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  1. #1
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    Default What size Tractor do i need?

    Hi all, i am glad i found this forum already just from reading threads on here.
    I want to be able to dig a decent sized pond, like 50' x 50' maybe 8 feet deep, get stumps out of the ground, i don't mind if i have to work on for a while, i have been doing everything by hand anyways so it will be much faster than that way.

    I know i need a shovel on the back and the scoop, but not sure what size tractor i should try to get. I know nothing about tractors but i am a fast learner.

    Thanks, illya

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Batavia, NY
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    Mahindra -------------

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    Almost any size tractor would get the job done, if you have enough time. 4WD, down pressure on the loader, and a toothbar on the bucket, would all be a big help. The larger the tractor the faster it will get the job done. If you have some large rocks, they could be a problem for a small tractor.
    Galen LaWall
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    Batavia, New York 14020
    585.343.0770

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    Unless you get a tractor with a backhoe, a 50 x 50 pond is going to be a challenge with a FEL, box blade combo. The tractor, FEL and box blade are going to eat up 20 feet of you area, so be prepared to do a lot of F-R shifting. Dont forget that the base of your dam is going to have to be quiet wide to accomodate an 8 foot deep pond assuming that you dont dig it 8 feet below grade but instead use the dirt to make the levee with. I just finished a 100 x 100 or so inside dimensioned pond using my tractor and FEL mostly, occassionally using the box blade to loosen up some rocks and level the bottom back up. It took me about 20 hours to dig then another 5 or so to trim the top flat and compact the dam, but unless you plan on getting a large tractor, plan for quiet a bit longer duration. Even that size was pretty limiting in maneuvering as that was about the tightest circle I could make and pull the boxblade without twisting the scarifier teeth. My brother in law had one built with a dozer that is about 12 feet deep on deep end and 8 on the shallow end and it took over a week for the dozer. @ $100 per hour It had to meet the Arkansas Ag Extension requirements. I dug mine to the shale rock level which was about 5-6 feet down average depth just for my personal use.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What size Tractor do i need?-october-2010-021-jpg   What size Tractor do i need?-october-2010-025-jpg   What size Tractor do i need?-img_0824-jpg  
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    I was looking at bobcat excavators last night which would probably be aimed at most of what i plan on doing. As far as moving dirt around i have an atv with dump cart i could haul it with. I really didnt want to spend 35k on a tractor but i really like the digging part of the backhoe.
    The projects i have lined up are dig a pond and use the dirt to level the land about 100 feet away or so to build a 30x60 shop/garage on. It has a slope to it and i wanted a slab poured.
    There are several areas where people dumped trash 30 years ago on my land and i want to dig a hole and bury it all. Cans, bottles, roofing shingles, cement blocks, car hoods, doors, an old smashed car body. I have been clearing a road by hand with just pic axes and chain saws, and it takes so long!!

    I don't mind working hard but ill never get all this done by hand.
    This is a pond i dug at the house im at now, 16'x19'x5' deep. It took me a week to dig by hand and this was when it was 100ーF+ outside.

    I need to make a road to my house i plan on building which is at least 3 or 4 hundred yards thru the woods, dig for the water line also. So i don't mind if it takes me 200 hours vs 20 hours with a track hoe, I just can't do it all with a shovel.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046 & Craftman T2200 lawn mower.

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    As they say..you keep working like that you'll work yourself out of job.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    You're young yet, but eventually, this stuff will get old. More and more, I appreciate the fact that less is more. Sometimes you become a slave to your dreams.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  7. #7
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    You still need something that is going to be able to get it done on a decient amount of time. I'd try to shoot for not more than 3-4 days.

    200 hours @ 10 hours a day is 20 days if you work at it every day. What is the chance that mother nature is going to cooperate for that amount of time??? Or will you just end up with a half dug pond half full of water. Trying to pump it out and getting it dry enough to get the equipment back in can be a PITA.

