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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Jamul, CA USA
    Tractor
    Possibly a NH TC33DA

    Default Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    I am a complete newbie to not only this forum, but to farming and tractors. By newbie, I mean I have never even sat in a tractor---let alone driven one! But that is all about to change. I need a tractor... Here's why;

    I recently purchased an 11 acre Christmas Tree farm that is rather run down. The farm sits on the side of a hill. I need to do lots of leveling of dirt roads (many deep ruts due to extreme rain and erosion last year), some brush clearing, general mowing between rows in the groves of trees, etc. I also need to drag a half-mile dirt road to the main highway that is very steep in one section and has very deep ruts that may require fill before the boxblade gets used. (Drag only down hill---correct?) So, like I said, I need a tractor. A friend that owns a small heavy equipment company made a suggestion and it indeed looks good. But I would appreciate any advice or suggestions as to what anyone here thinks of his recommendation before I make the plunge.

    He recommends the New Holland TC33DA with the appropriate front loader and a six-foot box blade with adjustable rippers, and later a back hoe for a long underground utility run and culvert installations that I plan. Also he says get the 4X4 model with the "super steer" option to make the turns for the tree groves. (Or, if not, I guess I could skip every other row, and then make another pass?)

    I am particularly interested in the safe angles that I can use the TC33DA and it's "super steer" on the side of the hills. Although the groves run up and down the hill, I will still have to make turns at the top (the bottom is less steep). This looks pretty scary. Anyone know the safe angles on the TC33DA? I will be installing an inclinometer for sure! But I still need to know the safety angles and I don't see them published anywhere.

    Thanks very much for any advice and info...

    Martin

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    19,519
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    There really is no definable "safe angle" as there are too many changing variables involved.

    Is it possible to level out a path at the top of the hill?

    Utilities may be easier installed with a trencher.

    Have you looked at getting proper drainage on the road?

    Tractor sounds good. Can't comment on the supersteer.

    Egon

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    MartinT,

    With 11 acres you probably need a tractor in the long run. But with no experience with them, maybe you might want to rent something small to learn how to operate one and basically keep you out of trouble until you become familiar with the various controls. As your confidence grows you'll know what jobs the tractor and you can handle. I have used tractors my whole life, but got my first front end loader comapct tractor in 1993. There is a learning curve. Using a bucket is a skill. At first you're not going to know the full potentials. It's pretty straight forward to move mulch or a pile of dirt around. It gets to point where you can pick up a rock in the field without getting off the tractor, or a branch, or knocking down a dead tree with a small tractor and loading it right to move to the burn pile. I've moved some pretty big boulders around, and I knew I was pushing the very limits of what the tractor could do.

    I think you find out if you like doing stuff with a tractor or not. If you do you can determine whether tor rent or buy a backhoe to do drainage work. There's some things to about draining land, you may solve one problem to create a problem somewhere else. This sort of an art to it. There are people who know what they're doing and doing it 123. I have debated whether to spend the money on a bachoe for years. Would I use it it enough to justify the cost?

    Given that you'll be dealing with stumps, do you dig them out with a bachoe, or get a stump grinder or decide to use a chain saw and cut it off at ground level. Depending on the number of trees it may be cheaper to buy new chains. It may be cheaper to rent to rent a Toolcat with a stumpgrinder on it to remove all stumps in your field after Christmas season is over.

    With the different stuff out there, renting a tractor or a Toolcat will be good experience for you.

    Sorry about the length here, but I'm throwing in my ten cents, inflation you know.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    535
    Location
    Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030HSTC

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    Lots of good advice given here! I will second the need for a backhoe part. A trencher is faster, and a backhoe on a mid size tractor is usually not big enough to take on the type of work you want to do. I had a backhoe on my 43hp kubota. After clearing land and burying the debris, it became the least used implement I owned. I would have been better off renting a BH for a week than spending $7,500. I traded in my 43HP with backhoe and got a 50hp Kubota with a CAB!

