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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Germany, Berlin
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R (2011), IFA RS02/22 "Brockenhexe" (1950), IFA Fortschritt ZT303-D (1982)

    Default New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Hello TractorByNet,

    First: great board. Glad I stumbled over TractorByNet.
    I'm a 30 years old software engineer from Germany. I'm looking for a new tractor replacing our old 1950 RS02/22 tractor. It was made in the former German democratic republic and sports a Deutz F2M414 (22hp) and a ZF A-12 (4f/1r) transmission, no hydraulics. In the last years we used the tractor for logging in our private wood (about 4,5 acres). Now it's time to overhaul that old thing as it's pretty much done but this will take some time. And after 50 years the tractor spend with us, it's time for a new workhorse. While searching the internet for alternatives to the big names I stumbled across Branson. To me they looked much more rugged than the Chinese stuff (at a still very reasonable price). I especially like the new 20r series. Size and weight are about the same as our old tractor (a few inches and pounds above). And I like the FEL and 3-point-hitch options.
    Now what I am unsure about is what model I want. Our old tractor had about 22hp which was sufficent most of the time. The old water-cooled 2200cc Deutz 2-cylinder had some punch (and a great sound). In Germany they offer the 3520r, 4520r and 5220r. I'm sure the 35hp of the 3520r would be enough but I think the greater displacement of the 4520r will give the tractor more punch when logging (which will be it's main task in the very next years). From the specs it also looks like the 4520r is a little bigger. I'm also unsure about the tire selection. The next dealer (about 100km away) offers these options:

    AG 7-16 / 12,4-24
    AG 9,5-16 / 13,6-26
    AG radial 9,5-16 R1 / 14,9-24 6R1
    Industrial 12-16,5 / 17,5 L-24

    So what's your opinion? Which engine, which tires? And is this tractor for me? Or what would you suggest?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    14,431
    Location
    Yanceyville, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Welcome. Research the website TractorData.com - information on all makes and models of tractors You may be able to gain more info concerning specs;etc. This may help you decide.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Germany, Berlin
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R (2011), IFA RS02/22 "Brockenhexe" (1950), IFA Fortschritt ZT303-D (1982)

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Thanks for the reply. I think I got most of the specs. Maybe somebody can help which engine will be the better choice and what tires you would prefer?

    Greetings,
    Martin

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    12
    Location
    Northern Idaho
    Tractor
    Ford 1720 2010 Branson 4720H

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    For logging and running around in muddy areas I'd suggest the Ag tires.

    I've been using my 4720h for doing some light logging and it has industrial tires, and traction has been a bit of an issue a time or two after it's been raining.

    I can't recommend which tractor to put the tires on though. The 3520 isn't going to use as much fuel as the 4520, which is something I've really noticed with my 4720 compared to the Ford 28HP that I was using before.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    104
    Location
    West Central Illinois
    Tractor
    Branson 4720h

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    The engine question is going to be tough to answer without being there, but most people on this site recommend going bigger. You will use more fuel, but there is no substitute for power when you need it.

    The tire question is a little easier. I've used tractors with industrial tires and they definitely have some advantages, but if you don't work on pavement or manicured yards then you should get the ag tires. I got oversize ag tires on my tractor and have not been disappointed. Get the rears filled with fluid and make sure they are set out all the way. They will tear up the turf if the tires spin or if the ground is moist.

    Branson makes a good tractor. They aren't perfect, but you can't beat them for the money.
    Branson 4720h

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Germany, Berlin
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R (2011), IFA RS02/22 "Brockenhexe" (1950), IFA Fortschritt ZT303-D (1982)

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I'll go for the AG tires but at least the second or third (wider) variant. About the engine I'll talk to the dealer. I think 35hp will be enough but as you said, there's no substitute for power. Allthough the turbo might be easy to retrofit... But all depends on the price, and fuel consuption might be an issue too.
    Can somebody maybe shine a light if the cabin is retrofittable? I know the series is new but maybe somebody knows something from the older series. Anything else I should think of?

    Regards,
    Martin

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Germany, Berlin
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R (2011), IFA RS02/22 "Brockenhexe" (1950), IFA Fortschritt ZT303-D (1982)

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Just to keep you updated. I went to the dealer on friday but he had no R-series in stock yet. But I had plenty of time looking at the 4720i and 3510. Really nice tractors. But the dealer couldn't really tell me wether to go A1700/35hp oder A2300/45hp. Anyone any clue how much difference in fuel consumption it will really be. I know the numbers from the tech specs but how much will it be in reality. I wonder if it will be much more with the 45hp when I can work with lower revs and have more power in reserve.... Hard to decide and it will be a decision for years. One other strange thing: dealer tried to talk me into a 4720i. Told me the new 60deg front axle of the R-series is bad and new FEL hydraulics valve positioning is bad and he would generally like the older series better. Found another dealler which is 10% cheaper on the 4520r (including shipping) but is very far away. (300 miles instead of 70). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Martin

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,368
    Location
    N.E. KY
    Tractor
    Century 3035

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    I would treat his negative comments about the new models with some skepticism. He has old inventory to move after all. Can't really comment on the fuel consumption. What are the planned uses for the new tractor?
    Century 3035, FEL, RC, RFM, Box Blade, Pond Scoop, Boom Pole, Hay Spear

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Germany, Berlin
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R (2011), IFA RS02/22 "Brockenhexe" (1950), IFA Fortschritt ZT303-D (1982)

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    I'll mainly use it for logging and all related tasks (skidding/forwarding, loading with FEL and as a tractor pulling trailers) but might do some field work like plowing in the future. And some snow plowing of course. I plan to keep the tractor as long as it runs at don't wanna blame myself ten years ahead for not buying the more powerful one though I got along with 22hp until now. I had the same idea about the dealers rejection of the new R-series. What are your experiences regarding fuel consumption?

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    732
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: New Tractor: Branson? 3520r or 4520r?

    Hello. My 3520 uses about a gallon an hour @ 1800 rpm's. Five acres isn't all that much to log so I would think the 3520r would be a better choice in the long run. My tractor has 12 forward and 12 reverse gears and if I'm in the right gear I have more than enough power. I have the R4 industrials and my older 1950 Massey seems to pull a plow better but I'll take the R4's and 4wd anytime; I'm sure if you are logging the wall of a mountain the Ag's will be better.

    (edit) I do not know what the difference is between the R and the i models but my very strong opinion is to stay away from first year, and maybe 2nd year new productions because they may not have all the bugs worked out. If it is just cosmetic changes with easier access to the engine, etc; you're OK with a new model. If you can pick up a new leftover you might save a bundler. Good luck and keep us posted.
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

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