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Tractors Big ones, small ones, old ones, new ones, buying, using, fixing...you get the idea.

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Old 02-12-2016, 11:26 AM
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dorfdimpaler Male dorfdimpaler is offline
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Default Tractor Ideas

I'll be retiring in a few years. I have 200 acres that I've been using for hunting and camping. When I move out there full time, I plan on buying a tractor. I'm looking for ideas on what to buy.

I have a Massey Ferguson dealer close by that the neighbors all seem to trust. I bought my riding lawnmower from them, and had a good experience. However, I'm not tied to the idea.

Things I want the tractor to do:

1) Cultivate food plots for the wildlife-- no more than .5-1 acre at a time.
2) Bush hog the stuff that does not get mowed often.
3) Snow removal
4) maintain a sizable vegetable garden
5) I have a guy haying about 40 acres right now. He takes the hay and in return plants food plots for me. I'm not sure if I'll continue the relationship after I retire. If not, I'll have to mow it.
6) I want to pull up the cedar trees that I can't bush hog
7) There is better than a 1/2 mile of old road on the property that was abandoned before the advent of the automobile. We use it for easy access to the back of the property. I need to maintain it.
8) One of my long term goals is to reopen the various old roads and trails through the property.
9) What isn't hay is second growth forest. I've got a lifetime supply of firewood-- probably just from deadfall.
10) I'm toying with the idea of buying a bandsaw mill to utilize all the wood. If so, I'll need to move logs
11) I have several existing stock ponds that need improvement that could probably be done with a backhoe attachment.

I'm not a wizard mechanic, but I am handy. I figure I'll buy new with an extended warranty.

What do y'all recommend?
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:56 PM
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Tractor are like trucks and cars when it comes to opinions on the web - you'll find very strong opinions from people saying the brand they have is better than xxxxx.

Instead of talking about what color tractor I have (and have been very happy with) I suggest you go with local dealers no matter the color. If you have let's say 4 different brand/dealers within easy reach of you go visit and spend some time with each. You will get a feel for the tractors and be able to compare them more easily that way.

And you are going about this the correct way - you size the tractor to the tasks you want to complete - not the other way around.

Having a good dealer is of utmost importance after the sale. You need excellent warranty support plus a great service and parts department. I can't stress enough how important this is.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:25 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Like CT says... Color makes no difference in the long run...

The right size tractor for the jobs you need done, and implements you need to do the jobs is your FIRST consideration..

Next parts, service, support for brand x as opposed to brand y can be a lifesaver...

We all drool, lust after the shinny new models, but used can be a practical alternative.. A couple good sites to compare features, prices, etc..

Good luck in your search... And don't you DARE buy something without posting a picture...

==
Tractordata.com (model specs and technical details)
Tractorhouse.com (what is for sale and where)
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:31 PM
gundog10 Male gundog10 is offline
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I agree with all the above. I searched for months for a tractor and read everything I could find on size, brand and reliability. I found that most smaller tractors are all built overseas and all have loyal followers and haters. Having a dealer close for any repairs/issues is a must. I rented two tractors and found that the auto shift tractors didn't wort for me. It was very difficult to keep the brush hog spinning while trying to go real slow over rough terrain. I also found that used tractor prices were within $2000-$3000 of a new one with the same HP. I finally went with the Kioti ck3510 with their free front end loader. I dropped it off yesterday for its 50 hour service. Couldn't be happier, no issues and have brush hogged, graded 200 yard driveway, hauled hay and logs, pulled old fence posts and tilled 3 gardens for myself, daughter and neighbor. And it sips diesel. Great tractor.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. 10-4 on the dealer making the tractor rather than the other way around.


More questions:

Diesel or Gas?

HP?

What features should I be looking for?

What should I steer clear of?
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:39 PM
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Any tractor from a sub-compact on up in size will be a diesel - no choice in the matter. If you are not familiar with diesels don't worry as all the newer ones start right up and have automatic cold starting aids. If you are in a colder area you will need to learn how to treat your fuel with a cold weather additive.

Horse power goes right back to the beginning - the implements you are going to use will dictate how much horse power you need. You can't buy a tractor comparing horsepower like is common with lawn mowers.

