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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,476

    Default Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    The Sanitation Department at the plant that I work at decided a year ago (last spring) that instead of contracting out the mowing/snow removal of the premises, they would purchase the equipment and do the work themselves. They purchased a Snapper line trimmer, Lawn-Boy push mower and a 16 hp Craftsman lawn mower with a (I think) 38-42" or so pull behind mower (with like a 6 or 8 hp engine). The total plant property is about 40 acres; about 18 acres are under roof, and the paved parking lots and roads make up about another 12 acres (these have to be cleared of snow in the winter). The remainder of the area is moderate to steep hilly areas around the buildings with at least one good 5 or 6 acre spot of more or less open space (storm water retention basin) that has to be mowed. There is probably less than an acre of "lawn" at the main entrance of the plant that needs to be mowed, and they do it now with the push mower because they like to mow it really high (like 6" tall grass - I think it looks awful, but oh well).

    Of course, before the end of the summer, the Craftsman lawn mower and and pull-behind mower were just about worn out, and we've spent a ton of money renting commercial lawn mowers. It is in our Capital Budget to purchase some additional groundskeeping equipment. The projected spending is $20,000.

    We need to be able to mow the 12 acres every one or two weeks. I have said I thought we should just bushhog it, as it is not readily visible nor is there any normal pedestrian traffic on it. Others have the opinion it should all be finished mowed. We will need to be able to clear the parking lot/roads of snow in the winter. We are in western Kentucky and get very little snow most years (usually 3 or 4 snows of 1" to 4", with the occassional "big storm" that might drop 6" or 8" - I know, you northern guys are wiping the tears off your face when we worry about our "big storm").

    We would probably like to get something in the nature of 25-30 HP with a FEL (we have to spread rock, mulch, help with snow removal etc), grader blade, bushhog, finish mower, and possibly a soft cab for the winter work. There will be 4 or 5 different operators for this tractor, so I would assume that HST would be simpler for the folks to figure out (keeping in mind that the snow removal will take place in a parking lot full of vehicles).

    We have a John Deere dealership in town (10 miles away) and kubota dealership a couple of towns over (30 miles away). The nearest New Holland is about 50 miles away, and the Kioti dealership is about 75 miles away. I (of course) have my personal preferences, but I need to set them aside in this case. I am leaning towards a John Deere or Kubota, because of proximity and reputation. The problem: don't know too much about the models out there and would like some of you brand-specific experts to arm me with some knowledge prior to my dealership visits. I have been to both dealerships when I was looking for my personal tractor, and found the service and pricing at both to be absolutely abhorrent; however, service after the sale will be extremely important in our situation, so I feel compelled to go with a local dealer.

    Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated (especially specific model numbers and attachment/implement numbers/sizes). Thanks, fellas.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    17
    Location
    upper east tennessee
    Tractor
    power trac 425

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    For the money,ease of operation, and ease of maintance, I would look at the Power Trac. I have 130 hours on mind and have not had any problems and am amazed at what this machine will do. I also have a small kubota, it sure is getting lonely sitting and watching the Power Trac do all the work. There is a wealth of info on the Power Trac in the Discussions forums. Good Luck Mac

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    424
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7100DT

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    I am in a similar situation with an organization I am boardmember to, and i have come to a conclusion, so I will throw in my two cents.

    The local municipalities in this area have been working with Ford New Holland products for years, with good results. Much of this is probably because of the dealer - so kubota or Deere might be just as well.

    Anyhow, we got a TC24D with FEL, 3pt sander/salter, MMM and a canopy with soft sides (zip out in summer). This works really well at mowing heavy grass in summer (brush hogging without any rocks or stumps) and moving snow on walkways and inbetween parked cars and the like. What it does not do well is plow large open spaces up here in the north - so we contract a large truck plow to come at night when it snows. So the TC just does the 'during the day' stuff and walkways.

    In your region the snow needs would not be that great anyway, so this would work perfectly. As for the other brands, the kubota b7800 would be a good fit, as well or a 4310 (i think) deere.

    Certainly this can be had for less than 20k - and it will last forever if maintained. BTW - all of our road crews use the TCs and Deere 7xx series for park and highway mowing in this region - so they are darn tough!

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    I'd go with a Deere 4410. Nice machine with lots of power to do all that you mentioned. Deere has deals with most county's and cities to buy their equipment at close to dealer cost. You should be able to get a pretty good buy on one for your company.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,092
    Location
    South Central NC, USofA
    Tractor
    Iseki TU1700f

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    "The local municipalities in this area have been working with Ford New Holland products for years, with good results. " SteveM

    Around here, it's Ford/NH, also. I'd go with a NH package.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4,383
    Location
    Janesville, Wisconsin
    Tractor
    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    If you have a Bobcat dealer in your area, you might look into the Toolcat Utility vehicle. It looks like it would do all the things you're looking for, plus a few others. Here's the link to the Bobcat site Bobcat .

    Our Wastewater Treatment Plant is looking into a similar type of machine, although I'm not sure which manufacturer. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    83
    Location
    Sheridan, WY
    Tractor
    Anything Orange

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    To answer your ? from a kubota standpoint, I think the B7800HSD with LA402 front loader, RCK60 or RCK72" Kubota mid-mount finish mower, 5' rotary cutter, and 72" rear blade would do the trick nicely. If you went to the L seires you woud get a larger frame tractor but not much more HP and not as good of manuverablity. You would have more loader and 3pt capacity but the price may not fall into you range. Good Luck! Christa

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    1,344
    Location
    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    Tractor
    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    If you'll be clearing snow from a parking lot that has cars in it, I would definitely suggest a front-mounted blade - "Steering" a rear blade is tough enough for most of us out in the open.


  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,476

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    This is a reply to all of the responses so far, not just WVBills...

    I don't think that PowerTrac is really an option for us. We will have to send the unit somewhere for service (or have service come to us). A Power Trac seems like a nice unit, but from my understanding they are sold direct to the end user without a local dealer, so we would be on our own to do all of our maintenance and service work. Not a bad deal for the homeowner, but for an industrial user we would want to be able to have back-up/support from a reputable dealer.

    Just from what I have heard, the Bobcat ToolCat looks like it could do all we needed, but at about double the cost (remember, the budget was $20,000). The only prices I've seen on Toolcats were $32,000-$40,000, depending on equipment.

    I'll check out the New Holland Dealer. I have never been there and will have to make sure that they can/will be willing to service our machine.

    I don't think that a front blade is necessary for our snow removal purposes; when we have had it under contract in past years, the contractor used a 30-40 kubota with a FEL to remove the snow (pushing with the bucket). Remember, we only get 1"-3" of snow at a time, so you can push a long way with the bucket. I would say we would probably like a rear blade, but I don't know how much we would use it, and I think a front blade would get even less use.

    Is the package that I am looking for reasonable for $20,000, or was the budget set too low?

    Thanks to everybody for their responses so far.


  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Which tractor for Groundskeeping at Plant?

    You could get a JD 4410 with 430 loader for $20k or under.

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