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  1. #71
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Belleville, Ontario
    Tractor
    JD 4100 compact, dual range, 4wd, hydro

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

    Hi:

    16 years ago we did what you're about to do. Moved to a larger acreage Country location with grass cutting, and snow removal on a 1000' driveway requiring immediate attention. Somehow, we survived the first year with only a small J-D riding mower and a cheesy little front blade.

    First thing discovered was the countless number of things needing LIFTING. By the end of these 7 pages it appears you've figured out a FEL is necessary - you NEED to fix that firmly in your head. The difference between human lifting power and any sort of FEL power is ridiculous. Gotta have the loader.

    Second, a huge amount of time has been spent in these pages discussing size and power demands of rear mowers, along with gear vs. hydro trannies. For the immediate and foreseeable future, your biggest on-going problem is weekly grass cutting of a fairly small area. Forget adding the cost of anything like a ZTR mower. You can quickly and easily resolve your immediate needs with a 54-60" mid-mount mower deck requiring five minutes to install or remove, with or without bucket attached.

    AFTER you've lived there a while, and had time to figure out what comes next in long range plans, THEN consider adding a back hoe attachment for tree removal. Nothing removes trees as effectively. Btw: you can probably add a backhoe for roughly what you'd pay for a decent quality ZTR mower.

    We got very lucky early on - buying a J-D 4100 Compact 4 wd, with dual range tranny, industrial tires, mid-mount mower deck, Cat. 1 hitch, and PTO at the start. Our bucket will only lift a rated 800 lbs, BUT saved thousands of dollars in landscaping fees. For most snow removal a front or rear blade is adequate, and in heavy snowfalls the bucket gets the call.

    Ideally you probably want/need a bit more horsepower than our 4100 (perhaps the modern equivalent of a 4200), but in the interim remember your Dad's equipment can be available for any immediate work or emergencies.

    Our point: you need something that comfortably resolves your immediate issues/problems, and assuming you aren't retired, still allows you a life, and/or career. The things you need right now are a mower, the loader, and a Cat 1 hitch for add-ons.

    Hope this might clear up some of your confusion, and good luck with your new life. You are going to LOVE it.~

    Cheers, Woordpecker

  2. #72
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    7
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 165

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

    "I am looking for a recommendation on a tractor for property maintenance."

    I have a big old Massey Ferguson 165 tractor with FEL and several attachments.
    It runs and is very strong, but is not at all easy to operate.
    I recently drove a new John Deere in the dealer parking lot, and it is SO much easier to run. More like a car than a tractor, but is in fact a good strong tractor.
    The only reason I didn't buy it immediately is I don't have $30K to spend on it right now.

    My recommendation: Try a new tractor in the size range you need, apparently 35-40 hp to run the tiller, just to get an idea what it is like.
    Then consider buying an older model that costs a lot less. See how much harder it is to operate; may be no harder at all depending on age.
    Make sure the brakes are working as they should. "Wet" brakes are much better than "dry" brakes.
    At least synchromesh transmission makes it possible to shift while moving.
    I do not know what years they added these modern features.
    If you would rather not spend money, and especially if you don't have significant hills to work on, the older tractor will get the job done.
    The finest moderate size real farm tractors cost about as much new as a new car, so you may be able to afford it if you want to.

  3. #73
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    55
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

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

    I made the move to the new place a few weeks ago and got a much better idea of what I was really up against.

    - The "horsey" area is grossly overgrown with chest-high weeds. There are large rocks, stumps, and the ground is very uneven to boot. It will take a good amount of work to get it to be usable as a garden/orchard. It will need rough cut while being very careful not to hit rocks and stumps, the rocks removed, the stumps dug out or ground down, and the dirt leveled out and tilled. I've not touched it yet.

    - The lawn is not too big. My dad gave me one of his several 22" push mowers and I can mow the yard area in about an hour or so. Not too terribly bad. The ~1100 feet of ditch however takes forever to mow as in places it gets up to 30-40 feet wide. Overall it takes me about 3.5 hours to mow with a pushmower- and that's not including the garden/orchard area as I've not touched it yet.

    - The driveway is about 40 yards of gravel. The last 5 yards near the road needs some loader/blade work.

    - There are two outbuildings, a 20x20 concrete-floored steel shop building and a single-car semi-permanent ("portable") detached garage. They were built on gravel pads at the edge of the woods and now are becoming part of the woods.

    I did a lot of looking at regional dealer inventory and classified ads after I moved for ~30 hp MFWD compacts with a bucket. I didn't see much besides essentially new compacts listing for essentially new prices, subcompacts where the owner decided he needed a larger tractor (especially JD 2305/1023/1026 and kubota BXes), and the typical assortment of loader-less Ford 2000s/3000s and 15 hp 1980s Kubotas. I saw a local ad for a year-unknown MF 1030 MFWD with ag tires, I'm guessing a mid-1990s vintage Woods 165 loader, and a fairly new 5' box blade for a very reasonable price so I went and looked at it. The SN came out to be a 1987 model and it was in quite good shape for a 27-year-old tractor with about 3500 hours. Fired right up, no smoke, no leaks, everything worked as it should. I pick it up tomorrow morning, where its first job when it gets home will be to lift a 6 foot rebranded Befco rear finish mower out of my pickup bed.

