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Talkin' Tractors

Post in 'The Gear' started by Battenkiller, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    OK, I'm gonna be mowing about four times as much grass come spring as I have been here. Over 4 acres, with probably three full acres of lawn. I'll need some sort of tractor/riding mower since I really can't see mowing four hours a day with my old self-propelled one. There are so many options and I am a bit confused about which way to go. Ideally, I'd love a real tractor with a bucket loader and a mowing deck/attachment. Something I can transform the land a wee bit with. Never had an opportunity like that before.

    The only tractors I've ever run were the big farm tractors we used on the horse farms I worked on as a kid. A little out of my budget and a bit overkill for my needs. So, what are some options - new or used - that might fit into a $5K or less budget? An smaller old farm tractor would be great, and give me something to tinker with and have pride of ownership in. But foremost in my needs, it has to be able to cut grass well.

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  2. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    An older tractor is nice but the new stuff in so much more user friendly, think a bull in a china shop vs a gazelle in the forrest.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    A lot of will depend how thick the grass will grow and how nice you want the results to look. I wide deck and decent ground speed gets the job done quicker but not all mowers are created equal. Too fast in thick/tall grass can result in missed strips or heavy clumping.

    Do you want to mulch or discharge? Will you do a lot of towing (sweeper/aerator/roller/trailer)? Will you take it out in the rough and want to remove the deck? Did you want want to go with a manual gear or hydro?

    A garden tractor would have a tougher drivetrain. HDAP or ag tires would give better traction.
  4. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    If you go with an older tractor, make sure you know what you are getting, live hyd., live power and power steering are needed for mowing unless you like PITA's.
  5. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I basically just want to knock it down every week, I'm not a lawn person. The grass doesn't look heavy like the 99% quack grass I've been mowing by hand here for over 20 years. I want something powerful enough to pull a cart with 1000 pounds in it around the property (or a 1000 pound log suspended in my log arch). I also don't want something that will be in the repair shop every spring, so tough is good. Manual tranny, I don't mind that at all, as long as it holds up well. Are the hydros more durable?
  6. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    If I had that much to spend I would look for a used JD 430 GT. Its a 3cyl diesel with a 60" deck and 3 point hitch. You can put all kinds of attachments on it.
  7. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

  8. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I've been to a half dozen farm sales or better in the last year and you can buy a lot of tractor for less than $5000.
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    New is nice, but it's out of your budget right now.

    Plenty of 8N and 9N available. A great site is tractorhouse.com

    Why would you want to mow 3 acres?! :roll: Unless yer buildin' a golf course??

    For the price you are going to want to spend, you prolly will have to forgo

    FEL
    PS
    4wd
    mid-mount remotes
    live independent multi-speed PTO

    I recomend getting the mower as soon as you get the tractor, otherwise you've got a tractor that you can't actually do anything with.

    Or. . . reconfigure the house deal to finance a nice new 'bota in with that crazy new mortgage yer gonna pay :coolsmirk:
  10. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Hydros are not more durable but if you stay away from the light duty lawn tractor series and go with garden tractor series you should be OK. If you need to be speeding up and slowing down a lot, a hydro is the way to go. www.mytractorforum.com is another good site.
  12. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    +1.

    Wish I had done this when I had the chance. My GT245 hauls a lot of stuff, but I failed to forsee the need for a PTO and available attachments.
  13. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    A cheap tractor that can easy power a woods L59 and easily pull a trailer probably up to 7K is an Allis Chalmers B, C, or CA. The Bs are wide front, the Cs, CAs wide or narrow. Very reliable easy to work on and maintain. I've owned Farmall, Fords, Deers and I gotta say those little Bs are nice and can be found cheap.
  14. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    ISDBTUs beat me to it, but a good old 8n/9n would be great. Other than that, I'm pretty partial to the nicest JD (with GT somewhere in the model #) that you can afford.

