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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    8
    Location
    Redding, California
    Tractor
    BCS 853 Diesel

    Default Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    I am looking to become a tractor owner. My dad and I have almost 40 acres of heavily wooded land. Much of the property is steep especially in some of the draws/drainages. We are considering getting a used skid-steer as well. Much of the flatter land has been over taken by blackberry including the area we started clearing last year with weed eaters. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos when the blackberries were 4-6 feet tall.
    Attachment 289893
    Were planing on putting a small orchard in this area and cleared out the trees. but there are still a lot of blackberry roots in the ground. I was thinking that a cultivator behind a tractor might be a good way of weeding them out. The soils are loamy and light but there is a fair bit of rock.
    Attachment 289894
    Future anticipated uses for the tractor would be seeding area with grass. Brush hoging blackberries after getting a hand on them with a skid-steer. Preparing ground for a garden. If we get a skid-steer I would probably not get an FEL. My main question is what size of a tractor should I get? I have been looking at the kubota B series but don't know if this would be big enough. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. We will probably not be looking to buy until spring.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2012
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    1,003
    Location
    Tennessee foothills
    Tractor
    John Deere and Case

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    Hi woodysways ,are you buying a tractor or wanting to finance one ,Big difference ! can you maintain an older model or will you be running to the dealer to change the oil ,again big difference , You want a tractor big enough to do the work but not so big you can't drive it between the trees , And the best deals are the week between Christmas and new years , The dealer will give away that model year tractor just to try to meet his sales quota for the year and month of Dec , In the spring you will pay top dollar new or used and the amount of choices will be less available ,Be smart buy when no one else is and save money ,And ask for free attachments like box blade and tiller or post hole auger you will need them later and have to pay full price ! and make sure you get a rig with the loader that is built for that model ,many guys in here bought the tractor first thinking they could easily find a loader but they are not cheap new or used !

  3. #3
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    7,408
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    I would go with kubota L3200/3800 or a L3540 or larger tractor for working in the woods and brush hogging.

  4. #4
    Silver Member RAYJAY's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    139
    Location
    CLIFFORD PA
    Tractor
    LS 3039H

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    I getting a LS 3039h in about a week or so ( dealer has to install the FEL xtra hydro controls), as for dealers trying to sell off last year model its not happening this year on 25+ and up HP tractors,( yes i tried lol) with the tier 4 pollution coming for 2013 its a game changer on price,

    with buying a skid steer is mowing the only thing its going to do?/ having a FEL on the tractor and the skid steer might make you more productive on clearing the land bucket on one and grapple on other, not really knowing what your clearing will there be a lot of stumps on site ? if so the skid steer ground clearance might be a issue.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    8
    Location
    Redding, California
    Tractor
    BCS 853 Diesel

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    Grumpy Old Man I have never bought anything on credit so I doubt I could qualify for a loan. With 0% interest I would prefer to finance though. Good to Know that the end of the year is the best time to buy. May have to wait until next year to get a tractor. I could pay cash but that would nearly deplete my savings. Can you work a better deal when paying cash?

    Ray Jay we are only planing on clearing a small part of the property. We want to open up the property while retaining the larger trees. we plan to cut stumps of at ground level with a carbide chain so they shouldn't be a problem. My thoughts were to use the skid steer to mow the few acres of blackberries initially and use it for FEL/grapple work. The tractor would be used to keep on top of the berries, work the soil with cultivators, landscape rake, plant grass. With a bucket on the skid-steer I was considering not getting an FEL for the tractor.

    Equipment is all pretty new to me so I am trying to get as much information and advice as I can before buying anything. On the skid-steer side of thing dad is thinking we should get a wheeled on and I am thinking we should get a tracked machine. So any advice on that would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks for the responses so far and keep em coming!

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    138
    Location
    Outthere, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota 25D

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsyways View Post
    I was considering not getting an FEL for the tractor.
    Crazy talk, I considered not getting a backhoe and didn't now I have to kick myself twice a week for being stupid. You'd be supprised what a normal tractor can do to blackberry bushes, I've got an 1860 and I drove strait into the blackberry forrest a month back to retrieve a tree I had to take down before it landed on my roof, just put the FEL down and drove and it didn't even notice the blackberries and they where the ones with 20'+ vines and the works. I was pretty happy to be wearing an old army field jacket though

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    996
    Location
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45SC

