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Discussion on Best tractor for small acreage?

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Jerre R
Member
Username: Jerre

Post Number: 118
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, Jun 18, 2004 - 12:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We're looking at sub-compact Kubotas, the BX2230 and 7510HST. We have 13 acres of western Washington alder woodlands with soft clay soil, small pasture areas, two horses. Ideally, I could mow my so-called lawn areas also. We'd like to do some logging -- dragging downed trees, moving uprooted stumps.

Any thoughts on the perfect tractor?

Jerre
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Gail Anderson
Member
Username: Gailking

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, Jun 18, 2004 - 4:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jerre,
I also am in the market for a regular compact tractor. Several people gave me suggestions. The consensus seems to be that Kubotas have lots of bells and whistles and are easy to use, but you pay more for the Kubotas than the same horsepower and features in a John Deere. We have 80 acres with woodlands and pasture, creek, etc. so I want to do many of the same things you do including fencing, clearing brush and logs, seeding, removing rocks, etc. One friend who has had several Kabotas recommended a new John Deere model which I priced out from a local dealer. I later talked to a different dealer who told me this tractor was all wrong for what I wanted to do. When you remove the backhoe part, the front loader is then too heavy to do seeding, box scraping, etc. Also, this recommended tractor is meant for construction and is much heavier than less expensive models and will compact the soil more. The second Deere dealer is coming out to our property next week to assess our needs and then recommend a model that would work for us. I appreciate the common sense advice from the second dealer and look forward to his recommendation. I will let you know what he recommends in about two weeks since we are going on vacation until then. My advice is to make sure you talk to people who understand your specific needs and aren't just trying to sell you an expensive tractor. Gail
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Nancy Reynolds Kiester
Member
Username: Albionsh

Post Number: 57
Registered: 9-2001
Posted on Friday, Jun 18, 2004 - 7:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My husband and I bought a new tractor last summer. We have nothing but praise for the way it has performed the many tasks on our place. We bought a Kioti (pronounced Coyote) tractor, a 45 horse 4WD with a 6 ft. bucket, fork lifts, a blade scraper and a box scraper, and have gotten some other pieces since. It was less expensive than either a Kobota or a John Deere. The Kioti is Korean made; the company has been making tractors for 40 years or so. Not too many people have ever complained that their tractor was too big and strong, but a lot feel they got one that was too small. Even if the jobs aren't that big, a full sized tractor will get it done with less effort and wear and tear on the machine rather than pushing a small tractor to its very limit.
We sure appreciate ours!
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 75
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, Aug 30, 2004 - 4:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Gail

What tractor did you decide to go with in the end? We are looking right now and have it narrowed down to a John Deere 2210, a New Holland TZ18DA or TZ24DA, or a Kubota BX1830 or BX2230.

We have 5 acres and we will be using it to mow fields, drag arena and paddocks, move manure and gravel, etc.

Right now we are leaning towards the John Deere but haven't completely made up our minds.

Any input from one and all would be much appreciated!
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Jerre R
Member
Username: Jerre

Post Number: 151
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Monday, Aug 30, 2004 - 9:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, we just bought a Kubota BX2230 with a front end loader (we added a toothbar), a mid-mount mower and a box scraper. So far, it's been all that we wanted. We have 13 acres of mostly woods, so my husband uses it for firewood. It lifts downed alder trees, moves stumps that have been popped out by a bulldozer, etc.

I use it as a lawn mower for about an acre of so-called lawn, as well as a small pasture. It's really quick to drop or attach the loader (so I can use it easier as a lawn mower); just 2-5 minutes, and I can do it without my husband. The box scraper takes about twice as long, but we've only done the whole process a few times. I expect I'll get faster at it.

And the loader, of course, is priceless.

We got the ag tires. It's had all the power we need, is maneuverable around objects, easy to use.

And it has a cup holder.

The package deal was $15,000 on a 3-year no-interest payment.
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Sandy Trautmann
Member
Username: Sandbox

Post Number: 18
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Monday, Aug 30, 2004 - 9:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue -

I don't know the model number but we have a 47HP Kubota tractor for our 30 acres. We're still in to process of building our farm but my city born husband fancys himself being something of a farmer and is already wishing he had a bigger tractor! He uses it for digging around trees & building areas, mowing, dragging trees, blowing snow and hopefully, it'll work for moving round bales and hauling manure!

