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  1. #1
    Member jnixon's Avatar
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    Spruce Grove, Alberta.
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    Kubotas, L2800, B6200, RTV900..

    Default Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    We are trying to decide on a new addition to our 40acre equine faclility. We currenty have a kubota L2800 HST which has become too small for our needs.

    A friend of the family has been insisting that a John Deere skid steer would be more suitable for the job. I don't agree. The model is a 2008 325 Skid Steer .

    I was thinking more along the lines of the Kubota L39/48 or something larger.

    Current needs are general farm duties, cleaning pens, grooming/harrowing 4 arenas, brushcutting, tilling, general contracting projects, trenching, etc..

    Any thoughts?

    Thxs..
    Jer
    05 Kubota L2800 HST
    05 Kubota RTV 900
    84 Kubota B6200

  2. #2
    Gold Member GinNB's Avatar
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    NB, Canada, eh?
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    Kubota M108S, M105S, 2x M9000, IH885, IH584, IH484, IH454, F3000

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    How many farms do you see with a skidsteer as their largest main offroad workhorse? Skidsteers are handy, but farm implements and farm tractors are quite useful on, well, farms...

    I'm a farmer, but then again I've never used an '08 JD skidsteer. Or any other, for that matter. Mostly because I can't see them doing most of the tasks I need done as well as 40-100hp utility tractors, which do most of the work around here. Anything they can't do well is done by ATV, forklift, dozer, or excavator. Wouldn't mind trying a skidsteer out though, because with some ingenuity I'm sure after I had one I might find more uses for it.

    Oh, forgot to ask if you're thinking of replacing the L2800 or adding to your collection. That'll have a bearing on your decision as well. Many of the tasks you mentioned would be better done by a heavy ag tractor if you have much to do but keeping the L for tasks in tight corners and indoors would be a big plus. Something in the M series if you need orange in your garage, but in the current line even an M7040 isn't terribly heavy for the horsepower. Loader, cast wheels, weights, and/or loading the tires would be helpful. If you need something heavier-duty than your L to replace it and is highly manoeverable for indoors and tight-corners work, and you don't mind a small framesize and rough ride then you might be able to get by with a skidsteer. I just can't see it as being a great choice for a single farm "tractor" unless a person already had one and was trying to get by.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2007
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    1,556
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    The skidsteer is highly suitable for moving round bales or large (1500lbs+) square bales, if you use those, and for moving large amounts of horse poop. It is not a good choice for mowing, tillage, pulling manure spreaders or wagons, or lots of other usual farm tasks. In fact it is basically useless for tillage on a farm scale, as the front mounted tillers and power rakes don't go deep, don't have any subsoil function and are too slow for large areas. The tractor works for all those tasks, though for large amounts of loader work the skidsteer would be nicer.

    You mention the L39/L48. Are you planning extensive backhoe work? Some more detail on the tasks would be helpful.

    Basically, if it's mostly farm tasks, the tractor is likely to be much better. If it is mostly loader work and nothing requiring towing or a 3pt hitch, then the skidsteer might make sense.

    Oh, to add to all that, the price if a new skidsteer will be in the $30's. For that much you could get quite a nice cab utility tractor with a FEL. Also, if the skidsteer would be used for moving manure, you would really want a cab on it - the skidsteer puts you much closer to the bucket and material you're handling than a tractor does. And the skidsteer will wear out tires much faster, can't handle deep ruts or bad mud conditions, rides rough, has a slow top speed, etc. etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by GinNB
    How many farms do you see with a skidsteer as their largest main offroad workhorse?
    Generally true, though there are some exceptions for dairy and livestock operations that buy or contract out their feed, and are mostly using the machine for moving feed (bales or silage) and manure. Some of these will use a telehandler or large articulated loader as a primary machine. Not many would be using a skidsteer for that role, I'll concede.

  4. #4
    Member jnixon's Avatar
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    Spruce Grove, Alberta.
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    Kubotas, L2800, B6200, RTV900..

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    Thanks for the replies guy's . Some very valueable information and opinions in those posts.

    We arranged for the deere dealer to drop the skid steer off today for a demo. He's leaving it with us for a few days with various attachments to allow us some seat time. I ran it today for about 20 minutes and I have to say, i'm quite impressed.

    Right from the start I could see that it's no replacement for a tractor, but for it's intended uses, it's an outstanding performer. It's quite quick too, it's got a second gear range which allows it to move upwards of 15mph. 76hp, loader capacity of 2500lbs-operating/5000lbs-tipping. AC/Heat/Security system..

    The attachments he dropped off, 72" construction bucket, 96" Snow bucket, 48" Pallet forks, 96" snow/utility blade . all of which are usefull to us out here..

    Whatever we decide regarding the purchase of the skid steer, we have decided to sell the L2800 and upgrade to a larger tractor new or used. If we don't get much use of the skid steer on the farm, lot's of people in our area are seeking FEL work so forming a small contracting company is likely in our sights (time permitting) ...

