Time for a new toy I need advice

Enzo's Dad

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
336
Canton, CT
It’s been along time since I posted here but I was look for opinions. During the storm last week I lost the bevel gear box on my simplicity while plowing snow. That tractor has been a workhorse for processing firewood. I live in a very wooded part of Ct and I have used that tractor to haul firewood from different parts of my neighborhood home. This year I brought over 3 cords home with that tractor.. I think it’s time to get something new as I know I am pushing it to its limits. Ineed a vehicle for firewood processing, and I love using the plow i conjunction with a mysnow blower to clean up snow.

I have 3 thoughts

1. be patient and find a really exceptional garden tractor used. The problem with this is that the good ones go quick, and they are limited to what they can do.

2. Kawasaki mule sx. They can accomplish a lot of the things my simplicity did and more. They are super reliable and can easily be stored in my shed. Another added bonus is my son would really like it! Adding a plow to one of theses would be good for all the storms under 6” and I would have a roof and windshield

3. Kubota bx2380 or 1880 with a front loader. This would do the most actual work. They can haul, lift and carry logs. It can move snow, and help out in really big storms. I know it will also make life easier with other yard work project. My issue is I am not on a farm, I will probably go down a rabbit hole of buying implement, and I would have to put a lean to on my shed for storage.

I am sure others here have had to make a decision like this and I was looking for input
 

PA Mountain Man

New Member
Dec 14, 2020
42
Lisburn, PA
I have a Bobcat T190 tracked skid steer with standard bucket, fork attachment, root grapple and rockhound. This works great in the woods. I can snake logs out of the woods without damaging other trees and have even used it to assist in dropping trees in the right spot. The root grapple allows me to move and load multiple small logs and single 3' diameter logs on trucks and trailers. The tracks are spaced wide so you can operate on side hills where rubber tired vehicles will tip over. The bucket gets used a lot on our small farm. Some day I will get around to building the 6 way dozer/plow blade.
So take a look at skid steers. Lots of good used ones available.
2 drawbacks - skid steers will tear up the grass when you turn and the T190 weight requires at least a 3/4 ton truck and 10,000 lb trailer to move it. Go down to a T140 and you can easily move with a 1/2 ton truck.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
486
Perryville, Mo
What size simplicity? And what is the bevel box? I know a guy with a simplicity with a pain in the a$$ onan.
 

trueg50

Member
Dec 19, 2014
19
VT
How large of a property do you have and what other tasks might you have?

A BX would be a fantastic do-all machine for mowing, snow removal, hauling smaller trailers, and all the other things you might do with attachments/grapple (PTO Generator, wood chipper, grader, tiller etc...). I don't know how I lived without my B-series kubota. Specifically for you I move a Polar 1500 fully loaded with wood (and a full bucket) all the time and it is well within B/BX hauling limits.

That being said, if you are on a 1/2 acre it might be more machine than needed. Alternatively if the property is small then getting it in and out of places can be tricky since its a bit heavier/wider than a garden tractor.

A more inexpensive alternative could be a utility 4x4, that would have some decent towing capacity, take up little space, and be rather nimble, though it couldn't mow.
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
561
Southern WI
Think of rebuilding the bevel gear box? Rebuilt mine when it went out. Could be pricey depending on what is broke.
Is price an issue? Compact tractors are very versatile but can get pricey. Mules are nice but have their limits. What are all the tasks you are looking to accomplish?
 

Enzo's Dad

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
336
Canton, CT
So I am on 2 acres and my tractor is a 1972 simplicity 3414s so finding parts to fix it may be a nightmare. As far as tasks mainly firewood processing and plowing . In storms less than 5“ plowing if far quicker than using my 32” snowblower. And in large storm the blower works best. For the last 4 years I have used both and I find using the 2 in different stormsworks best . Plus it’s always nice to use the plow to clean up after blowing snow or heavy winds
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
I have a new Holland tractor. One of the attachments I use a lot are the forks. No more back strains lifting anything out of my truck. Installed my own wood stove. Pallets are free at warehouses around here so even firewood gets forked
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
561
Southern WI
So I am on 2 acres and my tractor is a 1972 simplicity 3414s so finding parts to fix it may be a nightmare. As far as tasks mainly firewood processing and plowing . In storms less than 5“ plowing if far quicker than using my 32” snowblower. And in large storm the blower works best. For the last 4 years I have used both and I find using the 2 in different stormsworks best . Plus it’s always nice to use the plow to clean up after blowing snow or heavy winds
I also have 2 acres. For those tasks I would get a compact tractor. Bucket is very helpful for all things related to firewood, and snow removal. Can also get a mower deck and 3 pt attachments. I recently got one and love it. Replaced my skid loader and garden tractor/mower.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,616
Woolwich nj
It’s been along time since I posted here but I was look for opinions. During the storm last week I lost the bevel gear box on my simplicity while plowing snow. That tractor has been a workhorse for processing firewood. I live in a very wooded part of Ct and I have used that tractor to haul firewood from different parts of my neighborhood home. This year I brought over 3 cords home with that tractor.. I think it’s time to get something new as I know I am pushing it to its limits. Ineed a vehicle for firewood processing, and I love using the plow i conjunction with a mysnow blower to clean up snow.

I have 3 thoughts

1. be patient and find a really exceptional garden tractor used. The problem with this is that the good ones go quick, and they are limited to what they can do.

