Downsizing- opinions?

   #1  

varmint

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
2,478
Location
Northern Maryland
Tractor
Kubota B8200, then a Kubota L3130 HST, now a Kubota L3400 HST
A little background: for years, I maintained about a 1000' of an old gravel lane using a B8200 with a loader and a 5' heavy Deere rear blade. Most important use was clearing snow so we could come and go. About 500' is a straight slope, but with a bank rising up on one side and not much room on the other to a tree line, so when we get 30" of snow, I get plenty of loader play. It has turf tires, and worked fine. I got chains for icy conditions, and those were fine. But it is a gear tractor, and my neck got tired of twisting to see what I was doing. It went to a new home.

Last spring, I found a nice L3130 HST, with loaded rears (R-4's) and a SSQA loader, and got a Horst Welding 78" front plow with hydraulic angling to deal with snow. Haven't used it yet! Now, the issue is, the L3130 probably weighs well over 5000 lbs, and is fairly big for maneuvering around our property for things like drilling fence posts. Not a farm, but mostly grass yard. The L3130 leaves serious divots in the grass, unless the ground is frozen. Wife thinks it is too big for our little property, and I have to agree. Great for snow plowing, I imagine, but otherwise, just too big. I have a chance to buy a very clean L3400 HST with the SSQA loader, and I am thinking I will use my virgin plow with it. It has turf tires- good for the lawn, but not loaded. I am thinking a 500 lb ballast box will give me the traction I need, when I need it. I don't normally haul really heavy stuff in the bucket, so I may be fine most of the summertime without the rear weight. My wife likes the size, and would be more inclined to operate it. I am wondering if giving up the 2000 lbs or so of tractor will make plowing difficult? I don't clear snow for money, so time isn't an issue... but I don't want a rig that won't travel in a straight line when the plow is the least bit angled! I should note that serious snow is not a given here in Maryland, but certainly possible.

Opinions are welcome!
 
   #2  

Parkanzky

Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
579
Location
Ada, MI
Tractor
JD 2032R
Have you considered an even smaller tractor with a front-mount snowblower? You could get a B3350 with a 63"' front-mount blower and never have to scoop the snow again. That's assuming that would be enough tractor for your other jobs.
 
   #3  

dstig1

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
3,695
Location
W Wisc
Tractor
Kubota L5240 HSTC, JD X738 Mower, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)
Those 2 tractors are essentially the same size, even if the weight is different. Do you care more about weight or size? Or have you just thought about getting turfs for your current tractor, or perhaps having them "unloaded"?
 
   #4  

sandyc

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2003
Messages
1,651
Location
Steep Falls, Maine
Tractor
BX 2380
Just for grins, look at a "B" series. The front blower or blade as well as the FEL might fill your bill.....good luck in your quest.
 
   #5  

Baby Grand

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
4,634
Location
Windsor, CT.
Tractor
Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H
Your L3130 is an "older twin" of our L3240. That's a heavy machine for driving on your grass. The Plant Manager gives me the evil eye if she sees me on our lawn with that one, because she cuts the grass and doesn't like the bumpy ride it causes. Even if it doesn't leave divots or ruts, it'll be compacting the turf, which isn't helping the grass any. I read your profile (thanks for filling that out, BTW, and greetings from a fellow former ID guy), and considering the size of your property I'd think one of the larger B series with removable ballast/weights would be an ideal fit for you. Wearing turfs, a rear blade and a front snow blower, or FEL & rear blower, I'd think 30" of snow would go fairly effortlessly, while giving you a year round work horse that's light and nimble enough to go almost anywhere. I don't know if a cab is in your budget, but the folks using blowers seem to really appreciate the shelter.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#6  
OP
varmint

varmint

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
2,478
Location
Northern Maryland
Tractor
Kubota B8200, then a Kubota L3130 HST, now a Kubota L3400 HST
Ah- more details in reply to everyone's considered advice: no cab, even though I'd like one... our little barn, which I have extensively reworked over the years, won't allow for a high enough door. I have to think that a snowblower and 1000' of gravel would be a dangerous combination. The frame on the L3400 is smaller and lighter, the wheels smaller, etc. and, most important, it is available, very clean, low hours, and has a rear remote that will work for the snow blade. Seems like a solution, without a lot of effort. The L3130 should sell easily, not sure about the new snow blade. I like the L3130's features and quality, but it is just too darn heavy.
 
   #7  

RobertN

Super Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2000
Messages
8,532
Location
Shingle Springs California
Tractor
New Holland TC40D
Having sold my B8200(great tractor!) a few years back for something bigger, I would have a had time going smaller. I was originally looking at a L3410HST(my wife used one at nursery she works at and really liked it), but the used market being fickle for availability, I got a NH TC40D. Little bigger and more HP than the L3410.

No way would I go back to the B series(I still like Kubota's, and B's are nice but small). I handle a 6' mower easily, and have a 1/2 yard bucket. I like the bigger tractor and power.

But... I do not have to deal with lawns...
 
 
Top