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Your Homestead Tell and show others with words and pictures how you built or are building your homestead and how you keep things going day-to-day. One thread per member, please.

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2015, 12:27 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Hi All,

I saw this today:

http://www.deere.com/en_US/products/...62191_14042015

We've been looking at the different landscaping equipment out there and wondering if anyone uses any of these machines (especially if you have only 1-5 acres).

My rural in-laws only had a riding mower.

Do people actually use all this equipment (available) or just let things go "natural". I see a lot of properties that it looks like no one makes an effort to do anything about the land... (maintenance).

And would that be a bad sign (as far as buying).

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:30 PM
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GREEN_ALIEN Male GREEN_ALIEN is offline
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Yup, tons of people use these machines. I have, for years, used a 42hp Branson and at one time or another, a Deere, Mahindra, Kubota.

Keep in mind, when you buy green, you are paying for that paint. Over the last few years JD has done a good job of creeping their prices down to around the same zip code as others, but not close enough.

A very valuable lesson I learned, don't buy new. I spent 20K on my last tractor, brand spanking new. A friend picked up two much larger tractors at a sale for 7K combined....

GO TO FARM SALES!

Ted
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
Do people actually use all this equipment (available) or just let things go "natural". I see a lot of properties that it looks like no one makes an effort to do anything about the land... (maintenance).
Umm.....yeah. But you are putting the cart before the horse. You don't buy tractors/equipment because of what you think you might need - you buy tractor/equipment based on your needs.

IMG_2593 by sterling2424, on Flickr

P1330208 by sterling2424, on Flickr

IMG_3328 by sterling2424, on Flickr

P1330194 by sterling2424, on Flickr
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:02 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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Connie,
What you are looking at is equipment to do major or reoccurring work, such as actually "farming", not for maintaining a yard. A small holding could use a smaller tractor and several implements, especially if you do some truck farming (farmer's market type growing and selling). If you just want to mow the lawn and put in a bed of daffodils it would be an expensive waste of money. There are smaller, less expensive tools to do the smaller jobs.

Letting a portion of your land go "wild" is not always a bad thing. Some of that wild area is actually there because it is in use - a woodlot and wild berry bushes comes to mind, as does wildlife habitat and erosion control. It's always a good idea to figure out why it hasn't been developed, but keep in mind that it could be as simple as they had no use for that piece of property and mowing it takes time, equipment, fuel and an interest, all of which could be better used on something that mattered to the seller.

TickFarmer
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:10 PM
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Umm.....yeah. But you are putting the cart before the horse. You don't buy tractors/equipment because of what you think you might need - you buy tractor/equipment based on your needs.
Truer words have never been spoken... Great post Stan.

Ted
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:12 PM
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OH, OH, OH Connie. A trick I learned!

NEVER EVER EVER BUY A TRACTOR IN THE SUMMER, BUY IT IN JANUARY!

That 7000 dollar cab option is spendy when its 95 degrees outside but darn cheap when its -20 outside.

Ask me how I know that little detail...

Ted
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:51 PM
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Truer words have never been spoken... Great post Stan.

Ted
Thank you sir! I've seen it so many times and have also been guilty of it myself at times......

My tractor and implements are actually a major hobby of mine now. Especially now that I can't move around much because of the RA my tractor has become my second arm or hand. Even before that taking care of my property has always been kind of an obsessive thing for me.

I only have 6 acres which is about 1/2 mowable lawn/field and 1/2 woods. I use my tractor almost daily for one thing or another. Now that I have the forks I use it even more even for such mundane tasks as taking the garbage out to the road - can't carry the bags anymore.

As Connie eludes to there are 2 schools of thought here. Just mow the lawn and let the rest be or have a bigger machine and implements and do some serious work. Over the years I have done a lot of improvements around here including:

Getting stone delivered for the driveway and spreading it.
Clearing a couple sections of woods for more lawn area and walking paths.
Digging out flower beds for Mrs. Coaltrain.

Also are the general daily/weekly maintenance things like mowing (3 acres) and snow removal (800' driveway). And after thunderstorms there are invariably some limbs or trees down to clean up as well as spring cleanup.

I wouldn't be without my tractor and implements. Because of my situation now I am saving up for more implements to help me do things around here that I can't do by hand. A 15 or 30 gallon sprayer is at the top of my list now. I've been using a little 2 gallon hand pump sprayer for years now but can't use that either. I need to spray herbicide now that I can't operate a week whacker. The list goes on and on......
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:05 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
Hi All,

I saw this today:

http://www.deere.com/en_US/products/...62191_14042015

We've been looking at the different landscaping equipment out there and wondering if anyone uses any of these machines (especially if you have only 1-5 acres).

My rural in-laws only had a riding mower.

Do people actually use all this equipment (available) or just let things go "natural". I see a lot of properties that it looks like no one makes an effort to do anything about the land... (maintenance).

And would that be a bad sign (as far as buying).

Thanks!

