New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here.

   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #1  

AxleHub

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
2,550
Location
Western Wisconsin
Tractor
Massey scut 2015 GC1715
Greetings,

About this time of year there are a lot of rookies just getting started - rookies for NFL training camps, double and triple A call ups to Major league baseball, and new 1st time Scut and Smaller Compact tractor buyers/owners.

I'll just talk about the tractor rookies and hopefully others will have suggestions or questions too. Lets focus on the point that this is geared to users who are not prior tractor operators and will or have invested in a SCUT (Small Compact Utility Tractor) or the very smallest of units in the Compact Tractor category.

If you've run skid steers and lawn tractors - but never actual tractors with front end loaders - you'll be surprised to find that operating a tractor is very pleasant but much different than you expected.

Many of us on TBN have learned some of the things I'll list, through the school of hard knocks - and it would benefit new users to avoid that as much as possible to save money on repairs or save your health and keep your tractor new. I certainly don't know all the answers - not even close - but between many existing TBNer's we'd sure know a great many of them for that SCUT category new operator during their 1st day to their 1st year.

Below are just a few starting points to get the thread going. I'll add some more later - but literally there are many dozens of things you can learn before you make a rookie mistake - if this thread develops well. I hope many veteran operators will offer their thoughts - particularly relating to SCUT or the very lowest models of Compacts (26 hp small frames or less).

1. Most SCUT (small compact utility tractors) differ in many ways from the lawn tractors of our kid chore days. A very important one is most SCUTs are 4 wheel drive - but they only have brakes on the rear wheels - not the front wheels. In addition most SCUTs are hydro-static driven which means engine/transmission braking does much to slow or stop a tractor by no longer pressing on the floor mounted pedals. But there is a big and scaring issue that happens if you are in 2 wheel drive, gong down a slope or hill - and your rear wheels "get light" because of weigh shift. Guess what - if the rear wheels aren't firmly on the ground - your brake pedal is useless, And if you are in 2wd instead of 4 wd - your front wheels are free rolling so you have no hydro-static braking. What does that mean ? "Lady Gravity" takes you on a scary ride down that slope or hill. My personal learning activity was a steep slope that went into a smooth culvert area. Had it been a ledge or cliff or drop off - it would not have been good.

2. Another learning episode again comes when going down a slope and you are carrying something in the FEL bucket or set of forks. Maybe you'll think as a rookie that the bucket or forks can be set down to the ground to help keep you from tipping forward. Sure sounds reasonable. However if the bucket is tipped down just a little or the forks are tipped down just a little - the first thing they want to do - if you start sliding forward - is to suddenly "dig in". Again - does that sound like extra safety ? Maybe. But it can also cause the tractor to pivot on that front edge and start to pole vault - driver and tractor forward. The scut tractors certainly have some weight to them - but that also means they have some momentum to them if your speed is not controlled - and momentum wants to "take you somewhere" and you don't want your rear tires to leave the ground and start trying to catch your front tires :)

3. When getting on a Scut or a small sized compact tractor - you mount it differently than you do a lawn or garden tractor because you can't swing your leg over the seat, and its typically a slight step upward because of physical unit height (lawn/garden tractors are quite low to the ground). And often you see someone grab the steering wheel like you would the saddle horn for a horse mount. Except the saddle horn on a saddle is designed for that purpose - and a steering wheel is not. So what's the big deal - after all this is a tractor right ?? Well Scuts and smaller sized compact tractors typically don't have steps like big tractors do - so your putting your foot on the floor of the tractor - and that when you grab the steering wheel - you have a great deal of leveraged weight pulling on that steering wheel from the side. And steering wheels have bearings in them - and numbers of TBNers have discovered over time - that their steering wheel bearing develops a problem and must be replaced - and its more than you might think it would be in cost. So what are you to do? Easy - grab your ROPS bar with one hand and the steering wheel (for balance) with the other hand - then step on the top of the back tire with one foot and put the other foot on the floor. That actually accomplishes two things at once. It is easy to get up on the tractor and in your seat without undue side strain or weight on the steering wheel . . . and the second thing it does - if you have slippery floor mat surfaces (wet shoes, icey or snowy floor mats, etc.. - it keeps you upright and not sliding your foot out from under you.

4. Operating a 450 or 550 pound lawn tractor is much different in certain ways than operating a 2000+ pound SCUT with a front end loader on it. Hit a the side of a landscape block with your garden tractor and the garden tractor will skip sideways - hit the same side glance on a landscape block with a Scut - and the block will break or shift the wall. Your new Scut tractor has considerably greater traction and considerably more torque/power - even if the gas engine garden tractor is the same hp as your Scut tractor.

Now why am I hoping to have others add to this thread and new users read it ? Because such a thread didn't exist when I first bought my tractor 3 years ago - and there is already enough things to learn over your next year if you are new - that you'll be quite surprised. Scut and the small frame models of Compact tractors can be a pleasant thing to use and operate - but the goal is - - - - - to have new users and operators, get a chance to learn new skills without hurting your shiny new tractor or yourself. My point is - if you've driven atv's or skid steers or lawn/garden tractors - this is not the same - and that isn't the experience you will actually need. If you can learn from mistakes instead of making some of them yourselves - you as a new operator comes out way ahead.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #2  

millsan1

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
318
Location
Riegelsville, PA
Tractor
Mahindra 2538 Cab, Volvo ECR40D Excavator
Figure out what size tractor you believe you need and go up at least one size from there.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #3  

