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Old 01-14-2022, 08:39 AM
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Default Compact Tractor

I've been wanting one for a while and did some shopping and looked at a few reviews on line.

My head is spinning so had to take a break from all that. Some of the Youtube videos were helpful but a large percentage of them are difficult to watch for very long. It appears that a LOT of folks want to be a star on there and I certainly hope most of them are doing well at their "day jobs".

Anyhow, I looked at Yanmar, Kioti, John Deere and Kubota. I really like the green stuff but it is really pricey.

Leaning toward a Kuboa but it's difficult to find a tractor to fit all the needs I have here. When I step up to enough machine to move logs and brush, gravel, dirt and work the gravel driveway you loose the ability for it to double as a riding mower.

Is there a "perfect" machine out there t o do it all, still fit in your garage and take a 60" belly mower to cut the yard with?.......

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Old 01-14-2022, 09:15 AM
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Kubota is top notch. As you said, a tractor big enough to move heavy stuff is too big for riding mower duties. But it will do brushhog and/or finish mower if you have large areas to cut. Of course, don't buy a front loader without four wheel drive.

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Old 01-14-2022, 09:18 AM
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I live on three acres. My lot is pretty rough. I bought a 60" Badboy zero turn. Nice mower. Upgraded to a Kawasaki engine. Even with a suspension seat, It beats me up pretty much. Won't buy another without true suspension.

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Old 01-14-2022, 09:24 AM
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Glad to see you back Cliff!
I have a Kubota BX-2200 with Front end loader and 60 belly mower. Im on 1.5 acres. I have turf tires and AG tiresfor winter snow duty. Along with the rear blade it takes care of the driveways. Box blade, landscape rake and post hole digger round out the implements.
Sure Ive wanted a bigger tractor at times to make work go faster but Id say its an all around good tractor for a smallish yard. My BIL has the BX-25 which is basically the same tractor without a mower but has a backhoe. Again useful for small digging projects but cant compete with a larger BH.
Great little diesels that are super reliable. I have about 900 hours on mine.

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Old 01-14-2022, 09:35 AM
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I have 15 acres and logged part of it recently so have 70 tops to deal with. Was wanting a tractor big enough to pull out some logs and move brush around, pull trailers full of firewood and do a lot of bucket work. It would be nice if it could double as a mower. I only mow about 1.5 acres and currently using a John Deere X740 with a 62" deck. I also have a John Deere 318 for plow duty. It would be great to go down to one machine to do all of it but that simply may not be possible or at least I'll have to give up some loader capacity for it to double as a mower......

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Old 01-14-2022, 11:16 AM
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I've got 12 acres, mostly wooded three acres mowed. Kubota BX200 (cab, mower, snow thrower), and a Ford 1715 (27 old school hp), manual, 4wd, bucket and backhoe. Had them both for about 20 years now.

In my opinion, there isn't a machine that will fit both of your needs adequately. Any mower that is small, agile and economical enough for mowing is not going to have the size and power necessary for woods work, stump digging, gravel moving, carrying logs in the bucked etc.

I would try very hard to make sure any tractor you buy doesn't have an ECU and all the EPA gadgets on it .... they are a nightmare in most cases. But it will limit the size (hp rating) you can get. If you opt to get a larger machine for the woods work, shoot for something as simple and old school as possible, they are cheaper to maintain, to fix and easier to work on.

My Kubota is hydro, my Ford is manual .... in general you'll want hydro for mowing, yard work, snow throwing, garden work etc. Manual is not as big a deal with a larger tractor that you won't "driving" it nearly as much. On a larger tractor I prefer the feel you get with a clutch and selecting the gear you want to use.

I know you're a handy guy ... consider a used compact tractor (machines like the BX2200 and your Deer are considered "subcompact") Something from the 90's, pre-epa, simple and reliable .. might need some initial work (mine needed a clutch), tires etc. but you can save a ton of money .... and you won't be taking your brandy new tractor into the woods and tearing it up ... and they will get banged up doing that kind of work.

