I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Is a front loading tractor worth the extra cost?  RSS feed

 
James Wardell
Posts: 4
Location: Eastern Europe
1
dog forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone, I have been giving serious thought to buying a tractor. I have done quite a bit of research and looked at the walk behind types, "vineyard" tractors, small and medium tractors. I currently have five cows and a bull so in the future this number will grow. This year they have eaten around 20 large, round bales of hay - and I think the final number will be around 25 - 30 bales in total for "winter" feed. I have looked at a Vladimirec T25 and T30 (USSR/Russian made). The T25 is around 25 kw or 33 hp and the T30 is around 35 kw or 46 hp - both have two cylinders. I've seen videos of them tootling around and coping - pulling forestry trailers loaded with cut wood, pulling trailers of hay, corn etc. They can also power a circular saw table with their PTO. They are a small tractor, parts or cheap and still available and pretty straight forward to work on. I've attacked a photo of a T25 (small red tractor). Now the other tractor I've seen is in a whole other league - it's an old Yugoslavian built Torpedo. It has a front loader with attachments, x2 different sized buckets, hay bale spike and pallet forks. It is 51 kw or 68 hp. The loader can shift up to around 800 kgs. Both tractors were built around 1992. The Vladimirec has doen aroudn 1300 hours and the Torpedo has many more... around two years ago it had a new electrical system installed (the old one kept failing) - so it has around 700 hours - but it's been used on a large dairy farm since it was bought new in 1992 - so the working hours will be much higher. The owner tells me that the engine has been fully overhauled and serviced, but that was around four years ago - and there's no paperwork...

It would be my first tractor - and I'd prefer to get something that I can live with for at least the next five years. The main function would be hauling firewood by trailer, cutting it, shifting hay bales, processing grass to make hay (during the two cuts per year) - then bringing the bales to feed the cattle.

I have the cows on the field by my house - and will shift them off as the herd grows to a more remote location. That is a future plan. I'm committed to developing a food forest and so far - planted around 80 mixed fruit trees around my house, and have made a basic raised vegetable patch - but want to increase my productivity and build on my experiences.

The smaller tractor costs around 2287 euro or 2424 USD and the medium sized tractor with front loader costs 8000 euro or 8482 USD, just the loader costs around 2000 euro or 2120 USD. I don't have any trailers, tedders, grass cutting equipment yet. The tractor would be the first thing I get.

I would welcome any advice, thoughts. It would be great to hear how you've gotten on using front loaders or making do with a small tractor and getting "creative"... 




Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-15.43.39.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-15.43.39.png]
Vladimirec T25
Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-15.43.24.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2017-02-27-at-15.43.24.png]
Torpedo 7506
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9744
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
188
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The only reason we borrow the neighbors' tractor is for the front loader bucket, so if you can get one with that feature, I'm sure you will find uses for it.  We've used it to repair our driveway and some earthworks.  Our other neighbor across the road uses his front loader with hay bale spikes to feed his cattle.

 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 772
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use fron bucket more that rear
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6799
Location: Left Coast Canada
858
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We also use the front more than the back. 

Although, now we have pallet forks on the back, we use that for hauling logs and duck houses and stuff.  but the front comes in handy for carrying the chainsaw and other tools.

So yes.  Definitely worth the extra.
 
Annie Lochte
Posts: 68
Location: The Ocala National Forest. Florida, USA
4
chicken forest garden goat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Get the front loader.... Always the most used part of any tractor I've had.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 1521
164
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
NEVER buy a tractor without a front end loader. It is what gets the majority of the work done.
 
