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  1. #1
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    I just wanted to pass along everything I have learned while searching for a 35 HP tractor. I know this thread will live on for years, so if I can help somebody or pass on some knowledge I am glad to help.

    First off, I am looking for a 35 HP Tractor. Why 35 HP? Well, I want to keep the PTO HP as close to 30 HP as possible. 27-32 HP at the PTO so I can easily use my 5' mower or box blade etc. I need a tractor I can work. I need something bigger than the 20+ HP tractors that flood the market, but smaller and lighter than the 40-50HP Ag tractors. On the flip side, I want to keep the tractor semi-light and easily transportable. I want to be able to go through muck in my pasture and not be in a super-heavy machine (40+ HP). There is always a compromise in weight and ability. I feel the 35 HP mark meets somewhere in the middle and is a very capable machine.

    The Competition: John Deere, kubota, New Holland (Ford), and Mahindra. I did not consider Kioti, Bobcat, Case, or Yanmar/Cubcadet. There are no Kioti/Bob-Cat dealers within 2 hours of where I live, so I quickly eliminated them from my choices. Same for YanMar/Cub Cadet. I completely ignored the grey market Chinese tractors and focused on the major brands. This is a serious investment that I want to make sure I buy a tractor I can get parts and service for a long time.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    The models I looked at are the John Deere 3520, John Deere 3038e, kubota L3400, Kubota GL 3540, New Holland T1520, Mahindra 3316.

    Requirements for each tractor: Front End Loader, 4WD, Power Steering, 30 PTO HP.

    +/-'s for each tractor:

    John Deere 3520. +'s Strong engine, strong hydraulics. I was looking for a hydro model but was only able to drive a powershift version. I liked it. It drove good, shifted easily in forward and reverse. Tractor was quiet and started good. Loader seemed ample.

    -'s Tractor was easily the most expensive of the group. Which was understandable due to the fact that it was the class leader, but it was easily $3-4 thousand dollars higher than the competitors. Tractor is a little bit on the heavy side. It has a turbo, which I prefer not to have. I like the KISS mentality, and a turbo is one more thing to break. The John Deere Dealer network has shrunk in the past few years due to Deere forcing many independents to be bought out by larger networks. Now the only way to buy a deere is to go with a multi-store outlet. Prices ranged (with CX loader) 22K-24K. Powershift version with R4's was $21,000 which was the best deal I could find. A little out of my budget.

    John Deere 3038e +'s Strong Engine. eHydro drive. Loader seemed strong and responsive, but was not removable. Not really concerned with having a detachable loader so it was no biggie. Good price for the machine. The ones I tested were ~$18K, maybe a little less with R4's.

    -'s Tractor is a little on the cheap-side. No temp, fuel gauges. Only RPM and dummy lights. No split break. Not a big deal on the split break, just a nice to have item. The hydro drive was very whiny, and the engine was much louder despite it being similar to the 3520 engine. It has a turbo too, which I would prefer to avoid. No cruise control and no draw-bar. I was told cruise was a $1K option, the drawbar "kit" was ~$100.
    Last edited by TheGoose; 10-28-2009 at 04:35 AM.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    Next Up: kubota.

    When I first decided on buying a tractor Kubota was not at the top of my list. The closest dealer is two towns over but I knew they made a good tractor and I had used my Dad's Kubota TLB a bit but I had no experience with a mid HP Kubota. After looking at some of their competitors I decided to check them out.

    Kubota L3400 +'s. Good HP. No turbo required for 35 engine HP's and 28.5 PTO HP. Std. FOPS. Very common tractor, lots of info available. Loader is adequate for my uses. Std. cruise control. Split brake. All necessary gauges temp, RPM, Fuel. Overall a very nice tractor. Priced with R4's, loader at $18.5K drive out. Very good price for the tractor. Drove good, good room at the op station.

    -'s. Not very many negative things about this tractor. The hydraulics are a little bit weaker than some of the competitors, especially the JD 3520. No built in tool box, but easy to DIY. The split brake is really more for the gear tractors as the hydro pedal is on the same side as the split brake. No way to use the split brake unless you are using cruise control to use the split breaking. Not a very good design if the use of a split break is important to you. Not a big deal to me as I will only occassionally need the split brake. The hydro drive is on one pedal so it may not be as ergonomic as the split pedal seen on other machines but not a big deal to me for what I am using it for.

