I don't understand something.

   / I don't understand something. #71  

NCL4701

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
46
Location
Central North Carolina
Tractor
Kubota L4701 HST
We had two older tractors without hour meters, a Farmall H and Ford 9N, both of which have no telling how many hours on them. Both are on their second engine rebuild. They were semi-adequate for the property I grew up on but inadequate for the steep, hilly 70 acres of trees, meadows, 1/2 mile private road with three short driveways, etc. where my parents and I live. My father had somehow managed to mostly maintain the property until he aged out of heavy manual labor and wouldn’t let me do anything in the way of maintenance outside of the couple of acres deeded in my name. The road got to being near impassable with his car so he just drove his truck all the time. The trails were impassable. A couple of the meadow areas were being taken over by saplings. It was just getting out of control.

So just out of curiosity, had a landscaper with a CTL and all the equipment needed plus some quote getting the place back in shape: about $15,000 and that didn’t account for ongoing chores such as brush hogging, ditch cleaning, trail and road maintenance, etc.

Renting gets really expensive and time consuming for jobs that are ongoing, even if intermittent.

So I have a Mule, a Kubota L4701 with third function and top/tail, a ZTR for the lawns, and a few implements in addition to the 3 point stuff my father already had. Dad gave me his flatbed equipment trailer in exchange for putting $750 and some sweat into getting it roadworthy again. About $50K in equipment. Between 190 ton of rock and materials to replace a failing retaining wall, about $6k in materials to get the place in reasonable shape.

When I first got the tractor, my father said it would probably have 5 hours on it in the first year. More like 150 hours in the first year. Second year, after the push to work down the deferred maintenance more like 40 hours.

That’s not a lot but part of that is because the Kubota is a good fit for the work. Recently had to clean out a ditch and touch up a gravel path. Manually would have been most of a day. Older tractors, a couple of hours. Rental: probably would have left it until there were more jobs to bundle with it and spent a whole day as just hauling back and forth would have taken half a day or better. Kubota with the hydraulic tilt and toplink: 15 minutes. Actually noticed it while moving beehives with the forks (boxblade already on it for counterweight) and spent 15 minutes after moving the bees before putting the tractor away. There’s just no substitute for that.
 
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   / I don't understand something. #72  

friendlywithbears

Bronze Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
53
Location
WA
Tractor
Kubota L6060, KX057-5
I see an awful lot of posts stating that you can't get a truck for under 80,000, yet never seem to have a problem finding them for half that. It all depends on how badly you "need" all of the bells and whistles.
I'm a sucker, give me my heated seats and hydraulic everything :p
 
   / I don't understand something. #73  

DonaldP

Gold Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
284
Location
Central New York
Tractor
Kubota L3560
15 years ago I bought a new tractor in a crate complete with FEL and backhoe. $13K delivered to my door.

First task, move snow (my old tractor had developed major problems).

Second task, dig in new septic system. Backhoe paid for itself in one job. It has done many more since then.

15 years of moving winter snow, FEL paid for itself. Has only been off the tractor once but has been modified to do many tasks.

Of course neither implement work without the tractor.

My tractor is a tool, just like a hammer or the lathe. Used when I need it, sits when I don't.
I could have done by hand everything the tractor did, or I could have paid someone else to do it. I could have rented the equipment.

Renting would have cost as much money wise and been way more inconvenient. I can use my tractor any time I want for 2 minutes or a full day with no waiting.
I can't begin to estimate how much it would have costs to pay someone to do what my tractor has done or will do. Not to mention waiting for them to get to my job.
I also can't fathom how much back breaking labor it has saved me, not to mention the time factor.

All maintenance, modifications and repairs are done by me. Considering the initial costs and efforts it takes to keep it going, that little tractor has been one of the best investments I have ever made. The 20' beaver tail car trailer runs a close second. Both sit for long periods of time but when ya need 'em, ya need 'em!

850 tach hours in 15 years for a 3 acre hobby farm (and saving the neighbor's asses from time to time)
You detail almost exactly my experiences.
 
   / I don't understand something. #74  

mcfarmall

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
1,448
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
Tractor
Kubota M5660, Farmall C, JD 260 lawn tractor
I have a 50hp tractor and two acres and I maintain my mom's 40 acre place an hour away. 2 years old with 160 hours.
 