John Weiland
Posts: 974
Location: RRV of da Nort
52
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@James W:  "I would welcome any advice, thoughts. It would be great to hear how you've gotten on using front loaders or making do with a small tractor and getting "creative"... " 

The photo below will appeal to "creative" even if not "recommended" 

Just one thought and it will depend on your tractor purchase and availability of front loaders.  My (USA-purchased) Kubota front loader has the same attachment pin configuration as a skid steer loader so it can attach to any front-end implement that a skid steer does.  This opens up a lot of versatility down the road if you need to use such implements.  So if you were to find a tractor and know that it would be able to take a front loader with that type of quick-attach system, then it may be worth considering.  As with the other opinions, we use both of our front loaders extensively and is over ~60% of the reason for firing up the tractor.
StairwayToHeaven.JPG
[Thumbnail for StairwayToHeaven.JPG]
 
Walt Chase
Posts: 119
Location: ALASKA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Travis Johnson wrote:NEVER buy a tractor without a front end loader. It is what gets the majority of the work done.


Ditto!!!  I've had both and good Lord willing will never be without a front loader on a tractor again.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 1521
164
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a pretty good combination going now. A small Kubota with a loader that makes for quick, zippy work, digging, hauling and lifting, then a bulldozer when I need lots of traction, going places tires would go flat, and flat out pushing. But there are times when I could get the best of both worlds with a tracked loader. Now I just need to convince my wife of this!

(My next purchase will be an excavator however).
 
Dana Jones
Posts: 126
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a Kubota 23 HP (too small for round bales) with a front end loader. I LOVE MY FRONT END LOADER!!! if it were a bigger horsepower, it would be perfect. But our neighbor that we buy round bales from, delivers them with his tractor, one at a time, as needed. I use my front end loader all the time. Get one, you will be glad you did.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 555
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a 35 hp Case. The loader is very handy, but it is very top heavy with the bucket raised. The tractor doesn't seem heavy enough.. Use carefully, especially if your land isn't level.  The bigger tractor would be better, but the price seems like it might be high.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6799
Location: Left Coast Canada
858
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the bucket load is heavy, we put a cement weight on the three point hitch.  Someone made it with an old 3point attachment, half a 25 gallon bucket, and cement.  It makes the tractor much safer if doing heavy work up high on uneven ground - not that we do much of that.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 1521
164
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Ranson wrote:If the bucket load is heavy, we put a cement weight on the three point hitch.  Someone made it with an old 3point attachment, half a 25 gallon bucket, and cement.  It makes the tractor much safer if doing heavy work up high on uneven ground - not that we do much of that.


Absolutely!

It seems a few safety pointers may be in order here. NEVER lift the bucket higher than you have too, even empty. When loaded, make sure it is as low as possible, drive slow over rough terrain, try to drive uphill when loaded, do not over load, and as R Ranson says, use a counter weight.

This can take shape in many ways. On my farm tractor I use my winch as a counterweight. If I am doing a lot of work (I own a gravel pit), I put on my heavy snowblower which is even better than the winch. My rear tires are also loaded, which means filled with unfreezable fluid. This helps, BUT is not as good as a counterweight because it does not give the tractor the fulcrum effect. It just adds some weight to the rear of the tractor, a counterweight puts the weight further back then the rear axle which really helps.

Four wheel drive also helps. I would never buy a tractor without this either.

My tractor is only 25 hp, but can handle round bales with ease, BUT here is why. Current Government issues state that any tractor under 26 hp does not have to comply to stringent emissions standards, SO almost all homestead oriented tractors have 26 hp engines or less. That means even heavier, more robust tractors have the same sized engines as smaller framed tractors. So in other words NEVER buy a tractor based on HP, it is very deceiving. This is no different than buying a chainsaw based on bar length. A 52 cc chainsaw with an 18 inch bar is going to be almost useless compared to a 72 cc chainsaw with an 18 inch bar. With a chainsaw power is derived by cc's, with a tractor its determined by weight.

What to do?

If you want a heavier tractor but it comes with a 26 hp engine or less, just buy a standard transmission. A Hydrostatic transmission robs horse power and gets really hot in doing field work. They are a dream however for loader operations like moving manure or loading gravel. If you do a lot of field work, go with a manual transmission, which is what I do. If you go with a smaller framed tractor however, either a hydrostatic or manual transmission is fine.

