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  1. #1
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    Default Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    I know this question has been asked many times but I am in need of help selecting the proper size tractor for my property and needs. I recently bought 182 acres in Western New York near the PA border as a hunting property. I am in the process of building a cabin on the property and I am starting to think about what type and size tractor I will likely need in the future. My property is very hilly ranging from about 1650 feet at the road up to about 2150 feet at the highest point on my property. I have about 40 acres in fields and the rest is in hardwood forest which was select cut about 12 years ago. I have a gravel road that I will need to maintain that is about 600 feet in length and so snow plowing or snow blowing and grading the gravel road will be my first job. Second job will likely be brushhogging the open fields. I plan to do this at least twice a year but hopefully not much more often. I don't plan to keep more than about half an acre in lawn around the house so I don't think I will need to do much finish mowing. I live fairly far away from the property (although I have family close by) so I won't be able (nor do I want to mow every week).

    Because I live far away a primary consideration is getting a tractor that is adequate to get my jobs done as efficiently and quickly as possible so my weekends are not spent entirely on chores. I will also use the tractor to eventually put in and maintain about 10-15 acres in wildlife food plots. I can't think of what else I will need to do at this point but I am sure there are plenty of things that I will find that need to be done along the way. I have never owned a tractor before so I am need something that is fairly easy to operate. I will probably get a FEL since I am sure there will be jobs that require it. I am not planning on getting a Backhoe right away because of the price and the fact that I can't really think of anything I need it for right now. I am curious about different types of transmissions and other suggestions. I am a little familiar from reading posts here on the popular MFG's like Deere, kubota and NH. I have a Deere and a New Holland dealer very close by and a Kubota dealer about half an hour away.

    Please recommend what size and type of tractor might be best for my property and jobs. This is all I could think of now to post but I will be happy to reply with any additional information anyone thinks might be helpful to know.

  2. #2
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    frank_f15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    Welcome to the forum fellow western NYer, 182 acres i a lot but from what you posted, most is woods, your drive is not that long, and i don't know how many times you will need to plow it, as you stated that it was basically HUNTING land, and more than likely, during the NY season you normally don't have that much snow. but i would suggest at least something in the 35 to 40 HP range. also another thing to consider is where are you going to store it?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    I have seen everything from 60 degrees to 12 inches of snow during shotgun (rifle this year?) season. We will also probably spend Christmas at the cabin so we can be assured of having a white Christmas. If I show up and there is a foot of snow on the ground I want to make short work of it with the tractor so we can use the driveway and garage under the cabin. The garage will also serve as the storage for the tractor until I can get a barn built.

  4. #4
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    I'm with some of the others. I generally make size/hp recomendations on property overall size.. however.. with the bulk of it being wooded.. that really cuts it down. Next consideration is the size of open 'mowed' property to maintain. 40 ac is quite a bit.. but if you only plan to mow it 1-2 times a year.. you can get by with a smaller tractor/mower.

    My bare minimum idea is say.. something like a Nh TC 48 da?

    You will want something that is small enough to get into the woods if you need it.. but also big enough so that it doesn't take you 4 days to mow... still.. with a 6' mower.. i can see that taking you 16 hours to mow.. and that may be generous.. depending on obstacles.. etc.

    Perhaps as high as a tn55.. more hp is always better.. but the size starts kicking you.

    Another optin is to buy a good medium large tractor and then get a cheap large tractor.

    For instance.. get a tc 45/48 and then also get a big older case10XX / massey ferguson 1XXX /ford TW or 7/8 XXX line.

    Those big brustes pack 70-150 hp depending on the model, but can be cheap in the 4000$ range. Pick up a beater 15' mower for 2000$ ( they do come around ).. or a new 10' 'cheaper' brand.. like a howse.. ( howse has a 15' mower coming out.. ).. and you can mow in a day.. but don't ahve a big amount of money tied up into your lawnmower.

    2+ tractors sometimes is very handy [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Soundguy

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    I would recommend atleast a DK45S.

  6. #6
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    One other note to consider, HP drops as elevation goes up. Turbo diesel engines are reported to maintain far more of their HP as elevation increases than normally aspirated diesel engines. Just something to toss into your product selection mix.