We haven't had any problems with it (knock on wood). And I'll echo the recommendation to make sure you buy it big enough - good luck on your research.
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 77
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 1:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks so much, Jerre and Sandy. Great info and we'll take all your advice to heart. We are planning on making a final decision this week and hopefully have it delivered on the weekend as all the local dealers seem to have inventory on hand.

Since our property is basically flat and we don't get snow as a rule, a mid-mount mower should be fine for our fields and lawn. A bucket is an absolute must and the new quick-release free-standing assemblies are awesome. Luckily we already have a nice set of diamond-tooth harrows for the arena and paddocks.

Thanks again for your advice!
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Gail Anderson
Member
Username: Gailking

Post Number: 26
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 4:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue, More tractor info! My original post referred to a friend who had three different Kubotas and had suggested a new John Deere model he heard about that turned out to be inappropriate for me. The John Deere salesman close to our ranch came out to our property (70 mile drive) and spent about three hours assessing my needs and answering questions. He recommends getting the smallest tractor that can do all the things you need it to do so that you don't waste money buying extra horsepower you don't need. After deciding that I cannot drive up the steep mountain for logging work because the rubber tires do not have enough traction, we settled on more farming uses and clearing brush, moving hay and firewood, raking rocks, leveling pasture, mowing, grading, etc. The final tractor he recommended to me is the John Deere 4310 which has about 29 horsepower (can't remember the exact amount). He priced out the hydrostatic vs. manual transmission, and all the various options I could get and the advantages vs costs, etc. I can pull a 6 foot rotary mower with this size. Last week I called my tractor friend about something else and mentioned that the model he had suggested didn't work out and that I was getting a JD 4310. He said that's the tractor I just got and I absolutely love it. It is sooo much better than my other Kubotas. So his opinion after owning three good sized Kubotas is that the hydrostatic on the JD uses much less power to work the transmission than the Kubotas so he gets much more torque and better mileage with less hp. He can't believe to power in the JD. He has used the tractor for about 44 hours (he's had it a month) and has moved large 3 foot boulders, pulled out fence posts (a whole row in 3 minutes with the 4 in 1 bucket), cleared berries, righted a collapsing huge barn, etc. He can't believe how much better the JD is than the Kubotas. In fact one of his neighbors came over on his 50 hp Kubota and was so disgusted with what his tractor could do compared to the JD that he is going to trade his in on a 4310. Most importantly, the JD loader can lift almost 3000 pounds about 9 feet high. My friend said his larger Kubota only could lift about 800 pounds. He also loves the way the hydrostatic transmission works and how the pedals are laid out. The JD has a forward and reverse on the right and the brakes on the left whereas the K. have all on the right. He also got the 4 in 1 bucket which is more expensive because it requires an extra set of haudralics up front for the bucket with jaws. He also got the top and tilt option which allows you to tilt rakes and blades on the back while on the tractor, but again requires more rear hydralics. He said the JD's controls are easier to use and he doesn't have to reach back as much as the K. There are many great standard features which a dealer could explain to you including a setting that will automatically gear down the engine if you are trying to move something really heavy too fast. It also is self priming if you run out of fuel. The cage bar for protection unbolts with two pins to lower as opposed to having to unscrew the assemply on the K. It comes with cruise control but another cheap option lets you set the max speed say not over 4 mph in case someone using it in a stall steps on the gas too hard, it won't go any faster. I sound like a salesman, but this guy has used equipment all his life and is currently managing a 2000 acre ranch plus he does construction, etc. He has used all kinds of equipment big and small and he just thinks this tractor is fantastic. My neighbor next to our ranch also has an older 4310 but with manual transmission. He has built a 5000 sq. ft. house and used his JD to move 60 foot beams into place in the three story house with only his little tractor. He loves his and likes the manual, but the hydrostatic is more flexible and easier to use and that is what I am going to get. Just have to decide on the type of bucket, the top and tilt and maybe a grapple which will have to have a toggle switch on the extra hydralic in front. The 4310 can use all the same buckets and backhoes as the 4610 (bigger) so I can't see why I should get the heavier and bigger tractor. JD has a great brochure that shows the tractors and what size accessories fit what models--very helpful. It also has a great drink cup. I hope other tractor owners aren't offended by my post, but I respect my friend's opinion and he has owned both brands. I know someone else who just bought a Kubota for his 7 acres and loves his tractor too although he has never used a JD. The bottom line is to do research, talk to other owners and find a really good dealer who will take the time to assess your needs and answer all questions. (My local JD dealer didn't care what I was going to do with the tractor; he just gave me a bid for things I thought I would want even though it turned out that some options he quoted wouldn't have worked on the tractor they were pricing for me.) My dealer up north not only has spent hours answering questions, but when I finally get the tractor, he will take whatever time it takes to teach me about it. His dealership charges 10% over wholesale and sells other brands of optional add on equipment. They also provide service if needed. I can't wait to get my tractor, but we still have nothing on the property, so can't lock up the equipment yet. Good luck on your shopping, Sue, and let me know what you end up with. By the way, I don't have any lawn so I don't need a lawn mower. But for fields and weeds, get a rotary mower. A flail mower flings rocks and debris all over the place. If my attempts to be brief are confusing, let me know if I can clarify anything. Happy tractoring. Gail
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Lisa Brand
Member
Username: Trouble

