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 02-25-2003, 14:17 Post: 50014
bsimmons



Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Mason, NH
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 6
 tractor buying questions power implements

Howdy, folks. My wife wanted me to get us a tractor for our 20th wedding anniversary last October, but I put it off. Now I'm ready, and trying to decide which model to get. I was going to get an older tractor to save money, but decided that (being pretty nonmechanical) I'd likely be better off spending the bucks and buying new. I've been reading the forums here the last couple of days and have a couple of questions.

Background:
I've never owned a tractor before. We have only about 13 ac now; about half is fenced and in pasture; we expect to get more land here in the near future, and with any luck buy a bigger place in a few years. We have a few cows, sheep, chickens, a barn, a 30+ tree orchard. We have a big Kubota/New Holland dealer just 9 miles away.

I'm thinking about a 30-40hp tractor with an FEL for manure/compost, snow (we've got 30-36 inches on the ground now), and material moving. I could use a bush hog on occasion. The grass gets ahead of our critters sometimes, so I've thought a sickle-bar would be useful to whack it down; I could store the loose hay in the barn. Down the road, a backhoe would be nice. Don't need a finish mower.

I drove an L3130 around last weekend. It fits me (6'2" and 250 lbs) and the spousal unit (5'3" and I ain't asking) just fine with the adjustable/reclining seat and tilt steering. It seemed to be real easy to drive and the bucket (under no load) moved very easily and intuitively.

Questions:
What would more horsepower get me? I am trying to avoid MPS (More Power Syndrome), but for a good enough reason we would spring for the L3430 or equivalent. It is very difficult for me to evaluate what I really need. I would hate to buy something and find out three months later I wished I had a bigger tractor, but I also don't want to spend money unnecessarily.

We are danged tired of digging post holes; we started January a year ago in the frozen ground and it wasn't fun. It turned out not to be any more fun in July, though it was a bit easier. So I thought a PTO auger would be good. However, from reading the forums, it seems like small rocks stop the PTO augers just as much as they did the 2-man gas auger we were using. Here in southern NH, we have a gracious plenty of granite from surface level down to as far as I would dig (4 ft, probably), from the size of your hand to the size of your body. I had to laugh when I read how some folks run their auger till they hit rock, then break it up with a spud or demolition bar. That ain't happening here; just for fun (!) I used a sledge to try and make smaller rocks out of some of the bigger rocks we dug up. Wasn't very successful.

All that is by way of asking if anyone has experience with the Belltec drilling machine. I'm sure it's more than I want to spend, but it _sounds_ like it would be the bee's knees for digging post holes around here.

For a non-Belltec auger, would a hydraulic-driven auger be better than a PTO for rocky ground; or would it just save me on shear bolts?

If the Belltec drilling machine is prohibitively expensive, would the Belltec rock drilling auger bits be usable on a PTO or hydraulic auger?

What about remote hydraulics? What would I use these for? Can they be retrofitted if I want them later? Would that be way more expensive than getting them at purchase?

What about mid-mount PTO? It's an option on the 3130. What is this used for besides belly mowers?

Sorry to run on. Thanks for any help you can give me.

bws






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 02-25-2003, 16:33 Post: 50037
Art White



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 tractor buying questions power implements

To pull or dig you won't notice much if any difference between the two smaller L's. To brush hog you will notice some difference. With stones I normally like to see hydraulic drive on the augers.






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 02-26-2003, 06:05 Post: 50076
TomG

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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Upper Ottawa Valley
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 tractor buying questions power implements


There are various specialty auger bits available. I'm not sure how feasible drilling through serious granite is though. I'm not sure this would be a fair comparison, but let's say that 50 3' post holes were put in ground that is mostly granite. That's 150' of hole, or a decent drilled well in some places. You've probably seen the rigs well drillers use, and I don't think that a tractor of any kind is going to compare. The job's probably doable with a tractor but likely pretty tough.

What we did for the few holes we couldn't get far enough down is to build rock cairns around the posts on top. We had a convenient source of granite from some old highway blasting. The tractor was a lot happier carrying the granite to the posts than trying to dig it out of the post-holes.

Hydraulic augers sure are nice. They can run at low rpm while the tractor stays around its peak torque near pto rpm. They also reverse so the bit can be backed out. It's very likely the bit would get stuck in your ground. The alternative with a pto auger is backing it out with a long pipe wrench.

Mid-pto's on compacts are mostly used for MMM's and less commonly for front snow blowers.

I guess the tractor will have a loader, and I sure would get a rear outlet as well. I use mine for snow blower chute rotation, hydraulic top-link, fork-lift and back-hoe--that is to say I use it most of the time and I could use a second one as well. Bargaining for one as part of a purchase package might get it a little cheaper.






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 02-26-2003, 07:49 Post: 50087
marklugo



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 tractor buying questions power implements

Unless you have shale rock 5 inches below the soil, buy at tractor large enough (45 to 50 HP) to bypass the auger. A Shaver fence post driver will quickly (20 or 30 seconds) drive the posts into the ground with out all the mess and leave a much sturdier fence post to boot but it requires a sturdier tractor to use. You'll never want another auger unless you want to landscape and use it to dig holes for the plants. (A driver would really screw up that job.)






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 02-28-2003, 07:09 Post: 50238
Woodbeef



Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Canada
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Posts: 63
 tractor buying questions power implements

I agree with Mark on a bigger tractor for your needs. I'd go with a real Utility tractor not a CUT. Mahindra has some really good models with their new "00" series.

As for the Beltech,they are great for rocky ground. I've seen them for around $4,000 or so. PTO augers work the best first thing in the spring until about the end of May. Once the ground starts to dry up,you'll have problems drilling in rocky soils.

I'd not suggest a post driver unless you get the type that will also drill a pilot hole first. I had a Shaver and was not impressed with it at all in my rocky soils. I went back to a pto powered auger and just dig out what rocks I can,or move the hole if I have too. Some holes must be dug with a backhoe though. Just something you learn to live with around here.






Link:   Mahindra US site 

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