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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    21
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    Indiana

    Default Newbie needs some basic help.....

    I've done some searches on the Fotons, Jinmas and new guy stuff but I still haven't found exactly what I need.

    A little background on what I' doing: I have 5 acre's with a short section of creek running through and a few trees along the creek. I need to mow about 4 acres and I'll need an FEL for taking care of the gravel drive. I found that a fork attachment is pretty common as an accessory to the FEL bucket and that would be handy in the shop for moving machine parts and supplies. A backhoe might be handy at some time in the future too. Not sure exactly what sort of HP I really need but I'm thinking 20-30 range. I haven't been around tractors since I was a kid so while I remember what the pedals and levers do there are a lot more of them now then there were then. I've looked at a few used tractors but haven't found anything that jumped out at me.
    I stopped at Rural King yesterday on the way home and looked at a Tractor King 25HP 4wd. I have a few
    questions.....

    I have an idea what Hydro drive is but what is shuttle shift? The unit looks like a basic standard transmission setup.

    Are these 25HP units Foton's or Jinma. According to the Foton site they start at 30HP but according to the salesman this is a foton. The info sheets I got have 2 different mfg part numbers which is confusing....description page has FT254A as the part # and spec sheet says JM254-4wd....???
    The price with a loader (Koyker 140) , and a rotary mower is about $9800 + taxes of course and that seems quite reasonable. Am I missing something here? I'm not sure I'd notice any of the fancy gadgets not being there since the last tractor I drove was a 1960 Oliver 75HP diesel......
    Am I looking in the right direction and what other places/types should I be checking out as well?

    Thanks for any help or guidance.

    Frank

  2. #2
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,028
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    Rural King does in fact offer favorable prices on Chinese tractors. But the advantage pretty much stops there. RK employees generally lack sufficient training - both before sale and after - and I'm told they've cut the warranty back to 6 months. Not a big deal if you're mechanically inclined yourself, but that's a pretty short parts warranty when you consider it takes about 50 hours on the tractor to shake out most of the parts-related problems.

    There may be some left over Jinmas and Futians, but it looks like they may be going exclusively to the Foton line as of the 2006 model year. The Jinma 20hp is orange, the 25hp is red. 40-70hp Futians were blue, early Fotons were red. 2006 Fotons look kinda like red primer under glossy clearcoat.

    Shuttle shift simply indicates a geared tranny with a separate lever for Forward/Reverse. You get the advantage of being able to shift back and forth with greater ease, and have faster ground speed in reverse. But it's still the old Stop - Clutch - Shift - Clutch - Go process. No synchros.

    But if you're not mechanical - or are hard on tools/implements - you might wanna keep looking for another dealer with a longer warranty and a better service-after-sale reputation. Now there may be some RK stores that are better than others. But as a corporation, their focus remains on the profit margin. From a tractor standpoint, that generally translates to not paying enough wages to attract (and keep) competent tractor/diesel/hydraulic mechanics (or knowledgeable sales staff).

    //greg//

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    21
    Location
    Indiana

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    Thanks Greg for that info. It is helpful. I am quite mechanically inclined and I'm an aircraft mechanic, race car transmission specialist as well as a machinist . That doesn't mean I want to be working on a new tractor because the warranty has expired though.....
    The salesman did say that the standard warranty is 6 months and they try to sell the extended warranty for $400. I always figure thats extra cash in their pocket......
    Thanks again
    Frank

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    928
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Tractor
    Jinma JM354

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    Glad to see another tractor guy. Two yrs ago I bought a Jinma crate ( I put it together) JM 354. I wanted no dealer value added extras, just save as much as I could. I got very limited warranty. I would do it again, in a heart beat. It's been a great tractor. I trust my mechanical work a whole lot more than most of local dealers and far their warranty, I didn't even want it. I've always had to just depend on myself so I'm used to you buy it you own it type deals. I didn't want or need a FEL, I used a box blade for dirt movin'. The front end drives can go away depending on abuse of the FEL operation. Good luck and happy tractoring. bjr

  5. #5
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,761
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    One thing important to add IRT the shuttle shift, Depending on what you want to use the tractor for. With shuttle shift you give up the creeper gears or low-low range on the transmissin. So with shuttle you have the main gearbox with a single hi-lo range. This changes your speed range from around .2 MPH to 15 MPH with creeper to around 1.5 MPH to 15 MPH with shuttle. In doing this you loose some of the pulling/pushing force that the tractor is capable of because at higher wheel RPM, the wheels start to spin early before the tire treads can fully dig in and apply full force.

    The advantage of the shuttle is that the forward and reverse is whatever you have selected for a gear. IE: you can go forward or reverse in 2nd high or 3rd low or whatever gear is selected on the main gearbox. Pretty handy when using a loader if I was scooping from pile A and then moving to and dumping on pile B. The shuttle lever is also up by the wheel for convenience.

    Without shuttle, the reverse gear in the main gearbox is a different ratio than 1st so backing up is considerably slower. You also do all the shifting down between your legs.

