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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Upper Valley region, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45 TLB

    Default CUT newbie purchase advice

    I've been lurking for a few weeks since I first ran across this great site -- lots of good info here, and thanks to everyone for making TBN such a valuable and useful place. Sorry if this post is long, but I figure I can't well ask for good advice if I don't give enough info to get it. Bottom line is that I'm thinking about buying a new Kioti, and am hoping for some advice from those who already have and know them.

    I've got about 20 ac of mostly wooded land in west-central NH, with a 30x40 barn (currently empty, but that will change again next yr) and approx. 3/4 ac. fenced paddock. Most of the rest of the land is heavily wooded, mixed hardwood and softwood, somewhat hilly, some of it very hilly, with erosion valleys and banks of a few inches to 30+ ft high from a couple of good-sized streams, both full-year and seasonal, going through. I've got about 600 ft of hardpack gravel driveway from the road down to the house and garage, and another 300 ft uphill from there to the barn. The slope of the road isn't extreme -- the majority of it is flat or near-flat but there is perhaps up to 10 degrees of grade in a couple of stretches, particularly up to the barn.

    I'm looking at getting a CUT for plowing, driveway maintenance/grading, some minor regrading work around the house . I also am planning an addition on the house, and will be wanting to move materials and do any of the smaller loader/backhoe stuff that I don't absolutely need the big equipment to do. I want to do some moderate tree clearing/trailbuilding through the woods (mix of small and large hardwoods and softwoods), possibly building a guest/hunting cabin and storage area up there at some point, and plan to do log skidding to pull out some of the deadfall and cleared trees for firewood. Once I clear some trees, I might end up doing a bit of bush hogging, especially if I end up creating new pasture or orchards. When I put livestock back in the barn again in addition to the tractor, I'll use the FEL for moving food and manure, etc. I'd probably consider using the BH to deepen/widen my swimming hole a bit if I can make a decent trail to safely maneuver the tractor though the woods over to the bank.

    In other stream work, I'm thinking about dropping/placing some good-sized rocks into two of the streams-- one of the seasonals needs an erosion barrier on one bank (it abuts part of the road to the barn, and during spring floods will eventually collapse the steep 5' high bank and take out a chunk of the road bed if I don't do something about it), and for the other, full-year stream I'm considering building a small simple stone dam/spillway to run a microhydro generator for power generation (high flow/low head)-- just need to channel the flow and boost the head (drop) a bit. I may well end up bringing in heavy equipment to do this, but if it can be done safely, I could save some real money if I can do at least some of either job with my CUT.

    Right now, I have just about zero need for any mowing more than what a small push mower and a string trimmer can handle, except temporarily grass and weeds in the paddock, which will be taken care of once I get livestock in there again (natural mowing...). Similarly, right now I don't need to do any serious plowing or ground engagement work other than what a box blade would handle. My wife would like more gardens and perhaps a small orchard, so at some point in the next year or three I may want to get a tiller and an auger/post hole digger, or just rent them when I need them.

    My tractor experience is mainly with old Ford gear tractors doing plowing, mowing, baling, etc. I don't have any significant FEL/BH experience, though I have driven forklifts, so I at least understand the basic safety issues of balance, keeping loads low and slow, etc.

    Okay, so here's where I am in my thinking, after having looked at a lot of tractors, talked to several dealers and taken a look at a couple of different color CUTs. I like the value and build of Kiotis, and I have a knowledgeable dealer nearby who knows his products and seems like a straight shooter (Dave/KiotiDave at Upper Valley Tractors), so I'm inclined to buy Kioti Orange locally if I can get a good deal that's inside my budget. The 0% 36-mo financing on the Kioti through the end of the month (and the upcoming price hikes) make it look good to do this now, or wait until next year and start looking again for a good deal.

    I'm looking primarily at the CK30/gear and the DK40. I liked the LK3054 for value, but the additional year of warranty, the extra hydraulic capacity, synchro on the shuttle, and the better ground clearance (seeing as I'm looking to do woods work) on the CK30, make it worth the extra $800 or so the dealer quoted me between the CK30 and the LK3054XS.

