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Old 04-12-2006, 06:49 AM   #1
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Tractor advice needed

With lots of impending landscaping chores this spring and summer, I'm looking to buy a new tractor but there are so many choices and so little time! I'd like to start a thread to get your advice on the best (i.e., reliable) brand/model to look at with the following functionality:

1) Regrade yard to extend driveway
2) Level parts of the yard
3) Create terraced gardens
4) Mow lawn
5) Move snow
6) Pick-up leaves and acorns
7) Dig out tree stumps
8) Rototill gardens
9) Attachment capability for other tools such as cement mixer

As a bonus, I would like it to have a trailer hitch and enough pulling capacity so we could move trailers around the yard as needed.

Am I asking for too much in a single machine?
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like a Bobcat might be on order for you!! We use a 4WD 4-wheeler to get about half of your list completed.

Have to add to this post that you can rent a Bobcat and get a ton of yard work done in a weekend for a fraction of it's cost...that's what we did
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:24 AM   #3
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Here's a question I can help with

Yukionna,
The big question is how much do you want to spend.
From the post below you can tell I'm into Fords. And while I think they're the best I wont deprecate any of the other brands/colors.
What ever you buy get one with 3 point hitch!!! That's the gizmo for attaching and lifting your tools/impliments. All the newer brands have it. A lot of the older ones have jury rigged add on 3 point hitch which isn't as good.
Tractor size is measured in horse power. I can not imagine you needing more than about 30 hp to do every thing you mention. Don't let someone sell you some big brute 40-50+ hp. You just don't need that hp and the smaller ones are SO much more nimble and versatile. Buy a wide front tractor not a narrow front. Wide front has lower center of gravity and is much more stable ie. not tippy. My first tractor was an 8N Ford. Built in 1948 it is not just some collectable but a real tractor capable of doing useful work. I'm selling it now because I've upgraded to more modern. 8N Fords are SUCH sweetheart little machines. And they made something like 300 different tools/impliments you can hook to it like snow plows, land plows, discs, back blades, several different types of mowers, front end loaders and the like.
I don't know if you are familiar with all the options on a tractor, like live PTO, power steering, live hydraulics, remotes, etc, etc.
If you needed a tractor with those options then you should look at newer machines like New Holland, John Deere or Kubota. All are very good brands but expect to pay big $ for one. For a first tractor an 8N is ideal and you can pick up a really good running one for under $3000.
I could go on and on but if you are interested in learning more try this site:
www.ytmag.com It is at least as large a site as this one - maybe bigger.
I post on the Ford boards - same name as here.
Happy tractoring,
Jerry
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:33 AM   #4
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I would agree the New Holland JD or Kabota are very good choices. The 20 hp range with frount wheel assist will do a lot of work. It will handle a 6 foot finishing mower. For serious loader work rent a skid loader.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:41 AM   #5
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Yuki... take a look at the Honda 5518 tractors. I have an RT5000, the first model of the line. The last was the 5518, an 18hp liquid cooled engine version. They are 4WD, 4 wheel steering, have front and rear power take-offs, front and rear hydraulics, and have a variety of attachments available from several sources now including a 3 point hitch, dozer blade, front end loaders, snowblowers, and several types of mowers. I have a 46" mower deck, and 42" dozer blade and 42" snowblower for my 11HP RT5000. I bought the entire outfit a couple of years ago for $2500 and it was near showroom condition, albeit a 1985 tractor.

They are stone reliable, and won't set you back the $23k that the Massey-Ferguson GC2300 would cost new. The 5518 in excellent condition can be found for around $5k.

Here's a start:

http://www.google.com/search?q=honda+5518

Here's a link to the Massey GC2300: http://www.masseyferguson.com/agco/m...sCare/2300.htm

Roger
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:00 AM   #6
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I agree with Ultradog go to Yesterdays Tactors site it is mostly populated by rural dirt farmer types and they know their tractors. You will find as much or more brand loyalty there as on Airstream site but they can give expert advice on size and type of tractor you need.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:33 AM   #7
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I currently have two Ford Tractors. One is a 1947 8n that I have had for more than twenty years. It has a loader on the front and a landscape blade on the back. I move snow and grade the driveway with it. The other is an early Jubilee. It was manufactured in 1952 and has seriel # 500. Most folks will tell you that they didn't make them til 53, but they did start the 53 model year in 52. I use it for bush hogging and towing.

