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  1. #1
    Bronze Member herefromthere's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    57
    Location
    Wet Side of WA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200HST 4WD, BH77 w/Mechanical Thumb, Land Pride BB1572 Box Scraper

    Default 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    Sorry for the long post, but I want to try to get all of the considerations in one place. Thoughts would be most appreciated. I'm seriously contemplating a tractor loader backhoe purchase, and so far I've spoken to the big three dealers locally (green, blue, and orange.) Red paint (MF) wasn't quite as local and was a really small shop. My property has about 1/4 mile of driveway with some steep sections, a planned 50' x 100' of garden (max for now), lots of forest that I will be building some access trails into, a few of which would be nice to have tractor width. The rest will be singletrack, so not relevant for the tractor requirements.

    Implements I forsee wanting include a box scraper, a small tiller, and something to help with skidding logs. The primary use won't be for that, but I will occasionally want to move logs over distance. Planned upgrades I'd like to start out with include: bolt on bucket cutting edge, 3 weld-on chain hooks on loader bucket, telescoping 3-point arms, ballasted R4 tires, I do have lots of hills, so stability is a big consideration. Re-grading the driveway, changing the pitch, and adding drainage will be ongoing projects. I will occasionally have to move some snow, and will initially do it with the front bucket, but may do something else later.

    A backhoe is a pretty big extravagance, but they are really handy for plucking the root balls of the small alder trees that grow like weeds here on the wet side of Washington state on any disturbed ground. It will get used for that and the driveway drainage projects enough to justify it, I think. If not, well it's a pretty darned fun toy, isn't it? I have been planning on a mechanical thumb with 6 positions. Are the dealer-installed ones set up with some kind of relief or shear pin to avoid bending or breaking something spendy? I was reading the mechanical vs. hydraulic thumb thread, but don't fully understand it yet. Just getting the backhoe is extravagant, but to add a hydraulic thumb seems to push it over the edge.

    At one point, I rented a John Deere 2305 and was pretty underwhelmed with just about everything. Quality seemed poor, and I constantly had to wrestle that seat. Some of the functions malfunctioned sporadically, and the backhoe had nowhere near enough force. The common advice on here is to always go big, but I want maneuverable as well. From my experience and from what I've read here and other places, I figure around 30HP is a good place for my intended uses. I will plan on keeping a separate mower of some type, so mowing/brush hogging isn't a concern for now. The tractors below may not be perfect apples to apples comparisons, but they are what the dealers recommended when presented with the same criteria. I'd love to have a loaded kubota B26 or a Deere 110TLB, but the lottery #'s haven't been in my favor yet.

    John Deere 3320
    Barnett Equipment (Mount Vernon)
    Thoughts and concerns: Green paint is really expensive. Turbo adds expensive parts, so what is the advantage if not trying to save weight if we're talking comparable HP? How compatible with other companies attachments is the Deere I-match stuff? I assume it's standard across the line. Like the non-corroding material for the loader arm/cylinder(?) surfaces. Also like the fact that it's a large, established dealer. Too heavy with loader & backhoe for my 7k gross car trailer w/18' deck.

    New Holland T1510
    Brim Tractor (Mount Vernon)
    Thoughts and concerns: Seems like a good, basic tractor and very comparable to the Kubota L3200. Too heavy with loader & backhoe for my 7k gross car trailer w/18' deck.

    Kubota L3200
    Scholten's Equipment (Burlington)
    Thoughts and concerns: That jerky valve on the 3-pt I keep hearing about. Flimsy plastic feeling steering wheel that actually feels weaker than the one on the B3300SU. Seems very comparable to the T1510. Would add the BH77 backhoe which looks very similar to the Woods BH80X on the NH T1510. Too heavy with loader & backhoe for my 7k gross car trailer w/18' deck.

