Buying new tractor - novice operator

jeff9366

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Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
I need the bush hog for rough areas of tall grass/bushes (depending on how often it's maintained), guessing maybe 5 acres. Also need bush hog if behind on horse pasture (several acres). Then ideally move to finishing mower for pastures and possibly rough areas if have kept up on it, but some may always need to be bush hog. Box blade for gravel driveway and also moving rock in seasonal creek so it's passable with truck near barn.

Hi, female here with a lot to learn, safety being priority.


I am going to reference another thread. Safety is your priority. Steep slopes are the priority for the poster. A Ventrac or Steiner could be the solution for both you, as mowing is the prime tractor application foreseen by both of you.

What advice would you give someone using equipment in the mountains? I would probably use a Zero turn for the lawn grass.

Consider a Ventrac or Steiner for your primary mower.
Ventrac is a division of Toro.

Expensive, durable, two-plane articulated equipment designed for mowing slopes.

The primary market for both Ventrac and Steiner is golf courses. Service should be available in western NC.

VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Ventrac+Steiner


A little fear is better than a notion of invulnerability during tractor research.



Picked up a previously owned Ventac today. Not the best condition, but it'll do the job and give me something to clean up!
PHOTO ATTACHED.

View attachment 705160
 
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jeff9366

Super Star Member
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Messages
10,773
Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
Traditional Three Point Hitch tractors are inherently unstable operating on sloped ground. Tractor rear wheel/tire spread, sometimes adjustable, is a critical factor increasing compact tractor stability working sloped or uneven ground. A 6" to 10" wider rear axle substantially decreases tractor rollover potential.3

T-B-N ARCHIVE:
TRACTOR FOR STEEP HILLS SLOPES MOUNTAINS site:tractorbynet.com

When considering a tractor purchase, bare tractor weight first, tractor horsepower second, rear axle width third, rear wheel/tire ballast fourth.


I've narrowed it down to L2501 (wt 2,601, HP 24.8/19 PTO), LX2610SU (wt 1,786, HP 24.8/19.5 PTO) or L3301 (wt 1,918, HP 30.8/27 PTO or LX3310 (wt 2,778, 33HP/26PTO). Current setup is wt 2,193, PTO 30/25.5 PTO, so the LX's weigh less and the 2501s are less HP than TC30.

Within above group L3301 stands out. Adequate power for mowing. Adequate rear wheel width for stability. Close in dimensions to your current tractor so your existing implements should be (relatively) easy to mount. (L2501 can be somewhat short of power for mowing.)

If you are inclined toward a deLuxe model research Kubota's "Grand L" L3560 model. Highly recommended for those over age 55 years.


 
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Bullwinkle123

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622
Location
Southern VT
Tractor
Kubota MX5400HST, Z724XKW-3-54
I didn't see the OP mention whether there were hills or unstable terrain, but that is probably your greatest safety issue. Hills can be dangerous, and if you have them then you want the most stable vehicle you can manage, whether that's by spacers to widen the wheel base, or another vehicle entirely.

Find a good dealer who will support you. I can't transport my tractor, my dealer comes over to service it, or haul the equipment back to their shop if necessary. They're about 45 minutes away. Especially if you're not familar with the maintenance of the tractor, they can point you at all the things you should be looking at.
 
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Slowpoke Slim

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2,505
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Bismarck, ND
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Husqvarna YTH24V48 riding mower, Branson 3725CH
I agree with the thought of having your tractor repaired. Even if you do end up selling it or trading it, you'll get more money for it if it's working correctly.

Also consider looking at other tractors from other dealers. Orange paint (Kubotas) are almost as expensive as Green paint (Deeres). You can get more for the same dollar if you consider other color paints (other brands) before you buy.

There's nothing wrong with being cautious around hills, slopes and especially ponds. Those are the most likely places for accidents to happen, followed by getting tangled up in pto's and dropping stuff from a loader.
 

tradosaurus

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May 8, 2017
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Texarkana, TX
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Kubota MX5400 HST, heavy duty bucket, 3rd function, R1 tires (rears filled), 2 remotes
I agree with the thought of having your tractor repaired. Even if you do end up selling it or trading it, you'll get more money for it if it's working correctly.

Also consider looking at other tractors from other dealers. Orange paint (Kubotas) are almost as expensive as Green paint (Deeres). You can get more for the same dollar if you consider other color paints (other brands) before you buy.

