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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Hi all,

    New to posting on this forum but have been lurking about reading the posts for a few weeks now and appreciate all the advice you all have been sharing. I'm getting ready to start the process for buying my first tractor and wanted to run it by you folks for any input/suggestions/etc you might have.

    So, I've got a 6 acre property I bought recently with about 4 acres of lawn and pasture. The land is fairly level with minor slopes here and there. The driveway's paved and about 200' x 12' with a large parking area by the garage. There's also a sand based riding arena that's about 70' x 120'. And there's a 350' or so gravel path from the house to the barn.

    The house came with a Craftsman DYT400 with a 42" mower and a 24" Ariens snowblower. I'm looking to move up to some equipment that will allow me to take care of the place without spending all day every day doing it! I plan to keep the Craftsman for doing the tight spots on the front lawn between trees and other landscaping and the snowblower for similar situations in the parking area.

    After reading many of the posts here, this is what I came up with:

    JD 2520 with R4 tires
    CSX200 FEL for turning the manure pile, distributing mulch & gravel, maybe clearing the gravel path to the barn
    54" snow blower for clearing the driveway and the path to the barn in case using the FEL for that is not such a good idea
    62D MMM for majority of mowing
    ballast box
    iMatch Quickhitch
    landscape rake (not sure which one) for smoothing out the sand in the arena and breaking up/spreading the horse "deposits" in the pastures
    some type of utility trailer for pulling things around

    That's what I came up with so far. I'd surely appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Gold Member dmay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    440
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Tractor
    2010 JD2320

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by WhisperingWinds View Post
    After reading many of the posts here, this is what I came up with:

    JD 2520 with R4 tires
    CSX200 FEL for turning the manure pile, distributing mulch & gravel, maybe clearing the gravel path to the barn
    54" snow blower for clearing the driveway and the path to the barn in case using the FEL for that is not such a good idea
    62D MMM for majority of mowing
    ballast box
    iMatch Quickhitch
    landscape rake (not sure which one) for smoothing out the sand in the arena and breaking up/spreading the horse "deposits" in the pastures
    some type of utility trailer for pulling things around

    That's what I came up with so far. I'd surely appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks!
    Great tractor pick. Either 2320/2520 w. 200CX would be fine.
    Great snowblower pick. 54" works great.
    Mower I'll comment on later.
    Ballast box is a must.
    iMatch is super nice to have and goes well with quick change of ballast and implements.
    Landscape Rake is perfect for horse deposits. I use a LR1072.
    Utility trailer. Lots of possible uses. Consider an iMatch compatible carryall and build yourself a nice platform on it to carry stuff instead of pulling a trailer.

    Back to the mower. MMM's are great but give you very limited ground clearance when installed. If your goal is to enter and level a horse paddock, say after a rain, when horses have created a lunar cratered landscape, you'll need ground clearance. So you may end up dropping your MMM often to use your landscape rake. Consider an iMatch compatible RFM instead. I also prefer a RFM as it deposits grass evenly out the back, whereas a MMM has side discharge.
    .
    Darrell

    JD2320, 200CX, 53" Bucket, 54" QH SnowBlower, iMatch, Ballast Box, LR1072, RC2048, GM3060, 647 Tiller, SS1023B

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,682
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520, 1989 John Deere 185, 1960 Panzer T70B

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Welcome to the party!

    I care for 6 acres with a 2520, finish mow, rough cut, plow snow, maintain gravel drive, etc. It has done everything I have asked of it with no problems so far.

    I second the recommendation for an iMatch.

    I have a front blower, but am not so sure that I wouldn't go for a rear blower if I were doing it again. I really like having my loader available all the time and you have to remove the loader to attach the front blower. It's also more trouble to hook up a front blower than a rear blower and front blowers are more expensive.

    I would recommend a 61 inch bucket for your loader unless you are going to be in really tight spaces where you can't use it.

    Wishing you best of luck in your purchase.
    Runner

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by dmay View Post
    Utility trailer. Lots of possible uses. Consider an iMatch compatible carryall and build yourself a nice platform on it to carry stuff instead of pulling a trailer.

    Back to the mower. MMM's are great but give you very limited ground clearance when installed. If your goal is to enter and level a horse paddock, say after a rain, when horses have created a lunar cratered landscape, you'll need ground clearance. So you may end up dropping your MMM often to use your landscape rake. Consider an iMatch compatible RFM instead. I also prefer a RFM as it deposits grass evenly out the back, whereas a MMM has side discharge.
    Thanks for the reply, Darrell. Yeah, to get to the pastures, I'd need to go thru the paddock area which gets pretty chewed up and uneven. I had thought about a RFM vs MMM and wondered about ease of manuverability. Would there be a big difference in mowing technique between the two?

    Also, do you know where I might look for the carryall you mentioned? Thanks again.......

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Runner View Post
    Welcome to the party!

    I care for 6 acres with a 2520, finish mow, rough cut, plow snow, maintain gravel drive, etc. It has done everything I have asked of it with no problems so far.

    I second the recommendation for an iMatch.

    I have a front blower, but am not so sure that I wouldn't go for a rear blower if I were doing it again. I really like having my loader available all the time and you have to remove the loader to attach the front blower. It's also more trouble to hook up a front blower than a rear blower and front blowers are more expensive.

