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  1. #1
    Silver Member bhh's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Posts
    128
    Location
    Ulster County, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default total cost of ownership

    I posted a few months ago as I first started doing tractor research.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...ng-advise.html

    I am beginning to finalize my online research and will begin visiting my local dealerships between now and the end of the year. Right now, I am leaning towards an L3800 with FEL, forks/grapple, 4" wood chipper, and possibly a bush hog to help pulverize a lot of the smaller downed branches and woody debris without having to lay hands on everything to run it through the chipper. We unfortunately lost more trees during Sandy and although I have been working through a lot of it with a Stihl and Fiskars X27 and have a pretty massive woodpile growing in the barn, the branch and slash piles are starting to get even more out of control and without a tractor, I don't even really have a way of moving them to a safe area to burn.

    I was recently discussing this with a friend who grew up on a farm and he starting talking about how expensive and/or time intensive tractor maintenance was and got me thinking about the total cost of ownership. He was of course referring to the older machines around during his youth but it did make me realize i really had no idea what my expenses are going to be after I take delivery.

    Can anyone shed any light on how expensive routine maintenance, repairs, grease, oil, fuel per hour, etc. is? My wife as been very understanding to date and I don't want to ruin a good thing by under stating what we are going to be spending on a regular basis to maintain my new "toy". We've been considering just hiring an operator with a skid-steer and forestry mulcher to come in and clean up a 7-acre section near the house and that would really eliminate most of the immediate "need" for a tractor but I haven't been able to find someone yet and don't have a good idea what that is really going to cost either.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Smallplot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    346
    Location
    Pike County Illinois
    Tractor
    1974 IH 1066, 1969 IH 756/FEL, and 2011 TYM T603 Cab/FEL

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    That cost will depend on how many hours you are putting on the tractor. Any idea, or have you thought about, how many hours you will put on in say a year's time?
    Dan,
    www.pikecountyfoodplots.com

  3. #3
    Silver Member bhh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    128
    Location
    Ulster County, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    Since most of the work will be on weekends with the exception of a few work weeks here and there, I'm going to guestimate at around 12-16 hours per month on average depending on time of year so maybe 150 hours per year? I'd guess that is considered pretty light usage but I'm sure it can add up fast I wish I had more time to spend but that is probably about it and why I need to make the most productive use what little time I do have.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    765
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    Buying a tractor for one job isn't going to pay off, but if you hire out snow plowing, driveway maintenance, lawn mowing, etc. It will pay for itself.
    Probably for most jobs you'll use a gallon/hour or less, It might be $2/hour for oil and filters if you get an HST. Tires might be a $1/hour.
    I guess eventually, you might need to do a battery, or a starter or a injector or something... If you saved up another $1-2/hour for that you'd probably never use that fund up until the tractor gets alot of years or hours on it. So it might be $9-10/hour not counting depreciation.

    In my case the just plowing the 1/4 mile driveway pays for the tractor, and for $10/hour its pretty cheap entertainment that pays for its self.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  5. #5
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,203
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    For a tractor the size of a L3800;at least fuel wise maybe figure a gallon/per hr and that is probabley high.Most home owner types maybe 100 hours a year tops.Filter,oil,ect.per the manual at 50/100/400/600 hours it will take you a long time to reach.Use kubota filters/oil tho expensive keep you in warranty.Even if you figure $600.00 for three years for manintainence still not too expensive.If used in the winter;treat your fuel,Powerservice or Howes,cheap insurance.On your own property ,at least in NY covered under home-owners.What is expensive are your implements,may want to look used on those.I have a front snow plow,rear blade,roto-tiller ,box blade,cultivator and two bottom plows.

  6. #6
    Silver Member bhh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    128
    Location
    Ulster County, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    Thanks guys. Those numbers don't seem that bad/far out of line. What do the dealers normally charge for the 50/100 scheduled maintenance visits or are they pretty straight-forward DIY projects? Unless I get a larger vehicle, I'll most likely have to pay for someone to trailer the tractor to the dealer.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,203
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    If you do purchase;add the first two services into the deal.My dealer charges $75.00 for a round trip service haul,its about 80 miles.The oil changes on the motor and HST are pretty easy for a do it yourselfer.kubota oil/filters are not cheap but I use them.I lot of guys buy a $30,000 tractor and want to cheap out on the services,not me.

  8. #8
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,803
    Location
    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
    Tractor
    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by bhh View Post
    <snip> Right now, I am leaning towards an L3800 with FEL, forks/grapple, 4" wood chipper, and possibly a bush hog to help pulverize a lot of the smaller downed branches and woody debris without having to lay hands on everything to run it through the chipper.<snip>
    You also need to figure in the value of convenience for jobs you don't plan on. I recently bought a load of pallet rack, used my little B7610 to haul the beams, 8 or 10 at a time. They are about 45lbs each. Could have done it all by hand.
    Had to load a freezer to a moving truck, could have used a furniture dolly but just picked it up in the FEL.

    It may cost $20/hour to run, but what's the cost of your back?
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all

  9. #9
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,495
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    +1 on the posts both by nybirdman and newbury.

    Exactly what I was going to say as regards total cost of ownership/maintenance. It's easy to do yourself. Takes less time than taking it back to the dealer.

    The speed with which you will get things done compared to your current manual methods will AMAZE you. I calculate that a tractor increases my effectiveness by a factor of 10...even for a retired guy, that's really worth a lot!

    The reduction in sore muscles, tiredness, etc from using diesel and hydraulics versus yourself is an unanticipated benefit...priceless

    There are all the things you can think of that you will do with the equipment...and they are certainly worthy, and you clearly have the acreage where a tractor is needed to get these done. HOWEVER, it's all the things you will do which you now cannot anticipate or identify which will account for half of the benefit you get from the equipment. It's amazing how the previously impossible becomes not only possible, but reasonably simple when you have a tractor to assist.

    Do you have a full set of maintenance tools...wrenches, grease guns, filter wrenches, etc....if not, those are a one time added cost...I buy lots of stuff at Harbor Freight...but, these tools avoid purchase of a trailer and tow vehicle. Pretty quick payback.

    My tractor has 1200 hours on it and the only expenses have been oil, filters, fuel. I had a catastrophic front tire rip recently and purchased a 2nd tire to match...about 300 dollars total for two tires, and I still have the good tire I can use if I need to.

    Know that a tractor is just an engine...can't do a thing by itself. gotta have attachments...extra cost...but extra benefit...consider
    extra front/rear lights....now you have light for all those night situations
    numerous chains for pulling, lifting
    a FEL and quick attach if you will have anything other than a bucket
    a toothbar on the bucket...often takes place of bucket hooks, increases bucket capacity, digging capability, etc.
    from your list of items to purchase, looks like you have got an excellent list already.

    Other than two dumb mistakes I made, all my expenses have been anticipated and reasonable. I busted a door, about 500 there and taillight lens...less than 50.

    Net...I think you are being realistic and thoughtful and this will benefit you greatly. After you get your stuff, just consider the expenses that come along as a realistic part of maintaining and enjoying your property and keeping your body healthy by getting outside exercise. Many folks pay money to go to a gym and exercise....you are just spending your money a different way!!
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  10. #10
    Silver Member bhh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    128
    Location
    Ulster County, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: total cost of ownership

    You guys are awesome - thank you.

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