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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Central Colorado

    Default Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    After years of thinking about it, and doing research of makes and models, I'm about to buy my first tractor. I live at 8800ft in the central Rockies and need something to help me maintain 1/2 mile of private road... something to grade the driveway with after a heavy rain, and something to keep the snow off so I can get out and ride a motorcycle in the winter [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img].

    As the subject notes, I'm fairly set on buying a JD 790. The tractor will sit outside unfortunately during the winter. This should be OK shouldn't it if I buy a cover for it? Thinking of buying an engine block heater?

    Given I want to grade the driveway, and get snow off of it during the winter (must get down to dirt or no go on the motorcycle), what should I buy to attach to the tractor? I must get down to the dirt on an uneven driveway with dry snow... at least a 2-3ft wide strip.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  2. #2
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,814
    Location
    Northern CA.
    Tractor
    Push mower, Snapper 21" 6 shovels, 2 rakes, a pick, 2 pinch bars, a post hole digger (two handle type) and 2 wheel barrows that handle like a Porsche.

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    Any chance you can try a 790 out at that elevation? My .02 says the 790 is going to be pretty weak. I have experience with the 790 to the extent that I use my neighbors 790 on occasion.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Central Colorado

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    Yes, I've spoken to the dealer and they believe the 790 will be fine at this altitude with grading and shoving snow the only tasks. At this time I'm thinking a back blade... and a back blade only... for grading and helping remove snow.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    549
    Location
    Goshen, NY
    Tractor
    JD 790

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    I have left my 790 out for several days and it started at 0* to -5* without so much as a rumble or extra puff of smoke. If I was goimg to leave it out permanently I would use a block heater or take the battery inside. No matter how good the 790's Yanmar engine is in cold weather starting, the battery is the weak link in real cold weather with any vehicle.

    I used my 790 w/ a back blade for the first time yesterday and it had plenty of power even with a BB that was a little too big according to the manual (7').
    Pulled through some thick nasty stuff in 3 low. The only time I got stopped was due to loss of traction. That didn't happen often and I was in 12" of thick nasty mud. I really didn't think I would have made it at all and was pleasantly surprised. On the hard packed stuff it scraped the top couple of inches off, leaving a smooth surface at a much more rapid pace due to better traction.

    I have never maintained that much driveway but my 790 will chug fowards in a moderate gear with the the FEL scraping through almost 2 feet of snow without a problem. This year I will use the BB instead and it should be even better as long as I get to the snow before it is over the 14" height of the blade, otherwise I'll be making multiple passes.

    I think the 790 will suffice and may be your least expensive solution.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    47
    Tractor
    JD 990

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    Just a few things to think about-
    I own a 790, the 30hp version, and just traded it towards a 990. I live in RI, with damp cold winters and snow. I have never had a problem with starting the 790, even though this winter it went way below 0.
    1. I would get a block heater, just to be safe. (If it doesn't start, its no good to you-and remember good old MURPHY!)
    2. think about tire chains. When you start to slide, at least you can stop.
    3. They make a snowblower for the 790, though I've never seen one, maybe that would be a good way to go.

    Just a few ideas. Good luck, Its a great little machine. I've had NO problems, though I only have about 120 hrs on mine.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Central Colorado

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    Great thoughts everyone. Nice to have some confirming p-o-v's. I am getting a block heater just in case.

    It is scheduled for delivery Tuesday! I've asked for "Tractor 101" when it arrives and I'm ready to take the quick course. Will begin with this configuration and may add attachments as need and wallet permit [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img].

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    250
    Location
    Caldwell, Ohio
    Tractor
    MF 1540 4wd,loader, R-4s

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    For the back blade i would get the land pride RB-35 series blades. It is a medium duty 6ft blade that has 9forward up to 60 degrees right or left settings and 5 reverse up to 60 degrees right or left. The blade height is 17 1/2" and 5/16" thick. The cutting edge is 1/2" x 6" reversible double bevel.
    It offsets out to the side of the tractor 40 degree swing, 24" offset. It has a 4 position tilts that tilts up to 30 degrees. The wieght is 530lbs, and it also has cat. 1 & 2 pins.

    This is my second blade and this is the best one to dig in dirt,make ditches,& work along side of buildings. I use it on a Ford 1320 4wd w/ loader, rear tires loaded only about 20hp, but is as big as 790 sizes wise.
    works perfect is digs so well that it will bury the moldboard.

    I'm sorry for the long winded post, but I am just a very well satisfied owner, and would highly recomend this blade to any one.

    P.S. The list price of this blade is $1200.00 but I only paid $750.00 for mine and it was worth it.

    Ryan

  8. #8
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    18,328
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    "Given I want to grade the driveway, and get snow off of it during the winter (must get down to dirt or no go on the motorcycle), what should I buy to attach to the tractor? I must get down to the dirt on an uneven driveway with dry snow..."

    Sounds like your drive is gravel.
    If that's correct, you won't get down to bare gravel using a blade...or a blower, for that matter. You'll get close...close enough for the snow to melt off in a day or so.

    For a mile of drive, I'd sure want a blower. For the price you were given for that Land Pride blade, you could throw a few more bucks in and get a rear snow blower. Your 790 could handle a 60" blower with no problem. Deere sells a front blower for that tractor, but you'll spend close to $4000. That might be worthwhile if you get the snow to justify the cost. After all, you'll likely keep the 790 for 10 years or more.

    As far as the altitude you live at...I'm sure the injection pump can be adjusted to accomodate that so you lose no power. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that's already done...

    Definitely get the block heater. Even though the tractor should start with little trouble, it'll be a lot easier on the machine if you use a heater.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Central Colorado

    Default Re: Tractor Rookie -- Buying a 790. Couple Questions.

    The driveway is "natural surface", or in other words... dirt. After heavy rain it can look like the grand canyon. Now I won't have to rely on (and pay) others to grade the driveway here and there. Because it is dirt, I'm fairly certain I can scrape a path down to the dirt so I can get a bike out after some snow.

    But your blower suggestion sounds interesting. Is there a place I can see this thing on the web? Does it work by blowing or throwing snow?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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