We have some wild and some cultivated/lawn. We just sold all our goats, so now the pastures will have to be mowed or allowed to go wild...or planted with something. We have a riding mower, as my wife prefers it to the larger (but still small) JD tractor for mowing--she is the lawn mower here as she enjoys it and is much better at it than I am. We have a tiller, a back blade (used mostly for moving snow), and a box blade for the gravel driveway. We find the tractor indispensable now that there are just two of us here. Moving soil, rocks, stumps, and logs is too tough for us old folks, especially since my accident. My doctor actually suggested the tractor when he found osteoarthritis on the ends of my clavicles to do much of the heavy lifting around the place. We require 4WD here due to the multiple tasks that we do and the climate, but I bought it new a number of years ago. If I had to do it again, I would probably try to get a used 4WD that is slightly larger than the one I have. We can't use a big tractor here, because I don't want to cut down all the trees, and we maneuver through the woods. I use it as my around-the-place ATV.

As Coaltrain says, only buy what you really need and will use repeatedly.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2015, 07:17 PM
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Like said.... You need to learn to walk before you learn to run...
Learn to ride your 3 speed bike without the training wheels before you try the 21 speed Lance Armstrong model... That is about all the sayings I can come up with...

Like said, depending on your first set of "needs"...Start out small and cheap.... If you are just going to do some mowing, buy a second hand yard tractor... Learn to use it, maintain it, and move up the equipment scale as your experience and needs change...

DO NOT get into color (brand) wars, unless you are deliberately looking for an argument or drama... All colors (colors=tractor brands) make good equipment... It all depends on what is available in your area for models, price, service.... Kind of the whole package, regardless of color... Kind of the old Ford, Chevy, or butter, margarine debate... You get the idea...

Now..... Once you get some experience and knowledge.... Tractors, implements and attachments CAN turn into it's own addiction.... Like having a road motorcycle with all the bells, whistles, and streamers on the handle bars... Or model trains, starting with a simple oval, and eventually filling the whole basement... You get the idea...

Good luck...
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2015, 10:20 PM
Martlet Martlet is offline
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This thread really fits my interests at the moment. I'm moving to my place at the end of next month. As a result, I will have a few immediate needs that must be met.

-large lawn mowed
-general yard work, clearing, and wood hauling (light duty)

Over the next 12 months I will need garden tilling, snow blowing (not necessary, but nicer than my push blower), leaf clearing, driveway grading, etc.

My needs may grow later, but I don't care to buy a tractor to meet needs I don't currently have, since I'd also have to build a place to store it. I'm thinking about an inexpensive garden tractor.

Any suggestions?
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2015, 12:01 AM
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Yes, lots of those mini-tractors around.
Brother got one to mow my 2 ac lot.

As a side note....
In Japan the government demands that tractor owners replace them every few years.... so the U.S.A. is flooded with relatively new Japanese tractors.
http://www.yanmartractor.com/about
Brother got one. It was a steal compared to any new one.

For a while John Deere was using the Yanmar ( Diesel ) engines in theirs.
( Made in U.S.A. )
They then switched to China made engine.

Several others started in the small tractor business. Many are good, so you'll find lots of implements that will attach to them.
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2015, 01:06 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Thanks All!

I think I got the idea...

Was just thinking ahead how much things might cost/what might need to plan slightly ahead.

Hubby did say (looking at some of the JD equipment), "Where would we use that?"

I did watch a show on different machines harvesting that I thought was interesting.

Although the show didn't get into specifics of each one.
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2015, 01:25 AM
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say many perhaps even most people that purchase cut's don't need them. They just think they do. For the most part they are marketed to suburbanites that own a couple acres and think they're farmers now. If all you have to do is cut grass move a little mulch and maybe tend a small garden your money can be much better spent, IMO.
If you visit the tractor forums it seems most everyone has a tractor that's five years old and they rave about what a great machine it is because it just turned 100 hours with no issues. Hey it's their money.

As pointed out you will know what you need. They are handy as hell.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2015, 11:43 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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I mostly use hand tools, a planet JR cultivator, non conventional farming, and haul stuff in bike trailers and wheel barrows. but then i limit myself to only what i can buy out of pocket, and it has to be something i expect to get 4 times back on my investment (if i spent $100 i expect to get at least $400 value on my return).

I only work 5 acres now (going to closing on another 25 soon though), I have never had a tractor or riding mower. i had a rototiller but sold it because i spent more time and effort on maintinence and it didn't do much better than my Planet JR (less work but cost a lot more to use). I had a 4 wheeler in 2013 but traded it for a truck, this past january i traded 20 cords of wood for a big 4 wheeler, been using it this spring with an 8x4 car trailer (can move a cord of wood at a time on it, or some 8 foot logs to mill, or a lot of hay and manuer) got a pull behind disk cultivator and just hired a guy to build a skidding arch. and the county permits atvs on the road here so i can use it locally with motorcycle plates as a substitute truck.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:45 PM
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Buy used. That is gospel.

