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 07-20-2008, 01:55 Post: 155430
thespaugh



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 Kubota suggestions for my scenario

Hi newbee to the forum. I’ve been reading quite a few posts over the last week as I’m needing a compact tractor for a 4 acre parcel that I’m about to being building my house on. I was hoping for some insight and perhaps some confirmation on my initial thoughts. I live about an hour north of Seattle and my land is heavily treed in areas with the remaining untried land being covered with blackberry vines most over 8ft tall. I’m hoping when the road is blasted through the heavy equipment operator can be persuaded to run over much of this blackberry mess and give me a manageable starting point for my compact tractor. With that being said my plans are to initially remove/tame the remaining weeds/BB vines (brush hog?), lay seed, do landscaping/flowerbeds, maybe some backfill work around the house, tree clearing (FEL), and eventually have 3 acres for “finish” mowing (thinking 60” deck off rear PTO or mmm) as well as with a nice (home-owner size) garden (PTO tiller) and a 600’ gravel drive (box blade). Also, the back of my house will be 60 ft from a 200ft cliff so mowing in this area will have some limitations on turning / space. The lot itself is fairly flat.

I swung into the local Kubota and New Holland dealerships and told the Kubota guy my story (the New Holland sales guy was with another customer). The Kubota guy recommended the b7800 or b2920. I brought up the b3030 and he claimed the b2920 replaced it… I know he didn’t have any in stock so maybe this is why he said that…but he did say he expects a used b3030 will show up next week on trade in. The non-sales guy at NH said the TC30 or T1510 would be similar to the Kubota’s I was recommended. I asked the Kubota guy about the L series and he recommended against this as he claims it will tear up my lawn during mowing and normal stopping/reversing…this is Seattle weather so the grass/ground is wet a good part of the time. The reason I ask about the L is that I can get a used L3400 (gear drive) for around $14.5k with ~150hrs, FEL, 600# counter balance and rear blade from a private owner (no tax). According to what I read the L3400 is ~700# heaver without the counterbalance.

So here are my questions:
1) Is the L too heavy and too much tractor for maintaining 3 acres where the grass and ground can be wet?
2) Are the 30hp B series I was recommended enough tractor given my scenario?
3) Is the TC30/ T1510 a reasonable NH alternative to the Bs suggested?
4) What JD model is comparable?
5) Any suggestions what might be best for taking out blackberry vines or is this beyond a compact tractor.

Sorry for the long winded post. I look forward to hearing from some tractor veterans!

Chris






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 07-20-2008, 07:26 Post: 155433
hardwood

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Chris; Welcome to the form, I've never been to your part of the USA, but maybe someday. Thinking about the blackberry vines, a five ft. rotary cutter on a 30-35 HP. compact will grind them up just by going slow and probably in reverse would work best. The other thought about the berry vines is the little sharp "stunps" the cutter will leave possibly puncturing your tires. R-4 tires for your tractor have a harder and thicker tread that would be best for that situation and also are pretty gentle on turf. I'm not a big fan of MMM mowers, they are a real pain to mount and dismount plus they are pretty pricey, I have a rear mount finish mower, a Landpride, they are easy on and easy off. I've got a five ft. 3pt. Landpride tiller for my Deere 4310, (32 hp.), you can do a bunch of tillage in a little while, but be forewarned, no matter the brand of tiller, stones, roots, etc. can stop the best of them. The most used three pt. attachment I own is a six ft. box blade. I'm sure you will want a front end loader, you will find yourself using it every day for something. don't waste money buying the counterballance weight for the loader, just buy a three pt. box blade instead, it serves the same purpose and you will find iot a very uisefull tool also. One last thing I can think of is don't buy any tractor without a front wheel assist or 4 wheel drive, tractors can be pretty helpless without it. Nothing wrong with buying used and unless you are planning on doing front yard work I wouldn't worry too much about the used one being too heavy. I'm pretty much a Deere person except for three point equipment, and as you may have guessed by now Landpride is my favorite there. Far as a Deere of the size you would want, a 3000 series in about the 32-35 hp. range, they have about every feature you can possibly need. Frank.






