Best tractor for 5 acres

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by jaredd, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. jaredd

    jaredd Member

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    We're going to close on 5 acres Monday and there's work to be done on the land. Not a lot of work and not a lot of room for a huge tractor. There's also the option of a 4x4 ATV instead of a tractor. Here's my needs: I'll need to pick up rocks, whether in a trailer or a front end loader; I'll need to drag dirt piles and smooth them out; I'll have post holes to dig, either by an auger or by hand; finally, I'll have wood to haul and split, whether by a gas powered splitter or a PTO splitter. Does anyone have any recommendations for a small tractor that would be suitable or would I be better just getting an ATV and attachments?
    Jared
     
  2. Seth

    Seth Well-Known Member

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    How rough/steep is the land? Go tractor regardless, hydraulics are your friend. 8N fords are simple, reliable, economical and affordable. However if you are not an experienced operator, you may want to spend more $ and get something newer with more safety features like ROPS and seatbelts.
     

  3. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Set down and make a complete list of everything you may want to do with a tractor. Loading, trenching, blading, as you said digging post holes, bush hogging, mowing, cutting hay, baling hay, tilling, plowing, disking, mixing concrete, etc. Figure out the size of the implement you want to use. Get the horsepower requirements from implement manufacturers along with the weight of the implements.

    Do a hand drawn spread sheet. Find the heaviest implement you'll need to lift with the three point. The tractor's 3 pt hitch has to be able to lift at least that. Look at the highest horsepower requirement of the implements. That's your minimum PTO HP. Figure whether you'll need a gear driven or hydrostatic tractor. Some implements such as a trencher work best with a hydrostatic.

    After considering all of the implements you want to use now and possibly in the future, you'll know the minimum PTO HP and the minimum capacity of the 3 pt. hitch. With that you can start looking at tractor specs whether you're buying new or used.
     
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  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    An ATV will NOT do most of the things on your list.

    Most any tractor with live hydraulics and a PTO will
     
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  5. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    Look in your yellow pages to se what kind of dealers you have around. Pick one of them or visit all of them to see what they have available. You need a dealer that has parts and is willing to work on them. If you need a small part to make your tractor run then until you get that it is a heavy paper weight.You don't need to buy from any dealer but you will need one sooner or later. a dealer may be 50 miles away or even more but they need to be their when you need them.
     
  6. dkhern

    dkhern Well-Known Member

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    if you are going to work w/tractor get 25-30 hp diesel, 4wd, front end bucket add other equip as needed or cost effective on 5a you probally wont do lots of fence a walk behing tipple may be more useful than a pto tiller for $1k would recomment gas power spliter not pto
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I have and still own a number of tractors of various brands and HP. My recommendation is to buy a used 35 to 40 HP popular USA brand diesel in the best condition your budget will permit. You can either spend time working on a tractor or working with a tractor. Reliability is paramount. Remember you can do a larger task with a larger tractor but you cannot do a large task will a too small tractor.
     
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  8. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    We have around 5 tillable and often use a 70HP tractor around the place.
    We also have an old 35 HP one.
     
  9. jaredd

    jaredd Member

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    Right now, there's no tillable land on the place. There's enough cleared land for a small house, since there used to be a trailer there. So, at first a tractor would be used for picking up the place, clearing trash and rocks and wood, etc. Afterwards, it'd be used for a few post holes and I can't think of much else. I just like tractors. I've driven halfway across the state of Arkansas once just for an antique tractor show in a wee little town called Scott. That's one of the reasons I'm considering an 8N. It's cheap, readily available and good for puttering. But, the lack of a loader makes me pause. I know I can get one, but I've read MANY reviews where people said a loaded front end lifted the rear end a bit and caused steering issues. So, I'll try to do what one person recommended and look at the power requirements for the implements I want to use and start shopping for a tractor by HP.
     
  10. Haven

    Haven I agree with Pancho Supporter

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    I went with a Mahindra. They have tons to choose from, are priced reasonably and versatile. I use the tiller, scraper blade, etc. They also have front end attachments. I believe they are made in India and assembled in the USA.
     
  11. jaredd

    jaredd Member

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    I forgot to mention that there's no real driveway maintenance and the land is pretty flat.
     
  12. Seth

    Seth Well-Known Member

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    I'd stick with older personally. Parts are generally available at napa, they are simple to work on and cheap to operate, and the initial investment is MUCH smaller. They may not be as convienient or have all the bells and whistles, but they have been getting the jobs done for decades.

    BTW I'm addicted to rusty old iron.
     
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  13. Haven

    Haven I agree with Pancho Supporter

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    We went that route at first and got totally fed up with the old thing breaking down every other time we tried to fire it up. We ended up being forced to spend hours slowly rebuilding the thing for hours every time it wouldn't start, instead of being able to fire it up and use it for what needed to be done. 100% frustrating.

    I know lots of guys love to collect old tractors and tinker around with them. I would only buy another old one if it was already rebuilt, or if I was retired and had tons of time to work on it...and enjoyed working on stuff.

    The new Mahindra is almost 5 years old now, built solid, and runs as smooth as can be and fires right up immediately.

    Not trying to talk anyone into anything cause everyone has different needs. I just wished someone would of told me this about old tractors before I bought mine...bought the old one from a guy who loved to work on old tractors, lol. I'm sure he thought it was great.
     
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  14. Seth

    Seth Well-Known Member

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    If I'm not mistaken Mahindra bought a lot of the old tooling and patents from IH in the 80s-90s. These tractors are essentially copies of some of International's old utility line. They were GREAT machines and I've heard many good reviews on the Mahindra line. Never have run one.
     
  15. jaredd

    jaredd Member

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    My problem is: I don't have time to be working on stuff, but I don't have a big budget for something really new.
     
  16. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 50 series John Deeres are bulletproof and reasonable, new enough but old enough to be affordable. I like the 4x4 model 850/950, get one already set up with a loader....James
     
  17. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't know if it was a good deal or not, but I got a 73 Ford 2000 gas engine a couple years ago for $5000. Came with loader, backblade, posthole digger, and an old field mower. I only use it a few times a month, but starts and runs fine. Did need a new battery and some welding on the loader, and I'd like a different bucket.

    I like that it feels more solid than the newer tractors. Neighbor has a fancy $40,000 Kubota 4x4 but was complaining about how light it is.

    I keep finding more uses. Recently a lady came to visit and backed out of our driveway and turned too soon leaving her van sitting on the bumper with left rear tire barely touching bottom of ditch. Instead of dragging it out and scraping it up, drove tractor down ditch and dug bucket in and lifted rear tire up, then put pallets and boards under it and drove it out.

    Then there's the boy the neighbor's adopted who has shown interest in our animals, so I gave him some hens in a pen. Realized it would be easier to have a pen at his house for the winter, but wasn't sure how to load it up to move it. Realized could just hook to loader, so here he is taking his pen home.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. jaredd

    jaredd Member

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    What are some other brands and models that are around that size of John Deere? That's about the size I want.
     
  19. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    A loader is a must have to me.
    You will learn how to smooth out that "pile of earth" going backwards with the front end loader.
    I rigged a boom on my loader and set roof trusses on ten foot walls. .all by my self.

    A ATV could not hold a candle to what I can do with my Yanmar diesel.
     
  20. Kevingr

    Kevingr East Central MN

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    Definetly go with a tractor. Think long life and cost effectiveness. We made the mistake of buying cheap stuff more in line with a city house on 1.5 acres and all that equipment was beat up in no time. We're now in the process of replacing all that with better, bigger, newer stuff. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought as new as I could afford and went with a large company with a nearby dealer and I would have gone big.