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#402743 - 03/04/15 10:57 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: Dave Davidson1]
dlowrance Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 856
Loc: Central IL
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
....Then I walked to the house for a shovel to empty out the sand.


If that would have been me I'd need to go to the house to empty my drawers before emptying the sand! eek
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#402765 - 03/04/15 05:26 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: ToddM]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: ToddM
+1 on a hydrostatic tractor. At 60 acres I'd lean to the 40-50 hp. Min. You need to shop the dealers close to you and pick the dealer. I'd stick to the major colors green, orange etc.
personally, I landed on green and would never look back. My pick for you would be a slightly used Deere model 4520, and since you will be brush hogging look at the cab. For my project I picked the slightly smaller version with the 3320. It would do everything you asked but would take longer because of the slightly smaller implements.



I had the smaller brother to that tractor, the 2520 with loader for three or four years. It was a great little tractor. I traded it for the 3038 to get a little more horsepower to pull a 7' finish mower a little better. The 2520 did it, but not very fast if in big grass. I like both tractors equally will, with the size being the main difference. Bought a Bad Boy light commercial zero turn mower with 72" deck and have only used the finish mower on the tractor one time. Thought wife and I would both mow and get it done quick. The Bad Boy mows it so quick, likely will hardly ever use the rear mounted finish mower again.

On a small utility tractor I like the R3 industrial tires. They are a little wider and are tougher than the R1 ag tires. With a loader, tires tend to get spun even if being careful and the R3 tires hold up a little better from cuts and the like. In mud the R1 ag tires are actually better because the lugs are deeper and clean out the mud better for better traction. The R3 industrial are wider for more flotation. The R3' will cost $200-400 more, depending on the size tractor.

Deere also makes a 4000 series that is between the 3000 and the 5000 series. I checked into them a little and they do have hydrostat, but they get into enough more money a person can go to quite a bit larger tractor in the 5000 for the same money. It all depends on a person's wants and needs though. The 4000 series is a very nice tractor.


Edited by snrub (03/04/15 05:32 PM)
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#402778 - 03/04/15 08:24 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
bowfishersmith Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 104
Loc: central Missouri
A buddy of mine has a JD 970 that he bought new in the late 90's. He swears it will do everything that I will want it too. Its 38HP I believe but the older ones seem to be built a little heavier. He wants me to play with it some before I buy one. I don't want to buy something bigger than I need but I want to be happy with what I buy. Been shopping on the internet several hours every night lol.

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#402786 - 03/04/15 09:20 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
970 is a good, basic, dependable tractor.

When my FIL was looking for a little tractor, he was looking for something used. Everything we found that was nice they wanted what I thought he could almost buy a new one for. Checked in with our local dealer and they had 3 970's that had been on the lot a while (they have been made quite a few years) and he bought it brand new with loader for hardly more than the asking price of anything decent used.

They are a Yanmar tractor. Full gear dirve (not hydrostat) so not quite as nice for loader work as a hydrostat but still completely usable. They are made in 2wd and 4wd. The 4wd will do four times as much loader work as the 2wd. 2wd on a small tractor is almost helpless for loader work of any significance.

All that said, the front end 4wd on all these little tractors is kind of the weakest part. Under hard use they will start leaking at the pivot point. We have serviced my FIL's twice, but in fairness his eyesight is almost gone and he spins the front tires in cow manure with baler twine and wraps twine around the front spindle. Don't do that. Plastic baler twine will destroy the front wheel seals pronto.

Dry clutch so if you are a clutch rider that likes to slip it a lot, the clutch will be a weak point on loader work with a mechanical transmission. That said, FIL has not had to put a clutch in yet, so they must be pretty tough.

970 is a very good little old technology tractor that can be bought reasonable. I think they still sell basically the same tractor but under a later model number also. I don't know that number.

If you are thinking used, be sure to check new prices. It costs as much per hour to work on these little tractors as our big 450 hp 4wd and track tractors. Some not too major repairs and you will have more in a used one than if you had bought new with warrantee. Extended warrantee is not a bad idea if you are hard on stuff.



