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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Upper Township, NJ

    Default Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    Hi. First post, so go easy I have been looking for a compact TLB to do some work on 40A of raw land I own in the Blue Ridge (currently live in NJ). There are some pretty steep slopes (including a pretty wicked 150' stretch on the access road), so good brakes & 4WD are indicated. I need to maintain water bars and drainage ditches on said access road, dig some holes for cabin foundation footers, clear some brush, and miscellaneous other stuff. At first I was looking for a big hoe so that I could move some of the pentiful boulders around. After mulling to over, I realized that there will always be some boulders too big to move (I've got one that we is nearly the size of a city bus, and that's just the part above ground), so I scaled back. NTM I have a pickup with a 13,000 lb max tow weight and a trailer with 10,000 net capacity that I'd rather not need to upgrade.

    Anyway, I've been searching Craigslist for the "right" tractor for awhile. Good buys in 2WD hoes in the CK580 class and larger are common, but for 4WD the prices nearly double. There are also occasional deals that look decent for 2WD compact hydrostatic TLB such as Terramite and Allmand. The 4WD Kubotas that I found previously were $12,000 and up for anything with any power (I'm leaving our the 16 - 20 HP models, and those average nearly 10K anyway). I have now found a L2550 with BL4530 backhoe that has ~2100 hours. I looked at it today and the owner told me he already turned down $7,000. but will take $7,500 (original ask was $8,900). It starts right up and runs smoothly and strong. It drives well, and steers and shifts without difficulty. I looked at the engine and undercarriage and everything seems tight, with no evidence of past or current leaks. The hoe digs and the loader lifts. It does have a few issues. I'm posting to see if I can get some feedback from the resident kubota gurus on how serious those issues might be, and what will be required to fix them.

    There is some significant rust on the body parts: mostly hood and fenders, but some on the floor panels. It looks to me like it could be calcium corrosion.

    Front and rear tires are down to about 20%. There is also some of the same kind of corrosion on the rear rims. It doesn't look to be anywhere near through the metal yet, but the bolts and nuts are quite corroded, and the rim edge is slightly swollen, so I'm sure it will need attention at some future date.

    There is a modest amount of bluish smoke when it is first started, which entirely disappears within 5 minutes or less.

    Finally, the housing of the drive motor for the hoe (or whatever the correct name for the hydraulic unit that is bolted to the rear PTO to power the hoe) has a bar about 4" long that protrudes from the right side of its housing. That unit is free to rotate with the PTO shaft until that bar contacts part of the frame. This doesn't seem to impair function, but if the PTO speed is fluctuating at all, the bar sort of rattles agains the frame a little. The set up looks to me like maybe the hydraulic unit housing should be bolted to something, but there is no evidence of any missing bolts, or holes that they would bolt to.

    Now for my questions. First, is there any reason why this model would not be a good choice for the use I described? Does the corrosion I mentioned have any effect on the structural integrity of this tractor? Should I plan to replace the rear rims when I do the tires, and what kind of money is ballpark for that? Could I get away with substituting chains for new tires for a limited time, so that I could put the tractor to work immediately? How much of a concern is the smoke I mentioned? Is the mounting for the hoe motor that I described normal for this model, or is there something wrong there? The references I found on the web for this TLB combination claim that the hoe is 3pt mounted, but there are support bars for it that go well forward under the tractor. Is that a true 3pt, or some kind of hybrid? Finally, does this seem to be a fair price for this tractor in the condition described, and what risk would I run (if any) by putting to work immediately (I would change the filters, natch)?

    Wow, that was a lot more long-winded than I had intended, sorry... You have my sincere thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.


  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Evergreen CO
    Ford 8N, Kubota L4240

    Default Re: Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    I’m surprised you haven’t received any answers. I was waiting for the experts to weigh in. Since they didn’t, here are my thoughts:
    1. The L2550 is an older tractor, made in the mid 1980’s. It is a nice, flexible tractor. I had one with a cab, and I was favorably impressed with it. I didn’t like it for very hilly country. kubota does not recommend wheel spacers, and the track is narrow. I traded mine for a different model.
    2. For 40 acres, most people recommend a larger tractor. Also, almost everyone believes that it is important to go as large as you can afford. The exception is where your use/land demands short turning radii.
    3. The rust you mention probably comes from the tractor being used to clean out manure from barns/stables, etc. I won’t by a rusty tractor unless I know a lot about its history. Rust makes me look closely for maintenance, care, etc. Usually, a rusty tractor has been neglected or hard used. Given the rust, I’d look carefully at how it has been banged around, and how it has been maintained.
    4. My tractor belched a modest amount of blue smoke upon starting, but the smoke disappeared within a minute, even in cold weather. Your engine apparently has a lot more wear.
    5. Tractor/loader/backhoe combinations are expensive. I considered that combination, and decided that, if I needed a backhoe, I would rent one. That saved me lots of money. However, that was suitable for my planned usage.

