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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    30
    Location
    NW Davie County, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L3240

    Default first time tractor buyer

    bought 22 acres in May '10. 10 acres was in rye, rest in woods. I am looking for any information/advice on what horsepower tractor to buy. So far I want to reclaim the crop field and keep it cut for now. I'm thinking I need a quality RFM for that part and a rotary cutter once in a while. The field also needs to be turned and worked for our future yard, garden and playgrounds. How can I find out what is best, disc harrow or tiller and what size tractor do I need . Also need to knock some saplings down to make trails for our grandsons and their toys in the woods. We will also have a 600 foot gravel driveway. They (grandsons) also think I need to build a baseball field, skate park and dirt bike track (not kidding). My greatest fear is buying a tractor too small to do these things. I have looked at the green and orange under 2000 pounds and the over 2000 pounds and not sure what to do. I have 2 lawn tractors to mow around the house, etc. I have a hundred questions, help point me in the right direction. I've been reading as many of posts on this site as I can and it has helped get me to the under and over 2000 pound tractors. Thanks for any and all advice. Fred

  2. #2
    Veteran Member johnrex62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,002
    Location
    Bastrop County, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3700SUHST

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Since you already have riders for the lawn, I would focus on the heavier duties you mention. I would recommend getting the biggest tractor you can afford and still be able to navigate the tighter areas you need to access for those big jobs.

    I have an orange, L3700SU, and use it for many of the tasks you listed. I am not doing any plowing or disking, so I cannot tell you how good or bad mine works for that. I think it would do fine.

    I have brush hogged through some very thick bunches of saplings up to 3" without any difficulty. The racket it makes chopping the trunks up is a bit intimidating, but so far no damage to anything as a result. I have pulled out small trees with a chain fairly easily.

    I use a 60" rotary cutter and find it works well enough on my country yard that I don't bother running my riding mower over the back yard anymore. I just use it for the obstacle infested areas that the tractor and shredder don't fit easily. I don't have a manicured lawn, but am not sure it wouldn't do a decent job on that even as long as the blades are in good shape.

    A lot of your maintenance and build jobs listed can be done readily with a boxblade and front end loader. A landscape plane/grader might make finishing the drive and baseball diamond easier, but the boxblade will do the job.

    I have not needed to put the engine above the minimum rpm for the 540 pto on any task I have done, and have always had plenty of power. I have R4 tires because of the woods work I do and they are easy enough on my yard and still have enough traction to pull out the small trees. I am thinking on getting them filled to give a bit more bite on the larger stuff.

    For the number of acres you have, I would tend to go at least 30hp, maybe up to 50hp for the groundwork but not sure how critical the higher end is. Someone else can chime in on how many horses for field renovation.
    Kubota L3700SUHST, AG-Meier Mohawk 5' Rotary Cutter, Armstrong AG 5' Boxblade, Armstrong AG 5' Landscape Rake
    Scotts 50560x8 50" Riding Mower

  3. #3
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,469
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    L3240GST, B2320HST, B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    I'd like to second what johnrex62 advised. With what you have stated, I'd think 30-35 HP in a large frame would be a good place to start. I'm thinking along the lines of a deere 3320, Kub L3240 or something similar. HP is only a starting metric - pay careful attention to tractor weight and hydraulic pump capacity when comparing different brands and models of similar power. Also consider available FEL and 3PH lift capacities for these models - you should get an FEL when you buy.

    Weight is required for traction which is critical to ground engaging work. Consider ballasted tires if you're thinking about using a turning plow, subsoiler or a disc plow' If your brush hogging area is large, you may want to go with a 6' cutter.

    To determine if you'll need more power we need more particulars: the dirt bike track sounds like it could turn into an earth moving job of grand proportions, depending on the size of the hills. What are you planning for this? It might pay to hire the rough earth moving out and focus on doing the finish work instead of sizing your machine for this one (I presume) one-time task.

    What is your budget?
    Will you need a backhoe?
    Any plans on haying part of the field?
    What is your land like - flat/hilly, soil type - loam, rocky, wet.
    Does it snow much where you are?

    -Jim
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    347
    Location
    Waynesfield, OH
    Tractor
    Kubota B2920

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Last April we bought 15 acres, and found ourselves in a similar situation. I wound up with a kubota B2920, and I'm not doing a lot of the stuff you mention. So I would agree with the heavier frame 35 HP or so models. One thing you cannot do too much of is read the threads here...I wish I had spent a little more time here before I bought. I may well have made the same choice (I'm quite happy with the equipment I purchased) but I would have been a much more educated buyer.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    92
    Location
    Carthage, Missouri
    Tractor
    2000 New Holland TC40D-HST

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Even bigger tractors seem to shrink once you've used them for a while. Remember, you can always throttle back on a larger HP tractor and let it live longer. A smaller one may work but you may work it to death.