Edited by snrub (03/04/15 09:23 PM)
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#402822 - 03/05/15 08:40 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
bowfishersmith Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 104
Loc: central Missouri
I'm not really interested in anything too old, I would like something newer. But I thought about trying out his 970 just for size reference. A fishing friend of mine (his family) owns a Massey Ferguson Dealership. I plan to check them out too. Snrub, you are absolutely right about pricing some new ones over used ones. Some of them are very similar in price. Thanks for the continued conversation!


Edited by bowfishersmith (03/05/15 08:41 AM)

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#402856 - 03/05/15 12:34 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
The little Massey tractors should be good also. Not sure currently who makes their small ones but Iseki used to make them. Iseki is also a very good Japanese tractor. As the size gets larger the Massey will likely be from Brazil in their economy tractors and France in their premium tractors. Massey is one of the largest tractor manufacturers in the world.

We have a number of Challenger (used to be Cat) brand tractors and the wheeled Challenger's are nothing but Massey Ferguson tractors painted yellow. We have had good luck with them also. We have a dozen or two tractors around the farm and have some experience with a few brands.


Edited by snrub (03/05/15 12:36 PM)
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#402863 - 03/05/15 02:18 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1931
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Great thread! All I have at my disposal is an old Ferguson 35 with a dual PTO/Drive clutch. It keeps my leg strength up dealing with turning and stopping. Worst manual brakes ever! I have to literally stand on the brake pedals to keep the thing under control going down a slight hill unless I use the clutch and low gear also. It probably doesn't help the wheels are filled with chalk so the thing weighs a heck of a lot.

Kind of fun working the old bugger, but it gets work done.

If I had the scratch and I didn't just buy a really nice Ferris zero-turn I would be thinking a nice tractor would be in order.

One thing I found out while shopping a few years back is that you can get a used full-sized tractor and implements for FAR less than a compact or medium sized used tractor, even with similar hours on them. There is a lot of private demand for the smaller tractors, so it keeps the price up apparently. If you are not trying to mow a lawn under limbs, or need to turn tightly you may want to take a peak and see if that still holds true.
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#402943 - 03/06/15 01:32 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
roadwarriorsvt Offline


Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 621
Loc: Wahiawa, HI
Originally Posted By: bowfishersmith
I don't want to buy something bigger than I need but I want to be happy with what I buy.


Its better to have more tractor than you think you need than to not have enough. Performing the same job may also wear less on a larger tractor than taxing a smaller one, therefore extending life, parts, etc. Just something to consider.


Edited by roadwarriorsvt (03/06/15 01:33 PM)

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#402998 - 03/06/15 09:21 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: roadwarriorsvt]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
I would agree with that. Bigger is generally better as long as it is not too big to do the smaller stuff you want.

If you are going to keep it in a shed or garage, (which you should), size matters if it will not fit in what you already have.

I strongly suggest if you are not familiar with the difference between a manual gear and a hydrostat transmission, go to a dealer and ask to test drive some new ones of different sizes around the lot. Raise the loader up and down, turn sharp right and left, cycle the tractor back and forth like you were digging something then backing up then dumping. You will notice distinct differences between a manual transmission with clutch, a tractor with manual transmission but with a hydraulic reverser, and a hydrostatic transmission. You may find you like one over the other a lot. It will also make a difference in price too though.

If you have run equipment a lot, you probably already know or have an idea. For anyone that a riding lawn mower is the biggest piece of equipment they have ever ran, testing out the different transmissions will be beneficial in your quest for the perfect tractor. If your main job is mowing a pasture, a simple mechanical gear transmission with dry clutch is fine. But for loader and utility work where you go forward and back, changing directions a lot the hydraulic reverser transmission with wet clutch or hydrostat transmissions have some distinct advantages.

We have them all around the farm. Just depends on your needs, wants and what you can afford.


Edited by snrub (03/06/15 09:22 PM)
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#403001 - 03/06/15 09:31 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: snrub]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2372
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
I went with the gear trans because of the sand and lots of youpon to remove. If you almost get stuck the gear will continue to pull whereas the hydro can go into bypass and oops you stuck. I guess like you said it depends on what you use it for the most. If in the woods and tight places a smaller frame higher HP might be wanted

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#403014 - 03/06/15 11:46 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5681
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
As usual, I'm late to the party.

