Sub Compact Tractors

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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
461
ohio
I have been through a good deal of information about all the different sub compact tractors out there. Most people are for kubota in this size range (and I am leaning towards them too). However, before I buy one, I would like to hear from people that have other brands. I really don't want to buy a john deere. I know a few people that were not satisfied with theirs and they are people I trust.
I am open to New Holland, Kioti, LS, Massey and Mahindra. All but the Mahindra have a dealer within an hour of me and all seem to have prices close to each other. I will be mowing my yard, using a FEL and carry-all to haul firewood, brush hog trails and move snow.
Real-life experiences will have a big impact on my decision so tell me what you think folks that have used these other brands.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
This neck of the woods is basically all Deere, thanks to a large dealer network here, and Mennonites historically not liking anything red and flashy (they even paint the chrome on their cars black). So, I’m no help on brands, but I can say that I’m really not a fan of any sub-compact tractor, when I can buy a good cat.1 compact for much less on the used market.

Tractors kept indoors and used by homeowners have nearly infinite life spans, at the < 100 hours per year most of them see. Why spend $25k on a new little sub-compact toy + odd-ball cat.0 attachments with such limited capacities, when you can have a really good second-hand compact with several standard cat.1 attachments for $5k - $10k less? It has been a few years since I’ve shopped tractors and implements, so maybe the pricing has drifted a bit, but that’s where it was around 2010, and I expect the ratio is unchanged.
 

EODMSgt

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2018
288
White Mountain Region, NH
I have a 2013 Kioti CK27 HST, have had no issues with it and it does everything I need it to do. I originally was going with a Kubota, since that was what I was most familiar with, however after talking with the Kioti dealer and crawling all over and under the tractors, I was sold on the Kioti (and for much less than the Kubota). Normal implements for me are the FEL, backhoe, box blade and a scraper blade. I haven't had to load the tires and run a weight box during the winter. After all the ice last winter, I'm going to invest in chains this year. It would be nice to have a cab and larger tractor however I wanted something I could drop the ROPS on and back it into a garage.

Just like Dodge, Ford and Chevy. you'll get 100 people answering this with 100 different choices. I'm sold on the Kioti and after six years, don't regret it at all.
 

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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,103
Newport, Wa
I picked up Mitsubishi MT18 about 5 years ago. Great tractor. $5300 with Plow Blade and Bucket.. Been great little tractor. 1400 hours on it. We do about 50 hours a year. Useful to clearing snow, skidding out trees from forest. Repair of Driveway (rock movement). Plan on Snowblower this fall. I see them all the time on Craiglist. Straight from Japan. https://www.tractorco.com/ https://www.woodmaxx.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SB-48
SUNP0255.JPG SUNP0339.JPG
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,745
Downeast Maine
I have a Kioti, but not a subcompact. Local folks with the Kioti CS2410 really seem to like it.
 

duramaxman05

Minister of Fire
Aug 17, 2014
647
Perryville, Mo
The only complaint I have about tractors built in South Korea (kioti, ls and others) the steel quality isn't quite as good as John deere or kubota. When I worked a kioti dealer I stripped out several bolt torquing them down to specs. I even had my snap on torque wrench recalibrated. I ended up using the lowest torque rating of the bolt I was using. Other than that, if you do your maintenance like you are suppose to, they will be fine
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
The only complaint I have about tractors built in South Korea (kioti, ls and others) the steel quality isn't quite as good as John deere or kubota. When I worked a kioti dealer I stripped out several bolt torquing them down to specs. I even had my snap on torque wrench recalibrated. I ended up using the lowest torque rating of the bolt I was using. Other than that, if you do your maintenance like you are suppose to, they will be fine

They actually fixed that problem, by shipping a helicoil assortment with every new tractor. [emoji14]
 

graycatman

Member
Mar 7, 2010
46
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
I have been through a good deal of information about all the different sub compact tractors out there. Most people are for kubota in this size range (and I am leaning towards them too). However, before I buy one, I would like to hear from people that have other brands. I really don't want to buy a john deere. I know a few people that were not satisfied with theirs and they are people I trust.
I am open to New Holland, Kioti, LS, Massey and Mahindra. All but the Mahindra have a dealer within an hour of me and all seem to have prices close to each other. I will be mowing my yard, using a FEL and carry-all to haul firewood, brush hog trails and move snow.
Real-life experiences will have a big impact on my decision so tell me what you think folks that have used these other brands.

