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Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by semipro, Mar 30, 2009.
I have the 3510 branson and love it. I have had mine since 2003
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I would say it makes playmate of the month for TractorPoRn
Nice rig, thanks for sharing!
OP here. I finally bought a JD 3032e with hydro and a FEL and rear blade. I modified the rear blade for my 3 Point quick-attach and thought I was going to plow some snow from our long, curved, hilly driveway this winter. I was real disappointed when I never made it out of my backyard after getting 16 inches of the white stuff. I never got enough traction from the R4 tires to get though the high snow. 4WD and locking the differential didn't help enough. I'm looking into chains now and looking forward to spring.
Great thread. You guys are making me so jealous. We have only a couple acres, but I am doing enough terraforming and earth moving that a decent tractor with an FEL and a box scraper would really help. A post hole digger would be icing on the cake. I have seen some reasonable Kubota 23 hp sales on Craigslist. Is this a bad idea? At some point it would seem like a once every 3 year accessory is not justified.
If not, maybe Highbeam can point me to a decent dealer or two?
My new one!
I bought a new kubota b7800 with fel,bush hog and potato plow when I built my house last year.I would really consider a hydrostat type transmission if you are doing any fel work,it makes it so much easier.The onle thing I don't like about my tractor is the 1/4 inching valve for the 3ph.It does everything I need on my little 10 acres.I think the kioti tractors are a good deal for what you get,but they are very heavy.The only reason I didn't go with the 20hp kioti was its 2 speed trans.
I have gotten stuck in deep snow with my Kubota B7500 with turf tires. I have learned to use the fel to dig out in front of the machine before driving into it, I keep the bucket about 4 inches off the ground and clear out in front of me. My machine is in the back of my house and I need to get to the front to plow the driveway. I did not stay stuck for long I used the fel to push me back enough to get traction again.
I would be careful most of those decent priced compact tractors on CL are scams.
I PMd BG with some local dealer info, we have a real good Kubota/Kioti dealer here in Puyallup (cool name eh?). Since we don't get much snow here in the puget sound area the tractor sets a good bit through the winter. I haul firewood with it mostly. My 30 HP Kioti has moved hundreds and hundreds of yard of material to level out land and create roads. I use the box blade for this along with the FEL to distribute gravel. My R4 tires work great in all but the muddiest conditions. 4wd is a must for earth moving.
Semipro, Do you think you should have gone with a bigger, heavier tractor so you could plow snow too. As you well know there's quite a bit here in Western Virginia now and more expected this weekend. I'm just beginning to research what model to get for my ten acres in Botetourt County. Sound like we have similar needs in a tractor. I enjoyed reading and learned a lot from this and your linked threads on TractorByNet. You and others mentioned every town and dealer around here. Bought my John Deere riding mower up in Buchanan, which dealer was mentioned. Small world. Soon as my Solo Innova is paid off getting a tractor is next up.
Yeah, I hear you're due for more snow than we are. I like snow but its starting to wear out its welcome.
I've given this a lot of thought. I found buying a tractor to be fairly complex. There's a lot of give and take. For example, I could have gone with ag tires instead of the R4s but I'd be tearing up my lawn the rest of the year with the big ag tire bars. Weight I can add and plan to. Tires are already filled with methanol. I didn't want to go bigger because I want to maintain wooded areas. The tractor I ended up with does not have individual brakes for the rear wheels. I knew this before I bought it but didn't think I'd need the separate rear brakes. A friend has told me that he uses the split brakes when he plows snow.
I'm pretty confident I could do some snow moving if I had some chains. My mower does and it makes a world of difference. Consider too that I'm relatively new to this. I've actually operated a lot heavy machinery but haven't spent much time on tractors in the snow. I'm not quite committed to messing up the pretty paint job yet especially as long as my old Yukon is making it in and out through the snow on the driveway.