These tractors are pretty much "bullet proof". They require very little maintainence and you can get parts all over the place. The best thing is, they appreciate in value over time.

I have a dirt scoop for the three point and also a cement mixer for the three point. Mixes one third yard at a time and you drive to the site, lift the lever to the three point, and it dumps.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
I currently have two Ford Tractors. One is a 1947 8n that I have had for more than twenty years. ... These tractors are pretty much "bullet proof". They require very little maintainence and you can get parts all over the place. The best thing is, they appreciate in value over time.
I'd have to agree, at least up to a point! Our 47 8N has a broken clutch control arm. As it turns out, the control arm on the 47 differs from the rest of the production years for the 8N. I've been looking for a new (=used) one for weeks now without luck! May have to switch the whole business to one of the later types.

Lynn
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:20 AM   #9
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John Deere is my recommendation. Yeah, they are expensive. But they have a very extensive dealer network. Only tractor company that has not been sold. In business for over 150 years. A solid American product. Cool colors.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank
Our 47 8N has a broken clutch control arm. As it turns out, the control arm on the 47 differs from the rest of the production years for the 8N. I've been looking for a new (=used) one for weeks now without luck!
Lynn
There was or is an old man in Northfield, Mn. who collects and parts out old ford tractors. Last time I drove down there (couple years ago), he had over fifty tractors. I don't have his number but you should be able to look it up. His name is Palmer Fossum. I'll bet he would have the part.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:53 AM   #11
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Wow! I step away from the forum for a few hours and look at all the useful information that pops up! Gotta love this place. You guys are the best!

Someone else mentioned the brand FarmTrac...anyone know anything about that brand?

I also found another tractor forum that bills itself as "The world's largest tractor community"...

http://www.tractorbynet.com/
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pick
John Deere is my recommendation. Yeah, they are expensive. But they have a very extensive dealer network. Only tractor company that has not been sold. In business for over 150 years. A solid American product. Cool colors.
I live in the middle of all of the Deere plants and I bought a Honda tractor. Deere's lower end tractors have Kawasaki engines and stamped frames... and aren't much above the Simplicity factory offerings... in fact many of them look like they're produced by Simplicity...<sigh> but they do have a good dealer and parts network and a loyal consumer base.

Roger from John Deere country...
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:41 AM   #13
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I have used a Ford 8N for a lot of years to do most of my grading & leveling work. I also purchased a small Skid Loader (like a Bobcat) because I needed something with a loader and didn't want to put one on the Ford. However, I found that mountainous/hilly areas are not well suited to the small Skid loader -- its just to tipsy! So, I purchased a small Yanmar 2420 tractor with a box blade and a loader. Yanmar currently builds many of the small John Deere tractors. Mine is a 3 cylinder diesel with 28 hp (more than the Ford's 20hp). The total price came to $6800. This tractor is what's called "Grey Market", meaning that it was built for the Japanese market and brought to the USA as a used tractor. You have to be very careful what you get in a "Grey Market" tractor as some of them you just can't get parts. Others, like the one I got, have parts readilly available and you save 50% over the cost of a comparable John Deere. I still love my Ford 8N but just needed something more versitle.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:58 AM   #14
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I have MF 275 for sale in Virginia if interested

I bought it used for $8,800 in 2003 for a year in Virginia before I moved to Minnesota. It has end loader and 6 foot bush hog and 67 HP. It is a diesel tractor with 67 HP. Built in 1980 (according to serial numbers). If interested, call at 507-929-2121. I am willing to sell you $8,000 obo. George. I have pics if you wanted me to email you.

The tractor is parked in a friend's barn in southwest Virginia (south of Roanoke). It would be a day trip for you.
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