I think I've had almost as many tractors as I've had fishing poles. Tractors were a major hobby for many years.

About 15 years ago I got real interested in small Japanese 4-WD/AWD tractors after I bought one very cheap at an auction. Over a few years I bought several more that looked like real beaters. I got them at pretty low prices because of their appearance. Once I got them home, I found that the problems were mostly cosmetic. New seats, new paint and decals, some repairs like bearings and glow plugs, made me enough to buy a brand new tractor with cash.

One thing I learned was that most of the smaller diesel tractors sold in the US for the last 30 years were from overseas, mostly Japan. Like most of the 40-hp to 50-h and smaller, diesel John Deeres from the 1970s to about 10 years ago were made by Yanmar of Japan. My Masseys and Allis-Chalmers were made by Hinomoto of Japan.

The South Korean and Japanese small diesel tractors are nearly all excellent. Many are multi-country.

I bought a new Mahindra about six years ago with front-end loader and a frame-mounted hydraulic backhoe. It is truly multicultural. It was assembled in Trumbull, TX. The diesel engine and very heavy duty drive train were made by Mitsubishi. It is all heavy metal, except for the dashboard, seat cover, knobs, and some minor parts. The tires, wheels, and basic parts are from the US. The front-end loader and backhoe were designed and manufactured in Kansas by Kansas Machine Works.

I never got to use the 3-year front-to-back warranty. I did lose some hitch/clip pins and minor parts, like the fuel cap. My local dealer replaced them for free.

It now has about 600 trouble free hours. I've put about 40 hours plowing snow and grading my 1/2 mile of driveway this season.

Yes, I like my Mahindra. To the best of my knowledge, Mahindra is now the world's largest-selling under 50-hp tractor manufacturer -- out selling even John Deere and Kubota. We havehave a number of great dealers in this area who have been selling them for at least 10 years. Parts, for what few I've needed, are easy to obtain.

But, I could be happy with any number of other Japanese/South Korean made compact or utility tractors, if it was locally well supported and been manufactured for a number of years.

IMHO, I'd just stay away from Chinese or Eastern European tractors. Quality is somehat of an issue, but parts support can be a major issue.
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#403037 - 03/07/15 08:59 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: catmandoo]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
Iseki (Japan)also made some of the small MF and White tractors and made the small Bolens Diesel tractors when Bolens was in business selling yard machines and mowers. Had one of the 15 hp Bolens we used in the turkey barns to pull the poult cart for years. Son has it now for his kids to learn to drive a small tractor. Have also bought and fixed up a couple of the grey market Yanmars with the attached tillers. Tough little tractors.

There are also a number of new small tractors built under different names that come from Korea. I think the Bobcat brand and Cabellas brand tractors are Korean but would not swear to it. A lifetime ago I actually owned a farm equipment dealership and sold stuff and could tell you where all tractors were made (almost none in the USA, except for perhaps the sheet metal). I've not had any experience with the Korean tractors but the quality appears to be good. Kioti (kind of a Kubota knockoff) may be Korean, don't know for sure.

My JD3038 has a Yanmar engine and frame (3pt rear end etc.), but I suspect the hydro is built by Funk in Coffyville Kansas. I don't know that for sure, but did a tour of the Funk transmission factory probably a dozen years ago right after Deere bought it. Saw several small Deere Hydro tractors in their test area and ask about them. They said that Funk sold some stuff for Deere small tractors and was working on more models. They expected to be doing a lot more of that.

My 5083 Deere has the Deere engine built in France (I think if I recall what was on the tag correctly) where a lot of their small engines are built (Yanmar in Japan builds the compact Diesels) but the same engines are also built in Mexico factory for what was the 05 series (newer numbers now). It's transmission not sure where built but there is something that is cast into the hydraulic housing that is definitely not Deere. I'm guessing Ursus or Zetor, but don't really know. Some of the series above mine in the economy class sure have back axles and brake systems that resemble Zetor stuff. The 5303 I had for several years came from India. I really liked that tractor for what it was and what it cost. Parts on Deere tractors have stamped origins from all over the globe.

