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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    New England
    Kubota B2920

    Default Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    Hello everyone,

    I need all the help I can get. Not sure where to start. I have been looking at Sub-compact tractors and compact tractors. And my head is spinning with all the information out there. I know nothing about tractors, I'm trying my best to learn so I can choose the right one for the task at hand. I have friends that have kubota, Massey Ferguson, and Kioti. But they own the bigger tractors, their needs are different than mine. Each of them loves their tractor.

    I'm looking for a tractor that will snow blow a 1000 dirt driveway. The driveway has one mild incline, the rest is mostly level. I live in New England in a snow belt and we always get more snow than the surrounding areas. We got hit with a 30 inch storm last season and it took my daughter and I all day to dig out, lol more like two days. (son away at college) I have been using a walk behind for the last 12 years and I'm getting too old to put up with that any longer. (50+ year old female). I have 25 acres and we mow about 2 acres of that. I would like a mid-mount mower (finish mower) The back yard has a good hill, need something stable on hills. Not sure what kind of wheels I should be looking at, I don't want to be messing up the lawn with too aggressive a tire.

    When my son is around we lug cut up fire wood out of the forest. I need a tractor that is small enough to maneuver through the woods, enough ground clearance not to get hung up on stuff.

    I need it to be easy to maintain. As I'll be the one doing most of the maintenance. Easy to get the attachments on and off. (Mower, Snow blower, FEL) Dependable with longevity. 25 + years

    Are there small tractors with good horse power out there that would suit my needs? I know I need good horse power but I don't want something so big it won't maneuver in small spaces.

    I need to know the small stuff too like what I should have put on by the dealer and such. What to look for, what to stay away from.

    Thanks for your patience in advance.

  2. #2
    Elite Member GManBart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Massey Ferguson 241, Case 580 Super M Series 2, Cat D3B

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    You're in the right place! Welcome

    There is no question that a tractor can fill all of those requirements, and you mentioned three good brands to consider. In addition (random order), Deere, Mahindra, LS, New Holland, and Case/International are some others to consider.

    I'd keep things simple, and look big picture at first. You're going to want a local dealer who is readily accessible, since you're new to tractors and might need some help if an oddball situation pops up. Figure out what brands/dealers are reasonably close, before getting too involved in picking models to compare. I'd try to visit them without an agenda, to get a feel for the specifics, but ask lots of questions: do they offer pickup/drop off for warranty work, etc, etc.

    Next, the snow blower requirement is probably going to drive things more than anything else. There are both front, and rear, snow blowers. The front blowers tend to be more expensive from what I've seen mentioned here (I have a plow for my truck). Some sub-compacts won't handle a blower, so that's something to check out. Similarly, some of the bigger SCUTS aren't available with a mid-mount mower.

    I wouldn't worry too much about unintentionally getting something too big....I run my tractor though tight woods, and it's probably twice the size of what you're considering. There's a saying that tractors shrink when you get them home!

    For what you're doing, an HST tranny with 3 ranges, and R4 industrial tires (wont tear up the lawn badly) are two things I'd definitely want.

    There's a good chance you won't need the dealer to install anything extra, with the possible exception of remotes/controls for a blower.

    If you buy from any of the brands already mentioned, it's safe to expect 25yrs of service with nothing more than standard maintenance.

    After you get a list if candidates, get as much seat time as possible....until you run them, you'll never know when one little thing can be enough to take a tractor out of the running.

    Don't focus too much on HP....weight, and traction are often far more important.

    Let us know how it's progressing!
    Last edited by GManBart; 09-11-2013 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Super Member jeff9366's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds operating weight

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    GManBart has given good advice. I will add a little to it.

    You need four wheel drive (4-WD) for snow work and woods work.

    The most useful of tractor accessories is a Front End Loader (FEL).

    You will want 5/16" chain grab hooks on the FEL bucket which will grab both 1/4" and 5/16" chain. On a compact or sub-compact Ken's Bolt On Grab Hooks are hard to beat.

