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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    54

    Default new tractor, new board, advice?

    Hello all. I'm new to this board and thought I'd introduce myself before asking for advice. I'm 49, an engineer working and living in SW VA, and I enjoy working on my 5 acres and my fixer-upper house. I've worked as mechanic, scuba diver, environmental engineer, and in other various jobs over the years. I also read and contribute to Fine Homebuilding, Hearth.com, and C4 engineering boards. I doubt I'll have much to contribute to this board other than quesitons for a while.. While I've operated and maintained various pieces of heavy equipment from trenchers to large trackhoes over the years I've yet to own a tractor which is why I'm here.

    I very much hope to buy a compact tractor and attachments soon and would like to get some general advice on considerations WRT make, size, HP, attachements, etc. given the following list of considerations:

    - Our 5 acres is hilly, rocky, and partially wooded. I need a stable tractor with 4WD. I've rolled my riding mower and though it was sort of exciting would like to avoid that kind of thing.
    - I need to mow grass, maintain my gravel driveway, bushhog, chip brush, move dirt, gravel, boulders, firewood so I"m thinking I"ll eventually need a FEL, belly mower, bush hog, PTO-powered chipper/shredder, rear blade, and maybe some forks for the front bucket (palletized firewood).
    - Local dealers are Deere, kubota, New Holland/MF, Montana, Bobcat
    - I would strongly prefer not to buy a Chinese-made tractor. Order of preference is US, Japan, Korea. I know my 1st choice is unreasonable (sadly)
    - Once factory maintenance is complete I plant to maintain and repair the tractor and attachments myself if practical.
    - I think I'd like a quick-detach loader bucket. I've heard/read that some loaders allow connection of readily-available skid-steer attachments.
    - We try to heat with wood if possible so any insights on using the tractor and attachments for firewood handling would be greatly appreciated.
    - I will likely need a aux. front hydraulic connection for powered FEL attachments. I have a friend with a PowerTrac with lots of attachments.
    - I'm thinking 30 HP min. for the bush hog and chipper but am not certain about this. I plan to do a lot of chipping. I'm tired of burning brush and need the chips.
    - I'll need ROPS but need one that folds for work in the trees
    - I'm pretty sure I'm going Hydrostatic for FEL use.
    - Financing is a factor and one of the reasons I hope to buy soon.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer whether related to the purchase or what I plan to use the tractor/attachements for.

    Thanks, Andy
    Last edited by Semipro; 03-29-2009 at 10:18 AM. Reason: forgot a dealer nearby

  2. #2
    Veteran Member JJZ 109's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,640
    Location
    Near Lake Ontario
    Tractor
    Bobcat S185 skid steer - Ferris IS500Z - JD GT235

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Welcome to TBN, Andy. By the sound of your background, you'll be contributing some answers to others here in no time.
    Looking at your post, it appears that you've done your homework. For the size and terrain that you have I'd say that a tractor in the 30 HP range should work nicely for you.
    You'll surely get greatly varying opinions here as far as suggestions on which manufacturer, HP, HST vs. manual shift, etc. But half the fun is sorting through all of those suggestions and picking out the info that suits your situation!
    I think you'll find the consensus here is that among the big 3 brands, (kubota, JD and NH) the quality is pretty consistent. Those who own some of the lesser known or lesser selling brands will probably chip in with the same feedback for their brands. With that being said, that leaves the factors of price and dealer service.
    You'll have to decide whether your local guys can compete with some of the online tractor merchants on price. Some folks will pay a premium for a local tractor to get better local service. Others will check in with more distant reputable places like Barlow or Messick. They'll get a good price and then take their chances on service elsewhere if there's a problem.
    Any way you look at it, you're in for a fun time shopping and I'm sure that you'll get some valuable input on these pages. (and by the way, my vote is for a Kubota B3030 cab!
    Last edited by JJZ 109; 03-29-2009 at 10:39 AM.
    Time loves to be wasted. From that waste their is no salvage - Henry Ford
    _____________________________________________

    Also - Erskine 73" blower /TSC QA boom pole/ Bradco 48" forks / Grapple bucket/ JLG T350 Boom Lift / 2001 Ford F450 w/Telsta A28D aerial lift / CAM Superline 6x12 dump / (2) Kristi 7x18 enclosed / 2014 Ford F250 Super Cab gasser

  3. #3
    Gold Member streamin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    328
    Location
    Conroe, Texas. Franklinville, N.Y.
    Tractor
    Mahindra 5035 HST

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Welcome to the forum, there are many others who have much more expertise than me.I had about the same property and needs you have so I went with a 32 hp kubota.It did everything I needed but ended up selling to get a 50hp because I purchased 26 acres.I always wanted a chipper and log splitter but still don't have those.My thoughts on the splitter was to buy a separate unit so I would be able to use the tractor to move logs while someone else splits, just my opinion.Good luck on your decision.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member LarryD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,139
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA.
    Tractor
    TC33D

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Welcome Andy, it looks like you've got a lot of plans.

