View Full Version : What do you use as a "vehicle "around the farm?
Jan. 20, 2010, 04:45 PM
I'm looking for an "everything" small tractor to mow, pull a manure spreader and to pull an arena drag. What do you use?
Jan. 20, 2010, 05:10 PM
I only have 10 acres to maintain and 3 horses, so I got a John Deere Garden tractor, that I do all of the above with.
Jan. 20, 2010, 05:15 PM
There are endless Compact Utility Tractors available that will do all these things (we use a old Deere 955 for mowing, snowblowing, post holes, york rake, etc) but for last Father's day I was "given" a EZ Go yard cart which is basically a gas golf cart with nobby tires and a plastic dumper where the clubs would go. This drags the standard sized arena, hauls out the muck, delivers hay and get us around the 65 acres PDQ and cost only about $5000 as opposed to a 'gator at 3 times that. We also use it to autocross in the riding arena on hoildays :-) Occasionally professional photographers have borrowed it for Horse Trial shoots...so if you can find just a lawn mower (should be easy) I would recommend the cart...otherwise any model CUTractor should be work very well for your needs. The size you need will depend on your number of horses, etc but at least one big enough for a front bucket loader would be desirable. Be ready for your knees to buckle on the price.
Jan. 20, 2010, 05:16 PM
My main "work horse" is my Polaris ATV - Back up is Kawasaki Mule for pulling maure cart or manure spreader and arena drag ~ no mower involved with this combination. In the past (before the ATV and MULE )~ I have used my John Deer 325 mower to pull the manure cart or small manure spreader and drag and mow. Which vehicle is used to pull everything depends on snow and ice and mud variables. Also have a New Holland big manure spreader which we pull with an old Ford tractor. For the biggest jobs we have a JOHN DEERE tractor 5105 or some number ? and with a front loader and a brush hog. Depends on the property and number of horses..hope this helps.
Jan. 20, 2010, 06:24 PM
How large of a farm are you on? We have a Kubota Grand L 3240 for those uses mentioned and more. It's a great time saver for many mundane tasks that could take quite a bit more time, like carrying loads of hot water out to thaw out frozen water buckets, bales of hay to the paddocks, etc.
Jan. 20, 2010, 06:32 PM
About 20 acres and 15-18 horses with an indoor and outdoor to drag
Jan. 20, 2010, 08:16 PM
I don't recommend the John Deere 300X (I think that what my new one is). It barely has enough power to pull a full Millcreek spreader or the chain drag, and not even enough to keep from getting stuck in my sand ring, have to use the Kubota for that.
Look for a small compact tractor with a front end loader. Our Kubota has paid for itself. The JD was for me to do the small jobs with on my own without having to mess with the 3 point on the Kubota, but it just doesn't have enough power for me to do all the thngs I want to do.
Jan. 21, 2010, 06:39 AM
My guess is that for a tractor to do the minimum of work with bucket and attchments, I would start at around 35 HP.
The more the better, although the more HP, the bigger the tractor will have to be and too big may not fit in some small pens or barns.
Many years ago we had a MF 35 HP tractor for small stuff that would do all you wanted with the bucket, mow, even pulled a drill sowing wheat with it.
Today have a JD 55 HP that is a dream, can do so much more.
One warning to anyone looking to add implements to any tractor, if you have auxiliary hydraulics, get the hydraulic post hole diggers.
The PTO ones, that we had for many years, are not worth having, they just won't dig but where it is easy digging and then, you could almost do it by hand just as easy.;)
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:02 AM
we have a KUbota with a bucket
Buckets are a must for farm life!
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:31 AM
Interesting thread. I'm still doing everything manually - wheelbarrows, sleds, truck with neighbour to do the big jobs and even though I only have 10 horses it's getting a bit old.
Trouble is, everytime I price out a tractor AND all the attachments I need it just seems impossible.
So if you could provide a little more detail about your vehicles , I'd appreciate it as in
trevelayn- What model Kubota, what attachments and what jobs you can do with it,
As a minimum I need a front end loader to shove snow, shavings and sh&t and 3 pt hitch for the arena groomer. I'd also like to be able to drag a chain harrow over several acres of pasture.
