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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Default looking for help with tractor selection

    Let me first state that I am not yet a "tractor guy" but have a need to become one.

    I just bought a new place out in the country and need equipment to maintain it.

    The place is just over 100 acres but about 75 is wooded and steep and is going to stay that way.

    I need equipment to:
    maintain the drive (over 1/2 mile long)
    mow (approx 3-5 acres, mostly even with few obstacles)
    work row crops on 10-15 acres (subsistence only, not commercial)

    Normally I would think big, but my place has an additional challenge. It is located in a flood plain and so far this year it has been wet and soggy pretty much all the time. The previous owner had a JD 42XX and you can tell, as there are tire impressions all over many of the fields and ruts are not at all uncommon. I need to balance utility and weight to get the most out of the machine, as this is all new to me I will design my working process around the available equipment. If it takes me longer to do something because I am constrained by the size of the tractor - so be it. I have been looking at 25-35hp utility tractors with FEL and MMM, but not sure if I am on the right track.

    I have seen a lot of good advice on the forums and would appreciate your opinions.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    15,368
    Location
    Prudence Island, RI
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    You have indicated a few of the considerations that will drive your selection. You have 3-5 acres to mow which can be done with any tractor over 20hp. Tending 10-15 acres of crops is doable with a 25-35hp tractor and five foot implements if you have lots of time but most people would probably be looking at 40-45hp and six foot implements. The only real solution for your wetlands problem in the spring is to be patient and wait until the land drys out enough to support the tractor weight. You might consider lighter weight tractors such as the kubota B3200 but otherwise just waiting an extra week or two before spring soil prep and planting.

  3. #3
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    6,208
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    Quote Originally Posted by CountryConvert View Post
    Let me first state that I am not yet a "tractor guy" but have a need to become one.

    I just bought a new place out in the country and need equipment to maintain it.

    The place is just over 100 acres but about 75 is wooded and steep and is going to stay that way.

    I need equipment to:
    maintain the drive (over 1/2 mile long)
    mow (approx 3-5 acres, mostly even with few obstacles)
    work row crops on 10-15 acres (subsistence only, not commercial)

    Normally I would think big, but my place has an additional challenge. It is located in a flood plain and so far this year it has been wet and soggy pretty much all the time. The previous owner had a JD 42XX and you can tell, as there are tire impressions all over many of the fields and ruts are not at all uncommon. I need to balance utility and weight to get the most out of the machine, as this is all new to me I will design my working process around the available equipment. If it takes me longer to do something because I am constrained by the size of the tractor - so be it. I have been looking at 25-35hp utility tractors with FEL and MMM, but not sure if I am on the right track.

    I have seen a lot of good advice on the forums and would appreciate your opinions.
    Row crops-like corn?

    I'd up the horsepower to 45 hp (engine) or maybe a little more to get enough power to handle 7-8 ft discs and maybe a 2-14 double bottom plow.

    I have 10 acres (flat pasture) including a 6-acre hayfield that I work with a 2008 Mahindra 5525 (54 hp engine, 45 hp pto, 2WD, 8F/2R constant partial mesh tranny, power steering) with the ML250 FEL (6-ft bucket, 2950 lift to 10.5 ft height).

    The 5525 is pretty heavy (6000lb+ with the FEL) so I wouldn't try to operate it on soggy ground (we've had 19.5 inches of rain around here since Oct and my hayfield is pretty wet right now). Essentially you're balancing flotation and traction when farming bottom land. We have a lot of rice farming around my area so you see a lot of kubota mudder tractors and tractors with rubber tracks (like a Cat tractor) to work in soft soil. These are pricy special purpose tractors that you might want to check out.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Gittyup's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    2,757
    Location
    Mid Atlantic
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25 Shuttle Shift, loaded tires, JD X739

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    If you go light, you might not make the ruts. But, then again you might get stuck all the time too. Definitely R1 tires. I also think 45 HP or more would be the better choice. It'll just plain perform better, and probably not rut things up anymore than a 35 HP tractor.

    10 acres of subsistence? That's a lot of eating!

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    406
    Location
    Western NY
    Tractor
    Kubota 3030 Ford 2120

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    3/4 of your property is wooded; what are your plans there? 1/2 mile drive to maintain- just grading or are you in an area where snow removal is important too?

  6. #6
    Platinum Member ModMech's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    643
    Location
    Canton, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2410

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    Back in the day, my uncles just added duals on the back when it was wet or there was a low traction concern. That nearly doubled the tractive effort and about halved the ground pressure.

    I don't think that is an effective option on a CUT.
    JohnG
    We have Democracy, but were founded on Liberty.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).

    I am for LIBERTY!

    I Support electric trailer brakes on EVERY axle over the towing vehicle's GVW, CDLs for RVers and safety inspections on ALL licensed vehicles!

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    17,311
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    The MMM do not do well in soft ground conditions. They have a tendency to hang up and it's a bear to get unstuck.

    In most cases the larger the tractor the harder it is to unstuck it.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: looking for help with tractor selection

    IMHO.. the best 'single ' tractor for most cases lik me this is actually 2 tractors....I'd get a large scut or smallish cut ( 20-30 hp ) 4wd and a loader.. hst trans. stay light and nimble.. you can get around in the woods with a scut especially if the loader is a QA.

    then get an older larger 2wd machine in the 30-40 hp range suited for your rowcrops. in many cases older 2wd rowcrop machines can be had REAL cheap.. like for less than a nice rider lawnmower. I've bought a ford 951 that looked rough but ran good for 1500$.. narrow front row crop with strong 45 ponies.. nimble and good clearance and easy to see crops with the narrow front..

    the scut will be your 'utility' machine.. and the older rowcrop will do strictly farming.. though if you needed it.. it would be available for limited heavy tasks..

    soundguy

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