• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

In the market for a tractor!  RSS feed

 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello all!

I moved to rural Italy last year with my wife and bought a few terraced acres with a farm house to start our permaculture life, we've got to a point now thay we think a tractor is a good idea,mainly for collecting wood for the stove from our 12 acres but we are on a hill side, and the main access into the woods is by two old mule tracks, quite steep and narrow so from what I've read a small tractor with equal sized wheels is what i need, with a hitch carrier? I know ZERO about all of this so before i dive head first into the murky world of sexond hand Italian tractor is there anytning else I should be looking for? Reverse will defo be a good idea for starters.

Thanks in advance guys!
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 654
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
23
trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
12 acres with steep, terraced land along with narrow spaces. That sounds like the perfect place for a walk behind tractor. I've used an Italian made Grillo before on my property and it worked quite well. BCS (also Italian made) is the other major manufacturer.

 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the reply John, main purpose for the acquisition is to carry piles of fire wood back to the house from in the woods, not sure how a walk behind would work?
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3665
Location: Anjou ,France
176
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can get a trailer to go on the back of a Grillo . Works quite well , converts it into "real " tractor costs about 1500 euro though

DAvid
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks David, didn't know that, these 'walkers' are attractive I must say, certainly the lower price! I've just been speaking to a guy here about it and he said they have a saw that I could have to cut the wood i collect but it works on a PTO, I'm guessing these walkers don't have PTO?
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 654
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
23
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Stuart Smith wrote:Thanks David, didn't know that, these 'walkers' are attractive I must say, certainly the lower price! I've just been speaking to a guy here about it and he said they have a saw that I could have to cut the wood i collect but it works on a PTO, I'm guessing these walkers don't have PTO?

There are adapters for connecting the power take offs of the walk behind tractors to more conventional PTO implements.
http://www.earthtoolsbcs.com/html/tractor_accessories.html
 
R Scott
Posts: 3357
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Walking tractors are awesome for logging. Can walk through the woods just like a single horse or mule, dragging the log out to the road. Can add a trailer, even 4 wheel drive for enough $$$. They can do anything.

Only downside is the pto turns way faster than a regular tractor pto, so you need to run idled down (low power) or your implement need to handle turning faster than normal.
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A four wheel drive walking tractor!? Will look into that right now, surprised to hear that they have PTO, could work for me then maybe.
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Been looking around on the net at walk behinds with some carrying ability, seems it's either ones with tracks and a bucket on top or a trailer behind a wheeled type, tracks won't work here I don't think, and trailers make the walk behind much longer, too long for the switchback turns on the tracks so seems I'm back to a small tractor unless I'm missing something.
 
James Mariorenzi
Posts: 17
Location: Palazzolo Acreide (SR), Italia
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Stuart,

Have you looked into an articulating tractor?
They have a good turn radius for narrow plots. They are good for steep slopes.
And Italy is full of them. Easy to find a used one, too.

I have been using a Goldoni 30hp on a borrowed basis. I may be convinced to purchase one myself.

James
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi James

Thanks for the reply.

I see Goldoni everywhere around here! They seem to be only small tractorini types and seem popular.

I've not yet seen any articulated ones here or the internet although I'm certain the small equal wheeled ones are just fine for the tracks I need to use.

My main concern is having someone on hand, that I buy it from not too far away in case the things breaks and they need to have it back, we've already this approach with other tools has been worth any extra expense which narrows my choices but have found two Valpadana machines nearby from two different sellers, both the same price but one has 36HP and 800 hours and the other 30HP and 400 hours so I'm narrowing my search thanks to the help on thjs forum but am at a crossroads now.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Stuart,

I scanned the other post only, so sorry if I am repeating anything...

I own a Same 50 horse with bucket, log winch, 14' telescoping backhoe, small mortar mixer. It is a must have kind tool for even basic contracting work..or something similar. I have to admit, we have never owned anything smaller that a 50 or 70 horse diesel machine, and it seam the standard around the globe. I have used smaller and they just get bogged down unless actually designed onto a smaller chassis.

When we move into the "micro machines" which can do a lot of the same stuff as the larger (no tonnage loads though) plus maneuver better you get a different kind of service. I have operated and worked with several on landscaping and trail maintenance projects. Grillo are nice, as are several other of the "mini" tracked machines. At this time my favorite in general operation, ease of parts acquisition and tech support is the old standard in the "professional fields," that use them. This is any of the small "Ditch Witch" machines. I am sure similar machines function as well, but you have to see what you can get in your area that fits your budget. When speaking of "heavy equipment," even in the micro range, the more money the better the machine. Used is often not a bad way to go if you know machines or somebody that does.

Hope that is of some help in your search.

Regards,

j
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
111
bee books chicken duck goat trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Figure out whether you would use the other implements that a walking or 4 wheel tractor would offer. If not, get an ATV with a wagon. People here use them a lot for hauling stuff through the woods, and they make little tow behind wagons. Or a garden tractor

We have a Grillo with a BCS 5' sickle bar and a Bertha rotary plow. Changing implements is a strong person's job, running the sickle bar requires similar strength, the rotary plow is an incredible work-out. Don't believe the videos, it's not a lark, but it does the job where even a mini-tractor wouldn't fit.

