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  1. #11
    Super Member txdon's Avatar
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    central Texas, Lee County
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    Kubota L5030 1947 Farmall A John Deere Z910

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    I was faced with the similar situation several years ago and went with the kubota (50hp) with frame backhoe attachment. It does everything I need it to do on a hundred acres with trees, rocks, ponds, and gravel roads. I got the hard canopy with the BH as you found out the cab and BH are not compatible. We would like more info on the grader since that is the implement that needs the most HP. Any specific questions just ask. Make sure you get top and tilt hydraulic cylinders for your three point hitch.
    TXDon

  2. #12
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    Delegate NSW
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    no tractor yet

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    Thanks for everyone taking the time to reply.

    More details on what I would want a tractor to do. We only purchased the property just over a year ago and have no livestock on it yet and wont until we move down ther in a couple of years. It is quite a big place 2300 acres but mainly for grazing and little to no cropping. I will sketch out the jobs I think I want the tractor for:

    Cultivation
    I don't know exactly what I want to do cultivation wise but expect only a small amout maybe 10 to 20 acres per year just with 3 point linkage cultivator and seeder.

    General duties - pulling out posts, digging holes, levelling ground for water tank, lifting logs, loading gravel and soil and the implements I would need would be: slasher, front end loader with 4 in 1 bucket, post hole digger, poly pipe layer and ripper

    I expect 50 Hp tractor would be fine for these jobs.

    Backhoe work
    Levelling site for water tank, digging hole for septic tank (about 2 metres or 7' deep), rubble drain that takes overflow from septic tank, trenching for running power to shed for about 100 m, trenches to take stormwater to rainwater tank, dig footings for house extension, dig out stumps, landscaping in our garden, dig in drainage pipes across road, dig trench across creek so can lay rock gabions to stop creek crossing washing away.

    I think I would find lots of uses for a backhoe and generally I don't think I would need it to be as strong as a dedicated backhoe machine but a frame mounted one would be alot safer and productive than a 3 point linkage one. Our soil is mostly granite over clay andjust from digging with a shovel it doesn't seem too hard to dig, not lots of rocks except where have large granite outcrops and then it would not matter how big a backhoe I had. I would appreciate info telling me what these backhoes can do.

    The backhoes I had been considering are kubota BH77 and BH92 and John Deere 485 and 495 and for Kioti on (EX50CH tractor) KB2475 and KB2485. The JD 495 is the strongest in terms of digging force (bucket digging force 2515 kg and dipperstick 1393 kg not sure what these mean) and digging depth of 2.8 m, compared to Kubota BH92 of bucket digging force 2063 kg and dipperstick 1224 kg and digging depth of 2.8 m. This compares to a serious dedicated backhoe tractor eg. Case 580 which has dipper digging force of 3744 kg and digging depth of 4.6 m.

    I don't think I would really need a dedicated backhoe but would appreciate any info on experience people have with using the frame mounted backhoes such as I am considering from JD and Kubota.

    Grader work
    We have a 5 km (3 mile) road to maintain. It is reasonably soft soil and erodes pretty easily so it needs regular maintenance to keep the water off it by having clean drains a good camber on it and perhaps some more pipes across the road where there are low spots. Our choice is to pay a contractor to grade it with a motor grader that will do a great job but cost $10,000 to $20,000 and will need to done every few years. The previous owners used to maintain the road with a small back blade but unfortunately the road needs more work to get it back to a good standard for a non 4Wd car.

    From reading posts on this forum and others I am thinking that a heavy blade with hydraulically controlled adjustments and a depth wheel is the way to go. Something like a Berends 8' model with 3 rams (to adjust tilt, angle and offset) and a depth wheel to get a more even grade which weighs 550 KG. My understanding is that you need the weight to get a blade that wont be bent easily and that has the weight to dig in but the down side is you need a reasonable size tractor to pull it, lift it off the ground when travelling and to do this without unbalancing the tractor.

    cheers
    Robert

  3. #13
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2012
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    Location
    NSW Australia
    Tractor
    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    I think you're under estimating your requirements @c.50hp. I know the Delegate area well & 2500acres is a reasonable size to need & well justify something bigger, particularly if you're maintaining c.5Kms of roads + considering slashing, clearing, building/site/remedial earthworks (e.g levelling, drainage, gabions), stump removal..etc:-

