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Tractor Selection Forum Do you need help with figuring out what size or type of tractor you need? Ask your questions right here.

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Old 02-04-2010, 06:58 AM
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Default When asking tractor selection questions...

its best to provide as much information as possible. Where you live, what your doing, what your budget is, how experienced you are with equipment, what machines you have looked at. So many peope are "Looking for a 30 Hp tractor" which can mean many different things depending on the tasks you have in mind.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:42 AM
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Good points Neil, we should probably make this a stickie.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jwstewar View Post
Good points Neil, we should probably make this a stickie.

Did I just find this rope or have I lost my horse??

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Old 04-11-2010, 05:57 AM
OzAK OzAK is offline
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Default Time to get my feet wet

Hello to all, and it's good to be here. Doc solved my access problems on sign up so THANKS DOC! Now for my questions.

First some history/info/introduction on me. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and have been here for the majority of my life. Came here when I was 15 from central Ohio, (Marion), am now 52. Spend as much time in the outdoors as time, work, and $ will allow, have been a registered hunting guide for almost 20 years, and make the majority of my living maintaining, restoring, and in some cases swearing at a fleet of WWII and post WWII large radial engine transport aircraft. DC-6 and C-46 to be exact. Been at that now for 32 years. Time flies when you're playing in oil. Workin' on 'sheenry is of little concern unless it happens to be attached to some sort of computer/hi tech electronic gadget that has given up the ghost. This will more than likely be useful as I get further into the tractor selection and use process.

I'm a complete newbie on tractors, no question. The only education I have is what I've gleaned from reading what is here on the web in various spots, been looking at this stuff since Sept. '09. TractorByNet, Tractorhouse, various manufacturers websites, plus as many live tractors (read this as not very many given where I live), and now NTT. This is the first occasion I've actually felt compelled to sign up and log in after getting on here. Better responses, more straightforward, kudos guys. Checking Craigslist and Alaskaslist almost every day to see what's out there in the used market keeps me at least interested but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what is available in the Lower 48. For dealers here we have a fair selection, just know that prices can be substantially higher. Locally we have: Branson, Case, John Deere, Kubota. If you include Anchorage add on New Holland and I'm not sure who else, an additional Branson dealer and several private outfits that have various used machines in various price ranges, hp in the 18-28 or 30 class. Said second Branson dealer also deals in grey market with Yanmars etc. That's about it for the info for now.

So you can give me the best advise, here's what I need to do with a tractor.
Maintain 3 pieces of property totaling 12 1/2 acres including: a 1/3 mile long driveway on a hillside with grades up to 15% (material is fractured schist rock laced with the occasional football sized specimen), ditches along said drive that need attention from time to time to clean them out, ruts in same drive, root systems from several species of insidious trees that need to be dug out to keep them at bay, plenty of brush to hog, 3 acres of grass to mow, snow to move, hardpack snow to get off the road in the spring, all the landscaping projects the wife can dream up, a retaining wall to replace, 30 yards of gravel & dirt to redistribute, a large shed to move (on skids), and last, but certainly not the end, 40 some trees to log and skid in for a new cabin, not to mention more for the sawmill (still building this one) for dimensional lumber for that and other projects.
Budget is always a factor for most folks, and having priced out a bunch of different machines, I would have no real problems finding what I think I need or will work for me IF I lived south of here. Buying used is OK by me, someone else has taken the sticker shock. Getting it here is an expensive proposition for the most part unless it's pretty close to Seattle. Sooooo....