We sometimes think we will buy the Grillo power wagon to move apples out of the orchard to the crush pad, but then I look at the price and think, yikes! Maybe that's import fees. We are a ways off from that decision. But I don't regret the initial purchase of the Grillo. Here in the US they don't depreciate very fast either.
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jay and Ann,

Thanks for your replies, all great for helping me make an informed decision an giving me the confidence to shell out money like this, a big decision!

The type of little tractor I've been advised to have is one with four equal sized wheels that are made specifically for hilly terrain and narrow tight spaces, I considered and ATV to begin with Ann but definitely want a PTO to run a saw for wood cutting and maybe other tools in the future too, i looked into ATVs with PTO vs Tractors and the costs didn't add up, ATVs are supposed to be more expensive to run to?

Anyway that has left me with these little tractors, I'll post a picture of one for sale not far from me here, i like the idea of the litte walk behinds too and might well invest in one for working on the barrow terraces but think trying to pull a traiker behind one in the woods will be a nightmar where as the little tractor with a hitch carrier would be much easier i think, the two i have available from local dealers are very similar and are 30-36HP, anyway I'll post the pic and see what you all think.

Thanks again, and I am listening to what you say despite the fact my mind sounds made up.

The other thing I'm having to deal with here is firstly the language barrier and secondly rural Italian with their 'ways' so I'm trying to buy from someone local, someone with a reputation to honour, they care a lot about their reputation, and someone who isn't far away if i have problems so this narrows my choice down hugely. Be so much simpler back in the UK, but then I wouldn't be farming there.
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, here it is...
0000465_img2.jpg
[Thumbnail for 0000465_img2.jpg]
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With a hitch carrier, not big capacity but good manoeuvrability i think.
3-Point-Hitch-Tractor-Rear-Transport-Carrier-Transport-Box.jpg
[Thumbnail for 3-Point-Hitch-Tractor-Rear-Transport-Carrier-Transport-Box.jpg]
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Each tractor type has it pros and cons. I think the one in your photo will please you if in good working order. I would purchase same or similar under your conditions. Good luck and tell us how it goes...
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hello again all!

So...I Almost bought the tractor I had planned, went and drove the thing around the car park and everything, I was told by the seller that I needed an agricultural tax code, something to do with matriculation (whatever the hell that is) so while investigating this with my new accountant got an email from the dealer saying that they'd sold it to someone else!

So this has given me time to think a bit more while STILL trying to find out about agricultural tax codes, while doing so I drove past a guy last week standing on the back of a small dumper type thing on cat tracks, like a large motorised wheelbarrow I suppose then started to think that this might be ideal but unsure about how tracks are on uneven ground, anyone have any experience?

Thanks again.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3357
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those are usually concrete buggies in the US. Empty they are good on uneven ground, but the center of gravity gets high and tippy as you load it. Not a problem with mulch or even firewood, but could be with wet dirt or rock.

I don't think you can find one machine to do everything you want. But every machine you have talked about will do most. I would focus either on a machine that does what you can't do by hand or wheelbarrow, or that is a hundred times faster to do what you spend most of your time doing by hand now.
 
Stuart Smith
Posts: 63
Location: Tuscany, Italy
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the reply, the only thing I need it for is to collect firewood from within my 12 acres of woodland, I initially wanted a tractor for a PTO so that I could run a saw on it to for cutting the logs before splitting them but think now for the money saving and thinking a smaller vehicle will allow me more access throughout the woodland would be worth considering.
 
Steve Landau
Posts: 20
Location: Vermont
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ann Torrence wrote:Figure out whether you would use the other implements that a walking or 4 wheel tractor would offer. If not, get an ATV with a wagon. People here use them a lot for hauling stuff through the woods, and they make little tow behind wagons. Or a garden tractor

We have a Grillo with a BCS 5' sickle bar and a Bertha rotary plow. Changing implements is a strong person's job, running the sickle bar requires similar strength, the rotary plow is an incredible work-out. Don't believe the videos, it's not a lark, but it does the job where even a mini-tractor wouldn't fit.

We sometimes think we will buy the Grillo power wagon to move apples out of the orchard to the crush pad, but then I look at the price and think, yikes! Maybe that's import fees. We are a ways off from that decision. But I don't regret the initial purchase of the Grillo. Here in the US they don't depreciate very fast either.


Ann- I have a 200$ trailer from tractor supply. - It works "OK" but can be pulled fine, My grillo will haul a pile of logs, mulch, wood chips, - It's not apple harvest yet here, but I will have it full of fruit come fall.

 
girl power ... turns out to be about a hundred watts. But they seriuosly don't like being connected to the grid. Tiny ad:
Video of all the PDC and ATC (~177 hours) - HD instant view
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!