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  1. #1
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    Default Newbie needs opinions and advice

    I recently moved into a new house with 5 acres. The majority of the property is clear, with the north east corner of the lot being blocked from the remainder with an approximately 15" wide band of trees/brush. This blocks a rental house from view of the main house.

    I had a friend come in with large track excavator and remove 3 concrete slabs that were of no use to me, and rework my drive way with a few loads of fill and crushed concrete. Was a good start to things. He worked out a good deal for me but his time and equipment cost money to operate.

    I need to bring in a decent amount of fill over the next year or so to level up the ground and build up the grade around the main house's slab foundation. I'll need to bring in more material for the driveway as time goes on(8' wide by approx 290' as well as a 20'x30' parking area). I'll also need to bring in fill to prepare for 2 slabs on the property. One will be a smaller slab to put a mobile home on in the ne corner next to the existing rental to generate more rental income. The other will be for a large steel building for my personal use, approx 30' x 90'. Will add steel as budget allows.

    I know I need a tractor for moving/grading dirt and other material. I will want a bush hog to mow the back 2.5 acres of the land. I will likely pick up a smaller lawn tractor to finish mow the front 2 acres to a nicer finish. I definitely want a front end loader.

    All that being said, I don't have a clue what else I need or even need to know.

    How many HP?
    Hydrostatic or manual?
    4 wheel drive?
    Prob focus on USED, what should I know when looking at used tractors?
    How many hours is too many?
    How old is too old?

    I do have a Mahindra dealer relatively close by, as well as a LS dealer that I will go talk to and look around but I wanted to know a bit more before dealing with a salesman.

    Sorry for the lengthy read, I appriciate any help I can get.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member dusty3030's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    1,437
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    Arkansas!
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    JD 4120, 400x loader, bucket, bale spear, pallet forks, grapple

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    I'd look at a "mid sized" compact utility tractor with loader 4wd, HST preferred. Around 30 hp + or -.

    This would be the range that is not the smallest, but not the largest of the offerings of any given brand.

    I know John Deere the best so anything that is comparable to a JD 2520 on the low end to a JD 3000 series tractor on the top end.

    For Mahindra something like the 3016 HST fits what I would have in my mind to do what you want perfectly. Not too big, not too little.

    I know nothing about LS.

    kubota a L2800 or L3400

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by dusty3030; 03-14-2012 at 12:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    It really depends on how much you want to spend...

    I'd suggest a Deere 790 or a 4300. Good tractors and very simple to operate and maintain. One Deere I don't recommend is the 4200 with HST (some guys love 'em...but these machines are a bit weak on power).
    Any tractor I buy used (and I've bought three used machines), I prefer less then 1000 hours on the meter. Age of the machine is less important to me...to a degree.
    Deere has the best dealer and parts network. kubota is supposed to be pretty good too. However, I doubt if you need many parts except for filters and such.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Location
    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    Pretty much what Roy and Dusty said. I run geared as well as HST and for what you are doing HST will be the easiest for a new operator.

    I buy new or used, just depends. Like Roy hours mean more to me than years. I bought a seven year old tractor with 700 hours and was tickled to get it. Try to get maintenance records and get someone to check it out for you. I have been driving tractors for well over 50 years and still want someone with more mechanical knowledge than me to look at it.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    All good info. Keep it coming.

    My initial thoughts, based on reading around the web, was nothing smaller than 25hp. Seems like I was close in that regard.

    When does a tractor get too big for what I'm looking at?

    For example, I stumbled across mid 70's Ford 3400 with 1400 hours that has a FEL at a good price. Tractor appears very clean and well maintained, no leaks and good tires. Not 4 wheel drive which is a bit of a downer, but my terrain is fairly level so I'm not sure I would absolutely need it. What seems to be a reasonable asking price of $6495.

    Another example for discussions sake. Found a Yanmar 2000D with a fresh engine rebuild (seller has pics/receipts to prove). On the smaller side of the power I wanted by a few hp, but has 4 wheel drive and the loader I want, no leaks and good tire. Could use a bit of paint here and there. Again what seems to be a reasonable asking price $5999

    Buying a new tractor isn't completely out of the question, but if I could find something that works for my needs at a much lower price I'd be thrilled.

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Apr 2006
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    6,370
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    Wise county Texas
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    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    You can get finish mowers for small tractors, my neighbors has one of the smallest Kabota tractors, maybe a 25hp, he has a rear finish mower and it cuts better than my push mower. He opted for the turf tires and suffers with less traction when it's wet though, plus his tractor is "light". On my small tractor i prefer the Industrial style tire.

    I've also bought 2 used tractors and feel the same way as Roy and TR, as far as hrs and age. I avoid any "grey" tractors, but that's just me.
    Dennis


    "Winter 2013 a majority of the country is setting new cold records, Colorado is setting new record HIGH's"

    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    Under no circumstances will I buy a two wheel drive tractor with a FEL, been there done that and really got sick of getting stuck. I know people who have them, but they are older tractors with dual wheels.

    You will get a difference of opinions on this as there are a couple of pretty long threads on it, so don't just take my word.

    As to the question of too big, when your primary job is moving dirt, our 8540 isn't even close to too big, but would be after the work is done.

    By the way, there certainly isn't anything wrong with buying a big tractor use it for a few years and trade down when it's no longer needed; easier to do with used machines.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  8. #8
    Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    "grey tractors"???

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ACDNate View Post
    "grey tractors"???
    Gray market, not originally designed for use in this country.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  10. #10
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    West central Illinois
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    Kubota BX2350

    Default Re: Newbie needs opinions and advice

    Gray Market tractors are ones built overseas and imported into the U.S. Some of these can be good deals, but often the are questionable quality. Some Yanmars might be gray market, some aren't.

    To big of a tractor? Its too big when you can't get it where you want it, or it tears up a yard to much. Its also to big if you can't trailer it with the truck and/or trailer you currently have.

    I'd look for a used CUT (compact utility tractor) in the 30 horsepower range if I were you.
    Dave,
    BX2350

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