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Thread: How much tractor?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    How much tractor?

    I been looking to buy a tractor within 6-8 months. So far my #1 choice is a Kubota L4060, 4wd, HST transmission. It will be equipped with a FEL and backhoe. Doubt it will ever be used for mowing and will mostly be used for digging holes for planting, removing stumps, helping us move logs and wood we cut and split, and finally grading our 550 foot long gravel road when it needs it. After we get some small areas cleared it will help us create small food plots under 1/2 acre as well as planting in an old logging road that runs from the front to the back of our property.
    My initial thoughts was to stay with something 25-30 hp but after hearing story after story about people buying to small decided to move up to 40 hp.

    I am already at the upper limit of what we can spend and the best price quoted is $36,500. Will a tractor this size do what I am asking of it in a reasonable amount of time?
    Tennessee

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Only you can decide what tractor suits your needs. Much will depend on how much time you can afford to spend on the tasks you need to accomplish. You can usually do more in a day with a more powerful tractor. I know it sounds like asking the fish monger if his fish are fresh, but you might want to ask a nearby dealer for advice. Out in the country, they are often willing to come out and look at your property, and tell you what they think. Or talk to some of the farmers in your area.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    I would consider proximity to a really good dealer over any particular brand. As long as the backhoe is frame mounted I think that would be a great choice. I have a 32 hp tractor which is easy to maneuver. If I were to go bigger, I would go to 50 hp, but day in and day out, the smaller tractor is really easy to use. I have had big tractors and small. Always a compromise. My biggest use for the tractor is a 2,500 foot long driveway that is hilly and gets ruts. I find a box scraper and loader most useful. I only have 55 acres to deal with. 13 in pasture and 42 heavily treed.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Depends on the operator ,you can do most everything you want . 40 sounds good in tractors and guns and both get used at my house , also owned a site development company for 46 yrs and what you want I could do and so can you (it would just take you longer)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    40 hp will easily do what you are asking of it based on the info given in the first post.

    I will say that if you are doing a lot of loader work, the hydrostatic transmission is nice. If your primary use is pulling logs, pulling plows, heavy grading, etc., you may want to consider a geared transmission over a hydrostatic.
    Backhoe work doesn't generally require a lot of repositioning of the tractor but loader work does.

    A shuttle shift is sort of the happy middle ground between the convenience of hydrostatic and the strength of a geared transmission.

    I spent some time on a Ford 8N and I think that was around 22-25 hp? (probably less considering how old the flathead 4 was).
    If the tractor is heavy enough, even a two wheel drive model will get a lot done with around 20-25 hp. If you're routinely pulling a plow, logs, etc. - weight and horsepower are your friends.

    A Kubota 4060 is a good compromise in size and performance.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    I have a Kubota L3400 HST with a frame mounted backhoe and FEL. The backhoe is easy to remove when I want to grade my half mile gravel road to my house with a York rake. Bigger is not always better.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Two Kubota dealers close to me, one is 18 miles east the other is 20 miles to the left. Still have not ruled out a Kioti or Mahindra as those dealers are close as well.
    Tennessee

  8. #8
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    24hp b series hst kubota.
    backhoe and fel.
    10 years and wouldn't go bigger. i like the maneuvering.

    only thing i would like is more lifting capability on the fel.
    i use the electric winch to help out the fel when im using the pallet forks on heavy loads.
    WebMonkey
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Mine is the M5140 which was within a few hundred dollars of the smaller L model, because it has a regular clutched trans instead of the hydrostatic. Get as big as you can afford - an old time Maine farmer and repairman of tractors told me “you can do a small job with a big tractor, but you can’t do a big job with a small tractor.” I don’t have a back hoe, but wish I did - a friend down the road helps me get out stumps with his Case 580.
    "You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountains to ocean, and legions, now quiet, will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal." Robert Toombs, Democrat of Georgia, warning of the results of the imminent attack of the Confederacy upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, 1861

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Mahindra gets you a lot of tractor for the $$$
    Good quality and heavy build
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  11. #11
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    the hst tranny's are nice but they require more than a shade tree mechanic to fix them and are not as bomb proof as the geared tranny's. look on craigs list for a used tractor, that can really stretch your budget. also sites like equipment trader and tractor house can give you an idea what things will cost and they have a lot of good used equipment. several retailers around here offer kits that have the tractor, bush hog, scraper, backhoe, and a trailer to haul it with, all for one money. if it were me, I would steer clear of the hst, but get a front wheel assist.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master





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    Hydro pass, want a backhoe? buy a real one that can do more than plant tomato plants. Sorry but the tiny backhoe attachments are just hilarious.