I waited till at least 10 years after we bought this land to get the larger tractor ... should have done it the first year. The Ford has paid for itself about eight times over now doing construction, digging, stump removal, logging .. I can't imagine how much we would have spent in rentals or paying people to do this kind of work (bear in mind it has a backhoe).

For doing brush we recently got a PTO driven chipper ... works great on the smaller Kubota so you can get in close to the work, or even take it down the trails to chip in the woods. Also fits the larger tractor. If you are doing tops a chipper will cut your work time by at least 50%

Here is a wall we built with the larger tractor a couple years ago .. it did the excavation, the hauling and we used it to set the 475 lb blocks ... blocks were about $37 each ... this would have cost $20K to have someone build it ... tractor paid for itself AGAIN doing just this job.




So ... go as big as you feasibly can if you end up getting a large tractor.

Tractorbynet.com is THE source for info, advice etc.

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Old 01-14-2022, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchmitz View Post
Kubota is top notch. As you said, a tractor big enough to move heavy stuff is too big for riding mower duties. But it will do brushhog and/or finish mower if you have large areas to cut. Of course, don't buy a front loader without four wheel drive.
I agree with this. ^^^

Wouldn't want a belly mower on a tractor. Keep a lawn mower, for mowing the lawn.

Here's my take of the tractors.

I did my shopping & purchase in 2009.

This is my take, from back then.

#1 was John Deere, without any doubt.

BUT, NOT the small compacts. I did a test drive on a small one, then the one just above that size. I don't remember the model number. I think it had 30hp. It had the feel of a high quality machine, heavy, smooth, & powerful.

I assume those small JD's were just cheap imports made to compete with the other cheap compacts in the market.

BUT, that nice JD was above my price range.

#2 was a surprise to me. It was a Branson.

I'd never even heard of that brand. It felt real nice. One thing I really liked about it was that the fuel filler cap was behind the seat & easier to pour fuel into, than when located up on top.

#3 Kubota was good, & cheaper than the JD & Branson.

And, there are several Kubota dealers in my area.

#4 New Holland was good & cheaper than Kubota.

#5 Kioti seemed just as good as Kubota & NH, and was cheaper. in '09 I think the selling price was around $12k, with loader. Then I bought a $750 5' bush hog from an area farm supply store.

The Kioti, with loader & bush hog have done everything we've needed done here. I've maintained our 1/2 mile gravel/dirt entrance road/driveway. Cut the grass in the former hay field surrounding our house(about 10 acres), & moved countless trees, along TJ's horse riding trails.

In the past several years we've had several tornadoes come thru, knocking down countless old oaks & really making a mess of the surrounding wooded area. No, this little Koiti won't move a 4' diameter oak tree. But, if you cut it up into sections, it will move a larger chunk of it than I figured it would. I've hooked on to several 12" pines across roads & trails & dragged 'em off into the woods.

My Dad was a farmer, so I've been driving tractors since I was 6. Early on, he had a variety, such as Allis Chamlers, Case, & Furguson. In '64, he bought a new 2000 gas Ford, 2-wheel drive. Kept it the rest of his life, along with the 2000 gas Ford he bought in '74.

I inherited them both. So, I worked them both, quite a bit, especially the '64. Here's some of the things I learned about tractors.

(1) Never buy a 2WD tractor.

(2) Never buy a tractor without a front end loader.

Even if you hardly ever need a loader for moving dirt/gravel, it will help you get out of stuck holes, which saves you a LOT of work.

(3) Never fill the tires with plain water that can freeze.

I haven't needed to add water to the tires in my Kioti. The weight of the bush hog seems to be enuff.

My Dad filled his tires with plain water. Here in LA it seldom gets cold enuff to freeze the water in tires. BUT, it does eventually. Chunks of ice will wipe out an inner tube quickly. Don't know how long it would take to ruin a tubeless tire.

(4) Always have decent spare rear tire/wheel you can bolt on, in case you have a flat while on the job.