Stuff is made all over any more. Heck our 500 hp tractors have the starters and alternators made by Denso (Japan) or Bosch (Germany). One of our US made combines (made in Hesston Kansas) had the threshing core made in one of the European countries - Poland or Yugoslavia or something like that.)

Main thing, get a good dealer. Stuff is made all over any more. Deere used to have a big ad campaign when the 5000 series came out about made in the USA. Yeah, right. Taken out of the sea container, the axles and wheels put on, and maybe some of the sheet metal made. Their adds were laughable. Tractors were good though. Think we have had six of the 5000 series Deere now and they all have been good.

And I would also say the Chinese stuff that I have seen is not up to snuff. Some day it will be (remember when Japanese stuff was related to crap? I do 50 years ago - they improved, China will too.). Korean used to be shabby stuff, now the Kia cars look pretty good and the little tractors look fine. Long as you can get parts as needed later and a dealer than can take of inevitable problems.

Eastern European stuff............ some had good design (some by Fiat like the UTB tractors sold by Long, made in Romania) but mfg quality was not always too good. Russian Belarus tough as nails, but might get a good one, might not. Some funky designs.

In high school I read Implement and Tractor industry magazine while most kids were reading Hot Rod Magazine. Had bought two new tractors by my senior year in high school (3020 JD and 2030 JD). I lived and breathed that stuff. Still go to major farm shows and spend three days looking (Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska).

I'm rambling and senior citizen moment showing. Better quit.


Edited by snrub (03/07/15 09:01 AM)
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#403040 - 03/07/15 09:48 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: snrub]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2372
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Snrub
Don't stop now, this stuff is interesting!




Pat

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#403093 - 03/08/15 08:27 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2428
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
snrub, a wealth of tractor knowledge forsure. How would you recommend a small farm workable back or trac hoe?
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
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#403116 - 03/08/15 03:20 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
Tbar Offline


Registered: 01/10/15
Posts: 663
Loc: Texas
Mahandra used to build International Harvester tractors for the Indian market.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahindra_Tractors

They still use some of the body/engine designs but what I like is they are heavy and have not gone to plastic fenders/hoods like some other manufacturers.

I come from the industrial off road equipment manufacturing background and knew John Deere has had Yanmar engines and Funk transmissions in their industrial equipment. I used to buy John Deere engines, John Deere rear diffs and Funk transmissions for our construction equipment.
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#403121 - 03/08/15 04:38 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 971
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
I looked for a decent deal for over a year before settling on a tractor. I am privileged to have a old neighbor of wisdom near my place. We were talking tractors one day and he says, "I built well locations for oil companies for 40 yrs. It seems like most rig crews had Kubota tractors on location. Those roughnecks abused the hell out of those li'l tractors and they still seemed to run forever...if I was looking for a tractor, that's one I'd get." With that info and further research, I ended up getting a very low hours Kubota L3300 (35 hp) tractor. I would insist on the 4wd model with the front loader. That li'l L3300 4wd will pull & turn a 6' Howse brush hog all day long. The loader is invaluable.
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#403125 - 03/08/15 05:52 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Guys,

I am going to steal Bowfishersmith's thread for a quick question....I have to buy something very soon. I may be looking for "Tractor Impossible." I want something with a mower deck, snow blower, front loader, 3-point hitch and prefer gas. So basically, I want a tractor I can mow the lawn with, snow plow the driveway with and use as a small utility tractor as well. Any thoughts? I was originally considering a JD 500 series but I would really like a loader and hitch.


Edited by Bill D. (03/08/15 06:38 PM)
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#403136 - 03/08/15 10:57 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5101
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: TGW1
snrub, a wealth of tractor knowledge forsure. How would you recommend a small farm workable back or trac hoe?
Tracy


That would be tough to do, not knowing what a person is going to be doing with it and what emphasis he has on most important features.

