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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    9

    Default Buying Advise Needed

    Warning, long-winded message ahead! I would greatly appreciate comments on the “talking points” listed below.

    I’m looking for a tractor for occasional use on approximately 6 acres of property. Considering the basic tasks and limited run hours I am planning on, I feel that a Chinese model is a good option. My budget would only permit the purchase of a well-used “major” brand and I would prefer new, despite the reported fit-and-finish issues with Chinese models. I am willing and able to repair the tractor as needed and do not need an extensive/expensive warranty-as long as parts are readily available. I would appreciate input from others regarding the proper selection of a unit and options for my needs.

    Prior tractor experience:
    I have operated a Farmall BN, Cub, and an International TD-9 crawler. I am now looking to buy something more modern to take advantage of 3-point implements.

    Planned usage:
    Here’s what I want to do with the tractor: pull out bushes, till or plow/disk a garden, use a slip scoop, run a post hole auger, use a small grader blade or box blade to work the packed gravel along the edge of my short driveway, and other similar tasks. Though I would certainly love to have a loader to play with, I probably wouldn’t use it enough to justify the added expense. I’ve learned to live without one.

    HP:
    I have looked into 22, 25 and 28HP models. I think 25 should be more than enough for my needs. Would a 22 cut it?

    2WD/4WD:
    This is a tough decision for me. Do I really need 4WD? I know that I’d need it to add a loader in the future but it seems like it may be overkill for my needs.
    Does anyone have any thoughts? Anyone with 2WD buyer’s remorse?

    Tires:
    Currently, I run the Cub and BN with ag tires with no problems because I don't have a manicured lawn. I guess it would be different with 4WD. If I opt for 4WD I was planning on turf tires and adding chains as needed. Would this give me enough traction for bush pulling, tilling, etc.?

    Chinese models reviewed:
    I live in eastern PA and have looked into the following models:
    Jinmas - crated units, Farm Pros, Nortracs, and TSC Minot models.
    Foton – Though I haven’t seen one in person, the price makes me consider a long drive to the nearest Rural King store in Wooster, OH. The $4,499 FT250A 25HP 2WD model interests me, but I was told by a sales rep that it is not available with ag tires and that the manufacturer does not recommend using them. Any thoughts on this? The FT254A 4WD has a assembled price close to the crated Jinma I’ve been looking at. Both Foton models use the same 3-cyl engine (Y385) that is used in the Jinmas, correct? If so, engine parts, at least, should be easy to locate. How about chassis parts? I've read about clutch diameter differences but, other than that, are there major differences from Jinmas (good/bad)?

    Crate vs. Assembled:
    I know I would enjoy the assembly process, and a parts-only warranty isn’t a concern if reasonable repairs are involved. However, I am nervous by the thought of having a bad engine/transmission, cracked casting, or other major fix right out of the crate. I know that’s the gamble involved in getting a good deal, but how likely is a major defect? I am strongly considering a crated 25HP Jinma for about $6K. Assuming that all crated units are not the same, are there specific questions I should ask or features I should look for (EPA engine, etc.)?

    If you’ve read this far, thank you for your patience. I would appreciate any and all comments.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    9

    Default Buying Advise Needed

    Warning, long-winded message ahead! I would greatly appreciate comments on the “talking points” listed below.

    I’m looking for a tractor for occasional use on approximately 6 acres of property. Considering the basic tasks and limited run hours I am planning on, I feel that a Chinese model is a good option. My budget would only permit the purchase of a well-used “major” brand and I would prefer new, despite the reported fit-and-finish issues with Chinese models. I am willing and able to repair the tractor as needed and do not need an extensive/expensive warranty-as long as parts are readily available. I would appreciate input from others regarding the proper selection of a unit and options for my needs.

    Prior tractor experience:
    I have operated a Farmall BN, Cub, and an International TD-9 crawler. I am now looking to buy something more modern to take advantage of 3-point implements.

    Planned usage:
    Here’s what I want to do with the tractor: pull out bushes, till or plow/disk a garden, use a slip scoop, run a post hole auger, use a small grader blade or box blade to work the packed gravel along the edge of my short driveway, and other similar tasks. Though I would certainly love to have a loader to play with, I probably wouldn’t use it enough to justify the added expense. I’ve learned to live without one.

    HP:
    I have looked into 22, 25 and 28HP models. I think 25 should be more than enough for my needs. Would a 22 cut it?

    2WD/4WD:
    This is a tough decision for me. Do I really need 4WD? I know that I’d need it to add a loader in the future but it seems like it may be overkill for my needs.
    Does anyone have any thoughts? Anyone with 2WD buyer’s remorse?

