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 02-06-2001, 13:18 Post: 23995
Reuben Watkins



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 Compact tractor sizing

I just purchased a home with 5 acres much of which is sloping over 15%. I'm looking for something for general mowing and light duty grading and tilling. My problem is that I have no experiance with tractors and don't know where to start. Any reccomendations?






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 02-06-2001, 18:45 Post: 23998
Branch



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 Compact tractor sizing

Reuben,
I had the same problem last year when choosing my tractor. I didn't know about tractor boards at that time so I was really helpless. I just ended up going to local dealers and asking for their advice. One of the dealers offered to come out and look at my property before making any suggestions. He was raised around here and grew up on a farm driving tractors. Once he saw what I was up against he made some very specific recomendations and talked me out of spending money on certain items. I ended up buying from him and have not regretted my decision. He's always available to answer my questions and makes sure I'm happy. I don't know how many dealers are willing to go to that kind of trouble, but this dealer consinders this to be normal.
You have to be comfortable with the tractor and the dealer no matter what color equipment you end up bringing home.
Branch






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 02-07-2001, 05:23 Post: 24007
Ted Kennedy



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 Compact tractor sizing

Reuben, when it comes to the tractor experts you won't find better folks than: Bird Senter, Roger Loving, Steve Carver, Art White, and Murph. These guys are experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable. Anything they say should be considered seriously, I've solved several small tractor problems thanks to them. In answer to your question, I'd say it all depends on the type of work you'll find yourself doing and how much you can afford. I only have two acres and my neighbors laughed when I brought home my Case 580, it looked too big to them. But ragardless of how it looked, there are some jobs I couldn't do without it. Good luck, talk to those guys I mentioned, you'll be glad that you did.






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 02-07-2001, 06:27 Post: 24009
TomG

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 Compact tractor sizing

I'll add my second to the good comments on Ted's list of guys. Most of what I seem to know comes from reading comments from these folks and a few others. Every time I start thinking, and maybe even sounding, like I know something, I read something else that reminds me that I'm pretty thin on experience. Thanks for the time spent. Appreciate it. Hope everybody gets something out of it.






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 02-07-2001, 11:07 Post: 24013
Ken Lang



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 Compact tractor sizing

Reuben, I was faced with a similar delema 3 years ago. I bought a new house on 2 acres in a rural area with no lawn, landscaping, etc. I did a lot of research and a New Holland 1320 seemed right for me. I bought a 4wd/hydro unit and equipped it with a belly mower, front loader and back blade - most other implements I use irregularly and just rent. I also use the tractor for 'side jobs' (landscaping, driveways, etc) I have only one regret...not buying a bigger tractor. The 1320 certainly gets the job done but I have had several projects that I wish I had a few more hp for (i.e. 'tilling, etc.). I would suggest a 1320 or 1520 but if you plan on doing many side-jobs (landscaping, etc) then I would buy larger. Overall, I am extremely pleased with my 1320 and now that the wife and I have purchased 52 acres I may have to 'grow' my tractor collection. One last thing - when I was in the market, NH and Deere were redesigning thier compacts. The NH at the time was much more tractor for the money but I am not knowledgable about the new tractors to know if that still holds true.

Good luck.

Ken






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 02-07-2001, 19:23 Post: 24019
Todd



