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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    173
    Location
    Cumberland county Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Does Size Really Matter???

    I was hoping you Veterans could help me out with a “size” issue I have been trying to resolve. We bought 22 acres of land in southern Pa. last year. It has a 6 acre “pond” (good crop of small mouth bass) and some wet land stream areas. However most of it (12 acres) was rolling farm land. I am having it reforested this spring. For you “forest” owners I am planting it 12 by 12 in hardwood trees. This means twelve feet between each tree. One of my tractors big “jobs” is going to be “brush hogging” that 12 acres for about 10 years until it can grow over and become a real forest. The forest is where I have my size dilemma. As the trees develop a canopy I would like to be able to drive under it. I will also need to be able to maneuver in that 12 foot space.

    I am looking at tractors in the 30 hp range. I will use kubota as an example, although I am color blind and could raise the same issue with red, green or blue models. With Kubota I could buy a B3030 at 30 hp or an L3130 at 31hp. Roughly the same size engine, but two totally different sized tractors. Am I going to be able to maneuver an L3130 in the “forest”? One of my other “jobs” is cutting the back side of the 18 foot dam on the pond. It is a fairly steep slope. Would the smaller B3030 be more stable on the slope?

    I guess my real question is how well can you maneuver a tractor the size of the L3130 and is there more of a stability issue as the tractor size gets larger?


    Since I am going to have this tractor for twenty years I want to get the decision right the first time. This whole tractor buying thing is really fun and “listening” to you guys “talk” has been a real learning experience. Thanks for all the effort you put into making this the best tractor forum in the world!
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    320
    Location
    Western Illinois,just this side of heaven
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400 FEL

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    I think the B series would be more manueverable. One thing to remember, you will not be mowing the 12 acres as if it were a lawn. There would be advantages to each tractor. The extra weight of the 3130 would be more stable on rolling ground. The b series would be light and not compact the ground as much around your trees. Would you have other duties for the heavier tractor? I think I would drive all the tractors you would find acceptable and make a choice. I lean towards the lighter tractor, but the canopy of the forest should be kept high to promote good log growth making the larger tractor good too.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    107
    Location
    KY
    Tractor
    2004 Kubota L3130hst

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    I wonder about the soil compaction issues myself, as I plan to put about half of my 20 acres back into woods. My land was all dozed to clear brush and such twenty years ago, and has had large tractors cutting and haying on it since then, and I have found the clay to be very compacted. So much so that it made planting seedlings last Spring very difficult. I am currently trying to find out how best to get my seedlings in the ground next month, as I was not able to disc the planting area last fall as I had hoped, and as the forester that came out to advise me suggested.

    I have the L3130 and don't think that maneuverability with my size tractor in that situation would not be a big issue if you row the trees at 12 feet and space the rows similary. I am placing mine at 10 feet. If you use unloaded R4 tires, it would not be like having a big farm tractor in there, so the 3300 pounds plus cutter weight probably isn't a problem. Others will have to tell you which is more stable, though I would think the smaller one sits lower, but narrower tread.

    p.s. You are optimistic about using that tractor under a canopy of hardwoods. Unless they are poplar or aspens, it's a looooong time till you'll see a canopy. I'm going the variety route, poplars, oaks, sycamores, persimmons, pine, hollies, the works. I've read that hickories take about 35 years to produce nuts, but I want some even if I'm not around to see the squirrels cutting them.

  4. #4
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,241
    Location
    SE Michigan, TX when its cold in MI.
    Tractor
    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    I have a B2910. B3030 is it's replacement. 12' spacing would be tight with FEL and 5' Rotary Cutter on. Length is over 16'. Making straight runs would be OK. You could get front weights. Which would allow tractor to be run without FEL when running Rotary Cutter. This option would help any tractor of this size.
    I'm not a Forest owner. But 12' spacing for Hardwood trees seems close.


  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,521
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    It would seem you will have a lot of mowing seat time comming up. Therefore I'll ask " how smooth is the rolling farmland " ? If it's rough perhaps some cultivation to smooth the area. Perhaps even plant some grass ???

    PTO horsepower may be a big issue to handle a size mower/bushhog to reduce working time. Consider sizing the impliment for the spacing to minimize working time or even change planting spacing to accomadate the equipment.

    Design the project considering all factors involved to produce the required effect and minimize machinery and personal time.

    Egon

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    173
    Location
    Cumberland county Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    Thanks for the comments guys, thought I would take some time to answer your questions.

    Johan3400
    I am going to use herbicide in a two foot circle around each tree. That way I will not have to get to close with the tractor. I am hoping that will help with the compaction issue. It is more work but should help out the trees.
    Would I have other duties for the heavier tractor? I think the common theme on TBN is that you don’t know what all you can do until you start play… opps; I mean working on the tractor. I will be putting in a 600 foot drive way, making a five foot “path” around my swampy bog area, landscaping a housing site (five years down the road). I can think of plenty of things to do, I just do not know if they require the larger size and weight of the bigger tractor. Good comment about keeping the canopy high…. Sounds like more work. Just need to think of a way I can do it from the seat of the tractor.

