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  1. #1

    Default What to buy for 200 acres

    I'm trying to decide what make model tractor to buy for a 200 acre new england home and wood lot. We've had other people do all the work so far but I'd prefer to do it myself. It's about 85% forest with the balance fields. The timber cuts will still be done professionally, but I need to maintain the logging roads, landings, cut the fields, and keep the place accessible year round. Keeping it accessible means snow removal and all other road maintenance for about 3/4 mile of dirt road. There is also a bunch of work I want to do around the house including building some granite/fieldstone retaining walls, building a barn, and digging/burrying a number of power, gas and phone lines in different places. There's also an old pond site that I'd like to clean out and reinstate as a pond. The forest requires constant maintenance pulling out fire wood and keeping the roads clear.

    From what I've read here I think I need something in the 30-40hp range with a loader and possibly a backhoe. For the snow and road work I think I'll need a backblade.

    Any suggestions on makes and models and implements?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    433
    Location
    Canton, Texas
    Tractor
    Deere 5520 MFWD

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    I think that with that much acreage, you might want to look a bit larger, like something in the 50-70 HP range. Somewhat contrary to intuition, these tractors do not seem to cost much more than their smaller counterparts. With ~30 acres to mow, I would also look into getting a pretty large rotaty cutter. I have really never heard anyone with a tractor say "Darn it, this tractor I bought just has too much power, and come to think of it, I wish it had alot less ground clearance and perhaps a narrower track..." That said, there are seemingly lots of happy owners of tractors in all HP ranges here on this board. Maybe with 85% woods on the property, you might also need to consider how wide your roads - trails through the property will be.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    153
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Tractor
    JD 4700 HST

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    I agree with RF33. I have a JD4700 HST for a similar property and it's certainly not too large. The largest compacts of any of the Manuf. will do but if you plan to regularly cut 30 acres or so take a good look at the 50 -70 hp tractors. The compacts are smaller which is nice when cutting trails in the woods provided the trees aren't too large. I also like the HST which is very handy for FEL work.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,212
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    If you get a chance check out the kubota L4610..it seems to be a hot number for all round use in New Hampshire lately.
    You can get a nice woods backhoe and other attachments.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,706
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    Green Acres:
    You have some ambitious projects in mind. Maintaing logging roads for custom logging means you can get through with a larger tractor and the other jobs all indicate use for a larger tractor. The fellow saying to go up into the 50-70 HP range is advice to seriously look at. As others have stated, the smaller agricultural tractors are most likely less expensive than compacts and the used sector should have a much greater selection.

    Egon:

  6. #6
    Banned RonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    430
    Location
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Caterpillar 416C IT, Caterpillar D3G, previously owned a Ford 1910

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    GreenAcres

    I think you have some very ambitious projects in mind. I think you should consider a compact tractor, but instead of a backhoe attachment you should look at a used full size industrial backhoe. Find something with some life left in it. After you do all the major construction projects you could always sell it.

    RonL

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    1,125
    Location
    Escaped to The Algoma

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    Do yourself a big favor and look for a utility type ag-tractor.

    I'd take a good look at the Valtra offerings http://www.valtra.com They are an overly built dependable line of tractors from Finland. The option list is staggering,and they are priced lower than the majors offerings. Most of the Valtra tractors in Scandinavia do forestry duty in the winter,and built to take it.

    For backhoe duty,if you have that much work to do I'd consider an older TLB purchase.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    457
    Location
    New York - Upstate
    Tractor
    Kubota 2710

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    Good advice, RonL. From the jobs described here, I think I would opt for a used commercial quality TLB and a tractor. The compacts are nice, but one that was sized right for mowing 30 acres might blow your budget. If money is a concern, go with an ag tractor for the mowing/plowing duties. So, to sum up: If money is no object, get a large CUT (brand new kubota) AND a good used industrial backhoe. If money is an issue, get a used ag tractor AND a good used industrial backhoe. If the pond is not too large, you could realistically expect to do it with a commercial TLB!

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    I agree with Rob and everyone else. Step up to the utility tractors and get something in that 45 and up hp range. I would also get mfwd for all the things you are talking about doing.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What to buy for 200 acres

    Thanks for the advice so far. I've misled you on the size of the mowing job. It's more like 10 acres, 15 at the most. I should have done the math when I said 15% fields. Sorry.

    From what I've read, I want HST, so I think that limits the options. It sounds like HST isn't available on the larger Ag tractors. Also, I only want one machine due to budget, storage space, maintenance, etc. The pond is a long term, low priority project. It's been like it is for a hundred years, so a few more won't hurt. If I have to nibble away at it for long time with a smaller machine that's OK, or I can always hire someone for the one-time big scraping job like I hire for the logging. I also think 4WD is a must for snow removal and forest work.

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