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

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 02-27-2001, 05:54 Post: 24747
ALAN



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

I recently purchased 10 acres of flat land. I intend to build a nice home in next 2 years, but will need to start maintaining the ground soon. I ultimately plan to have 3-4 acres in yard and balance in pasteur. I am a city boy, but I want to enjoy my piece of land. What compact tractors are best and what size and tires do I need? I have been looking at JD4100.






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 02-27-2001, 08:35 Post: 24754
Ted Kennedy



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Alan, you have no idea how frequently this question is asked, and the variety of answers is staggering. I think the best thing for you to do is go back through previous posts on the subject. There is no "right" or definitive answer because all of us seem to have found what suits our needs, you will too. First, you need to ask yourself some important questions. How much do I have to spend? What do I envision myself doing, and how often will I be doing it? What is the terrain like? What kinds of seasons do I have. What is the soil like? Answers to questions like these will help guide you to your final choice. When you have an idea of what you need, visit each of the maker's dealerships in your area and spend some real time on each of your potential purchases. Ask about the dealers in your area, get a feel for what they can do for you. You may find that one tractor is a better buy because of solid dealership/manufacturer support. Think of the experience of selection as a serious matter, but have an open mind and a sense of humor and you'll look back on the whole thing as a positive experience. When you've narrowed the field of choices, get back to us and we can tell you what we know about each. Good hunting and have fun.






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 02-27-2001, 08:46 Post: 24756
ALAN



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Thanks for the info. Ted. Actually I do have some particulars. Land is fairly flat, but with a little roll to it. I live in Indiana and where I am is composed of mostly clay soil. We do have respectable snow fall, but occasionally it is sparse. We love to landscape, so I suppose we will use the tractor for that purpose occasionally. I suppose I can create my own budget, within reason. I am somewhat surprised how expensive this whole proposition is. What do most of these small landowners do for a living? Am I getting in over my head?
I have only looked at John Deere so far. I have heard about the various problems with the 4000 series, but don't all makes have problems here and there? I drive a Durango R/T and it has been no problem, but others complain about them all the time. I also here Ford Trucks are great, but I also here they have transmission problems. So isn't it a matter of the luck of the draw. As long as you are working with a respectable brand to begin with?
Anyway, if I like the JD4100, what would the comparable compacts be in Kubota and New Holland? And, if I am not spending a lifetime on the tractor, I don't really need more machine do I?






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 02-27-2001, 10:18 Post: 24759
JeffM



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Alan, Ted is right that you will find an incredible wealth of info reading through the previous posts on this subject. But I'll address some of your specific questions. The JD4200-4600 series have in fact experienced more than their "fair share" of early production engineering problems. However, this is not the 4100; the 4100 is a different design entirely that is produced by Yanmar and I would say that it has experienced no more problems than its Kubota or NH counterparts, that is to say that they are generally very well-built and reliable. I own a 4400 and the only problem I've had is a fuel gauge float that hangs up at times, causing to me to run out of fuel once. That's pretty minor. You mention that this seems to be an expensive proposition (buying a compact tractor to maintain a mini-estate). It IS expensive, especially at the beginning. Of course, so is an in-ground swimming pool. So is buying a new car every couple years. So is taking an island vacation or a cruise every year. Etc., etc. Many of us on this board trade off other expenses/vices for the tractor and the simple pleasures it brings. I know I did. It is a question of priorities in your personal life. At least the tractor gets me fresh air and will last a long time.






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 02-27-2001, 10:34 Post: 24760
JeffM



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Oh yeah, I forgot. I posted this yesterday elsewhere, but the rough equivalents to the 4WD hydrostatic JD4100 (20hp, 1565 lbs) are the NH TC18 (18hp, 1438 lbs), NH TC21D (21hp, 1535 lbs), Kubota B7400HSD (16hp, 1290 lbs), Kubota B7500HSD (21hp, 1367 lbs), Kubota BX1800 (18hp), and the Kubota BX2200 (22hp). I don't know the weights of the BX series Kubotas, but they are less than the others because these tractors are considered a sub-compact. There is a lot of info in the archives on this board on all these tractors. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.






