Compact Tractors: John Deere? Kubota? Something Else?

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Chairman
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Joined: 02/14/2006 - 8:11pm
Compact Tractors: John Deere? Kubota? Something Else?

Okay, after years of drooling, pandering, begging, pleading and "yes, dear's", the wife has finally given her blessing to the purchase of a compact tractor for yard work. This will include the mowing, moving a piles of mulch every year, a front bucket for when we do the weeding/pruning and, of course, neighborhood status. (It's a guy thing, the gals here wouldn't understand).

Now I'm looking for the opinion(s) of those who have one. Deere? Kubota? New Holland? Something else?

I'm not looking for the stuff from Lowes, HD or Wal-Mart. I know it'll run from $15K-18K so its the quality and reliability I'm looking for in both the machine and dealer. I'm on the coast in Hancock County so it's probably limited to either Ellsworth or Bangor but I'd travel a little more for the right dealer.

Thoughts?

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
How about one of each? You do

How about one of each? You do a concentrated study for a year, and then report back. (you can tell Mrs. Chairman you're engaged in a 'blue ribbon panel' study for the state).

Now, that's some "neighborhood cred!"
:)

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
I have a Kubota L3000DT. It

I have a Kubota L3000DT. It is 32 horsepower, 5 feet wide and came with a bucket. I just hit 500 hours on it. I love it. Dorr Equipment in Bangor is a reliable dealer with a good parts inventory. The only parts I have needed are light lenses and bulbs. For me the L series is better than the B series because it will lift more and has a little more power. If you have sloping ground it is also more stable. A few points.

1. Absolutely get 4WD.

2. Get the tires filled with antifreeze. It makes the tractor more stable and gives you better traction. Do NOT let anybody talk you into a calcium chloride solution for your tires. The first time you get a puncture from a thorn apple thorn you will ruin your steel wheel. Get used antifreeze from a car dealership. They will be happy to give you all you want. Just filter it through some cloth so you don't get particles in your inflation valve.

3. Regardless of brand name, there are no tractors under 50 horsepower made in the USA so go with Orange, blue or green depending on the dealer service department you like.

4. Get a snowblower for it. Blow your snow 50 into the woods.

I would avoid the lesser known Asian brands because future parts availability is a complete unknown. My old 1947 Ford won first prize for working tractors at the 1997 Springfield Fair when it was 50 years old. Now it is 64 years old and running fine. You can buy just about any part for it at Union Farm Equipment. Your compact tractor should outlast you. It could become a family heirloom.

Old Dame Fortune
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Joined: 09/30/2010 - 9:08pm
Highly recommend the Struck.

Highly recommend the Struck. We have a Magnatrac RS1000. The DVD they send out convinced us and we are very happy with the decision.

http://www.struckcorp.com/

Its a Wisconsin company and they were terrific to deal with. They sell every attachment imaginable.

IAC
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Joined: 06/03/2008 - 11:34am
I have John Deere equipment

I have John Deere equipment because the dealer is 1 mile away. I'm paying for quick attention.

Robert
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Joined: 04/01/2005 - 1:01am
John Deere.

John Deere.

ldwight
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Joined: 10/07/2005 - 12:01am
Chairman, Questions First: 1)

Chairman,

Questions First:

1) What is your budget? New? or Used?
2) Do you live within a reasonable distance of a dealer of reliable repair shop? In the first couple years repairs on a new tractor won't be a problem. However, mistakes happen and sometimes repairs are needed that you can't handle on your own. IMHO R. S. Osgood, Dixfield (Kubota) and Mt. Blue John Deere are near me, both are good.
3) Bucket loaders are really handy.
4) Mower? Belly mount? Tow behind? Bush hog? How much mowing (hours/week in summer or acres (squre footage)? Do you want a bagger with that? Only belly mounts have baggers?
5) As far as size, what models have you considered so far?

I must admit, I am biased. I have a 1998 John Deere 4610 with bucket, backhoe, bush hog, chipper, PTO buck saw, Jacobsen 5 reel tow behind. 10 acres of fields and 5 acres of lawn, and another 12 acres of woods. I would not be able to take care of my place without it.

Truth be told, I love my tractor.

Chairman
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Joined: 02/14/2006 - 8:11pm
JDwight, 1) The budget & the

JDwight,

1) The budget & the plan is for new. I won't buy used on a large ticket item like this.

2) Greenway Power Equipment, A John Deere dealer, is within 10 miles. A Kubota dealer, Dorr's Equipment is in Bangor, within 40 miles. From what I can see, they're both reputable businesses.

3) Bucket loader is mandatory.

4) I'm thinking belly mower because that's what I'm used to. However, since I've never used a town behind, I'd also seriously consider that as well. I'll be mowing and landscaping about 2.5 acres. I have a new cobblestone walkway to build and a 200' retaining wall. We're buying the lot next door and developing that into a lawn with landscaped gardens & flower beds. We spend a lot of Saturday afternoons and a few hours on Sunday maintaining the yard. I've looked at the JD 3032E (which won't take a belly mower) and 2720 (which I think may be too small and underpowered) and the Kubota B3200 HSD but am still doing my homework on all.

Green-ee
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Joined: 09/08/2007 - 6:08am
I own a John Deere 790

I own a John Deere 790 compact tractor, bought new at Rublee's in 1999. At work I use a 4200 John Deere that now has 4,000 hours - it doesn't owe us a thing. That said, we bought a L3400 Kubota and it's much more of a machine than either John Deere. The Kubota is made better, controls are easier to use, and it's just a better machine than either John Deere. The next tractor I buy will be a Kubota.

Snowalker
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Joined: 01/13/2000 - 1:01am
Something else. New Holland.