    Tractor/loader/backhoe combinations are expensive. I don’t know the market, so can’t help you with pricing. is a good place to check.

    Good luck. Post how you make out.


  3. #3
    Gold Member stoyan79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Kubota L3700SU

    Default Re: Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    Spend more money (if you can afford it) and get something newer with less hours. If you can come up with $18,000-$20,000, get a new L3800 4x4 HST with FEL. Buying used does not save much considering 60 month 0% financing. And considering engine/tranny repair can cost $3K-$5K, I would never consider buying anything too old or with over 1,000 hours.

  4. #4
    Elite Member rbargeron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    L5450, L48, L3250, L345

    Default Re: Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    $7000 including a backhoe is low if the hydraulics are strong. A test you can do is, with the backhoe bucket on the ground and dipper nearly vertical, see if boom down pressure will lift the back of the tractor (with the loader lowered to the ground. If not, raise the loader and try it again. If it still won't lift it, or if it needs help from the stabilizers, the hydraulic pump is worn and that can be an indicator of general wear everywhere in the system. Maybe not a good candidate.

    But if the bh raises the tractor and seems to hold it up, that's a good overall indicator and the rusty sheet metal is manageable. The L2550 was (is) a good tractor - made when the model numbers were more like pto hp. It has closer to 30 hp gross. If you could post some pics there might be more responses. One guy's rust bucket is another guy's prize. The mature models can still be capable of a lot of work. I have a L3250, a very similar machine, that isn't shiny but it's functional in every way.
    L345, L3250, L48, L5450, never enough attachments

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    Not sure about your temporary blue smoke -- 5 min seems a little long and it may be using oil. Not a killer if you keep track and maintain level. I have a 2550 and it is a favorite tractor when its power will handle the job. The 3 cyl has great torque, giving tractability thruout the rpm range. The 2 speed pto is useful. I wish all my larger tractors scaled up its capabilities in direct proportion.
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  6. #6
    Super Member JOHNTHOMAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Somerset, Ky
    L3901HST F3080 RTV1140 BX2370-1

    Default Re: Thoughts on L2550 purchase

    A point to ponder. Spend it now or spend it later.
    Over the years I've bought a lot of vehicles and a few Kubotas. If I look at a vehicle that needs work I figure the cost of the used vehicle, the cost of the repairs and then try to determine the monetary of that used vehicle vs buying a newer vehicle that doesn't have obvious flaws and its monetary worth. Usually the newer vehicle is worth more. I'm thinking the same with this tractor. With the age, hours and much could you sell it for after it's fixed? Take that figure and see what you can buy now.
    I have hillside property and have had different size Kubotas. Bigger is scarrier, pucker factor increases by 10 each size bigger. I have the steep hillside initial cuts done by a man on a dozer and then I do the maintaining work with my tractors. A dozer can do in an hour what will take a tractor days or weeks and more safely.
    Me, I wouldn't buy it but I usually buy new tractors and feel good knowing my fixed monthly costs rather than take a chance on a large initial out lay and then have a $3000 or $4000 bill come up in an unknown time ahead that is required or the machine is only worth parts or scrap metal value if you don't have it fixed. After the "possible" repair the machine is still only worth what you paid for it and the repair costs just keep on going on. Repair costs don't stop on older used possibly not well maintained equipment.
    Just one mans free opinion. Maybe worth what it cost you. Nothing.
    2017 L3901 HST FEL, 2017 BX2370-1, 2012 F3080 4WD 72" RD, 2010/2009 RTV1140CPX , 72" Woods RFM, 60" LP Grapple, J DUNN Tree Grapple, 6' LP Rotary Mower, LP25 Hydraulic PHD, LP Quick hitch, RatchetRake , Rip and Dig, LP BB, LP 50" Tiller, Snow plow, Titan SSQA Forks, Titan Hitch Mounted Ripper, Titan SSQA to 3PH adapter plate, Sickle mower .. and Horse Drawn disk 13 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab, 18 Ford Flex

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