One of the biggest features to look at is a manual transmission vs hydrostatic. Huge difference in operating depending on the use. If you are going to do any kind of mowing I strongly suggest a hydro transmission. If you are doing mostly field work such as plowing and discing a manual transmission is better. The same goes for front loader work - hydro trans or a power referser a must. This is where a dealer will come in and let you take a tractor for a test run around their property for you to get a feel for each.

And speaking of a loader - don't buy a tractor without one. I went through this many years ago when buying my first compact diesel. I didn't want a loader even after my salesman asked me 5 times if I was sure. After owning the tractor I found the need and paid much more to buy it afterwards than if it was included with the tractor. I had no idea how useful a loader is until I got one - an absolute must with any tractor purchase.

Also 4 wheel drive - I wouldn't own a tractor without 4WD but that is because I have hills and snow to deal with. If your land is all perfectly flat it might be different.

As far as what to steer clear of, in my opinion, are some of off the off brand tractors which come from overseas. Not that there is anything wrong with them - until something goes wrong. I've heard that parts availavility for some of those off brands are terrible - stuff like 6 month wait for some things. I would stick with know brands including John Deere, Kubota, Massey, New Holland, etc. look around your area farms and see what equipment they are using. This is a good indication of a strong brand and strong dealer.
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Last edited by coaltrain; 02-12-2016 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:13 PM
grumpa Male grumpa is offline
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Coaltrain makes some excellent suggestions. I agree that 4WD is a must. Also really like the hydrostatic transmission as you have total control of ground speed. Note! some hydros have a feature called "cruise control" for when your are bush hogging or plowing etc. Good luck on your quest.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:03 PM
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Definitely a diesel.... Like said, anything more than a yard tractor..

However... Regardless of brand, it MUST come with a block heater, and glow plugs or air pre heater at the least.. I see by your location you likely do get winter.. These items will be more than worth the $...
===
Day dreaming here..... If I had the money to do it over again....
I would get a good used Cat2, 3pt tractor..
And a newer model compact than I have.. Yes two tractors, why not ??
==
My choice would be green in color, because that is the best support I have available..

The cat1/2 size, I'm thinking the JD110TLB... It has a easily attached and removed backhoe.. I could use that at times.. FEL. 4x4, hydro-static..
Once you have done loader work with a hydro-static, you will throw away your gear tractor with a loader..
--
For a compact tractor a cat1, 20 series, or 30 series.. As they would have the mid pto for those type of front, mid mount implements. Hydro-static, and all kinds of easily available dedicated attachments..

My 2 cents..
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:39 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I only have one thing to add to the good ideas above; if you have a spouse or daughter who will use the tractor, definitely get the hydro transmission. I looked at both, and was leaning toward a manual, when I found the exact tractor I needed, but it was only available in hydro. I have a friend nearby who has a manual, and his wife just can't seem to get it right. He gets to do all the work (not necessarily a bad thing), but my wife hops on our hydro and goes to town. She can't plow the driveway very well, but she loves the front-end loader and did a lot of dirt moving and pen cleaning while I was at work and she was at home.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:40 PM
Jimbo882 Male Jimbo882 is offline
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Default Tractor

I'd get one big enough to run a hay baler, move hay, with 4 wheel drive,
Back hoe attachment, bucket. I like manual shift,
Color don't matter, but I'd stay with MF, JD, NH, Kubota, Case, just shop around, don't hesitate to buy a good used one.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:45 AM
Mad_Professor Mad_Professor is offline
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I have been using a 9N for 30 years now that I paid $1200 for with a 2 bottom plow, springtooth harrow, graderblade, tire chains, scoop bucket ,stabilizer bars. I invested in a brushhog for $500 back then. I've only put oil gas plugs and a battery in. Still has same dist/points and still 6V. Starts at oF with no heater parked outside. It works 40 acres. You can fix most anything that goes wrong with the tools that fit in the small toolbox. By the time it's down a quart of oil its time to change it. Air filter is oil bath: 1/3 price of a quart of oil.

Now it don't have a loader or live hydraulics, but it skids logs great if you know how to do it ( 12' X 25").

Now there are great deal of 9/8Ns that are worn to shit and you need to know what to look for.

I did "upgrade" recently. A 3-cyl Ford 2000 gasser, $2000. Like the locking diffy, better hydraulics, and more power, MUCH more of a bitch to work on, but still use the 9N a lot.

Find a newer tractor that will compare to either for the price(s). Can't even get a decent lawn mower....... Then you have to work on it or get it serviced.
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