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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    2
    Location
    Fairfield, CT
    Tractor
    Deciding on Tractor

    Default Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    Hi. My husband and I are just starting out and I'm sorry for asking what are probably dumb questions --

    We bought a 12 acre property that we are just starting to operate as a very small farm. We have 5 acres that we plan to hay or use for grazing for the first few years and about 4 acres that we plan to plant crops (vegtables). The other 3 are sloped woods and wetlands. There is a six stall horse barn. We have chickens and may have horses and other animals to graze a bit later on after we get settled.

    We are not sure what type of tractor to buy. We need a tractor to till and help plant the four acres, remove brush, move hay to the barn, move stuff from the stalls and barn and plow snow. We don't have the equipment to hay the 5 acres and husband's cousin has equipment and will help with that.

    Not sure whether to use a tractor to plow snow or to buy a truck and add a snow plow. We probably need both but can only afford to start out with one. Driveway is long (runs about 1300 feet since property is sort of a long rectangle) and is graveled and has a small hill (20% grade?). I'm not sure my husband can really plow it with a tractor but I think he plans to try.

    Any advice on what type of tractor to buy (subcompact, utility), HP, brand (husband likes JD, MF and the kubota seems like a really good tractor). Again, I'm sorry for such dumb questions. I've read articles on this but am really still confused since there are so many options. My husband would probably be embarrassed that I"m posting this (sort of like asking for directions), but we could use all the help we can get.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    486
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Tractor
    MF 35, Mahindra 4035

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    I'd also recommend taking a look at both Mahindra and Kioti...both offer excellent value for your money...you may want to consider a cab model, and, he'll definitely be able to clear the drive with a tractor, snowblowers are available for tractors and seem to be popular up in the snowbelt...as far as model, recommend you look at the Mahindra 3616 cab, should handle just about all your needs, also make sure you get it with a front end loader (FEL)...FWD, cab,heat and AC, radio, you may not see him for a while !

    Just my

    Rich

  3. #3
    Elite Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,549
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    I think we all had questions like this at some point, so don't worry about asking them here.

    Offhand, I am thinking you'd want something at least as big as a 3-series Deere or it's equivalent from other brands. I only use Deere as a reference -- I own a kubota myself. Brand is not so important, as they all make good tractors nowadays. You can shop around and see which dealer and price/feature combination feels the best to you.

    I'd probably pick a tractor over a truck+plow, as the tractor will be more versatile on your property. I'd have a hard time justifying the cost of a plow on a truck if it was only used on a single 1300 foot driveway. In contrast, snow removal would be just one of many tasks a tractor could do fairly well.

    Make sure you get a tractor that is big enough. I bought a Kubota B2920 for logging and light site work, and that was one size bigger than what I started shopping for. Now that our land is clear and I have a long driveway in place, I see I could have easily gone one size bigger if I didn't need to work in tight spaces when skidding logs out of the woods. In your case, I really think a 3-series equivalent is the minimum size to consider.

    Also plan your budget for implements, which can add up to as much or more than the tractor. The tractor with a front end loader (FEL) is the typical basic starting point. But to really do a lot of the chores you mention, you will probably want some implements. It's important to plan that out ahead of time as much as possible, since it can influence the choice/size of tractors.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Elite Member woodlandfarms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,233
    Location
    Los Angeles / SW Washington
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 1850

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    30 to 40HP is always ideal, but price is an issue, nothing under 25 HP IMO for ground engagement. Plan on spending half again on implements

    Tractors are mostly the same (in a big picture sort of way). I would always first look at a dealers repair shop. Nice people, relatively clean and organized, approachable with stupid questions. If the answer is no to this, move on. Service is the most important part of owning a tractor. One note is that kubota controls are quite different from JD (and I think MF). See which you are most comfortable on.

    I am a fan of used equipment, especially ground engaging. If it has some sort of a motor (like mowers or snow blowers), and you can swing it, buy new.

    I do not do a lot of ground engagement so take my advice with a grain of salt. Get a bucket on the tractor, and mower for the back. The guys will respond but you may be looking at a tiller as a best option for only 5 acres. From there, I would take a break, get to see what you an and can't do, ask questions, look for used and buy as you need, which you will. Lots of toys for tractors to take the work load off. I think I have 10 implements now, started with 2. Made some of my own, bought most.

    Tractor for snow clearing. Depending on your situation, you probably want chains, but be prepared, they aren't cheap.

    Of course you husband is embarrassed. He doesn't read manuals either. But the forum is really, really cool with some amazing people and information. A big surprise for the net. Leave the computer up with the page open after you get a few other opinions and he will have his own handle and be asking away. We do not have a lot of women on the site, but all are treated very respectfully. My wife comes on on occassion to ask questions under my handle.
    Power-Trac 1850, grapple, hoe, 90" mower, 72" box blade

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    6,499
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota's, John Deere's

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    Welcome to TBN. No such thing as being embarrassed here. Your questions are spot-on and well thought about.

    I'd say, the tractor is more important than the truck, if you’re just starting out with the land, and getting ideas on what you want to do.