    Kubota B3300SU
    Scholten's Equipment (Burlington)
    Thougts and concerns: Quick attach loader bucket/skid steer compatibility not available. Would add the BH77 backhoe which looks very similar to the Woods BH80X on the NH T1510. Does the basic utility tractor get a better 3-point valve than the L-series? Lighter than L-series, and would use rotating seat for backhoe, so it would be both more maneuverable in use and towable fully loaded on my 7k gross trailer.

    Due to the price, the turbo vs. natural aspiration, and the possible attachment compatibility, I'm leaning toward the Kubota L3200 or the New Holland T1510. Any thoughts, comments, and recommendations are welcome. If I should be considering other tractors or accessories, please add them. Thoughts on the dealers listed above would be great as well. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by herefromthere; 10-30-2011 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Spelling of dealer name.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member GreatWhitehunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    1,402
    Location
    Eastern CT
    Tractor
    JD 3320

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    3320 is not turbo.

    Matt
    3320 TLB , Woods box blade , , JD snow plow, 2500hd Dmax crew , Load Trail dump trailer, Millonzi grapple,Horst Forks, 5' Woods Brush Bull X, Woods PHD35 9" auger, Frontier 60" 4in1 bucket, custom 60" rock bucket, BearCat chipper/shredder Kawasaki Mule 4010

  3. #3
    Gold Member DennisFolsom's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    343
    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    John Deere 4600, Craftsman YT4000

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    I was thinking in terms of a JD 3320, a kubota L3400, a Bobcat CT-335, or a Massey 1533. I also wanted a backhoe. Cost was an issue. I settled for a deal on a used JD 4600 with 48 backhoe. That's a frame size larger than the new tractors I had been considering. I have now used the 4600 for 100+ hours, much of it backhoe work. I'm not a bit sorry I went larger. I looked again at a 3320 on a visit to the JD dealer. The 3320 looks awfully small and narrow to me now.

    Given that a backhoe is on your wish list, I would recommend going into the 4000 series John Deere's, or the equivalent size in another brand.

    I'm not totally against a turbo, but I'm glad my tractor does not have one. To me, it's just another expensive piece to have to replace someday. I'd rather have the same power in a bit larger engine.

    No need to apologize for the long post. You gave good information and well organized also.
    I'm "going green" - my "4-wheeler" is a John Deere 4600 HST!

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2009
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    1,808
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    S. W. Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    As far as the Kubota's go, the B3300 is going to have a quarter inching 3pt hitch whereas the L3200 has a position control 3pt. The one on the B-series will be nice and smooth, but some don't like it for a variety of reasons (plenty of reading on that in the Kubota section). The 3pt on the L series can be jerky according to most owners, so I guess take your pick.

    To me the backhoe setup on the B-series is a lot nicer with the integrated seat and closer mounted hoe, but the L series does give a little more loader lift height. If you don't plan on doing any loading of trucks or such, I think the B3300 would suit you fine. They will both handle the BH77 the same, although the extra weight of the L-series will make for a little smoother 'ride' under heavy digging.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  5. #5
    art
    art is offline
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    central New York
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    all makes and models

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    The L-series kubota would be a better choice.

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Feb 2008
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    8,826
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    I would rather have a used piece of equipment that fit my requirements than a new one that doesn't measure up. All of them are used once you get them home. I would look around for a used 110tlb or B26 if that is what you want. Both of these are really good machines and are available in good condition in your price range. I have a 110tlb and have been very satisfied with what it will do, very versatile machine. I have used the B26 which is smaller but really liked it's ability for the size, better than deere's offerings in its weight class.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Gittyup's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Mid Atlantic
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25 Shuttle Shift, loaded tires, JD X739

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    Weight is king for backhoe/loader work. You seem to be letting your trailer capacity dictate what size to buy. Could be a mistake where you are left with yet another underwhelming tractor. Now, I understand the trailer delemma. But, what good is a tractor that won't fit your needs?

    Since weight is king, I like the Kioti/BC or Branson tractors for digging. Also, HP won't be as important for your intended tasks. Hydraulics will be. Again, this where the Kiotis/BCs shine. I recommend a DK40. I know these aren't on your list. But, you should give them serious consideration. Also, the 1600 series MFs are real beasts too.... and yes they will exceed your trailer capacity.