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 02-27-2001, 11:03 Post: 24761
Ted Kennedy



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Alan, I favor Cub Cadet, Kubota, Deere, Yanmar, and NH. I own three Cubs, all work very well, but I like the hydrostatic the most. The current version of the 7275 I own is the 7305, a 30hp 3 cyl diesel with hydrostatic, 3 range transmission, dif lock, etc. None of the Cubs have let me down. Yes, all brands have flaws and all have features that make them just a bit better for one's needs. A good compact should last you a lifetime if given the proper care. I chose Cub because of the dealership, they aren't perfect but they have made good on every issue. I landscape and find that a front end loader, backhoe, multi-purpose rake, and turf tires are the minimum for my trade. I have also bought quick attach FEL adapters, skid steer pallet forks, skid steer buckets, grapple bucket, boom, hydraulic auger, and 3PT hitch to skid steer adapter. I've boosted my gallons per minute hydraulic flow with a rear PTO driven pump kit from Kelly. Yes it is expensive but in a typical season, nothing is unused, each item earns its keep. When I need something special, like a vibratory plow or sneaker, I'll rent it. I lease my dump truck/tow vehicle but not my tractors. Deere makes excellent products, true they have had some mfg. engrg. problems but basically they make an excellent product. When the time comes, I'm replaceing my 7275 Cub and Case 580 with one machine, the Kubota L48. I am that impressed with it that I'll give up the comfort of the 580's cab for the utility of the design. The L48 has the grunt to work day to day in a construction role, weighs less than my 580 so I won't require the F650 I lease for safe towing, drinks less fuel, etc. It is a remarkable achievement that I appreciate. A big parcel of land like yours would temp me into making it into a botanical garden, I would look for a bit more machine than the 4100 to take advantage of the extra gpm flow and what the extra weight buys you in larger attachment versatility. Oh well, I've probably bored you to death, sorry. You can find some guys here that can expand on my thoughts, so have fun and good luck.






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 02-27-2001, 14:06 Post: 24765
Dave Wells



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Alan, at this point in your plans, I think Ted & Jeff have pretty much said it all - as someone once said, everything else is just rhetoric. I can assure you that you'll find a lot of useful insights. "None of us individually is as smart as all of us are together" - Dave Wells






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 02-28-2001, 06:02 Post: 24803
Craig Dashner



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Alan,

One thing I would like to point out. If budget is a concern, as it was for me, don't be afraid of the smaller tractors. I bought a 4100 gear drive. Other than a Kubota Sub-compact (they did not have those when I bought mine) it is the most economical one out there. GET A LOADER!! I have moved much dirt, mulch, firewood etc. with mine. As far as implements, you can put practically anything on it. Sometimes you have to leave the loader on for counterbalance. These little tractors will do a lot and the bigger tractors do the same work faster!






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 03-01-2001, 02:30 Post: 24838
JonB



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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Alan, Jeff is correct about priorities. Most of my coworkers take expensive vacations every year while we economize. They dine out frequently, while my wife cooks virtually all our meals. And my coworkers tell me they wish they could afford to live in the country like we do (and they envy my wife's cooking too). But the main reason I bought a tractor was to save time. Chores that used to take days now take minutes or an hour. Many jobs were impossible before I got a tractor, and now they're just a few hours work. With the tractor I spend more time with the kids and wife. And more time off the tractor doing the jobs I never had time to do. The tractor is absolutely my favorite tool and the most fun too. And this summer, we're staying in a first-class hotel on the beach in San Diego. But only because I finangled it for free. As for your situation, I can't imagine trying to "maintain" 10 acres without a tractor. The odds are it will be untended or someone will have little free time. Just my opinion. Best of luck. JonB






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 03-01-2001, 06:42 Post: 24843
TomG

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 what brand and size of compact tractor

Buying the tractor can get complicated. However, the subject easily can be 'over-thought.' Another approach might be to just visit some dealers and find a tractor that you really like. Start using it and it will define it's own best uses--it will be useful no matter which one is bought. The 'one-size fits all' idea doesn't work with tractors. There's always going to be jobs too big for the tractor and the tractor too big for other jobs. I took a more complex approach to buying, and even building and electrical codes got involved. I could have thought forever, but I was saved by the need to get some projects done before winter.

To illustrate some complexities, I'll echo a comment Roger made in another thread about backhoes. I'd think through uses for a tractor and decide if a backhoe is a possibility in the future. If so, then seek some opinions about how suited a particular tractor is for a hoe. To meet codes, I’ve trenched to 5’ and dug deeper holes. Digging a 5' trench takes at least a 6.5' max depth hoe, and a sub-compact wouldn’t have been a good choice. Essentially, the codes determined the hoe, and the hoe determined the tractor. If I had been thinking mowing and snow removal, the choice may have been a smaller tractor. However, nothing much would really have changed (Just a slightly different mix of uses, time required and what gets contracted out) Thinking about this stuff is good, and I do recognize that a complex decision really requires a person to learn a lot about tractors. It is good to know something about them before buying one. Anyway, it’s a common experience to grind through this stuff and then in a flash ‘AHH THAT’S THE ONE,’ and the ‘ahh’ may have little to do with the thoroughly rationalized needs and uses. However, a person ends up knowing many of the essentials, even if safety subjects are sometimes neglected. Overall, the comments that relate size of property to size of tractor are probably the best general guides, but even more important is just getting a tractor that is really liked.






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

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