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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1
    Location
    norwell, ma
    Tractor
    JD

    Default advice on tractor size

    Hi everyone- so am in the hunt for a tractor and thought i knew what i was looking for but have begun to wonder. Originally I was in search of a sub compact (kubota BX24/BX25 or even upto JD 2000 series), but have started to add to the list of things I could potentially do...my folks house has 4+ acres of thick field that I could mow, I also have about 700 ft of roadside that could be mowed with a flail or boom mower.

    Other uses would be typical, snow removal, trench digging, light to moderate excavation (installation of patios and driveway stone sections), moving down trees, stumps, grading on 2 acres
    I could use some advice and recommendations on brands, size, implements, etc.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    51
    Location
    Northern VA
    Tractor
    Massey 2135, Sears Lawntractor

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    It's great to start the way you have, figure out what you plan to use the tractor for.

    Then you need to figure out for the tractor:
    > What is your budget (cash or loan payments)
    > New or Used
    > What dealers/mechanics are near you.
    > Do you have limiting factors (utility trailer, shed size, bridge, soft ground, trees, hills, etc) that might limit the size or weight?
    > what features on the tractor do you want or would like to have.

    You might consider which attachments you must have, and what you can get later. Attachments can often be bought later.
    Pay attention to what hookups you need for future attachments. Rear remotes or mid PTO are helpful.

    If you are searching for a new tractor, you might also consider looking at LS Tractor. They are recently in the US market from South Korea, and offer a good product at a competitive price. (I have no affiliation with them, I'm just also window shopping for a tractor)

    And some people here have a strong affinity for particular paint color(s).

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,658
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    A couple of the general rules might help. For pasture mowing you would use a rotary mower, Bushhog, and the rule of thumb is 5 PTO hp per foot of mower. Snow can be handled several ways. For a front mount blower you want a tractor with a mid-PTO. A rear blower or blade can be used on most tractors with enough PTO hp. Trenching is pretty much a backhoe job as is stump removal of any size. A boom mower is expensive and is going to require a much larger tractor to carry the off set weight. I alway recommend that people look at the loader lift specs and try to anticipate the type of things you will want to move on a regular bases. For example if you plan to move a lot of patio stone by the pallet you will want at least 2k of lift.

    Welcome to the forum.

    MarkV

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,311
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    Welcome.

    Consider 30-35 HP.

    Start looking around at the dealerS and getting a feel for pricing of tractors and attachments. Make some decisions on what you need and then start serious shopping. Make some test drives and come home. With what you are happy with!
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,920
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    you need a 30 to 35hp min.an it should do everything you want todo.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    7
    Location
    Pace, fl
    Tractor
    Belarus 420a, yanmar 1401d, ym 1700, ym1600, foton 404, jinma 254, ih 424, benye 324, ford 5000, ford 601, hinomoto e23, many others

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    30 to 35 hp sounds like the size you want. If brush cutting was a priority, not an afterthought, I would suggest a 40 hp or more. It is inevitable that the field will grow more during rains and it tends to be longer between cuts when the ground is wet. A couple of observations regarding features then finally brand.

    Features that I find invaluable are 4wd and power steering with a front end loader. If you have no plans for a loader, most rack and pinion is sufficient as long as you aren't having to make sharp turns in small spaces. When you do dirt work power steering would be handy.

    As far as brand, it may depend on your level of knowledge regarding diesels and mechanical aptitude unless you plan on letting a dealer handle all your service needs. John Deere, kubota, and new holland are popular. They are good tractors. For me, yanmar, foton, and jinma are good tractors too. I look at it like a baseball glove, it really doesn't matter so much the brand, it matters what you can do with it. I have no trouble working and servicing Chinese and Japanese brands. I recognize not everyone can or even should put up with the prejudices and actual weakness of some tractors.

    The absolute most important factor in longevity of a tractor is keeping it within its intended use. That is why it is so smart for you to think about potential uses before making a purchase. For example a lot of people buy a 25 hp tractor then decide they want to act as if it should perform the same tasks as a 40 hp. The additional burden causes issue and people don't undestand until the machine breaks. Often they summarily decide it was the tractor's design. Therefore my advice is to buy a little larger than what you know you will need so once you become accustomed, there is room for growth.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    6,033
    Location
    Wise county Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    I'm thinking 35hp + or what your budget will support, when comparing tractors, factor in tractor weight too, that can be a real asset (heavier is my preference) . Also consider transportation if it is to be used on a job site , what limits do you have in that department? I would also consider resale value if your prone to selling stuff in 5 years or so.

    One other thought, if it comes down to 2 or 3 your really interested in, try to rent that particular model and go mow your 4 acres, sure it will cost a little, but you wont be obligated for a few years for something that "didn't fit"

    Must haves for me are a FEL, shredder ,4x4. My last tractor I also bought a tiller and a box blade, all through Agri credit since the loan rate was 1.9 %, it is harder for me to want to part with cash for a $2000 tiller later
    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."

