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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    35
    Location
    Colchester, England, UK
    Tractor
    JD 4410

    Default which machine/attachments for me?

    My first post to the forum - although I have read a fair few threads with interest and enjoyment..

    We have a few acres of land -some of which we currently have cut for hay by a neighbouring farmer and some of which we leave to grow and only cut once a year. We also have an acre or so which we cut regularly (currently I use a ride on mower). It is a bit fiddly as there are a fair few trees etc. I currently use a bar mower to cut the once a year bit (an acre or so) - but of course I then have to heave all the mown grass somewhere - a fair job, even using my truck....

    I was thinking of getting a compact tractor plus maybe a flail/collector. I thought this would let me cut the once-a-year bit (and drop the cuttings conveniently) plus in the future perhaps I could add a powered hedgecutter (500 yards hedging) and maybe other accessories (maybe even do my own hay making in due course etc - my wife and daughter are getting increasingly keen to buy horses..).

    I am open to suggestions on what to get - and what I should expect to have to pay.

    I would prefer to buy new at a good price - not fixed on a particular make - although I would prefer something mainstream that will likely be around in 10-20 years time.. so top quality at a fair price

    suggestions appreciated! I am particularly interested to know what you think the answer to my one acre cut once a year problem is - ideally I would like to be able to collect and cart all the product of that without any manual labour!! Is a flail/collector the answer - anyone use one for this kind of job - grass is about 2 feet high at the moment

    Cheers Mike

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,092
    Location
    South Central NC, USofA
    Tractor
    Iseki TU1700f

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    If it's only gonna be cut once a year, hire someone else to do it and save the money.

  3. #3
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    7,503

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    I'd like a little more information about what you want to do with everything and what your property size is. How many acres do you want to finish cut? You said 1 acre for hay. You said 500' hedging. Without any more info from you, I would pass on the "sub" compact class of tractors because I don't know if any of them will play nice with a flail mower. So a compact may work well, something maybe 21 to 25hp. Look for one with a heavy lift capacity on the 3pt. If you want to stick with the "big 3" then NH and kubota are both rated about 1200lbs. I use a 24hp to take care of 11.5 acres, 35% heavily wooded. I like the compact frame size, tight turning radius, etc of the tractor and it is about the minimum you want if you consider a FEL. 28hp to 35hp takes you into a larger frame size, gives you more power at the expense of a larger turning radius (unless you get something like the NH Supersteer).

    As for prices, region makes a difference, but a brand new NH 24hp w/hydrostatic trans will run about $11,500+/-. The lowest price I got on a comparable 24hp Kubota this spring was $12,700. I went to the Deere dealer, but they didn't care if I bought or not, were not willing to deal and I walked away without a price quote.

    Kioti is another grand cheaper, and I understand them to be good, there is no dealer close to me so I didn't consider them. Other Korean & Chinese imports are even cheaper, and often sold mail order or via internet. I'm not the super handy type so having a dealer close by, with a good reputation is important to me.

  4. #4
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,667
    Location
    Minnesota SE
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    I pretty much agree with Bob. But if horses and haying are plans for the future I do think the next class up would be nicer and safer. I had the TC21D and it was just a bit small for handling my side hills. I took it back and got the TC29D and as far as loader work it made a big difference. For finish mowing around the house it is not as nice as the TC21D. I just think the class 1 tractor is a bit small for hay work.

    Just a bit to think about.

    murph

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,030
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    John Deere 990 MFWD and a few others

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    I would look at a John Deere 990 because it has 40.4 hp 4 cyl motor and can accept the JD 25A flail mower. I dont know how you would collect the clippings but the 25A does a great job with tall grass and we used to use it to cut our hay but we had to stop bailing because we had no time to do so. You may not need to collect the clippings because it pulverises the grass. 990 fully loaded about $16,000 and the 25A is 3 grand i think. If you want a collection system you could get a 4000 TEN series with a mid mount mower and a hydraulic dump collection system with its own motor. That may work very well. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

