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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6
    Location
    Florida
    Tractor
    NH TZ24DA

    Default Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    I recently bought 4.5 acres that I will be having a house built on with a pond out back. Most of it is cleared, with about 1 acre wooded. I will be clearing about half of that acre.
    For the most part, I will just be mowing, but I will be putting a wood country fence around the property, and will be leveling some land, but it is mostly level already.
    I'm not looking to spend more than $5,000, and was leaning towards those reconditioned Yanmars you see on ebay and such. I found a very trustworthy guy who sells them and can work on them. I don't see putting more than 300 hours per year on it.
    Questions:
    As long as it is truly reconditioned as oppossed to just new paint, etc, is the yanmar a good tractor?
    What size HP do I need. People keep telling me 18hp would not be enough, but the dealer says 18 is plenty for pulling a 4' mower and box blading. Any reason to go up to a 25 hp?
    18hp is approx $3000, 25hp is approx $3900, 25hp with a shifter that I forget the name of that allows shifting from forward to reverse without clutch is $4,900. Which one?
    Somebody talk me into getting a FEL. I would love to play with it, but can't think of any way to justify it.
    What hp is necessary to pull a 5' mower?
    How do the Farm Pro's compare to the Yanmar's. Would it be worth it to spend a couple grand more to get a brand new Farm Pro?
    Would 4 wheel drive be necessary on flat land, or would 2 wheel be fine?
    I see 18hp Yanmars on ebay with FEL. How does that effect pulling a 4' mower?
    I know nothing about tractors, but I can't wait to get one. All these decisions are killing me.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    217
    Location
    Mt Ulla NC
    Tractor
    451 Massey Ferguson

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    Years ago we had a 210 Massey around 21 pto hp it was two wheel drive. You be shocked at how strong that tractor was. We used it to rake and tedder hay it became a major logging tractor after Hurricane Hugo went through. So 4wd and 18hp would get you going. I had 870 JD with a Yanmar engine it was very stout.
    But shop around drive a few different ones to have somthing to compare. But if you have a good feeling about the guy go for it. Trust is a major thing for me when I buy a tractor.
    Good luck [img]/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    There is a lot to know before buying a gray market tractor. The Yanmars have very good engines and transmissions, but that said, any parts will be expensive and some will be difficult to find. There are certain models of Yanmar that have easier parts to find than others, such as the YM2000, but it's a 70's tractor, as are all the YMxx00. The xx10, xx20 are newer respectively, and the F etc. are the newest. Buying a Yanmar that had an equivalent US Yanmar (they used to sell under their brand here in the US) would make it somewhat easier to find parts as some of the other models will be nearly impossible to part. I suggest you do a lot of reading on the Yanmar forum here, and find out which models to avoid. Contact Leonard Schaeffer who knows Yanmars well and has parts. sheaftractor@coiinc.com
    I hope this is of value to you. John

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    424
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7100DT

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    I agree with others that in principle, Yanmars are great tractors, but would add that horsepower is the least of your concerns. My primary concern would be if you are expecting to do all mowing with this one tractor. Reason I ask is that any older CUT will not have live PTO, meaning everytime you push in the clutch to slow down, back up, change gears, the rear mower will stop turning, which can be a pain if trying to mow close to the house, flower gardens, etc. Also - big also - a rear mower is really hard to get used to when mowing around objects. Very easy to turn and whack something like a parked car or lawn gnome [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    So my recommendation is always to get a cheap, clean used riding mower for the stuff close to the house, and an old compact for the heavy work. I have a 15hp mitsubishi 370; 2wd with a loader. While traction can be limited, I still manage to get a lot done with this rig even though it is 2wd. It has ample power for a 4ft brush hog, or a 5ft finish mower.

    Definately push this yanmar dealer on his service after the sale, make sure he really will help you with repairs (which should be very, very rare if it is a good unit).

    I have owned a variety of 20+ yr old japanese diesels and have never had a significant breakdown or repair.

    Good luck and have fun! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    652
    Location
    Hereford, PA
    Tractor
    LK3054

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    Are you planning to get a post hole digger to put in the fence? If so, live PTO is REALLY a good thing to have. I put in 120 posts last summer without it - did I mention live PTO would be a good idea for a PHD? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    In that price range I'm almost thinking you should look for an old MF35 (or later variation) - it has a live PTO and position control. Plenty of power for what you want to do, will easily pull a 5' mower of any kind.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    47,612
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I recently bought 4.5 acres.......I'm not looking to spend more than $5,000, )</font>

    Great.. most people ask for advice.. then don't give any usefull info about what they are doing.

