Compact tractors

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by R.J., Aug 28, 2010.

  1. RedRocker

    RedRocker Native Texican

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    That's what I have, it's been a trouble free great machine. Mine is a 30 horse and handles what I need it to do. Having a dealer near by would be key though.


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  2. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a nice setup. I'm sure you've already heard that whatever you think you need, go one step bigger! The main problem with these smaller tractors ends up being the lift capacity of the FEL when you add a heavy root rake.
    I'm assuming by "root rake" you mean the clamshell style that clamps the material in, versus an open bottom grapple that is more of an open bucket, where the clamps hold the material in rather than fully support it? I posted a pic of my tractor in your ICF thread, and you mentioned that you wanted the root rake style. Do you have a specific reason for wanting the root rake style? Have you used both types before? I don't want to waste my breath telling you some pros and cons of each if you already know them!


    I don't have experience with the quick attach snow plow so I can't comment. However, if you don't mind searching craigslist a bit, and don't mind waiting for a decent deal, you can save a ton of money buying used implements.
    Which box scraper and brush hog models did they quote you on? I'd highly recommend going with at least medium duty implements.
    What will you be brush hogging? Will the 60" cover your tracks?




    If a 60" brush hog wouldn't cover your tracks, I'd recommend going for the next model up in HP as you mentioned, and going with a 72".
    If you have a ton of brush, logs, and stumps to move, I promise you will be happier with the standard bucket style grapple, and NOT the root rake grapple. A root rake grapple is really good for exactly that, raking roots, but that is when using a powerful skidsteer and not a small CUT, you just can't "rip" things up with a CUT and root rake grapple like it seems.

    Are you dead set on going new? You can get so much more for your money by buying used, although, with 0% financing I agree that buying new is not a bad idea.
    For reference, I bought a used Kubota L4610 with an LA823 loader for $16k, it had 500 hrs.
    I added 4 rear remote hydraulic valves, a WR Long 3rd function front end loader valve, and filled the tires with Rimguard (beat juice).

    I then bought the following implements USED.
    78" heavy duty box blade, HRL3578 with hydraulic scarifiers.
    72" Brown 472 brush hog (can cut 3-4" saplings.)
    PTO stumpgrinder
    Hydraulic top link and side link
    WR Long 64" OBG-2 grapple
    3pt hitch log splitter
    6' landscape rake/blade combo
    2 bottom disk plow
    FEL quick attach forks
    6" PTO chipper with hydraulic feed (recently purchased)

    I have $29,000 invested into the entire package. Granted, I don't have all brand new equipment and there is something to be said for that, but if I were to buy new, well...I couldn't have afforded it.

    They all accept a 3rd function valve, it's a very easy 2 hr installation max.

    If your at all interested, I'll probably have my tractor and equipment on my land in Alton in early December if there is not much snow on the ground. Your more than welcome to come try it out.

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  3. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    Nice! Come down and visit anytime. I wasn't terribly impressed with the local new Holland dealer- otherwise I'd probably give them a more serious look.

  4. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

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    I know this is an older quote but....

    I love my 64" WR Long OBG2 grapple... http://www.wrlonginc.com/obg2.htm
    I believe when I bought it 2 yrs ago, it was close to $1,500. Not the cheapest out there, but I've never had one problem with it, and I've put it through a lot. I would buy from them again. Also excellent customer service, I also have their 3rd function valve kit.
    As far as how much use it gets, it's almost always on my tractor. I do a lot of woods/brush work and small scale land clearing. I drop a lot of trees for firewood and my portable sawmill, so the grapple is about the only thing I use on the front end loader. I could get buy without my bucket...I could never get buy without my grapple. I went over a year without putting my bucket on my tractor, almost all my use is with the grapple.
    I can't recommend a grapple enough.
  5. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

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    This is exactly what I've used mine for. I was going to buy the root rake style as well, for the same reasons you mentioned, however, I got the chance to operate a root rake style on a friends tractor for a couple days, and one thing I noticed, was that if I was trying to pick up a pile of logs, and a larger diameter log was on the top of the pile, the clamshell style grapple would clamp down on it first, and the smaller logs underneath would simply fall out, or not be held tightly. With this style, your relying on the clamping pressure, rather than gravity, to hold and secure the load.
    If you have any rocks on your property (and who doesn't in NH?) you will have a problem holding multiple rocks in the grapple, it will clamp down on the one larger rock, and the rest will fall out. However, the advantage of this style is the true "raking" action. You can rake debris and sift through dirt better with this style, but that is about all you will do better.