    Unfortunate, it sounds like you have plans for everything, for this one tractor. Ranging from possible stall work (tractor size), working around the buildings and property (field, wetlands, woods, driveway), (tractor size and weight), harvesting, plowing and utility work, (tractor power, size).

    That's a big broad picture for one machine. I had property a while back that sounded like yours. I settled on a 30HP, 4 wheel drive, NEW model (safety features) with a front-end loader and picked up a blade (drive way maintenance) and a brush-cutter (field maintenance). I sized it for working just around the house and barn, small enough to get around, but ample size and ground clearance to venture into the woods. We also purchased a utility vehicle shortly after that. It helped with the everyday chores of hauling (wood, manure, feed, kids) around.

    Now my setup never involved crop work (haying or tillage) but it was perfect for the tending and maintenance of the property. We also had a rake for the gravel driveway. In winter I still use it, to this day on another property, but only really use the front-end loader to get the majority of the snow, somewhere else.

    Again, welcome and keep asking questions, you’re in good hands, on this site.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    15,258
    Location
    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    No need to be embarrassed, there are lots of knowledgeable folks here that can help you with your decision. I will only offer a few tidbits of advice, and perhaps others will join in with more detail. I would advise the following things. 4WD is a must., All three brands you mentioned are fine quality tractors. I have owned 2 kubota's and Now am a Kioti owner, and they have all been fine tractors. I would think you would need at least a 35 horse tractor, but 40 might be better. I am an advocate of the Hydrostatic transmission, as I believe it just makes operation so much easier and less fatiguing. It will really help with the Loader work, and running a tiller will be easier also as you can speed up and slow down easier. On the brush removal, I am not sure how large this brush is, perhaps a rotary cutter could just chop it up, or maybe you will be cutting it down with a chainsaw and transporting it to a pile. In which case a grapple could be helpful. Most people think a plow truck is faster for snow plowing, but you can do it with a tractor also. Here again a larger tractor can speed things up. Since you are new to tractors, and would probably require the assistance of a dealer for service and maintenance I would suggest that finding a dealer you are comfortable with and can trust might be more important than brand. Good luck with your purchase.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    16,293
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    Welcome to TBN. Muhammed, who own this site has a book on tractors you might want to pick up up.

    There are a dizzying number of models among the top brands that will satisfy your needs and agree with biggreenavalance; look at all brands. My family own Case, John Deere, kubota, Massey Ferguson and my brother recently bought a Kioti.

    While I am not brand loyal, I won't buy unless there is a very good dealership locally; can't over emphasize the importance of good dealer support, at least for many of us.

    We own SCUT's that are real work horses, but for your needs, my choice would be a CUT of 30+ HP 4WD with FEL and HST as HST is much easier for the new owner; I am assuming you will have a separate machine for lawn maintenance. I prefer something with position control 3PH, that allows you precise repeatable position of equipment height. Some like quarter inching 3PH, but in my opinion it is harder to use and allows equipment to settle down while in use.

    When looking at new purchases, my wife and I spend a lot of time looking up specs and going to dealers looking at different makes and models. If possible, we go on an off day to avoid salesmen and spend some time checking the controls, operator platform and overall "feel" of the tractor. This will give you a good starting point in your final selection when you begin dealing with the sales person.

    Take some time to check around to see what your neighbors are using; often an invaluable resource.

    Try the tractors out as much as possible at the dealers.

    One thing we have noticed, even after driving these things for a LOT of years is they tend to "shrink" once on your property and you are using them.

    There are a lot of very knowledgeable TBN members, so don't hesitate to ask questions as your search progresses, I have sought advice and counsel her on my purchases of tractors and equipment which really helped.

    Good luck in your search.

    EDIT: By the time I typed this several other members have posted excellent advice.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    5,666
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    I'll say welcome also. Good advice has been given so I'll just add that if you plan on using the hay for your own critters find out what size bales your cousin makes. Square bales are not much of an issue but some round bales can weight in a range that you need to have a tractor that can move them. So look at loader capacity while shopping.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member DAY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    664
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Tractor
    Ford 4500 TLB, Kubota L2900GST

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    Well, of COURSE we all want you to buy a tractor! Preferably, two.
    So, I'll be a contrarian, and say get a 4WD pickup, with a snow blade. A quarter mile drive is pretty long to plow snow in the winter in CT. And the truck will have a gazillion other uses, as well.
    As for tractors, read the threads here, and rent before you buy.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    16,293
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Not Sure What Type of Tractor to Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by DAY View Post
    Well, of COURSE we all want you to buy a tractor! Preferably, two.
    So, I'll be a contrarian, and say get a 4WD pickup, with a snow blade. A quarter mile drive is pretty long to plow snow in the winter in CT. And the truck will have a gazillion other uses, as well.
    As for tractors, read the threads here, and rent before you buy.
    Excellent advice, it give the novice a baseline for comparison.

    For what it's worth, my wife has her own tractors, a BX2200 and BX2660, but often runs our kubota L5740 if we need the M8540 and L5740 going or if I am unable to operate one for a while.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

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