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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,283
    Location
    Mid-Coast Maine

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I don't have as much acreage as you, but I have similar needs. I went with a Kioti CK30, glad I didn't go with anything smaller, occasionally I wish I had gone bigger. I was also considering the 3030, but I didn't like the ergonomics or the dealer. Make sure can spend a little time on the machine to see how it fits YOU, as you will be spending a bunch of time with it. I think if the 3030 had been more ergonomically correct for me... I would have gotten it instead. There was no way I was paying the premium for green paint. I also understand that since I bought my tractor, the 3030 has had some of its layout changed and it would be more appealing to me now. There was a serious premium to get a BackHoe... but now that I have it, I wouldn't buy another tractor without it. You also need to check to see how easy the BH comes off to use 3pt implements. I believe the Mahindra is a heavier tractor than the kubota, so you might give it some serious thought if you will be doing lots of ground engaging work rather than mowing/over the lawn work.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

  2. #12
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,461
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Tractor
    JD cut

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    A compromise between weight and maneuverability, on 10 acres, are factors to consider. I have operated a small JD SCUT and will say that the maneuverability in and around trees and rocks was great-but the number of times I had wheels off the ground was just too much. Have also used a number of rented Kubotas with the same results. Bought a JD 4*20 series, and it has been just right for me.

    JDs are pricey, but I was influenced by a Buy American sentiment. I wouldn't say that JD is that much better than Mahindra or kubota, but in Eastern Oklahoma, dealer availability was also a factor.

    Since I have no experience with the other brands, don't take my post as a negative statement regarding those.

  3. #13
    Silver Member scaredychicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    187
    Location
    Salmon Arm BC, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere LT160, Arctic Cat 400 ATV

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    As a long time lurker and knowing the knowledge here I am finally ready to start posting.

    History:
    We moved to our current property in Bucks County PA (southeastern PA) in November of 2011.
    10 acres - roughly 7 wooded and 3 grass, house, driveway, etc.
    Hustler ZTR mower for the lawn mowing
    Craftsman 24hp 42" lawn tractor that works like a subcompact!
    1/2 ton pickup for movement off property (would need an equipment or landscape trailer but also would be useful for materials and taking the mower in for service)

    Tractor uses:
    - Woods have not been maintained (probably since the property was originally a farm 40 years ago) and there is major invasive species of vines threatening the trees plus a large number of trees down and natural debris accumulating
    - Standard property material movement: garden mulch, topsoil, wood chips, gravel, compost, etc.
    - Rough mowing and maintenance of open areas around the woods that are not truly lawn quality
    - Tree maintenance (80+ trees on the grass areas alone) and assistance in firewood processing
    - Fence maintenance (material movement as well as possible post hole digging)
    - Upgrade some poorly graded areas around the roads (box blade type work, very minor changes but more than can be done with a shovel)
    - Create and maintain a small set of trails through the woods
    - Assistance in future hardscape area installation
    - Small vegetable garden creation and maintenance
    - Assistance in snow removal (paved driveway and have a walk behind 2-stage snowblower)

    This is all personal use on our property but want to get an idea from the experts on size of a tractor to use. Currently thinking about a used kubota B3030 with loader and backhoe that is at the local dealer and what prompted my formal signup. Also want to get an idea on price for this unit in my area to see where I should negotiate to with the dealer, besides the above the unit has 500 hours, R4 in reasonable wear, HST, standard scratches and dents, and no other accessories. I have also been considering a new Mahindra Max 28XL as I feel this machine is well suited to the size and tasks. Want something to make life easier and upgrade and maintain our land and the Craftsman worked well on our previous property of less than an acre but is definitely not the right machine for where we are now. I am not tied to any brands but my closest dealer is Kubota, Deere and Mahindra are also close enough and I am sure I am missing another color dealer that I just have not looked hard enough for. I will work on some pictures in the daylight to add to the description of the property.

    Thanks in advance!
    PSU Tundra - Quoting the entire post, because this is almost identical to my circumstances, thought process, and decisions. The B3030 was also my conclusion last fall. Purchase is still pending. I think it would be a wise purchase. I also concluded that anything HP smaller and you may find that it is pushed to the brink too often. Happy tractor hunting.

  4. #14
    Silver Member MtHam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    130
    Location
    Northern California coastal hills
    Tractor
    Kabota B3030

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I bought my kubota B3030 (used) 3 years ago, with 80 hours and all the listed attachments ($24K) except the chipper/shredder or the logging winch which were acquired later. See the list in my signature. I use it for all the things you mention, and more. It was a great choice! If I were doing it again, the only thing I might do differently is go bigger. I should have done it years earlier!
    Kubota B3030, BH75 BH, LA403 FEL, Tiller, Mower, Box Scraper, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch, BMX32 Chipper/Shredder,
    Kubota 8kw genset, RTV900, 1983 TroyBuilt Horse tiller
    8 trailers-12' dump, 8' utility, 12' box, 25' box, 28'TTx2 (worker housing), 28' 5th wheel TT, ATV trailer
    Polaris RZR 800 SxS, Yamaha Kodiak 450 ATV, Yamaha TW200 mc
    6kw grid-tied solar PV system, DHW solar system, solar water pump, 18x36' solar heated swimming pool
    4 Stihl chainsaws, 45 acres forest and meadowland