    Here's my dilemma. I think the CK30 might do what I need it to do, and the price/value on it is good. I don't know whether I'll need the extra 10 HP (and PTO HP) of the DK40, and it looks like it might be almost $4000 over the CK30. I'm not even considering the DK35, because from what I can tell, most of the stats on the CK30 are close to or as good as teh DK35, and in some areas (ground clearance, etc), the CK30 is even better. I'm sure the DK35 is a good tractor, but it just doesn't seem worth the extra $$ to me. The big pluses for the DK40 are the extra HP and the much better lift capacity of the KL1470 FEL over the KL130 (3400 lb vs 2046 lb breakout, 2100 lb vs 1155 lb full height at the pins). The DK40 comes with the remote I'd have to add to the CK30, so that saves a bit under $400. I'd be interested in considering the DK45 and DK50 (with the KL1590 loader), but I think those are out of my ballpark pricewise. The CK30 is a newer model, which could be good or bad -- maybe some improvements in the CK30, but I'm assuming most of the design bugs have already been worked out on the DK40 by now.

    For addons, I'm looking to get filled R4s, at least a single remote, grill/brush guard for the woods work, bucket hooks, a good tooth bar, and I'll either buy or build a canopy for the ROPS. The fiberglass Kioti canopy might do for now at $275. A cab would be a nice plus for the winter snow work, but since I'd have to move up to a bigger machine to get one, it's probably not in the budget unless I build that too.

    For attachments, right off I'm trying to keep it minimal other than the FEL/BH combo to keep costs down. I know I want a back blade for grading and snow removal work, and a box scraper for all purpose use. Dave makes an inexpensive log skid rig that I've seen here on TBN, and it looks so useful at the price that I'll probably get one as well.

    If the FEL/back blade combo ends up being too much of a pain (or freeze) in the rear this winter, I'll likely invest in a rear blower for next year, but I was thinking I'd try at least one year without it to keep this in budget. Ditto for some of the other things I want-- forks, bush hog, tiller and log splitter will probably have to wait, though I think I'll want some of them before too long.

    So, after all of that, I've got a couple of basic questions, particularly from those who have a CK30 or DK40. Could a CK30 handle what I need it to do, or am I better off moving up to the DK40? Does it sound like I've got the right list of equipment and add-ons for what I want to do? I've put my hours on ag tractors, but the TLB CUTs are a new and different animal to me.

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice -- I'm looking forward to getting to work with my new tractor, but I can wait if I have to, and don't need to rush it. Since I expect this tractor to do a lot and last for a long time, I'd like to make sure I buy the right one the first time.

    Thanks,

    --Richard

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Upper Valley region, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45 TLB

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    I wrote:

    I'm looking at getting a CUT for plowing, driveway maintenance/grading, some minor regrading work around the house

    ----

    Realized I left out a word in there-- should be "snow plowing." Sorry for any confusion.

    --Richard

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    311
    Location
    new hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK55 Cab, 3 NHs (from 40-90HP)

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    welcome to TBN. i'm definitely not an expert (i've got just over 100 hrs in my DK55 cab), but like you, my only experience prior to buying my Kioti was gear-driven Fords.

    the only advice i could give you (well, i could give LOTS!) that pertains directly to your needs:

    buy as much horsepower as you can afford. i did many years of research before i settled on my machine. drove new hollands, 'botas, etc. once the decision to purchase a kioti was made, i did what everyone told me to do:

    buy the biggest machine you can get - because you'll likely end up wishing you had more power when you start a project you never envisioned doing.

    i'm also in new hampshire - and while i SWEAR by Ken Valenti (dealer in Keene, NH), the guy in the upper valley is good. stick with a local guy - local service and support is a plus.

    very happy i spent the extra $ to get the DK55. absolutely LOVE it. and have used the snot out of it.. 100 hrs in 2 months - and most of that was punishing work:

    - 2 acres of field reclamation. 50+ tree stumps removed, rocks larger than my wife's honda, etc.
    - 6+ cords of wood gathered and split
    - 100+ ft of new stone wall

    again, best advice is to get the biggest machine your finances permit.

    and use this forum - it's saved my rear end countless times - and it's also turned my face red from embarrassment when i didn't ask the forum for advice BEFORE i drilled holes in my FEL.

    good luck!

    pf

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Upper Valley region, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45 TLB

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    Thanks very much, pseudofarmer, I appreciate the advice. I started out wanting to compare the CK30 and DK40, figuring that would be plenty big enough for me. Now I'm wondering whether the DK40 is too small, and trying to figure out whether I can do without the backhoe for a while or put off the purchase until Spring to get a bigger tractor...

    It sounds like your field reclamation work was similar to some of the woods work I'm planning -- your DK55 moved rocks that size? By dragging/sledding, after loosening/busting them out with the FEL? Did you get rid of the stumps with just FEL/BH work? If so, that's basically what I'm hoping to do. Would love to get a stump grinder, but that kind of spendy is just not going to fly this year, and besides, I can use the FEL/BH practice.