    Also keep this in mind. Most of us are offering advice based either on what we own or what we have used.. and with our land and tasks in mind, including budget. Also keep in mind that you will get many responses that will be more than happy to spend your money to the fullest extent! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( leaning towards those reconditioned Yanmars .....Questions:
    As long as it is truly reconditioned )</font>

    Here's the problem... 1, If you are looking at a unit.. and it is really reconditioned or refurbed back to oem specs.. then it should be a great tractor. 2, the the bad news.. why do you see lots of these tractors that only have 4-500 hours on them that NEED to be reconditioned.. average cut can pull a couple thousand hours of time.. diesels, agg tractors and antiques typically pull twice that before major failures occour. What this tells you is this little 500 hour tractor -possibly- saw the most extreme abuse and neglect imaginable ..so much that it needed refurbishment after those 4-500 hours etc. Course.. it could be a gem.. and just got the routing 'light' refurbishment with another group of tractor and then sold. 3.. quality of the refurb. It is heavilly discussed on the yanmar forum that there are quite a few units coming over as factory refurbed.. ( mainly from / in vietnam ) that had dubious quality parts and work done. Sometimes it was simply parts swapping from parts tractors and just enough paint and repair to get it running to be sold.. might have been unskilled labor in bad conditions... ( picture a dirt floor and a bunch of people in a 'sweathouse' style shop digging thru piles of parts and junked machines in search of parts to swap... then they get an auction paint job.. some mismatched decals and sheetmetal, and then onto the truck.. on the boat where all the wheels come off ( lotsa times you see machines with mismatched wheels or tires... ).. then it floats over here and finds you... ).

    This isn't to say that they are all bad.. or that most of them are bad. Just keep your whits about you when you look at a tractor to buy.

    ... and that goes for any tractor, no matter what make, model, brand.. etc... here are some tips..... look for evidence and clues. If I guy tells you that the engine was completely rebuilt.. and you see old paint on the engine and old gaskets.. that lets you know there is a problem...other things like painted belts and hoses gives you a rough idea of the 'care' that was given the machine at the rebuilder...
    If you see any repairs.. check them out. A good repair can be just as good as new.. a bad cobjob of a repair is a red flag.

    Next hint.. rubber is expensive... if you buy a tractor with bad rubber.. you'll be paying extra down the road. New ag tires and tri-ribs for my old 8n for example comes to about 700 bucks give or take... that's 4 tubes, tires and mounting..not including any rims or rim work in case of hidden problems like rust.. etc.

    Look for leaks.. oe evidence of leaks. While it is easy to wipe a seeping seal off with a rag before a customer walks by.. look for oil spots on the ground.. or drips under the tractor.. or discolored paint as evidence of leaks.. etc.

    Research parts and service for whatever unit you get.. without either you will be miserable.

    Now that the basics are over.. budget... 5k

    That puts you in the grey market, new chineese, or antique tractor area.

    Here are some observations I've made.

    grey: parts are questionable.. service is limited.. If you have a great dealer.. you should be OK.. as your dealer is going to be your best parts and service source. Probably not as many 'modern' convieniences.. no rps.. but most likely has live hyds.. may or may not have live pto.

    new chineese: Again.. your dealer is going to be vital. One benefit is that you are getting a new machine.. no one else has abused it.. you get first shot at that! Depending on where you get it you may even get some real warranty. Probably does have modern features and safety conveniences.. like rops and live hyds.. and live pto. Parts arean't as much of a problem as they used to be. Again.. get a dealer that is going to be in business years from now when you need him.

    Antique: Kinda like the lotto.. same as the grey market units. The better condition you you find the unit in.. the better chance that it will be a gem. On the plus side.. parts and service probably are not an issue as long as it is not an orphaned unit.. and if it IS a domestic unit. For instance.. you can run down to your local tractor store and buy a large variety of items for say.. a 1939 ford 9n tractor... thats 65 years old....and there are parts hanging on the shelf for it.. and if you look at internet stores.. virtually piece..every nut or bolt is available somewhere... Biggest concern is age and use... Drawbacks are not as many modern convieniences or technology.. no rops.. etc. may or may not have live hyds or live pto. While live pto is nice for a PHD.. it isn't absolutely neccescary.. on the other hand.. live hyds will make it alot easier.. even with non-live pto. Again.. like any other unit.. if you get a good one.. it won't matter what make or model it is.

    Good luck!

    Soundguy

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    652
    Location
    Hereford, PA
    Tractor
    LK3054

    Default Re: Need help deciding on a tractor to buy

    Soundguy: Good advice. I neglected to mention live hydraulics, which may in fact be more important than the live PTO. My Fergie has neither. While I know you can do the work without them, I recommended having those features on the theory that the poster did not have much tractor experience, and working without them can indeed be tricky. Also, I recommended a common (and smaller) old domestic because they are plentiful, and parts are available. They’re a nice size, they feel stable and are easy to use. If you have to, you can do almost anything with an 8N or a TO20 - back when they were new people did, and probably thought they were the model of convenience!

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