First Time Buyer: Scoping Questions for Tractor Buy

   #1  

Paul McGoldrick

New member
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
1
Tractor
In Process
Morning All,

My wife and I have just closed on 135 acres in Nelson County, Virginia. Land is about 60% wooded land at a healthy slope that'll never be much more than select cut timber land with some ATV tracks running through. The remaining 40% is split between existing pretty well maintained bottomland pasture and a good chunk that has been abandoned for about 7 / 10 years. Much of this is at a gradual slope great for grazing and was covered in apple orchards 40 years back.

I clearly need a tractor for tasks like:
- Bushhogging and deadfall clearing on the overgrown pastures
- Post hole digging for restoring fences
- Restoring old timber roads
- Select cutting timber and then moving around the debris to proper disposal / burn sites
- Returning the bottom land to crop cultivation is a future goal bit I'd expect thats 4/6 years out at this

I think I need a tractor between 50 & 75 HP with an upgraded brush cutter, a bucket with toothbar and a rear blade. A lot of my work will be along and in the treelines so I don't want a cab. My ability to go beyond basic preventative maintenance is limited at best. This will be my first tractor so there's a real fear of buying something that's too much machine for me to handle but I've got some great neighbors that have agreed to provide some mentoring.

At this point I think I've pretty much talked myself into a JD 5075e but I'd love feedback from the community regarding size, brand, config, attachments... This is the biggest non- real estate purchase I've ever made and I just feel a little overwhelmed so all thoughts are welcome.
 
   #2  

sea2summit

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
1,858
Location
Left coast of, GA
Tractor
Kubota 1860->25D, MX5800, M4D
Not sure what you want a toothbar on the bucket of a tractor that big for. I would say you probably want a grapple with that many acres of woods you'll find uses.

I'd add a set of pallet forks, you'll probably use those more than a grapple or bucket.

Rear blade, you'd probably be happier with a box blade for general maintenance, ditching, and other road restoration tasks.

PHDs are rarely used after their initial purchase, I'd look on CL for a used one or just see if a neighbor has one you can borrow instead of buying one.

Where are you at? That is really going to tailor some of the recommendations. My initial feeling is that you'll eventually want two tractors with the type of land you have and you're long range plans. A small(er) tractor now with a larger one later might be a good option, especially if you've never used a machine like it before.

Keep us posted.
 
   #3  

bearthebruce

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
291
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
The land you describe sounds a lot like the property I maintain.

We run a 3500lb Massey Ferguson 1533. Seems a good size for the woods and the pasture we need to tend. Some have suggested stepping up to a larger machine and someday maybe we will. We have a brush hog, rake, back blade, box blade, and a sickle bar mower I have only moved but never run (Not sure why that is on the property!). Tractor has a FEL with bucket and since it is SSQA, forks. I use the forks to move brush and am contemplating adding a grapple to the forks. I don't see a huge advantage to a full grapple given their weight and the fact it will take a lot of lift capability from the FEL. Do remember to keep ballast.. you need it.

The 5075e certainly seems to more than cover the need but I question do you need that big a machine? I expect Nelson County to very much like Floyd County... So far for us, when we get to really big things, we realize it is beyond our skills and we hire someone.
 
   #4  

ericm979

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
3,927
Location
Santa Cruz Mountains, Ca
Tractor
Branson 3725H
Deere is as expensive as they can get. And they are known for locking customers out of working on the machines though that's more with the large ag tractors. The less well known manufacturers like Kioti and Branson make good machines that may be heavier than the equivalent Kubota or Deere. Weight is your friend with tractors. It gives you traction and stabilizes the tractor when you're carrying heavy stuff up front.

I'll second the grapple. I leave mine on all the time. It only comes off when I am moving dirt or IBC totes full of firewood using the pallet forks. The grapple is best for brush and tree parts. Also agree about the box blade. I use mine on my roads.

Logs get heavy quickly at the diameter increases. Unless all your trees are small you should be looking for a machine with a good loader capacity.

If you can change the oil on your truck you can do it on a tractor. You'll just need some larger tools.
 
   #5  

jeff9366

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
10,677
Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
My wife and I have just closed on 135 acres in Nelson County, Virginia. Land is about 80 acres wooded land at a healthy slope that'll never be much more than select cut timber land with some ATV tracks running through.

The remaining 55 acres is split between existing pretty well maintained bottomland pasture and a good chunk that has been abandoned for about 7 / 10 years. Much of this is at a gradual slope great for grazing and was covered in apple orchards 40 years back.

- Returning the 25 - 30 acres of bottom land to crop cultivation is a goal 4/6 years out.


A Deere 5075E has a bare weight of approximately 5,200 pounds and a width variable after being jacked up of between 60" to 75". This is a good weight for farming 25 - 40 acres. Tractor has enough width to be stable on hills and slopes.

Deere 5075E has a Category 2, Three Point Hitch.

Some here will recommend a 4,000 pound bare weight tractor about 66" wide with a Category 1 Three Point Hitch. This lighter increment tractor would serve you about as well. Consider how often and how deep you will want to travel into the woods.

My conscience urges me to recommend AMPLE weight for those new to operating tractors.





DEERE 5075E SPECS: TractorData.com John Deere 5075E tractor information

VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DEERE+5075E

When considering a tractor purchase bare tractor weight first, tractor horsepower second, rear axle width third, rear wheel/tire ballast fourth.
 
