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educate me on homeowner tractor/loader/backhoe, please.

Post in 'The Gear' started by RAY_PA, May 24, 2012.

  1. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    I reallly think we are in the market for such a machine. I started looking online and muct confess, I got some 'sticker shock'.
    We have a 500 ft driveway to plow and mantain, 12 acres with several trails and 2 ponds, go through about 6 cords of wood per year, lots of lawn work, flowerbeds, mulch, stone, drainage ditches, rip out a stump here and there, etc.
    want 4X4, hydro, FEL, hoe, with intent for additional implements in the future, prob a mower for trail and field edge. (brushhog) Was thinking +/- 30 hp. But looks like I will be hard pressed to find something in my price range in the 30 HP range, how bout 24hp? to small? 25?, 26? I dont have a prefference name brand wise, but dont want junk either and mostly dont want to drop the coin for one that I will not be able to do the things I mentioned.
    Thanks for any help.

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  3. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I was hoping to spend around $10K, but it probably going to have to be closer to $14 and a used unit. .....maybe?
  4. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    If you buy one of the "off brand" tractors $10k.. ish can get you something. My Dad has a 25hp or so 4x4 Kioti which has worked well for him.

    Ford/New Holland, Kubota, John Deere is $$$$$$ all the way around... attachments, parts, the tractors, etc.

  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Ok can't edit for some reason, but wanted to mention my Dad uses his tractor for about the same as your planning to do. They have about 5 acres of land they tend to and my brother uses is as well on his 300 acres.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  7. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    I have been watcnihg these type units for several months, locally. It seems that most sell from $11K to $18K. Keep in mind these are used units for sale by owner. 20-30 HP FEL and hoe.

    Thanks, Fossil that site has a ton of info.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Four years ago, I bought my M-F subcompact for $16.7K, 0% financing (all paid off now). Dealer cut me a bit of a break because it had been a demo and had ~4 hours on it. It is 4WD, Hydrostatic, mid and rear PTO's, 3PH. I did not opt for the available mid-PTO driven mower deck, because I don't have anything to mow. The current version of this is the M-F 2400TLB (22.5 HP) and now they have a 2600TLB (25 HP). These are both north of $20K new. I'm thinking that for $10K - $14K you're probably looking at a used machine for all the stuff you want it to do. Rick

    snow.jpg
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you are in the used market category. In my opinion you have named some tasks that a single unit is not going to do. Example: The machine that can rip out a 14" stump ain't the same machine that you will be driving up to flower beds.

    I have a Case 580CK with backhoe. I can rip out stumps and do loader work and all that, but you best keep it away from foundations or any ground that you aren't willing to rut up. I realize that this is bigger than a CUT, but your not gonna strip or lift a 18" stump and root ball with a CUT. (just pointing this out because one of your requirements was that it can do ALL the jobs you listed. NOT busting your chops, just keeping expectations real)
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    And that's the truth. A big stump would laugh at my little tractor while my little tractor was laughing at me. ;lol
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Man - I really like those little tractors. They look as handy as a third arm to me, but I just had a friend that bought a JD CUT (and a pretty good sized one). He never even thought to take into consideration the lift height and weight capacity of the machine and is now a bit disappointed (his fault, not the tractors). I would like a smaller unit for around the house type stuff. Mine weighs in at 11,000 pounds.:confused:
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, my little guy's ~2600 lbs soaking wet (incl. FEL & BH). I've loaded it up onto a 8' x 12' tandem axle flatbed utility tractor and towed it over to the dealer for service and back...easy.
  13. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    great thoughts and I didnt take it like you were busting my chops, thanks! I guess when I was thinking rip out a stump, I should have realized it wouldnt rip out a 14" one.(but never really thought about it) The occasional small stump in the way of a flower bed or large rock that would need to be removed. most would be dirt work and gravel hauling/spreading. is a 22-24 HP unit big enough? can I tinker and run a brush hog? I have a 12K dump trailer I could haul it in, but dont intend to take it off the property very often, but dont want to tear the lawn up either. I guess 'mid size'?
    Here is an example of one I have interest in, but am worried it would be to small. I think its very similar to yours, fossil.