    I believe that 4WD is a must on a compact tractor. Also something to consider is the type of transmission you end up with. Some like myself love the HST-automatic type and some love the geared type.

    Make sure that you get a front end loader because it is the one thing that you will use most--believe me.

    My suggestion is 40 horsepower to maybe 50 or so.

    Consider dealers that are close by for parts and service.

    Have fun! Be careful!

    Sam
    2010 Dodge Ram, Mega Cab, bright red, 4x4, 390 stock HP.
    2010 Honda NT 700.
    2012 Honda Goldwing.
    2003 John Deere Gator 2 wheel drive.
    2000 New Holland TC40D HST with 16LA
    2013 Boomer 25, 235TL Loader and 60" Belly mower, HST

    Amateur Extra KF6GUW Ham radio operator

    "I love the smell of diesel in the morning."

    Read John 3:16

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    16,036
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    We have tractors from 23 to 85 HP and for that, I wouldn't go under a 40 HP; preferably 50. There are times I will park my 50 HP and go to an 85 HP on dirt work/heavy brush pushing.

    My sons built a Moto Cross track as well as berms for a shooting range and it took a long, long time with an 80 HP tractor and one working days and one at nights. Of course a lot depends on how much dirt you need to move and how high the jumps. We will get a dozer the next time.

    Yes, you "can" do it with a smaller tractor, but I personally wouldn't want to.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  7. #7
    Platinum Member saracenas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    614
    Location
    Lithuania, EU
    Tractor
    Present: 2003 Kubota M9000DTF Sold: 1985 Kubota L2202

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleR View Post
    We will get a dozer the next time.

    .
    TripleR,
    I've read some of Your statements. Had a nice reading.
    But what I'd like to ask You is, are You planning to attach a dozer blade to one of Your tractors or You're gonna buy a complete dozer machine?
    I'm asking, 'cause I'd like to fit a heavy duty front dozer blade on my M tractor and seeking for some experience probably already available

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    16,036
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by saracenas View Post
    TripleR,
    I've read some of Your statements. Had a nice reading.
    But what I'd like to ask You is, are You planning to attach a dozer blade to one of Your tractors or You're gonna buy a complete dozer machine?
    I'm asking, 'cause I'd like to fit a heavy duty front dozer blade on my M tractor and seeking for some experience probably already available
    We barter equipment/work with a friend of my son's who owns a small construction company. My son has a firearms and paintball facility on one of our properties where he teaches CCW, Executive Protection, Police Sniper etc. We have access to a Bobcat 864 and Mini excavator. The friend buys a dozer when needed for a job then sells it, so we will catch him when he has one.

    Some things like berms etc. are just a lot easier to build with a dozer. Even our M8540 runs out of traction pretty quick when trying to push a lot of dirt and of course the dozer is a lot more stable.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    30
    Location
    NW Davie County, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L3240

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    My budget is $20k. I've been looking at the L3700SU and 3038E. Our soil is clay. The woods were timbered in the early 90's and now have mostly poplar and red maple saplings. Had only planned on having a garden. No hay. If I need dirt for berms, etc. folks are always looking for a place to take their dirt when they dig basements. The field is rough around the edges where the farmer turned around with his seed drill for the last couple of years. Don't know when the last time the field was turned. The dirt bike will just be an area defined to keep them out of the yard with some berms and and mudholes. The dirt bikes and 4 wheelers I bought keep them busy so a ballfield won't be a big deal. They start the tractor shed Nov 15, so I'll be buying before Christmas. Fred Brockway

  10. #10
    Platinum Member saracenas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    614
    Location
    Lithuania, EU
    Tractor
    Present: 2003 Kubota M9000DTF Sold: 1985 Kubota L2202

    Default Re: first time tractor buyer

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleR View Post
    Even our M8540 runs out of traction pretty quick when trying to push a lot of dirt and of course the dozer is a lot more stable.
    I know exactly, what You mean saying "...M8540 runs out of traction...". But that depends on design and works to do. I need dozer for road repairs, some landscaping, rocks pushing ... well, snow is the last thing I need it for.
    Talking about dozer I mean similar like in the following video:

    YouTube - คู โบต้า / kubota M5000 Tractor , Koh Samui Thailand

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