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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    32
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default To buy a tractor or not?

    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!

  2. #2
    Elite Member jerrybob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,120
    Location
    Southwest Washington
    Tractor
    yanmar 186D....JD LT180....DR Brush Cutter

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Welcome to TBN......what price range are you looking at? That would help determine new/used.....attachments....etc.....
    I Intend to Live Forever.....So Far....So Good!

    My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
    Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

  3. #3
    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?

    I have not defined a price range, yet.

    I have been called cheap but also like to spend money to make sure I get good quality that will last and perform the job.

    If you forced me to give you one now I would guess $20K or less, with optimal price in the $15K area. I was not expecting to get a new machine with a backhoe for that price, but seeing the used unit at my local dealer got me thinking...and posting.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,081
    Location
    Ma
    Tractor
    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I maintain some similar terrain, a mix of forrest, lawn and clear area that isn't quite lawn. I use a B2920 with a BH. The fel and bh get a surprising amount done, I've graded big areas using the FEL, though if its compacted a box blade might be better. I use a chipper for woods maintenance (wallenstein bx42) which has been a huge help. A carry all will help with material moving especially for bulky things like firewood that don't fit in the bucket. I also use a rear blade for the snow and light grading duty. The b3030 is nice too, though I prefer the slightly smaller size of the b2920, going through the woods there are a lot of tight fits where I barely make it. Also make sure to get a folding ROPS and avoid a sunshade or a cab if you'll be doing a lot of woods work unless you'll always be on good trails.

    When i looked I also looked at the JD's, I found kubota to be the best mix of value and liked the layout. The best thing you can do is try a few and see what you like better.

  5. #5
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,906
    Location
    Preble County, Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    The size is pretty much up to you. The newer compacts will do all the tasks that you describe. I take care of twenty acres with hundreds of trees with a tractor smaller than a B3030. But I work on these tasks a little at time as time permits and my tractor is sized right for this. Could I get twice more done with a tractor twice the size as the one I own now? Sure I could. Do I need to get twice as much done? Not in my situation.
    ........Shoot this thang! Have mercy this thang is killin' me. Just shoot up here amongst us. One of us has got to have some relief..............
    jerry clowers-a coon huntin story.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    136
    Location
    Outthere, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota 25D

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    You can pick up a BX25d with a backhoe for under $20k but it's going to take you a while to do the work you're talking about.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,771
    Location
    Doniphan, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240, B7800 & BX2660

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I have a bx2660 and I don't like it in the woods, it's to low to the ground. I use my b7800 most of the time in the woods and if I need to clear some trees out of the way I use the L4240. But I like the B7800 best for just pushing stuff out of the way, no matter what you get have some weight on the back or loaded tires.

  8. #8
    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?

    If given the choice between the 3030 and the max 28.............I would choose the 3030 hands down after reading the specs on Tractordata.com .
    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.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15,746
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    My personal preference in that general size group would also be the 3030, I seriously looked at a B2920nand like them, but can't live with another non position control 3PH and like a little more size and weight as on the 2630/3030. If Iran into a place in our woods you can't get a 3030 or bigger through, it is time to do some thinning.

    I also agree having used and still using a SCUT in the woods, it is far from ideal.

  10. #10
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,016
    Location
    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Root compaction in the woods is something to consider. A heavy tractor will get more done, but it will also do more damage. On the other side of the coin, trees are just as heavy, and stumps are just as tough, whether they are growing on 2 or 200 acres.

    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.

    A chipper really helps when cleaning up after cutting a tree or pruning in a lawn area. It saves dragging brush to piles, etc. The chips can be used for mulch or composting. In the wooded part, the healthiest thing you can do, and the easiest (another rare combination) is to just leave the limbs and branches lay on the ground if you cut a tree. Loose brush is excellent cover for regeneration seedlings and wildlife. If it is a trail, just toss it off to one side or the other.

    I don't have either, but I think I would prefer a dedicated self-powered log splitter over the 3pt tractor pto-powered type. You can split wood and toss the pieces in the FEL bucket parked in a nearby handy location, then move it to wherever you are stacking wood.

    Good luck in your search.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

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