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 03-08-2017, 20:14 Post: 37606
CH
2017-03-08
Post: 37606
 Choosing tractor and attachments

My wife, daughter and I live on an old homestead with nothing flat in sight. We've decided to expand both our gardening and horse hobbies. You may laugh, but we've managed well with our garden cart and various deliveries/rentals in the past. But now, we want to be able to do it ourselves.
Starting the process of deciding on lawn & garden tractor vs. compact tractor is a bit mind-boggling for the total novice. I'm going to list below some specifics of what we hope to accomplish and would appreciate any advice on specific models and attachments to purchase and/or considerations to keep in mind as we carry out our research - mostly via internet.
Acreage: 92 with approximately 3 in human living space + gardens and 7 in horse pasture.
Soil: mostly clay so needs lots of input (and some output!)
Temp: zone 4
Gardening: grass mowing, tilling, flattening, earth moving, digging
Horses: manure maintenance (scooping and moving), post hole digging, field maintenance (brush hog, fertilize, lime, seed), arena maintenance (eventually)
Other: snow removal, firewood hauling (from shed to house)






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 03-09-2017, 01:09 Post: 37608
DRankin



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 Choosing tractor and attachments

I think you just wrote the perfect menu for a compact four wheel drive tractor. I also think that other than the mowing, the garden tractor wouldn't do you much good.






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 03-09-2017, 06:03 Post: 37609
CH
2017-03-09
Post: 37609
 Choosing tractor and attachments

Thanks Mark - That is rather obvious, eh? But what do you think about the sub-compacts, such as the Kubota BX series? I just checked out the web page after learning about the sale - which doesn't cover BX - and it seems the attachments are right for our needs. What about power, reliability and eventual resale? Is this a class going out of style? Thanks - CH






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 03-09-2017, 10:58 Post: 37612
DRankin



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 Choosing tractor and attachments

Actually I think the BX series set a standard others, like Deere, are trying to follow. The only drawback I can see to the BX design is that it uses somewhat smaller implements, which in tractor talk just means more time to do the job. More passes with the box blade, or more scoops with the loader, etc. It has one salient feature I liked: stability. It sits low to the ground and is less likely to tip than the other models. But the price of that is it will not raise some 3 point implements very high off the ground or dump its loader into a tall container. But the spec sheets will tell you all of that stuff. I nearly bought one but it was just a little too small for my 6'4" frame. More later. Mark






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 03-09-2017, 15:52 Post: 37621
TomG



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 Choosing tractor and attachments

I think it's hard to go wrong with a BX size if a major interest is finish mowing around buildings and landscaping. It's hard to beat a small, lightweight, low to the ground and maneuverable tractor. There's more stability on hills, less damage to lawns less maneuvering and less trimming. I've only heard one person who ended up wishing for more size and power and considering trading up.

There are some limitations to keep in mind. BX 3ph's are fairly narrow and a few implements won't fit. Horses and deep fence post holes go together. I think that the low ground clearance limits a BX to around 3' deep with a post hole auger. A backhoe would have similar limitations. If you needed to trench below frost for a well line, there may not be a hoe for the BX that would do the job easily or at all. If the brushing involves saplings, a BX may not have the power to run a heavy enough duty rotary cutter for the job. A 4' heavy-duty cutter can cut 3" saplings but many take over 30 PTO HP to do it. I'm not sure if medium or heavy-duty cutters that are narrow enough to be powered by a BX are available. Even if available, the weight of one might challenge a BXís 3ph.






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 03-09-2017, 20:46 Post: 37649
bigbukhntr



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 Choosing tractor and attachments

92 acres? with a BX series?? the grass will grow faster than u can mow it!!u really need a good size tractor and u need to be able to put some rather large implements on it unless u just have all kinds of time...meaning that maybe u are retired and have all day to work this property, or am i getting the wrong picture and u plan on just letting the horses graze on most of the pasture?...but u definately have the needs for a large tractor, and as has been said many times before, large tractors do small jobs much easier than small tractors do large jobs!...i would keep the garden tractor for working around the house, and if u can afford it, buy a "real" tractor for doing "real" work....






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 03-10-2017, 01:41 Post: 37656
CH
2017-03-10
Post: 37656
 Choosing tractor and attachments

Thanks for all the input. I should clarify that while we have 92 acres, only what I listed in the first post is available to work - the rest is in very steep incline and forest. So it's not 92 acres to work on, but rather around 10, maybe 12 if we cleared the lower areas of foothills.

How does the snowblade work on a BX? We have about 1/8 of a mile of gravel drive with two hills. In the past, a neighbor with a "real" tractor has plowed us out, but we're looking to do it ourselves. Will the BX manage it?

Besides the BX, is there another sub-compact you would recommend? If we move up to regular compact, how to judge between the "big three"? (green, blue and orange, is that it?)
Thanks.






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 03-10-2017, 06:35 Post: 37668
TomG



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It's sort of like romance. I think there is a tractor made for every individual. When you find it, you just know it's the one. Just sitting on a few and working the controls may make the decision real easy. Actually, it's not a decision at all. the truth is apparent in a instant--'Ahh this is the one.' I may overstate my ontology a bit, but in fact what make a good tractor for a particular person is a lot of small things like whether the seat is comfortable and the controls convenient, and these sorts of things are difficult to analyze.

I'd also go with a feeling about a dealer. A good feeling and chances are it would be a good relationship. Dealers really are pretty good at matching needs to budgets. There is a rule of thumb about power and weight per acreage (but I can't remember it). There is also the conventional wisdom of buying as big as a budget will allow--Nobody is ever certain what they'll eventually do with their land. Ninety-two acres argues for big, but steep hills argue for stability more often found in a small low compact. Anyway, stuff to think about, and analyzing things is hard work.

Iím no more help with the choice of manufacturers. Iím a believe that theyíre all good machines, and the manufacturers stand behind machines that turn out not quite right. Again, just sitting on a few can really simplify things. Now that Iíve got them so simple, Iíll add AGCO to the big three and Cub. There are alternatives to the big three that might be good to consider, especially if a good dealer is close.






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 03-10-2017, 11:30 Post: 37673
Peters



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 Choosing tractor and attachments

My recommendation is to go slightly larger than you are thinking of. I would thing with the acreage you will find that the smaller tractor will just be too small.
I had similar acreage in Kentucky and purchase a tractor of similar HP to the BX. Dispite its usefulness it was a little too small. My tractor was a good sized frame but the power was not there to Bush cut much. I find I need to cut my 12 acre field every month in the summer. This is despite the 3 hay burners. With the small tractor it took approximately 16 hrs to cut. I could not spare every second saturday all summer long, therefore I have a larger tractor also. I would recommend something a little larger HP ~ 35 -40 HP to allow a 5-6 ft brush cutter. You need something with a relatively small foot print like a the Kioti DK-35, MF-1250, JD 4510 etc.






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