/ Comments, thoughts, recommendations (needed) on tractor purchase decision #11
Have you looked at the Yanmar tractors, middle and back standardHello to All,
I have read this forum off and on for awhile. Its been great to see all the wisdom and experience available here. We finally made the move to a property where I can make use of a compact tractor and I have been doing the research till I'm blue in the face but now its time to ask a few questions. I do search the forum for old threads and earlier comments so pardon me if I missed something that was already answered recently elsewhere.
I have about 20 acres of land. The house has about 1 acre of yard that needs mowed. There is a 5 acre pasture that needs maintained. The neighbor has a few cows I let him use that for grazing but not sure that will continue. The rest is wooded. The terrain is gently rolling/sloping toward a creek in the back.
For projects and maintenance I'm looking at the following:
* 1,600 ft. driveway to keep up
* brush hog the pasture
* convert some pasture into garden
* remove small pond in backyard that is harboring undesirable critters ;-)
* fence repair; new posts and wire or install 4 board sections
* clean up downed trees, brush
* stump removal
* keep up, create new trails in the woods
* make food plot in meadow by the creek
As far as tractor brands are concerned I have Deere and Kubota within an hour. Other brands are further out. I have been stuck on a few of the more common buying issues:
1. How large a frame size and how many HP's?
2. Do I/will I ever need a mid PTO?
3. If I don't need the mid PTO is the L Kubota or Deere E a good value?
4. Is it worth the extra $$ to buy the Grand L or Deere R model for those deluxe features?
5. Do I really need to be able to remove the front loader?
6. Is it worth it just buying implements from dealer or better to go aftermarket?
7. And of course, do I get the backhoe?
From the sounds of it the dealers are all going to be supply constrained again this spring. But I don't want to buy something that doesn't fit my use case. I view this as a buy it once right and see if it will last my lifetime.
Oh, bonus question... I left behind the garden tractor so I have to get another to mow the yard or a zero turn. Thoughts welcome on that as well.
Thanks in advance, appreciate the help, Bob.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Appreciate it!Lots of good advice here. I have 10 acres of wooded land with about 1/4 to 1/2 mile of trails. I have a B2620 (a small B, the B2601 is the new version/number). As a tractor it is good. But, my property is sloped and some of the trails have some side slope to them (at least 10 degrees). Going over it once, slowly is no problem. Transporting 10 yards of material across it is not fun.
Yes, I can fix that with the tractor and I did some and will do more. Similarly, the trail is relatively narrow and serpentine. I could fix that too, but my wife would not be happy about that. The trail is 6-9 feet wide in most places. My wife would prefer it was less than 4 feet hide. She say it should be a horse trail. I say that isn't a big enough of a defensible area. If I need to bring material to the middle of a trail section, I need to either back up to the start of move forward to the next area that is wide enough to turn around. The last time I moved chips, I found it easier to use a cart and my lawn tractor to move it. It holds about 3 or 4 bucket fulls and that made it faster than using the tractor directly.
With that much area, you will want a chipper. Don't fool around with one that doesn't have hydraulic feed. I have a Vermeer BC625A. I like it, but the tree professionals sneer at Vermeer. They like Brush Bandit much better. I have to agree I would like one better too, but wouldn't want to have to pay for it.
If you want to be selective about how you maintain your trails, you will need a brush cutter. I have a Stihl FS130 (replaced by the FS131 now). They also make the Kombi System, which I think might be a good idea. I also have The FS94, which is a much better string trimmer. The 130 has too much torque and breaks string all the time. I don't have that problem with the FS94. I use a carbide blade when I don't need too much precision. I use the power scythe head when I need/want precise cuts. If you don't care about the look, a flail mower might work fine. Some people like tractor clearing. There are a few choices of additions that will help with that.
QA for the loader is something I have and have never used (11+ years). Last year I bought QA for the bucket. I should not have waited a decade to do that. I also have a grapple. It needs a third function valve/remote up front to power it. I don't use it often, but it does things easily that would be really hard without it. I also got pallet forks. I had the bucket ones before. They work okay, but very limited visibility. The forks were expensive, but I don't think about how much I paid for them anymore and I have only used them about 3-4 times. The jobs I did would have been really hard without the forks.
My point for all of this is, the price of the tractor is the down payment. You will need implements and you will need many of them. Make sure you plan for that, or you will have a very expensive and capable tractor that won't be able to do much of what you need done. I got my tractor to move compost. It didn't need anything other that the loader to do that. So, I waited to get the other things: grading scraper was first. It is much easier to use than a box scraper.