    1.Grading 5kms of roads, maintenance & associated rebuilding/remediation work is hard on any gear, lighter blades will do it but you will constantly have hassles(i.e. trashed in c. 2-3yr & ongoing breakages in the headstock/frame), whilst Berends are ok even their heavy duty gear is too light for this sustained usage (below are photo's of the Challenge units we run for similar use, they've proven to go the "distance" & a worthwhile investment if it's to be a year in year out task...all hyd 3m 950kgs CatII/III req 70-170hp c$10k have replaced the motor grader we used to run).
    2.FEL f/w a 4/1 if that's what you set on, also consider an attachment blade/root rake combo (maybe +angle/tilt) for clearing/road application & possibly a set of forks (for pallets, hay, fertiliser bags..etc) - for lifting capacity/frame strength also consider manufacturers like Burder, Nell & Challenge against the FEL's offered by the Tractor manufacturers
    3.Post Hole Diggers - for 2500acres don't make a mistake by going with a PTO unit, a hyd auger drive unit is far superior & fit it with a quick hitch* to your FEL (the reverse function & variable speed drive makes them a better option than PTO ), & if you have many KMS of fencing to replace soon a commercial driver will pay for itself (not cheap though)
    4. Slasher of sayc.2m+ is going to task less than a c.70hp tractor in heavy conditions
    5. 10-20 acres of cultivation is neither here nor there, but it's hard to justify buying specific use gear for this size.

    IMO two S/H well maintained units offer the value equation on a limited hour farming operation, rather than new as there are bargains out there :-
    i). c.75-100hp 4wd Tractor f.w A/C & FEL @c.$40k (e.g Deutz DX4.30,Ford7840, Landini90, Kubota M100, M8540, JD5520, Case JX1080U @less than c.3500hrs which is est.half life)
    ii) +a Skid Steer (i.e "Bobcat" type) machine which gives you the 4/1 & its functionality for road/farm/earthmoving/building with an industrial backhoe attachment(most robust than the 3PL/frame mounted ag units) @ c.$20k all up (believe me a skid steer will pay for itself many times over on earthmoving/farm tasks & fitted with the hyd post digger is all you need for fencing) vs an Ag tractor with a backhoe atttrachment (apart from the strength/durability/performance issues mentioned on my previous post changing a frame mounted or 3PL backhoe is a time consuming pain....no commercial farming operation runs them for these reasons). Or go down the s/h industrial backhoe path for c.$20k if you must, but understand backhoes have largely been superceded by excavators & are far more difficult offload (than excavators or skid steers..)

    With 2500acres or c.10kms2 you also need to consider the practicalities of moving gravel/fill/materials/fodder around the property, one FEL Ag tractor (especially f/w a frame mounted backhoe) is going to make the use/loading of a trailer a protracted exercise., &.unnecessary repetitive exercises quickly turn many tasks into tedious chores on farms....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tb1a-jpg   -tb2a-jpg  
    Last edited by MBTRAC; 11-10-2012 at 06:32 AM.

  4. #14
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    235
    Tractor
    Homemade

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    One big advantage of having two tractors is, if you get one stuck you have another one to pull it out.

  5. #15
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,895
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    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    My kubota B 26 TLB is probably the easiest backhoe to remove in the world and takes about 10-15 minutes to take off, install the 3 point lift arms etc. This is a dedicated TLB and not an add on unit like most 3 ph or frame mounted backhoes. It also needs to be removed on a level pad to make hooking it back up easier. Some others here might comment on how long it takes to remove their BH and ready it for hooking up a 3 PH attachment.
    While it may not seem like a lot of time involved, if everytime you need to use the backhoe, you have to remove whatever you have on the tractor, get square with the hoe and hook it up, you're likely looking at an hour wasted time. A frame mounted BH here in USA will run you in the neighborhood of $7500 for a new one and for about $1K more you can buy a nice commercial grade used backhoe that will be available whenever you need it AND it will dig deeper, carry more material in the FEL, lift more weight etc than any tractor mount will come close to. Even a 2 WD unit will work well in these big tractors but of course a 4 WD would work better in muddy conditions.
    I love my B26 which I bought for specific purpose to maneuver into tight small areas and it is perfect for that, but I wish many times for a bigger bucket, longer reach, more power when digging stumps, or trying to reach out to clean out a ditch etc.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #16
    Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Delegate NSW
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    no tractor yet

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    MBTRAC
    Thanks for your reply it has given me lots to think about.