 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1802
Location: Zone 6b
189
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We bought a Kubota BX2200 (19hp) that came with front end loader, box blade and 60" mower deck. We bought an aftermarket set of 'piranha teeth' for the lower edge of that bucket and we use it heavily. Sometimes we attach the box blade to the back just for counterweight and at times I've had to stand on the back too (not a good thing but it's a quick fix in a pinch).

As someone else says, don't raise that bucket any higher than you have to with a load on. Also pay attention to your hydraulic hoses. Ours came to us well maintained but about a thousand hours on it and in short order we had to replace most of the hoses. Also be ready to do your hourly diligence, and if you have to, put an aftermarket hour meter on it. (ours is due for massive fluid maintenance).

We have used it for all sorts of purposes probably not originally intended.

Also never leave the bucket raised under load. If you have to leave it lower the bucket to the ground.

I'm convinced the 'to have' accessory for your small but needful tractor is a front end loader. The ones pictured are more in the line of the Kubota L4400 or could be an M series, which is a bigger tractor (and out of our price range).
 
Peter Kalokerinos
Posts: 95
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
2
chicken hugelkultur solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A week doesn't go by at our place that we're not slinging something off the back of my ute or a delivery truck with our excavator. Having a loader with forks is a must IMO/experience.

In saying that, I'm not a fan of tractors, but any machine is better than no machine (I'd rather a track loader - more versatile for our needs)
 
Dustin Marsau
Posts: 3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey y'all it sounds like some advice from my neighbor would also be extremely helpful to anyone looking at buying a tractor. First of all, he rebuilds vintage tractors and goes to all the major swap meets and flea markets.  We've never had a tractor on our 2 acres. we've always been able to borrow one from the neighbors when we need it.

Okay heres the most important advice hes shared with me. He has a ford 8n or 9n with a loader. i beleive its a 1950s or 60s tractor. Its got no power steering. So if he goes to pick up a load of compost or soil or anything heavy, he looses the ability to turn! its just too hard to turn the wheel if it doesnt have power steerming.

the other important bit of info he gave me was that the newer tractors that have hydrostatic transmissions are waay more efficient and easy to drive than a geared tractor. i can attest to driving a newer New Holland with the hydrostatic transmission. i think it took me only 15 minutes to turn a huge compost pile that was probably 20 yards. And it was a blast! There is a pedal for forward, and a pedal for backward. just stomp and go! seriously so much faster than gears. (disclaimer: I normally have a tendency to avoid automatic transmissions in cars/trucks for a few reasons such as repair cost & fuel efficiency. But manual tractors are not so easy as a 5 speed.) Go for hydrostatic trans if ya can.

you might also wanna figure out if you need 4x4 too.
 
Dustin Marsau
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
also, i heard that round bales almost always have chemicals in them? maybe its just an arse-backwards 'Merican thing... i probably read that from joel salatins book
 
R Jay
Posts: 49
Location: 54 North BC Canada
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tractors that are both 1992?  That would make them both 25 years old.  So how much do you know about engines, transmissions, electrical or hydraulic systems?

In other words. how good of a mechanic are you.....or do you know what the rates are for repair?.....and can you afford the cost and downtime?  A tractor with a
blown tranny is just a lawn ornament until it is fixed.

If you have no problems doing your own "wrenching", then get a used  tractor with a front end loader. Just make sure that both the capabilities of the front end loader
and the three-point hitch are sufficient for any application that you may wish to use.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1802
Location: Zone 6b
189
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Jay wrote:
Tractors that are both 1992?  That would make them both 25 years old.  So how much do you know about engines, transmissions, electrical or hydraulic systems?

In other words. how good of a mechanic are you.....or do you know what the rates are for repair?.....and can you afford the cost and downtime?  A tractor with a
blown tranny is just a lawn ornament until it is fixed.

If you have no problems doing your own "wrenching", then get a used  tractor with a front end loader. Just make sure that both the capabilities of the front end loader
and the three-point hitch are sufficient for any application that you may wish to use.


Some issues are how well have they been maintained and how many hours have they been run (especially diesel). Some things need servicing/maintenance every so many hours run.