I have seen people buy way too much HP and equipment then dump it for smaller.

I have also seen people try to make a riding mower do the work of the real tractor and the mower gets destroyed.

Most people think I have got to get 4wd and hydrostatic tranny...you pay for that...and of course there are times where it makes sense. BUT you can save thousands if your needs are simple...there is a lot of good iron out there that takes many implements for many duties. The old Fords are inexpensive and can do a lot (like the old 8N's, Jubilee's, Hundred's series) and they can run 2 bot plows, bush hogs, back blades.... The 8N's go for about $1750 here in decent shape (and parts are affordable)...new tractors go for more and have more HP, etc.

Most old Iron won't do what a lot of the new stuff will do (but you may find it does 85% of what you need...for 15k less)

Anyone should look at getting on their land first and see what their true needs are.

We have a 3/8 mile drive way and get 130 inches of snow a year...with some hills...4wd and a front snow blower are great.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:14 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Most people think I have got to get 4wd and hydrostatic tranny...
someone once phrased it, 2 wheel drive will get you stuck, 4 wheel drive will get you stuck worse (when people say you can drive out of being stuck if you have 4 wheel)
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampcedars View Post
Buy used. That is gospel.

I have seen people buy way too much HP and equipment then dump it for smaller.

I have also seen people try to make a riding mower do the work of the real tractor and the mower gets destroyed.

We have a 3/8 mile drive way and get 130 inches of snow a year...with some hills...4wd and a front snow blower are great.
Tractors will last a couple of lifetimes if properly maintained and cared for. They will also take abuse and still survive, so if one is persistent in watching for what they want, it can often be found used at considerable savings.

I am sure people trade down in size too, but my experience has been most people find they purchased to little HP rather than to much. Something like closet space in a home. There never seems to be enough closets, or closet space in a home; and on a homestead, horse power is often in short supply too.

We do not have the snow to content with, but being able to reach down and shift into 4WD has saved the day on more than one occasion, or added enough power to be able to do what the 2WD alone was incapable of doing. And I will add, I have never gotten a tractor stuck, 2WD or 4WD. [I have gotten 2WD trucks stuck, but never a 4WD. I have owned both and there is a difference between 2WD & 4WD in both trucks & tractors.]

And most definitely using something for which it was not designed, on a regular basis will prematurely end the equipment service life. An occasional pushing the limits probably happens with all equipment at one time or another in the equipments life time, and although not the recommended thing to do, if the equipment was up to the task and saved the day, it probably saved someone a lot of work otherwise, and did not overly harm the equipment either.

Buy the best equipment you can afford. Dad purchased a new rotary brush mower in 1971 at the then outrageous cost of $795. The cheapest units ran $250-275 back then. Forty-four years later the Woods "Stump-jumper" model he purchased is still going strong. Some friends who purchased the more inexpensive models have worn out three rotary mowers in the same intervening 44 years and currently are without a rotary mower. Quality is not cheap, but usually the cheapest in the long run.

Some equipment has overlapping abilities. Dad preferred disks, while I prefer a tiller, and although they both perform similar functions, the equipment purchased sometimes becomes a personal preference.

Then there are major differences between a brush cutter, typically referred to as a Bush Hog, and a finish mower, one strictly designed to cut grass & light weeds. Both are rotary mowers, but with a big difference in their intended performances. Then to add confusion to the overall rotary mower nomenclature some people use the generic term "Bush Hog" to refer to ANY rotary mower.

The equipment I use most often:
- Rotary Brush Cutter
- Twin Bottom Plows
- Tiller
- Cultivating Equipment (plows, hillers, spring harrow, etc.)
- Blade
- Dirt Slip, also referred to as Dirt Scoop
- Landscape Rake

The equipment I use the least:
- Disk
- Middle Buster
- Boom Pole
- Post Hole Auger

Although used infrequently, but when needed the Boom Pole and Post Hole Auger are indispensable when required.

I personally find a Front End Loader on my working tractor more of an hindrance than an asset, but when needed, like I said about the Boom Pole & Post Hole Auger, a working Front End Loader is an extremely valuable tool to have at your disposal. Therefore, we also have a Yanmar 240D that came factory equipped with a Front End Loader & Back Hoe. Something not used or needed daily about the homestead, but extremely valuable when needed, and having the Back Hoe makes it much more versatile than just having a FEL alone.

One final comment, of all the equipment mentioned above, the only items purchased new were the rotary brush cutter (1971) & tiller (2009), and I just got tired of looking for a "good" used tiller.
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  #18  
Old 05-04-2015, 12:18 PM
klamath klamath is offline
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I have a little 4 foot wide Trackloader. It is a back saver and a major workhorse. I have used it for logging, mining, concrete work, garden tilling trail building, Snow removal, hauling, etc. I have never had it stuck where it required another piece of equipment to get it out. It doesn't take much space to store and you can get into small spaces to get work done and it doesn't tear the ground up much.
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