Compact vs Used Ag Tractor 
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 05-17-1999, 00:00 Post: 3907
Bruce



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

I am thinking very seriously about purchasing a tractor. I have 44 wooded acres and would like to do all sorts of things, from making some small "roads"to digging drainage ditches, moving firewood around and removing snow from a 1000' driveway-to-be. Some serious ground engagement work, what I think of as dozer work, is desired.My budget is modest, I'd like to spend less than $10K, and preferable much less. My mechanical abilities are even more modest, I do not want to buy something that requires many hours of overhaul work or repair. I keep telling myself if I buy something "better", I'll be able to sell it later much easier, and recoup most of my cost (although I assume once I have the machine, I'll never want to sell it!)I have followed this group for many months now, and it is has been wonderful. Why do folks purchase the compacts and not used, larger ag tractors? Is it the smaller size, increased mobility, etc.? I have seem some nice, large ag tractors for prices much less than the price of the new compacts. Are they more likey to better serve my purpose?I have been considering the puchase of a used fullsize backhoe. I have seen hoes like the Ford 555 with some 4300 hours sell for around $6K, seemed to run good. I have seen older machines with more hours sell for even less....and they also appear to be ok. Have folks had any experiences with these older machines? Obviously it will vary, but can one generallyt trust that they will be OK?Lastly, any comments on those old dozers you see for $4-$5K? Again, I have seem some that looked OK....but I simply fear the costly breakdown after a few hours of work.Thanks much,Your comments would be greatly appreciated.






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 05-17-1999, 00:00 Post: 3912
Steve LeBard



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

I had a similar situation. I ended up hiring a dozer to do the bigger jobs quicker and easier and not worry about break downs. Dozer parts are very expensive. The only thing more expensive are older dozer parts. I also have two 1950's era Oliver Super 55 two wheel drive tractors. Although I have been able to do some work with these, I had to put alot of labor into them, and again parts are very expensive. At that time, I had more time than money. Now I'm looking into a 25-30 hp compact 4wd. I will be able to get into more places and do more work, also I feel it will be safer in those akward situations. Another plus is that on some models (Kubota L2500) the warranty in 3 years parts and labor. Nothing to work on for three years, sounds good.






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 05-17-1999, 00:00 Post: 3942
Steve Hansen



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

Bruce, I agree with Steve. A tractor is not a bulldozer. Figure out what you want done and hire a dozer to do it all at once or over time. Same with the backhoe. Those things get used hard and they have a lot that can go wrong. The ones that you see for sale cheep are useually used up. Unless you have a lot of backhoe work to do you are money ahead hiring the job out. Use your tractor to grade and maintain.






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 05-17-1999, 00:00 Post: 3945
Jay



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

Bruce, I for one am tired of projects, ie; buy cheap, spend lots of hours fixing up the piece of machinery, and then finally getting around to what I wanted to use it for in the first place. Maybe my 47 years are catching up to me, but I'd rather get the job done than mess with trying to get to the job in the first place. Sounds like you have a wonderful piece of property and you will be doing a lot of maintenance. I think you would be better served buying late model used or new, and getting on with the task at hand. You are right about one thing, if you get a fine machine you won't want to let it go, and with 44 acres, I don't see how you would survive without it. By the way, I'm always looking for new places to hunt deer, any monster bucks tearing up your woodlot?






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 05-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 3964
Brian Webber



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

I agree with the other guys.Hire out the big stuff or rent the machinery you need for the work. If you buy anything new/used in either a compact or ag the problem you run into is attachments. No matter what you buy it will be hard to find everything you need in one place. When buying used equipment,even though most people take good care of their stuff,you're taking the risk of buying their problems. Good luck on your project!






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 05-18-1999, 00:00 Post: 4003
dick



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

Compacts are very popular! Used to be that someone with a 2 acre lot bought a lawn tractorToday the same guy is getting a 25 hp compact.I agree with the posts above. Hire out someone to do the heavy work with backhoe/dozer equipment. A backhoe new runs over 5 grand and isn't the tool of preferenceto build roads and pull stumps. You might be better off getting something like a JD 4200 ora Kubota 2710 with a loader and 3 point mower that you could add to over timewith a pliw, tiller, auger etc. With a rear blade it will do snow work very well.Best to go 4whl drive on these compacts for the extra pulling power.Some rental outfits will deliver the dozer and let you drive them (go by the hour meter forcharges). Best of both worlds.As far as digging trenches is concerned, look at renting a trencher instead of a backhoe (depthis generally less but they're faster).For 10 grand you're talking a 20 hp 10 yo 4whl drive compact with loader and 700+ hours






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 05-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 4014
Roger L.



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

Bruce, I have to disagree with my friends here. But that's what makes for gooddiscussion. I have both a compact and a large tractor so I at least have someexperience with both. The compact I've had for 18 years and the Ag tractor for12. Both tractors have loaders. If I could only have one, it would have to be the Ag tractor, because the bigjobs absolutely have to be done.....where the little jobs can wait. Like it doesn't matter if the grass gets cut or not, but pulling logs out of the creekbefore they jam under the bridge is a necessity. So is removing an oldcottonwood tree that falls across the road. In the last year I've removed halfa dozen large trees. My big tractor is a gas 1958 JD 530. It has power steering, live PTO, modernhydraulics, and I bought the nicest one I could find. Paid WAY too much at $3000.I imagine it to be worth about $4000 on today's market. I then bought a typicalused Ag loader for again too much: $2000. Then I spent $1000 getting it fixed upwith every thing that I wanted it to have..like a sunshade and a basic overhaul,new battery, new front tires, all the fluids changed, new generator, carb rebuilt,things like that. YIKEs! it holds LOTS of oil! I recommend you get a gasoline tractor with the same features.It must have a modern three point hitch. I would go no earlier than 1957. Do not get a used bulldozer unless you are an accomlished mechanic and welder.And stay away from old diesel engines with thousands of hours. Get a gasser.And get something larger than one of those old 8N, 9N, or even the 600series Fords. Most any compact can outwork these. The 1950's were the years ofinnovation and change for the American farm tractor. The 1960s and 1970s were thegolden years - and you can buy any of the makes from these years confidently. In many respects the larger modern compacts like the JD 4500/4600 series are similar to the old Ag tractor. Not quite the brute, but close. I would betthat that 430 loader that they put on them now is a match for my old JD loader.The Ag tractor is capable of more simply because of its size and weight. It issure an awkward machine next to my compact. But on rough terrain the smooth rideof the heavy Ag tractor is unbeatable.....like a cadillac! Much as I love mycompact tractor, driving it across a lumpy pasture is just too bouncy. Roger L






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 05-19-1999, 00:00 Post: 4019
EZ



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 Compact vs Used Ag Tractor

Bruce, If you don't have to do alot of mowing close to the house, and tight around many trees, go for the Ag tractor. You will get more horse power, wheight, and maybereliability for the money. Enjoy, Ed Z.






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