    I'm going to begin the search of a slightly used tractor with cab/FEL in the western Canada/northwest USA regions and hopefully get a decent dollar for my L2800 . Any idea what it might be worth ? It's a 2005 L2800 HST with FEL and about 250hrs on it, hardly a scratch on it.

    Thanks again,
    Last edited by jnixon; 01-10-2008 at 12:40 AM.
    Jer
    05 Kubota L2800 HST
    05 Kubota RTV 900
    84 Kubota B6200

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    The 325 is a skid steer, NOT a compact track loader, those would be CT322 or CT332.

    You can add over the wheel tracks, but that does not make it a CTL.

    Real CTL's have track life of 1000-1500 hour. Check the price of tracks, but be sitting and already have pounded a cold one or two. You also have to get all mud, snow, slush out of the tracks when done operating as they will freeze up and bad things will likely occur.

    CTL's have their place. If you are doing loader work in sensitive areas, nothing on wheels is better that's for sure. JD also makes a good product. But for farm field activities, a good old tractor is hard to beat.

    I also think the 325 with tracks will be in the 40's when all is said and done and not 30's. It's a 70+ hp machine so a kubota 7040 is a competitive unit or the L48 replacement. Tipping load is 5000# and operation weight of the wheeled 325 is 8390# - not a small unit.

    jb

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Windham County, Conn
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    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    I think a tractor is the right machine for your uses. I would be wary of the L39.48 unless backhoe work is the majory of your work. They excell at that, nut take a fair amount of work to convert to 3pt usage. If you liek New Holland look at TC55 (whatever the new one is called) and the TN series.

    Andy

  7. #7
    Member jnixon's Avatar
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    Spruce Grove, Alberta.
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    Kubotas, L2800, B6200, RTV900..

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    There's supposed to be a / in between Skid Steer and Track loader big guy. Sorry for the confusion..






    Quote Originally Posted by john_bud
    The 325 is a skid steer, NOT a compact track loader, those would be CT322 or CT332.

    You can add over the wheel tracks, but that does not make it a CTL.

    Real CTL's have track life of 1000-1500 hour. Check the price of tracks, but be sitting and already have pounded a cold one or two. You also have to get all mud, snow, slush out of the tracks when done operating as they will freeze up and bad things will likely occur.

    CTL's have their place. If you are doing loader work in sensitive areas, nothing on wheels is better that's for sure. JD also makes a good product. But for farm field activities, a good old tractor is hard to beat.

    I also think the 325 with tracks will be in the 40's when all is said and done and not 30's. It's a 70+ hp machine so a kubota 7040 is a competitive unit or the L48 replacement. Tipping load is 5000# and operation weight of the wheeled 325 is 8390# - not a small unit.

    jb
    Jer
    05 Kubota L2800 HST
    05 Kubota RTV 900
    84 Kubota B6200

  8. #8
    Platinum Member BarryinMN's Avatar
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    Minnesota
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    JD, Allis-Chalmers, Zetor

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    I picked up an older JD skidsteer last year. It tends to breed attachments

    My utility class tractor is cabbed so that is my snow machine. In 5 years I have not needed any additional loader attachments. The SS in 1st year is up to six and I'm looking for a brush grapple to speed up log cutting & splitting.
    Veneer Tree Farmer

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    Jnixon,

    No problemo. How did you like the demo ? They are really quite nice machines and if your uses fall into their sweet spot, it's a match made in heaven.

    By the way, what was the $$$ side of the equation (if you don't mind)?

    jb

  10. #10

    Default Re: Compact/mid size Tractor or Skid Steer Track loader for farm?

    Speaking from farm experience a skid loader is a wonderful tool for up close out front work. We had a Cat 252 around for a while and it was handy. Also have a JD 3020 with FEL also but the Cat could dig out things a tractor couldn't plus better maneuverability. I would not purchase a JD skidloader right now as you will have dismal resale when their new version of Cat's pilot controls come out. Once you run those type controls you would understand. Supposed to be out this spring sometime.

    The skid loader was not very good in mud. It would move but control wasn't great like you would have with a compact with power into your steer. The skid loader is also jerky if you plan on using it for pallet fork work. I also have a forklift around here and wouldn't sell it to use a skid loader. Overall if you plan on using a lot of the attachments great but you will never put a mower or rear mount implement on one.

    With that I just made a deal on a L3940 with 724 loader and BH90 backhoe. I feel this machine will be versatile enough to fit in on a lot more jobs than a skid loader. I stayed with the 3940 as I felt it was a good compromise. I can still add a MMM but not on a 4240 but got the bigger rear tires. The 724 loader has QT so I can run forks plus drop the hoe and run a 6' mower. If you plan on heavy front work a 4240 with 854? loader may work better with more capacity. The Hydro controls on the kubota is what sold me. Good luck in whatever you decide!

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