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 07-20-2008, 09:47 Post: 155435
kwschumm



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We have 15 acres of doug firs here in the Portland area. Frank is right, a 5-foot cutter will make short work of the blackberry, just go slow. I think you'd want a medium-duty cutter, not the light duty, since on a piece of rough land you will encounter stumps and other nasty stuff. That means a minimum of 25 pto hp. Any machine of that size will do the other stuff you want. As far as tires, my JD came with R4s and they were nearly useless in clay soil, wet or dry. R1s AG tires will handle the blackberry stumps just fine and give excellent traction in wet, muddy conditions but will be damage turf for mowing. Maybe you need R4s or Turfs and use chains in the rough. You need 4WD, too, and if you have hills get your tires spaced out wide for best stability. If you plan to mow on soft turf you need a light machine and turf style flotation tires. It really sounds to me like you need two machines. Maybe buy/rent or pay someone to do the heavy work initially and then get something smaller and lighter for the long haul down the road.

Oh, the blackberry will keep popping up for years. Get some 2,4D (Crossbow is one brand) and a sprayer and spot-spray every year to keep them under control.






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 07-20-2008, 09:55 Post: 155436
candoarms



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Thespaugh,

You're facing a scenario similar to the one I faced, when I moved into this place.

You might be in line for a larger tractor to start out with, and then trade for a smaller tractor when the house and yard are finished.

To start out with, I would consider the L-Series tractor with ag tires (R1 Tires). A few years down the road, it might be time to trade the L-Series tractor for the B-7800 with turf tires.

While in the Army, I was stationed at Fort Lewis for a full year. We went through a period of time, near Christmas, when we didn't see the sun for 25 days straight. Suicide rates set a record in the area. The rain just kept coming. Anything but turf tires will tear up the sod in those wet conditions.

If I were you, I'd start out with a larger tractor. You can always trade the Kubota later. They hold their value better than most brands.

Joel






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 07-20-2008, 10:28 Post: 155439
bvance

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Hi Chris,

Welcome to the Board. You will enjoy all of the great info you get on this site as you work on your new home.

We're neighbors as I live in Olympia, just south of you by 2 hours.

I have 2 acres and built a home in 2000. I did all of things you have mentioned you want to do, including the Blackberries. In my opinion, a BX 24 will do you just fine. Joel and I often disagree on this subject. He favors a larger tractor in some cases I just don't believe are necessary. (Joel's a great guy with lots of great advice)

The BX models are amazing machines. Some look at them as toys, but believe me, they aren't. I wish I would have bought the backhoe model, but they did not have it when I bought my BX. Some will tell you that the BX model only handles Cat 0 3 point equipment which is not true. The BX will handle CAT 1, but it does have limited 3 pt. lift heigth, so you do have to buy attachments that are made for the BX model. Most mfg. make all types of 3 pt. attachments.

I am very familiar with clay. I have turf tires on my BX and they do just fine in the clay and you will want turf tires for mowing the lawn.

Another advantage is the size of the BX vs the B or L tractors when you want to give them proper storage in a shop or garage.

Which ever model you get, get the hydro transmission...the only way to go. Your FEL and boxblade will be the attachments you will use all the time. Very useful.

Don't get me wrong, a B model would do a fine job but my point is so would a BX. I would strongly suggest a backhoe for when you begin to plant all of your shrubs and trees. Digging in clay is not much fun at all.

Have a great time with your purhcase and your projects!

Brian






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 07-20-2008, 10:47 Post: 155441
kwschumm



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Brian, soil conditions change from region to region and you certainly must have different clay than we have. It's so sticky here wet that when you step in it and pull your foot out the size of your foot has doubled. See my pics for how badly it will plug up an R4.

When it's dry it is so powdery that if you step on a dry patch on a hill your feet will slip right out from under you. With R4s I nearly got stuck in dry conditions while crossing some tire tracks on flat land perpendicularly - the rear tires would just spin in the powder. Had to put it in 4wd with diff lock to get out.

R1s have never given me a bit of trouble in wet or dry conditions but they do leave some serious tracks in wet.