  5. #15
    Bronze Member mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    62
    Location
    wilmington, de
    Tractor
    BX2660, RTV 900, RTV 1140 CXP, B21, KX-018-3, KX 121-4

    Default

    PSU Tundra: You are taking the right steps. One tractor that may fit the bill for you is a kubota B21. Very tough machine with strong easily removable backhoe for 3 point attachments. A used one could be had in that price range 15k. Not the best for finish mowing though
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-353065387-jpg  

  6. #16
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,500
    Location
    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
    Tractor
    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Lots of snips
    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    Tractor uses:
    - Woods have not been maintained (probably since the property was originally a farm 40 years ago) and there is major invasive species of vines threatening the trees plus a large number of trees down and natural debris accumulating
    - Standard property material movement: garden mulch, topsoil, wood chips, gravel, compost, etc.
    - Rough mowing and maintenance of open areas around the woods that are not truly lawn quality
    - Tree maintenance (80+ trees on the grass areas alone) and assistance in firewood processing
    - Fence maintenance (material movement as well as possible post hole digging)
    - Upgrade some poorly graded areas around the roads (box blade type work, very minor changes but more than can be done with a shovel)
    - Create and maintain a small set of trails through the woods
    - Assistance in future hardscape area installation
    - Small vegetable garden creation and maintenance
    - Assistance in snow removal (paved driveway and have a walk behind 2-stage snowblower)
    Good layout of tasks.

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    This is all personal use on our property but want to get an idea from the experts on size of a tractor to use. Currently thinking about a used kubota B3030 with loader and backhoe that is at the local dealer and what prompted my formal signup. Also want to get an idea on price for this unit in my area to see where I should negotiate to with the dealer, besides the above the unit has 500 hours, R4 in reasonable wear, HST, standard scratches and dents, and no other accessories.
    The 3030 is about the minimum.

    Your price point of $15K was mine. At that point you can get into a used L3830 (Fel but no BH). Check with Barlow's.

    To LIFT a decent log your looking at a ton. To drag, much less.

    A GOOD chipper runs $4K, a chinese chipper $2K. Backhoes are a fun toy. If you plan to do work where you can schedule a rental mini-ex you'll get more done. And the backhoe costs a lot more. IF, like me, you plan on taking the backhoe thru the woods then one on a tractor may be better.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all

  7. #17
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,994
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    PSUTundra.

    Welcome to TBN. I agree with the others, B3030 if a good price get it, also get the thumb (mechanical) as I assume its a kubota BH. The thumb is invaluable to do any number of things.

    Also, get the dealer to do the fluids and filters since it has 500 hours and get bucket hooks, rear remotes if you can negotiate this in with the deal. The attachments of a brush hog and box blade can come later, but your dealer will likely do a better deal on everything at once.

    The Mahindra Max is a nice unit, but IMO, is not in the same class as the B3030. There are other machines out there but this time of year good used machines go fast.

    Carl
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  8. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    32
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post

    The vines are not a good tractor or chipper task. Probably the best and cheapest (rare combination) thing you could do is wander around with a pair of loppers and pruning shears cutting the vines off near the ground. That will stop the choking up in the trees. After they dry a bit, some can be pulled down if it is a plant like virginia creeper. You could paint the fresh cut stem with roundup if you feel you have to.
    Trust me, I know a chipper won't take vines (or wild roses) well, I learned that the hard way! I have spent a lot of time in our woods with a machete, axe, hand saw, and chain saw (just upgraded to a Stihl 291); but sadly I am loosing the battle. But I also have a lot of non-vine stuff to get through to get to the vines and walking it I am almost out of time for the year as it gets too thick. Again I think a tractor might be overkill but also might get me to the next level, so I appreciate the comments.

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    442
    Location
    Albion, Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I live on a similar property but not as many trees and a large pond. I have a Ford 1710 and find it is just the right size. if I had to do it over I might go a tad larger in horsepower but not in frame size.

    I think you definitely want a CUT not an SCUT. 30 hp range, less than 60" wide, FWA, FEL and whatever other attachments you may find necessary. Backhoes are nice but I really have not had much use for it. Stumps rot in a couple of years and i can do a lot of digging with the FEL if needed. When i have to do a real job like bury a water line I just rent a mini-excavator and get it done.

    Tf you go less than the 3030 or that size you will not have enough horsepower for all the implements of that width. If you go much larger you get in the previously mentioned weight issues of root and lawn damage as well as maneuverability in the trees. I have a slightly strange set up of turf tires on the rear and industrial up front. It makes for less lawn damage but I can still do everything I need. It is not a heavy pulling tractor but I have still easily skidded 30" diameter hardwood logs.

    Some guys have mentioned a Carry-All but I have opted for a toolbar with forks on it. Then I have set up skids for different uses such as a flat surface of large items and easy access, a box for containing loose articles such as firewood, fencing materials and tools, etc. I can also use the forks to move skids or other things such as logs or large bales so i can buy a big round bale of straw rather than having to find square bales which are more expensive.

    One thing I think you need to be sure you are comfortable with is the speed of the hydraulics. It is very hard to change and with an FEL or other attachments this is something you use all the time and it is not obvious when you are looking at a tractor.

  10. #20
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,125
    Location
    Preble County, Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    You can take out a lot of vines and wild roses with a loader bucket riding on top of the ground.
    I used to do the Hokey Pokey but I turned myself around.

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