    It also looks like you've pretty well figured out everything you'll need and the order of precedence for shopping, have fun.

    I can only say that 30 engine hp will be roughly 25 pto hp (hst models) so that would kinda size your attachements. If you're planning on leaving trees on the property 5' is a navagable size on a treed lot.

    I like my 33D for 6 acres and it has done all I've asked. I think you're going in the right direction though looking for addition fluid power up front but I might add it's also important in back. I will eventually have 2 outputs in back for the box blade at a minimum.
    Make welfare as hard to get as a building permit

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,682
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520, 1989 John Deere 185, 1960 Panzer T70B

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Andy,

    Welcome to the forum. It is a great place to learn and you sound like you have the experience to help others alot too.

    I have almost your exact situation (6 acres) and do all the things you wish to do with a JD2520. I'm sure there are other machines out there equal and maybe better, but this works for me.

    You might want to search some of my posts for more information on how this machine has performed for me.

    Best of luck on your search/purchase.
    Runner

  6. #6
    Veteran Member 6sunset6's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,005
    Location
    SE NY
    Tractor
    NH TC34DA 34HP HST, 2 rear remotes, front diverter, loaded R4's, MF 30 TLB

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    I had a NH 1320 20 hp sold it got a NH TC34DA. The 20 hp was not enough for a full grader blade nor a full pallet on the forks. Also the snow blower bogged down after 6-8 inches. The 20hp was fine for finish mowing and whatever I could get in the bucket and it was fine with a rake.
    I thought I did not want to get a bigger frame size which is the reason I went with the TC34, the most hp in the same frame size. It does everything well. I constantly second guess myself and yesterday I sat on a new NH 3040 which is the next frame size up . TOO big for my 100% wooded 12 a. It would handle firewood pallets better though but not in tight spaces. Compromize.
    So I think 30hp or a little more is about right.
    One more comment about firewood pallets. I cannot cary a full 4 x 4 x4 pallet of newly cut and split wood but when it is dry I can. so I fill them up in place and then I can move them when they dry out.
    NH only starts factory cabs at the class 3 30xx tractors so I do not have a cab . Have fun
    Bob H
    NH 2007 TC34DA 1985 MF30E Hoe

  7. #7
    Veteran Member dgl24087's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,404
    Location
    Va/WV
    Tractor
    1975 John Deere 1530

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Just by your listing of dealers/brands in your area, sounds like you are near me in the NRV or Roanoke Valley. If so, you also have a Kioti dealer in Radford to add to the mix.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Samandothers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    508
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Welcome! I currently live in NC but visit SW Va. to play on the tractor. I purchased my tractor in Rocky Mnt Va. from Rocky Mnt Tractor. I have enjoyed working with them, they sell kubota. Enjoy the search and sit in a lot of seats!
    ---------------------------------------
    Toys: L4240, FEL, Backhoe, Rotary Cutter, Grapple, Blade

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    113
    Location
    Pike Co. Ky. The Energy capital of America
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    Semipro,
    I have a Mahindra tractor that I am well pleased with. There is a Mahindra Dealer in Coburn ,Va. Also a mahindra dealer in Rosedale Va. Mahindra makes good tractors and they have a good warrenty and a 24/7 help line. I am a retired heavy Equipment operator. Pound for pound I think Mahindra is as good as any Machine I have ever used.
    Mr poppy
    Endowment Life N.R.A. 2810 Mahindra tlb gear
    Stihl saws 029, 310
    Ram 2500 Turbo Diesel Trailer Tow 2006
    20 ft. Hurst Trailer
    T.S.C. 3pth splitter

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,375
    Location
    Mid-Coast Maine

    Default Re: new tractor, new board, advice?

    I suspect that 30 hp is all you will need, especially if you are not in a hurry. Any of the top 3 you mentioned are good tractors, I ended up with a used Kioti as it fit me for ergonomics and I couldn't beat the deal. For me, the key things to consider are... does the machine fit you, does the dealer fit you? No matter how good the machine is, having the wrong dealer can ruin the whole experiance. The dealer does not have to be local to support you well, especially if you are handy with a wrench. If you are not handy with a wrench... then local support is very important. The machine also needs to fit you, how much are you going to use it if you are uncomfortable after an hour? For me, I couldn't afford a JD, they had the best ergonomics for me, kubota's just don't fit me, the NH dealer was a joke, Bobcat and Kioti are the same machine, different loader/backhoes.
    Have fun in your search.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

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