If you start looking around at different tractors and have specific questions about some feature, I can probably help. I may not know about a specific feature on a specific model tractor, but I have a pretty good handle on the mechanical aspects of about any feature a tractor would have. I can give you pro's and con's, what applications where the feature works best, etc.

I've had some formal mechanic training in my early years, owned and run a dealership for 7 years, have been driving tractors since 6 years old, and currently have 15 or so tractors on the farm. Be glad to help however I can, but I'm better at answering specific questions than making a general recommendation because there are so many variables. What one guy loves, might not fit the next guys needs.

Like in true PBF fashion, which tractor to buy,
"it all depends"
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#403155 - 03/09/15 08:04 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2428
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Snrub, you are a wealth of knowledge for sure. And I fully understand, it being hard to recommend anything if you don't have all the information. I am just looking for equipment that might be used on day to day things like digging a line to place aeration lines, or shallow drainage ditches to drain excess water from my wildlife food plots, or 1/8 acre forage ponds. The real small trac hoes have little ground clearance and I am thinking I might plant it somewhere on the property and not be able to get it out till late July or August. Haha Or I was told if it fly's, floats or **** you are better off to rent it!! you think this might include if it digs?
Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#403167 - 03/09/15 09:44 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Guys,

I am going to steal Bowfishersmith's thread for a quick question....I have to buy something very soon. I may be looking for "Tractor Impossible." I want something with a mower deck, snow blower, front loader, 3-point hitch and prefer gas. So basically, I want a tractor I can mow the lawn with, snow plow the driveway with and use as a small utility tractor as well. Any thoughts? I was originally considering a JD 500 series but I would really like a loader and hitch.


Mow, blow snow, class 0 3-point is doable, if you want a FEL, you gotta go bigger to get anything that will be of any real use (IMHO). I'd also rethink the gas and go diesel. Much less problems in the long run. There's a reason why the majority of equipment that gets a lot of hours of use is diesel.
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#403182 - 03/09/15 10:41 AM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks Esshup,

My concern with bigger is whether I can still have a mower deck and snow blower. Do I just need to bite the bullet and concede I need two pieces of equipment?
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#403212 - 03/09/15 02:33 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Google kubota 3350. smile
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#403231 - 03/09/15 05:27 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: bowfishersmith]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Sweet! There is a dealer near here. I will swing by and take a look.

Edit: Checking out prices, I just can't justify that much money for my little 6 acres. Marking this one up as something I want not something I need. Current thought is to move forward with my original plan of a JD 500 series and when I want to occasionally do some heavier work, just rent what I need for a few days. No storage and no maintenance for something I won't use that often.


Edited by Bill D. (03/09/15 07:35 PM)
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#403242 - 03/09/15 07:22 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
They had a couple mower options for my L3540. The mid mount would have been totally ridiculous. The LT1050 works just fine for anything I have to mow. Which, I haven't mowed anything in a while.

Be wary of the earlier L40 Grand series tractors. 07-08 era. They used some crappy components on them. Toasted the two tilt cylinders within a couple weeks after buying this NEW. They bent like wet spaghetti, and cylinders are not covered under warranty, so that cost a pile.

They had bearing issues in the rear end and one of mine split in half. It wrecked a lot of stuff and cracked the housings. That was covered under warranty, but if not, would have cost a pile. About 6K. Kubota couldn't back out of this one because it was happening to a number of rigs.

Even tho, I still kinda like it.

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#403323 - 03/10/15 01:38 PM Re: Help buying a tractor [Re: Bill D.]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1931
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Thanks Esshup,

My concern with bigger is whether I can still have a mower deck and snow blower. Do I just need to bite the bullet and concede I need two pieces of equipment?


I have seen some enormous snow blowers on tractors around here on dairy farms. They are large enough you want to make sure there are no cars in the drifts or the car will loose. So yes, you can get a blower for a full-size no problem, but I am sure they are not cheap.

For mower, it would not be under the belly, but a 3pt finish mower. In some ways they are better than a belly mower as you can tuck them under trees without having to drive under them, but they stink for circling tree trunks. You wind up hitting a lot of things if you are not skilled.
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