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 07-20-2008, 11:01 Post: 155442
bvance

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Ken,

You're right, but I think I have the same kind of clay you do...I experienced the same conditions that you have but was able to work around those conditions. Except the dry powder. When mine is dry it is as hard as concrete.

It's just that I belive the average home-owner will be happier with turf than R-4's if they do a lot of mowing. I think you do quite a bit more than the average homeowner with your tractor.

I re-read Chris' post and see he wants to do something with the trees. My question is what? If he has a lot of trees to cut and move out, I would suggest that he has the loggers do it when they come in to clear for his house. Even a B model will have a tough time moving trees, depending on how he goes about it.

Depending on what he wants to do with the trees, a B model might be best for him, but I also want him to know I think he would be happy with a BX as well

Brian






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 07-20-2008, 11:07 Post: 155443
kwschumm



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Brian,

For me the dry powder was the last straw. There was a guy here who drove down to the back of our house in a 4wd Jeep Cherokee. He couldn't get back up the hill in 4WD with M&S tires in the dry powder (all four tires were spinning and he was sliding backwards). I had to tow him up with the tractor. Funny thing is, another time the same guy with the same Cherokee got stuck on the same hill when it was wet. Smile

But you are right, the average homeowner would probably be better off with turfs. Chains can probably get them through the wet clay.

Whenever tree work is being done in the woods I automatically think R1s. Traction conditions in the woods vary a lot and the big lugs have never let me down.

Ken






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 07-20-2008, 12:25 Post: 155445
candoarms



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Bvance,

My earlier comments were based on the fact that he has a lot of tree work to do. I honestly don't believe a B-Series tractor is large enough for that job.

Clearing a lot in the area north of Seattle is going to require a fairly heavy tractor, good traction, and tires that can withstand the punctures from those sharp tree shoots.

I'm with you on the BX tractors. They'll handle most any chore the average homeowner will come up against. However, they aren't big enough for the initial work involved here. I honestly believe even the B-Series Kubota would be overwhelmed by the project.

There is no such thing as having the right machine for every job. We always face compromises. Even the local farmers, who own several different tractors, find themselves wishing that they had a tractor better suited for certain tasks.

In this case, I think we're talking about a migration from heavy-duty work in the beginning, to routine yard maintenance sometime down the road. I wouldn't rule out an L-Series Kubota for the for early stages of this project, with plans to scale down in size once the great majority of the heavy work is completed.

No matter what, it's necessary to have 4-wheel drive, a heavy duty loader, good traction, and plenty of weight for the early, site preparation work. I also recommend the hydro transmission. I wouldn't go back to a manual transmission unless I'm working more than 25 acres. For extended periods of loader work, the hydrostatic transmission is WELL worth the extra few bucks.

I wouldn't rule out a BX Series tractor at some point down the road -- when the lawn and gardens are planted, the flower beds are established, and the driveway is completed. A BX tractor will easily be able to maintain even the largest lawns.

The weather west of the Cascade Mountain Range is something to behold. I've never seen so much rain in my life. It might not be a bad idea to consider a cab, but for the fact that the heavy tree work would beat the cab up pretty badly. At some point in the future, a cab would be very much a necessity in that climate.

Have a good day, everyone.

Joel






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 07-20-2008, 14:49 Post: 155450
hardwood

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As most of you old timers around here know by now, I do not like hydro drive tractors, I've tried them and didn't find anytning they could do that my suttle trans won't except waste fuel in excess heat and money in the purchase price. That being said please understand that I AM NOT picking on any specfific brand whan I make the following observations. I do not like Deere hydros because of the brake pedals being on the left instead of the right which all old farm tractor drivers are used to. Last Sunday while on a drive in Southeast Minnesota we came thru a county seat size town which I can't remember the name of but there was a dealership with a lot of new and used Kubota and Ford/NH compacts and full size farm tractors on the display lot. The wife didn't mind so I went back to look them over, having never really taken the time to give both brands a good look see. Now my question about both brands, how do you operate the hydro control pedal and the steering brakes at the same time with your right foot? Frank.






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