Post Number: 79
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 5:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you're going with a John Deere and are a member of AQHA, check out the AQHA website.

You can get an extra $500.00 off your best negotiated price on the bigger tractors. I think they are still running this program, but am not positive.
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 78
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 5:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow, Gail! I'm so overwhelmed with all the info you provided and can't thank you enough. Just the kind of stuff we need to know.

Our local JD dealer seems to be excellent too. He spent a great deal of time talking to us about our needs and said that the dealership will deliver a new tractor to us (with all the add-ons that we are looking for) and leave it with us for a couple of days so we can use it and see if it fits our needs. If it doesn't, they'll take it back - no questions asked - and we can either try another model or choose to go with another manufacturer. If we like it, we keep it. I thought that was an excellent suggestion and obviously shows their commitment to customer service. Haven't had that offer from any of the other manufacturers so far.

Yes we are definitely looking at a rotary mower. Your new tractor will be larger than what we need but as I mentioned before, we'll be getting a bucket too (although it won't carry the weight yours will). Sounds like you'll be able to build your own tractor shed with yours! How cool is that!

I'll let you know what we finally end up going with. Like you, I'm getting terribly excited about getting one. Can't stop thinking of new uses for it.

Enjoy yours - it sounds like it will be fantastic!
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 79
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 5:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Lisa

Unfortunately I breed warmbloods and not quarter horses so can't get in on the AQHA deal. Great deal though and thanks for bring it up.

Cheers
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Christine E. Nicholas
Member
Username: Cnichola

Post Number: 16
Registered: 12-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 - 6:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Our extension office in its managing small acreage class recommends using a 4-wheeler with attachments rather than using a tractor. Does anyone have experience with a John Deere Gator?
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Gail Anderson
Member
Username: Gailking

Post Number: 27
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2004 - 4:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am also looking into getting a Gator. My trainer has one a few years old. I wasn't impressed with the lag between stepping on the gas and moving ahead. She uses hers in the barn everyday for removing manure, etc. She has the dump lift for the back which is really handy and useful. The small blade on the front is really worthless and she couldn't even spread dry manure on a track evenly. She uses her harrow to rake it smooth instead and couldn't use the blade on the arena really. Would probably move light snow though. My friend with the new JD 4310 also just bought a new Gator with it. He got 4 wheel drive but with only 4 tires total. (The older ones have 6 tires but only the back 4 are 4WD.) He also got the hydralic dump and his wife loves driving it. I drove it over pretty rough terrain at their 2000 acre ranch. It went through water ditches and didn't get stuck or stall. It also did well on bumpy, hilly terrain. I am thinking of getting one for our ranch because I don't want to drive my pickups a half mile back and forth from the barn every time I forget some tool I need. My friend's dealer even threw in a free riding lawn mower valued (they said) about $3000 for buying both pieces of equipment. I think a Gator is great for getting around and fine for a very small horse operation where you are only doing manure management, etc. Anytime you want to get into using the PTO and other types of equipment: log splitters, shredders, rotary mowers, augers, etc. it is better to get a small tractor. Ask your dealer what power take off you get from the Gator as opposed to a small tractor. Home Depot is selling new small Gators but they do not have the hydralic lift rear dump on them. Good luck. Let us know what other info you learn about them.
Sue, you JD dealer sounds great about letting you use the tractor to see how it works for you. They really seem to want customer satisfaction and stand behind their products. Let me know what you decide on. Gail
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