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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    55
    Location
    Port Crane, NY
    Tractor
    Ford 1920, JD LT180

    Default Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    Hello All,

    I have been lurking for a few weeks, doing some reading, and finally decided it was time to make a post. I have a little under 4 acres of land currently. I mow about half of it with the LT180 and am happy with its performance. I am looking for a tractor for the following tasks:

    -There are 15+ stumps in the "field" section of my land, standing from 3" to 36" tall. This makes it impossible to mow with the LT180 as I would end up breaking something. I would like to be able to remove the stumps and use the tractor to mow/hog this ~1 acre part of my yard once or twice a year. The biggest stump is probably 8" diameter, the smallest being 3" diameter.

    -Many of these stumps are located on a grade that my LT180 doesn't like climbing with even the slightest amount of moisture on the grass, so a 4wd tractor would be a big help here

    -Old garden needs to be turned back into lawn....This garden was built near the leach field of the septic system, and it is also WAY to big for me (25' x 20' or so). It is overgrown and uglyyy. We built a small garden higher up on our property. I would also like to be able to rent or borrow a tiller to turn this garden once a year or so.

    -Smaller raised bed (maybe was a garden) needs to be knocked down and turned back into lawn. It is approximately 2 ft wide by 10 ft long. I have a couple more of these around the property as well that I would like smoothed out.

    -I have a HUGE bramble of blackberry bushes, and other NASTY prickers that I would like to pull out. At least 10' diameter. Thinking about wrapping a chain around a few at a time and using the bucket to lift them up and out of the ground to get rid of the roots. This would also be the perfect spot to have a nice burn pit in the future, and maybe a horseshoe pit as well.

    -I have some drainage work that needs doing on my property. Main problem is that the french drain (which works very well) dumps out into the back yard, so it is always wet at that section. I would like to extend this back near the woods and build a critter and crush proof exit. I was also going to add fill and possibly a few dry wells to the front yard as there are some low spots that stay soupy when we get a week or so of heavy rain. These weren't a concern this year, but they were BAD last year and we couldn't mow the front yard.

    -Spreading crushed stone on my driveway until I put up the money for blacktop

    -Lots of working as a "powered wheel barrow"

    -Snow removal

    I am sure I will think of 1000's of other uses for the tractor as well as I use it more and more.

    What I THINK I want is:

    25-35hp
    FEL
    ROPS
    4wd
    HST
    Optional backhoe

    If I get a JD that can accept the backhoe on my co-workers 2520, then he said I could borrow that when I wanted to do the drainage work. I am also thinking that a 2520 is about the perfect size tractor. I will have around 12k to put down on a tractor when I get around to buying it. I am selling my race car project (my only toy currently) to get the tractor, so the tractor will become my toy as well.

    The local JD dealer has a 2320 for sale with a drive over MMM, tiller, and FEL for 10950. It is a repo with 180 hours on it. The price seems great, but after reading the hydraulic specs on this unit, and how much lighter it is than the 2520 as well as the tire size difference, I am thinking that the 2520 is a better size. I am afraid of getting something too small and ending up with a second lawn mower that has a FEL....Then again I have never owned a tractor so I don't know...

    The only tractor I have operated is a Yanmar 276d that my neighbor let me borrow for a weekend. I used this to dig 9 post holes in our awful clay/stone soil, as well as move all the extra dirt to a pile at the back of my property. When comparing how this drove to how my HST LT180 drives, I really think that for the work I will be doing that the ease of direction change and the nimbleness of the HST would be better.

    I have good mechanical ability and have worked on everything from my turbo race car, welding, to refurbing a coal boiler, to house upgrades and building a deck. I am confident that I can do most anything to a tractor at this point, although I haven't worked on one as of yet. I wouldn't mind buying a tractor that needed a bit of TLC to get it back to working 100%, as long as I wasn't going to spend so much on parts I should have just bought new of course.

    I guess my question to the forum is...Is the 2320 enough for my needs? Will going bigger hurt anything except my wallet? Used/new? Brand?

    The dealers I have in the area are: John Deere, New Holland, kubota, Yanmar/Cub, LS, TYM, Zetor, Case, Massey, Kioti, and probably more

    The JD and Kubota dealers are closest to my house, while the others are a bit of a drive.

