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 05-06-1999, 00:00 Post: 3541
Rob



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Help! do I need a tractor or a skid steer?? I want to push a lot of dirt around, drag logs, dig stumps, grade, dig some drainage trenches, and other assorted landscaping things on 15 acres of level land, pretty thinly wooded. No mowing, no farming. The land was logged awhile back and everything that was trimmed from the logs is still laying where it fell. Would like to cut in a cross country skiing/hiking trail and fill in the low, swampy areas with gravel and drainage tile. I like the idea of being perched on top of a nice John Deere, but now I'm thinking maybe a Bobcat type skid-steer might be a better choice. Looking at stuff around 40hp is this where I want to be?? Would like to be able to run a 6" chipper, loader and backhoe..........thanks






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3548
Jon



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Last year I rented a Bobcat Skid Steer--a big mistake. My land was wet and insoft areas it sank & got stuck. I had to pull it out with a 4WD PU 3 times.I could only use it in a few areas and eventually gave up. Last week Ibought a JD 4100, it promptly got stuck in a rut left by the Bobcat. I putit in 4WD and it drove right out. This weekend, I'll use the 4100 to removethe ruts. Why the difference? IMHO, the Bobcat weighed more, had much moreweight on the back end, had smooth hard tires, and no 4WD. The JD's weight ismore balanced, pneumatic R1 tires that grip, and the wonderful 4WD. But you need something larger than a 4100 to handle a back hoe. Best of luck.






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3554
David



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Repsectfully, disagree with Jon on your equipment needs. You need a skid steer for this type of heavy work. You will destroy a compact tractor with a loader attempting to dig out stumps and do major dirt work. A compact with a loader is designed for light work removing stumps is not! We are a dealer and have seem compacts damaged from this sort of use. A skid steer is designed to do this type of work. Look at the metal in a skid steer it is much heavier that a compact tractor loader. Most all skid steers are all wheel drive all the time. They are heavier than a compact and can sink in, but there are options for applications such as this if it is a problem. Skid steers can be equipped with tracks for operation in muddy conditions. As a dealer we sell both compacts and skid steers I would not reccommend a compact for this application. Why not rent a skid steer and see if it will do the job before buying one.






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3558
diggerdarol



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

In my opinion you need more than either can provide. I was in the same situation also and a buddy of mine talked me out of the wheeled vehicle completely and into a compact (23 hp) excavator (with blade). It's used and ugly but more powerful than a compact tractor or bobcat for de-stumping and can doze. I'll get a small wheel tractor later when my 4 acres are more "civilized" The ground I can run it around on would devour anything with wheels (or tip it). Now that I've said that I'd rent something of each and try it out. It's worth the effort if you're planning on living withl you purchase for a while. Don't discount machines with tracks.






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3559
BigG



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Sorry, David, but I agree with Jon.Have used both on my 75 acre wood lot. I too have ski trails, swampy areas, but most of my land is not level.The skid steer worked fine when things were dry and level, but got stuck easily in the soft stuff, and felt wayto unsteady for me on the hilly stuff. Doesn't seem to bother others, but I felt like I was going to tip all thetime, and didn't relish the thought of trying to right the machine (rental). Certainly it was heavier built, andcould do a lot of work, but it was harder to control, tore up my trails, and didn't meet my needs.On the compact side, I had a backhoe attached, which allowed me to dig and lift, and also to reach out into the soft stuff to place some logs, before venturing in. The bucket was more than capable of handling all the dirtmoving requirements I had (sandy loam) and the backhoe gave me the ability to contour my trails where I traversed upa slope. Something that is difficult with the front bucket.Now I can run a bush hog on the compact for the trails, and use it with a center mower to cut my lawn.Resale on tractors seems to be a bit better, although skid steers seem to be improving. Compacts can go to folkslike us, estate owners, market gardeners, or mowing contractors. Skid steers are only looked for by contractorsand farmers, so the market is smaller. And 3 pth implements are cheaper and more readily available.I'm happy with my decision. Depends on everything you want to do with the machine. Good luck.And take Davids advice. Rent first. You should be able to find both at a good rental yard. The $200 you spendfor a days rental may be all you need to spend to know which is right. (Or maybe to do all the work you want to do.You can do a lot of work with either machine in 24 hours)Big G