    "massey gc-2410,tractor loader backhoe.4wd hydro trans loaded rear tires ex. condition always garaged.as clean as they come.12,500 FIRM"
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    That's exactly what I have (except for the loaded rear tires), just the next year's model. Mine's a GC2310.
  15. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I had a Mahindra for a few years, until work went away and I had to sell something. It was a pretty well built unit. The company has been around for many years, and built IH tractors for overseas markets.
    The one I had was 35 hp and 4x4, and with FEL, loaded tires, and three point blade weighed in at 4600. Live PTO, both 540 and 1000 RPM, and strong hydraulics. It had no problem picking up a full bucket of limestone that I know weighed close to a ton. Also picked the rear wheels up a few times if I didn't have the blade on the back. It wasn't hydrostatic, but I'm not a fan for loader work, anyway. Always started in the winter with no block heater, only glow plugs.
    The dealer is an old friend and somebody I trust, and that was really the biggest selling point. I think I paid $17k and some change.
    I sure do miss it now.
  16. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    You may be better off finding an older Ford 555 or Case 580. They have been around long enough that you can find some older ones in good shape $3-6K range. They are big enough to really move some snow and dig.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    You don't have to rip out stumps with the hoe. You can dig around them and tug 'em out with the tractor. Sounds like you want to avoid the Sub-Compacts (Machines the size of fossil's) and stick to a solid used mid-frame or bigger. If you could live without the hydro that would open up more choices for you and save a ton of $$. I understand if that's a must-have for you tho.
  18. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    I'd forget the backhoe att.. For most people the few times they use one it would be cheaper to rent a mini hoe that will do the job 10 times faster and be cheaper in the long run. I've use both and those little hoes on the back of a small tractor are a waste of time. You spend more time moving the tractor than digging. Those little tracked hoes will really dig and move around things and you do every thing right fron the seat.
    I'd look around for a used bronson, mirandra, geared tractor. They are VERY solid built and have very solid loaders. You will use the loader ALL the time. Don't get caught up in buying one of the big three because you heard they are better and made here. You are buying the color. ALL cuts are made over seas and some of the best built ones are not green or orange. If you are buying to resell then buy green or orange. Also look at the speks on lifting wt. of the loader as some of the loaders are only good for light stuff. I don't know if it still holds true yet but a few years ago the green ones stated that the warrenty was void if used with the loader they sold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    leaddog
    ewdudley and jeff_t like this.
  19. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Paid 3,500 for my 60's JD 400 diesel loader with hoe. Paid for itself digging my basement and circular drive, well ditch, and septic in 1985. Since then, everything from installing a rebuilt V-8 into a cabin cruiser, scratching a garden area and removing huge rocks from it, steering trees down and burying an occasional neighbors animal. I've set beams and pulled out septic pump trucks from back yards. I made a small farm out of my 2 1/2 acres and use the front bucket for wood, stone, mulch, manure, you name it. Biggest problem is not using on saturated ground where it's going to sink. So it's good to wait for frozen ground to cross the yard to carry heavy stuff.
    I'm in a glacier rock area of NEPA that a smaller machine always needs something larger. I even needed an excavator to remove one rock when digging my basement. It was the size of a pick-up truck. (and broke off a huge piece the basement is built on)
    For plowing the driveway and garden is a 1950 Ford 8-N. I've tried neighbors 3 cylinder Kubotas and end up needing larger. The only downfall having a larger machine is the ground damage everytime you drop the stabilizer feet to dig something or remove a tree. Massive ruts and grass to fix when done. A few neighbors that live on our 1/2 mile private road all share plowing, and if the sides get high enough or frozen that they can't push them back, I'll get out the backhoe to use the loader to move piles or shove them back. That's my contribution for snow removal that was only required a few times, so the plowing is taken care of for me just having that machine.
    Below is dropping manure from a 1 ton bucket, then discing it in with the Ford. I'd be lost without either machine. I favor antiques.
    JD 400 Manure.JPG 1950 Ford 8N.JPG
    MasterMech likes this.
  20. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Hay Ray, always check to see that parts are available on used stuff, Like a massy 10xx series.These were built by a Japanese company that has since gone belly up, major parts are close to non exisitant.
  21. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    All good info. I had a backhoe, but sold it. Only used it once in a while.