    Kubota GL 3540 --never was able to test this machine. This tractor was a direct competitor to the JD 3520 and had similar pricing ($24K). It has all the bells and whistles, but a much more expensive machine. Very strong hydraulics and engine, top of the line tractor. Out of my price range.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    New Holland T-1520 +'s. Nice tractor. Strong looking FEL. I already have use of a Ford 1910 which has been a good tractor. I liked the fact that the NH was all metal and a solid looking machine. Price was $~19K with hydro and FEL.

    -'s. I did not like the physical size of the NH. It seemed smallish to me. The dealer only had a gear tractor to try and it would not start (not a good way to run a tractor dealership). Did not seriously consider it due to not having any way to test one and I did not like it's physical size. Not as many NH dealers as the others.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    What did you think of the Mahindra 3316 HST?
    Galen LaWall
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    185 Pearl Street
    Batavia, New York 14020
    585.343.0770

  6. #6
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    Didn't you say back on 10-2-09 that you've found the perfect tractor, a kubota 3400?
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by LAWALLSTRACTOR View Post
    What did you think of the Mahindra 3316 HST?
    Got cut off last night. Will finish the 3316 today.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToadHill View Post
    Didn't you say back on 10-2-09 that you've found the perfect tractor, a kubota 3400?
    I was getting to that part.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    Mahindra 3316 +'s. Overall a good tractor. There is a dealer right here in town, and I live in a very small town (5,000 people). The dealer did not have any 3316's when I was looking, only a 2816 gear tractor. These tractors come standard with cruise and drawbar. I did not get a chance to drive one as the dealer never called me back when he was supposed to get one in.

    -'s. Probably the biggest thing on this tractor is it just felt small. I did not get the chance to look at the 33 but judging from the 28HP it just felt little. Maybe I'm crazy but I just for some reason did not like the Mahindra brand. The price was not any chaper for the 33 at about 19K with HST and FEL, plus the HP was a little on the weak side for what I wanted (30 PTO HP). Also, the 33 has a turbo, which I am trying to avoid. It would have certainly been the most convenient tractor with a dealer right here in town. If the dealer had better inventory or had called me back knowing I wanted to test the 33 HP I probably would have given them a better shot. As it was, their price was higher than the kubota which had similar features and hydro.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member TheGoose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    I'm sure I did not cover everything on this write-up and there is some stuff I skipped because it had no bearing on my decision. I am not trying to offend anybody on their choice of tractor just relate what I found when I searched for mine.

    Ultimately the kubota L3400 was nearly a no-brainer. Cheaper than the Mahindra, better than the Deere e series , much cheaper than the 3x20 series. Large enough to feel comfortable on but not too big and heavy. Good features and usability. Good engine/PTO HP. No turbo. Lots of satisfied customers.

    I bought the Kubota at 0% for 60 months. The tractor cost $18K with R-1's (Ag tires). I also got a disc and 3-pt fertilizer/spreader. I also got hooks welded on the bucket and a rear-light for when it gets dark to see what you're doing on your 3-pt hitch. Yes, the tractor has it's own shortcomings, but I find it suits my needs perfectly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My Search for a 35 HP Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGoose View Post
    New Holland T-1520 +'s. Nice tractor. Strong looking FEL. I already have use of a Ford 1910 which has been a good tractor. I liked the fact that the NH was all metal and a solid looking machine. Price was $~19K with hydro and FEL.

    -'s. I did not like the physical size of the NH. It seemed smallish to me. The dealer only had a gear tractor to try and it would not start (not a good way to run a tractor dealership). Did not seriously consider it due to not having any way to test one and I did not like it's physical size. Not as many NH dealers as the others.
    Some dealers are funny. They like to sell what they like to sell. One kubota dealer would sell me anything I wanted with the same zeal. The Kubota/NH dealer I got T1520 prices from seemed disappointed when I stopped talking about the 3140 and started talking NH. Technically speaking, it's overall dimensions are just a tad lighter/smaller than the L3400. Both are nice pieces of equipment. (Save the 3PH issues on the L3400)
    "Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together."

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