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Hi Reuben,
I'm in Vermont, with 10 acres, 2.5 I mow, 1.5 I rotary cut, ~.3 I till for a garden, and ~.25 we have a baby apple orchard on. The rest is pond, creek, overgrown slope or trees. I bought a Kubota B2710 with a loader, 60" belly mower, and a 4' rotary cutter. I've since aquired a 53" tiller and a 60" snow blower. For what I'm maintaining now it's the perfect size and never fails to impress me. I cleared 8" of heavy snow off a 60' double wide driveway in less than an hour, including moving some banks back with the bucket. My problem now is that I want to reclaim some of our overgrown/tree'd property so I'm seriously considering selling and getting an L3410 or 3710. The added weigh would help with clearing, but would hurt mowing when it's wet. I'll also loose some maneuverability if I do this. My guess it the B2710 would be about the perfect size for you, or a 2410. There's not a lot of difference between the two. Loading the tires lowers your center of gravity, so with a lot of slope, I'd do that. I'd also recommend a hydrostatic transmission if the cost doesn't prohibit that for you. Can't say enough good about Kubota's, but New Holland's smaller Boomers are great, and you could also look at the JD 4100 if you have a good local dealer You'll pay more per pony for a Deere, and it might be a little small, but it's a great tractor. It would have been my second choice after the two Kubotas. If most of your time will be mowing, 50% of mine is, going bigger probably isn't necessary. Have fun shopping, I'd say it's half the fun, but now that I've put a hundred hours on my toy, I know it'd be a lie.






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 02-07-2001, 22:49 Post: 24023
Roger L.



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 Compact tractor sizing

Reuben, I can remember when I was so new to these tractors that I didn't
even know what questions to ask. In fact, I remember when it finally dawned
on be that 3pt hitches were standardized - which meant that any implement
would work on every tractor! What a eye-opener!
(Of course then I found that some grey market tractors had
reverse-rotating PTO shafts...but luckily they are rare)
So ask away. If we are just guessing, we'll tell you so.
Most compact tractors will do the job. The major brands are very similar
in quality and capability. Compared with any other tool that you care to
name, all of these tractors will surpass you with their ability, their
durability, their price, and their resale. It is not uncommon for one to be
20 years old, have a thousand hours on it with no repairs needed of any
kind - and none expected, and see that it is selling for about exactly what
it cost brand new in 1981.
What bothers me about your tractor decision is that I am afraid that it may have to be driven by the slope of your land - which changes things dramatically. A 15 percent slope is enough do this. I think we need some more info on the land itself. Where is the grass? On the slope? Come to think of it, are you intending to mow with the tractor or is it for other chores? What kind of soil do you have...many rocks? What kind of climate....those sorts of things.






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 02-09-2001, 10:18 Post: 24054
Frank R Taylor



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 Compact tractor sizing

I agree with Todd and Roger on this. I think that something like the Kubota B2710 would be ideal. I have a B2400 that I use to mow a 2-1/2 acre garden and a 10 acre pasture with slopes like yours. For me it is almost perfect with more than enough power for the lawn and tilling the veggie garden and things but it has barely has enough power to handle the slopes in the pasture with the front end loader attached and the rotary cutter working. You'll find running on those 15 degree slopes to be a puckering experience, I know I did, and you have to be very careful at all times. Handling those slopes might be the deciding factor on which machine to get. I think if I was starting from scratch again I might give more serious consideration to the Steiner or Ventrac machines if you have a dealer near you. They have a lower center of gravity and with double wheels should be a lot safer on the slopes. They are a little bit different from the normal tractor and implement availability and cost would be a concern, but hey, there's nothing wrong with different and they might suit your purpose. I only mention this because I think you should check out all the possibilities before you decide.






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 02-09-2001, 19:01 Post: 24071
Todd



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Frank,
just 2 questions. are your tires loaded, and do you have a guess as to the price of a Steiner 525?
Todd






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 02-10-2001, 20:00 Post: 24080
Frank R Taylor



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No, my tires aren't loaded. They probably should be but they're not. I've been thinking seriously about it and might have it done this spring after all the rains are past but I always worry compacting the lawn and tearing it up with the R4's. Up to now I've always settled for keeping the machine as light as possible on the lawn and being really careful on the slopes in the pasture.
No I don't have a price on the Steiner 525. I sent off for some literature at one time to see what it was all about but there are users of this board who should be able to help you with cost. Check out the "articulated tractor" thread on this board for more information and contacts.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Size Tractor Needed Forum

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