am in the market for a new farm tractor. def want something that has a bucket in front and will be able to run my brush hog and post hole digger. i dont need anything super large - i have only 20 acres.
any recommendations? what is everyone operating these days?
my current tractor is a relic - 1947 Ford 9 N - but it still runs great! starts everytime, but i need something that can dig and move earth.
I'm a Kubota fan through and through, but you need to consider what your local dealer situation is. Here, there are three "Orange" dealers within 15 miles. Your area dealers may be signed up with other manufacturers and that's important from a service/support standpoint. So any of the major brands (Kubota, Deere, New Holland, etc.) are work considering. Talk to the dealer about your needs and intentions so they can recommend one or more models that are suitable in size and power to accomplish what you need.
Late model trade-ins are absolutely worth considering, although with 0% financing on most new compact tractors being almost universal these days, buying new can have some advantages, including warranty.
Now unlike the other poster, I happen to like the hydrostatic tranny as it makes for easier operation for many folks. Try several types to see what you happen to prefer yourself.
I absolutely ADORE our Kubota. 'Orangina' works hard most weeks, and we have never had a problem with performance or operations (bought her new a few years ago). We have a model thats about 34 HP, which for our 16 acres, is more than enough. I run an auger and bush hog off the 3 point regularly. Considering we have rocky soil and lots of trees, there is plenty of power to get through for post holes.
Midframe is a handy-dandy size. My NH 33da is just right in size for tons of stuff. Enough hp for brush hog or running a useful sized backhoe attachment. Not so big that you can't slap on an underneath mowing deck too. Has been able to destump some sizeable ones and knock down trees around 3" in diameter. (I hate chainsaws...so if I can knock it over... ) Hydrostatic...it's so simple to drive and service. Has the quick-attack front which is handy.
Can fit in many barns too. However I have small barn entry doors so it doesn't fit in mine. Bought a second smaller tractor for the little stuff and for fitting in the thick woods around me. That one's a JD 23hp. That one's a ton of fun...seriously like a big kid's toy, LOL! But...pretty sure a brush hog would bog it right down. Not enough hp or weight. Destumping shrubs stops it cold. But it can lift well and drag seriously heavy stuff. (doesn't have enough oomph to pop a stump out but could drag the tree) The JD is also an HS...but the pedals are easier for small people (NH pedal is a rocker, rock front for forward and back for reverse but even with seat set low my butt comes off to reverse and shuts machine off) The JD's version of front end quick attach/removal is MUCH easier and the iMatch on the back is the best ever, IMO. For many implements, I don't have to get off the tractor to change them out.
So for ease of use a JD is easier for attachment changing. I love both for durability. JD is pricier than the NH. The oranges are even less and Kubota also has an excellent rep.
But overall...the BEST tractor will also depend heavily on what dealers are near you and how well their customer service is. Sucky customer service isn't worth it AT ALL even if the tractor is decent. I love, love, love New Hollands and would have bought another one but the dealership within a commute from me SUCKED out loud. So I paid more for the JD...and that dealership was fantastic. (it's a dealer to dealer issue, not a brand issue) Ask around your area about the dealerships.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
It isn't the amount of land you are working that decides
the size of the tractor you need but what you want to do
with the tractor. Your 9N is too small for buckets and
bushogs unless you want a miniature bucket and to go
very slowly with the bushog (and a small one at that).
You might be ok with a slightly bigger Ford like a NAA or
Jubilee, but a newer machine would likely suit you better.
I would stay with Fords if you have a good situation for
repair of that brand (all tractors need repairs regularly
in my experience).
Mistyblue sums it up well. I have a JD compact tractor 33hp 4WD hydrostatic for our 65 acres...works well and is more comfortable climbing in and out of than a full size tractor. The Hp requirement increases if you want to hay yourself(mower-conditioners need over 40 hp usually; PTO manure/fertilizer spreaders need some power too). Larger tractors need bigger storage as you have noticed from the posts, but many newer models have foldable roll-over protection hoops(ROPS) so you can get in under 7' garage doors.
General muck moving, mowing and post hole digging can be accomplished with any 20-35hp compact. I like the turf tires as it lets me on the fields earlier than many in the early wet springs, but they definitely slip around in the wet clay. Deciding about manure handling and haying around your farm will clarify the tractor specs. Nearest good dealer is critical.
29 horse, 4x4, front loader, post hole digger, bush hog brand bush hog (best on earth!!), and a tiller.
I like a smaller tractor. Gets good mileage. You can get in and around all kinds of places easier when it is smaller. Mine does not have a hydrostatic tranny. Mine is a 1997, and I have 1100 hours on it. Husband does tractor as much as I do, he probably has 20 hours on it.
We have had Kabuta's before but when we went to upgrade the best deal was a Cub Cadet (Yanmar) EX3200 Compact Tractor (I think this was the model we have - it came with a front end loader and handles the arena drag, post hole digger, fertilizer spreader and bush hog. The front end loader is invaluable!).
I agree with a previous post. Get the tractor size based on your jobs. Know that an agriculture class machine is very small upgrade in cost but much more capable than compact or subcompact. It's not just horsepower, size allows more lift, stability and strength. Don't let size imtimidate you. (You wouldn't let a draft horse get away with bad behavior anymore than a pony)
Dealerships ... agree again. unless you're self service, choose a dealer that will support you.
Price ... Go shopping with an open mind, ready to bargain and knowledge of the class of tractor you want.
My experience: Bought a small 4wd 45 hp ag tractor from an out of area Deere dealer. I expected it to be higher priced but the dealers were very competitive. Deere was lowest of NH, Kubota, & MF.
Found the FEL doesn't dig hard dirt well, but for moving material, hay, & tools it's a life saver. As a DIY'er , found I could get parts from ANY Deere dealer... construction, agriculture, or lawn & garden. Price is the same. Very handy to have.
Check the NC Ag classifieds (might be more relevant in the mid-atlantic, but we don't know where you are). I bought a 115hp 4wd MF with cab there for 7500. It only has ever needed an air conditioning compressor.
Our utility tractor is a 1984 JD 2640 with loader that I might have 15,000 in after I had the motor rebuilt ten years after I first bought it. It can pick up a compact tractor and stack round bales three high-might seem like overkill for 20 acres, but I wouldn't want less for a farm that size. Moving dirt is one thing. The little ones can move a little bit at the time. If you want to shape dirt, I wouldn't get less than a low end Category 2 like my 70 hp JD. The larger they are, the easier everything operates.
Must haves are power-reverser, and telescopic drag links.
We have a Kubota M7040 (74 Hp, 64 PTO) and we LOVE IT. It is a great tractor. We use it for bushhogging, manure spreading, snow plowing (although not yet since we have gotten it!) and general maintenance around the farm. We have a lot of bushhogging to do and needed the larger machine! We also went with that size in case we ever decide we want to make hay. Ours also has the enclosed cab which is sooooo nice, heat, ac, its great!
We have both a Kubota and New Holland. The Kubota is a 24HP Diesel which primarily used for mowing, light grading, digging post holes. The New holland is a 35 HP which is used for heavier work and has a FEL.
"I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"
We have two Mahindras. My DH looked a lot of tractors and horsepower and reliability he chose it. We have a small one and larger one. Both have buckets. The bigger one has easy on and off with the bucket and we can switch with hay spear, fork lift and his newest toy and log/rock grabber. For what we use it for (moving hay, shredding, moving dirt, moving stuff. They work well for us. We've only had one problem and that was after letting someone else use it.