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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    20
    Location
    Oregon
    Tractor
    Kubota 3830

    Default Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    This is probably one of the most basic and difficult questions to answer….

    I am struggling with how to choose an appropriately sized tractor. I don’t have the confidence that I can anticipate my future uses well enough to choose the correctly sized unit. The dealers I have spoken with have spent a bunch of time telling me about what each tractor can do but their recommendations vary so drastically the information doesn’t help select the right tractor.

    This board has convinced me to buy the biggest tractor I can afford. Yet, I don’t want to waist money. The only way I know to approach this decision is to decide what tasks the tractor will perform most frequently (80% of the time) and make sure that what ever I buy will be able to handle those jobs.

    Conditions include…
    · The property is fairly rough and muddy in places.
    · The grassy acreage is slightly sloped towards a creek and pond.
    · The majority of the property is fairly wild with heavy undergrowth. This includes heavy grass, holly trees, blackberries, sage and junk trees up to about 2 inches.
    · There is large Doug Fir on several acres that need to be mowed around.

    I know I want the tractor to immediately be capable of…
    · Brush hogging.
    · Moving quantities of dirt and gravel for a roadbed, and planting areas.
    · Digging postholes.

    In the future I may need to perform maintenance on the creek, pond and dam, chip debris and till planting areas. I want to buy something that is capable of these tasks.

    Given these requirements I think I need about 30 PTO horsepower in a stable 4wd chassis. The brush hog should be capable of cutting up to about 2 inch trees. So far the tractor that seems to best meet these requirements is the JD 4510 with a power-reverser transmission. I have looked closely at the 4310, 4410, 4510 and NH 35d and 40d. The NH models we not comfortable for me and seemed to be considerably less stable. Is this a valid impression? I have doubts that the 4310 and 4410 have enough grunt to do the work I require.

    So, I guess my question boils down to a very generic “Am I going about this purchasing decision correctly?”. What advice can you give me to narrow my choices? What questions should I be asking my local dealers to better select the proper tractor?

    What models in the JD, Kabota or NH lines would you recommend?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Colin--






  2. #2
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    With 15 acres I think you're in the right size. Start with a 30hp range and then compare the different colors. Likley will have 5 foot wide buckets and be able to go with a 6 foot cutter. You'd be surprised what you can do with 30 hp. May take a little longer than with a bigger tractor but you aren't going to be hogging 50 acres either. A kubota L3010 would fit the bill. Not advocating one color over another but I'm more familiar with orange [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]. I'd go with the R1 tires if you have any muddy conditions or field work.

  3. #3
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,693
    Location
    Minnesota SE
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    Colin,

    Based on what you are saying the 30 horspepower range is a good place to start. You don't list how many acres you have but cutting 2" trees with your bush hog would take about a 30 horsepower. As far as stability on the New Holland I beleive them to be just as stable as any other tractor out there. I do know that you do sit in the seat higher which would make one think your less stable but it all boils down to weightm, width an height of your axles for stablility. But don't get me wrong, John Deere is a good tractor. But you can also check out the kubota, Mahindra, Century and Branson. Big thing that you will find here is most people will tell you to deal with the dealer that gives you the best support. Once the purchase is made is where the dealer really comes into play.

    I think you also have to come up with a budget and stick with the budget. It is so easy for you to look at a tractor and then have a bunch of people tell you to go bigger and you end up spending more than you should and then there is no money left for implements.

    Take your time. This tractor will be something you will have for along time.


    murph

  4. #4
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    51,936
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    Sounds like you are on the right start. You've gotten some good info already... I have 13 acres and have a tractor with 33 pto hp.. and 4wd.

    Another thing to think about.. some people get two tractors.. Sometimes a new one in the size most suited for their needs.. and an older higher hp model for the once a year jobs.

    For instance.. lots of people have small 'estate' tractors for most use.. but for lets say, a hay pasture, they will have an old farmall setting around... etc.

    Soundguy

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,726
    Location
    Cambridge, New York
    Tractor
    JD425 lawn tractor; JD4710 CUT; JD JX75 Walk Behind

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    <font color="blue">"...This board has convinced me to buy the biggest tractor I can afford. Yet, I don’t want to waist money...
    In the future I may need to perform maintenance on the creek, pond and dam, chip debris and till planting areas. I want to buy something that is capable of these tasks...So far the tractor that seems to best meet these requirements is the JD 4510...I have doubts that the 4310 and 4410 have enough grunt to do the work I require....So, I guess my question boils down to a very generic “Am I going about this purchasing decision correctly?”. What advice can you give me to narrow my choices? What questions should I be asking my local dealers to better select the proper tractor?..."</font>

    First off, I think you've gotten a good jump start on answering many of your questions with the way you've narrowed your selection down to the JD4510. After reviewing the tasks you've outlined, however, I'd suggest going with the biggest tractor in the 4x10 series....that being the 4710. You suggest that you want to get the biggest tractor you could afford but don't want to waste money. If I'm understanding you right, you can afford the few extra thousand to go for the 4710. The tasks you mention (specifically, the pond and creek maintenance and tilling) will require some significant HP and engine torque and I'd think you would want to get the maximum HP that you can afford to buy.

    One thing I learned from numerous TBNers before I purchased my JD4710 was to go with the biggest tractor you could afford to purchase as you will always find bigger and tougher chores you will want to do with it. Having owned my 4710 for about a year, I've realized the truth of this. I've done things with the 4710 that I never originally envisioned and I'm sure glad I had that extra engine HP and torque.

    As for questions to ask dealers, I'd minimize the perceived importance of this. You will likely learn much more by reading through many of the old threads in these TBN forums on the tractor and attachments you have in mind. I found this to be more useful and helpful rather than asking dealers 'blind' questions. Doing research here at TBN will better enable you to refine your search on the tractor package of your choice. Dealers can then help further in answering specific questions you may have on a specific option or attachment and with prices. One thing I learned is dealers really appreciate knowing what you generally want before you walk into the dealership.

    Hope some of this helps.

    ...Bob

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    <font color="blue"> So, I guess my question boils down to a very generic “Am I going about this purchasing decision correctly?”. </font>

    Yes, you are.

    If in doubt, go bigger, but you're on the right track. Even the smaller CUTs are pretty useful. Make sure you go with 4WD, I'd also suggest HST (or equivelant). No matter which brand you choose you'll get a lot of use out of it. Take the one you like best, priced best, and make sure you go with a dealer that you like. You'll probably need to have support after you buy and if the dealer isn't making you really happy before the sale it is unlikely that it'll be better afterwards.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    20
    Location
    Oregon
    Tractor
    Kubota 3830

    Default Re: Proper "Sizing" Advice???

    Thanks everyone for the advice. Getting positive feedback on the process really raises my confidence level. I was fortunate last night to make it to a new kubota dealer.

    I had previously poor results from the dealer closets to my house. This dealer is about 45 minutes away. I caught him right at closing but he stayed late to answer all my questions. I ended up driving a l3830 GST and a L4630 HST. Both were great tractors. I was very surprised that the prices were actually about 10 - 15% less than the JD comparable tractor.

    Now things start to get more complicated.

    Again thanks for all the advice.

    Colin--

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