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Old 01-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
DJW
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Have you got a "utility" tractor?

I've been asking around a bit, trying to learn a bit more about buying a "compact utility tractor." (Lefty was kind enough to fill me in on what he bought already).

But I'm interested in hearing as many opinions as possible (at least on this subject).

If you have a "compact" utility tractor, I'd be interested in hearing what you think you did right, or wrong, in your purchase.

I think what I need is about 35 to 40HP, 4WD, 3-pt hitch, grass deck, loader, and snow blower, with about about 30HP PTO.

By comparison, something equivalent to a John Deer 3520 (I'm think the 4000 series is more than I need).

I need to be able to move a LOT of snow, but also would like to be able to till and plant, but would likely rent the implements of destruction that I need (other than the standard stuff I listed above.) I have about 14 acres to plant and hay.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this? Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this?
We need to know more info about what you are doing.

I move a "lot" of snow with a little JD 335 and a blower. I would not go for anything larger unless I had more the a 1/4 mile of driveway to move the snow off of. It would also be fine for tilling a garden via rototiller although I don't. I still needed the 335 over the 300 series because of the slope.

In the past I had a Ford 1500 that was all but worthless. Too big for cutting a lawn and to small for doing hard work with the PTO. If you are looking at moving snow with say a 6 or 8 foot blower, then you'll need some serious horse power, 100+. When I was young we had a 8 foot blower on back of a JD 4020t, and deep wet snow would slow it to a crawl.

As for hay, that doesn't take much. But I don't see 14 acres every paying for the equipment.

IIWY, I'd be looking at a small used farm tractor, baler, rake, mower, and wagons at one of the farm sales that occur every weekend.

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Old 01-25-2012, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As Therm said, depends on how much snow, dirt, etc you are looking to move. 35-40HP is a lot of tractor in a compact. I use an old JD 212 garden tractor for snow removal and it will move a lot of snow in short order if you know what you're doing with it, but not sure I'd want to do a large parking lot with it. It does a pretty decent job of moving dirt and tilling also, but again it wouldn't be something to do commercial farming with.

I'm also looking for a new tractor somewhat bigger because I would like a loader and small backhoe attachment. It would be overkill for mowing my property, but the other aspects make it worthwhile to consider.

I'm leaning toward JD, but Kubota's BX series can give you a pretty good bang for your buck. In fact, I tend to believe that you get more tractor for you money with Kubota. The other factor of course is whether or not you favor diesel or gas.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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compact

[QUOTE=DJW;2080046]I've been asking around a bit, trying to learn a bit more about buying a "compact utility tractor." (Lefty was kind enough to fill me in on what he bought already).

But I'm interested in hearing as many opinions as possible (at least on this subject).

If you have a "compact" utility tractor, I'd be interested in hearing what you think you did right, or wrong, in your purchase.

I think what I need is about 35 to 40HP, 4WD, 3-pt hitch, grass deck, loader, and snow blower, with about about 30HP PTO.

By comparison, something equivalent to a John Deer 3520 (I'm think the 4000 series is more than I need).

I need to be able to move a LOT of snow, but also would like to be able to till and plant, but would likely rent the implements of destruction that I need (other than the standard stuff I listed above.) I have about 14 acres to plant and hay.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.[/QUOTE

I bought a compact JD 2305 3 years ago to replace my 445. Best money I spent. I got a 60 inch loader and other toys to put on it, it works great to move anything and I do mean anything. with the weight box on the back I needed the trans out of a old car I was junking and it put it on the side very nice. But I would go with the bigger model 3500 series with that much ground. My 2305 with everything cost $14000. the next step up was quite afew greenbacks more, and was to big to get under the trees. I will say for the money it will last forever if you keep it up.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a 32 hp JD 4310. Not enough hp for me. Also would opt for hydrostatic transmission.

tractorbynet.com is a great site for information on utility tractors, Dennis
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
We need to know more info about what you are doing. .
When I say a "lot" of snow...we get about a 300" snow fall each winter, so I do mean a lot. I need to be able to move it early and push it back, but I'll end up stacking it before it's over. (mild winter so far thank God so not an issue this year). I also have a small parking lot, so we're not talking just a narrow strip up to the garage.