2. Kawasaki mule sx. They can accomplish a lot of the things my simplicity did and more. They are super reliable and can easily be stored in my shed. Another added bonus is my son would really like it! Adding a plow to one of theses would be good for all the storms under 6” and I would have a roof and windshield

3. Kubota bx2380 or 1880 with a front loader. This would do the most actual work. They can haul, lift and carry logs. It can move snow, and help out in really big storms. I know it will also make life easier with other yard work project. My issue is I am not on a farm, I will probably go down a rabbit hole of buying implement, and I would have to put a lean to on my shed for storage.

I am sure others here have had to make a decision like this and I was looking for input
me.. Out of the 3 options.. Id go kutota
 

lildex93

New Member
Jan 21, 2020
7
VA
I’m on 3 acres and the John Deere 1025r is by far the best investment I’ve made. Have a 60” belly deck for mowing, bucket, pallet forks and box blade. You don’t realize all of the tasks that can be completed with the help of moving it around on pallets. The hp of this small machine has surpassed my expectations granted I push it to the limits in some cases.

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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
658
Western Washington
One thing that I really like about the forks is the ability to reach the second pallet in the back of my truck that a regular forklift can’t reach
 

Enzo's Dad

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
336
Canton, CT
I like the kubota idea myself, but I know I’ll get carried away building it ..the other thing is the resale on them is not that good. kubota perpetually has aggressive financing,, the other issue is the storage of it ..

The big problem now is my son and wife really seem to want the mule. my boss currently has a mule and a kubota bx so I have experience with both.. i know the Kubota will do more , but the mule can plow with a roof and windshield , haul firewood and hit the occasional trail in the woods lol...
 
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andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
338
Hicksville, Ohio
Cheapest option: get another garden tractor. Funnest option (you mentioned trails): mule or other utv. Best option (in my opinion): small 4x4 loader tractor. If you have never owned a FEL you cannot fathom what you are missing. High speed trail riding doesn't hold a candle to being able to move mulch, gravel, soil, or firewood without lifting a shovel or breaking a sweat. A good used BX should retain significant value.
 
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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,739
NNJ
Cheapest option: get another garden tractor. Funnest option (you mentioned trails): mule or other utv. Best option (in my opinion): small 4x4 loader tractor. If you have never owned a FEL you cannot fathom what you are missing. High speed trail riding doesn't hold a candle to being able to move mulch, gravel, soil, or firewood without lifting a shovel or breaking a sweat. A good used BX should retain significant value.
x2
 

Enzo's Dad

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
336
Canton, CT
So I went a different route lol . I ruled out the Kabota because I kept building it up from the 1880 with a loader for 10,500 to a 2380 with a quick attach bucket and forks for 15k .. I was getting carried away. I know by far it's the most practical purchase, but I just don't want to store it at my house.

I sold my 73 simplicity..and found a 85 hydro on craigslist..the net out of pocket to me was 150. I also put a deposit on a mule that will not be arriving until March or April. Apparently this is the worst time to by a side by side. Dealers don't have them and the want full price . I found someone who made me a great deal on an inbound unit.
My plan is to use the simplicity for snow and other duties( for 150 it's a bargain ) and use the mule to go off into the woods and gather rounds..and play.
 

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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
561
Southern WI
So I went a different route lol . I ruled out the Kabota because I kept building it up from the 1880 with a loader for 10,500 to a 2380 with a quick attach bucket and forks for 15k .. I was getting carried away. I know by far it's the most practical purchase, but I just don't want to store it at my house.

I sold my 73 simplicity..and found a 85 hydro on craigslist..the net out of pocket to me was 150. I also put a deposit on a mule that will not be arriving until March or April. Apparently this is the worst time to by a side by side. Dealers don't have them and the want full price . I found someone who made me a great deal on an inbound unit.
My plan is to use the simplicity for snow and other duties( for 150 it's a bargain ) and use the mule to go off into the woods and gather rounds..and play.
Very nice. Those old tractors are built like tanks, and easy to work on. Lot easier to swallow that price too.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,970
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Lol and I though getting a wood stove would save me money ...ha
I talked my wife through it like this:

A cord of wood makes roughly the same heat as 160 gallons of heating oil.

Around here, heating oil is advertised at about $2.50 a gallon, which is lower than you can actually get it for (and which doubles if the local slimeballs get you into a contract to lock in that low low rate).

So even if you somehow find a magic oil company that charges the same prices they advertise, you're looking at about 600 gallons of oil per year, which is $1600 yearly (and in the real world would be quite a bit more).

So $1600 per year is my break-even budget. If I spend less than that, we profited on wood heat.

AND under my plan, she can keep the house at whatever temperature she likes at the same price, she can keep the exterior door open for light through the storm door all winter, and she can have me out of the house a lot on my days off.

This understanding has been a big win for all parties. ;lol

(In future when oil goes back up to eight bucks a gallon, I look forward to having a $5000/yr wood processing toy budget...)
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,201
Downeast Maine
I talked my wife through it like this:

A cord of wood makes roughly the same heat as 160 gallons of heating oil.

Around here, heating oil is advertised at about $2.50 a gallon, which is lower than you can actually get it for (and which doubles if the local slimeballs get you into a contract to lock in that low low rate).

So even if you somehow find a magic oil company that charges the same prices they advertise, you're looking at about 600 gallons of oil per year, which is $1600 yearly (and in the real world would be quite a bit more).

So $1600 per year is my break-even budget. If I spend less than that, we profited on wood heat.

AND under my plan, she can keep the house at whatever temperature she likes at the same price, she can keep the exterior door open for light through the storm door all winter, and she can have me out of the house a lot on my days off.

This understanding has been a big win for all parties. ;lol

(In future when oil goes back up to eight bucks a gallon, I look forward to having a $5000/yr wood processing toy budget...)
Excellent business model.
 
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