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  1. #1

    Default help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    I currently own 80 acres that is half wooded and the other half hilly. In the past it was used for pasture and haying, but I have decided to enroll about 25 acres in the Wildlife Incentive Program, by planting native grasses and wildflowers along with food plots. I currently own a Ford 8N with 5ft bush hog, finish mower and grader blade. I will need to disc the food plots and use a no till drill for the seeding on the native grasses. I would also like to consider the purchase of a FEL in the future. I would like to puchase either a new or used tractor with ROPS and canopy and would like to keep the purchase price around the $10,000 mark if possible. Would it be advisable for a 4 wheel drive unit considering the lay of my land? What amount of horsepower would be advisable? My farm is located in southern Indiana. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am new at this and would like to get your valued advice. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    800
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    prairiegrass,

    Your question(s) may start the "4wd vs 2wd" and "Gear vs Hydrostat transmission" discussions again. Here is my 2-cents worth.

    The 4wd option is indeed something I believe that is needed (or at least highly desired) on any hilly terrain because of the increased safety that it affords.

    I'm assuming that you want to keep using the 5-foot rotary mower. I beleive that most people recommend a minimum 30hp to operate a 5-foot rotary mower. I think that it will be hard to find a really good 4wd tractor that is big enough to handle a 5' rotary mower and still be under $10,000. And if you did find one, it probably wouldn't be long before you would be wanting to upgrade.

    You didn't mention how much of the 80 acres that you were mowing. If you were using a 4-foot rotary mower instead of the 5-foot mower, I believe that your tractor choices would be better, as you could go down to as low as a 20hp diesel tractor. I also believe that a hydrostat transmission is a highly desirable feature because of the increased safety if provides on hills, but that drives up the price a bit as well.

    ROPS & Canopy: Make sure that the tractor you purchase has a ROPS and seatbelt for your safety in case you do roll the tractor. A decent canopy that bolts onto the ROPS costs around $250-$300 if the tractor you purchase doesn't already have one.

    To get an idea of tractor availability and prices, browse through the Equipment Trader portion of www.traderonline.com. I have never purchased from this online source, but it is always nice to know what comparative prices are for tractors that I am considering.

    Hope this helps,
    Kelvin

  3. #3

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    I will only be mowing about 10 acres at the max after my native grass plots are established, since they will be controlled by prescribed burns in the future. I would possibly consider spending more if it would be beneficial to do so. Mainly I am concerned about the safety aspect as mowing with my 8N on the hilly terrain is a little scary to say the least.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    155
    Location
    Sugar Land,Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    We are in the process of reclaiming 50 acres of clearcut land to also enroll in the Wildlife Incentives program. We wound up with a kubota MX5000 50 hp. One factor you might consider is the food plots. They will need some disking and also in the "program" you need to keep some bare ground for birds for dusting etc. All this involves ground contact implements (and the hp to pull them). We orginally looked at an L4310. It would not have been enough tractor for our intended use and I have already have had one instance where I would have liked to have a few more horsed but the tractor we have will suffice. Good Luck on your purchase.
    Just my .02
    Mike

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    873
    Location
    N Central Ohio
    Tractor
    NH TC35D/SUPER H&M/F-20/JD B&D/FORDSON/JD250 SSL

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    use a no till drill for the seeding on the native grasses.

    Depending on size of drill, we pull a 10' haybuster w/ 90hp
    and the new Deere 15' drill w/ IH 5288 (160 hp) w/ duals.
    U might want to hire the drilling done $15-20/ac.

  6. #6
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,262
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    Hey PrairieGrass, I can't offer much help on the tractor selection but I'd sure like to know more about this Wildlife Incentive Program. Is that a state program? What is the financial benefit to you? I looked at planting some prairie grasses a couple of years ago and was shocked at the seed prices. I'd be very interested to hear about any help available. TIA [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    488
    Location
    Ft. Worth, Tx
    Tractor
    access to our whole Kubota fleet

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    popeye
    This last year, I have sold 5 or 6 MX5000DTs to people doing the same thing (food plots) with their land. They ended up with 4WD due to the discing requirements. An Athens 47 (75" width disc), 6' mower and 6' box blade have been kind of the standard for their uses. Lots of tractor (50 hp) without being too large to move around, the longer M series warranty and a good transmission seem to be the deciding factors.
    Lewis

  8. #8
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    717
    Location
    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
    Tractor
    PT2445 and PT1850

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    Safety, versatility and hilly considerations led me to first consider and eventually buy, a power-trac. (details in "Best Mountain Tractor?" thread in the buying forum) While I've had to do some maintenance, I am very pleased to own one! PT425 owners speak very highly of them. I drooled over the 1430 and ended up with a used 2445.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    155
    Location
    Sugar Land,Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    I agree the MX5000 seems to be the best compromise. We have put that tractor through tougher stuff than it was intended for (almost bought an L4310 glad we didn't). 2" saplings plus and it doesn't skip a beat. We have a RHino 6ft shredder and it goes like the Energizer bunny. It's 2wd shuttle tranny but our land is fairly flat where we are going to plant and clear. Handles great and can get into some tight spots.
    Wish JD made one that good at reasonable price.
    Mike

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    54
    Location
    CONNECTICUT
    Tractor
    MAHINDRA/2810

    Default Re: help in choosing a tractor upgrade

    With what your describing, i think you need 50 to 60 hp minimum, 4wd, Dont think you are going to find any thing in that hp range for that price. I know Mahindra has some pretty good financing rates (3 yr 0%) and 3 yr warranty on the 4500, 5500, 6000 4wd, But prices are more than your limit.
    think your going to end up with used.

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