    as someone said check out www.tractorbynet.com

    educate yourself on what you want and price. Keep trolling the clasifieds. I bought a New Holland TN75da, with cab,FEL BH, chains,rimgaurd, etc. It was a yr old with 300 hours. Owner had paid a little over $50,000.00 I bought it for $32,000.00 Had to liquidate his assets in a hurry. I helped. Kept the BH for a yr, sold it for $7500
  22. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    I usually goto the local consignment auctions. Now, I don't recommend this unless you can turn a wrench, but there were good utility tractors going there, both gas and diesel for under 3K. Lots of MF's and JD. I have been getting implements there for years.

    Here's my logic: most of the time on a utility tractor, the motor is shot due to lots of cold starts. Cleaning a barn isn't usually to hard on the rest of the machine. On a gasser a rebuild kit is usually 2k if you need everything and don't have to have too much machining done. 4k on the diesel if the injector pump is still good.

    So there I am for 7k If I really messed up at the auction... most of the time a good tuneup is all you need. then you still have 3 k to spend on implements.

    As to the backhoe, if you need one enough, buy an old unit (I borrow a MF-165 from a friend) or rent/borrow one.

    If I didn't keep old junk running I wouldn't be farming.
  23. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Little late here, and I'll mostly just concur with all the above.

    Don't attempt to "mow" with a machine that can rip stumps. If what you are mowing is truly a "lawn" you need a finish mower with minimum ground disturbance.

    Don't go 2WD.

    Don't spend xtra cash on hydro. Gear saves money, and is best for ground engagement. Orange - and prolly Blue, Green, etc - makes an "Hydraulic Shuttle" which is still gear, but gives clutchless, aka 'reverser'

    If at all possible, plow snow with a truck. Way better, faster, more comfortable than a tractor. The FEL comes in handy for moving snow piles, but when used for 'plowing', a bucket will have you chasing windrows until spring comes;hm

    Try shopping TractorHouse.com and Fastline.com Both are great resourses. You will soon get a feel for tractor values and probably become addicted:oops:

    Also try TractorByNet.com You won't see any pictures of hot chicks there, and the webmaster has no sense of humor, but you will ba amazed by the user-supplied info. Reminds me of another site . . .
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Some of the shuttle shifts are a wet clutch design too. Waaay better than a dry clutch. Lasts 3X as long, at least.

    I wouldn't shy away from a hydro if that's what you want, but there is some operator education involved if you want to get the most out of it for ground engaging implements. Shoving the pedal to the floor is the equivalent of pulling in a higher gear. Biggest mistake is to treat that pedal like a car accellerator.

    Deere machines built from the 4x10 series on (4210, 4310, 4410 etc and newer 3x20, 4x20 series and the 110 TLB) with eHydro transmissions automatically optimize transmission control input to engine rpm with very impressive results. System is called LoadMatch. Basically the operator puts the pedal to the metal and the tractor does the rest, won't stall regardless of load.
  25. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    When you do decide to pull the trigger and buy, my advice is to be EXCEPTIONALLY careful about ads on Cragistlist and Feebay. There are a quadrillion scams going on with tractor sales on those sites and people get burned. I had some fun once with a scammer on Craigslist....it showed a gorgeous John Deere compact tractor and attachments at a ridiculously low price. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anyway, I email them and they write back that the tractor is in Lancaster PA, which is about a 2-3 hour ride from my house with the trailer hooked up, no big deal. I said I will come with cash to pick up the tractor. They write back, no, we can't do that, you have to go to our "private auction" on ebay. There is no such thing according to Ebay rules. The URL was something like www.ebay.com/item123395747485858.ru.com A scam. I reported the fake web site to Ebay who hacked it down. I then searched craigslist in various cities across the country, and the same flipping scam ad was running in Dallas, Seattle, Mobile etc.
    Sorry to be so long winded aobut this...my suggestion would be to either buy from a reputable used equipment dealer, or a private seller who has proof of original purchase and you can inspect the unit prior to purchase. Good luck with your search.
    MasterMech and ISeeDeadBTUs like this.

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