Twice now I have let the air get too low in the rear tubeless tires on my tractor. That caused the tire to separate from the wheel & lose the air. Had to walk back home, drive the pickup as close as we could to where the tractor was, then take the tire/wheel off & take it to the tire shop right then, wait for then to fix it, then take it back out in the woods & put it back on, so we could get the tractor home.

If I'd had a spare, I could have put it on & finished the job, then took the flat to get it fixed, at my convenience.

By the way, the tire guy said that if I'd keep the air pressure up near 30lbs I'd never have that problem again. So now, I do check the pressure occasionally.

(5) Make sure it has a live PTO.

They may not even make one without, nowadays. But, Dad bought a used one without & it was awful. For any who don't know, without a live PTO, when you mash the clutch to shift gears, the PTO stops turning, til you release the clutch. With live PTO, you can mash the pedal far enuff to shift gears, without stopping the PTO.

Obviously, this would not be a problem with auto trans models. I reckin they call 'em hydrostatic drive, or some such term. But as long as I can mash the clutch pedal OK, I prefer a manual trans.

My Kioti is a CK27 model. IIRC, I have a little over 600 hours on it. The only problem I've had is wearing out the shifter pivot pin. So, I bought 2 & have one in the tool box, as a spare.

Last year I sold my old bush hog & bought a new County Line brand from Tractor Supply. The price has gone up a LOT, since '09.

FWIW, I don't like zero turn mowers. Don't care how fast they are. I like the lawn tractors. Have had 42" 2-blade, 48" 3-blade, & 54" 3-blade models.. The one I liked the best was our last Craftsman 42" 2-blade. I think it had a 24hp B&S engine. The main thing I liked about it was the stick ground speed control. The farther you pushed or pulled the stick, the faster the ground speed. MUCH prefer it to the foot operated models. But, those were discontinued. So, we bought a JD this time. It's a 3-blade 48". 22hp, IIRC. It has the traditional small spin-on oil filter. The reason we bought it is because it has separate pedals for forward & reverse. Don't like the way it feels to have to use the heel to engage reverse. I don't try to see how fast I can mow. Too ruff for me. So, I just move a long at a comfortable speed, & rather enjoy mowing. I usually do all the mowing near dark, when it's lots cooler. I see folks out mowing at noon-5pm, when it's near 100. Don't make sense to me.
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Last edited by ponyakr; 01-14-2022 at 01:20 PM.
  #8  
Old 01-14-2022, 12:52 PM
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FWIW, I don't own a tractor at all, but a friend of mine, who I used to work with has wooded acreage, and he burns wood, plus he is thinning out a bunch of ash trees on his property that are dead. He has a 4X4 Kubota with a backhoe and a bucket that he bought at auction locally that fills the bill for him. I don't know which model it is, but i could find out with a phone call if you'd like.

I do know he has a zero turn for mowing, so he doesn't try to mow with the Kubota. Let me know and if you want to know which model he has, I'll call him.

He's also retired, we both worked for a forklift, aerial lift dealer, so he will have a mechanics perspective, not merely an owners perspective. He actually bought another Kubota, same or similar, that he worked on and fixed it up to sell, so he has wrenched on them somewhat.

I have 4 acres to mow also, and my zero turn beats the crap out of me by the time I'm done. It doesn't help that we have very rich black soil, that are loaded with grubs, and we have a bumper crop of moles, and mole hills......

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Old 01-14-2022, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for all the great info.

Most likely I'll forget the sub-compact models and go with a bigger machine since I plan on doing a lot of bucket work with it.

Going to look at a Kioti tomorrow in the AM at a dealer about 45 minutes away. So far I'm leaning hard toward a Kubota L series but will look at a comparable Kioti before making a final decision. John Deere is out, they are just too much money with less features, and the proprietary bucket mount system doesn' t cut it as it forces you to buy their expensive attachments..........

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73 Ventura, 455, 3740lbs, 11.30's at 120mph, 1977 Pontiac Q-jet, HO intake, HEI, 10" converter, 3.42 gears, DOT's, 7.20's at 96mph and still WAY under the roll bar rule. Best ET to date 7.18 at 97MPH (1/8th mile)
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:47 PM
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Some newer Kabotas were having computer hardware issues, I bought a Yanmar instead.

