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  1. #11
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Ken,

    I think your choice of tractor is fine. It is a bit larger than some would choose, but they may have the idea of doing lawn mowing with it too. There are some folks that have full size industrial Tractor/Loader/backhoe's like Case 580's and they have the same lot size and some smaller. The only real down side to the larger frame tractor is a larger turning space needed. Not a big deal unless it gets real real large.

    There are lots and lots and lots of different pieces of equipment you can use when farming! Very hard to learn all at once. If you go to the library, look up books on "practical farming", "Organic farming" and some farm technology books from the 1930's thru the 1950's. You will find the ways the old timers did things and see what you can do with a few hours of labor and nearly no money. You will also see the basic equipment used for farming, what each piece does and what you can use if you don't have it. Valuable stuff if you are wanting to make some pocket cash.

    Enjoy!

    jb

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Rara Avis's Avatar
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    USA
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    John Deere

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Ken...
    If you are thinking organic...then check out this site...
    The NEW FARM

  3. #13
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Sounds like you have already made the best first step in talking to local farmers. Keep on talking to them on equipment that works well in your area and also spend time at local dealers seeing what is available in their yards.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  4. #14
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer Ken
    I plan to use the tractor to garden about an acre of previously farmed bottom land; plant and manage about 1/2 acre of black berries, raspberries and blue berries; plant and manage a 1/2 acre apple/cherry/pear orchard; and to farm (don't know what crop yet) another 1/2 acre of bottom land now in pasture. Landscaping uses include terracing the acre that will have the berry and fruit orchard; moving soil from the terraced area to make a pad for a barn; putting in posts for new fences; developing an old trout pond (full of sediment); and developing a spring that I have started uncovering by hand. Ken
    I have to disagree with those who say a 45hp tractor is appropriate for these tasks. Man, there is nothing on your list that could not easily be done with a 20-22hp tractor.

    Bigger tractors cost more, are more expensive to run, more difficult to transport when they need to go to the dealer, take up more space in storage and are bulkier and less manuverable in an orchard type setting. The implements appropriate to their size are much more expensive than those intended for 20-low 30's hp tractors too.

    You really should be looking at the 3x20 series if you like JD.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Thanks to all of you for providing your experience and opinions. I think I will go drive both a 4x20 and a 3x20 in one visit and see how the size & handling compare before deciding. Based on your input and some information I have found in other threads, I think it will be no less than a 3520 and no more than a 4320.

    Ken

  6. #16
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    5,172
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    SC
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    When I first looked at this post I was in general agreement that you were getting too much tractor, but part of that was because I do not know the specs on the different JD's. And while I'd generally agree that 50 hp might be more than you need, I'd say its right on the border. But even the 4520 is not a huge tractor and the 4320 looks smaller.

    I do think having too big a tractor can be a bigger problem than some people seem to think, but a 4320 should be pretty maneuverable.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should be fine with anything in the 4320 range. I have a 45 hp kubota L4400. I use it on a large piece of property, but most of that property is wooded and I'd say most of my tractoring gets done on 5-10 acres that are spaced out around the property. I find the tractor to be just right. Big enough to do what needs to be done and small enough to operate in tight little food plots and around the cabin and on narrow woods roads. Anything larger would be unmanageable and anything small might not meet my HP needs.

    As for which implements to get, you should be able to use any well made category one implements. Junk is junk and you can break junk with even a little tractor. But, my light duty mower (JD LX-6), my Bush Hog brand box blade, an old beat up middlebuster and an old beat up two bottom plow have survived very hard use with no problems. So I would not worry about the implement side of things.

    I feel sure a smaller tractor would be fine too. Something in the 30 hp range will be more nimble and probably plenty capable for your needs. You're already doing the right thing by driving several models.