    The standard grapple style that I have, will scoop up under the load you are trying to pick up, for instance that same load of logs, and gravity will hold it on the grapple, and the grapple arms will do more 'securing' than actual 'holding'.
    Think of trying to pick up a 45lb weight in the gym, you have to squeeze it with your fingers if you pick it up from the top, whereas if you support it from the bottom, it's a whole lot easier to hold onto. (maybe not the perfect example, but you get the point :D)
    To rake with this style grapple, you need to "dump" the grapple so the tines are pointing down into the ground. This works well and I use this method very often.
    You also mentioned firewood, this is where this grapple style shines. You can't move piles of split wood, or rounds, with a clamshell style. you can carry a lot of firewood on the standard grapple style that I have, you can picture this pretty easily I'm sure.
    One thing to keep in mind regarding rocks and firewood, is if the tine spacing is wider than the item your carrying, it will obviously fall through. My tine spacing is 9" and once in a while I'll lose a few pieces of firewood, so I'm going to weld in another tine between each, making the spacing 4.5". WR Long offered to weld these in at first, but I said no, and thought if I need to, I can do it down the road, I should have just had him do it.

    Take a look at this thread for some pics of my grapple and various uses of it, especially firewood. http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211635

    I cleared this area with nothing but my tractor, grapple, and box blade. I only cut a hand full of trees with my chainsaw, most were pushed over. Another advantage of this style grapple, is that you can use the longer tines to "dig" at the stump if the tree is being difficult to push over. You can also dig out rocks as well.
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    This whole area was just as thick with trees as the background is. I piled entire trees to burn later this winter "maybe a good bonfire party for inmates :evil)

    I can certainly say that for what your describing, you would be absolutely delighted with this style grapple...honestly.


    That's a good reason for a 60". If you buy a tractor without a bush hog, and want to try my 72" out to see if it's too big or a good fit, I'd be happy to let you, you can't hurt these heavy duty brush hogs. Mine weighs 1200lbs and has a 130hp gearbox.

    That is exactly what I thought, this box blade is $4k brand new, but all it is, is a bunch of thick steel, not much can go wrong with them. I found this one on Ebay in TEXAS for $800, even with $500 shipping fees I still have less into it than a new medium duty box blade. Then again, you have to look for deals, and it's not as much fun as looking for bikes for sale. :D


    Ya, I don't like that either, I like the thumb switch right on the FEL handle. There are three ways to do it, the 3rd function valve, an electric diverter valve, and run to the rear remotes. Best and most expensive first, and cheapest and least convenient listed last.

    Sounds like a plan. :thumb
  6. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    Sweet. That looks like a really nice setup, and you've done an amazing amount of work. Having been through the SAME sort of clearing I know what that's like. Many a winter day were spent sweating. :lol3

    I posted this in the ICF thread a few minutes ago- but here are the rocks that we have on our property. I could move them carefully with my excavator- many of them outweigh the tractor I'm considering. My excavator was rated to carry 6000 pounds (close to the machine) and carrying some of these rocks was a really delicate process. :deal

    edit: wrong picture
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/y6dkItACd7-_AB1hNxJDTdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XJibduHTLP0/UJZwnoPfyaI/AAAAAAAAAT4/2ByDhmTrj0g/s640/PB030012.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/November42012?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">November 4, 2012</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width: auto;"><tbody><tr><td>
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  7. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

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    I have to say, I really didn't work up a sweat too often, the grapple pretty much did all the work.

