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  1. #1
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    2,658
    Location
    Central MA, Lakes Region NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410

    Default Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    I have posted on here before with some "which tractor to buy" questions and got a lot of very helpful answers. I had eventually settled on a cabbed kubota 5240 or 5740.
    Well recently we had to buy a new car due to a bambi strike totaling our other one, so that took a HUGE portion of the tractor fund away. I'm now down to spending maybe 15-20k or so, at this time less would be preferable.
    I am also willing to trade my very mint Harley Davidson towards the purchase of a tractor if the seller is looking for trade.

    My wife and I recently acquired (actually in the process of acquiring) 10-20 acres of (family) woodland in NH. The portion we are getting is part of a 50 acre parcel, which is all wooded. I will be maintaining the entire 50 acre parcel after we move up there.
    Right now there is no driveway whatsoever. We are planning on a 600-800 foot gravel driveway. I will hire an excavator or bulldozer to do the major site work like the driveway and lot clearing for the house.
    My main objectives are:
    -Clearing 8"-20" DBH hardwoods for firewood (I currently have a PTO driven winch I will use with the new tractor)
    -Skidding log length pines to my sawmill, anywhere from 12"-25" DBH (I also have a heavy duty log arch for logs that are too large to skid)
    -Clearing a lot of brush/overgrown blueberry fields to reclaim some fields
    -Box blading the driveway
    -snow removal
    -brush hogging, moving dirt, lifting logs onto the mill
    -picking up and moving/clearing a LOT of rocks and rebuilding a LOT of stonewalls

    I will also want a root grapple for the FEL for both picking up brush, and loading logs on the mill. I would like a FEL capacity of close to 2,000lbs.

    The land is everywhere from level, to gently sloping, to steep. Most of where I will be working is not the steep area. The great majority of trees on the land are of small to medium size.

    I have read so many "what to buy" threads that I'm actually getting more and more indecisive. I originally thought I would want the biggest tractor I can afford. I am now thinking the smallest I want to go is around 40pto hp.
    After reading more and more, I am starting to think I don't actually NEED that much power, but THINK I want it.
    I am hoping to someday have my original choice of a 55hp or so cab tractor with larger capabilities so I am trying to plan for the future by not buying all small implements that I can't use on a larger tractor.

    I would like my next tractor to be hydrostatic transmission, definitely 4X4, has to have FEL, and able to do the work I am describing. I see myself wanting a root grapple, pallet forks for FEL (for moving lumber on pallets) possibly a pto log splitter, a heavy duty box blade, a 7' (roughly) brush hog, and maybe a pto snowblower. I don't have to have these all right away.

    I would like to start with NH, Kubota, or JD to start my searching, but which models do I start looking at in this range. I don't want a B series kubota or any other that small, whether it will do the job or not. I will tow the tractor with a F-350 diesel. Obviously I am looking at used tractors in this price range, probably '02 to '05 I'm thinking.

    It is very likely that the tractor I end up buying won't have forward hydraulics. Is it difficult or overly pricey to add forward hydraulics to run the grapple?

    I also have an old Dynahoe backhoe for digging, so I don't need a backhoe attachment.

    I am not against other brands but do want a well established brand, I want to start with the big 3 first so I don't get overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there

    I'm sure I forgot things and you guys will remind me when you need more info but I did my best.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    1,604
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    It sounds to me like you have the situation pretty well figured out. In the kubota line, the larger Grand L series tractors match up pretty nicely with what you are planning to do.

    I would agree you want good FEL capacity. If you are able to go for new, the L4240 and larger models have the LA854 loader, which is very strong. If you're thinking of used, the previous xx10 and xx30 models with the LA852 or LA853 FEL are similar. My L4610 with the LA852 has been doing the kind of work you describe for 8 trouble-free years. These tractors are all comparable in size, and I think the only task you mentioned where added horsepower would really make a difference is that 7 ft brush cutter. You'd want 50hp or more for it; under 50, you'd be better with a 6 ft.

    And, one other Kubota model to consider. The MX5100 is a 50hp, HST model with the LA844 FEL, but does not have the electronics and some of the other features of the Grand L's. I would expect it might also be a few less $$$.

    Certainly the comparable models from JD or NH should also be checked out.

  3. #3
    New Member Angelus's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    22
    Location
    South Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 3038e

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    If your budget is truly limited to 15K-20K, you might want to look at the kubota L3700SU or the JD 3038e. Here's a comparison of specs:
    http://www.kubota.com/assets/product...00SU_comps.pdf

    Neither of those tractors are 40HP at the PTO. They are 30HP PTO. But from what you described you needs to be, not sure why you would need the 10 extra HP, if your land will only be 10-20 acres.

