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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Apr 2013
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    Parsonsfield, Maine
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    Default Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    We're starting a small organic farm this season, and while we'll primarily be relying on a friend to use his tractor for the first few times we'll need it this season (breaking ground/initial tilling), we're looking to purchase our own so that we won't need to borrow/rent long-term.

    But where to start! We have a bit of a nest-egg so cost isn't a super big issue, but we also would prefer to keep the cost under $20k if buying new, and obviously less if buying used.

    Our farm tractor needs right now: Tilling and working 2 acres of gently sloping field that's been in perennial grasses for over a decade, and was used to grow cucurbits before that. We'll be doing multiple tilling passes this season to kill off quack-grass, other weeds. We'll also need to till in a few cover crops (buckwheat and oats).

    Our farm in the future: We plan on having roughly 5 acres in vegetable production, and will likely use the tractor for some work in the woods, various tasks around the farm (turning compost, etc.).

    My thoughts are we need a 30-40+HP, and 30+hp to the PTO. 4WD. I'd probably prefer either a standard transmission, or maybe shuttle. I'm not a huge fan of HST, and we don't need to do a ton of back/forth bucket work either. As I said, we're open to buying new (kubota, Mahindra probably..) or buying used. I may go look at a L4400 this weekend that's listed for $11k (without FEL though). Seems a decent tractor for our needs though.

    Any thoughts on what direction we should look?

  2. #2
    Gold Member rdbigfarmboy's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Location
    Collinwood, TN
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    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    check with the neighbors.
    The rule is at least as good or better than theirs.
    I would go the web sites and build you own and compare the final price built as you want.

  3. #3
    Elite Member GManBart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    2,925
    Location
    Belleville, MI
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 241, Massey Ferguson 2244 crawler

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    I don't think you can come close to $20K for 30+HP going with kubota, Mahindra, New Holland, Deere, or Massey. You can get roughly 40hp with Kioti or LS for around $20K, but the others will cost significantly more than that.

    I was looking for 40hp and did tons of research, over a period of a couple of months. In the end, I bought an LS R4047H, and it's been simply outstanding. I was really torn between it, and a Kioti DK40SE...really couldn't have gone wrong either way.

    There really aren't any bad tractors in the 30-50hp range, and there's so much competition, that I think all of the brands are putting out a good product. For what I got, I would have had to pay over $30K from the bigger names, and I simply didn't see a difference in the quality. R,

  4. #4
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    3,741
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    What type and size implements will you be using, immediately and in the forseeable future?
    Front Loader, backhoe, box blade, rear blade, pallet forks,
    Tiller, cultivator, disc hiller, disc harrow, turning plow, subsoiler,
    Brush hog, sicklebar mower, baler, bale spear, etc?
    Will working in the woods involve logging out firewood?
    Will you be needing a logging winch, grapple, chipper?
    Once you know the answer to these questions, then you can back into what tractor will suit those implements. This will help you avoid both an undersized tractor, that won't do the jobs that you need done, and one that's too big to maneuver in small gardens.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  5. #5
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    2,175
    Location
    Dunrobin, Ont
    Tractor
    2012 Kioti DK45 HST Cab

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    Standard L is to light and doesn't have a strong FEL. If you like kubota, I'd say an L4240 or bigger. The standard L is not just a stripped down version of the grand L, they are totally different tractors and much lighter duty than the grand L. I'd also stay away from the 3032e & 3038e lines if you're considering JD, they're also very light and bare bones and again a much lighter duty version, designed to compete on price, not specs. I think you'd be crazy not to look at the Kioti DK40 (DK45 will give you more PTO hp and may not cost much/any more) and the LS 4047. I'd look at them all if I was doing it again, but LS & Kioti would be the favorites going in for me.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    703
    Location
    Germanton, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    If the L is too light and the Grand L is too pricey - consider the MX 5100. Basic tractor but not really a compact tractor either. It is a 50 engine and 44 hp PTO in the gear model.

    You should be able to find a very good low hour used MX5100 with a loader in your price range. I have seen several since I bought mine new.

    Mine handles a 72" rotary tiller, 6' brush cutter, 6' box blade, one row bedder (don't have a two row but I think it would do fine) 14" two bottom plow, nine shank tillage tool 72" scrape blade etc. whatever you do, I strongly suggest at least one set of remote hydraulic connections on the rear of the tractor. That's my only regret regarding mine, I didn't add them when I bought.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    RUGGED kubota 46hp 4WD

    That's the L4400 I was going to try and take a look at this weekend. You guys are saying the L series is too light? The only other issues I see with that tractor I linked to, is the guy says it has no remotes, and it of course doesn't have an FEL so I'd have to add all of that later on.

    The farm I worked on last year had a Kioti...don't remember which model but it was a decent tractor...HST.

    Implements we plan on using in the near future: tiller, chisel plow, disc harrow. Probably will use a flail mower somewhere in the next few years to work cover crops. Long-term I don't see anything else really, maybe a backhoe someday..Maybe brush hog.

    I did a quick search on local craigslists for any MX5100's and they seem to be kind of out of our range. $20K and up.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    2,175
    Location
    Dunrobin, Ont
    Tractor
    2012 Kioti DK45 HST Cab

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    Forget about that L4400 if it doesn't have a FEL, it's not worth adding later. If you're buying used, you need to find one that comes with a FEL. kubota remotes are also very expensive to add, I've heard up to $1500, but somebody here can confirm I'm sure.

    Nothing wrong with the MX, but it is a bare bones tractor. The MX is to the M what the standard L is to the Grand L. LS and Kioti will give you a lot more tractor (capability and features) for the same or less money.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    703
    Location
    Germanton, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    Wow I'm surprised that the price is that high on the used MX's! My 2wd model was 16k new!

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2012
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    703
    Location
    Germanton, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Our first tractor purchase...where to start?

    A single set of remotes for the MX5100 is $700 installed per dealer quote.

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