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  1. #21
    Member
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    May 2013
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    33
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Not the best for finish mowing though
    No finish mowing for me, my Hustler Fasttrack SD 60" ZTR is an amazing grass cutting machine. The problem is all it does is cut grass and pick up leaves from the grass in the fall.

  2. #22
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2012
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    1,373
    Location
    Ma
    Tractor
    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    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.
    I don't want to discourage you in any way from getting a tractor (I love mine), but on some of the vines you may try a hand held brush trimmer. I have one that's got a 12" circular saw type of blade on a string trimmer like setup. I use it to clear out heavy vines on a hill I have, the vines grow up and create an impenetrable layer about 6' high mixed with brush, giant thorns (stick through my boots). It works very well because you can cut stuff at many levels, even well over your head and can cut things over and over again quickly to reduce it to size so you can pass through it. It's labor intensive, but may be a good way to start.

  3. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    33
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creamer View Post
    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.
    Not sure I understand this as I am still a novice with tractors. I have operated many machines: multiple forklifts, rented skid steers, lawn tractors, ZTRs, powered georgia buggies, used to live next to a farm where they used older Deeres and helped out occasionally, even tried a new JCB cabbed and tracked skid steer last year. But I have not really been on may tractors with FELs and BHs. I did stop by the local Mahindra dealer today and took a quick spin around the parking lot on a Max 28 HST. I spent more time on the FEL operation than anything other than just the operator station feel and it all worked. Looked awkward from the right side but once I sat down it felt good. I still need to do the same for the kubota B3030 but it was raining by the time I got there and decided I can go back this week, since they are close. But I still need the advice on how else to get comfortable with the hydraulics.

  4. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    33
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by tractchores View Post
    I don't want to discourage you in any way from getting a tractor (I love mine), but on some of the vines you may try a hand held brush trimmer. I have one that's got a 12" circular saw type of blade on a string trimmer like setup. I use it to clear out heavy vines on a hill I have, the vines grow up and create an impenetrable layer about 6' high mixed with brush, giant thorns (stick through my boots). It works very well because you can cut stuff at many levels, even well over your head and can cut things over and over again quickly to reduce it to size so you can pass through it. It's labor intensive, but may be a good way to start.
    I have used one of those before and they are good. I need to get some photos up so everyone can have a better idea of if this is just wanting a tractor or it will actually be useful.

  5. #25
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    1,373
    Location
    Ma
    Tractor
    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    Not sure I understand this as I am still a novice with tractors. I have operated many machines: multiple forklifts, rented skid steers, lawn tractors, ZTRs, powered georgia buggies, used to live next to a farm where they used older Deeres and helped out occasionally, even tried a new JCB cabbed and tracked skid steer last year. But I have not really been on may tractors with FELs and BHs. I did stop by the local Mahindra dealer today and took a quick spin around the parking lot on a Max 28 HST. I spent more time on the FEL operation than anything other than just the operator station feel and it all worked. Looked awkward from the right side but once I sat down it felt good. I still need to do the same for the kubota B3030 but it was raining by the time I got there and decided I can go back this week, since they are close. But I still need the advice on how else to get comfortable with the hydraulics.
    I'm not sure I understand the 'speed of the hydraulics' comment either. On most of the machines I've operated and on my kubota the speed depends on a combination of control pressure (your hands or feet) and throttle level. For example on my BH I often run it at less than PTO speed because it still has plenty of power and is a little less touchy on the controls. On the FEL the number of motions isn't that large, so you'll probably get used to that very quickly. The bigger issue in my mind is placement of the joystick and the 'feel' of things like the seating position, pedals, etc. You may be operating for hours on end, so you need it to be comfortable.

    I think you'll be surprised at how much work a small amount of HP can get accomplished. In most tasks in the size tractor you are looking at you'll run out of traction far before you run out of HP. Weight can help, but ideally you want weight that you can remove VS having to have it on the whole time. Compaction is a real issue and in the woods even lightly configured my tire tracks are visible for up to a year even after just a single trip. Lawns can also be susceptible to getting 'tire tracks' or compression. A BH makes a great ballast by the way.

  6. #26
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    12,795
    Location
    nowhere, md
    Tractor
    Hanomag

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by tractchores View Post
    I don't want to discourage you in any way from getting a tractor (I love mine), but on some of the vines you may try a hand held brush trimmer. I have one that's got a 12" circular saw type of blade on a string trimmer like setup. I use it to clear out heavy vines on a hill I have, the vines grow up and create an impenetrable layer about 6' high mixed with brush, giant thorns (stick through my boots). It works very well because you can cut stuff at many levels, even well over your head and can cut things over and over again quickly to reduce it to size so you can pass through it. It's labor intensive, but may be a good way to start.
    You guys have some real jungles going on there. Wild roses does up the ante. I wasn't picturing something so thickly grown.

    Like tractchores, I have a Stihl FS-250, it can use a string trimmer, brush blade, or a circular saw blade with chainsaw cutting teeth. It is a great tool for clearing, easily cuts saplings up 3" dia. and everything smaller depending on which head/blade is used. But with bushy stuff, it is still going to be a challenge to deal with the cut-offs.

    A tractor with a FEL will definitely "bulldoze" through that stuff and make a pile of it that is easier to manage. I think for most kubota FEL buckets a cutting edge is an option. You want a cutting edge that will slice off stuff. They tend to be self-sharpening if you do any dirt or gravel work. A grapple would be handy to deal with the debris.

