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  1. #11
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    107
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    5 acres of yard, 5 acres of pasture. Pastures are not rough and we plan to build some sacrifice areas so they don't destroy the turf when it's fragile.

    If I were to do the mowing with the tractor I'd expect to have a quick attach loader and mow without it.

    Before we get into the question of what tractor will handle an 800lb square bale, are you saying that the lift rating at full height is not the limiting factor? If that's the case, what is the limiting factor?

    As for the 40+ hp tractor and ZTR option, that's not a financial possibility. My budget is 20k, 25k tops, and I was not really expecting to buy new.

  2. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,666
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    Good advice given so far. If it were me I would be looking at loader lift capacity to meet your hay needs as I was comparing tractors. Given how far out an 800 lbs bail will sit a loader in the 1200 lbs lift range might work. If you ever think you might go to round bales you would need more. You are out of the 20 hp tractor range though. The other thing I would consider is how much mower I wanted to run. The general rule for a rough cut mowers is 5 PTO hp per foot of mower. A finish mower generally requires a bit less. A 20hp tractor will generally have around 16 PTO hp and is going to work best with a 4' mower. Five acres is a lot of mowing time with a 4' mower.

    I would be looking in the 35 to 40 gross hp range.

    MarkV

  3. #13
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17,226
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    Zero turn and a Kioti DK 40 SE HST for 2700 lbs of muscle on your loader.
    Murph ------------

  4. #14
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    17,226
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    to TBN
    Murph ------------

  5. #15
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,283
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    It is very hard to have one machine to:mow five acres of finish ground,mow another five of rough ground,lift 800lbs and do some snow removal.It can be done but you will have to compromise somewhere.It doesn't look like you have a lot of trees to mow around.My suggestion;L4240 kubota with FEL,4WD,turf tires ,rear finish mower and bush-hog.Rear scraper blade should handle your snow removal duties.And yes I do own a L4240(600 hrs) and it has been a very good machine.DK40 Kioti,JD 4XXXmachines will have similar capabilities.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member Wagtail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,379
    Location
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
    Tractor
    JD 4105 / JD D110

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    G'day Dave,
    I've just been through this process and the advice received by neighbours and the good people of Tractorbynet went a long way to getting my own tractor. I too have a small 6 acre horse property. I went with a John Deere due to their local reputation, both in sales and (more importantly) support after you buy. Your neighbours (+ the 'word in the Pub') will have their own bias but generally won't stear you wrong.

    If you can, include one of these neighbours when you go to the dealership... they'll be able to nod/shake-their-head at what's offered by the dealer. (hit the dealer up for an extra hat as part of the deal)

    You've already put thought towards what you want to initially do with your rig. Good, that's a start. The adage expressed by everyone on this site is (if you can afford it) to get a horsepower one step up from what you reckon you need. I started out thinking about the JD 2720... which, with all of the attachments available, would be able to handle everything I could think of for a small property. At the dealership (with a friend along) we then bumped it up to the 3032E = more power and a larger selection of implements as it was a full Cat 1 Compact Utillity Tractor (CUT). The new CUT's now come in 'automatic' HST, so there's no gear shifting to be done. Everything runs off of a couple of hydraulic systems.

    Then the price came up (which you can only see once you're at the dealership) and I was shown that the 4105 was less expensive! Just because it didn't have all of the fancy/pretty things (cruise control, anti-vibration deck, etc...) and it lacked a mid PTO. Mind you, there are a very limited number of implements that attach to a mid PTO. The mower deck is one of them but you can get a perfectly good rear PTO slasher or mower that does the same thing. Don't be dazzled be the goodies on offer, get what you need.

    You will need a Front End Loader (FEL). Be warned that this is just the arms and a standard bucket... the implements that attach to it are another expense. I would recommend that your FEL be upgraded to operate a 4in1 bucket. Another FEL attachment you'll need will be a forklift/bale-spike combination. Comments on this site have said that they usually keep this attachment on most of the time!

    Tyre wise, I went with the R4. There are turf tyres and a half'n'half tread tyre available. I would discuss this with your dealer.