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3575
Steve Hansen



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Rob,Before I would buy a tractor or a skid steer I would seek out a good dozer operator, show him what I want, and get an estimate. A dozer can do everything you have listed (except, perhaps large stumps which require a back hoe). 15 acres are not much and if they are as you have described the job will not take long. Buy a compact suitable for mowing and maintaing your place after the clearing is done. Something that can pull a box blade and a rotary cutter. Have your dozer operator leave a pile of top soil someplace. You can use your tractor and front end loader to fill in and dress out the depressions that will show up after it rains a couple of times (stump holes). A dozer operator can also push up burn piles for you and if he is on site when you light the match he can also tend the fires, something that no one in his right mind would do with a tractor or skid steer. You can rent this kind of equipment but, unless you are a skilled operator yourself, you will get a more cost effective result by hiring the job out and supervising. I have been cleaning up 21 wooded acres in the Ozarks. Of all the options, and I have tried them all, hiring a dozer worked best for me.






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 05-07-1999, 00:00 Post: 3578
Rob



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I have received two estimates for clearing a small (1 acre) area for house and barn. First came in at sixteen thousand, that included stumping the area, but not hauling, and digging a 20 by 40 foot leach field for a septic and a 30 by 33 foot area for a crawl space. Said it would take two days. When I recovered, I contacted a second company, they wanted three grand to stump an area about 150 by 160 feet. No digging a septic and no crawl space. They too were going to be leaving the stumps behind. Eight grand a day for digging a hole and stumping seemed a little high, and three grand to dig up about forty, eight inch stumps wasn't much better. Of course, I'm in no big hurry, so if it took me three months to do the work myself it isn't a problem. My thinking is that for what it is going to cost me to clear a few acres I can pay for a tractor or skid steer. I know the "right" way to do this is with a dozer and backhoe, but not many dozers around here are for sale and the ones that I can afford have about a half-million hours on them. If anyone is in southern maine and wants to give me an estimate on this work, feel free to e-mail me. I am a little worried about the softness of the ground, and lack of ground clearance with a skid steer. I guess what I want is a combination dozer, backhoe, tractor and skid steer for around 25K.....rob






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 05-08-1999, 00:00 Post: 3586
Daniel



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 Tractor or Skid Steer

Rob Wow can you keep-up with the responses!! It would seem to me that if you tackle the job step by step you would be better off with a compact tractor. You should drag and clear all you can with the compact tractor. Then hire a back-hoe to do ALL the stumping. The rest can be done with a compact that is designed for a trencher. DGD






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 05-08-1999, 00:00 Post: 3594




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You better check again Jon. All Bobcat skid steers are 4WD. Front and rear wheels on both sides are chain driven by hydraulic motors.






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 05-09-1999, 00:00 Post: 3608
Rob



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Thanks for all the replies..what I'm discovering is that it probably isn't realistic to expect a compact tractor w/backhoe to stump a overgrown forest. I think I will nix that idea. What I can do is cut the trees, limb them, and drag them into a pile somewhere and then hire an excavator for ten hours to rip everything out. A compact with PTO powered chipper can take care of the mess, and a loader will dump it where I want. I'm a litte leery of investing in a skid steer, for a couple of reasons. Like someone said, if/when I sell, the resale will probably not be as good as a compact and there will be less of a market. I do have quite a bit of wet areas, and the ground clearance of the skid steers is kinda low. Plus, I like the way a tractor looks. I just got back from the local JD dealer and he has a 4600 w/loader all set-up and ready to go......sure looked nice!........






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Other Tractor Brands Forum

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