I am 54 years old and have wanted a tractor of my own for over 30 years. In the past I would either do without or rent a tractor or borrow one from a neighbor.
When I decided to break down and buy a tractor I knew I wanted a popular brand so it would be easier to sell if I decided I no longer needed one or needed to upgrade to a bigger unit. Kubota is the compact of choice in my area so I naturally gravitated in that direction.
I didn't know exactly which features I wanted, but was certain I needed a front end loader, so four wheel drive was also a foregone conclusion.
I thought I wanted a shuttle shift but learned that a shuttle shift wasn't available in the 30 HP series I was looking at. this narrowed my choice to two options: Manual shift or HST. I opted for the HST and I am so happy I did. Operating the tractor is a breeze. I would not recommend a manual shift to anyone anticipating using a loader or doing any close in work such as mowing. Overall I am delighted with the tractor. Would buy the same one over again.