    If you go through ahead of the tractor and cut off the larger trees, say anything over 1" dia. with a saw, then use the bucket, you can do a fair amount of clearing. It's safer to cut the trees since they sometimes become sharpened spears leaning in your direction of travel. When you back up, they go through things like hoses, radiators and wires. That tends to be tree species dependent. Poplar and beech are the worst for me. It will also help to cut into 8'-10' lengths the tall trees. Then when you gather them using the bucket they aren't sticking out to the side so far snagging on standing trees.

  7. #27
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    Not sure I understand this as I am still a novice with tractors. I have operated many machines: multiple forklifts, rented skid steers, lawn tractors, ZTRs, powered georgia buggies, used to live next to a farm where they used older Deeres and helped out occasionally, even tried a new JCB cabbed and tracked skid steer last year. But I have not really been on may tractors with FELs and BHs. I did stop by the local Mahindra dealer today and took a quick spin around the parking lot on a Max 28 HST. I spent more time on the FEL operation than anything other than just the operator station feel and it all worked. Looked awkward from the right side but once I sat down it felt good. I still need to do the same for the kubota B3030 but it was raining by the time I got there and decided I can go back this week, since they are close. But I still need the advice on how else to get comfortable with the hydraulics.
    The only way to get comfortable with the hydraulics is to use the machine(the more the better). If you do get a tractor with the FEL, get yourself a Piranha toothbar BXpanded Piranha Tooth Bar it will make short work of bushes, shrubs and vines.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  8. #28
    Veteran Member
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    Feb 2012
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    1,924
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford, Versatile 150

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Getting comfortable with the hydraulics will take a little time in the saddle as Don87 said. Really test the speed without the tractor engine running high RPM - have it at 1000-1200 as that is where you will be running it for a lot of loader work. If you find yourself waiting for the bucket to get where where you want it or if dumping it takes too long then you might want to consider another tractor.

    The newer tractors all have better hydraulics but if you get an older one some manufacturers did not put in the best system and some have internal leaks that slow them down. When I talk to people about loaders the most common complaint is speed.

  9. #29
    Super Member newbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    7,525
    Location
    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
    Tractor
    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    In regards to clearing vines and roses.

    I also have an FS250. Lovely, powerful tool. Takes down 3" saplings. ONE AT A TIME.

    A FEL alone is a poor tool. A FEL with a tooth bar or Piranha bar is a great tool. A grapple is the best.

    Being CHEAP I've only bought clamp-on pallet forks, because I knew I needed them for other uses.

    Clamp on pallet forks, are they worth buying? - Page 2

    By angling the forks right we were able to clear an area about 100' by 50' in a few hours, starting with a totally untrained tractor driver (my son). Angle the forks down a bit, dig in, drop the bucket to ground level and level the forks, push, fill the bucket, curl back, RIP up, dump, REPEAT.

    We were pulling up vines as thick as my wrist.

    We had first tried the FS250 - too slow.
    We then tried just the FEL, but we virtually had to dig up ALL the dirt.

    Now I might not be able to do the big vines with my B7610 because the M4700 is rated for 2000 lbs at the FEL, but I'm sure it would do a pretty good job.

    As the wallet refills I'm probably going to be getting a Piranha but the pallet forks made a BIG difference.

    I'm pretty sure a B3030 with a Piranha could put an end to the OP's days of vines and roses.

    /edit

    And on the subject of chipping vines -
    I've a thread on my Jinma experience so far.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...rst-hours.html

    Probably 80% of the ""stuff" I've chipped has been vines and brambles. Mostly between 1/4 inch to 2 inches. They chip better if you cut them and give them a week or so to dry. It's not easy, but with a pusher stick they become small pieces.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails To buy a tractor or not?-8x6-brushpile1-jpg  
    Last edited by newbury; 05-12-2013 at 11:26 AM.
    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, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all
    My saws - JD CS 62, efco 3500, Stihls - 021, 660 w/woods mod, 660 w/ DP muffler, 088, Woodmizer LT10

  10. #30
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbury View Post
    In regards to clearing vines and roses.

    I also have an FS250. Lovely, powerful tool. Takes down 3" saplings. ONE AT A TIME.

    A FEL alone is a poor tool. A FEL with a tooth bar or Piranha bar is a great tool. A grapple is the best.

    Being CHEAP I've only bought clamp-on pallet forks, because I knew I needed them for other uses.

    Clamp on pallet forks, are they worth buying? - Page 2

    By angling the forks right we were able to clear an area about 100' by 50' in a few hours, starting with a totally untrained tractor driver (my son). Angle the forks down a bit, dig in, drop the bucket to ground level and level the forks, push, fill the bucket, curl back, RIP up, dump, REPEAT.

    We were pulling up vines as thick as my wrist.

    We had first tried the FS250 - too slow.
    We then tried just the FEL, but we virtually had to dig up ALL the dirt.

    Now I might not be able to do the big vines with my B7610 because the M4700 is rated for 2000 lbs at the FEL, but I'm sure it would do a pretty good job.

    As the wallet refills I'm probably going to be getting a Piranha but the pallet forks made a BIG difference.

    I'm pretty sure a B3030 with a Piranha could put an end to the OP's days of vines and roses.

    /edit

    And on the subject of chipping vines -
    I've a thread on my Jinma experience so far.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...rst-hours.html

    Probably 80% of the ""stuff" I've chipped has been vines and brambles. Mostly between 1/4 inch to 2 inches. They chip better if you cut them and give them a week or so to dry. It's not easy, but with a pusher stick they become small pieces.
    Yes, the Piranha tooth bar is a killer on shrubs and stuff. It is very sharp(it cut through the shipping box, and I cut my hand carrying it to the tractor), it will cut most of the smaller stuff off at ground level. It's best to wear gloves when installing it.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

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