    For the big work, I would contract it out and let the pros handle it. Then use the tractor for your daily maintenace and work around the property.

    Good luck on your decision!

    Joe

  5. #5
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    51,936
    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: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    Any time I hear 'steep', and 'side' and 'angles', I think 4wd, and HST.. they seem to be easiest for new users, and give you 4 wheel breaking.. etc.

    30hp range for your land sounds good.

    Soundguy

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    702
    Location
    Sumter, SC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 5609, Kubota GS1800, eXmark LazerZ XP

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    Anytime I hear steep and angles I think of Antonio Carraro tractors. These tractors excel in difficult terrain that would leave other tractors floundering. They are a specialized beast built for a specific need, so it might not be what exactly what you want. Still, it never hurts to look.

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    7,243
    Location
    Sacramento
    Tractor
    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    My 10 acres is very flat. However, if I were in your shoes I'd be looking for a 30HP tractor with the widest rear wheel tracking I could find for max stabilty when running along your hillsides.

    The rear wheels on my little 21HP B7510HST have three positions that change the rear wheel separation from about 45" to over 50", IIRC.

    Don't know what you consider "long", but I used a rented Ditch Witch from Home Depot ($120 rental) last May to dig a 4"W x24"D trench 400' in length for the 230V/200A service for my new house. Couldn't justify the thousands of bucks for a kubota backhoe for the 7510HST.

    BTW, for that $120 rental I was able to dig about 1100 feet of trench total in about 6 hours.

    Tip: if you do rent a trencher, be sure to check the rope on the recoil starter for wear. I was 5 hours into my job when I stalled the trencher and the rope broke when I tried to restart. Caused an hour's delay getting it repaired in the field.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    738
    Location
    Saltspring Island, BC, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    I was in your shoes only in July, had purchased 11 acres, 6 in trees, up to 15% slopes, and needed a tractor for various construction, logging, farming activities. I looked at the NH and was impressed with it but went with kubota because they were considerably cheaper.

    As a previous poster said, the workload for the backhoe comes in binges but it's a versatile tool and will be useful to me on the farm for a host of different tasks. Also, should I decide at some future time to sell it, they hold their price so buying could work out cheaper than hiring or renting long term.

    On slopes, I've learned to be careful, and to watch how the tractor is loaded. If I only have the front endloader on, it can be tippy so I tend to carry something weighty on the back such as the chipper or the b/h even though I don't need it for the task in hand. I've also learned not to pull stump or logs with the loader but always to use the 3ph. With practice, I'm learning the tractor's capabilities and always put safety first. I haven't yet the confidence or ability to test the machine close to its limits - nor do I want to - but with pratice I'm a much more competent - and safe - operator than when the machine was new.

    It's a great tool - indispensible for the property you have bought and I'd recommend you try out the whole range of available tractor manaufacturers and get written quotes for them all before you make your mind up.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Jamul, CA USA
    Tractor
    Possibly a NH TC33DA

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    Thanks very much to everyone that posted their opinions and advice. Amazing! Each and every one a well thought out solution and I really appreciate you all taking the time.

    You all have given me a lot to think about
    I especially like the idea of beating up a rental first. This makes a lot of sense for a newbie. I'd sure hate to do something dumb to a nice new tractor, or even a nice used one for that matter.

    Also, I had not thought of the speed, efficiency, and cost savings that a trencher would provide over a backhoe for my buried electrical run.

    I think rental is in my immediate future, and also a very close look at the Kubotas, as I agree, they are WAY less expensive than the NH gear.

    Thanks for a great forum!! I'm sure I'll be popping in with more questions as time goes on.

    All the best guys!

    Martin T

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2
    Tractor
    kubota mx5000

    Default Re: Newbie with 11 Acres needs advice please...

    just to add one more note to "all" the great information given here. is to "always" when working on a slope or incline..( keep the bucket or ever what is load bearing) as close to the ground as possible. we don't want to read about a mishap. good luck in your project.

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