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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jan 2012
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    Central Texas

    Default New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Greetings. I'll apologize in advance for not knowing what I'm doing. I know you guys probably get this same post 100 times a year, and I do apologize. I did look through as many posts as I could before posting, but I just didn't see answers to questions I had.

    So the story is I just moved onto 20 acres, this will just be a homestead. I've cleared about 10 acres of it, the other 10 is mesquite brush. In the immediate foreseeable future my plans for a tractor would include site preperations for a 30X40 shop, a 25X40 garage, a 85X50 sport court, and a 20X40 outdoor kitchen/patio. We would also like to develope and maintain a one acre vegetable garden. Aside from that, there is lots of landscaping to do, so I will be moving dirt around, putting in big flagstone rocks for pathways, possibly putting in concrete sidewalks, ect. I will also need to maintain our dirt/gravel driveway which is about 1000' long. I do have a commercial zero turn mower, so I will most likely not be needing a shredder. One thing we would like to do but is not necessarily immediate is to buy some larger trees and transplant them to the property.

    So here is my questions, and mind you, I know absolutely nothing about tractors. I can tell you that my general philosophy in life is to oversize everything. I think I have pretty much figured out from reading this forum and others that I need a utiliy tractor, and probably most likely a compact utility tractor. However, I can't figure out what size I need. A lot of what I need to get done in the beginning will require a backhoe. But I can't figure those things out, how much pto horsepower do you need to run a backhoe strong enough to dig the footings for a concrete foundation?

    So, not knowing what I'm talking about, I'm thinking about getting around a 50 HP, 4WD with front end loader, box blade, auger, disc, and backhoe. But it seems like whenever I find a tractor with a backhoe they are tractors in the 25-35 hp range, is there a reason for this? Maybe that's all I need? I keep reading about a HST transmission, would this be the best choice for a novice? Can you even have a HST with a backhoe?

  2. #2
    Super Member mguitas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    5,966
    Location
    Schuylkill County Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1423 Hydrostat

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Yes to the hst an backhoe, an
    Massey 1423, 1462 loader, wallenstein Ranch ho gx620, with subframe mount.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    688
    Location
    Eastern Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    You can find plenty of 40-50hp tractors with BH's. Perhaps the dealers you are visiting don't have a market for these or it could be that a BH is an expensive attachment and some dealers don't wish to put their inventory dollars in an attachment they can readily order. My closest dealer only had the kubota commercial TLB line with BH's: B26, L45 and M59. The others he had on the lot, not one had a BH and he had one of almost everything from 20hp-50hp. The dealer I ordered from (not my closest dealer) did have my MX5100 but not the BH so he ordered it.

    To answer your question on size of tractor, yes you will need a utility tractor, not a compact and definitely 40-50hp is the target you want to look at. HST is a good choice for performing loader work and it is the easiest on a novice. Yes you can have HST with a BH (I have one) so no worries there. I'm assuming you are looking new? Based on all the attachments and depending on the make you are looking at between $35-45k (it can go higher depending on HP/brand/model).

    Makes out there are Deere, Kioti, Kubota, Mahindra, New Holland and a few more. I personally like Kubota but many will argue their preferred brand so that is a personal choice. You need to look at closest dealers and then go sit on various brands/models, test drive some, ask a lot of questions of your dealer and speak to the service guy/gal as that is who you will deal with.
    Last edited by Kyle241; 01-16-2012 at 09:47 AM.
    2011 Kubota MX5100, BH92, BH BB72, Walco Bush Hog and Snowblower, Wallenstein 310 Splitter & Forks

  4. #4
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    16,985
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Find the dealers that are close to you. Pick four different makes and models that are close in HP and size. Get quotes from your four dealers and there you go.... Backhoes are not really a stocked item so don't be suprised that they have to order it. Most of all, Have fun.:
    P.s. Fill out your data so the other guys can help you from your area.
    Murph ------------

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    6,225
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Your area might not support as many 40 to 50 horsepower tractors to have a good used selection. I know for what we work with forty horsepower is where the backhoes slow down or are not commonly sold although some still do purchase them.

    I normally look to find the most common thing that might be done with the tractor and then build it from that. You will do the greater part of the time with it and it should be the largest prioity in the set up of the tractor and will enhance the whole ownership of the tractor.

    When you get the mesquite down will that ten acres also be mowed?? How often do you plan on mowing?

    Often times TLB units are built and weighted for heavier construction like the kubota B-26 or the L-series 35-39-45-48-59. These units also have larger hydralic systems to increase there production. Normally tractors in this range have about 1/2 the hydraulic systems that thee hybrid units do.

    They do weigh more!!! This could be a disadvantage to you if you only use or need the backhoe for small chores. It would mean that to run the hydraulics would need more power as well as just to move the heavier chassis!

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3,122
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    now im not trying to push this brand of tractor,but i have the MX5100 HST 4x4 with LA844 quicktatch loader.itll carry a backhoe an do the other things you would like todo.but you need to go to the dealers an sitt on the tractors an test drive a few of them.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    I suggest you look at a kubota M59 tlb 59hp, this would be a good sized backhoe, easily removeable yet convenient to operate. This is much better than an add on backhoe for most tractors (it is all about the seat position). The smaller L45 and the Deere 110 are similar in size and what I have but I think the 60 hp size is better for most tractor work. Pallets of flagstone can be quite heavy and the small loaders don't stand a chance with them.