    Kybota
    I was hoping that after ten years the canopy would start to grow in and around 15 I could stop bush hogging so much. I am planting shagbark hickory, black locust, white, red and bur oak and persimmon. All hard woods so that when I do my culling I can use them as firewood. You might want to consider getting someone in with a planter. I am having the trees I mentioned planted by machine for less than $5 a tree. I am with you about the squirrels! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Ronjhall
    Front weights will be a must. I will only get an 80 % survival rate at best. Nature will space out my trees for me.

    Egon
    The land is pretty smooth (corn and soybean crops until last year) and I will be planting a ryegrass clover mix. The clover should help put some nitrogen back in the soil. With a 5 foot bush hog I should be able to cut between the trees in two passes.

  7. #7
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,814
    Location
    Northern CA.
    Tractor
    Push mower, Snapper 21" 6 shovels, 2 rakes, a pick, 2 pinch bars, a post hole digger (two handle type) and 2 wheel barrows that handle like a Porsche.

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    For mowing that much land, I think you need to think long term and not just the back side of the dam area. Compaction is not just determined by the weight of the tractor. Tire size and even pressure are important factors, for more info on that, see the various tracor tire manufactuer sites like Michelin or Goodyear. I had a kubota L48 and found while it moved earth beautifully, it was not good for mowing for a variety of reasons. The non removable loader and the slow medium range HST top speed being the main reasons. Mowing with the loader off makes mowing, in my opinion so much easier and why not remove it, it takes me less then 30 seconds to remove and about 1 minute to install. The L48 was no where near as nimble as my current L3830 HST, but compared to a small industrial loader like a JD 210, it was very nimble. The L3130 would certainly share the characteristics of my L3830 if not more so in the area of manuvering. Stability wise, if you think you might roll a L3130 on a side slope, your probably not going to be wanting to take any of todays 4WD compact tractors out there. Side slopes are particularly scary as they are perhaps the easiest way to get yourself into trouble. When I'm on a side slope and moving material, I always have the loader low to the ground and drive slow. I am also always ready to drop it my loader bucket and/or steer downhill if the slightest detection of uphill wheel lift is felt.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Varmintmist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    794
    Location
    Chicora, PA
    Tractor
    Mahindra3510

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    With 12 foot spacing you wont have a problem with canopy. Not with hardwoods. They will branch out but not as fast as they go up for the most part.

    A 30HP will do the work you want to do. You will have no problem with a 5 foot brushog on a 30 hp machine in a maintained area. Would a bigger tractor be faster? Maybe, at least until your trees started to develop understory and you path is now 5 foot instead of 12 and you cant turn without destroying your retirement.

    As a guy that has a tree farm in hardwood, I dont think your herbicide idea is a real good idea. The more chem. the better chance of killing trees. Just mow close, and let them grow. You are going to have to gaurd them with plastic and fence anyway once they get a little size on them to help keep the deer off them.

    tree farm

    Thinking about it, Im not sure 12x12 is a good idea. Maybe rows 12 feet apart with the trees in the rows close. Then you can cull out what lives and you want to get rid of. Your plan of 12x12 will let the trees grow any way they want. For timber you want them to grow UP and only UP. That means that you want the sides shaded.

    I think you really ought to sit down with the state forester or ask him to come out. We already paid them [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] so make use of them. That is one very underused taxpayer funded thing that actually works in this state.

    Once the locust gets going it will take over an area in short order. You will see little (18 in) locusts growing around the bigger ones. They grow fast.

    A forester once told me that the best way to plant oak was to take 2 bushels of acorns into the woods and dump them. One the squirrels will plant, and the other they will take as payment. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]


  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    908
    Location
    SE Ohio, Meigs County
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST R4's, Scag Wildcat ZTR, 61

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???


    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Does Size Really Matter??? )</font>

    Short answer: Ofcourse it does!

    I needed a tractor for mowing duties and bush hoging our mini tree farm. I about bought the B2910. While at the dealers, he also had a L3010 w/ R4's there for me to drive. I tried it out and drove the B2910 again thinking the manuverability would be an issue with the bigger one. I used the concrete markings and checked turning radius and such with both. Sure surprised me that there was not that much difference.

    I asked the dealer about the differences of the two. He said down the road I would be happier with the L3010 (today it's a L3130 model) ...I took his advise and am glad I did. I do work on slopes / trails and newly tree'd pastures. It does an awesome job. It was a little heavy for mowing, but it did the task well with a 72"RFM. Now we have a ZTR for the mowing duties so the bota can do all the heavy work, box blading and bush hogging etc.. It works for us.

    Moon of Ohio

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    173
    Location
    Cumberland county Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Does Size Really Matter???

    Thanks for the reply Moon. My wife is really bending over backward to try and get me to buy the B3030. She is worried about the extra weight of the L3130 compacting the soil around the trees. Have you noticed any “compaction” with your L3030? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

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