1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Sub Compact Tractors

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by JDC1, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,471
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I live between a swamp and a golf course. My brother-in-law manages the golf course property . I borrow some equipment every now and then. I know what a reel mower is.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,746
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    If you are considering a tractor simply for easier mowing of soft/wet ground - it might mow easier, but will tear the crap out of your lawn, especially the front wheels on a 4wd.

    Maybe buy the tractor & use it to improve the drainage situation so your ZTM will work better?

    (Trying to justify a tractor puchase - everyone should have one ;) )
  3. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    CNY
    Not real impressed with the JD compact line. We have problems with "stupid stuff", like metal hyd. lines bursting, leaks in front wheel housings, brackets breaking from vibration, Things that just should not be problems on a 4 yr. old machine.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,561
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Are there any compact tractor lines that are standing up well and worth looking into?
  5. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I think I am trying to justify a tractor and keep the zero turn. The wife doesn't want to hear it as I got a new truck in November. Sometimes they just don't understand. All that I have to do is let her test drive one and it will be in our barn within a week.

    I stopped in and looked at the Kubota B2320 and B2660 series yesterday and think I like the Kubota just as well as the Deere 2320 and 2520. This being a first time purchase, I am a little confused on what I "need" and what I want on the smaller features and layout of the controls. The Kubota has a 3 speed HST and looks like it has more ground clearance over the deere. The Deere seems to have more lift capacity on the FEL and position control on the rear 3 point. The Kubota also has metal hood and fenders.
  6. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    The first time you lose something out of the FEL and it bounces off the hood you'll appreciate metal.

    just sayin.
  7. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    CNY
    The Loader is where we have the problems with burst hyd. tubes. The dealer's exact words were "your are trying to dig with it" HELLO?? What do you think a loader is for, to drive around with to look cool when you mow the lawn??? There is a serious over pressurization problem in the system, the tube actually blow OUT. The dealer said he has seen it happen on more than one machine, that tells me there is a problem somewhere.
  8. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    JD is claiming almost 250lbs more FEL Lift capacity over the Kubota.
  9. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    At the expense of ruptured lines. :confused:
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,561
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm wondering if this is an overpressurization problem or lower quality hydraulic tubing coming from overseas? In our local water system we have to be careful to get piping made here. The imported stuff splits which is a real bummer with buried pipe.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    Hey greg, what machine/loader do you have? Sounds like either faulty lines or a non-functioning/faulty pressure relief valve.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Blue, green, orange, take your pick. They are just like stoves in that most of the product produced is very good and comes down to personal preference. Parts availability now and 20 years from now, operator ergonomics, ease of attachment mounting should all be main considerations.
  13. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    CNY
    We have a 3320, It's a rental machine. I expect the "Normal" stupid customer damage like smashed panels and tire problems, but this is stuff that if I TOLD you to damage how would go about doing it? But I have also learned NEVER challenge a customer, they win every time.

    The relief valve works, but I think there is a quirk or engineering oops somewhere that bypasses the relief when you are scraping with the bucket. Our's is not the only one doing it according to the dealer.

    I agree, there is no machine that is 100% perfect, but JD has a reputation to uphold and I simply think they just don't care. We have a new 10,000# excavator coming in soon, It will be interesting to see how that holds up.
  14. J2610

    J2610 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    I ended up finding this very interesting thread on a search for my problem, which is very close to JDC1's original issue. I too have a ZT; it is a JD 997 at 1800 lbs. (!) I like to keep what is approx 2 acres around the house with a finished cut. I also have a Kubota L2350 with a 5' shredder on the back (brush hog as most call it). The L2350 is a weaker engine version of the same L2800 or L3400 sold today. The problem I have is the ground and the wife. Well, actually neither is a true problem if I don't want help by another operator. The ZT has a 72" deck which is great with up to moderate length grass and solid ground, but any grass that is longer or heavy-moisture clogs up the deck and it does not blow the cuttings well. Then there is soft ground -- most of my area has a slight-to-moderate slope so that is fine, but the lower, flatter, stuff can get soft or sometimes muddy for a few says after rain which is when the ZT fails. The ZT is also poor when heading downhill when grass or soil is slick. This is when the wife says no. She also says no to the Kubota with the shredder because she doesn't like looking backwards or trying to do corners with it. So I think I am looking for something with 4x4 and a deck, but for our use I don't need a FEL on the mower because I have FEL on my two big tractors.

