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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    NH TC33DA w/Supersteer

    Default Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Started tractor shopping in September, but still undecided. Was originally considering NH and MF, but have added Kioti to the list after pricing the others and hearing good things about Kioti at TBN. It seems it was much easier selecting a new car than a tractor!

    Here is my property description. Little over 5 acre pocket farm. Half is lawn and paddock, half is mixed brush and woods. Pole barn w/3 stalls and 8 sheep. About 170 ft of asphalt driveway, and another 210 of gravel. All the land is flat Ohio clay - hard as rock during the Summer, soft and sloppy other times. 3 drainage ditches.

    Here are needs:
    1) Mowing the lawn - generally open, but a number of trees, islands, fences.
    2) Bush hogging the brush and wooded areas.
    3) Snow removal - both the asphalt and gravel drive going back to the barn. The snow is not generally that deep, but frequent and wet/heavy.
    4) General landscaping - moving mulch and stone.
    5) Gardening - my wife wants to make about 1/2 acre vegetable garden out of the Ohio clay
    6) Small stump removal/small tree clearing
    7) Maintaining drainage ditches

    I am looking for one machine and assorted implements to do it all. (My JD 240 just died so I won't have a backup lawn tractor for mowing). My neighbors have been helping me with the bush hogging and snow removal, but I don't wish to impose any longer.

    I have previously looked at tractors ranging from sub category (MF GC2300.2310) up to NH33 and MF 1433. So you can tell how confused I am. Sometimes I think the subs will be inadequate, other times I think the larger units are overkill.

    The only thing I seem to know for certain is that I want hydro transmission, 4WD (stuck in the mud to often with the JD), and Mid Mount Mower (for ease of use by wife and kids).

    That said, I know that in the Kioti lineup, I will be considering between the CK 20/25/30 HST models.

    Based on all the foregoing, here are my questions:
    1) Of the 3 mentioned, which model Kioti do you feel will best meet my needs?
    2) Do you recommend the 60" or 72" MMM?
    3) What size rotary brush cutter do you recommend?
    4) Should I get a FEL or just a front blade? If FEL - what size bucket?
    5) What size tiller?
    6) Do I need a box blade? Rear blade?
    7) Do you think I will get enough use from a backhoe for my needs to justify the expense?
    8) The Kioti website indicates that the 20 has front, rear and mid PTOs as standard. The 25/30 has front and rear standard, with mid optional. Under what circumstances will I need the mid PTO on the 25/30 models.
    9) Any feedback on Kioti dealers in Central Ohio? The one in Grove City is the closest.

    I apologize for the length of this post, but it seems that if you don't provide the information up front, someone will certainly ask you for more. I thank you for your assistance in advance. The death of my JD has accelerated my need to make a decision/purchase before arrival of Spring.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    53
    Location
    NE Kansas

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Although I can't help specifically, I feel your pain. I have looked since I moved in September also. Looked closely at the CK20 HST and the CK25 HST. It sure is a tough decision, isn't it!! Based on what I know and have heard, either machine will do the trick...

    The problem is what you will be doing both now and in the future. A bigger machine would be handy, but should you just save your money and get more implements...

    Good luck with everything. Jon Depratt is a dealer down here in Kansas whom I have been dealing with and he is very knowledgable and always willing to answer questions...

  3. #3
    Silver Member 7mmrum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    126
    Location
    Berryville, VA

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Although take my advice with a grain of salt, I have not purchased a CK20 or CK25, however I have researched plenty, and test drove the units I was interested in (I have test drove both). With prices and dealers within a 100 mile distance from me.. even farther just to check on prices to see how they compare.

    "Seacove" the thing that helped me the most is going back and reading all of the posts in the "2" Kioti discussion forums on TBN. Reading about who has what model and what they do; and if you click on there tag it will tell you how many acres they have (if it is filled out). This gave me a feel for what size tractor per acreage existing owners were using. Also there are a few questions similar to yours that have already been posted that may give you some tips.

    I'm still on the fence as well as the previous post, however my brain and wallet say go for the CK20 while my gut and testosterone say go for the CK25, which I'm sure may be similar to yours.. I have been told that the CK20 will do everything I need it to do for my 7 acres. But not knowing I'm keeping the CK25 in mind in case I bought more land in the future.