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Old 01-14-2022, 10:59 PM
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A good John Deere is expensive, and will still be expensive 30 years from now when you (or your heirs) go to sell it!

Have been using JD with only a couple of exceptions (that turned out to be mistakes) for 65 years!

Wouldn't even look at anything else.

But 1 to plow, 1 to mow, and 1 for heavy work with the loader is not a bad idea.

Jon.

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Old 01-15-2022, 10:12 AM
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Thanks Jon. I sold several of my older John Deere tractors to make room for the new one. This included the 212, 318 and 455. I still have one 318 left (plow duty only) and a X740 with a 62" deck for mowing. It's by far and above the best mower I've ever owned or used and at 2000hrs it's barely broke-in.

I've narrowed it down to John Deere or Kubota, just haven't decided on which model. I know the John Deere will be more expensive than all the others, but I wished I was getting more tractor for the extra money spent. Even though they are assembled in the USA the John Deere Sub Compact and Compact tractors share just about the same components as the less expensive off brand models.

It appears that most of them are made in South Korea or at least most of the components to build them come from the same sources I.

The biggest reason I just didn't drop the hammer on a John Deere was their proprietary mounting system for the loader. I want the more universal skid steer set-up so I can buy add-ons at a fraction of the cost of the John Deere stuff.

I already know the tractor will be top shelf in that market.....

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73 Ventura, 455, 3740lbs, 11.30's at 120mph, 1977 Pontiac Q-jet, HO intake, HEI, 10" converter, 3.42 gears, DOT's, 7.20's at 96mph and still WAY under the roll bar rule. Best ET to date 7.18 at 97MPH (1/8th mile)
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:21 AM
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Cliff - the older John Deeres do accept universal loaders.

There are a number of websites that sell used tractors.

Jon.

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Old 01-15-2022, 12:44 PM
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Bought my first Kubota over twenty years ago. Traded it for a new one 12 yrs later to get it before I closed my business and retired. First was a glide-shift L2900 and the new one is a L4400 hydro. My recommendation is forget about the grass and buy an L series with a loader, hd bucket, and loaded ag tires. When I traded the 2900 I got within $800 of what I paid for it, that was off the already discounted price on the new one. Kubotas hold their value.
Unrelated, the carburetor you restored for me ten years ago is still untouched since the day I installed it ! Thank you for your expertise.

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Old 01-15-2022, 01:55 PM
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I bought my Kubota B2710 23 years ago. Front end loader with a 72” belly mower. Industrial tires. It is the best money I ever spent. Reliable as heck 4 cylinder and the 72” mower makes mowing our 15 acres a piece of cake. The mower is built like a tank. The front end loader gets used more than I ever imagined it would.

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Old 01-15-2022, 02:36 PM
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We have three acres of which I mow probably 1 3/4-2 acres, and I have a Kubota BX2380 with a front loader and a box blade and a gravely zero turn mower. IMO even the little bx2380 is too heavy to mow a yard with; the zero turn is best for that and will do it twice as fast as the tractor. BX1880 and 2680 are identical to the 2380 just different hp engines. The BX tractors will do anything larger tractors will do you just have to take smaller bites; also any implement they make for the big tractors Kubota or someone else makes for the little BX machines. The book says to get the 2380 or 2680 instead of the 1880 because of the pto hp rating. I wish I had gotten a B series instead of the BX because of one feature and that is the control which lowers and raises the three point hitch. On the B and larger Kubota tractors the three point hitch control has numbers to indicate height and they are repeatable; putting the lever on 2, or whatever number, will put the box blade , or whatever implement you are hooked up to, at the same height every time, where on the BX series you have to turn in the seat and look back as you raise or lower the lever. There may be other features on the B which are better than the BX but the three point hitch control is the main one for me. A B is also a little bigger than a BX series so has a slightly larger bucket, box blade, etc. and weighs a little more. Watch craigslist and you may find whatever brand and size tractor you decide on with very low hours and save a little $$. As far as Kubota I am sold on them. There is a railroad, I forget which one, that has 17,000 hours I think it is on a bunch of BX size Kubotas. My neighbors on both sides of me have older Kubotas that they leave outside and they nerver fail them no matter what they decide to do with them