    Where are you located? Sounds like the southwest.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Central Texas

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Thanks for the replies, it is much appreciated...some things you guys said have caught my eye...
    Often times TLB units are built and weighted for heavier construction like the kubota B-26 or the L-series 35-39-45-48-59. These units also have larger hydralic systems to increase there production. Normally tractors in this range have about 1/2 the hydraulic systems that thee hybrid units do.
    Thanks Art...Am I to understand that the TLB packaged tractors are more than just a marketing package? In other words, these TLB packages in fact do have larger hydraulic's and are weighted so that they are properly setup to do backhoe work? Does this mean eventhough I can find add-on backhoes for most tractors that I should really be looking for a TLB package because other tractors will struggle to do the work? Not knowing anything about tractors, the fact that a backhoe would require larger hydraulics than say an auger, box blade, or shredder makes sense to me. So if I find a tractor that I like that is not setup as a TLB, what features do I need to look for to make sure that a backhoe will work? What is the size of a standard hyraulic's system versus a larger?

    Kyle241...you mentioned the HST is good for loader work. What about doing loader work makes a HST nice? I'm not sure I understand why the transmission plays an important part? I can see where transmission consideration would make sense for some applications such as something like plowing. I could see where the ability to set your tractor to go at a very slow crawl and still have power to the ground would be important. But I can't make the connection with a loader? Not questioning or arguing, I'm just ignorant.

    Jenkinsph...you mention it's all about the seat position? Can you elaborate, do you mean just comfort wise with relation to the controls? Or are you talking about function, like not being able to see what you are doing, or it prevents the backhoe from full swings?

    Thanks again guys

  9. #9
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    691
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    Echoing some earlier posts check out your dealers, a good dealer reasonably close is a truly wonderful asset. Poke around on this website and check threads concerning different tractor brands, what they offer and associated problems. If you can, check the resale value of used tractors on the lot and see how different brands retain their resale value. I have a kubota MX5100 HST, 4WD, LA844 Loader w/HD round back bucket, guide rod, quick attach, R4 tires, and other little niceties. I had a backhoe on my first Kubota, but didn't get one with this one. I found that most of my needs required more reach than the backhoes on farm tractors. I didn't order this one with rear remotes in order to save some cash. I wish I had. Don't scrimp on your attachments, get heavy duty stuff if you are going to be landscaping. A box scraper is almost indispensable for landscaping and it also provides rear ballast for you. With a loader 4WD and ballast in the rear tires is a must. Decide which tires are right for your needs (R1 Ag provide the best traction, but are hard on lawns, R4s, industrial provide less traction, but have a bigger footprint and are easier on lawns, Turf are great for lawn type work, but have limited functionality.) Check the weight, features, and reputation of all your implements and attachments, heavier is better. If you are going to mow lawn type ground, don't spend the money for a finishing mower, go with a zero turn, they perform better, mow faster, and give you a better looking cut. Rotary mowers aka brush hogs are great for mowing heavy stuff including small trees and bushes. Once again heavier is better and get one with at least a 90 HP gearbox rating if you are going to be mowing heavy brush. I am a big Kubota fan and love this tractor better than any I have owned before (6 in all). If comfort and amenities are important look at the Kubota Grand L series. That said, there are a lot of good tractors out there, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, et. al. Determine what your budget range is for everything that you want and work from that. Often companies will offer financing incentives such as low or no interest financing (Check and see if the financed price is the same as cash.), discounted package deals on implements and attachments and don't be afraid to haggle and shop other dealers for the same brand, however, a few hundred dollars for a closer dealer is generally money well spent. Talk to other owners about their tractor(s) and dealers. You can configure the models that you are considering on a lot of the brand websites and get an idea of cost, however, this is list and most dealers will discount the price considerably.

    Good luck and enjoy the process, shop, shop, shop. If there are farm machinery shows close by go to them where you can see different brands and what they have to offer. I don't know where you live, but the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. is coming up starting February 15th. It is the largest indoor show of it's type in the world. If you can manage it is a great show with myriad exhibits and it's all indoors. Big indoor tractor pull too if you a fan although tickets are hard to find. National Farm Machinery Show

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: New guy needs help sizing a tractor please

    When I say it is all about the seat position I am referring to digging a trench for instance. It is much easier to move the machine up and down the trench if you can reach the steering wheel and loader joystick easily. Some of the add on backhoe attachments require you to climb down from the backhoe seat and walk around to the tractor seat to move the machine. That can be a real pain. In some cases you can use the backhoe to walk the tractor up the ditch but not always.

    I have a 110tlb with a Laurin cab, the seat flips over for operating the backhoe, it is close enough I can reach over and operate the fel joystick to position the bucket and also turn the steering wheel. With the creep to reposition controls at the backhoe position I can easily move the tractor around without leaving the backhoe seat.

    I also have a 4520 cab tractor which could have a rear mounted backhoe attachment. You would have to climb down and get in the cab to move it each time, not near as convenient.

    Just want to bring this to your attention so you can see the advantages to buying either a 110tlb or an M59tlb as both of these are a better design. Whether you opt for a cab or not just be aware that Laurin does offer a good aftermarket cab for these machines. I suggested the M59 because it is slightly larger and a good overall machine for your intents and purposes.
    The 110tlb is a great machine too but production ceased last year and it was 43hp. Shopping used they are available. The kubota M59 is currently in production and gets my vote.

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