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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    Hello TBN,

    I've been poking around and reading for a couple of weeks here, and figured I'd go ahead and ask for thoughts/opinions on my situation.

    My wife and I will be moving this summer to 3 acres in a rural area, and have plans for an addition to the house, including an attached garage and a new driveway to that garage. The driveway will be a bit over 200 ft. long.

    I was surprised to see a lot of small to medium size tractors being sold in the $3000-5000 price range. Some including implements, mostly front-end loaders and box blades, it seems. That got me thinking about buying a tractor to build the new gravel driveway.

    Does that sound like reasonable work to expect to do with a 1950's to 1970's era tractor that I buy for that kind of money? I'm thinking that a front-end loader would allow me to move, dump and spread gravel, so I could just buy truck loads dumped just off the road. Would I be able to scrape off the topsoil using a back blade?

    And do you think this is something I could learn on my own, or would I just be setting myself up for frustration?

    I can see the tractor may come in handy for other tasks -digging holes for planting trees, hauling dirt for planting, plowing the driveways in the winter, possibly to help lift wall sections on the house addition work. But, the driveway is where I see justifying the purchase.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    Hello TBN,

    I've been poking around and reading for a couple of weeks here, and figured I'd go ahead and ask for thoughts/opinions on my situation.

    My wife and I will be moving this summer to 3 acres in a rural area, and have plans for an addition to the house, including an attached garage and a new driveway to that garage. The driveway will be a bit over 200 ft. long.

    I was surprised to see a lot of small to medium size tractors being sold in the $3000-5000 price range. Some including implements, mostly front-end loaders and box blades, it seems. That got me thinking about buying a tractor to build the new gravel driveway.

    Does that sound like reasonable work to expect to do with a 1950's to 1970's era tractor that I buy for that kind of money? I'm thinking that a front-end loader would allow me to move, dump and spread gravel, so I could just buy truck loads dumped just off the road. Would I be able to scrape off the topsoil using a back blade?

    And do you think this is something I could learn on my own, or would I just be setting myself up for frustration?

    I can see the tractor may come in handy for other tasks -digging holes for planting trees, hauling dirt for planting, plowing the driveways in the winter, possibly to help lift wall sections on the house addition work. But, the driveway is where I see justifying the purchase.

    Thanks!
    Yes and Yes. Just come on here with any questions you may have and we'll be happy to help. The only stupid question is the 'unasked' one.

    Welcome to TBN
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  3. #3
    Elite Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,737
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    You can definitely maintain a driveway, and re-fresh a driveway, with a tractor and box blade (and/or rear blade, and/or land plane). Putting one in from scratch may be a bit much, depending on driveway length, how deep you need to go down to get to solid ground, and how much stone needs to come in.

    I put in a driveway entrance and culvert using nothing but the front loader, box blade, and 20 tons of crusher/run (delivered in two piles). Had to remove 8-12" of topsoil, which was a piece of cake. The entrance came out great. But I don't think I'd want to do the rest of the 600 ft driveway, especially since it will involve removing many trees/stumps and a lot of grading. It might be more reasonable with a bigger tractor, but I really think a dozer is the best bet for that.

  4. #4
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7,838
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    Can a driveway be built with a small tractor with FEL and box blade? Sure it can as far as ability. Do you have the skils and expertise to know what to do to make it serviceable and durable? Some things are better left to professionals. Remember old Tim the Toolman Taylor of the TV show, he was alway doing something that he only had a slim notion of how to accomplish and spent more doing it himself than hiring someone. That happens a lot with hobbist but lifes lessons are learned from failures. The smart folks learn from others failures not their own. You can get some pretty good info here most of the time but you do need to sort thru some of it as many times it is opinion only and not based on any facts. You can usually figure out the right advice by taking time to read all the posts.
    Now back to the tractor. Would it be handy to have, sure would. Can you manage without it certainly- you can hire just about anything done if you are willing to wait. For 3 acres with gravel drive, I would look for a tractor with FEL and either box blade or scraper blade(maybe both) to keep the gravel in order. You will have to add gravel occasionally hence the FEL. Box blade can grade and remove pot holes using the scarifiers and you can even use the FEL to back drag and smooth dirt and rocks. It will take some practice to get proficient at it which is part of the fun of ownership of acreage and equipment. You dont really need a large tractor to do lots of work. I see where lots of folks do some amazing work with kubota BX models but I personally prefer a compact rather than subcompact. I like to be able to finish the work quickly rather than slowly. Most of the SCUT (usually20HP or less but some will go 24hp but frame size is small similar to large lawnmower only much heavier ) or CUT( usually 20 to 50 HP with larger heavier frame than SCUT but smaller than a Utility sized) will do the same work and have implements sized to fit them. Larger tractors= large implements = more $$$= less time to do the work
    Your choice as to what you want to do. Dont forget that you will need to store the tractor under a shed or inside a building if you want to keep it from rusting away on you so keep that in mind when looking at tractors. Smaller the tractor, smaller storage area and dont forget your attachments. IF you can keep them under shed and out of weather they last a bit longer also. Sometime we get more than we have room for so some things have to set in the weather and might require a coat of paint occassionally for cosmetic upkeep.
    If I were looking at tractors and equipment, I would look at newer than 50 year old stuff. You can find some fairly good Kubota B 7xxx and 8xxx in good shape for $4000 or so and they should be a bit more reliable than a 50's era tractor and have a good diesel engine. I would shy away from gasoline powered tractors due to the quality of gasoline today and the storage life.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Mark Page's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    559
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 2615 48hp, 4wd, loader