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    Obviously, I don't know your circumstance in detail, but I'm not sure I see why you need both a tractor and skid-steer. From your description, it sounds to me like the tractor, properly-equipped, should be enough. Blackberries are a nuisance, but not really an obstacle to a tractor with FEL and brush mower. If/when they try to make a comeback next year, you could nuke 'em with herbicide, then move right on to getting your orchard, vinyard or whatever started there.
    To me, the only real advantages of a skid-steer are its hydraulic/lift capacity and manueverability. This trades off with the extra capital expense, low ground clearance and tippiness.
    I'd go with a tractor in the 35hp range with brush mower, FEL with bucket and grapple rake to start. If you are buying new, you might get a better deal as a package. Also, if you can get additional hydraulic remotes installed at purchase for a good price, do it; it is hard to have too many remotes! Brand isn't REAL important (you have many to choose from in the Redding area: kubota, Deere, NH, Kioti, Massey, Mahindra, Branson, Bobcat...I'm jealous that you have a TSC in Redding and in Red Bluff!... but if you are going to work in the woods a lot (eg, logging or firewood), I'd lean toward a choice with higher FEL lift capacity...if upgrading by 5 hp bought you another 500 lbs of lift, I'd say go for it. Unless you are mechanically adept, access to a reliable dealer/maintainer may be an important criterion in choosing brand.
    With hilly land, all wheel drive and loaded tires is a good starting point. If you don't expect to be mowing lawns with the tractor, ag tires are probably a better bet for tractions. I have industrials on my Kioti DK45 and it does OK in the woods, but occasionally they pack up with mud and lose traction. The main advantages of industrials are that they don't rip up the ground/lawns quite as badly as ag tires and (the main reason I chose them) they have more plies (ie, are a bit tougher) than ags.
    Transmission? Well, mine is a 12/12 gear model with shuttle shift, but, if I had it to do all over again, I'd get an HST, since I do a lot of hilly and woods work with the loader/grapple (rather than constant-speed field work).
    Finally, I have a cab on my tractor, mainly because it lives outdoors. It is nice to have access to heating and AC and shelter from the weather and bugs, but it is nerve-wracking to use the cab in the woods. The cab adds a lot to the cost, though. The biggest plus of a cab for you in Redding, would likely be AC in the summer, but a canopy to keep the sun off might be enough(?).
    BOB

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    You will definitely want a tractor with a loader, wheel spacers, and weights to keep it shiny side up. A ratchet rake will tearout those bushes as will a grapple. The bush hog is good to have as well as a weight box on the rear. Since you will be in the woods you should buy or build a heavy duty fops. The power company uses a 4x4 tractor with hydrostatic transmission and as much armor as a log skidder to clear their right of ways in the mountains of wv on slopes I don't think my dirt bike could climb or descend in a controlled manner.

  9. #9
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    4,748
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    I started with a kubota B2910, then moved up to a Kubota L4400 and now have a Kubota M9540. In the beginning my use was almost all timber maintenance. The B2910 handled the light work but was too small for any type of stump removal or heavy carrying. The L4400 worked very well in the timber and handled most tasks. Then my work load grew and now I do a lot of open ground maintenance as well. The M9540 is best suited for that and can still do timber duty. All around I think the L series would best serve your needs. The B being a little small and the M being a little big.

    As for stumps. Timber soil is heaved up due to root growth. You can scrape the foliage away and chainsaw a stump off flat with the ground, then start driving in that area and the soil will compact and you'll find your stump high enough to be a threat when brush hogging. So with that said, you'll find yourself trying to remove stumps and/or standing trees with the tractor. That's when most people realize they bought too small. For every user that claims to have bought a tractor that's too big, you'll find 100 that claim to have bought too small. I'd recommend a mid HP range Kubota L series or some other brand's comparable tractor, 40 hp area, definitely with FEL and all the additional hydraulic options you can afford. An FEL with 3rd function to run a grapple is a very cheap addition when doing timber work.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    Redding, California
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    BCS 853 Diesel

    Default Re: Looking to buy a tractor for 40 acres of woods

    Quote Originally Posted by rd_macgregor View Post
    Finally, I have a cab on my tractor, mainly because it lives outdoors. It is nice to have access to heating and AC and shelter from the weather and bugs, but it is nerve-wracking to use the cab in the woods. The cab adds a lot to the cost, though. The biggest plus of a cab for you in Redding, would likely be AC in the summer, but a canopy to keep the sun off might be enough(?).
    BOB
    The property is in Dunsmuir so its usually about 10 degrees cooler than Redding. I have talked with a kubota and Deer dealer who will deliver for free and they make service calls. Also, I have a buddy who is a mechanic and am not completely inept when it comes to mechanical work if I have a good manual.

    There are a lot of areas where its so thick you have to walk with your hands in front of your face to shield it from tree branches so a cab is out of the question at this point. The appeal of a skid steer is the maneuverability (there are a lot of trees) and the fact that you can mow while looking forward. Dad will be using the equipment daily and he has a bad neck so looking backwards all the time would probably aggravate it. I only have saturdays to work up there.

    Had been considering a B series tractor but it sounds like that would be a little small. What size stumps can a 35-40hp tractor handle? We will have about 15 20-30 inch stumps to remove from the future orchard. Probably wont be dealing with this size stumps regularly but 10-15 inch stumps will be fairly common.

    With hilly land, all wheel drive and loaded tires is a good starting point.
    Is all wheel dive the same as 4 wheel? Would probably go for industrial tires for increased puncture resistance and the added width.

    As for stumps. Timber soil is heaved up due to root growth. You can scrape the foliage away and chainsaw a stump off flat with the ground, then start driving in that area and the soil will compact and you'll find your stump high enough to be a threat when brush hogging.
    Good point I stuck my differential on a stump (we hadn't cut it down flush) but it was the last load and the ground had compacted. Not exactly fun to cut out a stump when your truck is sitting on it!

    So it sounds like the recommendation for a tractor is about 40 hp with FEL, grapple, and brush hog. With all the hydraulic extras and HST. With a tractor that size what implements are good for rock removal for a garden site. Thanks for all the responses very helpful!

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