    I think it is easier to make the mistake of going too small, but it is easily possible to go too large as well. Getting it just right can be tough but it can be done. Ask the dealer if he will let you demo a tractor on your place.
    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

  7. #17
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
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    Western MA
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    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    "... I think it is easier to make the mistake of going too small, but it is easily possible to go too large as well. Getting it just right can be tough but it can be done. Ask the dealer if he will let you demo a tractor on your place.[/QUOTE]"


    I went too small the first time with my Ford 1100. Part of my decision to buy was based on my perceived needs at the time, finances, and dealer's recommmendation. I used this tractor for twenty+ years and learned a lot about how to do the most with a small tractor. My years with this tractor definitely influenced my decision on my current tractor. I manage the same property with a much larger tractor now, but I can everything much more quickly; but bigger tractors require bigger attachments and are less manuverable. I still wish I had my Ford for the woods . Jay
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  8. #18
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    The fear of buying too small may be legitimate in some cases but in this case the original poster is planning to work two and a half acres and is trying to decide between 35hp and 40+hp tractors. There is nothing "too small" on his list. Surely the 3x20 JDs would be more than sufficient. Leading a newbie on to consider 40+ hp in this setting is wrong, at least in my book.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
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    Western MA
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    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    I do not disagree with you IslandTractor. IMHO a high 20 to low 30 HP 4WD/MFWD tractor could do the job, but Farmer Ken needs to be sure that this is the last tractor he will ever need (At times we all want bigger tractors .). A lot of people underestimate what a small tractor is capable of doing. My real farmer neighbors probably used to laugh at me and my Ford in the beginning, but in the long run I "passed" their "tests" . They like my "29" . Jay
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  10. #20
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2003
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    337
    Location
    Los Angeles/Central Coast, California
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    Kubota L35

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    It's good that you are posting and reading the forums here Ken. I myself just bought a tractor after lurking for quite a few years. In my case it was just a matter of affordability - I couldn't really afford to buy a tractor that didn't match my needs.

    In your case, you sound ready and able to go - so thankfully you can get going quickly.

    Here are my comments, which are 100% free!

    I bought a used tractor. You will receive a bit of a discount with a used tractor and you will not have to be overly paranoid about a scratch here and a scratch there. In my case, I knew that I would put my tractor to heavy use (though not actually industrial-heavy use), so chipped and faded paint didn't matter to me. Non-leaking seals and a healthy transmission DID matter.

    I bought used implements. More judgment has to be involved here because implements get the hardest part of the tractoring bargain. I've seen implements that look grungy and ARE grungy. I've bought implements that look marginal, but are in very solid mechanical condition.

    If you use your tractor, at some point you will think about adding gadgets. This might involve welding, drilling and other potentially destructive actions. I'm pretty sure that I would think twice about welding this and that onto a 2 month old tractor, as opposed to a 7 year old tractor.

    For now I rely on others to help me figure out between good and bad condition. I've asked friends. I've asked people here. I've paid mechanics to give me an unbiased opinion.

    All tractors retain value. You are looking at a green tractor. I was looking for an orange tractor. All of those colors and others build very fine tractors, and all of them retain value. In my case I fully expect that I could sell my tractor for what I purchased it for, or possibly even more, assuming that I keep the condition as good as it is now.

    If you have the energy and are open to look at other colors, I think you will be happy that you did. If you stick with your current plan and buy an off-the-floor green tractor, I think that you will be happy too! (See, you can't lose!)

    40 hp is a bit much for 2 acres. I don't think that you would actually have trouble operating that tractor in your relatively small space. It might feel a bit cramped ... but probably not. The thing is that you can fully achieve your needs with a smaller tractor, which then means your implements - your MANY MANY implements - will be smaller. Smaller means less expensive and somewhat more maneuverable.

    If you are now thinking that you will grow this trial, getting more land and doing more projects, then buy the large tractor. But reading your post sounds like this is truly an experiment and you aren't sure at all whether it will go one direction or another. More argument towards getting a smaller tractor - maybe even a used smaller tractor.

    Dealers get tractors in from doing field work, and put them up for sale at discount. They look near new and have very low hours and a full warranty. Another option. I looked at that once and turned away for an older machine that is solid and less expensive.

    Craigslist and eBay. Just be sure to supplement these buys with options to back out after inspection. I bought my tractor sight unseen, but after having many eyes look at it in another state. Not everyone would feel comfortable going that route.

    Good luck on your search. This is the right place to be for questions and solid answers.
    Last edited by SLOBuds; 10-08-2007 at 08:50 PM.

    Martin Petersen

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