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  1. #11
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,294
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mo1 View Post
    Yes, I saw that, they're generally 4000-ish pounds vs. maybe 3000 for a compact. Is that going to be a big deal with tearing up a lawn?
    The majority of 2-WD tractors will have an additional 1,000 pounds of liquid in "loaded" rear tires. 2-WD tractors will also have deep lugged R1 ag/low flotation tires, which may tear up turf if it is wet.

    Only a minority load rear tires on 4-WD tractors. Most 4-WD tractors with an FEL will have R4 Industrial Tires which are have less aggressive tread, are fatter and have more flotation.

  2. #12
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    480
    Location
    Great North of Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500, Oliver Super55

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    It sounds like the majority of your work is going to be mowing and possibly occasionally moving some snow. To me it sounds like an older tractor with a live PTO or a two stage clutch would fit your bill perfectly. Loaders are nice but if you can't remove them easily they really do hinder on your turning radius and maneuverability. If your tilling a paddock that is fenced in with a loader you are going to be doing a lot of backing up and turning in order not to destroy your fences.

    With what I gather with what you are looking to spend you could look into an older yanmar or an older kubota B/L series. These older tractors are usually DT's (Drive Transmission) which means gear shift without any shift on the fly. It's older technology but it is time tested and usually saves a grand or two as compared to going with an HST. The other option is going with an older 2wd tractor. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Older CUT/SCUT tractor (ie. Kubota/Yanmar) Pros. Lighter and can be found in 4wd, Tractors have a surprising amount of pulling power and are less likely to leave ruts/marks in the lawn even with running R1 ag tread tires. Smaller size may be beneficial in using areas where turning may be difficult such as woods or paddock area. Also loader option is readily available for these.
    Cons: These tractors will have significantly less PTO hp due to their size usually limiting implements to 4 or 5' cat 0. Some part can be more difficult to find (particularly grey market yanmars) but yanmar this year is going full blown with their own line instead of going through cub cadet so this very well may not be an issue in the near future.

    50/60s farm utility. Pros: Cost, You can usually get a lot of tractor for not much money. Much more PTO hp with a 30-40 hp farm tractor than a 20 hp SCUT even if it is a gas motor. Something to consider if one is doing a lot of mowing. The other thing is repair costs. Ask anybody which is cheaper to repair a gas or a diesel and people will tell you gas engine every time.

    Cons: 2wd is the big one that comes to mind. If one is just mowing and using a tiller its not much of an issue but if you want to skid large logs 4wd sure comes in handy. Most older tractors didn't come with loaders and the ones that do have them usually are pretty weak compared to modern day loaders. That being said if one only plans to do limited dirt work a 3 point scoop will get a lot of people by. Weight is another issue. Weight for pulling is good but if you are planning on using it on finished areas such as your lawn it might be a hinderance.

    Repairs for older farm tractors to me is a plus and a minus. They are older so they should be more likely to break down. Personally my oliver is a rock solid tractor and never had any major issues with it and is just as dependable as my kubota. The one thing is though it is ten times easier to work on. These old tractors just work on carbs, points and compression. To me this stuff is pretty easy to work on compared to diesels and doesn't require me to send out to get an injector serviced or pressure tested.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    838
    Location
    Kingsville MO
    Tractor
    John Deere 650, Ford 8n, John Deere Model 70 Kubota BX25D

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    My noob 2 bits here:

    If I picture in my mind your area....and I bought my last VW from a guy in that area...(I live up by Kansas City) I love that area...and I know the trees/woods and hills that can be in that area....just beautiful....you do know the rule...with a new tractor you have to post pics....well with this place you have to post pics of your land.

    But to the task at hand...

    I think without the ability to pull that bucket, heck the entire front loader part off you will have some issues moving around (again all this is by the picture in my head). You are going to want something that will turn on a dime and leave 9 cents change.

    All that said I think you have the ability to keep a well running older machine running. If you have zero diesel experience I might shy away from that and look at an older gas tractor...yea not as good on fuel but I think you understand points and plugs....injection pumps not so much.

    I think that a machine just for mowing if that is in the budget would be good....in the end 5ac is not that much.

    But what I would do if I was you is move in....live there for a few, and really see what you are going to need....you have an idea now, but you will know after a month or so living there.

    I would also say you might widen your search...look up here. I don't know if it is right for you or not, but there is a dealer up here that has a kubota BX25 for $15,000 and the machine had 35 hours....that is less then my 3 month old machine by about half. Not sure if that is a good deal or if that is a good machine for you but just tossing that out there.