    I like the look of the challenge grader blades I am interested in your comment that you have replaced the motor grader with these. I was under the impression that the motor graders were the best but obviously a big investment. Can you tell me how they compare and what is the difference in the 2 challenge blades you attached to your post.

    I have a friend with a skid steer and will have to have a look a bit more closely into what they can do. Are you saying you can use them for road building and maintenance? It sounds like they have lots of useful hydraulic attachements that you can add.

    I will have a look at what is on offer interms of buying 2 second hand machines but a quick look there does seem to be some good buys in the 80 hp range.

    thanks again
    Robert

  7. #17
    Gold Member
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    NSW Australia
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    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    Yes, self contained motor graders are in theory the "best" for roadwork, but once you work out cost/hr, capital replacement & maintenance , & then factor in they are complex requiring a highly skilled operator to make the most of them(after 35yrs on ag/earthmoving gear I still can't operate one anywhere near as well as I'd like), they sit in the shed most of the year, are very task specifc (fine grading/levelling rather than generally clearing/earthworks), & it's another large motor/set of batteries to maintain .....etc. @ $40k+ for anything decent it makes an expense limited use "toy" for our farms....we used to run Cat !2's & DRMCO's which are fairly large/robust machines & budgeted on 400hrs/yr across our farms, on average they cost c.$10k+/yr in repairs+ fuel+service/maintenance so it was well in excess of c.$100+/hr to operate + the wage of an operator + capital/replacement cost - no longer in my view viable equipment to own.

    The two Challenge blades pictured are GT-300PH models (you may want to go smaller due to your road width/tractor size) almost identical, 3m width 70cm blade height hyd offet/angle/tilt, the only difference is one has hyd controlled depth wheels (whereas it's manual adjustment on the other unit, the hyd feature is nice for quick adjustment but largely unnecessary). These blades on a c.90hp tractor will do c.85%+ of what a motor grader will do, depending on the task they'll just take around c.30-40% longer to do it.....ultimately the capability of a grader it largely determined by the skill of the operator (& any fine grading task takes time to master, the key is to take it slow with small grades & multiple passes keeping the material "flowing" until you become more skilled, going too deep/too fast is damaging to equipment & leads to a poor result)......... once graded a few times, & after a few seasons depending on the condition of your roads it may be advantageous to use contractor with a compacting roller, or you may want to invest in a towable smooth or sheepsfoot roller@c.$3K (compacting will make roads last much longer & shed water if there suffer from bad corrugations/potholes/wet spots)... the Challenge guys are a helpful/knowledgable bunch & should be able to advise further Challenge Implements

    As for skid steers, I wouldn't be without one on a farm, they're quite capable of assisting with road building (but won't replace a grader attachment) , drainage, landscaping, brush clearing, pile burning, fencing & general earthworks - equipped with a 4/1, a levelling bar, detachable backhoe & maybe a set of pallet forks I'm sure you'll find a multitude of uses. In combination with an Ag tractor FEL & using 3PL rippers you'll move a considerable amount of dirt/material.
    As recommendations:
    - stay clear of tracked units (complex high cost maintenance/tracks), wheeled are a far more viable owner/operator farm unit
    - buy only recognised brands Case, BobCat, Toyota, Cat & maybe Mustang (some Korean brands are ok machines, but support/parts is woeful - as it is with industrial/non-ag JD, New Holland equipment in Aust.) & Komatsu's skiddies are a rare machine best avoided
    - Controls are different on various makes/machines being hand/foot/Tbar so drive a few as it's an indivdual choice on what/how you like to operate
    - 60hp is about the minimum for farm use & higher flow hydraulics can be an advantage for faster running post hole augers, backhoe, trenching attachments
    - My preference is for non-parallel/non-vertical lift loader arms as we don't require the extra lift height & find the standard arms more robust in heavier pushing/digging functions