    Now, some other guys like the CK25 and others do not, same with the CK20. But test driving the CK25 yesterday, I did not feel that it lacked any power due to the extra weight it carries. That is the biggest complaint; the 2nd is that the PTO isn't up to par for the implements to cover it's tracks. I can understand that however I'm not a farmer nor do I attest to be one. But if you compare the rear PTO of the CK30 HST to the rear PTO of the CK25 GEAR model, it is a difference of 3.5 hp at the PTO. To me that is not enough of a difference. But here again, I'm just a weekend warrior with a few acres. You decide what you think will work. In any case it is best to go and test drive all the units you are considering before making a descision, because it is your descision and it will be your tractor and your families. Also I will let you know that a Belly Mower on the CK20 is nice and all but to the tune of an extra $2200-$2500 it is not worth it to me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] That is about the average price I was quoted.(I ran through 11 different dealer quotes)

    I'm not sure the 72" mid mower is available with the CK series, I believe it is only offered for the DK series, and the CK20 is the only one that comes standard with a Mid PTO, however I would follow up on that one to make sure. Also in the difference in price from the CK20 to the CK25 is typically around $1,500 to $2,000 depending on the area. So that extra $1,500 buys alot of implements. As well if the family is going to be useing the tractor you may want to take them along. This way you can see what they are comfortable with. The CK25 is a bigger unit, it may intimadate some. Others will chime in, and by the end of the week you should have some idea of what machine you may want to look into.

    Good luck with your search

    7mmrum

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    NH TC33DA w/Supersteer

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Thanks for the quick response. Just a couple of extra bits of information I to am thinking that although I have 5 acres now, I may have a larger place in the future. I forgot to include in my original post a couple of other facts for others to consider with their responses.

    1) I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs.
    2) My wife also wants me to install an ornamental fish pond.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Silver Member 7mmrum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    126
    Location
    Berryville, VA

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Seacove,

    I know how you feel with should I go bigger if I get a bigger place or buy more land. But it is a "what if" and for now you know the jobs you have to do to get done. So for my thinking, I'm not putting that into my lists of things to consider at this moment. I guess what I'm getting at is that, how many acres to you plan to get? No one knows. It could be 2, or it could be 200. If it turns out in 5-10 years I attain more land that requires a larger tractor; well, I'll see what I need to do at that time. Here again this is my thinking and I'm not trying to persuade or change your train of thought in any way.

    With your hieght you would fit in the CK20 if that was in question? However the CK25/30 provides more leg room. My knees were but a few inches from dash on the CK20HST model I test drove. I'm 6'1" 205lbs

    In regards to your other question, it depends on how big you want this pond to be? Above ground or in ground? If it is above ground type unit that you get at Home Depot or Lowes, you shouldn't have any problem if you get a FEL on any of three tractors listed above. Obviously if it is going to be somewhat good size and in the ground then a backhoe would be preferred. But would you have other projects for the backhoe, or would it be a one time thing? I've been told that renting equipment for the 1 time odd jobs is the better way to go, and really it makes sense financially. Believe me I'm a total DIY'er, with the attitude buy once and never again to save money on highered help. (I think you mentioned you had a son, so there is some free help) But if puchasing a backhoe unit for a CK tractor for a small pond is a one time thing? I'm not sure you would come out ahead?? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]. Belive me I hate saying it.

    Although keep this in mind I'm just a weekend warrior like some on this forum. So others, who have real world experience may differ from my opinon.


  6. #6
    Platinum Member RedDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    923
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Tractor
    Caterpillar 277

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    <font color="blue"> Any feedback on Kioti dealers in Central Ohio? The one in Grove City is the closest. </font>


    Hello neighbor!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I would look at all three models you suggested, along with prices and go from there.

    I can't help you with the 3, as I have never been around them. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    You could check out Kiohio (member here and dealer) in Nelsonville. About an hour or so from Columbus. I've been pleased with mine that I purchased from him!!

    Good luck, RedDog

  7. #7
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    7,503

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    I think some people buy their tractor with excess testosterone and end up with a larger tractor than is ideal for the property size. Consider your long term uses and how efficient the size of the tractor is for the tasks you are going to do, and look at how much property you will be doing each task on. For example, you have 5 acres, so if some of it is field mowing and some is lawn, then you will logically never do more than 4 acres of either.