  4. #14
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    58
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25D

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    I did the old tractor thing. I bought nice looking Ford 44hp 340 Industrial with a front end loader off an old honest farmer. I am pretty mechanically inclined, I been around equipment my whole life. I paid $3000 cash and thought I was good to go. I plowed 4" of snow for a about 15 minutes before the clutch stopped working.
    Turned out the fork broke. I considered having the $2500 clutch job done but then I started looking at the dry rotted front tires, the damp fittings, the hydraulic pump seemed to all of a sudden get louder, etc. So I went to the kubota dealer and bought a BX25D brand new with a warranty and never regretted it since. Its has new tires, new hoses, new trans, new everything. Just put some diesel in and go. For the same money as my BX you can get a B3300SU with a FEL. Which should be plenty for your lot.

  5. #15
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8,494
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    I don't see anything in your write up requiring a loader (you did say Dad had one, so borrow it if needed). A 3000 or 4000 Ford will do you well in the rough mowing, snow removal with back blade and tilling arena and would be about all you need. For the lawn, I would use the tractor for a while till the wife gets started with adding shrubs and flower, fruit trees etc and then you will need a good zero turn lawnmower. I know you said nothing in the way "right now" but I know how that goes. Wives hate an open field and will want to fill it with obstacles to mow around.
    Get your used 2 WD tractor now with finish mower and back blade for what you have planned immediately, save your money for a good near commercial duty zero turn and get one when the trees and flowers get too thick to mow around with the tractor.
    I figure about 2 years for the yard to fill up with obstacles (trees, flowers, yard art etc)
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #16
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    61
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    Thanks for the replies, guys. Here's a little more of my situation:

    - I have a push mower and a string trimmer so I just need to get "close enough" to things with the tractor.
    - The yard is pretty much mowed weeds and is a little rough/bumpy. You would have to go at a pretty moderate speed else you'd beat the equipment and operator to pieces. You would have to run a ZTR or any other mower over the lawn at about the speed you'd push a pushmower, not the fast jogging pace most ZTR operators buzz through yards.
    - The paddock area is not currently amenable to being mowed with a finish mower as it is pretty rough and uneven. It would need to be graded first and a bunch of rocks removed. (I guess I just named some ground engagement tasks for me to do, possibly...)
    - The paddock is pretty long and narrow at about 80 feet by 300-something feet. This is my guesstimation based on measuring fence post spacing and then counting number of posts. It will remained enclosed as the garden, berry bushes, and fruit trees will be in there and the fence will be used to keep deer and rabbits out. (Fence is currently barb and we'll put in cattle panel and chicken wire at the bottom to keep the rabbits out.) It would be very difficult to swing a full-sized utility tractor with a loader in the front and a mower hanging off the 3-point like my Dad's old JD 5410 or worse, his current 5083E in such a space. My parents' garden is enclosed in a similar manner to the paddock but a little smaller, so he has to take part of his fence down to till it up in the spring.
    - I do anticipate my wife planting some trees in the yard as well.
    - This is Missouri so it rains quite a bit in the spring and the lawns get soggy. You can't avoid mowing them just because it's wet as they'd get too long too quickly. My Dad routinely tears giant ruts in the fields when he goes out there with his machines and it's wet.
    - Tractor has to fit in a garage stall with a one-car-wide door.
    - My Dad has a 5 foot Bush Hog, that 7 foot rototiller, a 5 or 6 foot 3 point blade, and a 3 point mounted spreader that I could borrow. I highly doubt I could borrow his smaller tractor with the loader, a cabbed 5083E with a loader and filled rear tires. It's too heavy to pull with any of the trucks or trailers we have and it's way too far to drive it.

    I think in looking at what you guys wrote, the right thing for me to do would be to get a compact unit with turf fires, 4wd, and a loader in addition to a 3 point mower. I'll probably just push mow the yard and ignore the paddock for the couple of months left in the mowing season (moving in 3 months) and then get something over the winter or early spring.

  7. #17
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    838
    Location
    Kingsville MO
    Tractor
    John Deere 650, Ford 8n, John Deere Model 70 Kubota BX25D

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    In reading this I think a little machine like a JD 1 series, BX, Massey GC would be right up your alley. It sounds to me (again I am very new at this to take this for what it will) nothing you are doing is going to need a really big machine, but I think you are going to want a swiss army knife of machines.