    Definately invest in a chain-harrow to drag your paddocks to work in the horse manure (horses are VERY good at producing manure ). These harrows come in sections that can be added/removed or the whole thing can be flipped over to do a number of different tasks, such as dragging your arena. A rotary tiller for improving your paddocks is a suggestion too.

    That's my advice for your initial purchase. You'll get more implements as you need them, but that's for the future.

    Best of luck and keep us posted,

    Randy

  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,008
    Location
    Doniphan, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240, B7800 & BX2660

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    I would look real hard at the kubota GL3540 and the GL3940.. The GL4240 might be just a shade big. Also that would get you in the price range that you want.

  8. #18
    Bronze Member pizzaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    62
    Location
    Northwest IA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240 HSTC

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    I think you will be much happier if you get a compact tractor to handle the large jobs and get a good commercial zero turn mower to do the mowing. You can do it all with the compact tractor if you have alot of extra time, but if you want to spend that time on things other than mowing and if the budget allows, get the ZT mower. Look at tractor dealers in your area to find one that fits your needs and for a zero turn, Grasshopper, Gravely, Country Clipper are all very good mowers.Let us know what you end up with.

  9. #19
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45DA

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    It is very hard to have one machine to:mow five acres of finish ground,mow another five of rough ground,lift 800lbs and do some snow removal.It can be done but you will have to compromise somewhere.
    I have no reservations about maintaining two machines, especially if it's the best solution. I don't automatically buy the idea that a 2-ton tractor is the ideal machine for spending most of my time mowing.

    I mentioned the ZTR to manage the trees, fence edges, and buildings with less clumsiness than the tractor. Plus I get to skip rearranging the attachments for mowing. It's not about achieving the manufacturer's maximum ground speed. So that's my uneducated comparison of tractor mower vs. ZTR.

    I wasn't entirely clear in my first post - I would like to handle large square bales but it won't make sense if it adds $10k to the equipment investment. $10k buys a lot of small bales, or at least buys me a year to consider adding a skidsteer instead. This is why I was trying to understand the requirements for lifting.

  10. #20
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    1,661
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Compact Tractor shopping - some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    I have no reservations about maintaining two machines, especially if it's the best solution. I don't automatically buy the idea that a 2-ton tractor is the ideal machine for spending most of my time mowing.

    I mentioned the ZTR to manage the trees, fence edges, and buildings with less clumsiness than the tractor. Plus I get to skip rearranging the attachments for mowing. It's not about achieving the manufacturer's maximum ground speed. So that's my uneducated comparison of tractor mower vs. ZTR.

    I wasn't entirely clear in my first post - I would like to handle large square bales but it won't make sense if it adds $10k to the equipment investment. $10k buys a lot of small bales, or at least buys me a year to consider adding a skidsteer instead. This is why I was trying to understand the requirements for lifting.
    Dave, first of all, that's a beautiful place you have. It looks like someone has already put a lot of time and effort into it. It's laid out nicely from what shows on the aerial view. Seems to me you have two major functions to handle: a) upkeep of the property and b) your horse operation.

    The upkeep tasks, mowing, driveways, general chores, can be done by any good quality compact tractor. The bigger your equipment, the faster that work can be done, so it's a money vs. time judgement only you can make. And, there's a good case for having a separate mowing unit, particularly since you have so much fenceline, driveways, buildings and landscape that will require trim mowing.

    The horse operation is another matter. That horse barn has how many stalls? It looks huge, and if you're eventually going to have the herd to keep it full (what, maybe 20-25 horses?), you'll be dealing with some serious input/output issues (i.e. hay and grain in; manure out). I could easily see a respectable ag utility tractor for bales and a skid steer for manure looking right at home on a place like that. So if all goes well, that may be where you could someday end up, equipment-wise.

    But, presuming you're in the "start-up" phase at the moment, it seems you'd at least need one good multi-tasking tractor to get the ball rolling. My vote would be for something big enough to do some serious work, probably something in the 35-40 hp range, or more. The kubota Grand L's are top-notch, the Deere 4000 series likewise and there are other excellent models from Kioti, Massey Ferguson and others, so you have quite a selection.

    I think if you go smaller than that, you would be OK for a while, but you'd be back in the market again for bigger equipment as your horse operation grows and matures.

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