I have a New Holland Workmaster 25s which works well for me. I considered the K 2680, but the 25s has modestly more lift at the 3 point, which is Cat I for both, and way more lift and breakout at the FEL. Attach/detach FEL looks slightly easier on the K, but is easy enough on the NH. The K has option for SSQA which the NH does not, but my dealer was able to fit a Kioti SSQA plate on the 25s (and I believe Worksaver also offers a SSQA which they say will work on a 25s), and recently had 3rd function hyd. put on, and got a grapple and HLA QA bucket to replace the OEM pin-on bucket. Also use a 60" belly mower and 50" front mount snow blower which work well; I think the attach/detach for those are the same for the K and NH. If you can, go for the hyd. chute rotation on the SB. I paid well less than what the K would have been.
 

duramaxman05

Minister of Fire
Aug 17, 2014
647
Perryville, Mo
I'm not brand bashing but New case ih and new Holland compacts are built by ls. May be able to save a few dollars going to ls.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
461
ohio
Great information. Please keep the personal experiences coming.

A side question? Has anyone run a tractor mounted hydraulic log splitter off of one of these sub compacts? I have access to one anytime I want it but they guy runs it off of a Ford 3910. If I know a sub compact can run the cylinder with plenty of power, I will have a rear hydro hook up installed.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,745
Downeast Maine
The only complaint I have about tractors built in South Korea (kioti, ls and others) the steel quality isn't quite as good as John deere or kubota. When I worked a kioti dealer I stripped out several bolt torquing them down to specs. I even had my snap on torque wrench recalibrated. I ended up using the lowest torque rating of the bolt I was using. Other than that, if you do your maintenance like you are suppose to, they will be fine

Sounds like a conversion error rather than a hardware problem.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,745
Downeast Maine
Great information. Please keep the personal experiences coming.

A side question? Has anyone run a tractor mounted hydraulic log splitter off of one of these sub compacts? I have access to one anytime I want it but they guy runs it off of a Ford 3910. If I know a sub compact can run the cylinder with plenty of power, I will have a rear hydro hook up installed.

Look at how many remotes the tractor is offered with from the factory. I wish I had known that I'm maxed out at two OEM remotes ahead of time. Eventually I'll get a Fasse valve setup so I can run my stump grinder with hydro top link. It's one of the few things I can really nit pick about my Kioti.
 

FTG-05

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2014
410
TN
There are only two tractor colors that are worth a crap:

- An FEL that has a SSQA (or the JD QA). No Quick Attach FEL = No Buy tractor. Period.

- All your 3ph implements fit a Quick Hitch. Even if you don't plan to buy a QH (and for $100 why wouldn't you?????), make sure your implements fit one. That when (not if) you decide to buy the QH, your implements will fit without having to a) modify the implements to fit a QH (read: Massive PITA) or b) sell then buy new 3ph implements (read: Massive PITA + $$$$).
 

FTG-05

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2014
410
TN
Great information. Please keep the personal experiences coming.

A side question? Has anyone run a tractor mounted hydraulic log splitter off of one of these sub compacts? I have access to one anytime I want it but they guy runs it off of a Ford 3910. If I know a sub compact can run the cylinder with plenty of power, I will have a rear hydro hook up installed.

You can, but why?

Lower flow than a standalone gas engined log splitter = slow cycle time.
Running an expensive tractor engine vs. a cheap ($200?) gas engine

And last but not least: If you're log splitting off the back end of the tractor, how can you possibly use the most useful tractor tool at your disposal? That's right, the FEL at the other end of the tractor. There is no way I'd neuter the FEL. Especially when log splitting.
 

pjohnson

Burning Hunk
Oct 2, 2013
143
I’ve had two John Deere’s and no problems with either. Two pluses with Deere is parts available for years and hold their value. I used the first one for 14 years and got what I paid for it on trade in.

Plus one one the quicktach for three point buy it and make sure your implements are compatible when you buy em.

I had a subcompact and stepped up one size to compact. I’d highly recommend going up a model or two, such as the jd two series or three series, sorry haven’t kept up on models in other brands. You gain so much in stability, lift capacities, ground clearance, of course it all comes down to budget. There are a lot of nice tractors out there color may not matter as much as having a good dealer.

Another vote to forget about a three point log splitter these small tractors just don’t have the flow to run them fast enough. Why run a 20 thousand dollar engine for splitting wood. Plus the loader is more useful for moving wood
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
461
ohio
It seems as though I should at least consider john deere. I have just always felt they were over priced just for their name but it will give them a look too.

I appreciate the advice on the splitter as well. I am only considering it because I have one available to me whenever I want it and I would only use it a few times a year.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
It seems as though I should at least consider john deere. I have just always felt they were over priced just for their name...
There may be some truth to that, but on the other hand, you don't hear many complaints from Deere owners. Also, you only spend the money once, whereas you'll be using that machine every weekend for the next 20+ years.