IMHO the hydrostatic trans is well worth the cost in hilly terrain. I had many, including a salesman try to talk me into a shuttle shift and I tried them all out. In the end I think the Hydro makes operation on hills safer and easier.
Have fun looking. It took me 10 years to get mine. The search is part of the fun!
Semipro, sounds like you've learned a lot about tractors. How did you research tractor buying? I know nothing about them and have to learn as much as I can before making a purchase. What made you finally decide on the make and model and accessories you did? What I'll need mine to do is turn over the soil in my four or so acres of open pasture, so I can replant orchard grass there, then be able to mow the pasture and orchard, and remaining acres of woods. I'd also like to be able to move dirt around some to level off my uneven front yard, as well as plow snow off my 400' driveway. Of course there will be miscellaneous tasks too, like dragging cut logs out of the woods. My wife now informs me we will need to get the driveway paved, buy some furniture and a new refrigerator first, so it looks like I'll have some time to study this thoroughly. I have managed to get a hydraulic log splitter, a new Stihl chainsaw, a wood gassification boiler and related plumbing parts, and a new woodshed last year, so to be fair it is her turn.
I have learned a lot but I'm convinced I haven't scratched the surface yet. I'd suggest you check out these forums for good advice from people who have used tractors quite a bit:
www.tractorbynet.com and www.mytractorforum.com. The folks there have been real helpful.
My advice, works backwards. Define what you want to do and figure out what implements you need to do the work. Then choose a tractor that will handle those implements and your specific requirements. I tried to stay with the major brands and avoided Chinese and Korean tractors. That's my personal preference. I wanted to buy as much American made as possible. I wanted at least 30 HP on a small frame tractor that could get into tight spaces. I also wanted one with a relatively low center of gravity for stability on hills. I've rolled equipment on hills and want to avoid that in the future.
It will help to think about the tractor as a mobile power source. You can buy 3 point hitch mounted splitters, generators, chippers, etc. and not have so many infernal combustion engines around to maintain. At last count I had 20. That's a lot to keep up with. Better to maintain fewer if possible.
You'll want to find a good reputable dealer that's been around a while. Dealer support is important. A good dealer will encourage you to try our their tractors. Some will even let you try them out at home 1st before buying, mine did.
Sounds like you'll need at least 30 HP and some good traction for ground breaking. You'll probably want ag tires, not R4s or turf tires. You'll also want to figure out how to move firewood around. That's not as simple as it sounds. Some put wood on pallets and use their front end loader or rear pallet forks to move it around. Other use boxes mounted to the 3 point hitch. Some use the front bucket. I haven't decide on this and have meant to post here to see what others recommend. You can move snow with a loader but a rear blade works better. You can level ground with a loader but a box blade works better. Even so, I feel the FEL is a must have. You can do a lot with it. It sounds like any of the available transmission options will work for you, shuttle shift, gear, hydro. Try them all out and see what you like. Shuttle and hydro are good for FEL work. Straight gear or shuttle might be better than hydro for lots of ground breaking. Hydro sucks away some of the power that would otherwise go to wheels or implements.
Have fun with it! Let us know what you get.
Thanks for the info. I've registered for both forums you suggested. I'll have to learn to speak tractor language, first it seems starting with all the acronyms. I figured out FEL means front end loader, the rest will have to come with time. Good advice is hard to come by so thanks for yours. I'll save your suggestions in a new file devoted to my future tractor purchase. I like the working backwards approach too. Enjoy the snow.
Didn't read all the responses but if your going to work in the woods, or any place not reasonably flat you don't want anything under the tractor. You want to hang everything off the rear 3 point hitch. Plus when you engage the PTO you can only run 1 implement at a time, so if you have something hung on the belly ????
Thanks for the tip Rob. Makes perfect sense. I'll add it to my list. I suppose I could mow the pasture with a bush hog anyway.
Bush hog with new knives or ones that are sharpened properly makes a really nice cut.