There's nothing wrong with being cautious around hills, slopes and especially ponds. Those are the most likely places for accidents to happen, followed by getting tangled up in pto's and dropping stuff from a loader.

She needs to consider which dealers are closer to her and which have good service departments. Unless things have changed dramatically I didn't see a big price difference between Kubota and other brands of tractors for the equivalent features. Didn't ever price a JD as I was never going to buy one but I've heard they are usually the most expensive.

To the OP; depending upon what you are mowing, the potential of extreme heat and cold, you might look at a cab tractor. Also consider where you are mowing. I actually upgraded from a L3301 to an MX5400 this year because of the underside protection of the MX as well as the 20+ pto hp.
 

cathy liebchen

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Aug 9, 2018
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234
Location
Holly Springs, Alabama
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Kubota L3901, MX5800
I would sell the older gear tractor- it will always need some repair or another and be a major hassle. Get a Kubota L3901 HST with a quick hitch
 

DMW

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Apr 22, 2006
Messages
537
Location
Southern Ontario
Tractor
MF GC2300
Buying the Kubota may be nice, but don't lock yourself into one brand. Tractor/model availability might limit the choices. Kioti 2610 is right in the size you're looking for. Never hurts to stop by and take a look.
 

redman135

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Jul 23, 2013
Messages
904
Location
nz
Tractor
no tractor now
Hullo gryhnd, could you explain what happened to cause the oil loss?
It sounds like you may have a relatively simple fix to your problem.
Are you comfortable with changing gears on your tractor, if so then it will probably be more cost effective to keep it, provided the oil loss problem has an easy solution.

FIND the MANUAL and READ IT. If you can't find buy a new one, it will help your confidence and explain your problems better. You say you are inexperienced , it is much easier to learn correctly than unlearn a bad habit, READ THE MANUAL

Safety: keep the loader low or take it off when mowing hillsides. Also Rear wheel track, widen the wheels (2 piece rim)as much as you can for the hills,or wheel spacers(1 piece rims) ,or put on dual wheels(Con: cost, fit in shed? ,fit through gates? Pro: significant to massive increase in stability depending on option and a big improvement in confidence) This applies to any tractor on your place

New tractor: Sit on it and try the ergonomics, there are small differences between makes and models that can add up to deal breakers, ie operating the loader controls with your arm at full stretch gets old quickly . When the seat is set to your weight does it bottom out easily? See if you can drive test on your property .
Loader, get 3rd service and scv new, as they are pricey to add later.

From your description you sound fairly well setup and only need to sort your oil loss problem and grow your confidence.
Good luck.
 

JWR

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Apr 19, 2011
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2,506
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So MD / WV
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MF 2660 LP, 3 Kubota B2150, Kubota BX2200, MH Pacer, Gravely 5660, etc.
Hi, female here with a lot to learn, safety being priority. My husband passed away in December so I'm on my own with 20 acres (less than half of that needs mowing). I have a New Holland TC-30, manual/gears, purchased new around 2007. Attachments: FEL, Rotary cutter RZ 60 Bush Hog, Finishing mower, box blade. Also auger but doubt I'll use that much. I need the bush hog for rough areas of tall grass/bushes (depending on how often it's maintained), guessing maybe 5 acres. Also need bush hog if behind on horse pasture (several acres). Then ideally move to finishing mower for pastures and possibly rough areas if have kept up on it, but some may always need to be bush hog. Box blade for gravel driveway and also moving rock in seasonal creek so it's passable with truck near barn.

Also, do have ZTR mower which I'm now using on most of horse pasture (once it had been cut with bush hog) although I'd prefer to use finishing mower.

TC30 had issue and all hydraulic fluid leaked out and I could not steer it back to house. Obtained new hoses from New Holland dealer and a handyman (no experience with tractors) changed the hoses for me. Used it a bit and now it has poured out again. Realize it is possible he didn't tighten the hose connections enough, or I'm hitting something (?), was trying to cut a rough overgrown area belonging to neighbor at the time.

Friend has suggested I trade for a hydrostatic transmission, which would be easier for me to operate. He has a buddy at Kubota, so that is what I am considering since he'll help me shop and also transport it home. My initial thought was that I need to stay with the same HP. It's possible I will hire out for some of the rougher stuff going forward, at least until it's under control. Most of the ground is level, but part of the rough field is not (I will likely not be comfortable cutting on the hilly part). There are what I'd call obstacles around the place, a pond with a raised bank, fencing, areas where when creek overflows, branches/logs/rocks will be left behind so I try to be careful and keep the cutter raised a bit.