    You will certainly miss that excavator, but of course, you can't have one of everything and all your major digging is done. I think you'll be really happy with the amount of work you can get done with a compact tractor. You may wanna seriously think about stepping up to whatever the next size loader is though, the LA724 isn't a very strong loader.

    Also, if your dead set on Kubota then you can't go wrong with them. I have dealt with the dealership out of Tilton a few times and they have been extremely helpful for me. They even let me come into the back and pick through they're fittings when I needed some hydraulic hoses replaced. Those guys helped me for a good 45mins for a 15 dollar sale.
    However, if your open to other brands then certainly don't shy away from Kioti. They have proven themselves. I probably won't be buying another Kubota in the future, even though I'm very happy with mine, but there are a few things about them that I just don't like, mostly personal preference though.

    This is one of the larger rocks I've picked up with my grapple. No way could I have done that with the clamshell style.
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  8. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    Get a 4X4 with opnly a hydrostatic drive, power steering and R4 tires. They most all have motors and drivelines built buy the C H I N A or J A P companies.
    I had a 33hp 4X4 New Holland in a previous life and loved it, loader, 5' bush hog for the pasture.
    Had a JD 185 hydrostatic drive lawn tractor with a Kawasaki 17hp for the driveway and trim mowing.

    Sold it all and moved to the desert. I still have the Honda HRA214 21" self propelled I bought new in '83.

    Small trimers and blowers: nothing but Stihl. Use Sea Foam in all the gas/fuel all the time.
  9. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    Just got home from the dealer. Got the L3540 HST. Went with the HLA hydraulic plow and the WR Long Grapple like Piston's got.

    They had everything in stock except the grapple, and are hoping to have that by the end of next week. They'll deliver it soon after.

    I was chatting with the salesman about the new 60 series that are coming out next year, and he let me look through the brochure (but I couldn't take it.:lol3). He said that pricing is rumored to be $4000 more than the current Grand 40 series. There are more electronic controls and some pretty fancy extra features- like a throttle boost button on the loader control (you tell the computer what you want the RPMs to be and it does it when you hold the button). It's also got optional hydraulic pins for the buckets and the 3rd function hookups are nearly automated as well. I'm used to those luxuries on the big loaders I run at work- to have it on a small tractor seems like overkill to me. He said he was a bit worried that they've got them priced too high for homeowners- that they won't be able to justify the expense- and I've gotta agree. I wouldn't have spent another $4000. None the less, they look nice.
  10. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    How about two wheel walk behind tractors?

    Anybody have experience with those?

    For some things it would be nice to have a front end loader that had a grappler on it, but I think I could rent one for the few times I would need that.

    The thing about my property is that most of it is too sloped for a conventional tractor - you would just tip it over. Plus some of the areas I want to use a tractor in you can't get to with a large tractor - the space between trees is too small.

    Some of the walk behind tractors have some interesting implements, such as snow blowers and chippers/shredders and rototillers. The shredder/chipper and brush cutter attachments would be good for some of the work I want to do on my land.
  11. Adam E

    Adam E halfway there

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    Have any links? Only thing I've seen that might be what you're talking about is the "dingo." I rented one for a few days about 10 years ago. It was actually pretty awesome for it's size.

    How many acres do you have? Sounds like you might need a compact excavator. :wink:
  12. kobudo28

    kobudo28 Banned

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    There were a number of walk behind, two wheel tractors some years ago, Graveley being one of them. I think the only major one left is BCS I think.
  13. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    http://www.earthtoolsbcs.com/html/walk-behind_tractors.html

    http://www.earthtoolsbcs.com/html/walk-behind_tractors.html

    http://www.anntorrence.com/blog/2012/09/grillo-g107d-two-wheel-tractor.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-wheel_tractor

    I have just shy of 20 acres, mostly forested and most of it (about 75%) is sloped enough to preclude using a conventional tractor on it. I don't want to cut down any of the mature trees and that means that in some places I would have less than 4 feet between trees to move through.