    You want to dig for real get a real item. Seen to many who bought less and felt screwed later

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    actually some of the smaller backhoe attachments are quite good nowadays. I have run all the big name selfcontained backhoes and had the same opinion as you until a friend bought a massy with a backhoe attachment. he needed me to show him how to hook and unhook the hoe and had about 1/4 mile of electric line to bury so after getting things going I dug for about 200 foot to show him how to do it and was quite surprised at the ability of the unit, it handled heavy hard soil as good as a larger unit. granted its dig depth and reach were much less than a full size unit but it was fine for electric lines and water lines.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Sneer all you want about the small backhoe attachments .
    But even a bad one will out work you and a shovel !

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmort View Post
    Mahindra gets you a lot of tractor for the $$$
    Good quality and heavy build
    I have a 25HP Mahindra and it is a pretty good little tractor. I don't work it hard; some grading, push a little snow, mowing but no heavy work. I agree the tractor is built fairly heavy but I'm unimpressed with the belly mower. I think they cut some corners on that deck.

    The Mahindra replaced a Kubota that was also a good tractor but it developed problems with the hydrostatic transmission after about 12 years of hard work.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    the hst tranny's are nice but they require more than a shade tree mechanic to fix them and are not as bomb proof as the geared tranny's. look on craigs list for a used tractor, that can really stretch your budget. also sites like equipment trader and tractor house can give you an idea what things will cost and they have a lot of good used equipment. several retailers around here offer kits that have the tractor, bush hog, scraper, backhoe, and a trailer to haul it with, all for one money. if it were me, I would steer clear of the hst, but get a front wheel assist.
    I'll agree the hydrostatic transmissions are not as bomb proof as a geared transmission but they're nice when doing light loader work in a tight space. If you keep the fluid clean and don't overheat them, the hydrostatic will hold up ok. But, overwork them and bad things happen. Voice of experience here.

    A friend had an old grey market Yanmar - geared tranny, 3 cylinder diesel, 4WD and worked hard. That tractor confirmed my belief that simple is good. It took incredible abuse and continued to work.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 06-09-2018 at 10:57 PM.

  17. #17
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    I think you will be happy with a 40 hp. It's small enough to get in tight spots but heavy enough to move a load.
    I would stay away from the hydrostatic on that size tractor. My boss has a 60 hp with shuttle shift. The plant I work at has a 40 hp with a standard transmission and I think I like it better.

    I have a 25 hp with the hydrostatic and I like it a lot for what I do with it. ( light work )
    when the dust settles and the smoke clears all that matters is I hear the words " well done my good and faithfully servant "

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I would think more about weight than HP unless you are plowing/towing heavy with it. I have a 30hp tractor (Mahindra 4530) with a loader and backhoe. Backhoe was factory and has full HEAVY subframe. I have not found anything I couldn't do around our property with 30 hp but I'm NOT farming 500 acres, just clearing and reshaping 12 acres. For 30 hp, it's a beast of a tractor. All I could do with more horsepower would be to get the wheels off the ground faster. This the smallest HP available in this big frame tractor. Manual trans but my wife doesn't mind driving it.

    This tractor weighs around 9000lbs. Weight might be an issue if you have to tow it a lot. Mine doesn't leave the property unless my neighbor borrows it. If I had to tow it all the time I might have wanted something smaller.
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    Last edited by arlon; 06-09-2018 at 10:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    My tractor has more power than the 30 hp Mahindra ^^^^ but weighs about 1/3 in comparison. Kubotas are also light comparatively. The 40 hp Kubota is half the tractor of the Mahindra pictured above. Still a good tractor, but a lightweight in comparison.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Have a older Kubota L3800 with fel and bushog. They don't make this model anymore as they have gone to tier 4. Which means regardless of what gear you are in you have to run it at 1500 rpm or more to prevent clogging up something in the exhaust system. My L3800 can run as fast or as slow in any gear I select. Bushogging grass requires 2300 rpm. For general duties I keep it in mid range and about 1500 for stuff like removing dead tree limbs. In fact when I asked the local dealer whom I can't say enough about them. Had sent over one of their mechanics to show how to realign the splines after greasing the tube told me never to sell if I could. The above is one reason why I'll never sell. Think its about 30 hp and does what I want no problems. Maybe check on an older model below tier 4 if the dealer has some for sale.? My dealer usually has a few from trade ins. Frank

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