tractor versus atv

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by caberjim, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    We have a new homestead. 17 acres, mostly wooded, about 3 acres clear, some small streams, one big creek. We're in the process of clearing out the trees and brush for animals and such. We had been planning to purchase a good used tractor, but now are considering an ATV. I believe the ATV will get around the property much better. I have been impressed with the large number of farming implements that are now being made for ATVs - plaws, disks, spreaders, etc. I don;t see us turning more than a couple acres into cultivated land. Most will be pasture. We'd use it for dragging fallen trees, rocks. Moving feed and supplies, bushhogging, maybe a bit of cultivation. I'm interested in anyone's thoughts on ATV versus tractor. And opinions from anyone currently using an ATV in a similar manner.
     
  2. Critter183

    Critter183 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    Schenectady, NY
    I vote tractor. But I don't have any experience with an ATV. I just know that bigger is usually better when it comes to getting hard work done. :D
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,282
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .............Just my opinion as I've owned Both......the ATV is great for pulling a small , 2 wheel cart with tools , sod , fencing materials , etc . Also good for riding around the property and checking fence line(s) , dragging fence wire (single strands) to a point across a field to be stretched , etc . .....For the following you will need a small diesel tractor of around 40 hp , and 4x4 would be preferable ::To dig postholes , you need a Danuser F8 digger which weighs about 800 lbs. with 9 inch and 12 inch augers that have hardened steel tips for busting up fractured rock . You'll need both a 6 foot box blade and a swinging 6 foot straight blade to shape and contour the ground\dirt on your 17 acres . To build and maintain any and all roads you'll need both previously mentioned blades and a Frontend Loader to haul top soil , Pull old posts out of the ground , push old tree's over and drag\haul limbs to the barn for cutting and splitting , remove old manure out of a barn with the FE loader . Also , you can build a T-shaped boom attachment that can be built out of Pipe that will slide over the lower lip of your FE loader that can be used to "set" trusses for anything that needs such . Atv's are , Very limited , when compared too what a Full Sized Tractor can accomplish . I would spend the first 7 thousand on a Full sized , used diesel , 4x4 tractor , Before I purchased an ATV . fordy.. :)
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Tractor by all means,unless your just wanting something to ride around in the brush.

    Tractor will hold up better,and do much better Job,plus resale will be better.

    big rockpile
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Fordy nailed it. The tractor will hold its value much longer that an ATV
     
  6. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    The tractor will probably out-live you, while the ATV will have roughly the same lifespan as a used car.

    How slow do you need to move for the tasks you have in mind? A water-cooled tractor is made for chugging along at 1 mph all day long. But an ATV will generally have an air-cooled engine that will burn it's self up if you drive 1 mph all the time. I suspect that all those ATV doo-dads that mimic a tractor are great for very occasional use but a bad idea for anything more intensive.

    -Jack
     
  7. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,966
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I've got both.

    Chain up a 20 foot 24" log to an ATV, and see what happens...
     
  8. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Cannon Co. TN
    Fordy has it covered-good post. I have both an ATV and a tractor. For maintaining 17 acres where any work is involved the tractor is what you want. It may blow your budget but it will be much cheaper in the long term. I have a Kubota 4900 4x4 and it is awesome. My ATV is a Honda and it is excellent for light duty hauling, travel, patrolling, and dragging but will not do real work like a tractor. TnTnTn
     
  9. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,481
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    I vote with the others. Go with the tractor. Those atv implements are fine for small food plots and that sort of thing, but for working get the tractor. And spend the few extra bucks and get the 4x4. You won't regret it.
     
  10. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    probably for less than the price of an ATV and implements, you could pick up an older tractor and implements.I'd have a mechanic check it out first though
     
  11. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    tractor and a golf cart

    Just my vote


    mikell
     
  12. RMShepp

    RMShepp Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Location:
    WV
    Tractor and walk around the property to check the fence. :)
     
  13. Anataq

    Anataq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Well you sure have the same delima I have. I have no real way of bring a full size tractor to where I'm at short of about $70,000.00 in helicopter transport. So that leaves me with the MagnaTrack tractor option, these are powerful little tracked units that are mighty for their size, but they are expensive about $16,000.00 equipted, but that includes a backhoe. Out of my budget for the next couple years, but you never know. I have to pull logs, fairly short lengs between 8-15 feet 14" dameter -spruce. These logs don't weigh to much, and I could get away with an atv, but it will wear out quickly. I think at this point I am going to purchase a ROKON Trail Breaker. This is a two wheel drive motorbike of sorts that's built like a little tractor and will pull three times as much as a large ATV. The Rokon pulls in excess of 3000 lbs, not bad for a machine that weighs 208 lbs and will climb a 60 degree slope. Check them out www.rokon.com. I will still buy the ATV but for other use. I would love to have the Magna track and when I can afford it I'll buy one, but for now a little power is better that a come-a-long and a tree.