In the mid 70's we bought a 1929 John Deere D that had been revamped onto rubber tires. It joined some B's we owned from the 1930's, and that was our level of workaholic tractors (mostly for hay mowing, raking, baling, and hauling, we did small square). Maintained and we could still get parts that fit (the dealership had parts 'in stock' that went back to 1934's!!!) As long as a tractor is maintained they will work for a long time, 1992 is not old if it has been maintained and not heavily used and abused.

I do agree, you will have to do some of your own work or you will never keep a tractor going....
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 1521
164
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A 1992 tractor is a teenager at worst, maybe a pre-teen even in comparison. Tractors are viable pieces of equipment because they are made to last. This has not changed with even newer tractors. I have a 1999 Kubota and it has required a battery, and fan belt in 2200 hours of HARD work. Before that we had a 1958 Ford 9N and we traded it for more money in 1999 to buy the Kubota than what we paid for it in 1958. What other investment do you make that physically rusts where you actually MAKE money? And of course that is not even factoring in the value of the work it performed.

It is pretty hard to beat a tractor in my opinion.

 
John Weiland
Posts: 974
Location: RRV of da Nort
52
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Travis Johnson wrote:.... What other investment do you make that physically rusts where you actually MAKE money? And of course that is not even factoring in the value of the work it performed.

It is pretty hard to beat a tractor in my opinion.



Agreed.  We sold a 1952 Ford 8N a while back at a bargain to a friend for ~1200.00 USD.  He promptly put new rims and tires on the rear and gave it a paint job.  The photos he sent back look beautiful.....AND he uses it for it's intended purpose.  How many people would be driving a 1952 car in tip-top, original shape around as their general-use, daytime vehicle??  (He's pretty handy and recently converted a self-propelled swather into a front-mount snowblower!) My Kubota and John Deere tractors with loaders will be second only to the land of our property in retaining value into the future.....even the house is no longer of value as it sits in the re-zoned floodway and would not be worth moving.
 
David Miller
Posts: 287
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My two cents.  I just bought a used year 200 John Deere 4700 with a front end loader and backhoe.  I've had it for two days and put 10 hours on it.  I cannot tell you how much I have gotten done in two days.  This is the best thing to happen to my farm yet!  I've slaved for a year and a half trying to clean up and start up my farm on hand labor and I warrant to say that in the last two days, I got just about as much done, without nearly as much backache.  That being said, I'm in hock to the bank for the next 5 years.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1802
Location: Zone 6b
189
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Miller wrote:My two cents.  I just bought a used year 200 John Deere 4700 with a front end loader and backhoe.  I've had it for two days and put 10 hours on it.  I cannot tell you how much I have gotten done in two days.  This is the best thing to happen to my farm yet!  I've slaved for a year and a half trying to clean up and start up my farm on hand labor and I warrant to say that in the last two days, I got just about as much done, without nearly as much backache.  That being said, I'm in hock to the bank for the next 5 years.


That sounds like us and our Kubota BX2200. We also ordered a towable small backhoe as we couldn't afford a tractor big enough to get that attachment, and that has more than paid for itself too. For stability and leverage we have sometimes left it hitched to the tow vehicle. That reminds me the backhoe needs a refill soon of 15 gal of hydraulic fluid, it's at hours. That was the other thing we've used heavily from the time we got it...

What gets me is all the other people that know we got it (It had to come into the one loading dock/freight place we have in town) and showed up to get us to do stuff for them. Pay us? Wha? The words 'we can't afford the liability insurance' shocked a lot of them. No we aren't their slaves and that isn't theirs to wear out.

Still, that front end loader has a sort of quickattach assembly, we can take it off or put it on in about five minutes, and that is the hardest working piece of hardware we have. The mower deck makes short work of serious swaths of mowing; and the box blade has been used to level some stuff out for driveways (one driveway on one piece of property is 125' long). It is also handy for counter weight for the loader. Only plus is we managed to scrape the cash so it just dollars us for necessary stuff. It needs a cylinder and it's been on vacation for a few weeks while I find the bucks in the budget to get a new one... sigh. He said something about getting another one so one is always running... sigh.
 
You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because
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!