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   #6  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
2,720
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
Before looking at select cutting timber yourself, you need to address the safety issue. Are you experienced at felling trees? I had two friends nearly killed...one by a tree that fell on him and one had a bad chainsaw accident. If you are inexperienced at sawing, you need to learn from someone who knows what they are doing. Guys with a lot of experience get injured every year. You might be better off having someone cut them for you.

I use my grapple and pallet forks the most and I only have 20 acres that are mostly wooded. My 40 HP tractor is used for food plots at the hunt camp (about 15 acres) and has been sufficient for that. A bigger machine will get some jobs done faster but your acreage is not large and spending an extra week a year getting the jobs done might be a better trade off than a larger, less nibble tractor for working in the woods.

As to crops, you may not have enough acreage to make it worthwhile. Leasing the land to a neighbor negates buying a large tractor, and the attachments you will need plus gives a bit of income. In my area, small farms cannot make it.
 
   #7  

Williy

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
979
Location
Texas
Tractor
Yanmar YT 235C Yannar YRC 60 rotary cutter, Yanmar RT72 rotary tiller B75 Backhoe & bucket & thumb
I would shy away from the green stuff. Purchase a
different brand and use the difference in price to
purchase the attachments you may need!
How much of a JD tractor is plastic? Hood, floor, fenders anything else?? All that plastic stuff here in Texas will last may 3 to 5 years possible a little longer but I don't think so. I don't dare leave anything plastic out or the next place for it is in the trash!
Does JD have problems?? What Are Some Common Problems With John Deere Tractors?

willy
 
   #8  

dodge man

Super Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
7,842
Location
West central Illinois
Tractor
JD 2025R
No matter what people say, JD makes a great tractor. Of course so do other makers to. People tend to push what they own and what they like.

I often tend to steer people away from a grapple. It’s expensive but in your case, I think you need it. You also need to think about rear ballast. JD has numbers for that are needed. It is usually fluid filled tires or wheel weights AND rear ballast, such as a ballast box, rear implement that is heavy, or a heavy hitch.

I agree about cutting down a bunch of trees without knowing what you are doing. If you want wood for heat there is probably plenty of deadfall. I know enough about cutting trees down that I can but it scares me, which I get a professional in for some.
 
   #9  

can do

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
325
Location
Nokesville Va.
Tractor
M-F1526,M-F50
Morning All,

My wife and I have just closed on 135 acres in Nelson County, Virginia. Land is about 60% wooded land at a healthy slope that'll never be much more than select cut timber land with some ATV tracks running through. The remaining 40% is split between existing pretty well maintained bottomland pasture and a good chunk that has been abandoned for about 7 / 10 years. Much of this is at a gradual slope great for grazing and was covered in apple orchards 40 years back.

I clearly need a tractor for tasks like:
- Bushhogging and deadfall clearing on the overgrown pastures
- Post hole digging for restoring fences
- Restoring old timber roads
- Select cutting timber and then moving around the debris to proper disposal / burn sites
- Returning the bottom land to crop cultivation is a future goal bit I'd expect thats 4/6 years out at this

I think I need a tractor between 50 & 75 HP with an upgraded brush cutter, a bucket with toothbar and a rear blade. A lot of my work will be along and in the treelines so I don't want a cab. My ability to go beyond basic preventative maintenance is limited at best. This will be my first tractor so there's a real fear of buying something that's too much machine for me to handle but I've got some great neighbors that have agreed to provide some mentoring.

At this point I think I've pretty much talked myself into a JD 5075e but I'd love feedback from the community regarding size, brand, config, attachments... This is the biggest non- real estate purchase I've ever made and I just feel a little overwhelmed so all thoughts are welcome.
Hey Paul McGoldrick ! Welcome to TBN, If You have any Massey-Ferguson dealers in your area go checkout what they are offering & one model comes to mind that might suit your needs is the series M-F 2800 & they offering very good financing & deals on implements with a tractor purchase. Just do some serious comparisons with other manufactures & don't be afraid to use your own judgement & the 2 tractors I own have done all the task that You have listed here with the exception cultivating & I'm sure my oldest M-F 50 could handle that & it's 61 years old (1959)& it's been doing it reliably for 25 years & it's still a working tractor that I use year round & I did buy a brand new tractor in 2018,A M-F 1526 to work with my dump truck & I do like the FEL 4wd HST & I never owned a tractor before or anyone in my family, But the 50 taught me about brand loyalty so I'm just offering advice from what I know.Good luck on what You decide. IMG_20201211_155800.jpg IMG_20201003_134009.jpg
 

Williy

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
979
Location
Texas
Tractor
Yanmar YT 235C Yannar YRC 60 rotary cutter, Yanmar RT72 rotary tiller B75 Backhoe & bucket & thumb
On our property in northern Wisconsin we had
some big trees I had a friend cut one down for me
as I didn't have a saw that would cut this little 6ft
across needed it cut down lightning hit it and it was
rotten in the middle and about 150 to 175 ft high
kinda over my head! No tractor available to haul
it out and no way to get one in anyway. Some times
I think for the big jobs its better to have someone
else do the work so you don't get hurt or destroy
your tractor which now cost a lot of money and with
a new tractor you have to be careful you don't loose
your warranty by using your tractor when you should
have hired a dozer!

willy
 
 
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