I'd be thrilled if I could do all that.Bush hog would be fab but probably can't afford it.
I don't find that most lawn tractors can do effall or even handle a drag well. tried a gator once and it had no guts at all. 3 pt hitch is needed for a good job.
So, I hope you can help because I think I have to do this now.
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:40 AM
I have a TC33DA...33 horsepower diesel 4wd tractor. It's a mid-frame size, the largest of the mid-frame tractors by New Holland. Front end loader, hydrostatic. Simple as heck to drive and to service yourself.
Great tractor, however I wouldn't consider it a small tractor. Next size up and it would be a large frame, which is pretty sustantial for non-commercial work.
We got this size (and 4wd) despite only having 4.5 acres (no mowing) and two horses:
Our lot has a lot of hills and swells, can get wet in certain areas, I have a lot of driveway to clear snow from, I move all sorts of stuff with the loader and needed at least 1000 lb lifting ability and I compost my manure pile so needed to be able to lift or shove a lot of heavy composted manure.
If I had a flat open lot and a normal length driveway on the flat side of normal I'd have gone with a smaller tractor. (and saved $10k or so in cost!)
But then again...you can easily use a tractor with more "oomph" rather than have a tractor that's adequate for daily stuff but can''t do anything else.
It would stink if everytime I have to move a pile of logs or lift something heavy or plow up and down hill driveways after 14" of snow fell or angle the bucket and grade lumps out of semi-frozen paddock...if I had to ask a neighbor to come over to do those things or have to rent something bigger for a weekend I'd not be happy.
Although I ran into someone at the gas station a couple weeks ago with the cutest darned little Kubota on a flat bed trailer. I accidentally insulted him a bit when I commented what an adorable tractor he had...:winkgrin:...and he was telling me of all the stuff he's accomplished with his little tractor. (I think it was 22 hp?) Had no idea someone could put in a new septic tank with such a little tractor! That's a big hole to dig!
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:58 AM
Egon...we were posting at the same time. Most of my tractor stats are in my above post.
I do have the front end loader...it can lift 1200 lbs. It can be angled to push snow...however if the snow is deep or really heavy/wet stuff then an angled blade or attached snow blower is better. (better for the tractor too, dozers are really made for shoving really heavy stuff, tractors aren't I don't think)
I have the 3 pt hitch...got a york rake for it new from Corriher Attachments online. They had the best prices, even with delivery it was a LOT less than anyone in my state. I paid $580 with delivery. In state prices were almost double that.
The average sized backhoe attachment for the 3 pt hitch was almost $9k...so didn't get that. Figured if I needed to dig a hole I'd rent something or pay the neighbor.
The tractor was $24,600.00 4.5 years ago. (we just finished paying it off)
It has the Quick Attachment front...which means one person can attach ot detach anything on the front supposedly with a "simple pin change." That remains to be seen, haven't tried it yet and I could screw up a one float parade. :lol:
Wasn't thinking fully when I got the Quick Attachment front end...I assumed it would make my life easier. However I didn't consider the fact that getting used attachments or attachments from anyone other than a New Holland dealer would be next to impossible. And used attachments found at auctions or in the paper are a helluva lot cheaper!
Dealer prices for extras such as new attachments or repairs or parts are expensive as heck. Most dealerships make a bulk of their profits on this stuff rather than actual tractor sales. Good news is for repairs you can order parts from a lot of other places for a lot cheaper. I get mine from Carquest for an average of 60%-75% savings over the dealership. Sometimes more...a fuse from New Holland was $16.50. Same fuse from Carquest was $1.85!
Mowers tend to run $1000-$2500 depending on size and type of mower.
Snow blowers seem to run about $3500.
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:52 AM
We have a 25HP Kubota and it's done well for us - sounds like we have a similar workload to the OP with 50 acres, 25 horses, and indoor/outdoor arenas. Ours came with the farm, but I've seen the same model advertised for <$10K used. We use the bucket (front end loader) all the time - personally wouldn't want to go without one. Like Grayarab pony's tractor, changing attachments is a royal pain, and I cannot do it myself - definitely SO's department, despite the fact that I am fairly strong for a female the weight is too much for me.