  7. #7
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    Kioti DK45

    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    My situation is similar to yours; I have 130 acres in the central Adirondacks and live 600 miles away in Virginia. My family has had the land for 60+ years and we've had enough things stolen (engine from a truck, boat, snowmobile) that I trailer my tractor 600 miles twice a year rather than leave it and hope it hasn't been stripped when I come back. Since you have family living close by maybe you could keep your tractor there, but leaving it unattended for weeks at a time is asking trouble.

    As you'll want to limit the number of hours you spend on chores each trip, I suggest getting at least a 45 hp. If you plan on cutting those fields every year I suggest you start at 75 hp utility. It sounds like field mowing is going to be your single largest job. My management plan emphasizes lots of natural cover, so I only cut about six acres a year and allowing each 6 acre area of my fields to grow 7 years between cuttings. This allows me to get by with a heavy 6' cutter, but to do a 40 acre field each year at my vacation cabin I would want a 15' bat wing.

    I would stay away from a cab tractor with your young trees, too many low branches to smash windows. I would recommend R1 tires and 4wd, especially if you have any wet areas. With your hills think about getting a tractor with adjustable rear wheels, so you can set a wide stance and load the tires to lower the center of gravity.

    Getting a large CUT or utility tractor will allow you to get a strong FEL; there are always big rocks to move or blow downs to clear. A bobcat style quick release will allow you to use a wide selection of different buckets on the FEL. If you're going to be making trails in your woods or clearing small food plots a backhoe will come in very handy to remove stumps. It will also be handy if you’re building the cabin yourself. I would recommend at least one rear hydraulic port to run a hydraulic top link; that will make using a box blade or rake on your driveway much easier. For finish mowing around my cabin I use a sears garden tractor with a 4’ deck. It’s strong enough to handle 3’ tall grass and I avoid the hassle of maneuvering the big tractor near the buildings.

    Will you be using your cabin in the winter? How will you get down to your cabin to get the equipment if several storms have passed between trips? You're not likely to see heavy (1' +) snow fall until January, before that a 4wd pickup with good tires or chains would get you in and out. If you're not comfortable with that consider a beater pickup with a snowplow, a heated cab is really nice. For me a tractor would be last choice and I would be thinking a small CUT with a heated cab and front mounted blower. For the larger tractor I would get a large rear blade for light snow (>1') and a 3pt blower for larger amounts.

    Don’t be too concerned about operating any modern tractor, even the geared models are easy to learn. For fuel I use a 55 gallon drum and an electric transfer pump power from the tractor’s battery. It provides more then enough fuel for a week’s hard use without having to drive into town each day looking for diesel. Also keep plenty of extra clips and pins on hand, if your working in brush you will loose some and you don’t want to stop work and drive into town because you lost a 20 cent snap ring.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    DK 45 Jeff: Are situations are more similar than you know. I am from and live in Northern Virginia and my wife is from Western New York (hence the family connection there). I appreciate your thoughts. All this is new to me so I don't really know yet what I am likely to do but you may be right about the stump pulling and the usefulness of the back hoe. I was hoping that these replies would come up with uses for the tractor that I hadn't even thought about. I will obviously want to do some timber management and clearing of scrub trees.

    I do worry about leaving the tractor up there while I am away but I seem to have very good neighbors one especially that has been very helpful that I think will help me keep an eye on things and my father in law is 5 minutes away.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Monkton, Vermont
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    NH TC33D Modified with belly pan, limb risers & FOPS for work in the woods

    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( One other note to consider, HP drops as elevation goes up. Turbo diesel engines are reported to maintain far more of their HP as elevation increases than normally aspirated diesel engines. Just something to toss into your product selection mix.)</font>

    Yeah, but at only slightly over 2000 ft at his highest point, it's not much of an issue. He might have to crack open his throttle a fraction over what he would at sea level to maintain proper PTO speed.

    John Mc

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Byron New York
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    2004 BX2230

    Default Re: Need Help with Right Tractor Size for Property

    Well I don't know about anyone else but I'm jealous. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I hunt down around Thurston and i know about the terrain your talking about. I also have a friend with property in West Union.

    Something in the 40hp range will handle anything you need done and in this instance I'd say gear drive will do you well.

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