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

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 09-21-2002, 20:39 Post: 42750
code3mmc



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 Lawn Tractor Garden Tractor Compact or

I recently purchased 2 acres of land in Southern Indiana. The land was used as an active farm until last year, was last planted with alfalfa grass but I was told it had soybeans growing at an earlier time. It is flat and has no trees or obstructions but it is very uneven and rough surfaced. I have been reading this and other forums for information on what type and size of tractor to buy. I don't think a "lawn tractor" will hold up on this type of terrain very long...I am thinking a 16hp + garden tractor or even a used compact might suffice?? I plan to build a pole barn and modular house on the land within the year, and I'd like to use the tractor for mowing, tilling, and maybe even some light snow removal duty. Budget is rather tight, probably have to look in the under $5000 range.

There are dealers for all of the "Big 3" within easy driving distance, plus an independent dealer that sells Mahindra, Belarus, Kioti, Husqvarna and who knows what else only about 6 miles away. I hear Belarus is junk....anyone know about Mahindra small tractors?? Or would a "compact" be overkill for 2 acres ??

Whatever I buy, it will have to last at least 10 years. Reliability is more of a criteria to me than features at this point. I will consider used equipment if it's in good shape and in my price range.

Any suggestions ???
Also, does anyone have any comments on the equipment dealers in the Louisville, Kentucky / southern Indiana area?
(Feel free to email me privately on this one if you like)

Thanks,

Mike in Marysville, Indiana 47141






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 09-21-2002, 21:21 Post: 42754
DK35vince



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 Lawn Tractor Garden Tractor Compact or

Good luck in finding a compact tractor for under $5000.






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 09-22-2002, 06:52 Post: 42765
TomG

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I think $5000 may not be enough budget to get a compact plus implements and reliability too. Going bigger, an older utility tractor might be less expensive, but parts and reliability might be wanting. New grays might be in the budget but again parts, reliability and service may not be there. However, if there's time to shop around and look for private sales in local papers, who knows what might turn up.

One alternative might be to pay a local farmer to get rid or the alfalfa, level out the field and plant an easier grass to mow. We finish mow a total of around 2 acres with a 12hp-riding mower and till two moderate sized gardens with a small walk-behind. One neighbour clears snow with a big walk behind and several others clear with a blower on riding mowers. I think it takes an 18 hp riding mower before a blower is very effective or even available.

I have a 24hp compact for a little less than 4 acres but I had some heavier duty ideas than mentioned here. It's not over-kill for what I do, but the main reason we do finish mow with the riding mower is that compact would take too long to maneuver around buildings landscaping etc.

Well, I suppose I do have to keep in mind that the mower belt may have been a bit loose due to my neglect, but my wife did recently burn up the belt mowing the patches of wild flowers that she leaves in the lawn until they're done flowering. Mowing mature meadow is a little much for the riding mower. One thing about mowing is that if you do it frequently, what grows get more grassy and easier to mow. If the ground isn't too uneven, another alternative is to get a neighbour to mow it a few times and then take over with a riding mower. It will take time, but most of these tractor choices are matters of trading off size and money with time. Most tractors do pretty much the same jobs. Small ones just take longer unless maneuvering is required, then they may be faster.






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 09-23-2002, 02:15 Post: 42797
JonB



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I use a JD4100 on 2 acres, fielding mowing, orchard, tilling a garden, and it's the size perfect for my uses. Working with clay, drilling, and loader work makes a garden tractor too light for me. The compact tractor saves me an enormous amount of time. On the other hand, if I couldn't afford a compact, I'd get a garden tractor. Another option, as TomG suggested, is to pay a farmer to level, or rent equipment until you can get the small compact. For a 2 acre farm, I think the small compact is a perfect fit.






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 09-23-2002, 10:26 Post: 42807
DRankin



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Can you afford $180.00 a month? At tractorsmart.com you can get a BX1800 and a 54" mower($8800)and a front blade ($750-800)for about $9500. Even cheaper with a rear blade or a box scraper.
You can get '0' down with Kubota Credit, 60 months @ 4.99 percent is $180 a month. You can mow, push snow and dirt, and have years of reliabliity. It is real darn easy to spend more than $180 a mnoth on rental equiptment. My two cents.MH






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 09-23-2002, 21:30 Post: 42833
code3mmc



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Over the weekend, a different opportunity presented itself... 1954 Ford NAA tractor with a rebuilt transmission, new paint, new tires all around, and recent tune up and water pump...comes with 60" bush hog, rear box grader, never used front blade, and a rusty but probably workable mid-mount plow. Seller is only the second owner, has all manuals and receipts for repair work he's done plus back to about 1980. Price: $3850 or best offer. It runs well and he uses it to mow grass on 3 1/2 acres. This might be overkill for 2 acres, but it appears to be in decent shape and besides, it's a "cool old tractor" as my little nephew said. Wink yeah right

Ideas, anyone ? Is this a fair price for a NAA ?? (I know this isn't the Ford forum but what the heck).

-Mike






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 09-24-2002, 00:56 Post: 42843
JonB



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Code3, I know little about older tractors. Rumors are they can be great and last forever. I opted for a new model, at increased cost, for safety reasons. Newer models have roll bars, seat belts, and 4WD. If you leave (fall out of) the seat, the PTO and engine automatically shut off--keeping you from getting mulched by the mower. Be sure to read up on the dangers of tractor operation and make sure you're up to the challenges of older tractors. Here's a link to a tractor information site. I recommend the information on safety. That said, lots of owners love their old tractors. Best of luck.






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 09-24-2002, 07:49 Post: 42852
TomG

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Sounds like it might be a deal. I think NAA's probably have live hydraulics but not live PTO. For mowing, if it doesn't have a PTO over-running clutch, an external one can be bought. It probably doesn't have PS so the steering would be hard if it has a loader. If it has a loader, the hydraulic pump is small so hydraulic operations are slow compared to newer tractors (but front or PTO pumps can be fitted).

Hope you can see from this that there are a few things to know about older tractors. In addition, I believe that NH no longer has parts for pre-62 Fords in their parts system. Dealers may know after-market parts sources, and net-based companies (TPI) seem to be starting up that specialize in older tractor parts.






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 09-24-2002, 08:42 Post: 42857
DRankin



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I think Tom is saying there may be other costs associated with upgrading even a well maintained older machine to get it to the standards of performance you desire. Adding up those modiffications will give you a truer picture of the total cost.






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 10-19-2004, 17:24 Post: 98755
lbrown59

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<<

<<
I have a 24hp compact for a little less than 4 acres but I had some heavier duty ideas than mentioned here. It's not over-kill for what I do, but the main reason we do finish mow with the riding mower is that compact would take too long to maneuver around buildings landscaping etc.
TomG
]***************[/
>>I mow with my wards 46'' mower in the tight areas and the bx 23 in the larger open areas.By using both I can mow quicker than i could with the wards riding tractor.

>>







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