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  1. #1
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    Default Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    I have done some searching both here and other forums and have found some similar questions but nothing that pertains to my exact situation so I figured Id ask again sorry if this one comes up a lot around here. I just (this past October) purchased an old house on about 14 acres in the Mad River Valley in vermont. I am in the market for a tractor to do a number of task on the land. The land is fairly hilly, soil is mostly clay and is very rocky. There's a brook running through the front of the property and the majority of the property is on the far side of the brook, house and most of the grass is on the front side. I am looking to do a few tasks:

    1. Mowing grass, there is only about an acre of grass which is long and narrow very narrow in spots like between the pond and the brook in a section its not much more than 10 feet across. Theres about an acre more that could become a grassy area, and possibly and orchard if I had a suitable tractor to work it with. (I have a mid mount mowing deck from a Bolens tube frame tractor I think with a little modification I could turn it into a rear mount finish mower fairly easily, its 48")

    2. Harvesting firewood. Id like to be able to skid logs out of the woods which are fairly hilly and wet in places. Nothing huge most of the trees I am harvesting are only 14" wide or so and can be cut to any length suitable.

    3. Some small plowing or tilling. Id like to till or plow about 1/4-1/2 an acre into a large garden/food plot.

    4. Snow Removal, Id like to be able to clear the driveway by means of FEL or maybe a back blade. the driveway is more or less level and not that big. I shoveled it by hand all last winter which takes about an hour on average. But we get a lot of snow around here and if its deeper than a foot or so shoveling gets old quick.

    5. Landscaping/grading. Theres some spots I'd like to make more level, and Id like to slope the land away from the house for drainage. Theres also a considerable portion of the sides of the brook that got really torn up in hurricane Irene that I would like to move some land to restore. There are some stumps Id like to pull out etc... general land improvement tasks.

    6. Theres some decent size rocks Id like to be able to move around the larger ones are about 3.5' in diameter I don't think Id attempt to move anything any bigger than that, most are considerably smaller but too big to attempt by hand.

    So finally heres the question. Theres a MF TO-35 with FEL and rear lift and tire chains in great shape I was looking at, the owner is asking $2100. There are a couple other Ford NAA or Ferguson tractors of similar vintage for around this same price range. These tractors I could afford to buy outright in cash. I understand they are 50+ years old and they will require work. I restore vintage volkswagens, and ride old motorcycles I know all about points and early ignitions and lack of power steering etc. The maintenance side of things doesn't bother me. Nor does lack of modern conveniences so long as it can get the job done.

    The other option would be to buy a brand new piece of equipment utilizing the 0% financing for 60-84 month deals all the big names seem to be offering right now. Looking at something along the lines of a kubota B series or similar MF/Mahindra/Deere version of the CUT also looking at some Sub Compact tractors like the BX series but they seem like they may be a little small for the work I plan to do correct me if I am wrong here (except maybe the Mahindra max 28hp this one seems to be more of a small CUT than an sCut).

    Either way I want a FEL as part of the deal for sure. Id love a backhoe too but don't know if I can swing it. If the land was all level I don't think there would be a question I would go with the old american Iron. I have fears about the 2WD being up to the tasks on my terrain. On the other hand I have read the small 4wd lack the weight and tire size and are more tippy on hills than these old Utility tractors so there seems to be conflicting viewpoints on the matter. With loaded tires and chains do you think the 2wd can handle the tasks I need it to do?

    Basically it comes down to is it worth it to spend close to 10x more for a new tractor if it means I have to finance it for the next 6-8 years. Power is also greater on the older tractors although I think they make it at a higher rpm, but the Ferg TO-35 I am looking at is 35hp vs the new tractors I could afford would be in the lower 20s. I know there will be headaches with the old machine but how many of these New tractors do you think will be operating in 60 years?

    So whats your vote and why.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Beltzington's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    401
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    Appling, Georgia
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    JD 3720

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Short answer is you make due with what you can afford. If you can afford a 4WD then they are far better for FEL work and just overall performance. Regardless, my personal opinion based on what I use my tractor for, which is less than you are expecting yours to do, I would go no smaller than a CUTs. Good Luck with your decision.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Apr 2013
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    Linden, Ca.
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    Husky GT2654

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Here's the problem with old iron. No front wheel drive to assist with loader work or on hilly terrain. No aux hydraulic connections. Parts are getting harder to come by. If you want to operate hydraulic accessories you need to run an auxiliary pump off of the front crank pulley. That creates a hassle for maintenance. If you are wanting to keep your overhead down since you just bought the property, then go with what you are comfortable with and make due. The old iron tractors will get the job done just not nearly as fast.