    If you plan on running a lot of ground engagement stuff(plows, scrapers, rippers , tillers ect), I would not want to give up those low-low gears. Running into immoveable objects in the ground at too high a speed tends to break things on the tractor or impliment. In a creeper range, the tractor just slows and stops as the load increases untill the tires ultimately start to dig back to china. This gives you a little more time to react.

    I have a 284 on about 7.5 acres that are similar to your description. Mine is mostly woods and brush and I am in the process of clearing more than half of it and the 284 does a fantastic job with a 5' brushhog. For this application, I wouldn't want to be without the creeper gears as I can still just crawl through the brush with the engine running at full rated PTO RPM driveing the mower. It is also good to be able to go slow on uneven terrain which I have a lot of, so you can approach your max angle slowly with little momentum to help prevent a rollover. To get shuttle or not was probably the biggest decision I made once I finially decided on a Jinma. For my application, shuttle was not a good option and I have absolutely no regrets. The tractor does an excellent job and I am very very happy with it.

    If you are doing any sort of land clearing, a fork bucket is a fantastic tool. I built my own that has worked great since last summer and will be adding a grapple to it later this summer which will make it even more usefull(full load of debris with EVERY scoop.

    Good Luck

  6. #6
    Elite Member SPIKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    4,425
    Location
    Ohio, Jeromesville, Ashland County
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    AMAFrank:

    welcome to the board:

    first off good size is the 284/254 that you are looking at and the JM254 is the JINMA which is a great little tractor (same size is the 284 frame just a bit higher rated HP with higher up RMP) same thing basically but you get the benifit of 2 more HP with a bit higher rev limit setting. not even sure if RK has the 284s.

    now the foutons are great too but none in there in the 20~28 HP range that I know of at RK..

    good choice for the impliments a good box blade for scrapeing/leveling with the FEL by all means get the 4 wheel drive if you are getting a FEL too. a 5' brush hog in this range is tood too.

    like others said the shutle shift is a new (2 yrs I belive) to this line of tractors. it does just as greg described looses the really low range but helps in the forward/revers when diong a lot of FEL work. I have a 2002 284 with FEL & hoe I have the HOE on it mow but really could have done without it. sure they are ok to have but the cost would have gone much farther if I had simply rented a REAL hoe when needing one. I have had it on for removing & moving rocks, digging elec trench and transplanting trees as well as some footer work for the pole barn. all of which it was capable of doing but for what I paid I could have rented machines which would have doen the job in 1/2~1/4 of the time and better. (rental of a trencher would have cost 250 for weekend on high side, and would have only tanke 1 hr to do the trench I spent 6~10 hrs digging the trench with the hoe sure I had fund but I could have went rented brought it home dug the trench taken rental unit back in less time and been done. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] ) now that being said I do like it when needed as in handy wise but it is frame mount which is good & strong and take 20+ min to install & 10~15 min to remove on a good day & requires laying in dirt/grass/snow to get on & off. I would NOT have a 3pt mount hoe for any sub compact. plan on spending 3~6k on a HOE so if you don't have a real use then that $ is better spent elsewhere. reason I got mine was / is that I'm goig into nursery buisness in part time on my 22 acres.

    sorry longpost.

    clearing land I would rather have my style of standard gear drive. I would look at the farm pros too. you are in Ind. and I belive that is where farm pro is head quartered so there should be a few good dealers near by you. I would also recogmend CHIP, Graham, Afordable and any of the other dealers who post here to look at. Many of them would/can/do sell crate tractors which I belive you could get the same suff cheaper and have the fun of assembeling it you're self. I did 2 myself this way and they only take 8~10 hrs if you have a shop to work in. which sounds like you do.

    they are pretty easy to put together, check out JOHNS'S web site for the best info about these units.

    FOUTONS I have not used, I have heard good things though I think they are a bit bigger than you may need.


    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]Mark M

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    431
    Location
    Sierra Foothills
    Tractor
    2005 MT265B

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    I have a real dumb question on standard gear tractor transmission. Is is like a car transmission which if you stop, you must either step and hold on the cluth or shift to neutral or else the engine will stall [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]??? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,761
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    Yes, clutch in, shift to neutral.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    21
    Location
    Indiana

    Default Re: Newbie needs some basic help.....

    Thanks for all the info guys. I finally got to see one of the new Fotons and talk to the guy who actually knew something at the store. As was pointed out there are not a lot of rocket scientists working at Rural king, mostly kids who would rather be in florida for spring break. I looked at the kubota's and farm pro's as well as some new hollands and decided that for my application the Foton 25HP 4wd is the way to go. I can do my own maintainence so I'm not too worried that the only guy at the newcastle shop will quit leaving me stranded.
    Rural king takes 7% off the cost of implements and allows 6 months no interest if you use the Rural King card. They do a 12month no interest on the tractor. With the tractor, FEL and 5ft rotary mower the total is about $9375 + taxes since I'm not a farm....so just under $10K out the door. I think thats reasonable.
    Thanks again for all the help and I'll post some more when it shows up....
    Frank

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