I do plan to plant, eventually, but not probably not right away, I just don't want to buy too small and just end up trading up when I get short on my options, or buy too big for the small acerage I have.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would rather have a good used normal(?) tractor than any compact tractor. Not sure what the designation is on later model tractors, but a Massey-Ferguson MF135 diesel would be hard to beat, seems to me. YMMV
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I still say that for me the 2305 JD is a work horse, the diesel engine I have not killed it off as of today. last year in march we had one storm that dropped 3feet and the winds came up also, next morning, we had 15 foot drifts down my drive, it's about 150 feet by it's self. Blower couldn't touch it, had to use the loader. JD makes about the fastest way to take off and put on attachments I found. I wish I could post the snow it was the most I have seen since 1978-79
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I bought a New Holland tc30 (economy model) with an employee discount a few yrs. ago.It is 30hp.,3 range hydrostat,4wd,with a loader.It was $15,300 about 4 yrs.ago.




They now offer a 35 hp and 45 hp economy model also.

John Deere and Kubota are also fine tractors.They're most likely more expensive.Green paint seems more expensive than Orange or Blue.The Deere most likely has a better resale value which is a consideration if you plan on trading within a few yrs.

The compact 4wd. tractors will do an amazing amount of work for their size

The three brands mentioned are all good tractors and will provide many hrs. and yrs. of trouble free service.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've had a JD 750 for around 25 years. Has a loader on it and turf rubber. We dont normally get snow down here like you do. I have 1000' of curvy hilly driveway and because of the way the lane is the 750 is sufficient. If it were straight and flat and I had to push the snow higher or push the last snow back further I could be in trouble though ag tires would help a lot. I use a 50hp dragger blade, adjustable every way, hanging a foot out to the right at 30 degrees, drop it on the ground, put the bucket almost all the way down, and charge off in 7th down the hill. Its all good till I catch a tree and knock her a little sideways but hey.....
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Eh! DJW ...

The JD is the only way to go, ya they are more to purchase but your return will always be there every time ya don the seat. The 3520 is a good machine but when ya go the little extra into the lower level 4000 you will smile everytime with no doubts it will do the job. Ya want snow LOL ... You need something able to track N harrow, chain boulders, plow & til, I can tell ya now JD- Harley are in the same bracket. I don't need to know what ya want to do with it because when ya get into the 4000 tractor you will be workin wondering what wont stop this MFKR. It is endless
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies all...no subsitute for experience...
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJW View Post
I've been asking around a bit, trying to learn a bit more about buying a "compact utility tractor." (Lefty was kind enough to fill me in on what he bought already).

But I'm interested in hearing as many opinions as possible (at least on this subject).

If you have a "compact" utility tractor, I'd be interested in hearing what you think you did right, or wrong, in your purchase.

I think what I need is about 35 to 40HP, 4WD, 3-pt hitch, grass deck, loader, and snow blower, with about about 30HP PTO.

By comparison, something equivalent to a John Deer 3520 (I'm think the 4000 series is more than I need).

I need to be able to move a LOT of snow, but also would like to be able to till and plant, but would likely rent the implements of destruction that I need (other than the standard stuff I listed above.) I have about 14 acres to plant and hay.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
The only real fly in the ointment is the haying part. Are you talking small square bales or round bales? A square baler will need ~35 pto hp to run but tractor weight plays a role too. You'll need some weight behind you to deal with the motion of the baler plus the wagon. One thought is to cut and rake and pay someone else to bail. That's how we do the round bales.

I use a Massey 35 diesel. Older version of the 135. I bought it at an auction for $3200. Really nice shape and runs great. I also have a New Holland TC 30. It has a 60" loader and Bush Hog backhoe on it. Its the "stick shift" version, 4wd with industrial tires. If I had it to do over again I would go with the hydrostatic version, especially when using the loader.

For snowblowing, mowing, loader work, etc definitely buck up for the hydro version. Not absolutely necessary but makes the job much easier. Low range low gear on the Massey is just about too fast for tilling. Hydro would eliminate that. All the paint colors are good tractors, I prefer Ford, er New Holland, and as mentioned tractorbynet.com is an excellent resource.

Good luck with the decision!

Rodger

Last edited by RodgerF; 01-26-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: because I can't spell
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Had a 1949ish Ford Jubilee with a front loader. Did all my snow, and dragging and leveling my quarter mile drive and the rest of the gravel drives in our "sub-division" Plowed a garden, but didn't hay or mow with it... course it was $2k. lol
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Agree with the above statements about the hayfield. I have an Allis D17, and had a baler, conditioner, and all. I had stuff break and got my field rained on a couple times. Ruined my harvest. It is way better to just work out an arrangement with someone to either pay them or split the harvest. I have a ~20 acre hayfield that I have a guy do for me. I get the first 600-700 bales, he gets the rest. On good years, he kills it on resale, on bad years, or if he screws up timing and such, he gets the short end of the stick. It has worked both ways and is a pretty even deal for both of us. 14 acres just isn't enough to invest all the time and money in for your own hay equipment.
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