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

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 05-28-2002, 09:02 Post: 39109
SethO



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 What Equipment to Purchase

We just acquired a 35 acre property with about 3 acres of lawn to care for and a trail about 1 mile long and 8 feet wide that runs through many marshy areas. There is also a spring fed pond on the property around which we will have to mow. There is a 250 feet driveway that needs clearing of snow and we live in central Wisconsin. We also plan to do extensive landscaping work, and to have both a kitchen garden and a water garden with a fish pond. There are other ideas swirling in our heads too.

Our question is what equipment should we purchase? Cost is important, but as we intend to use the tools for a long time it is not of overwhelming importance.






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 05-29-2002, 05:01 Post: 39128
TomG

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My first reaction is that a big compact would be good for 35-acres, but it's sounds like a lot of the land won't be worked. A smaller compact might be better, even if the conventional wisdom is to buy as big as a budget allows.

This may be a case that illustrates that with tractors, one size doesn't fit all. For example, a big tractor will get landscaping work done faster, and would tolerate a bigger backhoe if required. But, a big tractor may pack down or tear up a lawn when used for finish mowing.

I would keep in mind that a lot of landscaping is one-time work, and a big tractor that's good for the landscaping may not be great for the on-going jobs over the coming decades. There is a role for contractors and I save my heavy duty work them. My tractor takes the mid-sized jobs and my flock of small engines take the small ones. Generally the choice of tractor size is best thought of in terms of 'what is best for the on-going jobs' and 'how much time is available to spend operating a tractor?' Big tractors use bigger implements so the work gets done faster, but small tractors do the same work with smaller implements. Just takes longer. Smaller tractors are faster when a lot of maneuvering and can work in bush where bigger ones can't go.

I use a walk-behind tiller for our two kitchen gardens and a riding mower for about 2-acres of finish mowing. One size fits all doesnít work for me and my almost 4-acres either. The riding mower is faster than the tractor because a lot of maneuvering around buildings and landscaping is required. The riding mower also gives a better cut. Mid-mowers generally produce better finish mowing than 3ph or draw mowers, but mid-mowers are expensive, interfere with other uses of a tractor and require a mid-pto.

A bunch more could be said, but this is getting pretty long. Just a couple more random comments: First is that box scrappers are the ĎSwiss Army Knivesí of landscaping work. They arenít too expensive but itís good to have a hydraulic top-link, so a tractor with rear hydraulic outlets is desirable. Second is donít count on operating a tractor in marshy areas. They get stuck surprisingly easily.










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 05-29-2002, 17:07 Post: 39150
dsg

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 What Equipment to Purchase

SethO, I have 37 acres, 2 1/2 are lawn 2 are fields/Blueberries and the rest are woods with a small gravel-pit. I started out with a JD 755 with loader, mid-mount mower and 4-bushhog (rotary mower). Way to small. In 2000 I bought a JD 4700 with numerous attachments, just right.

David






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 05-30-2002, 06:36 Post: 39174
Art White



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 What Equipment to Purchase

Seth, you have the ability to make it so you can use a bigger tractor and mower if you lay your yard out right. Buy the largest deck that you can get between your favorite tree's with. I like to see a large deck and a small tractor to keep it easy to trim with and the operator away from tree limbs. Keep the areas to be mowed so they have larger bends that a larger tractor can go around. Keep a good distance from the tree's with a good perimeter of stone or mulch that a larger tractor can make a sweep on. Keep walkways between gardens at least two foot wider than the deck you choose so the clippings won't blow onto them. To do a 30 horsepower tractor on your land would cover all you would be able to do without going overboard. From there up are physically about the same size and weight till you get to 45 or 50 horsepower.






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 05-30-2002, 19:01 Post: 39191
SethO



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Thanks TomG, dsg and Art White. I today went to a local dealer to look at a BX2200 and saw a Cub Cadet 7264, what do you people think about using this as a base machine. I have a quote for the machine, loader, snow thrower and mower for less than 20k. The specifications are available at http://www.cubcadet.com.






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 05-31-2002, 07:45 Post: 39202
TomG

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I'd search the archives for discussions about Cubs. I think most comments are pretty positive.

I'm not sure but 7264's may have gas engines. It's a little difficult to compare gas and diesel engine performances from published specs. Most people's experience here is with diesels and so is mine. I may have a built in bias for diesels, but I do have to remember that most farm and utility tractors through the 50's were gas. They did the work just fine. It might be good to read some about the plus and minuses between diesels and gas engine though.

It's hard to beat BX machines when the primary interest is finish mowing. Heavier machines may work better for other types of work.






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 05-31-2002, 08:25 Post: 39209
Art White



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The Cadets are a good machine. The 26 horsepower is a good size and should be able to do most of all your work. Not knowing the area you live in It is hard to tell what the prices are or should be but they seem to be in line. The Cadets are built by Mitshibitshi and in some areas seem to lack the resale value of the Kubotas.






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 05-31-2002, 09:05 Post: 39211
bigbukhntr



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 What Equipment to Purchase

Seth, u really should consider the Kubotas. I just purchased a L3010 w/FEL, 5' mower, 5' boxblade, R4 tires ($650), and a trailer for less than $18K..a few more HP than the Cub and overall a really good machine..






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 06-02-2002, 12:53 Post: 39253
SethO



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The 7264 has a diesel engine, and I live in central Wisconsin .

I wonder about buying a ZTR mower and skipping the mid mount mower attachment on the tractor. I can buy a rotary cutter instead. Does this plan sound reasonable?






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 06-03-2002, 06:27 Post: 39261
TomG

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As I mentioned, that was a good solution for me. I really think the riding mower would be faster for me even if I had a mid-mount mower for the tractor. Besides, the riding mower is easy to trailer to our other property but I have to drive the tractor 10-miles on the highway.

Such a plan also frees up the tractor size decision a bit. If you don't have to worry about weight and maneuverability for finish mowing, a bigger tractor that might be better for some of the other jobs might look better.

Curious about the 7264 engine. I thought the Cub site described the 7264 as having a 3-cylinder OHC engine while other models were described as having diesel engines. I donít suppose thereís any reason why a diesel couldnít have an overhead cam, but Iím not sure why. I usually associate OHC designs with high rpm engines. OHCís tend to be high maintenance items on gas engines so Iím not sure why theyíd be on a diesel unless thereís an advantage at low rpmís that Iím not aware of.






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