I've narrowed it down to L2501 (wt 2,601, HP 24.8/19 PTO), LX2610SU (wt 1,786, HP 24.8/19.5 PTO) or L3310 (wt 1,918, HP 30.8/27 PTO or LX3310 (wt 2,778, 33HP/26PTO). Current setup is wt 2,193, PTO 30/25.5 PTO, so the LX's weigh less and the 2501s are less HP than TC30.

Questions/concerns:

1. Weight of tractor - going by the general rule I read, some of these seem to be underweight for HP. If that's the case, then do most people add weight? I don't want to have traction/stability issues. Will be 4WD/ROPS.

2. HP - should I be staying with at least what I have now, which would be the 3310s, or is it possible less HP would be okay? I feel TC30 is sometimes not as stable as I would expect, but I could just have the wrong expectations for what it's capable of doing and likely I've tried to have it do more than what it can do this summer (heavy brush/small trees, and realizing bush hog hasn't been serviced). Time is not really a factor, sure would be nice to cut quicker but I don't have to. Normally when I bush hog, I have to keep it in 1st gear.

3. Attachments - if the 5' bush hog needs 25hp PTO to operate properly, that that knocks out the 2501 models, unless I trade for 48".

4. Any reason I should be considering larger? I think that now that I have found a few people to hire, if it's too rough I will leave it alone and let them cut it with other equipment.

My understanding is the LX series has more options - I don't need a better seat or a tilt steering wheel, for example, but of course if that is the best tractor for me, I won't turn them down :).

Appreciate your input.
I'm going to ignore the other's comments and give you mine (which are of course the best ones.) With the post you just made you will be INUNDATED with replies !!
1) Are you comfortable with the stick shift in the TC-30? If yes, I see no reason to get into the time/effort/distraction of changing machines. I lovbe Kubota's myself but many times a different tractor just means a different set of problems.
2) Your biggest challenge is going to be swapping implements. While it is mechanically "simple," hooking and unhooking 3pt attachments can be very frustrating and time consuming. It is for me and I'm 78 and been swapping attachment for decades. From the sound of your post, you will (or already have) learned that quickly but the PTO connection, positioning attachments, etc. can be frustrating and difficult at times. Accept help when needed but keep practicing. It is a learning process.
3) Urgent: You must resolve the hydraulic leak issue first obviously. I would find a nearby dealer as high priority for MANY reasons. Pay extra and have them fix it !! Establish a close relationship with a dealer ASAP. In many ways it need not be the same brand either (unless you have a guarantee.) The closer and more conversational ytou become with a nearby dealer the better off you will be. (As are all tractor owners.)
4) Just use the bush hog in the pasture. I would not use finish mowers and ZTRs there.
5) Weight is unlikely to matter for you. The std normal TC-30 weight (or that of one of your lited Kubota's) will be just fine. If for some reason you need weight, have fluid put in your rear tires if not already done.
6) If stability (tipping feeling) is a concern, make sure your rear wheels are set out as wide as possible. Not sure if the TC-30 has much of a range of widths available. Frankly Kubota's --for all of history to date-- have been VERY poor about failing to understand the need for (and value of) getting the rear wheels further apart. Apparently Japan is flat.
7) HP of the TC-30 is fine for all the needs you have described. HP is not your problem area.
8) Finances and our pocketbooks matter -- for ALL of us, it is just the degree of it that matters. Sure, if money is burning your pocket a really nice new Kubota LX3310 with fresh guarantee, dealer support, all the best bells and whistles would be nice. Treat yourself ! Your local dealer will gladly lead you. BY THE WAY, if you seriously intend to buy a new Kubota, spend some time watching Messick's YouTube tutorials. REALLY good, instructive, comparative and worth watching.

Where you are matters, esp with dealers and nearby help. What area are you in?
 

JWR

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Messages
2,506
Location
So MD / WV
Tractor
MF 2660 LP, 3 Kubota B2150, Kubota BX2200, MH Pacer, Gravely 5660, etc.


Consider a Ventrac or Steiner for your primary mower.
Ventrac is a division of Toro.
Oh heavens NO ! The last thing on earth you need is some obscure low volume, specialized machine with little chance of a dealer nearby, no one you know ever worked on one AND a hideous high price tag. Bad suggestion.
 
 
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