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  1. #1

    Default Tractor Buying Decision

    Hi,
    I need some information and help on my buying decision for a tractor. I recently purchased 32 acres of farmland (some of it sloped) on which I intend to build a small campground (about 50 sites) that requires some grading, digging, tree stump removal, trench digging etc.
    Although I will outsource the most demanding grading work, I will probably need to do some of it myself.
    I have researched the market for a while now but still can't make up my mind what brand and especially size (hp) to buy.
    Any help and suggestions are appreciated.

    MB

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,279
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    Texas

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    MB, I don't think I have a good answer as to a specific tractor, but after many years as an RVer (5 years full time) and having worked a short time doing maintenance work in an RV campground, I'd recommend you get a dedicated TLB (tractor/loader/backhoe); you're going to need it. And of course you may find a used one at a lower price that will work just fine.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    14
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L35

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    I agree with bird. you can get a decent TLB for under $20k. Then after you have grass planted, buy a dedicated mowing machine (ZTR or front mounted mower)-Dave

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    12,071
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    By the sounds you have lot of work plan and you need a piece of equipment which has that extra punch.
    I would look more into construction fel & bh equipment..maybe a Case,JD,Ford,etc..
    I would start around 40 hp and go up,also if I could afford it I would consider 4wd.

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    21,011
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    MB, I'm going to differ in my opinion of the size of tractor you should buy. What is most important for your campground is the design and build it in such a way that the connections are nearly indestructible and you have enough space to do maintenance when required. I'm guessing that for 50 camping spaces you only need 5 to 7 acres of your total. If you do more, you are going to have much higher initial costs because of the plumbing/electrical infrastructure. My suggestion is to keep everything underground and reduce your longterm maintenance costs. Having said this, I think you should buy a small trencher or rent one that can be used to install underground utilities. After the installation, how much use will you have for the trencher? Backhoe? If you are paying someone to do your sewer/septic construction, they will most likely have their own and you won't need to be concerned. Everything else you mentioned can be done just fine with a small tractor which you can get double use out of for grounds maintenance and maybe some infrequent jobs even moving some smaller camper trailers. I think a tractor in the mid-range (say 25 hp) would be just fine. If you make your living building camper parks, I'd say go with the big stuff, but if you want to be a park owner/operator the smaller tractor will get many more uses and not be nearly as intrusive/noisy/intimidating to your guests. If you need the "big guns" you can always rent one. BTW - I owned a 28 space mobile home park, so I have some experience closely related to you. I just don't think you need a piece of construction equipment to maintain a park. That's only needed to build one. ...my two cents.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    Thanks for the input so far.
    Here is a little more info on my work schedule.
    Yes, will only use about 25% of my available acreage to build the sites on. I intend to hire a contractor to do the majority of the grading for me. Plumbing however is on my list and therefore I wanted the backhoe as a possible attachment. I don't know how much use I will have for it later, though.
    I have about 15 acres of open fields and wooded areas that need maintaining (mostly mowing) so a bush-hog brush mower is a definite must have.
    Beyond that, I'm still very unsure what size to buy. I agree, that a smaller unit 25hp or so will probably be the best bet in the long run, however, I don't want to end up regretting to have bought a smaller unit when a larger one was needed.
    That's my predicament.
    So, once again, thanks to all who have given their input so far.
    Please keep more coming.
    I have until May to make up my mind and will consider every little piece of advice.
    I have thought about rentel units too, but discovered that they run about $200 a day. That's an awful lot of "dough" and I have to work real fast to justify that kind of money.
    Any experiences with rental units, someone?

    MB

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    you might want to check rates on a monthly or 2 months basis

    ie - a B21 may be rented for as low as $875. per month plus tax, delivery and insurance.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tractor Buying Decision

    If you are going to buy new, a Kioti DK35 w/8 1/2 hoe and 1450 FEL can be had for around 24K. Hoe digs 8 1/2 to a 2 ft flat bottom. If you would consider it, renting would probably better. It may seem like alot to pay out but in the long run you will come out ahead. Then buy a tractor w/ FEL and rotary cutter for the maintaining of the land. The typical 8 ft or so B-H attachment will cost between $5000 to $7000. You could rent that B21 for quite a few months at that cost and still be ahead in the end. The flip side. You could buy a TLB then sell the hoe part when you're done and get part of your money back or buy a used hoe. You have alot of options. Shopping is FUN! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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