    Don't fall for the zero percent interest thing. The manufacturers get their money up front of those deals. The tractors are marked up $3000-$5000 on the price for those zero interest deals which really aren't deals at all. Do the normal interest financing thing if you buy new. That way there is no penalty for early payoff and you can actually save some money. B.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Quote Originally Posted by LindenBruce View Post
    If you are wanting to keep your overhead down since you just bought the property, then go with what you are comfortable with and make due. The old iron tractors will get the job done just not nearly as fast.
    B.
    Time I have, Well at least more-so than money at this point. I just really hate the idea of financing a machine for 7 or 8 years even if they do hold there value well. If used hard I will likely be looking at my first major repairs while still owing thousands on it.

    I guess it just boils down to the Older 2wd being able to do the job, I don't care so much if its slower but it needs to be able to access all of the property. If I cant get it up the hills and into the woods its really useless to me. If it can get there and do the work I require of it I would much rather pay cash for one than finance the alternative.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    This is one of the tractors I was looking at owner is asking $2100 for it. He doesn't know much about it from what I can sumise its a TO-20 or a TO-30 not sure which but its only got one shift lever no hi-low so I think that limits it to one of these models from my limited researching. He isn't too far I think I may drive over and see if I can get some serial numbers and a better look. Another guy has a TO-35 with a loader with nicer paint but that doesn't mean its in any better condition underneath. He is a bit farther away at about 1.5 hours. All in all they look to be similar old tractors at identical prices. The loader on the TO-35 seems like it has a lot more parts in the way of working on the tractor. The chains on this one seem a lot more rugged than the chains on the other one which are just normal 4 link chains by the look of it.

    -bolton-20130428-00038-jpg-bolton-20130428-00043-jpg-bolton-20130428-00044-jpg-bolton-20130428-00042-jpg

  6. #6
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
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    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
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    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post

    1. Mowing grass, there is only about an acre of grass which is long and narrow very narrow in spots like between the pond and the brook in a section its not much more than 10 feet across. Theres about an acre more that could become a grassy area, and possibly and orchard if I had a suitable tractor to work it with. (I have a mid mount mowing deck from a Bolens tube frame tractor I think with a little modification I could turn it into a rear mount finish mower fairly easily, its 48")
    Mowing is for ZTR's
    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    2. Harvesting firewood. Id like to be able to skid logs out of the woods which are fairly hilly and wet in places. Nothing huge most of the trees I am harvesting are only 14" wide or so and can be cut to any length suitable.
    It gets boring REAL quick hauling many small short logs a few at a time. With a 3pt pallet fork and my B7610 I can lift 1/2 ton, with my M4700 it goes up to 2 tons. You also need ground clearance in the woods, but there is a tradeoff between maneuverability and carrying capacity. I think I can carry 4 loads with my B7610 thru my woods in places I can't get even get 1 load thru between the trees with my M4700.
    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    3. Some small plowing or tilling. Id like to till or plow about 1/4-1/2 an acre into a large garden/food plot.
    Ground engagement requires power and traction. If you have the same grey clay I've got in Fletcher Vermont plowing may require a small plow for a small tractor and many passes to get some depth. I'm not sure about tilling, but a tiller might do better.
    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    4. Snow Removal, Id like to be able to clear the driveway by means of FEL or maybe a back blade. the driveway is more or less level and not that big. I shoveled it by hand all last winter which takes about an hour on average. But we get a lot of snow around here and if its deeper than a foot or so shoveling gets old quick.
    Virtually any of the 20HP plus SCUTs can handle this.
    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    5. Landscaping/grading. Theres some spots I'd like to make more level, and Id like to slope the land away from the house for drainage. Theres also a considerable portion of the sides of the brook that got really torn up in hurricane Irene that I would like to move some land to restore. There are some stumps Id like to pull out etc... general land improvement tasks.
    Again virtually any of the 20HP plus SCUTs can handle this, just takes longer with less HP.

