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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Shingle Springs, California

    Default Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    Hello there.
    I am contemplating on whether to purchase a Tractor or an ATV (with the attachments). I have a 5 acre hilly(some steep) property. My toy budget is less than 15K. I need a machine that I can use to cut grass on about 2.5 acres of flat land and hillsides, I also need to fence about 1000 feet. I'm sure there will be occations when a tree will fall and I would need to cut and haul the timber out. Initially, I will probably need to move dirt around to landscape a backyard but as soon as my house is built and its landscape's done, I probably won't be moving dirt anymore. I plan to have a few goats and maybe a cow and keep a veggie garden.

    I have read in the forums that tractors are generally not very well suited for hilly and steep terrains. (my surveyor said I had a 1:4 slope) I have been researching the pros and cons of both the ATV's and tractors. Now, some ATV's like the Polaris Ranger can come with attachments like front blade, other brands have discs attachments and even post digger.

    A tractor will be great until I am done (in a couple of years) with the landscaping and dirtmoving. The ATV will be helpfull for a longer period of time for use around the farm and garden.

    I could buy a new tractor, use it for a couple of years and resell it or trade it later for an ATV. Or I could buy both used tractor, which is hard to find here in N.California, and a used ATV.

    Gee thanks.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    I went through a similar thought process (ATV vs. tractor). The ATV was simply not made to do what I needed. Yes, it has a front blade. Have you taken a look at those blades, the attachment kits, mounting kits, blade position control kits? Not very sturdy IMO. I was looking at the Polaris Twin 700 ($8200.00) because I wanted the most powerful and heaviest machine available. The big issue was there was no FEL available. The ATV could only pull/push items around. The ATV dealer told me that the ATV could only handle a foot of snow. We get dumped on sometimes with 2 feet. The ATV seemed limited to me in its ability to expand roles. There are no PTOs or hydraulics for future use. The implements for the ATV didn't seem heavy enough for my purposes. Many implements required yet another motor (That I must maintain) to power them.

    Since I live next to a national forest I could use the ATV for fun, but that wasn't why I needed a machine. I needed to perform light to medium work around the property. The ATV was smaller than the tractor, so it was more maneuverable. The disadvantages with the tractor are a new fuel type to content with, more expensive than the ATV, and not as maneuverable in the trees. The advatages are solid construction, very dependable, and seem to hold thier value better. The tractor was also made to do what I needed it to do. Yes there are features on the tractor that I probably won't use right away (like the mid PTO), but at least I have the option of using it in the future. From what I have read in this forum, it seems that once a tractor is purchased, the potential for utilization seems to go up rather rapidly.

    I took the approach that the tractor purchase was an investment and looked at which item would meet my current needs, hold its value over the long term, and possbily meet any future needs that I could envision. The tractor won. It gets delivered on Tuesday.

    B2410, FEL, Landpride rear blade, R1s

    The other factors were reliability and resale. I live in the sticks and can't afford to deal with an undependable machine. From my research, these tractors are dependable, durable, and hold their resale value very well.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    717
    Location
    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
    Tractor
    PT2445 and PT1850

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    I've been researching similar questions for a while. Some of the guys here introduced me to Power-Trac machines a while back. They are quite interesting. You may benefit from some of the info in the "Best Mountain Tractor" thread in this buying/pricing forum (page 3, I think), if you are willing to wade through some of the light-hearted banter and off-topic meanderings.

    www.Power-Trac.com

    Good luck!


  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,748
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    Way back before I went with kubota, I bought a Honda 400 Foreman for the same reasons you have. I bought the front blade to move dirt. It didn't work. The ATV had plenty of power, but it was so light it would lose traction every time. After less than a year, the pivot point on the blade broke (Cycle Country blade). I bought one of those Swisher mowers and while it worked okay on the meadow, I had to ride REALLY slow and it was yet another engine to maintain. I tried to use it to drag logs out of the woods, but the traction thing got me again. Even with Super Swamper Vampires, the ATV was simply too light to move much unless I cut it all up and put it on a trailer. But have you ever tried towing a trailer downhill with an ATV when the load outweighed you by five to one? Not fun!

    I still have the ATV, but use it as a fun machine. (I also use it to chase the chickens when one of them poops on my Kubota.) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    For your price range you could pick up a nice smaller tractor and get loads of use out of it.

    Pete

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    not ever having owned an atv this is just my unqualified opinon. i think a small 4wd tractor would do a better more effecient job for u. once u have it u will find that u will use it more than u think. and i know one with fel, mower, and 4wd can be had for under 15k

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    381
    Location
    Southern York County, ME
    Tractor
    TC 21D & Farmall 100

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    Go with the tractor. I once was in a similar situation and thought I really wanted an ATV. I came to my senses and went with the tractor. I'm very glad I did, your options are so much more with the tractor. ATV's are fun though [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    582
    Location
    Seattle area
    Tractor
    JD 855 4WD, HST

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    Redlynx,

    I too, went through the same thought process and was on a very similar budget. I ended up with a used 4WD tractor, FEL, etc.. and after the first month am thrilled with my decision. I have to move fallen trees, tons of gravel (before the driveway was paved), bark, dirt. etc. I also have 5 acres and at least a third of it is extremely steep. I have vowed to let those parts grow wild for many years. Once I finish with the remaining parts we'll see. I am sure you will find more uses with a tractor than you would ever imagine.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2410

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    I agree with most of the other posts here, go with the tractor. I also have a hilly lot ( 2.5 acres on the Cascade foothills) the ATV's I looked at would not have had the weight to really do the work. A tractor is made to work rather than play. Although most people on this forum will secretly admit to a tractor as a major toy.

    The implements for the tractor are stronger and you will find more available IMHO. One thing you MUST do is learn to use the tractor properly on slopes. Read all the manual and listen to the comments here from some of the long term users concerning safety.

    Good Luck!

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    241
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    sold - Kubota L2850 DT-7 4x4 Shuttle Shift

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    If you asked this question on an ATV site you may get a different answer?!!? But, I agree with the consensus... Tractors for work and ATVs for play (ok, tractors for play also! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]).

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Shingle Springs, California

    Default Re: Tractor or ATV for hilly property

    Thanks, everyone, for the good suggestions and for sharing your viewpoints. I think you all convinced me to pursue a tractor instead of an ATV. Now comes the hard and fun part of selecting which tractor to buy. I will read on the other forums for this one.
    Thanks again.

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