New Purchase

   / New Purchase #111  
A FEL can do it all but not very well except moving material and even then a bobcat is faster and in some scenarios safer(expect some arugment on this). I have been a commercial landscaper for a long time and took care of my personal 5 ac for years(and transformed it myself). Yes i could have done it with a fel and a bunch of attachments, instead i did it and continue to work professionally with a few machines and a few attachments much more efficiently. BTW, i do buy used, always. these machines last thousands of hours and it is easy to find a used machine for sale by owner(stay away from dealers) that has low hours, since most people really don't like doing their own work. My fleet is a 4klb mini excavator with thumb(most used peice), small bobcat skidsteer with grapple on main bucket but also have a hydraulic brush mower for it , forks, a trencher and tracks. I also have a smallish zero turn hydraulic exmark finish mower, an older very large chipper and a stump grinder. Will a homeowner need all this, no but if you intend to make money of your place you can easily justify cost of used equipment and write off depreciation. I am a fixer and do all my maintenance and repairs and fabrication but most of these rarely break. I bought everything listed above for less that my friend bought a new kubota midsize fel with hoe and i can work circles around him.
as far as the danger thing that people will argue on skidsteer, yes they can tip, but so can any machine. At least in a skidsteer you are inside, plus use common sense and keep load low and follow the fall line of slopes and you may never even come close to tipping. in 25 years i have probably tipped skidsteer 3 times and an excavtor twice, never hurt. tip a fel and you are likely dead or injured bad.
   / New Purchase #112  
Congrats on purchasing yourselves a handy tool. It'll be well worth it when needed. We retired to central Mo 2 yrs ago. Ozarks are great. That said, buy what you can. Always said, buy the next size up. For me this holds true. April 2020 l purchased a MF1739. Great little tractor. Bought it out of Arkansas since no one local was close on price & they ship free in the USA. Also l have a MF dealer within 1hr. Our 53 acres is over 80% timbered. Id say mowing is close to 10 acres. I knew mowing weekly or so, l did not want those hrs on the tractor. So April 2020 l also purchased a 61" Scag zeroturn. Most of our property is sloped to some degree. I feel safer low to the ground. When you do purchase, my advice is to not consider any tractor that is not a 4x4. It's much safer on a slope with it engaged for braking. Not sure what dealers are close to you but consider service, parts, ect. I've been to our nearest once last fall. Though we didn't purchase there. They were good to work with as any NAME brand should be. Tractor came with a FEL. Currently 144hrs. Scag gets new blades installed next week. 115hrs. So our purchases came to $26k
Tractor 20k
Scag 5k
Box Blade $700
Like most have said, go look. Don't buy from the first place. Shopping around you learn alot. Enjoy your hobbies...


  • 20220415_132104.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 35
   / New Purchase #113  
Another good thing about the Toolcat is not having the pivot on the front axle.

Don't have to worry about this:

It has independent suspension with rubber stops:

   / New Purchase #114  
Ok, tried to address all of the above comments. I appreciate the feedback.

Location is Saint Helens Oregon. Elevation is around 350' but we get some wind coming up the valley from the coast so snow is more than normal for Western Oregon. Still, even with that, It'll likely be less than a foot at any one time. I need a small capability just to clear the steep gravel driveway enough so our 4WD vehicles can make up and down safely. Not sure if that means a snow blower or just a blade.

Money is flexible. I can afford whatever I decide on, but it's only six acres, no need to go crazy. I'd prefer to finance rather than pay cash for such a large purchase. My day job is incredibly busy so I'm planning to buy all new. I don't have a lot of time to spend wrenching on something used, at least not right away.

So far I think I need for sure an FEL, a mid-mount mower and a grader. I think a backhoe would be very useful, but not mandatory. PHD can probably wait. Given the amount of work I plan for what is essentially a hobby farm I think I can do without the cab and just get a canopy, rain being the most common weather issue. Not sure if I need a front blade, back blade or both.

I'm sure I could sign up for one or more horse associations in order to get the discount, not sure if that's the right approach or not given that it seems to impact the financing and warranty. Still, online reports seem to suggest a possible savings of 5%-10% over standard dealer incentive.

If I had a bigger place I'd probably get an L series, but I do need mower capability and it seems silly to go with a rotary cutter just for my 2 acres worth that aren't horse pature. I'm not sure I really need something that large. Frankly, if I didn't need to move a ton of gravel and grade the road I might try and get by with just a riding lawn mower, even though all the other tractor features will be handy for sure.

The local Kubota dealer is in town, so just down the road 10min or so. There are other dealers 45min-1hour away but it doesn't seem like it's worth that drive unless it turns out I don't like the dealer.

No need to work with roll hay, honestly I wasn't even aware they had any horse grade hay that came in rolls, the only roll hay I've seen is for cattle. We work exclusively with bales, preferably the 60lb granny bales so my Wife can move them around. We get about 350 bales a year for our two warmbloods, but will get more than that this year as we're going to be doing boarding for one other horse. Still, that's usually delivered and sitting in the barn, not a huge need to move it around much. That said, with the driveway we may not be able to get delivery as easily as both and may need to transport it here on a flatbed ourselves. I don't think I'll be buying anything big enough to move fully stacked pallets.