    Tires:
    Currently, I run the Cub and BN with ag tires with no problems because I don't have a manicured lawn. I guess it would be different with 4WD. If I opt for 4WD I was planning on turf tires and adding chains as needed. Would this give me enough traction for bush pulling, tilling, etc.?

    Chinese models reviewed:
    I live in eastern PA and have looked into the following models:
    Jinmas - crated units, Farm Pros, Nortracs, and TSC Minot models.
    Foton – Though I haven’t seen one in person, the price makes me consider a long drive to the nearest Rural King store in Wooster, OH. The $4,499 FT250A 25HP 2WD model interests me, but I was told by a sales rep that it is not available with ag tires and that the manufacturer does not recommend using them. Any thoughts on this? The FT254A 4WD has a assembled price close to the crated Jinma I’ve been looking at. Both Foton models use the same 3-cyl engine (Y385) that is used in the Jinmas, correct? If so, engine parts, at least, should be easy to locate. How about chassis parts? I've read about clutch diameter differences but, other than that, are there major differences from Jinmas (good/bad)?

    Crate vs. Assembled:
    I know I would enjoy the assembly process, and a parts-only warranty isn’t a concern if reasonable repairs are involved. However, I am nervous by the thought of having a bad engine/transmission, cracked casting, or other major fix right out of the crate. I know that’s the gamble involved in getting a good deal, but how likely is a major defect? I am strongly considering a crated 25HP Jinma for about $6K. Assuming that all crated units are not the same, are there specific questions I should ask or features I should look for (EPA engine, etc.)?

    If you’ve read this far, thank you for your patience. I would appreciate any and all comments.

  3. #3
    Super Member SPIKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    5,000
    Location
    Ohio, Jeromesville, Ashland County
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    first off 2 vs 4 wheel drive. if you want a FEL later then you NEED the 4 wheel drive.

    25/28 are pretty much same critters BUT resale is a bit better on the 28 SIZE wise they are same, the 20 and 22 hp are smaller tires & wheel base slightly I belive, (older info though here.)
    I maintain 23 acres with my 284, and pull lots of stuff, run a 5' brush hogs & finish mowers, (probably could run a 6' finish mower if going slightly slower. pull 6' box blade & rock rakes easy ehough too, I have china ZL20 FEL and JW03 HOE all OK but wish I had better FEL like a Kokyer.

    anyhow I usually loose traction with the AG tires before loosing power unless I have a good weight on it. and in 4 wheel drive. turfs are worse in this respect chinas would helpo but in all reality if you stay off wet lawns leaving ruts is not that bad with the ags.

    anyhow hope this helpped if i missed anything someone else will pipe in or post more ?s
    Mark M

  4. #4
    Super Member SPIKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    5,000
    Location
    Ohio, Jeromesville, Ashland County
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    first off 2 vs 4 wheel drive. if you want a FEL later then you NEED the 4 wheel drive.

    25/28 are pretty much same critters BUT resale is a bit better on the 28 SIZE wise they are same, the 20 and 22 hp are smaller tires & wheel base slightly I belive, (older info though here.)
    I maintain 23 acres with my 284, and pull lots of stuff, run a 5' brush hogs & finish mowers, (probably could run a 6' finish mower if going slightly slower. pull 6' box blade & rock rakes easy ehough too, I have china ZL20 FEL and JW03 HOE all OK but wish I had better FEL like a Kokyer.

    anyhow I usually loose traction with the AG tires before loosing power unless I have a good weight on it. and in 4 wheel drive. turfs are worse in this respect chinas would helpo but in all reality if you stay off wet lawns leaving ruts is not that bad with the ags.

    anyhow hope this helpped if i missed anything someone else will pipe in or post more ?s
    Mark M

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    187
    Location
    Ky
    Tractor
    JD 2240, Long 445, KAMA TS354C

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    R4 industrial tires are an option that lies between turf and ag tires. Easy on the lawn but provide some traction also. You have probably seen them on full size back hoes. For the small price diff I would go 4WD.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    187
    Location
    Ky
    Tractor
    JD 2240, Long 445, KAMA TS354C

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    R4 industrial tires are an option that lies between turf and ag tires. Easy on the lawn but provide some traction also. You have probably seen them on full size back hoes. For the small price diff I would go 4WD.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    874
    Location
    Southern Tier NY
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    Planned Usage/HP: a 25hp Jinma will handle your tasks fine. I don't believe the 28hp is EPA approved. I would get EPA engine. But as Spiker says, no meaningful difference in the work output from 25 to 28hp.

