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  1. #1
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    361
    Location
    100 miles south of Atlanta
    Tractor
    Ford 600; Farmtrac 535

    Default Looking to Downsize

    I have been operating farm tractors for about 57 years.
    I started on Ford N series and 600s, graduated to MF 135s and 175s, Ford 3910/3930, then various Ford, New Holland, and MF 100hp+ tractors. I figure I have at least 25,000+ hours in a tractor seat.

    I currently have a JD 5105. It is a good, reliable tractor, but I'm thinking of downsizing, and moving into the 21st century, so to speak.

    I have about 15 acres of pasture to mow, occasionally disc, and maybe pull a drill over. I have about 65 acres of planted pines that I sometimes need to do maintanence on, such as pushing fallen trees, mowing briars, plowing or harrowing fire breaks, etc. Not every day, nor even every week, but maybe a dozen or so times per year. I won't be doing serious farming, but pretty serious gardening-about an acre every year.

    I'm thinking of stepping down to something in the 30hp range with HST. Say, something equivelant to a kubota 3301.

    My questions: will such a tractor do the things I need to do? Will I be satisfied with a compact tractor after all these years using "real tractors?" Will I have trouble transitioning to the HST transmission? Can I plow my one acre garden with a breaking plow or a subsoiler? I'm used to a tractor being a tough machine that can take some hard use, maybe even a little abuse, every now and then. Will the compacts do that?

    At my age (67) I want something reliable, something with a good warranty, and a good dealer support. I want something a little smaller than the 5105 JD, and with a few more amenities, especially the HST. In short, if it proves satisfactory, this might be my last tractor purchase.

    I'm liking the the 0 down, 0 percent financing from some of the manufacturers, too.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Super Member jeff9366's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,746
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    Quote Originally Posted by redlevel View Post

    I have about 15 acres of pasture to mow, occasionally disc, and maybe pull a drill over. I have about 65 acres of planted pines that I sometimes need to do maintanence on, such as pushing fallen trees, mowing briars, plowing or harrowing fire breaks, etc. Not every day, nor even every week, but maybe a dozen or so times per year. I won't be doing serious farming, but pretty serious gardening-about an acre every year.

    I'm thinking of stepping down to something in the 30hp range with HST. Say, something equivelant to a kubota 3301.

    My questions: will such a tractor do the things I need to do? Will I be satisfied with a compact tractor after all these years using "real tractors?" Will I have trouble transitioning to the HST transmission? Can I plow my one acre garden with a breaking plow or a subsoiler? I'm used to a tractor being a tough machine that can take some hard use, maybe even a little abuse, every now and then. Will the compacts do that?

    At my age (67) I want something reliable, something with a good warranty, and a good dealer support. I want something a little smaller than the 5105 JD, and with a few more amenities, especially the HST.
    What you will miss, downsizing to a Kubota L3301, is weight.

    Consider, instead, one of the Kubota "Grand L" models. I have the smallest in the series, an L3560. It is slightly larger than the L3301 but much heavier. The extra weight is thicker steel. The HST+ transmission on the Grand L models is a huge improvement over the three speed HST transmission on all other tractor brands and models. Pinned stabilizers and telescoping Lower Links make mounting heavy implements relatively easy.

    I am age 69. I know where you are coming from. Factor in all the options. Factor in our age. Grand L the best way to (compact) tractor.


    TBN ARCHIVE "Kubota Grand L": Google


    KUBOTA WEB SITE: http://www.kubota.com/product/LSeries/L60.aspx
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    Last edited by jeff9366; 08-30-2016 at 06:26 AM.
    The word tractor was taken from Medieval Latin, being the agent noun of trahere, "to pull, draw".




    Kubota B3300SU; no longer with me but still pulling in the community.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    18,754
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M8540HDC, L5740HSTC, BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 425&1025R, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    I pretty much agree with Jeff, I'm the same age and grew up on the older tractors and find any of the standard L Series too light for me and often lacking in some things I really like such as independent PTO, extendable lower link ends, adjustable stabilizer bars, flat, roomy operators platform, tilt steering and servo controlled HST pedals, adjustable wheel width, probably missed a couple.

    In kubota that is often going to mean a GL which means a lot more $$$$$$$$. You can get these in more economical Kioti, LS etc. models, so you will probably want to shop features over brand.
    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

  4. #4
    Platinum Member JMER817's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    533
    Location
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 4120

    Default

    Have you looked at the 4000 series John Deere tractors?