Local dealer apparently has some B2601s and an LX2610 in stock so I'm going to be looking at those likely this weekend to see if either would meet my needs. I suspect the bx23s is probably too small given the hilly terrain and the L series is likely more tractor than I need though I'll look at it while I'm there if he has any. Originally I was thinking an LX3310 might be a good choice but I'm sure if I need that or not.
Good skid loader could do most or all of what you want ... some things better than tractor. Backhoe is better for digging, but for occasional digging a skid loader dirt bucket is sufficient.
   / New Purchase #115  
Haven't priced the Kubota mid mount mowers, but my recollection is that a person could buy a
ZTR for the price of one of the JD MMMs.
Does he need a midmount mower? I have used a rear mount 5' rough cut mower for similar to his use and it works good enough for me.
   / New Purchase #116  
Thanks for the relevant feedback, it's good to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation.

For all those who recommended I look at the L series, I'm listening. No point in coming here to ask for advice and then not paying attention to it. The two big things I need a tractor for are moving gravel and grading the road both of which would benefit from the larger frame size. One of the options I'm looking at now is buying an L Series Tractor + Zero Turn Mower. The heavier tractor to handle the jobs I need and the mower to provide greater stability while mowing on a slope due to its lower center of gravity. It seems like the L2501HST could be a pretty good value choice for the capabilities it offers.
I have a Cub Cadet Z-Force zero turn and the thing I like about it is it has a steering wheel. It holds on the slopes better and not fighting with two handles to steer it. I believe Cub Cadet is the only brand that has a steering wheel. I love it, its faster and I can get closer to trees, fences, and around the house. I have a finish mower on the back of my International tractor for the field/trail work.
   / New Purchase #117  
Thanks, that helps a lot. Ok, in that case the L3902 is the widest one I'm looking at with a width of 65" on R1 tires (so some variance with R14s I'll likely end up buying). The biggest bucket I'm looking at is for that machine 66". So it looks even if I buy the largest one on my list it shouldn't be an issue.

I did some rough pricing with the online "build my Kubota tool":

Loaded with 1YR Extended warranty (mower, blade, snow blower, backhoe)
BX23S $39K
B2601 $46k
LX2610 $52K
L3902 $50k + Z251BR-54 $8k = $58k

Tack on a bit extra for a grader and some options I probably forgot. Could probably drop the backhoe and snowblower and learn to deal with those issues in a less convenient way if necessary. Dealer incentives or Equine discount could drop the price depending on the total package.

Just for fun I looked up what it would take to move a 1 Ton pallet of hay, and it looks like you'd need at least an MX to do any sort of real work. Glad I only need a toy tractor for my situation.
Not sure what type of snow blower you are looking at, but I have a PTO mounted blower for my tractor and a large bucket for my skidster, and the large bucket on my skidster is far better for clearing snow.
   / New Purchase #118  
Fascinating. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that tractor owners have different opinions just like any other group. Buying one machine to do it all was my original plan. I don't have any experience with ZTs either, so not much opinion yet one way or another.

What other brands should I look at? Are they really that different? Looks like there is a John Deere dealer about 40min away, New Holland about 30min and another Kubota dealer about 55min.
I have a couple New Holland products I am happy with (Work Master 50 and 450 utility round baler) Happy with both. JD is good but generally more expensive, both for initial purchase and repair
   / New Purchase #119  
With just two horses and one border, stick to small square bales. The only real work is stacking them in the early summer. You can monitor the quantity that the horses eat. In the winter, we'll place big squares (700 lbs) out in the paddocks, but the horses get pretty fat by the time spring rolls along (much like I do!).

I think getting a smaller tractor with a mid-mount mower and FEL is sensible. When cutting your hills, it will be good that the centre of gravity is low as possible. Make sure whatever you buy (in case of used) that you have a ROP. The FEL attachment will come in handy, and you'll also find a pallet fork handy to move stuff.

I wouldn't bother with a backhoe attachment. I have one and I hardly ever use it. Also, it is also a bit of a pain to move the tractor, dig a small section, rinse and repeat. I dug a 200' trench (4' deep) for water hydrants and it took forever. When I had to install more hydrants, I simply rented a mini-ex that got the job done in 1/4 of the time!

I have a 500' driveway and a large stable yard (live in Ontario, Canada), and I find that a simple back blade deals with plowing the snow. If the banks gets too high on the driveway, I will use the FEL to move the mounds. In 20 years, there is only one time that I wish I had a snowblower attachment.

By the way, I have a JD 4700 and a Kubota MX 5800, both compact tractors. For cutting grass around the paddocks and buildings, I have a 72" zero-turn Kubota. For the inside the paddocks and the trails, I have a 72" MX 6 (like a bush hog). I also have other toys like a chipper and stump grinder. My property has lots of trees and over the years, I have lost many ash trees to the Emerald Ash Borer.
Working with large squares you can peel off a few flakes at a time instead of free feeding. I used to feed around a half dozen horses to a pen and would use 4x5 rounds of grass hay to free feed. Worked pretty well.
   / New Purchase #120  
I have 5 acres in the mountains of central Arizona. I bought an L2501 years ago and love it. Over time though I wanted something a bit more powerful and with more FEL lift power. I purchased the L4060 with cab.
Love them both and plan to keep both for awhile.
Given your input I would strongly consider the L3560. Add the LA805 upgraded loader and the mid PTO if you want a belly mower.

With the L3560 you will have better weight to get more work done, you can lift more with the FEL, and the hill stability is exponentially better than with the standard L series.