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need info on tractors, Drags, front end loader - where do I start

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  • need info on tractors, Drags, front end loader - where do I start

    Leasing a small farm where I have acccess to the neighborhs heavy duty equipment if need be (i can pay him to do small jobs, etc) But i need to be self-sufficient with dragging the arenas and pushing up the manure.

    What are some economical choices in terms of tractors and attachments?

    Thanks in advance
    \"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"

  • #2
    As you will find out, a tractor with a front end loader will be absolutely wonderful.
    You will only be limited by your imagination about all you can do with one.
    We even spread our manure for years with the front end loader, carefully dumping it thinly and then dragging it backwards with the bucket as a blade.

    We have a blade now, but we really end up use the bucket itself to drag smaller areas.

    For working the arena, there you are better off with the proper tool for the kind of arena you have there.
    You can pull most there with a mower, utility vehicle, any kind of tractor and even your pickup or a handy horse.
    You may get by with an old piece of chain link mesh dragged around with a log on it to give it a bit more bite, or you may need a special arena grooming tool and there are many of those in all prices.

    Tractors come in all sizes, from toy tractors with loader, blades, snow blowers and a mower too, to as big as you want.

    Since you have access to some equipment right now, how about using that for a bit, until you see what you get the most use of, before buying anything?


    • Original Poster

      Thanks Bluey:

      The one thing they dont have is a drag. I have seen people drag rings with their trucks and chainlink. I will look up how to rig something like that up.

      The guy next door does have a front end loader, so I can use that for a while to push up the manure.

      I think I want to start off with a small lawn tractor/atv that has the bucket and can pull a drag. have been looking in the local paper and craigslist but not quite seeing what im envisioning. i do have a callout to my hay guy that goes to equipment auctions and such so maybe he can help.
      \"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"


      • #4
        A FEL (front end loader) is indispensable. Sub-compacts and the low end of the compacts from manufacturers such as Kubota, Deere and New Holland are good choices for the type of work you want to do. I'm a Kubota fan and have had a BX series machine since 2000. The barn we board at has two BXs. And you can sometimes find nicely priced trade-ins...these machines when well maintained will run for decades. But with 0% financing being perennially available, a new one is also a decent deal.

        A "lawn tractor" or ATV isn't going to be the best choice for farm work and they really don't support loaders or have the weight and power to do the kinds of jobs you say you want to do.


        • #5
          We bought a second hand compact Deere for the farm 6 years ago; it has been indispensible. Any of the three brands Jim mentioned will work well but these toys are not cheap! I would look around in the second hand market as these tractors are pretty indestructible. Attachments are hard to find at dealerships; so work craigslist etc hard. There are several online tractor groups which will help bring you up to speed on types and pricing.
          One additional note: most compacts/subcompacts will be able to run a mower which is very worthwhile for mowing your paddocks for weed control.
          Be prepared to spend $5-10,000 and up.



          • Original Poster

            Thanks All!
            \"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"


            • #7
              Unless you're very handy when things break down, I'd suggest asking around for which dealership has the best service shop; that'll go a long way to helping you determine what to buy.

              We have a Branson, and it's a great tractor. We shopped around a LOT, listened to what all the dealers had to say. Ended up buying from the local dealer who offered the best service, and stands behind what he sells.

              Most useful implements...hmm. Probably harrow, mower, and dump trailer for the back (and a back-hoe). For the front, a good quick-release set-up so you can swop out bale spikes, pallet forks, bucket, etc, without leaving the cab is a godsend.

              A flail-mower is on the wishlist. And an off-set mower.

              Some implements are worth buying used; anything with moving parts, usually better to buy new, particularly mowers.

              Make sure your implements aren't "stronger" than your tractor; you don't want to rip the guts out of the tractor by pushing it beyond its limits.


              • #8
                I would guess, if you have a front end loader, you may not need an extra small dump wagon for a while, if ever.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Romany View Post
                  Unless you're very handy when things break down, I'd suggest asking around for which dealership has the best service shop; that'll go a long way to helping you determine what to buy.
                  I agree with this...most regular maintenance is very easy for "anyone" to perform, but having a good dealer available when you have a (hopefully infrequent) more involved problem is essential. In this area, we have three Kubota dealers and one New Holland dealer. (The dealer that was carrying Deere stopped selling them about 6 months ago) While I tend to buy parts for my Kubota online due to the convenience, the service departments at all three dealers are quite good; and the one I bought my machine from actually has mobile technicians.