Now, this obviously isn't the tool for zipping around the farm to check fences, horses, etc. - just got a little Polaris ATV for that.
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:17 AM
I have a Yamaha Grizzly ATV for dragging, zipping around, pulling the lighter x/c jumps (or the ones that haven't settled into the ground too much) I have a small blade, wagon, a drag and a spinner drag that I use with it.
I also have an electric golf cart that I should probably sell now that I have the ATV, but I use it at my HT's and it is nice because you can sit a couple people on it.
I recently bought a 1991 MF 54 HP diesel tractor that has a bucket, a 7' bush hog, and a bale spear. I use it for mowing, moving round bales, pulling anything I need to pull. pushing up stone, etc.
Sad but true, I can't think of anything else I need/want at the moment, other than maybe an aerovator and/or footing tool for the tractor.
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:23 AM
My feet :) haha well them and a tractor, brush hog, small tractor for ring dragging, manure truck, farm pick up truck, spreader too!
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:36 AM
We have a 27hp New Holland with a front end loader, mower, bush hog, post hole auger, arena drag and rear blade It works well for most things but everything is a compromise.
There are times I am glad it is no bigger, eg when mowing under trees, or driving across steep slopes.
There are times when I wish it was bigger, eg I am not sure it will safely take a roundbale on hills.
There are times I wish it was smaller eg when leaving tire marks on the lawn mowing when it has rained in the last 10 days.
There are times when I wish it was more powerful, eg post hole digging, driving up steep hills while dragging or mowing.
Overall I'm really happy with it. In a perfect world, I'd have a 50hp engine on the same size frame, that did not cost any more and came with a really fast zero turn mower for free. Until then, I'll make do.
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:46 PM
Like OP have said: a lot depends on how big your farm is, how many horses, etc
For my 5ac w/only 1 horse currently resident, I have made do for the last 5 years using the lawn tractor left by the previous owners along with a dumpcart I gifted myself with a couple years ago.
I am fortunate that my acreage is pretty flat & easy to mow.
I "mulch" manure into the pastures when I mow down the roughs & weeds - about 2X a year.
Me & the wheelbarrow clean stalls then haul by foot to the manure/compost pile.
Dumpcart can handle about 300# which is not a lot of composted manure, but sufficient for clearing brush & other debris & carting this&that around the farm.
After I win the lottery I'll upgrade to a subcompact tractor with turf tires and a FEL. I <3 a FEL :yes:
Just upgrading from my current 17.5HP to, oh say 25 would be enough to make me swoon.
Jan. 21, 2010, 03:54 PM
I just use my truck. :) (Or hubby's truck, if it's really muddy! ;) )
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:03 PM
egontoast, look for the 0% financing, that is how I got my JD3320, with bucket.
Initially, I started out with an atv, suzuki. I loved it, I could spread seed, fertilizer, lime. Then I got a dump cart for it to clean stalls, super at that too. I also could chain harrow with it too, and go round up the horses when they didn't come when I called!
then I got an old 2 wheel drive massey ferguson with a bucket and brush hog. It was ok, only could use when the ground had no snow. otherwise, thing would get stuck.
Then I got the JD 4 wheel drive tractor and wow oh wow.
I have the brush hog, or did(sold it with the massey), will buy a new one. I have a post hole auger. york rake.
I also have a gator, and like it ok. Use that just for cleaning stalls. Still use the suzuki atv for seed spreading, chain harrowing, etc.
I also have a riding lawn mower.
this is all over 20 years acquiring these machines.
If I only could keep one thing, it'd be my jd tractor or the suzuki. Don't get me wrong, I love the gator, but it only can do one job, where the other machines can do multiple tasks.
I think its one of those things where you need to id what you need a machine for, and then get that machine.
PS< I plow my own driveway(500') with the JD and I live in a snowy place.