    2WD/4WD: Go 4WD. The 2WD will be harder to find, and only be a minor savings. Also unique parts for the 2WD will be harder to come bye.

    Tires: Hmmm, didn't mention lawn mowing in tasks... I have one of those more "natural" lawns, ie I'm the guy with all the dandilions, and other weeds, the rest of the neighbors talk about [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Given that, I wouldn't use ags, 2wd or 4wd to mow my yard. Leaves too much of an impression, especially in the spring time. Your soil may vary. On the other hand, I wouldn't use turfs for plowing or tilling, either. R4s would be a good compromise if you can get them at a reasonable price. If you can find them, probably another 1K or more to price.

    Models: I know a bit about the 200 series jinma, but have never touched a foton.

    Crate Advice: Check out the warrantee and service provided, just like an assembled dealer. Are they going to help with diagnois over the phone, or leave it up to you? How well are they stocked for replacement parts? do you have to wait for the next load from china? Also, when you pay can be a big difference. Some are basicly importing a single unit to you, vs keeping their own stock in the states.

    Good Luck in your search.


  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    874
    Location
    Southern Tier NY
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    Planned Usage/HP: a 25hp Jinma will handle your tasks fine. I don't believe the 28hp is EPA approved. I would get EPA engine. But as Spiker says, no meaningful difference in the work output from 25 to 28hp.

    2WD/4WD: Go 4WD. The 2WD will be harder to find, and only be a minor savings. Also unique parts for the 2WD will be harder to come bye.

    Tires: Hmmm, didn't mention lawn mowing in tasks... I have one of those more "natural" lawns, ie I'm the guy with all the dandilions, and other weeds, the rest of the neighbors talk about [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Given that, I wouldn't use ags, 2wd or 4wd to mow my yard. Leaves too much of an impression, especially in the spring time. Your soil may vary. On the other hand, I wouldn't use turfs for plowing or tilling, either. R4s would be a good compromise if you can get them at a reasonable price. If you can find them, probably another 1K or more to price.

    Models: I know a bit about the 200 series jinma, but have never touched a foton.

    Crate Advice: Check out the warrantee and service provided, just like an assembled dealer. Are they going to help with diagnois over the phone, or leave it up to you? How well are they stocked for replacement parts? do you have to wait for the next load from china? Also, when you pay can be a big difference. Some are basicly importing a single unit to you, vs keeping their own stock in the states.

    Good Luck in your search.


  9. #9
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,808
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    As John said, look at the specifics of that parts warranty. Does the dealer stock the parts or do you have to wait Months for them when needed.

    You say you are from PA, you didn't mention snow... That alone would push me towards 4WD over 2. And as mentioned, the majority of those imported are 4WD. If you don't need it, you can always uncouple it and won't really do any more damage to the grass than a 2WD would. If it is slippery though, it is sure nice to have. It will also give you a bit more traction force when pulling, particularly over uneven ground. I have a lawn tractor with large turfs for mowing the nicer area that I try to pass for lawn(John described mine pretty well. I have 7 1/2 acres and I went with the 28 HP 4WD so I could run a 5' brushhog across some pretty uneven terrain. As for a loader, that is what the tractor is for, to carry the FEL from place to place. I use the FEL EVERY time I use the tractor, if only to help hold the tractor in place when parked on uneven terrain. I even use it when brushhogging as a "feeler". I run the bucket down real low to the ground to find stumps and other debris that I can't see in the brush.

  10. #10
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,808
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Buying Advise Needed

    As John said, look at the specifics of that parts warranty. Does the dealer stock the parts or do you have to wait Months for them when needed.

    You say you are from PA, you didn't mention snow... That alone would push me towards 4WD over 2. And as mentioned, the majority of those imported are 4WD. If you don't need it, you can always uncouple it and won't really do any more damage to the grass than a 2WD would. If it is slippery though, it is sure nice to have. It will also give you a bit more traction force when pulling, particularly over uneven ground. I have a lawn tractor with large turfs for mowing the nicer area that I try to pass for lawn(John described mine pretty well. I have 7 1/2 acres and I went with the 28 HP 4WD so I could run a 5' brushhog across some pretty uneven terrain. As for a loader, that is what the tractor is for, to carry the FEL from place to place. I use the FEL EVERY time I use the tractor, if only to help hold the tractor in place when parked on uneven terrain. I even use it when brushhogging as a "feeler". I run the bucket down real low to the ground to find stumps and other debris that I can't see in the brush.

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