    Stability is increased two ways: by adjusting the tractor wheels wider and by adding liquid to the rear tires. Some models have axles adjustable from the factory, in other cases wheel spacers are installed. Partially loading the tires lowers the center of gravity.

    (If the wheels are adjusted wider it will be more difficult to access your woods.)

    If you are going to work in the woods, avoid a mid-PTO. They tend to collect brush,vines, dirt in the woods. Run your PTO powered attachments from the rear PTO which is part of the Three Point Hitch.

    "Easy to get attachments on and off". Everything is relative here. Light tractor attachments for the FEL are 60+ pounds, implements which mount on the Three Point Hitch are 300+ pounds. Some implements, such as a rear snow blower, require connection to the tractor's Power Take Off (PTO) which means you have to connect the implement PTO shaft to the tractor PTO splines which is always an awkward and greasy evolution even with practice.

    There are multiple factory and aftermarket connection options, in a very wide range of prices, debated here. In my opinion, from the factory, Three Point Hitch pin-adjustable stabilizers + telescoping Lower Links are the best option. In the past these have been available only on larger tractors but they are becoming more available as options on compact tractors.

    Aftermarket, the most expensive option is the Delta Hook set. If easy attachment is really high in your priorities you will want to research Delta Hook.

    Sub-compact tractors come with a Category '0' Three Point Hitch. Implements for Category '0' are limited. Compact tractors come with a Category 1 Three Point Hitch. More implements, new and used, are available in Category 1 than all other categories combined. I recommend a tractor/loader with a Category 1 Three Point Hitch.

    I operate a kubota B3300SU Tractor/Loader, which Kubota sells as an all-up package for $20,000. I bought this Kubota because the decisions were made and it is almost complete (you need bucket hooks) and because the Kubota dealer is just six miles away. I work in the woods. This tractor has 14" ground clearance.

    I am sure other tractor producers offer similar packages.

    LINKS: - Three-Point Hitch

    Kubota Tractor Corporation - Tractors | B Series | B3300SU

    Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks <<Home>>
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Total newbie looking for tractor help please.-img_0495-jpg   Total newbie looking for tractor help please.-dsc00062-jpg   Total newbie looking for tractor help please.-img_0452-jpg   Total newbie looking for tractor help please.-img_0375-jpg  
    Last edited by jeff9366; 09-11-2013 at 10:36 AM.
    The word tractor was taken from Medieval Latin, being the agent noun of trahere, "to pull, draw".

    Kubota B3300SU; no longer with me but still pulling in the community.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lee, IL
    John Deere 1070


    It sounds like you know what you are looking for. I think talking to your friends with tractors is the most important thing because they can show you what the different things are so, vs reading about it and trying to understand what we are talking about.

    Good luck, there aren't too many bad tractors out there.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Katahdin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Scarborough, ME
    Yanmar LX4500, Toro z420

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    Greetings fellow New Englander. I suggest finding a Yanmar dealer in your area and browse a little, they have some very easy to use and maintain small tractors and their reliability is top notch and very fuel efficient. The models I'm thinking would be good for you have a 2-Range HST transmission (no stopping to shift) and drive-over mower decks for easier attaching/detaching.

    Here's a link to Yanmar's website:
    Yanmar :: Home

    Here's a video introducing you to Yanmar and their tractors.
    Take a Closer Look at Yanmar - YouTube

    Here's a video of one of the smaller Yanmars going through the same snow storm you probably did.
    Yanmar Sc 2400 w Snow Blower - YouTube
    You'll note sometimes the wheels lose traction, those are R4 industrial tires. With your hill/lawn requirements I'm thinking you'll want either those tires, or turf tires, but in the winter put chains on the tires for extra traction in the snow/ice. This video is from the dealer I bought my Yanmar from in Manchester, NH.

