I am looking at buying a tractor to do some work around my 4 acres. List of work that needs doing:
-12-15 stumps from 2 inch to 8 inch diameter need to be removed, as it prevents me from mowing about an acre of my land. Some of these are on an incline which my LT180 lawn tractor cant make it up easily when it is wet anyway, so I am thinking that 4wd is a must. I read some tricks about using the bucket to put some pressure on the stumps after cutting some roots....repeating this process till I can push the stump over. I heard too many horror stories about a tractor flipping over from trying to yank a stump out.
-Old garden needs to be turned back into lawn....This garden was built near the leach field of the septic system, and it is also WAY to big for me (25' x 20' or so). It is overgrown and uglyyy. We built a small garden higher up on our property. I would also like to be able to rent or borrow a tiller to turn this garden once a year or so.
-Smaller raised bed (maybe was a garden) needs to be knocked down and turned back into lawn. It is approximately 2 ft wide by 10 ft long.
-Hill on property has turned into a field because my lawn tractor couldn't mow it. I would like to brush hog or similar a few times a year as having this a field doesnt bother me, but I don't want it to get overgrown.
-I have a HUGE bramble of blackberry bushes, and other NASTY prickers that I would like to pull out. At least 10' diameter. Thinking about wrapping a chain around a few at a time and using the bucket to lift them up and out of the ground to get rid of the roots. This would also be the perfect spot to have a nice burn pit in the future, and maybe a horseshoe pit as well.
-I have some drainage work that needs doing on my property. Main problem is that the french drain (which works very well) dumps out into the back yard, so it is always wet at that section. I would like to extend this back near the woods and build a critter and crush proof exit. I was also going to add fill and possibly a few dry wells to the front yard as there are some low spots that stay soupy when we get a week or so of heavy rain. These weren't a concern this year, but they were BAD last year and we couldn't mow the front yard.
-Finally, I would like to be able to lift a pallet of coal (2k lbs) at a reasonable height. The two places that deliver pallets around here either have a flat bed lumber yard truck (about 4 foot high) and a low deck equipment trailer.
I'm sure there is more that I will think of as well, but this is my list as of now.
For the tractor I'm thinking:
30-40hp....Probably bigger than I need but lifting the coal and pushing the stumps would be easier and safer with a larger tractor. Also I am selling my "toy" to get this so I want something big to "play" with.
Needs a Front End Loader
Maybe a backhoe attachment in the future??
I will have 10-12k, maybe a bit more, to put down on a tractor by the time I decide to buy. The financing options on new tractors is amazing...There is a Yanmar/Cub dealer here that has 0% for 60 months. I'm sure that Deere/Kubota/New Holland has some great financing packages too. That being said, I am definitely not opposed to a used tractor.
Dealers in the area include: John Deere, New Holland, Kubota, Yanmar/Cub, LS, TYM, Zetor, Case, Massey, Kioti, and probably more....just about every manufacturer I have heard of.
Any opinions and things I should look out for are welcome, as this will be my first tractor purpose and the only tractor I have used was a gear shift yanmar that was around 40 horse.
Rob R. wrote:I've been down this road. My $0.02.
If you are shopping for a new unit, something large enough to do the things you've listed is going to be quite pricey. Call a local dealer and ask for a price on a model with a front end loader that can lift a ton...make sure you are sitting down. Aside from the Brush-hog work you mentioned, a used front-end loader or an excavator with a bucket and a set of forks would be my choice to 'get things in shape'.
I also have about 4 acres, and it needed a lot of work when we bought it. Overgrown landscaping, shrubs that needed to be pulled out, weed trees, holes, big rocks to move, etc. I had a 25 hp compact tractor with a bucket, and it was worthless for those jobs. About the only thing it could do was finish work with topsoil or crushed stone. I had my dad bring the farm's 621B Case loader over and got everything done in two days.
Rob R. wrote:The deal breaker for many of the tractors you will find is the lift capacity.
It might make more sense to rent a large piece of equipment for a week and get the "heavy lifting" around the property done. After that, you can be much more flexible when you go tractor shopping.
How does this sound:
Rent a big loader or an excavator (or hire someone with the right equipment) and get the stumps out, the holes filled, rocks moved, etc.
Buy a used tractor and a brush-hog.
Use the money you have leftover to buy a TT load of bulk coal...then you don't need to worry about lifting a 2000 lb pallet.