    $5000, if you are willing to go that high, will get you something really nice to do this with and something that will probably outlast you.
  15. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    If you need to mow, I suggest thinking carefully about tire style. Ags will give great traction, but they will wreck your grass/yard. Especially if it is at all wet...you leave ruts. Turf tires are great for grass and mowing, not good on snow/ice. But tire chains will fix that in a hurry. If I had to mow three acres, I'd make sure I had turf tires....and then put on the chains for snow work.

    Do you have woods to play in?

    I don't think $5K is going to get you into a used Kubota or similar at all, not with a loader anyways.

    The older Deere's, as has been mentioned, are little tanks....not sure you can go wrong. You might have to tinker a bit to keep them going, but they are strong. Much more reliable than the craftsmans and similar, in my experience. But you will be looking at a machine at least 10 years old I think....others will know more.

    Tires....stay away from the Ags. Whenever I drive over my yard, I know it....for quite some time, especially if it is soft.
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    For less than $5K I think you could get a decent Kubota . . . quick search here in Maine brought up two Kubotas for less than $5,000.

    A B7100 with a snowblower for $4,500 (this is a 3-cylinder diesel, 16 hp with 4WD and PTOs) . . . also a B7100 for $4,000 with a snow blower and mower deck.
  17. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

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    Or a lates 80s/early 90s deere compact, which are actually yarmars, I've seen 850,950 and 1050s in that price range. And what I think is the best deal on used compact tractors are the 80s Fords, very well built usaually low hour and your price like a 1210 Ford.
    I'm not a huge fan of 8ns or 9ns. But you can get a great deal on IH utility tractors in the 60s and 70s vintage. Like a 460, 350 ect. I bought my 62 IH 606 for 1100 with a parts tractor. Its gas so I don't use it for farming, but it has a loader and a quick hydro pump so I use it all winter on the splitter.
  18. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    There is an very nice JD 430 with a 60" deck in Mount Joy PA on Craigslist for 4k as we speak. Only 1200 hours.
    Let us know where your located. Unless your a secret agent?
  19. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    mid 80's Kubota are available here 2500-3500 diesel
    personally for that much grass I would go with a zero turn mower
    then a tractor for other chores
    going to be a little more but now is the time to buy going into winter
    I mowed with my JD 420 60" cut for years, picked up a zero turn last year
    and boy is it nice
    also have a 4wd Kubota b 7100 great for everything else
    so I would vote used Kubota and a used zero turn
    might get closer to 5000 than you think
    if I search craigs list right now
    I know I could find both for that
  20. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Yanmar :sick:

    'bota with a 'B' or an 'X' in th model :-/
  21. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Well, I am a secret agent, but I thought the whole world knew that the "Blue Line" is the boundary of the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. :roll: ;-)

    I am about 30 minutes north of Albany, NY.

    Lots of options and good info here, guys. Keep it coming if you can. It'll take me a bit of time to research all these tractors, but by looking at them and reading some specs I can get a better idea of how they might suit my needs.
  22. mrfjsf

    mrfjsf Member

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    The amount of tractor you are looking for and the quality of tractor you are looking for scream sub-compact. But your price range does not. Im in your shoes right now. I have 5.5 acres, 4.5 is grass. Ive been mowing my arse off with a 2000 Simplicity Landlord and it is completely run into the ground. Too much grass for not enough mower. Im also looking for a tractor that I can do something other than mow grass with. I used to work at a heavy equipment dealer. Ive ran a TON of Kubota BX tractors. It is definately my tractor of choice for its versatility and quality. The problem is the price. New, you will spend $14000 + for a 2660 with a 60" MMM. No loader, no nothing. You may be able to find one used with a loader in the $7K-10K range that isnt stacked with hours. Ironpony may have the right advice for you. Buy a z-turn for the grass and a cheap old b7100 with a pile of hours on it for the dirty work. I might be doing the same.
  23. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    I referred to the BX series when saying I think they are too pricey....and I still think they are. If you plan to mow these many acres every week once, a zero turn is likely a good bet. The used commercial ones can be had in your range...and from what I know, they last a long time. They are much faster than a garden tractor. Not sure how much hauling you can do with it though...
  24. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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  25. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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