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Old 01-15-2022, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
I bought my Kubota B2710 23 years ago. Front end loader with a 72 belly mower. Industrial tires. It is the best money I ever spent. Reliable as heck 4 cylinder and the 72 mower makes mowing our 15 acres a piece of cake. The mower is built like a tank. The front end loader gets used more than I ever imagined it would.

Don
Totally agree with this statement. Have a Kubota BX2670 here with under belly mower and loader and it has been great. Of course there are times that I wish I had a bigger tractor for bales of hay etc. but overall I am really happy.

For hauling logs and stuff I would recommend a bigger tractor and keeping our existing mower to cut the grass.

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Old 01-15-2022, 09:26 PM
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I have owned and operated 10 different John Deere's from 25 hp to 90 hp. Have friends with Kubota and Kioti.
My quick thoughts are this. Make Darn sure you have a dealer NEARBY that Can and Will get you parts in a timely fashion.
My Buddy has modern kioti snowblower for a Utility tractor down for a driveshaft and its been a month .. so far..just the part.
And its middle of Wintah.
Kubota puts valve stem protectors on the wheels, which others do not do. Thats huge if your doing any Skidding logs.
A 3 series John Deere WITHOUT a mid mount PTO has a LARGE amount of ground clearance, and more if you upgrade rear tires to 43's.
The D and E versions are very competitively priced and hold their value well. Easy to upgrade things on them too, like arm rests, etc.
3035D with a self leveling loader would probably fit you well. Has superior pulling power as its Not a hydro. There could be great options in Kubota this size too. No, the loader doesn't come off the JD 3 D and E series, , but who really does that ?, The Buckets do come off easily.
Tightest turning radius of ANY comparable tractor.
Quick remove Bucket on ANY is a must for switching to Pallet forks or a Grapple, etc.
Having used these to make money in the past, the Biggest issue that kept me green was Parts availability, and good dealer.
Would easily consider Kubota with same parts and dealer attributes
Foot note: The JD Utility tractors keep their load closer to the tractor and when the loader is down they are WAY shorter and take up less room that Both the others.
FN 2: A Self leveling loader usually has a higher load capacity and will keep your forks LEVEL as you lift....They are more money, but you can get them on less expensive ( Green and orange) tractors now .
Be happy to talk to you on any of this, not talk you into anything. , Bruce

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Last edited by Formulabruce; 01-15-2022 at 09:33 PM.
  #19  
Old 01-15-2022, 10:58 PM
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"...Kubota puts valve stem protectors on the wheels, which others do not do..."

Can't speak for any Koiti but my '09 CK27.

As can be seen in this pic, the stems ARE protected.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:07 PM
Jack P. Jack P. is offline
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I too was shopping for a compact tractor just 1 year ago. It got confusing
So I built a spreadsheet. The Kioti won hands down. Motor size, weight lifting,
ground clearance, tractor weight, I could go on and on. I now have about 70 hrs
on it and its been perfect. Its the 25hp unit, CX2510H.

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The PY Online Forums is the largest online gathering of Pontiac enthusiasts anywhere in the world. Founded in 1991, it was also the first online forum for people to gather and talk about their Pontiacs. Since then, it has become the mecca of Pontiac technical data and knowledge that no other place can surpass.

 

Cold Case Radiators

Cold Case Radiators is a Max Performance company that produces high end aluminum performance radiators at a price point that won't break the bank. Polished and stamped tanks. 2 rows of 1" tubes. Lifetime Warranty.

GTOG8TA.com

GTOG8TA.com is a Max Performance company that manufacturers parts for the 04-06 GTO, 08-09 G8, and 93-02 Firebird/Trans Am platforms.

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