    Nick
    990 4x4 turf, 430 loader, 272 RFM, 25A flail

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    35
    Location
    Colchester, England, UK
    Tractor
    JD 4410

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    Hi Bob

    Well I have only 7 acres of land - mostly with hedging round it (which I planted, and which is 15 feet or more high in places)

    I guess the jobs I'd like to be able to do are

    1. Cut the field - either top if or flail it. I am not sure what the difference between topping and flailing is? At the moment it is cut for hay, but it would be nice to be able to cut it myself in the future

    2. Cut the bit I only cut annually - about 1 acre. Ideally I would be able to move the clippings elsewhere and dump them. I don't mind time on the machine doing this - but I don't want to have to do any actual work!!

    3. Cut the bit I cut regularly, about an acre too - I guess with a finishing mower and collector for this

    4. Cut the hedge with a hedgecutter attachment

    5. I guess with a FEL move stuff around

    6. Maybe with a rear hoe do some digging

    I think that's it for now!

    The land is fairly flat, but some areas have quite a few tress so I don't want anything I can't manoevre fairly well

    Cheers Mike

  7. #7
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    7,503

    Default Re: which machine/attachments for me?

    Mike

    I've got 11.5 acres and my little Cub Cadet 1862 garden tractor is the most used tractor I have. We use it for mowing and snow removal with a 48" front mounted blower. Of the 11.5 acres, probably 2 are planted in corn or soybeans annually by a neighbor/farmer. 3 are heavily wooded with dense thickets, etc so no tractor goes into the woods except where I have cut paths thru it. That leave about 6.5 acres for us to maintain, and all of that is mowed.

    I've got, in partnership with my neighbor, a 30hp kubota with a FEL and backhoe. I use it occasionally but not often, and mostly for toting heavy stuff. I've never used the backhoe. The FEL comes in handy, for the first few years I lived here I rented equipment for a weekend and did a major project each year. But once the projects are done the question is what do you do with the big tractor? And that is about where I am today, my projects are mostly smaller projects or maintenence. So I find that I use the Kubota about 1 or 2 times a year and my neighbor keeps it in his garage (his is bigger than mine).

    For actual work around my yard, and for some mowing, I have recently purchased a New Holland TC 24D with hydrostatic transmission. It is a small frame, but not a sub compact. I have fallen in love! On that frame size it is the most powerful unit I could get. I have lots of hills, some tall and steep and in low gear the NH climbs the tallest and steepest of them. I need some weights on the front end, which I didn't buy but will be adding. If I had flat property I would not worry about the front weight but I've lifted the front wheels a few times when pulling a 60" Befco Finish Mower up a steep hill.

    The small frame tractor is easier to use with a back blade in the ditches than the larger Kubota, but the Kubota has the edge on power. My preference is that the smallest most powerful package I can work with is the best compromise. <<maybe that is why I like the compact Colt Officers model in 45ACP?>> But that is just MY preference. I am lucky to have 2 sizes at my disposal, plus a garden tractor to get under the really small trees! I like the manuverability of the NH and if I went up in size I would definately get the SuperSteer option. The Kubota, while a nice tractor, just can spin around the trees and planters like the NH.

    So if most of what you are doing is mowing and hedging, I'd go for a small frame NH or Kubota like my NH TC24D. I looked at Deere but found their 3pt only had about 60% of the lift capacity of the other two brands (700# versus 1200# at 12" behind the 3pt.)

    If you are planning on doing a lot of landscape construction projects then consider a larger tractor, but at that point I would definately lean to NH and only because of the SuperSteer option. BUT if you are planning on doing a lot of landscape construction for only a couple of years, then you might want to buy a smaller tractor that you can life with for a long time and just rent a larger unit a couple weekends a year for the first couple years.

    As for haying, if you are going to keep that up, then I would go with the larger frame more powerful units. I think something around 30hp will probably take care of your needs and I think the 24hp compacts are probably too small . . . but there are people on this forum who actually do haying so they should chip in their two bits.

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