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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    John,

    You're right, I'm trying to compare brand-spanking new to brand-spanking new to keep it Macintosh to Granny Smith. The follow-up discussion would be that *if* the slightly bigger 2WD utility is a reasonable alternative to the slightly smaller 4WD tractor, *then* I'll look into used since I have noticed that there seems to be a LOT more "recent" 2WD used small equipment around here than 4WD. Maybe that means the folks with 4WD are keeping theirs and the former 2WD owners are upgrading [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img] - but I guess that works to my advantage if my needs fit fine with just 2WD.

    I actually started all of this out looking at letter-series Farmalls and their contemporaries - I love *old* tractors (and their pricing around here) - but quickly realized the advantages and safety of more current designs for my intended uses.

    Those uses include for now (maybe) putting in then maintaining a 1000 foot driveway, 12-13 acres of cultivated land - hope to shift those into pasture land - and an 8-9 acre woodlot. Then serious landscaping / outbuilding construction over a number of years - which outside of the house construction itself we prefer to do ourselves for both the cost savings and the therapy - but mostly because it will take us a while of living with the "farm" to figure out how to go and it will only happen a little at a time. Finally it's possible but not yet definite that we may end up expanding our business through specialized low row crops on maybe half this area and/or could end up with some small haying needs as well. Probably a big CUT could handle most of this, just maybe taking longer on some jobs and a bit over it's head on others. OTOH, we are also going to be finish mowing a few acres - not so much up front but more as time goes on and things settle in. So a utility tractor is probably going to eventually prove a bit big for some jobs.

    So I think between the mowing, "farming", and digging - that sets a pretty high bar for any one swiss-army-knife machine and is making it a bit tough to pick a size (or even transmission). It's not so much or so little of any one type of task that it definitely sets the target for tractor size/type.

    I realize that the 2WD/4WD price difference is generally under $5K - but when you're talking about a $20K-$21K street price that's a fairly big difference to me. Doubly so since like so many others here I'm at the beginning of a major home building project. There's a lot of projects looking for a dip from the same pot of funds. Triply so since because of those other needs I'll be financing part of the tractor - at least half - so the "extra" is all financed money so to speak.

    Sure, I wouldn't say no if the dealer wanted to throw in the MFWD at no charge [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img] but one way to look at it is that $5K nearly pays for the loader AND a rear mower deck. So my $20K buys me a lot of chore-handling. Also - outside of normal spring rain wet - I don't have much in the way of very "wet" or muddy areas on my parcel - except for two small actual ponds. Nor do I have much in the way of overly steep grades. All things being equal - I guess I'm wondering outloud not which is the best tractor - set up in it's ultimate form - but which is the best, most useful to me, $20K machine package. (or $15K, or $25K, well you get the idea.) I'm not worried too much about resale value because I fully expect that a decent new tractor should outlast me and I don't intend to sell it. Certainly those old tractor models I mentioned are older than me now.

    Also, I almost hate to mention this but frankly I'm a little worried about the true long-term durability of the CUTs. I see little details or read soundbites that lead me to wonder if the CUTs aren't really built like even the small old tractors - but the utility class may be more like the small Fords or Farmalls in the extended family. Things like wet cylinder liners vs cast-in-block bores, tearing out PTOs with a small baler, clutch sizes. That sort of thing. Not bashing the CUTs but they like all machinery are built to a purpose and a duty-cycle.

    Sorry for getting long-winded but I really value the insights of the more experienced forum members here and I realize you needed more info to base an opinion.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Tim,

    "I'm not worried too much about resale value because I fully expect that a decent new tractor should outlast me and I don't intend to sell it."

    If you're planning on keeping this tractor and not selling it I would pony up for the 4wd and I would get the utility tractor. If you are only looking for a 2wd I would look for an older 4020 powershift. This would fit your bill perfectly and you can find some pretty nice ones in the $10k range. That tractor will probably outlast you as well. Even if someday you had to rebuild the motor on it at say $5-7k you're still way ahead of the game and you've got a tractor that will do and go anywhere. That 4020 will work any utility tractor into the ground and with that powershift you will be able to accomplish any of the tasks very easily that you mentioned. The 4020 was definitely ahead of it's time.

    With regard to the longevity issue I've got 1500 hours now on my 4600 and it has been nearly flawless. I think they were meant to hold up. I wouldn't worry there.