    If you have decided you "need" 40HP at the PTO, you will probably have to get a used JD or Kubota. There are probably other brands that can match your power/price specs, but I am not knowledgeable enough to say which ones.

    For comparison, I have 23 acres (16 of those wooded). I have a lot of the same needs as you. I recently bought a 3038e. A few months back I thought I "needed" a MX5100. I don't think that now. But everyone is different.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    1,114
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
    Tractor
    Ford 3910

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    After doing alot of the same stuff you just mentioned if I had it to do over again I would find a 20 year old 50 hp ish tractor 2 wd without a loader, can be had for probably 7-8000 and then buy a tracked Bobcat like a T180, 190, 250 or 300. When it's all said and done sell the tractor and Bobcat and get a do it all tractor.

    I currently have a nice tractor, 55hp 2wd with a loader. It gets most anything done that I set out to do but some of my projects including an 1800 ft driveway I rented a T300 and did in one day what would have took almost a week with my tractor. granted my dad was on the tractor with a boxblade grading dirt (we had taken the loader off to get better traction) while I was on the bobcat but in 2 days we had the driveway built. I then used the bobcat to level out the house site, clear a bunch of brush etc etc etc. You'll find with a machine like a T300 there is no need for a small dozer.

    That's my take on it, a T190 machine can be picked up for $15-20 K and a decent tractor for $5K and you can get alot done with the two, especially since you already have a backhoe and if it is all wooded you probably won't be mowing much anyway.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,124
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    I find myself again pretty much in agreement with Grandad4. My choice is a L5030 bought used and really would not want to go below a 4240 or equivalent in HST. You can drop down a little in a geared unit, but I would surely want a strong FEL such as the 853/854 or equivalent. We own 2WD non FEL equipped tractors, but I would not buy one for the tasks described.

    I would certainly look at all top five or so manufacturers and look at hours and condition and not year of manufacture.

    Good luck and sorry about your car; been there too
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  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: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    I have posted this a few times, but I feel it's worth repeating....

    Check out your local dealers, tell them you are an ACTIVE buyer searching CL etc and what you are looking to do. Walk away from any dealer/brand that gives you a bad vibe or one of "tire kickers not welcome", and don't buy that brand!

    I suggest you add the Mahidra brand to your search, especially if you have a local dealer. They are heavy (safe), well made tractors, that come from the same country as many JD models in the same size range.

    A Ford 3/4000 would probabally be just about right for your needs, parts and service are easy and inexpensive in most areas as well.
    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
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    2,234
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//CAT 312B//Komatsu D38

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    For the needs you described, I would NOT go below 40 PTO HP, and definitely stay with 4X4. Maintaining 50 acres, grappling, logging, and lifting 2K with the bucket stand out in my mind. Keep shopping for a used machine, deals are out there all the time, and now is a good time of year to be shopping. Bota, JD, and NH are all excellent machines.
    Good Luck Hunting!

  8. #8
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Location
    Central MA, Lakes Region NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    Thanks for some very helpful replies
    Grandad4,
    That is exactly what I am looking for as far as information goes, thank you very much. Are all those tractors you mentioned available with Hyrdo trans?
    My ultimate plan would be to buy a good size tractor and start accumulating implements for it that I will use, then in the future step up to a cab model and still be able to keep all my implements i've collected over the years.

    I think my main problem is not knowing the model numbers to look for when searching for used tractors. I will do some searching on those models you guys have mentioned.
    Does anyone know the comparable models (for other manufacturers) to the ones Grandad4 listed? Or better yet, is there some place on this forum that lists the models in my hp range that come in hydro trans?
    I enjoy searching this forum and comparing the different tractors because there is such a wealth of info on here, but for now I'm trying to come up with which models to compare, and then I'll be off and running and hopefully leave you guys alone!

    I'll start my searches off with the recommended tractors already posted, thanks in advance for other models that will fit my needs. For now, I'm not too picky as far as what I get, just as long as it reliably does what I realistically ask of it. Also since I'm thinking I will 'upgrade' over the next few years I'm also trying to keep resale value in mind.

    Thanks guys.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,124
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    Have you checked out the tractor reviews on this site?
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  10. #10
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Location
    Central MA, Lakes Region NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410

    Default Re: Am I on the right track with what size tractor I THINK I need?

    Birdhunter,
    I know it varies from time to time and also different areas of the country, but do you have an idea on a rough cost of how much it is to rent a decent sized excavator like you did for your driveway? I have been considering that as well for the rough work, even though I'll most likely hire out the driveway and major land clearing, but its an option.

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