    All of those can move stuff you are going to need for your garden, and a loader is so much more handy for stuff like that, good dirt, mulch, compost. Then they can help with things like borders for the garden beds, rocks or whatever you want to use. They all have a 3pt hitch and the power to run anything for your garden, tillers, chipper/shreders (you have lots of trees that are going to come down and need upkeep...even the fruit trees need to be kept open so sun can get in and get everything) If you get a belly mower it is much more easy to get around things. And it is pretty modular.

    It sounds like your dads place is too far away to be real easy to get to just for that one quick thing you need to do, but I would also talk to him and see what he thinks...he knows machines and could be thinking in the back of his head well if I only had this (X) it would be so easy for me to do this project. He may want to go in on it with you.

    I don't think a zero turn would help you too much, the main advantage is speed and if you can't take that, then you might as well look to a machine that can do all your chores/hobbies in one machine.

    I may sound like I am pimping the little tractors and I guess I am....I just got one 3 months ago and I am totally amazed at what it can do...we have not started our garden yet but we are in the process of doing fruit trees, my wife wants peaches, then to grow bulbs for tulips and other flowers to sell. Sounds like we are going to be doing a great deal of the same thing.

    Keep us updated.

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,294
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    Garage door height can be an issue. My garage door entrance height is 80", taller than most.

    I bought my L3560 assuming the folded ROPS height would be the same as previous model L3540, 77.5". When L3560 arrived I discovered folded ROPS height to be 82".

    My local welding shop, which works on tractors, logging equipment and 'dozers regularly, cut 4" out of the ROPS so it fits now.

    Measure before you buy.

  9. #19
    Bronze Member Browneyesvictim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    73
    Location
    Creswell, OR
    Tractor
    Mahindra Max 25

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    I think you came to the right conclusion. I was in a VERY similar situation as you. The sub-compact and compact tractor market is heavily marketed at the demographic of folks just like you! Getting in to a new tractor that suits your needs can be more affordable than you might think.

    Some things I learned along the way:

    - I would stay away from the garden tractor variety machines for your needs.
    - I wouldn't settle for less than a Cat-1 rated 3-point hitch. There are FAR fewer available Cat-0 implements. Even your dads 7 foot rototiller is going to be a stretch in both weight and PTO requirements for a Sub-compact or Compact.
    - In my opinion 20HP at the PTO minimum rating.
    - Consider a mid mount finish mower versus 3-point mower. Much more maneuverable and enjoyable. The "drive over" kinds are fantastic!
    - Choosing the brand of tractor is important, but don't underestimate the value of having a good strong, knowledge, supportive dealer. Talk to other owners in your area of all the main brands and their experiences. That relationship is priceless long after you have signed papers!
    - I have turf tires that came on my tractor, but I wish I had industrial tires. Now I run chains on my turf tires all the time.
    - If in doubt, rent one or ask if your dealer has a demo. You will quickly get a good idea of what you like and works best for you.

    my 2c waiting for change..

  10. #20
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    67
    Location
    Southwest MO
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200-GST 4WD

    Default Re: Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    A little over two years ago, I was tired of struggling with a worn out early 50's vintage tractor.
    After looking at the prices of new 4WD compacts, I also considered a 70's vintage 2WD tractor with FEL. I started looking for a 4WD compact in the 40hp range to make sure I had enough power for mowing in some fairly HD conditions.

    I had a hard time finding a used compact in this hp range, but by expanding my search out farther I found a 97 kubota L4200 with FEL and only 800hrs. In two years I've put about 120 trouble free hours on it and usage is a total pleasure compared to the antique I had.

    I would recommend something with a FEL as I'm always using mine, and 4WD also helps greatly when using the box blade on the drive or plowing snow. My drive has a circle near the house with some pretty good slope on it, and the old 2WD tractor struggled to pull the box blade with gravel in it up the slope, no problem with 4WD on the new one.

    I purchased a used HD Cat-2 7-foot angle blade and narrowed it to match my other Cat-1 attachments, and it works fine for the occasional SW Missouri snows. Coming out of my barn there is a pretty good slope and on our biggest snow this year I put the tractor in 2WD for a test.
    Just getting up the slope was an issue, but in 4WD I can push a decent amount of snow up our sloped driveway. Chains on a 2WD would help I'm sure, but I don't seem to need them.

    Good luck in your search.
    Kubota L4200-GST 4WD, LA680 FEL, 6' Mower, 6' Box Blade, 7' Angle Blade, 12kw 3pt PTO Generator

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