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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    12
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500, John Deere X500

    Default Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    I think I need a new tractor, though I probably also need more know-how.

    I have 10 acres in California's wine country, all up and down slopes. I inherited my brother's little 2003 kubota B7500D 4WD and FEL with a motley set of mis-sized attachments. It's been a great beginner's tractor, but I feel stymied. I've found after a couple of years' use that I could use more PTO hp, more weight, a wider wheel base to be safer, and access to appropriately sized attachments for tilling/grading/discing.

    I already have:
    chain harrow - beside the FEL, the one attachment that works!
    Kubota B 40C rotary tiller - Some jokester sold this to my bro. Doesn't have the right length drive shaft and collar for the B7500 PTO, so it's essentially counter-weight for FEL use. Otherwise, it's a nice tiller.
    Gearmore L-48-40-XB-Z rotary mower. Works fine but is too long to be optimal for hilly, uneven ground.
    Spike tooth harrow - Would work okay on flat ground with deep soil, but needs either a weight or a 3 point system that carries it lower. Doesn't have good ground contact.
    Gearmore offset disc. Too heavy for the B7500. Turning around on a slope is a thrill, even with the FEL carrying weight.

    My needs in order of hours usage are:
    1. FEL for managing 11 tons of compost/year (horses). Used weekly. The little FEL I have is fine, but a foot wider and more capacity would be a time saver.
    2. Mower for about 6 acres of hilly land with lots of obstructions (trees, fencing, roadway, infrastructure, washboard ground from old orchard terraces). Used weekly from April - mid-July and then again in October. I think a flail mower would be best over uneven ground because of it's short depth.
    3. Plow/tiller/subsoiler for loosening soil so I can gradually grade away the washboards. Would use in Nov.-Dec., March-April.
    4. 3 point scraper for grading away the washboards and also grubbing sod off about 3 acres of hilly land. Would use in Nov.-Dec., March-April.
    5. pulling a chain harrow. Used weekly. ATV can manage light raking but need tractor for aggressive tines
    6. assorted barn and landscape jobs besides trenching (we rent and wreck trenchers because of a layer of river cobble under the top soil).

    A compact tractor with a FEL and enough hp for a flail mower, subsoiler and scraper are my priorities. Recommendations for minimum HP?

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,362
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    My neighbor has a nice 2009 kubota L4400 that he uses on his 10 acres (45 hp engine, 37 hp pto).
    My tractor is the 2008 Mahindra 5525 (55 hp engine, 45 hp pto) that I use on my 10 acres. The wheel base is about 78" (measured to the outside of the rear wheels). This may be OK for your hills and slopes. The only way to find out is to have a dealer drop off a tractor you're interested in and try it out before purchase.
    Both have FELs with 6-ft wide buckets. I paid about $19K new for mine (including triple rear hydraulic remotes and the skid steer quick attach feature on the FEL bucket). That L4400 was in the $20-25K range new.
    Either of these would be fine for your needs.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    3,035
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    the l4400 4x4 with fel an tiller would do everything your wanting done.an even move 4 by 5 round bales to feed your horses with the right fel.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,007
    Location
    Red Bluff, CA
    Tractor
    Changes often!

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    I'd suggest a Mahindra 3616. That gives you 36 HP and 1650 lb FEL lift capacity, yet it is still fairly compact and you can buy it as a HST or shuttle. Campway's in Santa Rosa might be your closest dealer. If you want to go up to a smallish full size farm tractor, the 4025-4WD is a beast at about 6000 lbs with the loader. It has wide R4 tires available and is a pretty stable tractor on hills. It is a simple hi/low manual transmission tractor. If you want more transmission options, look at the Mahindra 35 series, available from 40-50 HP with shuttle, power-shuttle or HST options. The 5035HST is a really nice machine. Don't look at it if you want to buy something else because you will want it I'm afraid! It's a premium model, and unfortunately has a somewhat premium price.

    I think the suggestions for the L4400 kubota are good as well, I'm just a Mahindra guy so I am making those recommendations based on the models I am familiar with.

    As far as your mis-matched implements, you can trade them in or sell them on craigslist. Used implements are easy to sell.
    Dave
    Dave's Tractor, Inc.
    Red Bluff, California

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    12
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500, John Deere X500

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    I realized that 45hp is more than I need. I don't need speed, exactly, just more power and a heavier machine, and I'm limited to a 5 ft. loader because of the size of my compost bins. So I went shopping today and stopped by the JD dealer in town. The best machine I saw was a used JD 3320, with eHydro, no cab, still under warranty, 375 hrs, tires good, air ride seat, $14,000 w/o loader. The other used equipment in stock that the manager suggested were 30xxE models that didn't impress once I'd dinked around with the 3320.

    I suppose I can go to the kubota dealer and comparison shop, but I'm a bit hesitant. The authorized dealer has had that status about 30 days and is basically a New Holland dealer. That's always been a problem for me - - local dealer didn't offer much support.

    Anyway, I'll check on the 3320 and see how people like it.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,207
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    The 3320 with a 60" tiller, 60" landplane grader scraper should work well for you. I would try to get by with the rest of the implements until you can figure out which ones work for you and sell the rest and replace with the proper stuff.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    12
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500, John Deere X500

    Default Re: Advice for replacement tractor - 10 acres, California wine country hills

    Thanks! I'm selling myself on the 3320. I already decided to work with some kind of scraper before buying a subsoiler. I'll look at the Land plane.

    I'm thinking about replacing the tires. I assumed the R4's would have more traction than Ag tires because of more ground contact, but I read that's just plain wrong. I won't be working fields in the mud most of the time, but mud is a fact of life. You can't have a tractor that can't work in the mud when you need it!

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