  4. #74
    Gold Member terryknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    476
    Location
    Easton MD
    Tractor
    JD 5055E

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

    those older MF compacts were heavy duty little tractors but the engine is very hard to gt parts for nowadays

  5. #75
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    55
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

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

    Pictures will of course be forthcoming. We got about an inch of rain yesterday afternoon and overnight so all I got to do so far is unload the tractor from the trailer, drop the box blade off in the garage, use the loader to pick the finish mower out of the back of my pickup, hook it to the 3-point, and then park it in the garage. The lighting in my garage isn't great so I'll wait until I can take the tractor outside before I get pictures. I also will be changing all of the fluids and lubricating everything as well, which fortunately I can do in my garage when it's soggy out.

  6. #76
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    55
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

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

    I've had my tractor for a few weeks and attacked some of the things I mentioned I wanted to do earlier. Here's how it went:

    1. I used the loader and a log chain to remove some 6x6 wooden fenceposts and 2x6 fence rails with the loader as the original owner had a calf chute set up between the two pens, and only a 5' wide entry gate in the smaller pen. I had to nudge/rock a few of them as some were buried 4' deep in the ground and I couldn't just pull them straight up on the first yank like one of my Dad's tractors would have been able to. In the end the tractor did a good job on this and I am very glad I had the loader.

    2. I rough cut the two donkey pens with my Dad's 5' Bush Hog. He put both the tiller and mower on the trailer and thus I had to use the loader and a log chain to remove those as well. There were 6 about two foot diameter half-rotted stumps and some old split firewood hidden amongst the chest-high ragweed and devil's walking stick. I steered around the stumps and the tractor had no trouble mowing at a normal speed. Apart from the stumps the area isn't as rough and ugly as I had thought now that I can actually see the ground and not mountains of ragweed. The 1030L is sure more maneuverable than any of my Dad's tractors, I'll tell you that much.

    3. I used the 7' King Kutter tiller to till up about a 30x50 area in the smaller pen for a garden. The 1030L handled it fine in its lowest gear (0.4 MPH if I remember correctly) and operating at full width and depth. Going much faster caused the engine to bog a little. My verdict on the tiller is that my tractor can handle it but a 6' one would be a much better fit if somebody has a similarly-powered tractor (23 PTO HP) and is looking at buying themselves a tiller.

    4. I got a 72" rear discharge finish mower for cutting the lawn. It does a pretty good job and it's a good fit for the tractor. It excels in cutting the thousand or so feet of road frontage as it's a nice long straight shot. It's a little less handy near the buildings but not too awful. I think I should be able to use it in the ex-horsey area too.

  7. #77
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,916
    Location
    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
    Tractor
    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mo1 View Post
    Pictures will of course be forthcoming.<snip>
    WELL??

    Quote Originally Posted by mo1 View Post
    I've had my tractor for a few weeks and attacked some of the things I mentioned I wanted to do earlier. Here's how it went:

    1. I used the loader and a log chain to remove some 6x6 wooden fenceposts and 2x6 fence rails with the loader as the original owner had a calf chute set up between the two pens, and only a 5' wide entry gate in the smaller pen. I had to nudge/rock a few of them as some were buried 4' deep in the ground and I couldn't just pull them straight up on the first yank like one of my Dad's tractors would have been able to. In the end the tractor did a good job on this and I am very glad I had the loader.

    2. I rough cut the two donkey pens with my Dad's 5' Bush Hog. He put both the tiller and mower on the trailer and thus I had to use the loader and a log chain to remove those as well. There were 6 about two foot diameter half-rotted stumps and some old split firewood hidden amongst the chest-high ragweed and devil's walking stick. I steered around the stumps and the tractor had no trouble mowing at a normal speed. Apart from the stumps the area isn't as rough and ugly as I had thought now that I can actually see the ground and not mountains of ragweed. The 1030L is sure more maneuverable than any of my Dad's tractors, I'll tell you that much.

    3. I used the 7' King Kutter tiller to till up about a 30x50 area in the smaller pen for a garden. The 1030L handled it fine in its lowest gear (0.4 MPH if I remember correctly) and operating at full width and depth. Going much faster caused the engine to bog a little. My verdict on the tiller is that my tractor can handle it but a 6' one would be a much better fit if somebody has a similarly-powered tractor (23 PTO HP) and is looking at buying themselves a tiller.

    4. I got a 72" rear discharge finish mower for cutting the lawn. It does a pretty good job and it's a good fit for the tractor. It excels in cutting the thousand or so feet of road frontage as it's a nice long straight shot. It's a little less handy near the buildings but not too awful. I think I should be able to use it in the ex-horsey area too.
    GREAT!!

    PICTURES or it's only an internet rumor
    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

  8. #78
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    55
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

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

    I posted them in the Massey section initially but I'll post them here as well:

    -img_6614-jpg-img_6615-jpg

    Part of the horsey area before it got mowed and tilled. It looks a LOT different now.

    -img_6621-jpg
    Last edited by mo1; 09-09-2014 at 09:56 PM.

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