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lawn mower, compact tractor, ATV?

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  • lawn mower, compact tractor, ATV?

    I know we have had a lot of this type of discussion...and I've learned a lot (!) already, but did want some of your 'been there done that' input!

    Ok. Basically at this point, we're starting from scratch as far as any of these purchases. Little farmette is now built/fenced, etc. And ancient riding lawnmower is on its last leg. The acreage is very small, just under 5 acres, with about 2.75 of that in wooded ravine/creek.

    I know I really don't need a 'tractor tractor' on this property. The pasture /paddocks are small and mostly flat. But wooded areas are steep and a 2wd lawmower would have no travel/hauling ability in those areas.

    I always thought? expected a FEL would be sooo handy/used on the little place, but...one thing I have been pondering lately is would it really? Because I am pretty sure I am planning on: small/three bunker manure/compost spot. ...Mainly because I want to purchase a Newer Spreader, and because this property will NEVER have more than 2 and a half (mini! ) horses MAX, I would need the compost spot for storage / cooking of the manure before spreading. (I won't be spreading that little amt. of manure each day....) Anyway....because of THAT part of the plan, I realized: I'll be hand shoveling that stuff into the Newer spreader won't I? I mean...a FEL bucket would be too large to use to lift/dump/fill one of those I think. And, of course, I'll be wheelbarrow load or muck bucket load dumping it INTO the compost area too.

    So. Do I need a FEL? Should I just look for an ATV for cart/manure spreader/fertilizing/etc and a lawn mower? lawn tractor? Or should I get a sub compact tractor even if I can't use the FEL for the loading of manure into the spreader? If I ever wanted to make a woods trail /loop behind the house across the creek, I can see the atv going there, but I guess that would be about all that could access it....

    Between now and spring we WILL be faced with making a decision on at least the grass needs....and I'm trying to make the right one for all the 'soon to follow' concerns as well.

    TIA!
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    I would say, if you only want one, look into toy tractors.

    They are a beefed up riding mower, with a belly mower that drops off if you don't need it, like thru the winter.
    They have a bucket/pallet fork/post hole digger/snow blower/backhoe and many attachments and a three point hitch and drawbar to pull a small wagon/manure spreader.

    Those will do all you want, for the price of a UTV with a box behind:

    http://www.deere.com/wps/dcom/en_US/...1_series.page?

    In that model, you pull two handles on the bucket arms, disconnect the hydraulics and back out of it, the bucket and arms will stand on their own.
    Then you can go mowing away.

    To reconnect, drive under it and it self connects, then you reconnect the hydraulic hoses.

    You can of course also mow with the bucket attached.

    For a small farm, that one would do, with a little wagon, all an UTV would do for you, like a gator or mule, plus the bucket and pallet forks are priceless.

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    • #3
      3 years ago we bought what was then labled a John Deere 2320- now they have a new labeling system for the sub-compact tractors. We had the front end loader and box blade added. Oh my goodness, so handy for our small 3.5 acre place. I can tidy up the turnout areas in no time at all, squeeze into smaller places to lift things with the FEL and moving dirt/gravel/screenings is a snap. We also have an auger and have been able to replace sections of fencing ourselves. We can plunk 5 bags of deadweight cement into the FEL and carry out to where we need to set new post.

      If you get one you will love it! It does the grunt work of 10 healthy teenage boys!!

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      • #4
        Our place sounds very similar to yours and we have a small kubota with a loader. We couldn't do without it, especially for turning over the manure pile. We also have a decent riding mower that we use for spreading seed, fertilizer, and lime, as well as mowing. It does pretty well on the steep hills.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
          I would say, if you only want one, look into toy tractors.

          They are a beefed up riding mower, with a belly mower that drops off if you don't need it, like thru the winter.
          They have a bucket/pallet fork/post hole digger/snow blower/backhoe and many attachments and a three point hitch and drawbar to pull a small wagon/manure spreader.

          Those will do all you want, for the price of a UTV with a box behind:

          http://www.deere.com/wps/dcom/en_US/...1_series.page?

          In that model, you pull two handles on the bucket arms, disconnect the hydraulics and back out of it, the bucket and arms will stand on their own.
          Then you can go mowing away.

          To reconnect, drive under it and it self connects, then you reconnect the hydraulic hoses.

          You can of course also mow with the bucket attached.

