Don't know what I don't know

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Don't know what I don't know

RiddleMN I am in need of some words of wisdom from those that are technically astute in the world of tractors. I am posting forum to forum to solicit input from those that prefer their brand names and hopefully I can way the pros and cons of all the manufacturers to formulate my course of action.

I recently moved from St. Louis, MO to mid-state Minnesota. I purchased an abandoned 9 acre farm site that has not been occupied sine 1937. 4 acres are clear and will need mowing and the rest is a thick hedge where I will place my next home. I currently own a JD 425 Lawn tractor with a 5í deck and 2-stage snowblower which everyone agrees, too small, Iíll be mowing for days so Iíll retain it for around the house.

Iíve purchased a professional manly-man 28Ē blade chainsaw to sever a limb or two, I will be clearing the 10-15Ē diameter trees to make ready the area for the house. So, I need a tractor with some pulling power so I can skid those trees out to a centralized area, some 2 acres away. Next, the locals tell me Iíll need something above 70hp to drive a brush hog for the mowing so it doesnít bind, their example a Ford 9....too small. Also Iíll be purchasing a 6í wide 3Point snowblower to tackle the normal 5 to 6í snow drifts that everyone tells me are coming, not to mention the minus 30 to 35 degrees. Fun-fun.....

I am focused in the $5,000.00 range for the tractor. Iíve already seen 3Point Snowblowers and brush hogs in the local in the $500-800 range so that is ok but as for the tractor, any factual suggestions would be helpful. Key points - reliability, parts availability, 3Point hitch, power based on what I have written, suggested model numbers (please be specific, Iím slow on the uptake) and lastly within budget = $5,000.00. THANKS

Hurst What is the land like? If it is flat, then you should easily be able to pull a 6-7 ft brush hog mower with about 50 hp (It also depends on whether you wanted mounted or pull type). Mounted is better for around trees and stuff, but needs either a) a bigger and heavier tractor to pull it b) a lot of ballast on a smaller tractor. Since you budget is lower than 10k, I would guess that you would be looking for a tractor that is fairly old, and since older tractors are a lot heavier than new ones, you could use about a 40hp tractor with a mounted mower on flat land. Since you said that you will have cold weather and are new to farming, I would reccommend a tractor with a gasoline engine. While I am a diesel fan, you get into too much trouble when it gets cold (batteries, block heaters, starters, etc. have to be in good shape). Also, it will probably be eaiser for you to keep gas than diesel, since you have a gas riding mower (the few the fuels you have the less chace there is of adding the wrong one). For a mower brand, I reccomend woods. If you are wanting a finish mower, we have an RM990, which works great on our TN65 Newholland. If you want a brush hog, then I would get one with a single blade, that way there would be only 1 spindle, gearbox, and not any belts. Well, that takes care of the mower. I don't know much about snow blowers, so can't help you there, althought I can say you may want to pick up a blade along with a snow blower, since they can be useful for other jobs. Now, for what model and brand. Since you sound impartial to color, my first choice would be between an older Allis Chalers or a Ford. Also, you would want one with Wide front end most likely, since they are more stable and you aren't doing row-crop, so the more stable, the safer you are. For an Allis, I would reccomend something like a 170 model with the g226 motor, since these tractors have the trustworthy rear end of a d17. On this tractor just make sure that it doesn't jump out of any gears when decelerating. If that is a little too expensive, then look at a gas d17, if possible a series IV with a factory 3 pt hitch, and if that is not avalible, then you can get a 3pt conversion for the snap coupler. Both of these tractors have the power director, which would be handy for mowing or snow blowing and can pull about anything. They are about 50 hp, and heavy enough to handle just about anything you want to do. The only down side to the earlier d17s is the hydraulics, they were high pressure, low volume, and had only single acting remotes, so a 170 would be a better choice and can usually be had just as cheap. For ford, I would think that a 4000 or a 4600 tractor would work for what you want. If you want something a little larger, then a 5000 would be a good choice, but I think those were mostly diesels. The only reason that I didn't mention Farmall and International is because they are known for haveing weak front ends and I only own 2 small ones that are used for cultivating, nothing you would want. I am not too sure about hte ford models, but the 5000 was overall a pretty decent tractor. For an allis, parts are going to be mostly after market, but they are avalible and in most cases reasonable. For your budget, John Deere is out of the question. Is 5000 all you will have to spend on the tractor? Make sure you have some cusion, because 99% of the time you will have repairs that will cost money. A warning for pulling logs with a tractor, BE CAREFUL AND USE THE DRAW BAR! when pulling a log, it can get caught and the LOG itself can flip onto the tractor and if you pull it the wrong way, like with the 3pt hitch, you will easily turn the tractor over. I would rent equipment that is better suited for this work and save your tractor for mowing and snow blowing. If you have any more questions or are confused post back. Good luck, and feel free to e-mail me.


Coke in MN First thing if you are clearing site for house , DO NOT CUT TREES TO GROUND LEVEL. Leave a 4 or 5 ft high stump, makes it easier to remove the tree with a cat or excavator when digging for house.
If you want a utility tractor look for one that hasa loader. I have a IH 460 Utility that has tube front axel 560 XH front hubs, 18 GMP hyd pump, shuttle transmission etc.
Look at MF, Ford 4000 or up. Or look for a industrial tractor with a PTO..

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