need a tractor for 95% of what we will be doing. I really can't see expanding the budget from $12k (Gator) to $32k (Gator + 2520). There has to be one vehicle that can be used to haul a few people, some equipment and a few hay bales etc and still drag an arena.

    Any other input would be much appreciated. Should I be looking to other manufacturers?

    Thanks again,

    Steffan

  9. #9
    Member
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    Smarley,

    Did you mean to limit the discussion to a Gator? When it comes to tractors and other farm equipment, I'm a huge supporter of John Deere, in fact I have four JD farm tractors and a JD Garden tractor. The Gator is a very fine machine. The Gators use the CVT drive system which is a variable speed belt drive system with belt pulley(s) that adjust in thickness that effectively changes the pulley diameter. The CVT works wonderful as long as the system stays dry. These days the higher end UTVs maintain the CVT dry. The CVT has been used since the 1940s. John Deere used the CVT for many years on combines. All UTVs except Honda and kubota use the CVT. Honda uses a three speed autotive type automatic transmission. The Kubota RTV 500, 900, 1100 and 1140 use a hydrostatic transmission used in there small tractors.

    I chose the Kubota RTV 900 XT which is powered by a 21.6 hp three cylinder diesel engine. The diesel engines will develop more torque than comparible horse power gasoline engines. My 900 XT continues to suprise me with it's pulling power so much that I'm concerned the pulling torque will exceed the welds on the frame. I personnally like the hydrostatic transmission better that the CVT. I believe the hydro will last longer than the CVT; however, repairs to the hydrostic would be significantly more expensive than the CVT.

    I too believe that a small tractor would be the correct decision for long term pulling of the implement. If you're set on a UTV, I'd recommend the RTV 900 XT or larger. I would avoid the RTV 500 because of it's reduced horsepower.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Jul 2012
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    ny
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    deerelx277 and kubota bx1850

    Default Re: JD Gator with the best low-end pulling capability

    You might check out the John Deere XUV 855D gator , those diesels have a lot of low end power and torque.

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