   / I don't understand something. #75  

DonaldP

Gold Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
284
Location
Central New York
Tractor
Kubota L3560
A newbie, and after 2 years and 600 hours, I feel that there has been nothing in my life (relating to the types of projects that require this type of equipment) as economically, timely, and emotionally advantageous to help support my lifestyle than the Tractor. It's orange but color isn't necessarily a deciding factor.

These tools take on more, and deliver more than our inexperienced minds can fathom BEFORE we actually learn how beneficial they can be across the spectrum of work and maintenance (two very different aspects of use) that surrounds many of us.

Only 2 years... but 600 hours, hmmm... Given the beauty of hindsight, what would I change...

Well, issues close to me at this point, inflation. And although that doesn't typically come into play in an average environment of purchase, hindsight's eye would have said buy everything you think you will need within a 5 year window. If it's financed at 0% there is a minimal buy in at purchase in a higher price point for "matched to the manufacturer implements and equipment".

But that buy in quickly fades over a couple of years as general price increases roll in. (Which I opted out of ☹️). My mindset was always a minimalists view with respect to spending future income $ today ... as that is exactly what financing is.

This does matter moving ahead as generally there are lots of expenses we can generate by being able to do this type of work ourselves. Excavating and or repairing foundations, repairing sanitary systems, building barns or garages, maintaining not only our land but helping others as well..... those costs can prevent us from expensing implements as we move through that 5 year window. Forgoing the equipment that could actually better help us to complete those projects. Now I'm leaving leaving some of the labor for those same projects on the table, and on my back... (rear remotes, mowing decks, land planer/box, grapple)

Thinking ahead, rolling in those implements that could best get us through that 5 year period could have been extremely beneficial both short and long term.

The second realization that actually surprised me because I didn't think I could afford it, was buying new over used. But I had enough foresight to comprehend "long term" use, at least within the confines of my life span!

At this time... everything is almost "point and click". It's turnkey in its real sense. I don't have to repair it to use it, and using it doesn't mean I have to repair it (generally speaking -sans general maintenance). It starts cold or hot weather -extreme or not, and it runs, nonstop when I need it to.

And probably the third thing that I realized as important on my "I'm lucky I decided on that" list is comfort and convenience.

The top of that list is the cab. Hands down the most important part of my decision that I never knew I made correctly until after 2 full years of use.

Looking back at the bitter cold, blowing wet snow. Changing how I move firewood for burning (our main heat source) in that environment has changed from manual to tractor, and pulling a cart by hand in the bitter cold after shoveling a path in 3 ft deep
Snow to do that.... well, that change alone is priceless...

I did decide on a backhoe... yes at a cost that blew me away at the time. But of all the implements I didn't get, this one, one that I did get, has been the second most used and convenient items I could have ever imagined having on hand!

And last but not least are interior comforts.... having items in the cab that mimic the comfort of the things we might have close to us when doing other things. That brings a serenity to an environment that for all intents and purposes doesn't need that, but having a soft cloth seat to sit in... music, ample exterior lighting, and air conditioning.

There are no words to express how any or all of that can add to the overall satisfaction of getting work done in an environment that is anything but "cold metal".

Think long and carefully before you commit yourselves on what you think you might want/need. Not so much for those Musk types out there, for they can upgrade whenever they want and the costs aren't an issue.

But making the right choice for a lifetime investment as many here seem to have done in the past can be a difficult task. Good luck to everyone on their choices 🙂
 
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   / I don't understand something. #76  

bazman82

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
324
Location
Lockport, NY
Tractor
Same Mercury 75 Farmtrac 795DTC
I have an 80's (SAME) tractor and an early 00's (Farmtrac)tractor. I use each tractor for different tasks. The SAME is 75hp and the Farmtrac is 95hp. Since the Farmtrac is more comfortable to sit in for long periods, it gets used much more often. Also, having the SSQA makes it my goto for moving round bales and such. I replaced the hour meter on the Farmtrac before hay season (May) this year and have already put 115 hours on it. I'm not sure how many hours I placed on the SAME as I didn't make note of what it was at at the beginning of summer. Might be like 5 or 10 hours at most.
 