    I do have some open areas I want to turn into garden, and some brushy areas where I want to remove the brush and small scrub trees. I would also like to be able to pull some small logs out of some areas - I want to cut down some of the small trees that are shaded by the large trees, generally stuff that is less than one foot in diameter.
  14. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >" you would just tip it over. Plus some of the areas I want to use a tractor in you can't get to with a large tractor "

    Small crawler tractor ? JD 350, Case 350... etc ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I51j5INcLds

    Get one and you'll be a popular fellow in the neighbor hood.
  15. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    It wouldn't fit between some of the trees (not sure an ATV would fit either) and it might even get stuck in the ravine. Yes, I have stuck crawlers that size on flat land when the ground was muddy enough. I don't want to go using something that heavy in the woods and making a mess and it wouldn't be popular in the neighborhood because it would tear up the paved private road unless I got flat or rubber tracks (and tracks are a pain to change on a crawler - BTDT, no fun at all).

    I could use a crawler with excavation equipment to move around some earth in the cleared areas, but I am probably going to hire someone to come in and do it right and once it is done I won't need the crawler anymore.
  16. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

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    I have a Gravely L that was my Grandfathers. Similar to this one (generic 'net picture).
    I use it as a bushhog, clearing thickets and shooting lanes. 30" mower deck. I've used it with a 48" finish mower, snowblower, plow blade, and rotary plow/tiller. It can be a tough machine to control, but is near unstoppable. It can climb any slope or side slope. Mine has dual turf tires, but with chains or Ag tires you have to be careful of wheelies!
    Bushhogging, it will climb over a 4" pine tree and spit out toothpics.

    No lawyer style safety controls, so it can pin you down and beat you up if you do anything stupid. I've got some good bruises where the handlebar kicked and got me in the leg!

    Watch Craigslist for a used one. I've seen $300 to about $900 for one set up like the picture.

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  17. koncha

    koncha .

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  18. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    Yeah, that or the Dingo might be a better tool for my general use than the BCS/Grillo, but they are also more expensive and slower. Speed isn't that big of a deal for me though as I am not going to really need to work a lot of land at any given time. My property isn't a farm, it is more of a forest lot with a few clear spots that are sloped, so I don't need to move around very fast.

    The tracked nature of these things is better that the 2 wheeled tractors and they have some implements that the 2 wheel tractors don't - and I could use something that can lift stuff and has a grapple and such.

    What does your brother use his for? Construction work or for working land?
  19. koncha

    koncha .

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    Used values on the walk-behinds aren't very good. He bought his with about 200 hours on it. He was in construction and did a lot of work finishing out strip mall spaces and wanted something that could get inside the buildings. He has since stopped working in construction but still has a lot of land that he works. He has a 2 acre garden and a 1 acre orchard.

    He has put together a little co-op of people with these machines and the smaller Bobcat skid steers so they can share attachements. He has a bucket, grapple bucket, wood chipper, breaker and tiller. We've used the trencher, snow blower and stump grinder. I am sure he's used more than that but that is what I remember.

    He used it to build a backstop for his range. He also built a custom attachment to hang deer for processing.

    His son is 10 and is REALLY good at driving that thing.

    I've used it on my little suburban lot for some projects and I was really impressed. I had to break out a concrete patio that was tilting into my foundation and it made VERY quick work of it. I also used it to move a shed.

    He is looking to move to a larger lot. He has 6 acres and wants about 40. He says he'll move to a compact tractor but still keep the Bobcat.
  20. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    There are a lot of different things I need or want to do.

    I have some stumps (some pretty large) I need to remove. I would like to run water to the shop so I would have to dig a trench several hundred feet. I also want to put a concrete pad in front of the shop so I would have to level it and dig a trench for a French drain. I need to level some of my driveway and some of it, especially near the shop I need to spread some gravel on.

    I need to cut down and chew up a lot of brush. I would like to put large stones as a border around some of the driveway and around the driveway island.

    I also want to terrace this area and put in a garden:

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