3Lfarms

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Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Messages
892
Location
Roy, UT
Tractor
LS XU6168CPS and Farmall F-20
I still have to remind myself whenever I use the tractor that it is almost looking to kill me if I do something dumb. OP talked about braking, but when hitching up an implement, there are several ways you can kill or maim yourself. When I am operating the tractor, Spectators for some reason want to be too close. Keeping a close eye on making sure kids stay far enough away, while trying to use your implements without damaging them or running the tractor into/over something is exhausting.
Throw in a spinning PTO, the shear weight of the thing, and high pressure hydraulics, and it really is a death machine if you aren’t careful.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #4  

TheMan419

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Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
2,424
Location
Indiana
Tractor
New Holland Boomer 24
Rear end ballast. When using the FEL to move "Stuff", make sure you have enough weight hanging on the back end. For example I bought a tiller that weighed 650 lbs or so. I wanted to use the FEL as a crane to lift it off the trailer it was on and set it on the ground. Well if I did not have my bush hog hooked on the rear end it would have ended in disaster. The weight of the tiller would have lifted the rear end off the ground. Could flip the tractor over that way fairly easily.

As IBM used to say as their motto "THINK".
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here.
  • Thread Starter
#5  
OP
AxleHub

AxleHub

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
2,550
Location
Western Wisconsin
Tractor
Massey scut 2015 GC1715
Here's another tip to consider.

Often there can be the desire to use a front end loader to lift something from a raised truck bed or platform or loading dock. This can be done with a bucket and chain/rope or with a chain /rope with a fork set.

But a new user may confuse a fork lift ability or crane ability with a front end loader's ability. The key difference is a fork lift or crane or similar units lift upward. But a tractors front end loader lifts in "an arch or arc" which is different than straight up. That rope or chain causes a swinging motion back toward the tractor hood and grill and engine area.

Because of tailgates on a pickup bed, it forces the tractor operator to lift l up and in " and if you lift in a hurry you can end up with the item swinging in or on top of the hood or grill area. Both expensive and dangerous.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #6  

4570Man

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Apr 7, 2015
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16,601
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Crossville, TN
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Kubota M59, Kubota L3800, Grasshopper 428D, Topkick dump truck, 3500 dump truck, 10 ton trailer, more lighter trailers.
I’d add, don’t backdrag with the bucket rolled all the way down. Bending a cylinder is likely. Next, you have a front end loader, not a front end digger. Be careful with it. It can’t take the abuse a skid steer or industrial loader will.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #7  

dragoneggs

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Jun 9, 2013
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14,615
Location
Seabeck, Washington
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Kubota BX-25D, Kubota Z122RKW-42
1. Low and Slow (Keep bucket/forks low as possible)
2. Use 4WD on hills (not on pavement)
3. Grease your perks regularly
4. DIY Maintenance. Learn how to replace/change filters and fluids
5. Seat belt always on and ROPS up (watch out for your garage door)
6. Don't mix your gas and diesel (use red and yellow cans)
7. Go slow and keep low... did I already mention that?

I am sure if I thought a bit more I could list more... others will surely add to the list.
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #8  

mercdv

Silver Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
166
Location
South Carolina
Tractor
John Deere 2305
Some good info so far...

Another big change is the center of gravity. If a new user is transitioning from a LT or a GT, they need to remember that a SCUT sits higher and even though their GT might have felt stable on an incline that same incline might easily roll a SCUT. I got a little light on the uphill side a few times my first couple of weeks.

And...just because your SCUT/CUT can pull something easily on level ground, the trailer might take you for a ride on a hill. I'll never forget the first time I took a ride down a hill because my trailer weight was pushing me down and no amount of braking was stopping the slide down the hill. That was some serious pucker factor. There was nothing good at the bottom of the hill for me except a 10 foot drop off. Stopped with one wheel hanging off. Needless to say I can now judge the weight of a trailer by how it pulls so I know when to stay on level ground. Back then I just assumed if I could easily pull it...I could easily stop it....boy was I wrong. :D

One thing that used to bite me in the butt big time was exiting the tractor on the wrong side. For the new guys, you should not typically exit a SCUT from either side like you can your GT especially while it is running. Why? Well, there is this darn pesky joystick that controls your hydraulics. On some models that joystick sticks out into the operator area pretty far. If you exit the SCUT on the side with the joystick, it can hook on your clothes and raise/lower things at the worst time. Mine typically would get caught up under my shorts leg. It would ram the FEL into the ground shaking the tractor and then flip me off the tractor because I was stepping off right at the time it would catch my clothing. Always try to exit the opposite side of the joystick whenever possible. It creates a good habit for when the tractor is running.

Heck, I'm still learning and I've had mine for almost 10 years. I'm embarrassed to say what I learned 2 weeks ago the hard way but it was funny after the fact. Let me just put it this way, I'll be spending an afternoon repainting about a 5" section on my FEL because of my dumba$$. :mad:
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #9  

millsan1

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
318
Location
Riegelsville, PA
Tractor
Mahindra 2538 Cab, Volvo ECR40D Excavator
....Next, you have a front end loader, not a front end digger. Be careful with it. It can’t take the abuse a skid steer or industrial loader will.


x2, this is what I was going to post this morning. Too many people think a tractor is a "pusher" when in reality it is a "puller"
 
   / New 1st time Scut buyers/owners/operators - learn something here. #10  

cdaigle430

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
2,007
Location
Maine
Tractor
MF GC2410
Very good common sense for any tractor. Would also like to add-make sure you study the owner manuals for all tractors and implement's. Lots of good safety do's and dont's in them.
One thing I keep forgetting and it bites me in the ars over and over again is HOW looooong these tractors are with loader and BH. I have backed into many things or forgot going up a hill the BH bucket can hit the ground. I have left scrape marks on my vehicles in the garage....
 
 
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