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12,127
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    I don't think you would be happy with a 30 hp. hst tractor. A suggestion would be a large compact such as the Kubota L6060 or Deere 4066R in new models. Slightly used Kubota L5740 or Deere 4520 and 4720 would be good too. These would be close in weight to the 5105 with but with better handling and easy to operate. Your existing attachments could be used in most cases.

    I would also recommend a cab model as it will allow you to get more time in the seat as you age. There are a lot of us that are over 60 and as we age the wind, rain, dust and temperatures can cause us to lose a day in the seat. A cab tractor helps with these issues. I would rather spend a day in my tractor seat in comfort vs. a day at home in a chair in comfort.

    I think you will find that an hst tractor will be much easier to operate than a gear tractor ever was. The hst+ and the ehydro transmissions make it super easy to make speed and direction changes, stopping and starting, creeping forward and back. This will be an easy change for you to adapt to.

  6. #6
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    361
    Location
    100 miles south of Atlanta
    Tractor
    Ford 600; Farmtrac 535

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    Y'all are about to convince me to keep what I have; a good, reliable tractor with only 1150 hours.
    Best thing about it is that it is paid for. :-)

    I have gone through this phase before. Each time, I look at the compacts and decide I just wouldn't be pleased.
    Last time, even my wife said, "You better keep your tractor. You don't want a toy like that."

  7. #7
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    18,754
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M8540HDC, L5740HSTC, BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 425&1025R, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    Quote Originally Posted by redlevel View Post
    Y'all are about to convince me to keep what I have; a good, reliable tractor with only 1150 hours.
    Best thing about it is that it is paid for. :-)

    I have gone through this phase before. Each time, I look at the compacts and decide I just wouldn't be pleased.
    Last time, even my wife said, "You better keep your tractor. You don't want a toy like that."
    Never a bad idea, I've only gotten rid of two tractors in my life and replaced them with essentially newer models of the same size, weight, power etc. I buy new tractors to fill a need, but keep my older ones.

    Many years ago, against my advice, my father in law traded his open station tractor in for a cab. Less than a month later, he bought his old tractor from the dealer at a significant loss as he found no one tractor could do it all satisfactorily.
    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12,127
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    Quote Originally Posted by redlevel View Post
    Y'all are about to convince me to keep what I have; a good, reliable tractor with only 1150 hours.
    Best thing about it is that it is paid for. :-)

    I have gone through this phase before. Each time, I look at the compacts and decide I just wouldn't be pleased.
    Last time, even my wife said, "You better keep your tractor. You don't want a toy like that."

    I would not be in a hurry to trade either and if I did buy a small cut I would keep the larger tractor. If you were to trade across instead of down sizing that might work but more money for sure.

    My x749 works great for the small tight quarters work in most jobs. It has 4x4 and 4 wheel steer, hydro and diesel. With the small three point hitch and 540 rear and mid pto it can handle small jobs around the house and lawns. The 110tlb and 4520 can handle jobs on small acreage with out problems but would be challenged for large acreage with heavy ground engagement. I may buy a larger field tractor (used) but would keep what I have that is paid for. I find trading up or down to be expensive so it is important to choose once and keep for many years.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,252
    Location
    Balls Creek, NC
    Tractor
    New Holland Workmaster 50, Ford 4610 SU

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    I am 10 years younger than you but your experience is somewhat similar to mine. I doubt that I have that many total hours experience on tractors but it is probably more than I want to think about. That's what happens when your father farms and sells tractors for a living.

    I had used large farm tractors all my life like you but mostly in the 50-80 HP range. Once I came back home I bought a small YM1700 Yanmar and ran it for 14 years basically pulling a 5' rear finish mower. Upgraded to a nice used New Holland 1720 and added an FEL. Used it for 10 years mostly pulling a rear finish mower but did utilize the FEL quite a bit. Finally bought my first new tractor, a New Holland Workmaster 50.

    I mow with it and use the FEL for the same things as before just more capacity. I looked long and hard at kubota but opted for the shuttle shift over a hydro plus the Workmaster uses an EGR and catalytic converter in lieu of DPF.

    If you want a hydro the L's are very nice and may fit your needs. If I was looking at a hydro machine it would be the MX or M. I don't know how happy you will be with a smaller tractor.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    490
    Tractor
    kubota 4200

    Default Re: Looking to Downsize

    If your 5105 is tier III I would for sure keep it. That said I have 4 kubota's and the one that gets the most use is the Grand L 3540 with the glide shift. I've got the Patt's hooks on the links and so easy to change implements. Runs smooth and just easy to get on and get it done. Great in tight spaces. I'm 55 but I feel 75 so I hear you about the get something easy to use.

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