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    IMHO you'll need to create a bed at least 6" deep. Lay down grown cloth. Put down 6" of #2 stone and 2" or so of cr6 gravel. Getting the stone down is a cinch if you're there when it's delivered. Just have the driver tailgate it down and you'll have very little work to do. The problem is excavatating the bed.
    That's job for a tracked loader.
    Gear Up and Throttle Down.

    2011 Massey 2615, 7ft Woods Rear Discharge Finish Mower, 6 ft Lucknow Snow Blower, Danuser post hole digger with 12" and 24" augers, 350 lb 3 pt broadcast spreader, 7ft scraper blade, 7 ft. drag harrow, JD GT 275 rider with 38" snow blower attachment.


  6. #6
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    7,838
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    A box blade with scarifiers will loosen that up quickly and move it to if you have somewhere to move it off the road. FELs are handy to scoop it up also. I used my Yanmar 4220 with box blade and FEL with tooth bar in combo to cut down a large hill and level it out for my shop location, just scarify, pick up what you can with FEL while making another scarifier run.. The hardest part is getting all the grass off so the box blade will work properly as the grass tends to gum up the works. I dug a pretty nice pond over 6 feet deep in 2 days using only my LS with the FEL and no tooth barand box blade. CUT with FEL do need a tooth bar to dig with, but my LS has the weight to push it on in without needing the teeth. When I got to shale and rock layer, the box blade scarifies were what I needed to break it up and roll out the big hunks. When I got it as deep as I wanted, I put back a layer of clay over the shale to seal it to prevent water loss. It worked pretty well for that so a 6" dig shouldnt be a problem at all for a CUT. About 2-3 passes with the box blade with the scarifiers as low as they will go should have the dirt loosened up great. May not be as fast or pretty as a big excavator, but it wont cost you $80-100 or more per hour either.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    26
    Location
    Monticello, MN
    Tractor
    '71 International 444

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    The advantage of the site for the driveway is that it's already at rough grade. There's not a lot of dirt to be moved around. My step-dad, who I'm buying the property from, says there's a lot of gravel there, so hopefully won't have to go down too far to reach a stable base to build up from.

    He has been mowing grass there for 50 years, though, so I'm sure some amount of topsoil needs to be moved away.

    Not sure how to tell if a front-end loader would be able to dig in to remove topsoil, or if I could scrape it up with back blade, then move with the FEL. With a back blade mounted to a 3-point hitch, you can put downward force on the blade, right?

    Anyway, won't be able to get started with the driveway until fall or maybe next spring, so I have time to read, learn, watch the ads, and look at some tractors to be better prepared to look for the right equipment to buy.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4,283
    Location
    SW WA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashcup View Post
    With a back blade mounted to a 3-point hitch, you can put downward force on the blade, right?
    Usually not, just weight and gravity.

    Bruce

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    471
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Tractor
    MASSEY FERGUSON 1532

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    welcometo tbn . your'e on the right track . have fun asking questions , looking and shopping . the right choice will come along , for your purpose .

  10. #10
    Silver Member JMER817's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    246
    Location
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: Realistic to get small tractor for driveway, etc?

    When I was a kid we farmed with a 50's 600 series Ford tractor. Great little tractor. I bought one later in life to use around the yard the same as you are planning. With that said I would probably advise to stay away from these older 50-60 year old machines unless you are very mechanically inclined. Parts seem to be getting harder to find as well. I stripped the topsoil for my polebarn with mine using just a scraper blade. Took some time but it was fun tractor time. I would probably hire out the driveway...a bulddozer can make fast work. Take a look at the zero percent financing these days on a smaller kubota / John Deere..etc. You will find many uses for the loader.

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