    Here's a video comparing a smaller Yanmar to similar sized kubota. Not really trying to get into a tit-for-tat war with Kubota users but thought it shows some of the features you'd be interested in.
    Yanmar vs. Kubota - YouTube

    Hope that helps!

    Edit: PS, here's a video of me plowing snow with my Yanmar, its one of the larger ones they make.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Thornville, Ohio
    No longer Searching. Mahindra 3016 Shuttle

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.


    Finding a tractor that is capable of mounting a front mount snow blower and a mid mount belly mower will be your first challenge. I would go to your local dealers and have each of them show you their tractor that can do both. As your friends have tractors, I presume boughten fairly local to you (kubota, Massey-Ferguson, Kioti) I would start there. Leave your checkbook at home, you are on a fact finding mission. Not only are you seeking a functional tractor, you are searching for a dealer that will go the extra mile for you in explaining all you need to know about the tractor.

    As much as we wish it did not exist, sexism is out there. If the dealer treats you badly during purchase, you can guess that it will be the same later on. Once you have found a dealer that you can work with ask them to let you hook up/mount the mower, FEL and snowblower. Even if it is already mounted. You want to dis-mount it, pull the tractor away and then back-up/pull up to it from a new angle to verify everything about how to attach and re-attach the implement yourself.

    It is doubtfull that there are any bad tractors out there today. But, finding a "good" tractor and dealer for you can be a challenge to anyone. Once you have narrowed your dealer/tractor search, come back to this forum with questions and we will be glad to help you make a good choice.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Piedmont, NC
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    Great advice so far. Would only add that at the very least you'll be looking at a tractor with loader, some kind of mower and a snow blower and you're going to need a place to store everything. The tractor takes up as much space as a car; those attachments (yes, they weigh 300 lbs and up) need to be parked where you can back up to them with the tractor for hook-up. While even the small "sub-CUT" size tractors would handle your mowing and snow clearing work, if you have the space, you might think about getting a bit larger tractor to give you better ground clearance in the woods. Many models like that to choose from.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    nowhere, md

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.


    To narrow down your choices in any brand, I think you need to make three decisions up-front:
    1. cab or open station
    2. mid-mount mower or rear finish mower
    3. front or rear snowblower

    The cab is a comfort item in winter, especially for snow blowing. Taking it into the woods requires trimming branches--perhaps higher than you can easily reach--that will scrape it up.

    A mid-mount mower is not good for taking into the woods due to low ground clearance. You can get your firewood out of the woods in spring and fall before and after mowing season to avoid that, but I wouldn't want to be mounting and unmounting a mower over the summer.

    A front snow blower is very easy to drive but it requires removing at least the front end loader (FEL) bucket, and more likely the whole FEL. You want a FEL, it will be your most used implement on the tractor. The FEL is made to take off and put on without too much trouble, but you still have to do it. Front blowers tend to be more expensive than rear blowers.

    A rear snowblower allows you to keep the FEL and bucket on, which is a handy snow weapon, but you may get a kink in your neck driving in reverse and looking backwards. You may also get the occasional face full of snow with no cab with either the front or rear blower. I guess with the walk behind blower you are familiar with that.

    I think if you sort out those three choices, it will narrow your search. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    belgrade, maine

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    Hey OP,

    Thanks for the post. Except for the mowing requirements, I'm in the same boat and I think you did a great job summing up what you are looking for. I'll be watching this thread with real interest.

  10. #10
    Super Member jeff9366's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds operating weight

    Default Re: Total newbie looking for tractor help please.

    With two acres to mow regularly consider a Bush Hog/Rotary Cutter or a Flail Mower for mowing. If Rotary Cutter is NOT used in the woods for cutting vines and saplings it will give a nice turf cut and can be pulled rapidly. A Rotary Cutter is nearly indestructible.

    Finish mowers are more delicate, slower and for turf only.

    Use your current mower for 1/4 acre nearest your home.

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