Something else. New Holland. I run tractors a lot and find these very reliable and it's all about user friendly. Take them all out and try them out, you'll know which one you like best.

For versatility buy a tracked Skidsteer...they've got it all over compact tractors and a wide variety of attachments.

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
You can't put a belly mount

You can't put a belly mount on a tracked skid steer and they are pretty tough on lawns.

Earl Nickerson . Jr
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Joined: 11/24/2002 - 1:01am
You lucky dog !!!! I've been

You lucky dog !!!! I've been drooling over the Kubota BX25LB-R12 at Union Farm Equiptment...23 HP 3 cyl. diesel 4X4 , front standard bucket ,12 backhoe bucket with 60 inch mid mount mower...About 21 grand delivered with a full tank...Snow blower or front plow blade available..Good luck and let us know your finale decision..

ldwight
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Joined: 10/07/2005 - 12:01am
Don't forget hydrostatic.

Don't forget hydrostatic. Most tractors come with it now. I have used both, but prefer hydro.

Bullseye
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Joined: 03/20/2000 - 1:01am
I'd say buy a little more

I'd say buy a little more tractor than you need.
It will get your tasks done with much less effort.
NEVER without FWD!

KathyP
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Joined: 04/28/2006 - 7:33am
Another GREAT resource to

Another GREAT resource to help you in your decision:
http://www.tractorbynet.com

We love our Kubota, named her "Rhoda", and would be LOST without her. My brother borrowed her for an entire year before decided he really wanted one but had hardon for the John Deere name. He is completely regretting his decision. He said if he had to do it all over again, he'd go with the :ugly orange tractor" because now he is stuck with many years of payments on a tractor of the same HP that he says just isn't the same for some reason he can't quite figure out. The first thing he said about his new JD: "It ain't even got that big hook on the top of the bucket--had to weld one on myself."

We bought used but from a dealer, Hammond. They will even come to pick her up and bring her back to the shop for routine maintenance. I use it more than my husband because I'm always messing around the poop pile with her, but she really is a community tractor now, as the neighbor had a nice blower but no tractor and we had the tractor but no blower. Two great tastes that taste great together! Neighbor can't wait until it snows now because he has cart blanche to come over and start her up and have at it. We provide the diesel and he provides the blowin'. Hell of a deal.

It's a rear-mount blower and some say you should get a front mount because it's a pain in the neck (literally) to always back up and turn around in order to blow the snow, but it's nice to have that bucket already on "just in case."

We have a ton of implements. The most used are the backhoe and box blade--which is GREAT for scraping the paved driveway after an ice storm (without the scarrifiers on of course). York rake had its purpose after land was de-forested to make pasture but now is never used. Post hole diggers have been really handy too, come to think of it. But, yeah, backhoe is the best and, again, wicked easy to use but putting it on takes 2 of us and lots of swearing.

I can't imagine mowing with Rhoda, as she is just too darned heavy and tears up the turf, especially with our particular tires (I want to say they are ag tires). I still use my little push mower for that job because it's a good workout and my tuckas needs all the help it can get come spring, BUT I don't have a ton of grass to mow either.

Very user friendly and not just a garage ornament. She gets used hard and put away wet. :) That's me and my first time blowing snow...like I said, VERY user friendly :) If I had to do it all over again, I'd get the little lumped out BX for myself but only because all the big hard work is done now and it's just a maintenance issue.

FXSTC
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Joined: 11/13/2003 - 1:01am
I agree with Roger to avoid

I agree with Roger to avoid the less well known Asian brands, except for Mahindra.

BC-SPM
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Joined: 04/21/2008 - 9:26am
Been looking them over for

Been looking them over for some time myself. The one near constant I hear from the folks that own compact tractors is they wish they had bought a bit more horsepower. If you think you need XX hp, spend the money for 10 more.

Hydrostatic is really easy to use vs. manual trans. You do give up some power to the ground vs. a manual trans for field work like chiseling and such. For what you wish to do it appears to be a good fit.

Chairman
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Joined: 02/14/2006 - 8:11pm
My new Kubota BX2360 arrived

My new Kubota BX2360 arrived in the dooryard a couple of weeks ago. Outfitted it with the 60" fine cut mower and front end loader. It's smaller than what I initially wanted but the wife had trouble getting on/off the bigger 'B' series tractor.

Despite the weather, its already come in very handy on several occasions around the home. Despite her objections & predictions of getting a ticket, I drove it down 3-4 side streets to get it to my father's house and back to mow his lawn. As luck would have it, I had to wait for an oncoming PD car before crossing Main St. but it seemed I didn't bother him.

I'll keep an eye on upcoming Uncle Henry's to see what attachments come up for sale that will fit this unit. I've also ordered a 17-yard load of landscaping mulch to spread throughout the Mrs.'s various gardens/islands.

Now, about one of those mini excavators.....

Earl Nickerson . Jr
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Joined: 11/24/2002 - 1:01am
Nice little tractor..As far

Nice little tractor..As far as the mini -excavators goes , you can rent them by the day , week , or month...It isn't illegal to drive your tractor or any farm equiptment on the road so many miles from your home..I forget how many...

Bigshooter
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 1:01am
I have a New Holland 29hp

I have a New Holland 29hp that I love. I have a bucket, brush hog and box rake. I will be adding a tiller this spring when (if) the rain stops. I have looked at some of the larger 50hp+ machines and it seems that even the Deere people have great things to say about the tough and inexpensive Manhindra line. I was suspect due to the cost but when those who bleed green even say to look into them, I will check them out if I need a new one someday. If I do it will only be because I "need" a larger one as the New Holland only has a few hundred hours on it and is mint. I LOVE my tractor and the projects I can do with it. It would be hard to go without one after getting used to all you can do with one.

YMMV.

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