    So JDC1, here is my 2 cents: keep the ZT, just as you are thinking and buy a SCUT or CUT with 4x4 and FEL. I think you will find many more time and effort-saving uses for it than you can think of today, especially if it has a 3 point and PTO. But I learned the hard way that the 100% plastic hoods that some manuf like JD puts on their lawn mowers will shatter all by themselves after 10 years. They are not fiberglass like what they use on their larger stuff. But if all is the same, choose metal. My old tractor had a concrete block fall 5 feet onto it's hood, leaving a deep dent. But I was able to flatten it out with a hammer and anvil, then re-paint. Fiberglass and plastic are not as forgiving. I think you are on the right track.
  15. J2610

    J2610 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    I forgot to include comment about tires. Going back to your original post, it seems unlikely that your terrain is going to change, so you will always have periods of "high water content", so when you get your SCUT/CUT, get it with ag/R1/bar tires. I have found that aggressive tires do no harm to grasses as long as they don't spin. And they are less likely to spin due to their extra grip. On a ZT, you often pivot on one tire, so ag tires are not a good choice there. But with a 4x4, my advice would be the ag tires, but disengage 4WD when navigating corners if you are using 4WD on other areas. The bars on the tires may push grass into to soft ground, but the grass recovers quickly and the tracks disappear entirely after a little while. This is a much better condition than two "spinning tire ruts" left by a machine trying to get through a soft area.
  16. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    J2610, have you looked into the JD X500 or X700 series, they have 4 wheel steering and 4x4.


    Thanks for the advice. I have the same issue with the Zero Turn not dispersing the clumps if the grass is to wet or high. After looking at and pricing the B series from Kubota, I think this is the way we are going. I like the gauges better and it feels more solid than the deere. I got the zero turn out on Saturday morning to mow some of the yard. After getting finished, the wife made the comment that we should keep it and still get a tractor. I was thinking the same thing just waiting for her to say it. Especially since the belly mowers are about $2500. So we are going to start negotiating prices on a Kubota B2620 with FEL and a 48" rotary cutter this week. There are some features on the JD 2520 that are appealing but it is about a $2000 premium to go to the deere which I don't think is worth it. I am apprehensive about spending this kind of money but there is way to much to do here.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    IIRC the Bxx20 series machines are do not have positional control of the 3pt hitch. If you intend to be brush-hogging with this tractor I'd consider that mandatory. It's damn near impossible to return the rotary cutter to the same height after lifting for a rock/stump/etc. without the positional control. Kubota also puts the brake pedals on the right side, making individual wheel braking while under power impossible. Is the diff lock on the right side as well? Remember, your right foot is busy operating the hydro control.

    Kubota's Bxx30 series compares much more favorably to the Deere 2x20 series machines.

    Check this thread out.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/owning-operating/221838-kubota-b2620-vs-john-deere.html
  18. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    I'm not familiar with the B series but my L series has 3pt positional control. Also has a hand control for the hydro so individual wheel braking can be accomplished.
    I do agree that would be something to check into.
  19. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Position control is the main difference between the Deere and Kubota. Are there any other compacts that have it besides the Deere.
  20. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,286
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    I really like the HST pedal setup on my JD. You push one for forward and one for backward.
    The brake is on the left side. I'm not sure how the Kubota is setup but I really didn't like the treadle type pedals on some tractors.
  21. John97

    John97 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    449
    Loc:
    Spring Hill, FL
    For a small SCUT, I strongly recommend looking at the Massey Ferguson GC line. After doing all the research, this is what I steered my father into a few years ago. He needed something for snow removal, moving things around, busting out some tree stumps, and the like. He also mows a 5 acre field a few times a year that is next to his place because nobody else (i.e. the town) will maintain it.

    He was able to get the GC2410 with a backhoe for a very reasonable price. They often have free-loader promos and/or various other deals going.

  22. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,049
    Loc:
    Northern Kentucky along the Ohio River
    I have a BX 2660 and love it. 6 acers some of which reaches 22% grade. 3 weights, @ 52 lbs each, on the front and a 60" mid mowing deck. I also have a 5' Bush Hog blade and a 48" Land Pride box blade.

    When I first bought it I thought it too small to be called a tractor so I called it my "U. L. A. V" that is "Urban Lawn Assult Vehicle". But after grading my .25 mile, very steep, gravel driveway I've decided it is a real tractor! Any machine is going to leave marks in wet ground.
  23. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Today we ordered the B2620 with Front End Loader and 48" Woods Brush Hog. I can't wait to attack our yard. I am keeping the zero turn to mow. Thanks to everyone for tips and insight.
    smoke show likes this.
  24. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Congrats, hope it serves you well.

    What swayed your decision away from Deere?
  25. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I like the dash layout better on the Kubota and price. The only thing that I was not sure about was the position control.

Share This Page