/ Newb looking for advice and info on a new compact tractor and attachments #71
Get a farmi winch , thumb for the backhoe, and grapple on a rock bucket. Sawmill and pto chipper would be next.HI all,
I'm sure there have been 50,000 posts like this one posted over the years and just want to say thanks in advance to the community for being here to help people like me.
I'm about to purchase my first tractor and want to get some advice from those with knowledge/experience I don't have. I'll list out my situation and thoughts here as succinctly as I can, and then ask some questions. If there are things I should be considering or asking that I'm not, by all means, inform me.
I have a wooded property that we bought recently and need some equipment for various maintenance and improvements. We bought it purely as a recreational camping site for my family. No farming. No revenue will come from the tractor, so I am very sensitive to price. This is a spend on creating family experiences.
Mostly based on that cost sensitivity I've pretty much decided to go with an LS MT352. I was pretty shocked at how much better of a deal I can get it for than other comparable models from other vendors. TYM was pretty competitively priced with it, but I felt more comfortable with the LS for a lot fo reasons, not least of which because the dealer sells and services lots of LS's, but relatively few TYM's. I'd like thoughts of how appropriate this unit is for the situation I list out below.
The primary, and almost sole expected usage for the tractor will be earth moving. Part of the reason I was even able to afford the property is that it includes a large area that needs some serious cleanup and remediation. I will have to spend probably several years digging out a multi-acre area and removing earth from one area and using it to build up another.
My access to the land is over a 2 mile moutainous forest road that is only really an ATV trail right now. I will probably hire out for dozer work to do the initial road widening but will still need to do a lot of tractor work to clear areas, build good drainage, and maintain it over time. Several stretches of the road include pretty severe (to me) grades of up to around 20% that will need to be moderated and maintained so I can get a fifth wheel in to the property.
I will also be most likely putting in quite a bit of fencing ultimately. The land is pine and aspen forest covered everywhere except the areas that need the earth work. There are a few places where I will need to do some land clearing to add some roads and to make campsites. The property is moutainous so some of where I need to clear trails and work will be on hillsides.
I plan to buy a box blade for road maintenance as it seems to be the most versatile of the tools to shape and maintain a mountain road. I also will spend money to get forks as well as it just seems that everything I see online from tractor users kind of says that forks are just really super useful for a myriad of things.
Because of my usage needs, I figured it would be important to get a heavier frame compact tractor, but want it as small an overall size as possible in order to get into the trees as needed. I figured my priorities to be overall weight, frame strength, loader, and backhoe.
Because I'm a newb and will be using this for earth work primarily, I am planning to go with HST. Everything I read says this is what HST is designed for, I just need to get a powerful enough tractor to make up for any HST power loss (though I won't be using the PTO much really...)
I have a lot of deadfall so I think I'll use the forks at first but likely end up with a grapple over time, so I'll get a third function, or will get additional remotes on the back that I can run hoses from.
The land is pretty remote, with no structures or anywhere to take breaks, and a lot of the dirt I will be digging in will be dry and super dusty, so I am planning to get a cab.
So my questions are;
- LS specs their compact tractors with 2 levels of backhoe. a 2100 series, and a 3100 series. The 2100 series is a foot shorter and rated for about 2700lbs of breakout force. The 3100 is rated for about 1000 lbs more breakout force. The MT352 I'm looking at has a 2100 series backhoe installed. Since this is a tool I expect to use a lot, I told them I would only buy it if they swapped that out for the 3100 series, which they are doing for me.
- I'm concerned by one youtube guys experience with this backhoe though, where the owner had continual serious failures using this backhoe.
- For anyone who is not familiar, this backhoe is not made by LS. It is the same backhoe that is on Kioti's, and some others. and that is what confuses me. I haven't really read any bad reviews from Kioti owners or others. Definitely not the at the level of failures that this guy expereinced (like structural problems, etc.)
- Anyone have any experience with the LS/Kioti backhoes?
What attachments should I be thinking about? -
- I know I need the loader and backhoe. And am planning on box blade and forks. Are those the right attachments to be focusing on? should I be getting something different or additional?
- One thing I am concerned about is clearing brush and ground. There are some areas where I want to clear some brush and create a new road. Would I be able to do this with a loader and box blade? Do I need to be thinking about getting something else as well?
Where to buy attachments -
- My dealer offers box blades by Titan Implements, but it looks like that company has changed names and these are still labeled Titan. They also appear to be standard duty models. everything I've read makes me think that, for box blades, I need to buy as heavy duty as I can. So I think I'll pass on these. Also, generally I think it's a bad idea to buy things at dealers. Generally that's not where you find the best deals.
- I was looking at Everything Attachments, and Woods (just because I have read good things about these brands). The EA box seems well designed, and is a little cheaper than the Woods, but the side walls are half as think as the Woods. The Woods weighs 680lbs, while the EA unit only weighs 515lbs.
- Does anyone have experiene with these and give any advice?
- What other brands should I be considering? Am I thinking the right way on these in the first place? Could I go cheaper??
- Th backhoe comes with a 24" bucket, which seems really wide to me for that hoe. I am thinking I probably need to buy a 12" bucket as well.
- am I thinking right on that?
- where should I look for buckets?
How wide of a box blade should I get?
- The tractor is 64" wide, so I am thinking I would want the 65" or 66" blades. Should I be looking at 72" blades instead? I will want to use it to create some drainage ditches beside the road and I'm thinking it may be an advantage to have a wider one (but also may be a paing to manage??)
Should I get my tires filled with Beet juice? and what is a normal cost to get that done?
The tractor comes with 2 rear ports. It can accomodate up to three. Should I have the third rear port added?
- I am planning on installing a hydraulic top link on it, so that will leave 1 port. I am expecting to use that port for the backhoe.
- I also expect that adding a third function for the loader will be too much $$, so I woud like to just run some hoses up from a rear remote.
- This is where I want a little help because of my inexperience -- I think that, when I have the backhoe installed, I can just remove the hoses for the top link and free up that port. So I would be able to run the hoe and a loader third function at the same time. And if I am using the box blade, the hoe ports will be freed up to use for the top link. So that would mean that I only really need 2 ports.
- But the 2 current ports only give me one detent port. I expect that I want 2 detent ports, wouldn't I?
I am planning to buy a 16 foot dump trailer to transport the tractor. I don't want to go bigger than a 16 footer, but by my best estimates I am expecting that the backhoe will hang over the end of the trailer.
Anyone have any experience transporting with a dump trailer? Good idea or bad? Anything I need to think of before I drive to pick up the tractor with the trailer?
anything else here I'm not considering that I should be?