    Thanks for reading my novel,
    Joe

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,095
    Location
    Erie Pa.
    Tractor
    Montana R4944, Ford Jubilee, Ford 621, Ford 841

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    The 2320 looks OK but I would always go bigger and new!

    All of the brands you listed are good tractors, it would all depend on you look at them all price them all, if possible drive em all look at all of the factory options add what you want (if anything) and price them all and see where you fall. Used is also ok if you find what you want in good shape and for the right price but going through the new process first you will have a better idea of what a used price should or could be.
    Montana R4944
    Ford Jubliee, Ford 841, Ford 621 industrial with FEL & BH

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    672
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    Tractor
    Didn't intend to have a Deere fleet - it just happened

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    Nobody has ever said they bought too large of a tractor. BUT, pulling stumps as large as you list is a job for a D9 Cat. Tractors aren't the best and breaking chains/cables are dangerous. A better option is grinding or digging them.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    16,378
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    Murph ------------

  5. #5
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7,201
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    As for stumps, get your buddy to dig them out with his backhoe or get a tractor that is compatible with it. I do a lot of work with my B26, a lot more than I would have thought possible for such a small TLB (tractor, loader, backhoe) 25-30 HP is plenty large. My daughter has a 2.5 acre lot and uses the B series 29 HP kubota which is plenty large with mid mount mower, tiller and FEL . You really dont want much larger than that.
    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. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    367
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Tractor
    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    Removing stumps can be a herculean task, and what you see above ground is often the "tip of the iceberg" - for c.15 stumps IMO hire/contract an excavator it'll do it a lot quickerwith less peripheral damage than a backhoe - saving time, fuel & substantial hours of heavy wear/tear on your ag machine......using smaller CUT/Ag tractors for pulling stumps is risking both damage to the machine & operator injury....sure it maybe can be done but given the ingerrent risks the questions is why would you?

    The 25-35hp & specs you detail should be more than ample for what you have in mind on 4acres & HST is a must, you might want to also consider implements such as bush hog or finishing mower, box blade (with rippers) & maybe a cultivator or tiller in the package.
    Consider also the bigger the machine the less maneuverable it will be & the more storage space required, less weight = potentially increased versatility/less "footprint" & damage if you intend to use it for lawn mowing it, & on a 4WD HST Turf Tyres might be more desirable depending on your long term plans (Ag tyre give more traction but will leave more impact damage in their wake on softer ground) - c.20hp may prove a more attractive option once you research & balance the desired "needs" & "wants" against what makes economic sense for your actual use (my c.17hp kubota's & Iseki's would handle fine what you have described with the exception of stump pulling)

    As for brands, Kubota, Kioti, Yanmar & JD (though you often pay an unrealistic premium price for "green"..) are sound chioces with generally good parts availability/network support - and in this smaller gear I'd always take a "unabused" & preferably low houred second hand machine over new because of the cost savings.

  7. #7
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    7,101
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    to the forum.

    I think you are on the right track a JD2520 or a 2720, or a kubota B2620, B2920, or a B3200 would be good. You could aslo get a Kubota B3000 with a cab and mow in the a/c. The kubotas have a 3 range hydro were the deere is 2 range. For the stumps I would just rent a stump grinder. I rented a manaul stump grinder for $150. I think a hydraulic one is 350-400.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,198
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    The problem with borrowing your friends backhoe for the 2520 is that you would still need to have the sub frame mountings for it. I would either pay him to do the digging or buy your own backhoe attachment.

    For 4 acres and lots of choices a 25 to 30 hp tractor should fill the bill for you. I would recommend you keep your lighter mower for most of the lawn work and then load the tires and add weight to the new tractor for the other tasks.

  9. #9
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    7,101
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default

    Plus you would have to go get the back hoe. You might have to take your tractor to get it.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: Trying to decide which size tractor to buy

    From what I've read............all you need is a Subcut tractor with an FEL.

    You are only mowing 2 acres, the stumps and drain lines can be done by renting a small trackhoe for a weekend or 2.


    EDIT: I've dug out 8 inch stumps with my GC2400.............it has no backhoe.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

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