   / I don't understand something. #77  

JWR

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Messages
3,251
Location
So MD / WV
Tractor
MF 2660 LP, 3 Kubota B2150, Kubota BX2200, MH Pacer, Gravely 5660, etc.
15 years ago I bought a new tractor in a crate complete with FEL and backhoe. $13K delivered to my door.

First task, move snow (my old tractor had developed major problems).

Second task, dig in new septic system. Backhoe paid for itself in one job. It has done many more since then.

15 years of moving winter snow, FEL paid for itself. Has only been off the tractor once but has been modified to do many tasks.

Of course neither implement work without the tractor.

My tractor is a tool, just like a hammer or the lathe. Used when I need it, sits when I don't.
I could have done by hand everything the tractor did, or I could have paid someone else to do it. I could have rented the equipment.

Renting would have cost as much money wise and been way more inconvenient. I can use my tractor any time I want for 2 minutes or a full day with no waiting.
I can't begin to estimate how much it would have costs to pay someone to do what my tractor has done or will do. Not to mention waiting for them to get to my job.
I also can't fathom how much back breaking labor it has saved me, not to mention the time factor.

All maintenance, modifications and repairs are done by me. Considering the initial costs and efforts it takes to keep it going, that little tractor has been one of the best investments I have ever made. The 20' beaver tail car trailer runs a close second. Both sit for long periods of time but when ya need 'em, ya need 'em!

850 tach hours in 15 years for a 3 acre hobby farm (and saving the neighbor's asses from time to time)
OMG. In a crate huh ? That means you had to do whatever a dealer would normally have to do to rep that tractor for delivery. That's a heck of job and you needed some heavy lifting people or devices too. You have more spunk doing that than most of us...
 
   / I don't understand something. #78  

piper184

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
316
Location
Central, ND
Tractor
Jinma 284
OMG. In a crate huh ? That means you had to do whatever a dealer would normally have to do to rep that tractor for delivery. That's a heck of job and you needed some heavy lifting people or devices too. You have more spunk doing that than most of us...
It wasn't really that hard. I had to use a front end loader at a nearby business to get the crates off of the semi-trailer and onto my trailer. I put the backhoe in the pickup box, the FEL on the front of my car trailer and the tractor on the back. Backed into the garage and dropped the ramps in the shop.

A handy-man jack and a floor jack was all I had at the time. Some boards, pipes and gravity did the rest. Once the FEL was on, it was easy to get the BH out of the pickup box. Did it all myself in a few days.

Doing the assembly myself was easy and I got to make sure it was done right. Also, ALL the factory fluids were swapped out with quality products. I don't think it would have made 100 hours on that foreign crap that was in it!
 

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   / I don't understand something. #79  

Henniker

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
33
Location
Henniker NH
Tractor
Kubota B2710
OK, I don't understand a lot of things, but that's another thread.


My little squirt is approaching 4 years old (wow, has it really been that long?) and it approaching 500 hours, or around 125 hours a year.. I don't use it very much. It sits for weeks sometime between tasks if I don't have to mow.

But I keep seeing threads and posts about 20, 30, 40 year old tractors with hour readings that work out to 20 hours a year or less. Is it that they have more than one machine and each gets lesser use than if they only had one? How do you spend $20,000 or so on something you use so little?
I spent a good chunk of my retirement savings on my used Kubota B2710, but there has been NO buyers remorse. I use it to plow my driveway in Winter, and drag it in Summer. I just bought a grapple to handle and cut my firewood, so I no longer have to climb onto the wood pile with a chain to the bucket. I may not put a ton of hours on it, but it's saved me any number of heart attacks and other injuries...
 
   / I don't understand something. #80  

TractorTYMe

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
768
Location
Flathead County, Montana
Tractor
TYM T474 HST
I purchased my tractor new July1 2020, got it for a layover and pre Covid price. Now I have 272h on it, I do mowing jobs of pastures on the side and what not. But main intention was to clear snow on the 30 acre ranch I live on with 6 houses. Since I got a tractor we haven't had a real winter "/ Now I have a skidding winch for it, my tractor is priceless to me.
 
 
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