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    46,369
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    for small ac.. 18-26hp.. once you get over 10ac.. youcould bump to 30ish hp


    soundguy

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    7
    Location
    Pace, fl
    Tractor
    Belarus 420a, yanmar 1401d, ym 1700, ym1600, foton 404, jinma 254, ih 424, benye 324, ford 5000, ford 601, hinomoto e23, many others

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    Have you thought of trying a used tractor out until you decide what you need? I have a myriad of uses and frankly some units are better (and better suited) for different jobs. For example, I use a 20 hp with turf tires to pull the finish mower. For stacking hay, a ford 5000 with bush hog loader fits the bill. For a large rotary cutter, the 4wd 40 hp foton is the best. Digging around the yard is best done with the ym1401d (yanmar). In the woods, most everything from spraying and cutting firebreaks, to food plots and firewood is done with a 57 hp Belarus.

    I'm not suggesting you buy a bunch of tractors. You will find most are versital and will do any of the above actions, but what I am suggesting is before you spend $15-20,000 on one that may or may not be a perfect fit for your variety of uses, you may want to find a good used one, try it out before you get married to one with payments or a lot of cash tied up (if that's your intention) and maybe trade a couple times until you find a perfect fit with the features you need. A couple of things to watch for is units that have mechanical issue (smoke, hard to crank, grinding noises, weak clutch, leaks etc). In fact if you are not familiar with tractors, you probably don't want to venture the risk. There are people out there who want to give you their problems. However, take your time and make good decisions and you will certainly never regret gaining knowledge. Then, when your needs and the tractor's features intersect, you can rely on a good, well cared for machine the rest of your life.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,743
    Location
    Trivoli, IL
    Tractor
    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: advice on tractor size

    you really did not show big numbers as in acres. like on a farm. and the few jobs you noted, are not that big, granted smaller tractor will take some more time getting jobs done. but difference between bigger tractor vs smaller tractor. i would say go with smaller tractor 25 to 30HP

    smaller tractor with extra bells and whistles vs larger tractor with just basics. get the smaller tractor with bells and whistles. many of the bells and whistles can come in more handy, and can make things faster, than just a bigger tractor with more HP and weight.

    granted there are some tasks that a bigger machine is justified for.

    ========================
    you noted enough things, i would highly advise getting a backhoe with subframe, if buying new, you have bigger chance of getting more of a discount when buying tractor, FEL (front end loader with bucket) and backhoe all at same time.

    personally prefer a TLB (tractor, front end loader, backhoe) were i can move a lever and seat does 180 turn to let me operate backhoe. it makes backhoe use much quicker. vs getting off tractor and walking over and hoping onto the backhoe seat.

    ===================
    extra bells and whistles, would be rear and front work lights, mounted high up, either on ROPs, or sun shade or on a cab. they really do make a night and day difference. both in extending working time in fall / winter, more so removing snow, to unhooking equipment for the night. or simply use tractor as a portable work lights.

    TNT (top and tilt) for 3pt hitch. you normally have some turn buckles (large bolts with a nut you twist in the center) to adjust the top link and angle of the 3pt hitch lower arms. but with TNT it replaces them with hyd cylinders. so you can just move a lever to adjust 3pt hitch angles. comes in handy for dealing with dirt / rock / gravel roads, were you have a lot of different "crowns" within the road. (turns, hills ,etc...) and using rear blade, to box blade, to grader blade / land plane. vs having to get off tractor every time, and manually adjust the 3pt turn buckles.

    you gave enough projects, that i would most likely stay away from a regular "geared tranmission" were you have to push in the foot clutch when ever you wanted to change gears or go from forward to backwards. unlike a car or truck that is a manual shift. once you get moving there is not much to shifting, but with a tractor, you are constantly changing gears, and going from foward to backwards on projects. and it is like being down town, and having to stop and go every 100 feet in a vehicle. it gets old quick and takes extra time. let alone after a full day being on tractor, your foot, is completely numb and hurting with manual gear shift.

    min of one hyd hook up on back, not counting for TNT, but might suggest going with 2 hyd hooks on back, 2 should cover majority of implements out there that you may ever get. for 3pt hitch.

    =================
    extras that a dealer or you would most likely add, is chain hooks on bucket of the FEL (front end loader),

    area for a small tool box on tractor to carry, hammer, pliers, some bailing wire, flat head screw driver, channel locks, and couple extra pins for what ever implement is on tractor.

    having rear tires filled with a liquid. not everyone does it, but it might be worth while for you.

    =================
    the HP ranged i noted about, puts you in an area, were you might be able to pickup a "belly mower" or MMM (mid mount mower) for mowing regular grass.

    =================
    bush hog (rotatory cutter), PHD (post hole digger), plow, discs, tillers, snow blower, grabbels, thumb for backhoe, vacumm, etc.... all can be bought after you get the tractor. but things noted above, if buying new, may just be easier and come out a little bit more if you have dealer put the extra bells/whistles on to tractor for you. vs you doing things later.

    exception to above, is if you want a grabbel for the FEL. it might be easier and cheaper to get the extra function hyd and hoses installed by dealer when just buying it, vs adding it on later.
    Ryan

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