    Within your trailer capacity, and giving outstanding digging performance, look at the Kioti CK20 or BC CT120. Nice short wheelbase with outstanding loader, weight, hydraulic specs. These are only 22 hp. But HP isn't the driving factor for many of your chores. You will likely save a good bit of money too.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member herefromthere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    57
    Location
    Wet Side of WA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200HST 4WD, BH77 w/Mechanical Thumb, Land Pride BB1572 Box Scraper

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    Thank you for the information everyone and the correction on the 3320; not sure where I got the idea it was turbocharged.

    As for size and weight, I'm willing to give up some capability on the higher end of things for maneuverability. Most of what I'll be doing will be small projects, but there will be a lot of varied types of projects. With a larger machine, I'd definitely give up the ability to get into tight places or position myself as well in them. That said, I'm not totally stuck on keeping total weight of tractor/loader/backhoe under 5k# to be able to use the trailer I already have. It's just one consideration. Giving a bit of thought to this today, and I do place high importance on being able to move through the woods over uneven terrain to skid small logs or retrieve firewood. I feel I'd be ok with losing some digging capability as a trade off. If looking at smaller HP, larger frame tractors, what kind of GPM should I want in the hyrdraulics for good backhoe capability? Also, from what I've read, it seems that position control is far nicer than 1/4 inching or just up/down controls for the 3-pt. What does the New Holland T1510 have for controls?

    I am open to other brands, but the closest Bobcat dealer is 40 miles away, and the closest Branson dealer is 100 miles, while the ones I listed are all in a 10 mile range. Service is an important consideration for me, so I tend to prefer local, established dealers and large parts networks.

    Craigslist is checked daily for a score on a used tractor, but there isn't anything that jumps out at me currently. Thank you again for the discussion.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    did you price out the B26? you might find it's more competitive than you think against your list. If memory serves I believe I was told one could be bought for less than $30k.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Gittyup's Avatar
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    Mid Atlantic
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    Kioti CK25 Shuttle Shift, loaded tires, JD X739

    Default Re: 30-ish HP TLB Thoughts

    On hydraulics, when I compared, the Kioti CK25/27/30/35 have just shy of 13 gpm with about 5 gpm dedicated to power steering and the rest for loader/backhoe work. As I recall (and I don't remember the exact number, but you can look them up), the "equivalent" kubota B3030 had like 8 gpm total. Similar numbers for a JD2520. I don't recall anyone being close to Kioti in the 25 - 30 hp range. The bobcat is the exact same wrt hydraulics.

    On distance to dealer. It's nice to be close. But, that alone would not force me to one make over another. I bought from a dealer 250 miles away. Saved thousands, even with the delivery fee. I've had two warranty issues. The dealer came to me both times to fix them. For maintenance parts, I simply call and have them shipped to my door.

    Now my other machine is a JD. The dealer is about 1/2 mile away. My tractor has been there once in 18 years of ownership. The dealer did the first repair. I've just this year had to do the second one: new cam gear at 1000 hours. I did it myself.

    Tractors are generally of outstanding quality and won't see a dealership very often, unless you are real unlucky. It is nice to be able to simply run up there to get a maintenance item... but it's really so I can drool over the shiney new tractors

    In a Kioti/BC, 30 HP TLB, loaded tires, 18" bucket - you are looking at somewhere around 5500 lbs in a very short wheelbase machine. Similar sized JD2520 weights close to 2000 less, as I recall. Same for some of the botas. I think some of the slightly bigger grand-L's come close to this weight.

    In the CK20, you get 22 HP, good weight (3800 lbs), comparable hydraulics on a very short frame (about 100 inches). Other than the B26, nothing compares to cost/size/weight/performance, except the B26 would cost you 50% more.

    1/4 inching vs. infinite is a preference thing. I don't see it as that big of a deal unless you need real precise repeatable settings.

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