    As you're finding, there's much better buying s/h in c.80hp+ Ag tractors as hobby farmers create artifical demand/prices for smaller gear, also with a larger tractor in most cases it has been operated & maintained by someone who knows what they're doing........not learning as they go...Also in my one of my earlier posts I didn't recommend New Holland 75-100hp for a good reason, whilst they're good tractors ( I own/ed a few) for slashing, clearing & anything where there's a good chance debris may get caught up/impact under the frame, unfortunately the wiring on most models is routed & too exposed under the frame damaging easily.
    Good luck & don't hesitate to ask further questions.
    Last edited by MBTRAC; 11-12-2012 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #18
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    Delegate NSW
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    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    MBTRAC
    From looking at the tractors you have recommended in an earlier post " c.75-100hp 4wd Tractor f.w A/C & FEL @c.$40k (e.g Deutz DX4.30,Ford7840, Landini90, kubota M100, M8540, JD5520, Case JX1080U)" it looks like these are all pretty robust strongly built tractors, compared to the horticulture type tractors eg. Kubota M8200 narrow(saw advertised for $35,000 for 900 hrs with cab but no FEL) which has enough power at 85 HP (engine) 75 HP (pto) but appears to be much lighter weight machines and maybe not suited to grader type work.

    I am reading this right?

  9. #19
    Gold Member
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    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    These are just examples of the tractors I'd be considering for your environment/operations - there are other brands/models out there that are just as good/robust, with s/h it all comes down to the condition of the individual unit - strong axles/gearbox/PTO/low RPM high torque engines & many geabox ratio's are attributes to seek for what you have in mind for one "Multi-purpose" Ag tractor.
    As for "narrow" specs', fine for an orchard or vineyard as that's what they're specifically designed for, put them in undulations, mount a FEL or in grading road camber/drain work & you're asking for trouble (i.e. far greater risk of roll over). Generally the "horticultural" type tractors are "comfortable" in market gardens/level ground tilling & working regularly cultivated ground, put them in a paddock direct drilling, turning virgin ground or pulling heavy/higher drawbar pull ground engaging tools (e.g. graders, chisel ploughs) & the ownership experience isn't likely to be good....
    Search for use units at
    http://www.farmmachinerysales.com.au/
    Gumtree
    Clearing Sales (The Land is a good source)
    & Tractordata.com will give broad specs of most tractor models

    Be patience inspect/test a lot of gear (& go to clearing sales) before you purchase, take or pay someone with tractor/diesel knowledge on any unit you're considering purchasing & test the unit/all functions under heavy "loading for at least an hour or so to enable operating/higher temperatures to be reached.
    Last edited by MBTRAC; 11-13-2012 at 05:47 PM.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Multi purpose tractor

    MBTRAC

    A couple more questions.

    I rang a local distributor of Challenge grader blades and they are quite pricey about $12,000 for the 2400 wide blade and no stock until March next year. Even though their brochure said this blade needed 60-90 HP, they were saying should have the top end of this range and that more power would be better.
    - how does this fit with your experience and have you used with 80 HP tractors (sounded like you might have from earlier posts)?

    This distributor also sells Mahindra and when I started at looking at these on their website and from comments on the Mahindra forum here it looks like they have a pretty good reputation and that they are solid and heavy machines with quite high lifting capacity on 3 Point linkage (quoting 2500 kg). They sell for $59,000 (inc GST) with FEL and cab compared to 80 hp of the type you were suggesting (under 2300 hrs) that seem to sell for $46,000 to $50,000 (inc GST with FEL) plus freight and no warranty eg. MF2235 2300 hrs $46,000 and JD5520 1100 hrs for $50,000. A JD5083E (cab and FEL inc GST) costs about $69,000. Of course the actual price you pay will depend on a lot of factors but this is a guide.

    Have you heard much about Mahindras in terms of how they would compare to a good second hand 80 HP tractor with low hrs?

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