    And as mentioned, it makes a difference HOW you plan on digging. Are you planning on digging a big hole in the ground and having to go somehwere with the dirt??? Or do you lan on only digging down about 4 foot and using that dirt to create a 4' wall (giving you 8' depth). Re-using the dirt will be the quickest cause you only have to handle half as much dirt. But lets say that you plan on going 8' and moving the dirt. 50x50x8 is 20,000cu ft of dirt. which is about 740 cu yds. Given that most tractors in the 30-40HP range have a 1/3 or so yard bucket. you are talking about 2000 bucket fulls of dirt. That is alot of seat time. And depending on experience level, it may take you longer than you want. and if you dont want to spend 20k+ on a tractor, look at renting a dozer or excavator for a weekend and have it done.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    Quote Originally Posted by K7LN View Post
    You're young yet, but eventually, this stuff will get old. More and more, I appreciate the fact that less is more. Sometimes you become a slave to your dreams.
    I'm 44 lol
    Quote Originally Posted by LD1 View Post
    You still need something that is going to be able to get it done on a decient amount of time. I'd try to shoot for not more than 3-4 days.

    200 hours @ 10 hours a day is 20 days if you work at it every day. What is the chance that mother nature is going to cooperate for that amount of time??? Or will you just end up with a half dug pond half full of water. Trying to pump it out and getting it dry enough to get the equipment back in can be a PITA.

    And as mentioned, it makes a difference HOW you plan on digging. Are you planning on digging a big hole in the ground and having to go somehwere with the dirt??? Or do you lan on only digging down about 4 foot and using that dirt to create a 4' wall (giving you 8' depth). Re-using the dirt will be the quickest cause you only have to handle half as much dirt. But lets say that you plan on going 8' and moving the dirt. 50x50x8 is 20,000cu ft of dirt. which is about 740 cu yds. Given that most tractors in the 30-40HP range have a 1/3 or so yard bucket. you are talking about 2000 bucket fulls of dirt. That is alot of seat time. And depending on experience level, it may take you longer than you want. and if you dont want to spend 20k+ on a tractor, look at renting a dozer or excavator for a weekend and have it done.
    i plan on moving the dirt about 100 yards away, i have an atv with a little dump trailer on it i can use, may take a while but it will do it.

    Do you think a bobcat excavator would be okay to do the work? or do i absolutely need the front bucket?

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Lebanon,NH.
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    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046 & Craftman T2200 lawn mower.

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    May depends on soil..is rocky/hard excavator should be quicker,but the travel distance I would go w/front loader.

  10. #10
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sacramento
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    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: What size Tractor do i need?

    Quote Originally Posted by 567234ta View Post
    Hi all, i am glad i found this forum already just from reading threads on here.
    I want to be able to dig a decent sized pond, like 50' x 50' maybe 8 feet deep, get stumps out of the ground, i don't mind if i have to work on for a while, i have been doing everything by hand anyways so it will be much faster than that way.

    I know i need a shovel on the back and the scoop, but not sure what size tractor i should try to get. I know nothing about tractors but i am a fast learner.

    Thanks, illya
    OK, you want to move 50x50x8=20,000 cubic feet of earth.
    I have a 2008 Mahindra 5525 (54 hp engine, 45 hp pto, 2WD, gear tranny, power steering) with the ML-250 6-ft wide bucket on the front end loader. That bucket has 18.8 cubic feet capacity.

    What size Tractor do i need?-dscf0061-small-jpgWhat size Tractor do i need?-dscf0062-small-jpgWhat size Tractor do i need?-dscf0058-small-jpg

    (The little tractor is a 2005 kubota B7510HST (21 hp engine, 17 hp pto, 4WD, hydrostatic tranny, power steering) with a 4-ft wide bucket.)

    That's 1063 bucket-fulls to dig your pond.
    If you can load, transport, dump and return in 3 minutes, that's 3189 minutes or 53 hours. Not too bad.
    BTW: that 5525 cost about $18K new. The B7510HST was $12.6K new.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

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