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Tractor? Quad? Both?  RSS feed

 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Good morning,

We have a 4 millions square foot land. Half of it in wood, maple trees, and another half with fields that arent cultivated except a 3 hectars that we sowed last year.

We are working on a food forest gradually.

Question:

We have a big tractor Massey Fergusson with a front bucjket, a snow blower (lot a snow here), and a mower

I also have a vtt.

We have a 1500 foot entry that we have to open during the winter. I have to cut the grass in the field. I use the tractor to put the burning wood in the bucket or transport rocks from the field. except that, we don't really use it.

on the other end, in fall when it is wood cutting time, I use my VTT. I use it also to go around the land. and put the garbagge to the street...Of course it is a bit easier (less stress) for me to use it. But of course for my husband it is a big toy.

But!!! I was woundering if it would be better and possible to leave only with the VTT that would cost me less. I can have 25000$ for my tractor. I was looking the possibilities to buy a mower and a snow blower for the VTT and it seems possible. I guess to equip the VTT it would cost me around 10 000$ maximum (hope so I know I can have some used) but for the talk of it...so that would leave me with 15000$...no more insurance cost for teh tractor..no more license cost and no more oil cost...not talking about the big wheels that cost a fortune and the no possibilities to fix it when it is broking....

Is there anybody here that is in the same position and use a vtt instead of a tractor?

Thank you

isabelle
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Isabelle Gendron wrote:
I also have a vtt.


What is a vtt? Pic?
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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OUps!!! SOrry it is the french acronym...I meant a quad...

isabelle
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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I changed the title
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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A quad will do 90% of what most people need, just look to what hunters do for food plots with a quad. But doing all that is HARD on them. And the equipment marketed to quads is usually overpriced and poorly made.

I have about the same amount of land. I went with a small tractor (30 hp) that isn't much wider than a quad (fits the same size trails). The bucket is what made me stay with a tractor, but I downsized from a big old farm tractor to a small fuel efficient one. Some things do take longer because I can't go as fast, but most things are easier because there is less manual labor.

If I didn't need the loader, I could easily do the rest with a quad and:

-pull behind mower. One of the heavy brush cutter kinds, not the finish mower. This will cost you.
-blade. tough enough to move a little gravel
-seed/fertilizer spreader. Any of the little electric foodplot spreaders.
-sprayer. Biggest tank the quad can carry. NOT for chemicals, but for compost tea and watering new plantings.
-trailer. One that dumps easily.
-disk and/or harrow. For working in seed when the ground is disturbed.

Expect to wear out the quad a lot faster, even just using the mower. Going that slow that long can easily overheat some quads. And they burn a lot more fuel than my little diesel tractor, especially when running two engines while mowing.

The whole tax/license/insurance thing you have in Canada changes the money equation. I know motorcycles are crazy expensive to insure, but not sure how quads compare to tractors.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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You are right..thank R Scott...

the insurance is pretty high for a motorcycle but not really for a quad...but for now with both of them, I have 2 insurance, 2 licenses, 2 fuels....My husband told me that I if we change for a smaller tractor, it will probably cost me the same to change with less equipment....I really (for now at least) don't do a lot of tractor work. And I hope top have less and less mowing to do with the food forest...

Hummm a good thinking to do.

thanks Isabelle
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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You could sell the tractor, buy the quad equipment you need, and hire an excavator or small bulldozer to do the major earthworks (and plantings) with the leftover money.

The biggest issue for you is probably moving snow. I am assuming your quad is 4wd. Even then they can only move so much snow at a time. If you want to move more than 8"/20cm, it takes a big machine and multiple passes.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Right again. The biggest concern is the snow. I know I can buy a snow blower to put in front. But I don't know if it is efficient? I will continue exploring this alternative.

thanks.

isa
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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WOW, those snow blowers are EXPENSIVE. Now I see why we only see blades down here.

How much snow do you get at a time? do you get drifts? If you can get away with only a blade, I would for that much money.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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I have a pretty large utility atv, and have tried lots of different equipment for it... I haven't really liked any of it and was left wanting. My advice for folks would be to get the tractor and wait on an atv... I also happened across a very cheap Suzuki Samurai (very small SUV/truck) and it is by far the finest farm vehicle I've ever been in. They're stronger than the biggest utility atv's and utility UTV machines, you can get most of the parts at a regular automotive parts store, and they are built like a little truck so you can abuse them more by pushing/ramming things and wrapping chains around stuff and yanking on things like logs and stumps... I haul quite a bit more in trailers than our ATV can as well... The only reason I keep the ATV around is because I can throw a few small things in it and run around a bit faster...

I think if you got rid of your tractor and just kept an ATV with equipment for it, that you would really regret that decision...

on another thought, what a bummer that you have to pay for license and insurance on a tractor!!! wow!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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M Foti wrote:
I think if you got rid of your tractor and just kept an ATV with equipment for it, that you would really regret that decision...


Consider how many really old tractors are still running from the 40's and 50's. How many Quads will be running in 70 years?
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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I think my husband likes you a ot guys :p

Case close....we will keep the tractor.

Thank you all.

isabelle
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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I like a happy ending!

I say keep the tractor too!

Best, TM
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Thank you TM...

Princess stories are great even in permaculture :p

Isabelle
 
Timothy Hewitt-Coleman
Posts: 140
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa (34 degrees south)
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One of the advantages of a quadbike it you can pack it in the back of your car! Here I put my Suzuki Quadrunner into the back of my Toyota Prado. Just fits.
IMG_4006.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_4006.JPG]
 
Jeff Williams
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Hello r Scott

What tractor do you have? I just purchased 18 acres so I can get out of this retirement community I live (a long story for another post). I have zero farm background so I need some advice on what to get to build and maintain a permaculture-based homestead.

Your description of yours sounds like what I need.

Manu thanks
 
Tom Connolly
Posts: 180
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Isabelle Gendron wrote:Thank you TM...

Princess stories are great even in permaculture :p

Isabelle


(((((Hug)))))
 
Tom Connolly
Posts: 180
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Even with 4WD, I would think a quadrunner would be a liability in the winter trying to plow snow. If you get more than 6" or so (depending on the snow) you really need something with a really low gear to do the job.
 
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