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    6. Theres some decent size rocks Id like to be able to move around the larger ones are about 3.5' in diameter I don't think Id attempt to move anything any bigger than that, most are considerably smaller but too big to attempt by hand.
    3.5' is pretty big.
    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    So finally heres the question. Theres a MF TO-35 with FEL and rear lift and tire chains in great shape I was looking at, the owner is asking $2100. There are a couple other Ford NAA or Ferguson tractors of similar vintage for around this same price range. These tractors I could afford to buy outright in cash. I understand they are 50+ years old and they will require work. I restore vintage volkswagens, and ride old motorcycles I know all about points and early ignitions and lack of power steering etc. The maintenance side of things doesn't bother me. Nor does lack of modern conveniences so long as it can get the job done.

    The other option would be to buy a brand new piece of equipment utilizing the 0% financing for 60-84 month deals all the big names seem to be offering right now. Looking at something along the lines of a kubota B series or similar MF/Mahindra/Deere version of the CUT also looking at some Sub Compact tractors like the BX series but they seem like they may be a little small for the work I plan to do correct me if I am wrong here (except maybe the Mahindra max 28hp this one seems to be more of a small CUT than an sCut).
    Either way I want a FEL as part of the deal for sure. Id love a backhoe too but don't know if I can swing it. If the land was all level I don't think there would be a question I would go with the old american Iron. I have fears about the 2WD being up to the tasks on my terrain. On the other hand I have read the small 4wd lack the weight and tire size and are more tippy on hills than these old Utility tractors so there seems to be conflicting viewpoints on the matter. With loaded tires and chains do you think the 2wd can handle the tasks I need it to do?

    Basically it comes down to is it worth it to spend close to 10x more for a new tractor if it means I have to finance it for the next 6-8 years. Power is also greater on the older tractors although I think they make it at a higher rpm, but the Ferg TO-35 I am looking at is 35hp vs the new tractors I could afford would be in the lower 20s. I know there will be headaches with the old machine but how many of these New tractors do you think will be operating in 60 years?

    So whats your vote and why.
    With your mechanical background I'd vote you get the old cheap tractor and start looking for a good used 4x4 30 to 40HP tractor with FEL. You should be able to find one in good condition at half or less what a new one costs.

    The older tractor will get you started and can always be resold, but two tractors are handy.

    New is always nice but a lot of what we pay for new involves warranty, maintenance and shine. If you've got the mechanical skills and can read maintenance reports you should be able to weed out clunkers from the gems and get a good 30+ HP tractor for < $15K.

    I just tried to from August 2012 to Jan 2013 but failed, instead I got a 50HP well maintained tractor for <$12K.
    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

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    A new tractor would be nice. If the budget decrees much less it would seem you have a nice one on hand. Remember a winch on the tractor can get you where you are going and will have other uses.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  8. #8
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Power steering is not a modern convenience when you have a loader, it is a necessity. I would look for a tractor in the late 50's or newer if I was going to buy a older used. A NAA is not a bad tractor, it is a slight improvement over a 8N.

    I think you are on the right track on the new tractors. A B series sounds like it would be a good size for you. As far as the firewood skidding why not cut the trees into firewood in the woods? That is what I do. I stack all of my wood on pallets so it can be easily moved. You could also pull a trailer or cart with the tractor for firewood.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    Quote Originally Posted by 94BULLITT View Post
    Power steering is not a modern convenience when you have a loader, it is a necessity. I would look for a tractor in the late 50's or newer if I was going to buy a older used. A NAA is not a bad tractor, it is a slight improvement over a 8N.

    I think you are on the right track on the new tractors. A B series sounds like it would be a good size for you. As far as the firewood skidding why not cut the trees into firewood in the woods? That is what I do. I stack all of my wood on pallets so it can be easily moved. You could also pull a trailer or cart with the tractor for firewood.
    I see a lot of old Ford or Ferg Tractors with front end loaders on them. I cant imagine farmers would take the time and money to buy or fabricate one if it rendered the tractor useless. I think your right though with a really heavy load I can bet you have to really muscle the steering at a stop or slow speeds.

    As for blocking up the wood where it falls thats what I have been doing, but without a tractor it still sits where it fell as it would take a lot of trips on foot to get it out of the woods.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member RoMad's Avatar
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    Lecanto Florida
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    Kubota L3710

    Default Re: Older 2wd vs newer CUT or sCUT 4wd.

    i think Newbury gave you some good advice. If you need a tractor right now, buy an older one that runs good and for a price you can resell it for and then keep looking for a 25 to 30 horse cut with FEL and 4WD that has some hours on it but in good condition. I had been wanting a bigger tractor for a good while and finally happened on one at a yard sale. It has 1972 hours on it and runs great. It was used by a professional for box blading, and has a few dings in it, but should last me a long time.

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