          For a small farm, that one would do, with a little wagon, all an UTV would do for you, like a gator or mule, plus the bucket and pallet forks are priceless.
          That's about the size of our smaller Kubota and I would think very carefully about a pallet fork for it. You have to think not only of the power the tractor has but it's balance. Even with our bigger 4 wd 50 hp tractor and the bush hog on the back I don't feel comfortable handling a pallet with much more than a half ton.

          Concerning Newer Spreaders: I love mine however i think the easiest way to load it is with manure tubs. Mine is the bigger version and it holds 5 or 6 tubs of manure. IMHO the easiest way to use it is to fork the manure into the tubs and dump them into the spreader. If I'm not going to spread the manure immedietly I store the manure in the tubs. I bed on pelleted sawdust and the manure will start to heat up even overnight.
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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          • #6
            My only advice is buy a just a bit bigger than you think you'll need - trust me, you'll end up using it. Right this minute, you may not think so, but you'll find that whatever you get, you'll use - and be unable to imagine life without it!
            "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates

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            • #7
              Easy choice - tractor, whether you get the loader or not. Or add the loader later.

              Comment


              • #8
                Agree with the subcompact tractor suggestion. The new series 1 by JD is cute as hell. Just a hair larger than a ride-on mower, has a bunch of attachments and can do a little of everything.
                It's not really powerful...but many folks don't need really powerful.
                They're not cheap...and since they're new you won't find used ones. (just out this year, the 2 new models are replacing the 2305 model) About $10k off the lot with FEL and iMatch hitch...no other attachments.
                But it'll do a bunch of small jobs...and although it can't lift a ton of weight (500 lb FEL lift IIRC) it can certainly drag it. But it'll till a garden, pull a spreader, dig holes, remove snow, scrape away mud, lift up or drag off stuff you need to move, mow, spray weeds, rake an arena, etc. It'll do everything a big tractor can do, but just take a little longer to do it. But still a TON faster than doing it without a tractor.
                Check out how easy it is to make changes on it:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaybN1wkHQ

                I didn;t end up buying this model, I bought the 2320 instead. I needed something with more ground clearance since my property is mostly heavy woods, rocks, ledge and steep hills. It's larger and taller by a bit, but still shorter and smaller than my NH 33DA. The newer JD 1 series are the perfect size for driving into barns...and possibly right into a stall if needed. They come in 2 hp...the 1023E has 23 hp and the 1026R has 25 hp. The 1026 also comes with more bells and whistles and it's only about $500 difference in price IIRC.

                Or if the price is too high (which it kind of is painful...$10k for a big toy is an ouch!) then look for used JD 2305 models. A ton of people who have/had those rave about how useful those little things are. They're definitely mostly for little hobby farms or residential use (like the series 1) and not for big jobs, but for those of us who don;t need huge machinery they're pretty useful.

                The best things about tractors: They hold value pretty darned well, they're the Swiss Army knife of machinery because you can do so many different things with them, they remove a TON of wear and tear we inflict on ourselves trying to do things and they last for years. And by years I mean decades. They're not like lawnmowers or most new cars...that high expense of buying one new or used is balanced by the fact that it may outlive you and at any time if you want to sell it you won't take a beating on the price.
                You jump in the saddle,
                Hold onto the bridle!
                Jump in the line!
                ...Belefonte

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                • #9
                  One of the reasons I've never bothered using the FEL to load the manure spreader is the PITA involved in hooking up the spreader and taking it to the pile, unhooking in a flat spot and chocking the wheels, loading evenly so it doesn't pivot around the single axle, rehooking, and THEN spreading.

                  Also, take a good, hard look at the manufacturer specs for any tractor you're considering. The further from the tractor body the load is, the less that can be lifted at all--let alone safely. Meaning it doesn't take much dirt or rock in a FEL to overload a small tractor (for something heavy like that, you can only use *maybe* half to 2/3 the bucket capacity). Personally, I get irritated trying to use expensive 'toy' equipment that hauls less than I can with a big wheelbarrow. Meep! Meep! In other words, if you do your research, you might find that a farm utility vehicle with a dump bed or a sturdy trailer to tow behind a FUV or ATV meets your needs better.
                  ---------------------------

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can also put a small FEL on an ATV (obviously, you get a big ATV designed for this). I know a guy that has one and it works really well. You can get ATVs with all kinds of attachments now -- bushhogs, spreaders, FELs, trailers, they have grown and diversified and if you have a small property like that, it will cost you much less than going the tractor route.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo

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                    • #11
                      Are they a lot cheaper? I was looking at a UTV for similar jobs, and I think it was like 13k. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong ones!
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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