    Honestly I would consider a Sub-CUT or limit myself to a small frame CUT for that size property, especially since it sounds like most of what you are looking at doing is maintainence type work. The CK20 is going to easily fit the bill for you, so would a Sub-CUT, but the CK20 would be the more economical choice. It is capbable or running a light duty brush cutter up to 5' although it is better suited (due to the PTO hp) for a 4' brush cutter. It will easily power a 48" finish mower, and under most conditions a 60" finish mower would work pretty well. I would strongly prefer a Mid Mount Mower for a new tractor owner, MMMs seem to be easier to learn for newbies but I've used both and find both to have advantages. You would need a MID-PTO to run a Mid Mount Mower deck. As you said you are mowing around 'landscape islands' the MMM might be easier to use. As for the FRONT PTO, I know of no implements available in the US for a front PTO that runs at engine speed as is found on the CK20, but if you want to fabricate your own implements then it might be something to consider as an asset? If the snow is generally under 6 or 8", consider a simple rear blade and push it backwards, use that in combination with a FEL and you will be all set. The same blade will likely work to maintain the ditches.

    As for the PTO issues mentioned by 7mmrum, I am a self confessed PTO junkie, but I believe for darn good reason. When the grass gets heavy and lush you want the most PTO power you can get. When the clay soil needs tilling, you want the most PTO power you can get. When the brush cutter needs to cut down saplings and woody brush, you want the most PTO power you can get. I want a tractor that has enough PTO HP to run implements at full PTO speed without bogging down that are wide enough to cover the tractors tracks in ANY conditions I am likely to encounter. The reality is we all encounter different conditions. So on my lush lawn, I can slow a 24hp tractor if I don't mow often enough with a 60" deck, I know a tractor with less PTO hp and the same size deck would be choked, HOWEVER if your grass is sparce then it shouldn't be an issue. ETC. As far as the issue of the CK25 being underpowered for its weight (again I am a critic here) I would say that ANY brand of tractor can suffer from this, and the kubota L3130 is cited for similar issues and there is a long ongoing discussion. It is a matter of hp and weight and gearing (especially with the HST models), and none of those problems were noticed by the buyers on the test drives.

    All that said, the CK20 is a very fine tractor, it will very likely do all you want done and do it with ease.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    Hi and welcome to TBN. As a CK20HST owner, I can tell you that most likely it's all you'd need. I realize you won't be doing every bit of your 5 acres, and the implemets the CK20 can handle will be sufficient for most all your jobs.
    I maintain not only my 2,4,and 5 acre properties with mine, I also do brush cutting and loader work for neighbors. The CK20 leaves very little to be desired in any of the work I've attempted.
    All that said, if I were starting over, I'd go with the larger CK25 or 30, and step up one size in mowers etc.
    As far as I'm concerned, the front PTO just as well not be there, as well as the mid pto, because I'm never going to use a MMM for anything, and there's nothing I've seen that could get hooked up to that front PTO which is really just a knurled shaft off the engine. Whatever you'd hook up would run at whatever engine speed you set. I mow with a rider, and tractor with the tractor.
    I never gave much thought to whether I really needed the backhoe, but I've used it a lot. You'll find plenty of uses for it, and for me, it's paying for itself in stumps and other digging jobs. I paid a little over $4000 for the backhoe, well worth it.
    Definitely get the FEL with the 54" bucket, not the 48" if you go CK20. On the 25, get the largest bucket they offer. You'll probably find that you use the loader ALL the time. Get a boxblade before a back blade as it's much more versatile, and you may never need a rear blade. Make sure you get a BB with rippers as they can come without. It makes digging and dragging soil much easier. If you have any other specific questions, please private message me by clicking on my name, and going to send a private message. I'll be happy to help with any info you may need. John


  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    625
    Location
    MD
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    I'm one of those goofballs who has a small CUT for a larger size lot (21hp tractor for 20 acres).

    Honestly, it fit my budget, and it does whatever I need it to do. The biggest task I have (in regards to time) is rotary mowing. In reality, how much time would I save by having a larger tractor for the task? Maybe an hour or two per week at most, which wouldn't justify with the added expense of a larger unit, IMHO. Plus, in my case, the larger size would actually limit me in what I could do in some situations. I'll probably need to buy a smaller unit (NH TC18, 21 or LB1914) in the near future as my CK will be actually too large to mow in the Christmas tree fields.

    So I guess put me in the category of "buy what you need, but don't go overboard either" of course if money is no object, then go for it...the sky's the limit!

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    2,252
    Location
    MI's Thumb

    Default Re: Need Help with Tractor Selection

    <font color="orange"> I'll probably need to buy a smaller unit (NH TC18, 21 or LB1914) in the near future as my CK will be actually too large to mow in the Christmas tree fields. </font>

    Aren't those units the same size as the CK20?

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