    Anataq
     
  14. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona
    I have a Bobcat. If it fits your budget, you can get so many attachments and changing attachments is quick and easy. I have the standard bucket, a post auger, a trencher, and a set of pallet forks. You can get a backhoe attachment, stump grinder, road grader, snow plow, grapple buckets, disc, tree spade and the list goes on and on depending on your needs. 'Tis a pretty versatile machine, and if you shop around you can pick up a used one at a reasonable price. I have two backhoes and a grading tractor with a front end loader but the most versatile machine I own is my Bobcat 863.
     
  15. JustinThyme

    JustinThyme Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Alberta
    Last summer I used an ATV to pull some 6 to 10 foot lengths of wood ,nothing over 12 inches. Within 4 hours I'd chewed the front diff out of it ,and that was on leafy level ground .I was taking it easy too .
    Other hand ,I worked in a fly-in camp the year before ,and when the heli leaves all we had was 4x4 atvs ,I was pretty impressed as to where they went ,in both snow and muskeg .
    For serious work I'd get a tractor .
     
  16. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Clarksville TN.
    Not knocking your choice.But doughting it being practical and there advertising.
    Bet that test was done on asphalt with the weight being puled on wheels.If they even tested it.Ill bet they came up with numbers based on Horsepower and gear ratios.Or lord noes what.But if your getting it for pulling.Id be careful.I cant see 208 pounds pulling much wieght off road..
    Ill bet a buck that any 4x4 four wheelers would far out pull it.And if you get one with locking diff's (all four wheels spinning) weighing in at 500+pounds you could pull it and the object it was trying to pull. :D And most all 500cc and up 4x4 quads wieght more than 500 pounds.But the quad would have trouble fitting between trees.
    Just for the record my wifes 2 wheel drive 300Ex (sports quad) could pull my Bronco on hard pack dry ground.Now what does a full size bronco weigh. ;)


    Anyway! If you want to do real work as said id get the tractor i haven't seen the 4X4 quads at work but id guess there better suited for play.Like planting feed plots for deer. :rolleyes: And i cant see them pulling more than say 500 pounds threw dirt.Dragging logs would never work.(In my opion anyway).Unless maybe you could build a hitch to pick up the nose of the log,off the ground.
    They might plow good.But it would be fairly hard on them to run that slow for long periods in low range.(How ever all of them are water cooled now days) From what i hear they eat parts like crazy form playing in mud in low range.Now image pulling something like a plow.Also note that some plow blades are not worth a flip now a days (to thin,hit a rock and bend it).Id look hard at the set ups for ATVs before purchasing one to try and break unbroken ground.Then id price having a welder make me one.TSC has some heavier duty turn plow blades and all hard ware.

    But now with that said.There is a lot of cost difference between a tractor and a four wheeler.And 17 acers is not very big to be running around on a very big tractor..How practical would it be?I don't no anything about them.

    Heres a good ATV forum with lots of guys that have all the new 4x4 quads.
    Note which brands they say have locking diff's.Unless things have changed since 2003 not all 4x4's are true 4x4's.(If it doesn't lock,it just a toy.LOL) If i was going to get one id get one that had the selector switch or shifter to go from locked to unlock.Ive rode one with it locked in permanently.And it was a major pain to turn. ;)
    http://www.atvtime.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi
     
  17. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    If your major problem is skidding logs for a house look into a gas powered winch with a few hundred feet of cable. Mount on a trailer so the atv can move it arount and chain it to a tree for an anchor to skid logs. could also make it into a crane to place the logs and probably would be worth as much old as new.


    mikell
     
  18. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona
    There are small trailers made for skidding logs. The have two independent spindles rather than an axle, an inverted U-shaped frame between the tires and a piece of pipe sloping toward the tongue. Your log tongs are mounted to a slip ring that rides over the sloping piece of pipe. You back the trailer over the log, attach your tongs and as you pull forward the ring slides up the pipe lifting the log into the U. Depending on the length of the log this will either lift the entire log or at least the front end of the log off the ground so you can drag it with less resistance. Or you can put cross pieces below the log to hold it off the ground. I have a picture of one somewhere but I can't lay my hands on it right at the moment. Looked pretty slick. I was thinking about building one. My Polaris 700 weighs in at 1200 lbs. by the way. When I locate the picture of the trailer I will try to post it.
     
  19. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,966
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I hadn't thought about a log skidding device, but that might work well.

    One of the reasons the old 8N ford could pull as well as it could, considering its meager horsepower, was torque and weight ratios. It takes a certain amount of weight to make your tire lugs bite, rather than spin.

    Yanmar is the OEM for the smaller John Deere tractors. When comparing 25hp models a few years ago, the Yanmar brand had a cast aluminum housing, while the Deer had cast iron. The Deere weighed 1000 ponds more. Both tractors had the same engine, same transmission, and same final drive ratios.

    When trying them out in the field, guess which one pulled a plow through clay soil better?



    My .02 cents, YMMV.
     
  20. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    Thanks for the opinions and advice. We shall look to a good used 4x4 tractor.