Page 1 of 8 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 78
  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    57
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

    Default Old utility tractor vs. newer compact tractor?

    Hello all, longtime listener but first-time caller...er, poster.

    I recently had the luck to buy a house on a dozen mostly wooded acres in southwest MO not terribly far from Springfield. There is about a half acre of open lawn as well as about an acre of fenced-in paddock the current owner is using for keeping horses. The rest is wooded with 1-2 foot diameter oaks and mostly rolling but there's a bit of a draw where a wet-weather creek runs in part of it. The driveway is a concrete apron with a ~100 foot long gravel driveway. I am looking for a recommendation on a tractor for property maintenance. Here's roughly what I want to be able to do:

    - Mow the lawn in a reasonable amount of time, which for me would be no more than about two hours. I'll get a guy with a good-sized cat to come in sometime and knock some trees over and smooth the grade to make about 2-3 acres of lawn in total. There aren't currently and shouldn't be a lot of obstacles to mow around. I am leaning towards getting something in the neighborhood of a 72-90" 3 point finish mower for this.

    - Rough cut the fenced-in paddock and the ditches. The paddock will have a garden inside of it as well as berry bushes and fruit trees per my wife so there will be some obstacles. I'd get an inexpensive 5 to 6 foot rough-cut mower to do this as it would only need to be done a handful of times per year.

    - Till up a garden. My Dad now has a 7-foot-wide 3-pt unit (King Kutter, I believe) that can till up a garden in about 10 minutes when hooked to the back of his JD 5083E. I'd much prefer to use something like that compared to the walk-behind tiller I used as a kid.

    - Remove snow. There isn't a whole lot in SW MO but there are occasional big wet dumps and I have to be able to get to work without spending two hours shoveling if we get those big wet dumps. Not sure what would be the best way to attack this as I've never cleared snow with anything bigger than a shovel before and the driveway is part concrete and mostly gravel. I guess perhaps a blade would be the best way to go?

    I am thinking something like a compact utility tractor in the 25-35 PTO HP range on turf or R4 tires would be what I am looking for. That should still be maneuverable but large enough to handle the kinds of implements I want to well. The only issue is that they generally start in the upper teens and most are well into the $20k range, and that is before I would even get any implements. There does not appear to be much of a used market for compact tractors either. I'd rather not have to spend that much money if I could avoid it. However the classifieds are littered with mid-60s to late-70s vintage smaller utility tractors like Ford 2000s/3000s, JD 1020s, Ford 2600s/3600s, and MF 135s selling for $3000-5000 which is much more reasonable in my book. What would you guys recommend?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,257
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Tractor
    B2620, Toro Z-Master 45 3 (2 3hp Kaw asaki, 52" deck.Kubota RTV 900)

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

    Well, you get what you pay for-a classic utility tractor will get your chores done-but there will be more maintenance, and it will not be as convenient to use-not all the comfort features of a new compact tractor (hydro transmission, power steering, etc.) Also, the older tractor will be heavier, which more be a consideration with mowing.

    You did not mention if you want a FEL-again the newer tractor will probably have a quick attach FEL, which again may be a factor will the mowing.

    You did mention the most appealing factor of a used utility tractor-the cost. Are you comfortable with service and repairs? there will be much more of this with a used tractor.

    I have a compact tractor, and I would like to pick up a classic JD 430, 1010, etc. someday for a 2nd machine-but will never be without a late model compact.

    Will

  3. #3
    Super Member deerseeker001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    7,015
    Location
    Central wisconsin
    Tractor
    International 2500a with Loader

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

    Welcome,If you can find one in the 40-50 hp range with front-end loader that has been well maintained that is the way I would go.
    ::welcome :::RON
    never stop learning.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,573
    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?

    Buy a good quality Zero Turn mower for your two to three acres of turf.

    There is nothing wrong with a used, well maintained diesel powered tractor.

    Some old tractors do not have power steering.

    Generally speaking, used tractors with 2-WD will be much heavier than 4-WD tractors of 25-35 PTO HP.

    How mechanically proficient are you? Used tractors, like used cars, require more maintenance.

    Is your Dad close enough so you can borrow his tiller once each Spring?

    You have not enumerated any ground engagement work that requires considerable power except for some snow plowing. No need for a Box Blade? Disc Harrow? Angle/Rear Blade? Landscape Rake?

    What about firewood and/or skidding logs?

    The single most useful tractor option is a Front End Loader.

    Can you handle a stick shift in a car or truck? Geared tractors shift in the same manner. In contrast, Hydraustatic (HST) drive tractors are semi-automatic.

    My kubota 'Grand L' L3560 HST cost $27,500 new, including a number of options. It is my third and absolutely best tractor.
    Last edited by jeff9366; 05-07-2014 at 07:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Gold Member 8N Ren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    305
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Tractor
    8N Ford

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

    I use a 1950 8N Ford, all the repairs I've ever done with the purchase of 5 implements, 1 of which was brand new I haven't spent 7g's. If I need a loader I call my good bud from a mile up and he comes down, or I can use it myself, so he keeps telling me. If your farming 20- 40g's and way upwards makes sense so giver, IMHO if your not farming why would you go into debt to get a tractor. Some old iron is wicked easy to fix.
    Just my 2 pennies

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    57
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Tractor
    MF 1030

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff9366 View Post
    Buy a good quality Zero Turn mower for your two to three acres of turf.