    Besides getting a good feeling about working with Dave at Upper Valley, he's within 20 min of my place, and has said he could make house calls for any repair work I can't do myself (esp. warranty stuff). That's a heck of a lot easier than dragging the tractor to the dealer.

    So you're the famous ROPS-driller? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    From what I've seen so far, I figure one of the best purposes for a forum like this is so that everyone can take turns making mistakes, and then share them so that everyone doesn't have to make all of the same mistakes themselves.

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes-- "It may be that your entire purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others." [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I know I've been there.

    Thanks,

    --Richard

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,495
    Location
    Southeast, Michigan
    Tractor
    Shoppin', Formerly Ford 1220, 7106 FEL, 60

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    <font color="blue">So you're the famous ROPS-driller? </font>

    Nope, not pseudofarmer. Your thinking of the world famous, often imitated but never duplicated....Henro.

    Don

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    289
    Location
    ECNY
    Tractor
    DK35

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    Check out the R4.s real well. I have them on flat clay ground and find that they will slide sideways in slippery going. Very frustrating bcs

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Upper Valley region, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45 TLB

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    <font color="blue"> Check out the R4.s real well. I have them on flat clay ground and find that they will slide sideways in slippery going. Very frustrating bcs
    </font>

    Justaplain, are you recommending R1s instead? I was thinking the R4s (with ice chains during the winter if necessary) would be the best all-around for mixed terrain, but bottom line is I want whatever's going to do the best job. I've got typical New England rocky dirt/hills, hardpack gravel drive, sandy paddock.

    Thanks,

    --Richard

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    51
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon US
    Tractor
    CK20HST

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    In my opinion if you were deciding on only pulling stumps or doing large jobs on a time frame then I would say the larger the better. I will not deny it is good to have more power to do some of the larger jobs. I was faced with a similar issue myself between the CK20, CK30, and the LK3054 (FEL and BH on each). I sat down and figured out what my main uses were going to be and then figured out the hardest jobs I plan on doing on a second list. I went down the first list of the main uses (the list I use once the honey do list is complete) and figured the CK20 would work for 100% of them. Then I looked at the hardest task list (honey do list) and listed the smallest machine I could get by with for each task. I honestly didn't have one that showed up on that list for the CK30 other than pulling a large finish mower, large brush hog, and possibly fieldwork in my next place. Everything with that list for me came down to speed of needed to complete the different tasks. Honestly I don't mind the extra seat time much at all, I cannot figure that out. I choose the CK20 for my purchase not because I couldn't have used the CK30 as I very much could have. I choose the smaller one because I was able to get a few more items and had more money left over to do things I liked. The main negatives I see in a smaller machine in my case is I need to do things a little slower and I need to come up with different solutions for the same problem. How do I remove an 18 to 24 inch stump? Same way with the larger machine I just need to make a bigger hole to do it so I can break all the roots as some are too large to break right up close (6 inch vs. 8inch etc). As a machine going in and out of tight spaces I am very glad I didn't get the CK30 first but I wish I had the power at times to speed up jobs. Maybe for my next purchase as long as I am allowed to keep the smaller framed machine also if not it will be another couple of long lists.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Steve_Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,317
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Tractor
    2006 Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    I have the CK20 and got the R1's for the simple fact that I don't do any mowing, only FEL and BH (although I'm still waiting on Kioti for all the parts for the BH) work. I much prefer this tread to the R4's I tried when testing tractors. I found them to plug too easy and you lose just about any grip you may have had.

    Steve

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Upper Valley region, New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45 TLB

    Default Re: CUT newbie purchase advice

    <font color="blue"> I have the CK20 and got the R1's for the simple fact that I don't do any mowing, only FEL and BH (although I'm still waiting on Kioti for all the parts for the BH) work. I much prefer this tread to the R4's I tried when testing tractors. I found them to plug too easy and you lose just about any grip you may have had.
    </font>

    After reading this and thinking about it, I was leaning towards R1s, since I have almost zero turf at this point and will be doing mostly road and woods work. I talked to the dealer again today (Dave at Upper Valley Tractors), and he gave me some pros and cons from his perspective. The thing which tipped the balance back to R4s for me is that he pointed out the R4s have thicker sidewalls and are stiffer than R1s. Given all of the woods work I plan to do, reducing the chance of punctures seems worth giving up some amount of traction. Losing a tire back in the woods would wreck my whole day. For the snow removal I'm going to be using ice chains, so hopefully traction won't be an issue there.

    --Rich

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