    As far as mfwd goes that's a judgment call. It definitely makes a huge difference in performance on the smaller tractors. If you're going with the smaller utility tractor I don't think you'll be happy with it. Steering is bad, traction, is bad, etc. Even though you don't have a sloppy mess to work with just the everyday stuff of pulling a blade, loader work, etc. I constantly find myself being in 4wd on the 4600 because without it your just too limited and it takes too much time just to get simple tasks done. If I had to choose between the smallest utility tractor 2wd and the biggest CUT 4wd I'd take the CUT.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Cowboydoc,

    Is there more than one 4020 in JD's history? The 4020 I saw was one manly tractor. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif[/img] Not what I would have called a utility tractor! (400 cube diesel, 8500 lbs, 90-some PTO hp). I was thinking of something a bit more petite. Wish I had the land to need a 4020.

    Actually seems like there's a lot more old Internationals around here (SW PA). The neighbor who's currently haying the property (and a lot of other parcels around here) uses everything from an old "H" to a an 856(?) IH about the size of the 4020.

    Tim

  4. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Tim,
    Yes that's the tractor. You would be surprised how well you can move those in and around places, esp. with that powershift. I was just saying if you are thinking of going 2wd utility that is sure the way I would go. You would be hard pressed to beat the reliability of a good 4020.

  5. #15
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Interesting. I've also notice that around here quite often larger tractors more than a decade old or so go for less <font color=green> $$$ </font color=green> than smaller tractors of the same vintage - supply and demand I guess.

    Mentioning that - does anyone have a recommendation for something from the mid 70's - 90's smaller tractors? What about the JD 1020, Ford 5000 and the like?

  6. #16
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,569
    Location
    Colorado
    Tractor
    2000 New Holland TC29D with 7308 FEL, and top & tilt. 1950 John Deere B. 1940 Farmall A.

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    timb - You've got a tough decision, good luck! All I can add is to consider the following. If you are going to be driving on hills very much, get the FWD. FWD is almost imperative if you're going to be backing up hill and it's much safer for going down hill. Hills are the reason I got a FWD. Someone made a good point about steering in slippery situations, I hadn't thought of that one. You could brake steer, but that could get tiresome and tricky.

  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,044
    Location
    Southwest PA
    Tractor
    Deere 4710/reverser, JD 318 (still needs TLC), JD LT160

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    I forgot to add before - anyone that has a <font color=red> really </font color=red> good excuse - er "point of analysis" - that I can use to justify a Farmall Super H (or equiv) along with a CUT feel free to speak up! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    No ill will to all the <font color=green> green </font color=green>, <font color=orange> orange </font color=orange>, or <font color=blue> blue </font color=blue> fans out there but my toy tractor as a child was <font color=red> red</font color=red>! (Don't think anyone carries the Case boomers around here).


  8. #18
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,666
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Tim,

    You have a lot of needs to meet with one tractor, as you have already realized. When you look at the upper end of your budget I wonder if two tractors are not the way to go. A new CUT, 4 wd and loader in the 30 hp range for your general maintenance and building projects and an older full size 2wd for the haying and ground engaging farm projects.

    I am most familiar with the kubota line so I will use it as an example. A L3010 HST with FEL seems to go for around $17000 and the GST model for $500-$900 less. This tractor is large enough to pull a 6 bushhog and not to large to finish mow with. Around here you can get a useable older full size 2wd tractor in $7000 to $10,000. It looks like that would fit a $25,000 budget and offer a more versatile machine for each given task.

    Good luck with what ever you decide.

    MarkV

  9. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Tim,
    That's exactly what I did when I first started out. I was so poor when I first graduated that i couldn't afford much. I bought an old Massey Ferguson Super 90 that got me through the first seven years. The next tractor that I bought was my 4600 and I had those two for about three years and that worked out really well for me. I had the small CUT to do my jobs around the barn and land and then I had the Super 90 for the big jobs. You can buy those tractors like that Super 90 for 2-4k. That would be an excellent situation for you in my opinion.

  10. #20
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    919
    Location
    QC, Canada
    Tractor
    B7500HSD

    Default Re: 4WD Compact vs. 2WD Utility

    Tim, check out <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.agdealer.com>AGDealer</A> and search the equipment database. It's loaded with second hand, 40-80 hp, utility tractors.

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