BTW, on tractor mounted splitters, everyone here seems to be assuming you're talking about the type that use a rear hydraulic hookup for power, but just as many I've seen have a hydraulic pump that runs off the tractor's rear PTO shaft. 3-point splitters are a "no go" for me, either way, I'd also never want to give up use of my FEL while splitting wood. I usually park the bucket right next to the splitter, so I can toss my splits directly into it while working. Other times, I'll park the splitter next to where I'm stacking, and use the FEL to bring rounds to it. Either way, I'd not want to split the volume of wood I do, without the FEL there to help.
 
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duramaxman05

Minister of Fire
Aug 17, 2014
647
Perryville, Mo
Sounds like a conversion error rather than a hardware problem.
It was the metal in the tractor. A couple other mechanics had the same problem. The one mechanic is a mechanic for John deere for 25yrs. One dealer closed and he work st this kioti dealer for a year before he went back to john deere. I know him very well. He had the same problem I did torquing stuff down. The main problem was on the loader brackets
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
2,001
Northern Maine
I've never looked at the newer machines from India and other parts of the world but I can tell you when comparing Deere to Kubota and New Holland they are all within a few bucks of each other providing they are outfitted the same.

Deere parts are always available. I needed some transmission parts for the NH and the dealer told me they were unavailable here in the states. Friends brought them back to the states from Italy.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,928
Nova Scotia
I've been watching the used ads here for a while. Used SC's seem to be like gold. Maybe just as well, wifey isn't sold on the idea yet.

My main use would be mowing. With our terrain (hilly & uneven), 4WD would be a definite plus there. Currently use a JD ride-on with chains on it, and even then it has traction issues at times, and I have to use a lot of body english in spots (hang my butt off the uphill side). So would really like to upgrade that with something more capable that could handle some other stuff too. Compact would be too big for what I would be doing with it, and we have other bigger units for the bigger jobs anyway.

First choice would be Kubota, mainly because of dealer proximity, and we have had decent luck with bigger ones we have or had. Next would be either JD or MF (MF dealer just as close as Kubota).
 

Medic21

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2017
1,160
Northern Indiana
I have worked in dealerships on the following:

New Holland and Case
LS
Bobcat(kioti)

Out of all of them the Kioti would be my pick unless I could find a Bobcat with the Kubota engine. I believe under 60hp the New Holland and Case are built in Japan.

If you can find a TZ series New Holland used you cannot go wrong with those either. A lot of woods attachments available cheaper than new Holland.

Over all after turning wrenches in equipment for years I would find used. Pre emissions, pre tier 4, are better without horsepower robbing egr valves and pre tier 4 final without common rail high pressure fuel systems are way more reliable. 99.9% of the problems on new compact equipment is emission related and will make you go to a dealer for service. Nothing wrong with a 20 year old tractor that has been maintained. Even if you had to do some work to it it will cost less up front and last longer than this new throw away crap they build today.
 

Renovationman

Member
Dec 5, 2017
49
MB
Back in 2007 I purchased my new NH TZ22DA and love it. Have 60” mower, tiller, FEL, and rear mount snowblower. My BIL recommended rear mount SB as you will need bucket for snow clearing on occasion. I’m glad I took his advice. Didn’t like Kubota’s rocker type forward/reverse pedal as it was uncomfortable to work with. NH has separate pedals. No issues other than this year main hydraulic hose wore through. Not the easiest to replace due to space limitations. 40 bucks to make one up. Have Speeco QA that I leave on tiller as it’s the hardest to put on/ take off. Blower is on for 6 months so not an issue.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
2,001
Northern Maine
I have worked in dealerships on the following:

New Holland and Case
LS
Bobcat(kioti)

Out of all of them the Kioti would be my pick unless I could find a Bobcat with the Kubota engine. I believe under 60hp the New Holland and Case are built in Japan.

If you can find a TZ series New Holland used you cannot go wrong with those either. A lot of woods attachments available cheaper than new Holland.

Over all after turning wrenches in equipment for years I would find used. Pre emissions, pre tier 4, are better without horsepower robbing egr valves and pre tier 4 final without common rail high pressure fuel systems are way more reliable. 99.9% of the problems on new compact equipment is emission related and will make you go to a dealer for service. Nothing wrong with a 20 year old tractor that has been maintained. Even if you had to do some work to it it will cost less up front and last longer than this new throw away crap they build today.

Emission controls on diesels.

The exact reason why I bought a used JD4720.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,745
Downeast Maine
I'm in the minority and I haven't suffered a failure, but I like the improved emissions. My tractor is so quiet with no stink