    I would recommend a 61 inch bucket for your loader unless you are going to be in really tight spaces where you can't use it.

    Wishing you best of luck in your purchase.
    Thanks for the feedback Runner. Interesting thought about the rear blower. I like the idea of being able to leave the FEL on. I presume then I'd need to drive the tractor backwards using the rear blower, right? (Probably won't be much of an issue as I expect it to never snow in CT again once I get my tractor no matter which blower I pick )

  6. #6
    Gold Member dmay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    440
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Tractor
    2010 JD2320

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by WhisperingWinds View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Darrell. Yeah, to get to the pastures, I'd need to go thru the paddock area which gets pretty chewed up and uneven. I had thought about a RFM vs MMM and wondered about ease of manuverability. Would there be a big difference in mowing technique between the two?

    Also, do you know where I might look for the carryall you mentioned? Thanks again.......
    Obviously a MMM is easier to drive. But since you are going to be pulling a landscape rake you are going to have to get used to pulling rear implements anyhow.

    Just in case tractor mowers are new to you. A MMM and RFM are finish mowers for groomed lawns. You would not want to venture onto a rutted uneven pasture with either of them. Pasture mowing requires a sturdy RRC (rear rotary cutter) preferably with a slip clutch drivetrain.

    Carryalls are available at most farm / tractor supply stores and online. I do not have one myself but here is an example that claims to be iMatch compatible:

    King Kutter Carry All

    You then need to add an iMatch busing kit. When you buy an iMatch you get one bushing kit for your first attachment.
    .
    Darrell

    JD2320, 200CX, 53" Bucket, 54" QH SnowBlower, iMatch, Ballast Box, LR1072, RC2048, GM3060, 647 Tiller, SS1023B

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by dmay View Post
    Obviously a MMM is easier to drive. But since you are going to be pulling a landscape rake you are going to have to get used to pulling rear implements anyhow.

    Just in case tractor mowers are new to you. A MMM and RFM are finish mowers for groomed lawns. You would not want to venture onto a rutted uneven pasture with either of them. Pasture mowing requires a sturdy RRC (rear rotary cutter) preferably with a slip clutch drivetrain.

    Carryalls are available at most farm / tractor supply stores and online. I do not have one myself but here is an example that claims to be iMatch compatible:

    King Kutter Carry All

    You then need to add an iMatch busing kit. When you buy an iMatch you get one bushing kit for your first attachment.

    I've only just started mowing a lawn with a tractor (the Craftsman I mentioned in my original post) so all this is pretty new to me. The pastures here are more like groomed lawns than rough open land; there are some rocks peaking thru in spots and some undulations here and there but nothing dramatic. I've mowed them with the Craftsman (took forever!) and didn't destroy it so I should be ok with an RFM.

    And thanks for the carry all link - something like that should work just fine for what I'm thinking of using it for.

  8. #8
    Gold Member bill in ny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    287
    Location
    south central new york
    Tractor
    kubota m8540hdc12 jd 2305 jd 4005 jd 5055e

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by WhisperingWinds View Post
    Hi all,

    New to posting on this forum but have been lurking about reading the posts for a few weeks now and appreciate all the advice you all have been sharing. I'm getting ready to start the process for buying my first tractor and wanted to run it by you folks for any input/suggestions/etc you might have.

    So, I've got a 6 acre property I bought recently with about 4 acres of lawn and pasture. The land is fairly level with minor slopes here and there. The driveway's paved and about 200' x 12' with a large parking area by the garage. There's also a sand based riding arena that's about 70' x 120'. And there's a 350' or so gravel path from the house to the barn.

    The house came with a Craftsman DYT400 with a 42" mower and a 24" Ariens snowblower. I'm looking to move up to some equipment that will allow me to take care of the place without spending all day every day doing it! I plan to keep the Craftsman for doing the tight spots on the front lawn between trees and other landscaping and the snowblower for similar situations in the parking area.

    After reading many of the posts here, this is what I came up with:

    JD 2520 with R4 tires
    CSX200 FEL for turning the manure pile, distributing mulch & gravel, maybe clearing the gravel path to the barn
    54" snow blower for clearing the driveway and the path to the barn in case using the FEL for that is not such a good idea
    62D MMM for majority of mowing
    ballast box
    iMatch Quickhitch
    landscape rake (not sure which one) for smoothing out the sand in the arena and breaking up/spreading the horse "deposits" in the pastures
    some type of utility trailer for pulling things around

    That's what I came up with so far. I'd surely appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks!
    my wife uses a chain harrow to drag her indoor and outdoor arena's, also in the pasture to break up the manure.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    775
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Case DX45

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Figure out what size tractor you need then buy at least one size larger.
    Save the money on the mower and buy a used zero for a dedicated mower.

    Both would have saved me a lot of money in the long run.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    344
    Location
    Corn Country, Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere

    Default Re: Advice for my first tractor purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by jk96 View Post
    Figure out what size tractor you need then buy at least one size larger.
    Save the money on the mower and buy a used zero for a dedicated mower.

    Both would have saved me a lot of money in the long run.
    Very good advise..
    JD 2011, 2520,61 200CX loader,imatch,pallet forks,54 front blade,4 Yanmar Tillar...Life is good!!!

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