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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    86
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD 4100

    Default Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    Hello,
    This is my first post. I am glad to have found this forum. I recently purchased a 70acre property (which is currently under snow). It has 5acres or so of lawns, about 35acres of it are 20year overgrown fields, and about 30 acres are true woods. The previous owner has cut some trails through the overgrown and fields and through the woods. The property is quite hilly, with some rather steep grades.
    The previous owner has been using a John deere model 4100 since 1999 to maintain the property. He has the 54"midmount mower and a 47" two stage snowblower attachment. A friend of his did the rough cutting and trail maintenance. He will sell the tractor, blower, and mower for $11,000. It has 500hrs and looks to be well maintained. This is 1 option.
    The only thing which makes me nervous is that I need to be able to maintain the trails and "brush-hog" trails through the brushy fields. He didn't use the model 4100 for this, so I don't know if it is up to it. Also, as I don't know much about diesel or tractors, I might be better off with more dealer support.
    I will be buying an fel for light duty and, I really want this thing excel at brush-hogging and hopefully mowing.

    So, what do you think? Any input about the model, size type of tractor would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    173
    Location
    Cumberland county Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    Welcome to TBN [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    The first thing I would do is ask the previous owner why he did not use the 4100 to do the bush hogging. Did he think the tractor was too unstable, too small, or was it just that he did not have a bush hog to do it with?

    If memory serves me correctly the 4100 is a 20 hp tractor. For bush hogging what you need to worry about is the hp to the rear PTO which is going to be less than that. I would talk to your local dealer, but I do not think you would want to put more than a 48 inch bush hog on that machine. Means that you will have to go a little slower and take a few more passes, but it should handle that size “hog” OK.

    The general consensuses on TBN is that a loader is the most versatile implement you can have on a tractor. Not cheap but will add immeasurably to what the tractor can do.

    The previous owner paid about $17,000 for the tractor and the equipment new, so $11,000 is an OK price if it is in good shape.

    I am not the expert and many others will chime in but the tractor does seem on the small size for what acreage you have and what you need to do. If it were me I would not be looking at anything under 30 hp. Closer to 40 if size and or maneuverability are not issues. IMHP (In my humble opinion.) As you will find out we at TBN will be happy to “spend” your money for you. You are the one that needs to decide how much you can afford to spend.

    Hunting for a new tractor is at least ˝ the fun. Take your time and enjoy it [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    86
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD 4100

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    Thank you for replying.

    The previous owner did not have a brush hog attachment. when I asked him he felt that the hp was not going to be enough for any serious rough cutting.

    My primary use for the tractor will be to mow the 5 acres and to maintain trails on the property, to clear periodically around the pond, and to rough cut some fields to be used for a shooting range. Ideally, i would like it to be able to handle brush like the dr field and brush mower allegedly does, not just tall grass. I am sure I'll find a use for the fel.

    I have a pickup and plow for primary snow removal. Parts of the property, both on the lawn and the trails or quite steep, 30degrees or so at points, and most of it is uneven. He has been cutting the lawn with the 4100, but it is dicey at times.

    I was reading through some older posts and came across reference to the power trac mowers, such as the 1430. This appears to cost about the same as JD model 4120 with similar attachments. I don't know how to compare the two, or if either is appropriate.

    Any input is appreciated.


  4. #4
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,126
    Location
    SE Michigan, TX when its cold in MI.
    Tractor
    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    For lawn mowing 5 acres 54" is on the small side. It will take about 5 hours to cut the 5 acres. A tractor that will run an 72" mower will cut about 2 acres per hour.
    I have a 60" rotary cutter for my 30 HP tractor. In medium to heavy brush it cuts about 1 acre per hour. At best the 4100 will pull a 48" rotary cutter. That means many hours to cut the 35 acres.
    For your size place I would recommend a tractor in the 35 HP range. But this size tractor is big for lawn mowing.
    You may want to consider the 4100 for lawn and a 35 HP tractor for the heavy stuff and woods work.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    125
    Location
    Woodbury, Connecticut
    Tractor
    New Holland TC35D

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    IMHO, get a zero turn with a 60 inch deck for the five acres of lawn, $4-6,000 used or $8,000 new.
    You'll need a 4wd 35-55 hp tractor with loader and 6 foot medium/heavy duty brush hog for the field mowing and woods work. 25-35,000. Anything less and you might need the kind of time only retirees have. Good Luck and have fun.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    86
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD 4100

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    The property is very hilly at points, particularly the lawn and near the pond. How about the ventrac or other articulating tractors?

    I need to keep my total cost for a mower, rough cutter, and fel under $30,000. Ideally under $20,000 would have been nice. I am not going to clear the fields, just cut game and atv trails through them.

    I am guessing $20,000 ain't gonna cut it? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    I really appreciate any input. Thanks

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    73
    Location
    VA southeastern
    Tractor
    Kubota L3430 HST, 52 Ford 8N, JD455 AWS, Bayou 300 ATV

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    Probably contrary to what everyone else is saying on this thread... I am going to recommend getting an Ford 8N. You can call this "antique iron" but don't call it junk. There are still a lot of them out there after 50 years and still earning their keep. It was my first tractor, and I still have it, along with a few others. The point I'm trying to make is that if you get the 8N it will do everything you want with the size implements that you can still use on your later tractors. You will gain experience using equipment, and know from first hand experience what you really need instead of just want. Get one that has a good running engine, work it in the right gear, change the oil, and when you have had enough of it.... sell it, probably for the same price you paid for it. I've had my 1952 for over 13 years and its nowhere near time for it to retire. Your bio didn't give me much to go on, but if you don't have a safe place to store your equipment, its easier to sleep with an investment of $3500 rather than $25000 that you can't watch.
    I love my new kubota L3430...

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    seems to me that the previous owner was using the 4100 basically as a lawn mower MMM and no fel. I think you would be unhappy with that tractor for what you want to do. the brush hogging you want to do, WILL NOT be a one time thing.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    532
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610, BX2230

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    Much as I love the old Fords and Fergies, I'm not quite sure they would be my first recommendation for dukenyc. Here's why:

    1. Hilly terrain, new tractor operator, straight gears, overrunning clutch.
    2. No seat belt or ROPS.
    3. Dukenyc says he'll need some dealer backup for repairs. You're right, there are a lot of good old 8N's out there, but most all of them will need a little TLC once in a while.

    Lot's of us learned about tractors on these machines and they will probably outlive most of us and many a modern tractor, but I'm thinking a newer unit might be the best choice for this situation.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    73
    Location
    VA southeastern
    Tractor
    Kubota L3430 HST, 52 Ford 8N, JD455 AWS, Bayou 300 ATV

    Default Re: Need advice on a good first utility tractor-Please

    I guess that I show my age... YOU'RE RIGHT.
    O.K. so how about something used... a diesel w/24 PTO hp, ROPS, and seatbelts, might already have a FEL and 4wd. Plenty of blue, orange, red and green out there and if DUKENYC buys it from a local dealership where his acreage is that 's the first step to establishing a good place to go for future service. I don't know if DUKENYC has a lot of money, but I'd love to spend it for him.

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