1. First, I'd like to hear your pros and cons on gear tractors vs. hydrostatic. I've driven both, have ?? about clutch longevity, ease of multi-tasking with implement use and shifting, etc, loader work. I've operated forklifts of all sizes, 3 or 4 sizes of loaders from a small Volvo up to a 966 Cat, Gradall & Pettibone hilifts, and a couple of backhoes but never any other tractors of any size. Test run yes, really operate, no. This is probably my biggest question right now.
2. Horsepower. It's almost impossible to find anything in the used market here over 30 horse unless you go to full blown Ag tractors then size becomes an issue. I'd rather have too much than not enough yet still fit it into my garage. With the hilly ground in my life I feel 4WD is an absolute must, plus the logging which will be done in the snow through the winter. I feel like I've done my homework for the most part but still need some fine tuning.
3. Tractor weight. Everything I've read says heavier is better. Loaded rear tires, beefy frames and subframes, etc. Is heavy ever a detriment beyond when you've broken through the ice or you're up to your axles in mud?
4. Resale value. Considering this, is there any line drawn between brands that makes some better than others for holding their value? Should this even be a consideration?
5. My pick at this time and getting the most for my $$$. My budget at this point boils down to perhaps 18K-20K plus whattever interest rate that is to be had. Virtually everyone has some sort of incentive going right now with low or no interest. Locally it has boiled down to Branson, the 3510. Hydro or gear is the next?? Seems heavy duty enough-compared it to a NH of similar size and HP-there really was no comparison in the heft department. Just basing the horsepower on what I've read and matching what I have to do to similar job-to-horsepower recommendations I've seen. Everyone else seems to have lost their minds price-wise. For now, I'll leave it at that and sign off. Guys, thanks so much for your help, whatever you can provide. I look forward to seeing what you have to say. Again, glad to be here and get to know you. Oz
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:33 AM
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Been here nd done that, Had several tractors, a 9N, Ford 5000, Mahindra 4110. a Kubota L48 TLB and now a Case cabbed Dx45 with front end loader, Of all the machines put together, thinking of various properties and needs combined,, by far the best all around machine was the Kubota L48. I'm in a short or hopefully short lull at the moment but want to replace this new Case with an updated version of the L48, now called M59. The L 48, commercial design, with 3 pumps instead of 2 and a swing around seat to operate the backhoe instead of getting off then climbing another seat attached to the hoe its self. The only complaint I had, (along with a thousand more guys) was the mid range speed could have been a little faster. The machine was bullet proof, could take anything thrown at it, had a 3pt hitch system on board, easy to swap, I brush hogged 13 acres with mine and did all the things you mentioned and a lot more. I understand that with the new M59, they fixed the mid range "slower speed" complaint,, Other than the slower speed midhydro complaint, I would look for the L48 used-new or newer if possible or if you are really flush, just rush out and order a new M59.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:02 AM
GreenWannabe GreenWannabe is offline
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On another website, one poster bought his TLB in the lower 48, plus a trailer, and trucked it up the Alcan. He saved a considerable amount of $$ in going that route. You might want to look into that possibility, it would also increase the range of candidates in your price range. Good luck, and have fun shopping!

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:22 PM
OzAK OzAK is offline
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Thanks guys, keep it coming. I'll have a look at those Kubotas some more. Certainly not flush enough to just order an M59, or any other new machine from Kubota in the size range I need. From what I've been able to research, the most cost effective option in shipping is to bring stuff out of Seattle by barge vs. trucking it up the Alcan, so far looks like less than half as much. The hunt continues, not quite there yet. Oz
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Erik Erik is offline
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Funny you mentioned the Branson 3510 - that was going to be my recommendation, as I used one to build my house before it was stolen, and was very pleased with its performance.
Load the tires with rimguard, not calcium.
Branson does not have a high resale, but that shouldn't be an issue unless you find you need bigger.
Ag tires have better traction, but Industrials don't tear up your lawn when mowing the 3 acres.
Make sure it has the "bobcat"/universal QA on the loader - makes front accessories less expensive, because you're not limited to buying them on-brand.
If you can finance in attachments like a back blade, box blade, and mower with the initial purchase, do so - especially if they're offering low financing.
Make sure it has at least one set of rear remotes and you might also consider a second set plumbed to the front of the loader so you can add a grapple or tree shear at some point in the future.

good luck!
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:40 PM
Jkaz Jkaz is offline
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Im new not only to the site but all forum(ish) sites. so if im in the wrong spot just let me know!
I (like everyone else) am looking for a 25-20 horse tractor for our farm.

We live in North east Tx, where the soil is mostly clay, I plan on getting a box blade, post hole digger, drill seeder, and maybe later a square baler.
Im some what experienced, and the one thing I am sure of is I need a bucket!
Im torn between 2X4 and 4X4, Im leaning towards 2X4 since we dont get much rain or snow, and I dont think the 4X4 would be as cost effective (until I get stuck)
im trying to keep it in the 4000-8000 range if possible..
please help!
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