    There is nothing wrong with a used, well maintained diesel powered tractor.

    Some old tractors do not have power steering.

    Generally speaking, used tractors with 2-WD will be much heavier than 4-WD tractors of 25-35 PTO HP.
    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? We never mowed a lawn with am actual tractor when I was growing up. We used a little 42" deck riding lawnmower which took about 8 hours to cut the five acres of lawn we had. I'd not do that again!

    How mechanically proficient are you? Used tractors, like used cars, require more maintenance.
    Reasonably. I do the routine maintenance on my vehicles such as spark plugs, fluid changes, tire rotation, etc. I haven't ever really torn into one such as in rebuilding an engine or a tranny as the used cars I actually drove when growing up were mid-80s and later and all had EFI engines and electronically-controlled automatic transmissions. We didn't have to do much for repairs on my Dad's tractors either as he traded for newer, generally larger ones after about 10 years or so. I greased them, changed the filters, fluids, and a couple of batteries on them but that's it.

    Is your Dad close enough so you can borrow his tiller once each Spring?
    Yes, and he has a trailer to put it on too.

    You have not enumerated any ground engagement work that requires considerable power except for some snow plowing. No need for a Box Blade? Disc Harrow? Angle/Rear Blade? Landscape Rake?
    I don't anticipate needing to do these kinds of things where I am. The only ground engagement things I can think of would be running the rototiller. Of course plans can change but I can't see where I'd need to do any sort of tillage or grading.

    What about firewood and/or skidding logs?
    Not likely to be an issue as we don't have any fireplaces despite being surrounded by trees. Any trees that I'd need to take down would just get chunked up into logs where they fell and we carry the logs out. That's what we've always done and it's not been that big of a deal.

    The single most useful tractor option is a Front End Loader.
    My Dad always had one on his tractors and they can be handy at times. It would be nice to have one but I don't think it's an absolute must-have with what work I intend to be doing, which is mainly mowing.

    Can you handle a stick shift in a car or truck? Geared tractors shift in the same manner. In contrast, Hydraustatic (HST) drive tractors are semi-automatic.
    I have no problems using the gear transmissions in any of my Dad's tractors I've used and they've all had gear transmissions, albeit they've all been synchronized. I've never used a unit with a hydro transmission.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    672
    Location
    vermont
    Tractor
    Hurlimann 435, Fordson E27n, Bolens HT-23

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

    Considering your situation, and the fact that you are just starting out,

    Get the old tractor and see how it goes. If you purchase a NEW compact, just taking delivery will cost you the same as the old tractor outright.

    Then, As time goes on, as you see the need, You have a "trade in" ;-)

    But you really should keep both!

    See my info for a fun combination . Hands down, I use the garden tractor MOST and that's mostly pulling a trailer , the modern compact for most anything that needs "doing", and the big old iron for snow plowing and stuff that wants a bit of grunt fastened to it. (NOTE! I don't mow grass but a tiny spot, and for that I have way too much machine even without mounting the belly mower on the Bolens. So there is a big difference in our usage. )

    2 cents

    cheers

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,573
    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?

    I run over lawns with my L3560, weighing 6,500 pounds, with R4 industrial tires, often, without problems. However, north Florida has exceptional drainage. We NEVER have mud.

    With your experience it seems you can handle an older, geared, tractor both in terms of operation and maintenance.

    JENKINSPH has a good points, perhaps a garden tractor will meet your needs.
    Last edited by jeff9366; 05-07-2014 at 07:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,609
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

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

    You need a front end loader...everybody does...even if you think you don't...it makes your tractor at least twice as useful...and saves your back and much time.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  10. #10
    Platinum Member square1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    513
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    Ford 1700 4x4 w/ FEL

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

    The thing you didn't mention was "time". How much of it do you have? If spare time is minimal, and mowing is your main tractor task, get a zero turn lawn mower, pay someone to till the garden and occasionally rough cut the paddock (or borrow Dad's tractor with or without Dad) for the first couple few years. It will give you time to better assess your needs and maybe put a few more $$ together toward the purchase.

    If free time is something you have sitting around in buckets looking for a place to be used, then consider an older tractor and all the fixings. It's a great way to use up time especially if there's no one cracking the whip to get a job done.

Page 1 of 8 1234 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Comparison differance between compact and utility tractor
    By sal64 in forum Buying/Pricing/Comparisons
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 10-19-2012, 12:00 PM
  2. JD Compact Utility Tractor
    By GHiles in forum Owning/Operating
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-16-2012, 01:23 AM
  3. Buying Advice Best compact utility tractor
    By rroubaix in forum Buying/Pricing/Comparisons
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-12-2010, 11:09 AM
  4. compact utility or utility tractor
    By Anonymous Poster in forum Buying/Pricing/Comparisons
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 06-28-2002, 11:14 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.