Tractor Recommendation

   / Tractor Recommendation #1  


New member
May 2, 2021
Husky T354 and TBD
OK, First post, longtime lurker. I have 12+ acres of (somewhat hilly property. 1.5acres lawn, 4acres 'field', the rest woods.Here's my situation. I've been looking at tractors for the past 6 years. I intended to purchase a larger tractor for the hay field and landscaping tasks. I bought a CC XT2 lawn tractor when I moved in 6years ago, thinking it will last and handle mowing duties and keep hours off the tractor. So much for that...
I can summarize tasks into three major tasks:

Mowing*: I currently own a Cub Cadet XT2, 46 fab deck, diff locks, lawn tractor. The TT K46 transmission is already shot at 180hrs. I don't abuse the mower, but I use to mow, and pull a garden cart. Dealer wants $1400 to replace the trans.... i've discussed local repair shop or me doing same replacement for about $800. The catch is... I don't want to replace the K46 with another one.... I don't want to replace a transmission every 5 years, plus I want to be able to work the machine and not worry about burning the transmission everytime I mow or move firewood. I've considered replacing it (myself) with a K62 for 1600$, with the intent of it lasting longer. (*edited nov2022: I bought a new mower to handle yard mowing.)

Maintenance: 500' gravel driveway maintenance,4acre Field / brushcutting, maybe annual snow removal on occasion..

Landscaping: The largest (most challenging tasks) are to move large rocks from the field/woods up to the house for retaining /landscaping walls. How big are the rocks... well, all sizes... they come in tiny, (I can move by hand) to big (can move by tractor,(big, think 1'x2'x4'),), to house size. I don't consider the property extra hilly for WV, in fact, I'd call it mostly flat. The picture of rocks by the garden are typical, they were moved by my neighbor's TYM 4series tractor, and he said it was about maxed for the big ones. Other tasks... building retaining walls with rocks / patio / installing drainage lines, leveling the lawn (smooth it for mowing), property clearing (cutting/moving trees)... etc... (re-locating the driveway entrance uphill)
Things I've already ruled out:
I'm not renting tractors, or mini excavators to do the landscaping tasks or moving rocks.
I'm not paying someone else to cut the yard or field or do any landscaping.

i'm back and forth on frame size... do i want a tractor small enough to cut the grass, or one that can move the rocks i need for landscaping... and repair the mower.

Things I'm considering:
small compact such as JD 2038R to handle all tasks (except moving the large rocks... just not big enough)
LS MT2 or MT3 series (will not buy Kioti, since thats same dealer as cub cadet)... other colors are fine, but I find the LS to be the best bang-for-buck tractor for what i'm going to ask it.

Thoughts on mower fix... I've seen a few people upgrade the K46 with a 52, but I thought going with the same trans as CC XT2 GX54 w/ Diff Locks, how hard could it be?

which also ... recommendations?
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   / Tractor Recommendation #2  
2 machines - compact track loader / skid steer and get a good zero turn to do all of the mowing, field included.

I'd get grapple for the track loader/skid steer as well as the regular bucket and a rock bucket. You can rent a trencher attachment for it when doing your drain lines as well as a harley rake to level your lawn.
   / Tractor Recommendation #3  
You probably need a stone-boat to skid the large rocks with a compact tractor.

GOOGLE SEARCH: tractor stone boat

Some use a suitably shaped old car hood from the junkyard as a stone boat.
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   / Tractor Recommendation #4  
My previous Kubota B7100 hst moved lots of rocks of the size shown. If it could not lift them it could push or pull them.

For the work that is mentioned a slightly larger tractor with backhoe should be suitable.
   / Tractor Recommendation #5  
You know a Kubota B26 would be right up your alley too.

   / Tractor Recommendation #6  
Any LS tractor except the LS 125 unless you are a mechanic!
If you have a Yanmar dealer nearby check of the SA324 it maybe
just what you need.

   / Tractor Recommendation #7  
Any LS tractor except the LS 125 unless you are a mechanic!
If you have a Yanmar dealer nearby check of the SA324 it maybe
just what you need.

well, the SA324 might lift some of the smaller rocks, but not the mid size or up.... it's a subcompact! The same class as the MT125.

Did you own an LS 125? Pretty strong statement....

Well, I had one.... 225 hours in less than 2 years. NOT ONE PROBLEM! That was grading a new homesite, grading/ box blading a new drive / parking area, then spreading over 100 tons of roadbase gravel. Then digging and installing a full septic system (another 65+ tons of stone), trenching water and electric lines. Then doing a final grade around the house.

That was all in addition to mowing 5 acres with a 6' finish mower, digging 50+ post holes, and carrying most all the materials for building the house. It did everything that I expected it to do plus some.

Then I sold it, for just $500 less than what I paid for it! And purchased another LS.

I now have 225 hours on my LS MT2 series TLB in less than 2 years. Again, absolutely trouble free!

To the OP, I think you will be VERY HAPPY with either an MT 2 or MT 3. Very capable for what you need to do. I would fix your mower to be used in the tight spaces, but recommend you get a rear finish mower for whatever tractor you get.

I wouldn't toss out the idea of a Kioti.... especially the CK2610. Very capable / nice machine. Really nice that you can get a belly mower on it in addition to being a strong machine.

Good luck with your search.
   / Tractor Recommendation #8  
May just be me, but if the stance is wide enough (and CG is low enough) on either of the LS tractors to keep them from getting tippy on a side slope I don't see why they also couldn't be used for mowing -- but then I'm also using a Kubota L3560 with 3pt 72" finish mower on about three acres (2/3's pasture & 1/3 lawn with the lawn having about a dozen trees on it) so there is that to consider. BTW I went that route after getting tired of dealing with name branded big box store mowers (with air-cooled engines) dying at low hours after only being used to mow the yard.

Alternatively going the route of buying the JD 2025 for mowing/maintaining and buying a used piece of construction equipment (skid steer, mini excavator, whatever) for the heavy landscaping work (and selling it when those tasks are done) might be something to consider. From what I've seen used construction equipment seems to hold it's value relatively well (occasionally look at prices to make my own buy/rent decisions).
   / Tractor Recommendation #9  
What kind of TYM does your neighbor have a T474 or T494? TYM's has pretty world class FEL capacities. T474 2150# and T494 2700#.
   / Tractor Recommendation #10  
LS Tractor Owner: I check out the net and LS
Corp was giving LS125 owners grief about warranties. It was just the LS125. was told that the S125 is a very big seller. this is from a forum: sticky pedals,and some have reported hydro system problems. maybe they have corrected the problem I hope so as its a nice tractor. t I would suggest an LS over a JD any day from what I have seen and heard. The plastic JD's just don't hold up as they really crack up! The plastic gets brittle and that's the end of it.

You can go to the LS tractor section and see 2 guys with brand new XR3140hc within 10 minutes problems they have a real good dealer that was working on the problems. Any tractor can have
problems but some are prone to have more than others.

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