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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm struggling with the decision of what tractor to buy. I'm down to four models: JD 4520, JD 5205, Massey Ferguson 461 or New Holland TC55DA. All are 4 WD. I will buy a loader for the unit purchased. Probably my favorites are the two Deeres, but they are also the most expensive. I believe they are made in the USA which has some sway with me. The New Holland was sweet to drive, attractively priced and a very nice machine. The best deal is the MF 461 and also the most powerful tractor of the lot at 61 HP and 55 HP at the PTO. The Massey is also the heavyweight at 5,456 lbs compared with the JD 4520 at 3,700 lbs.

I will use this machine for tilling part of my small farm, rough cut mowing, loader work and pushing snow.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

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john-in-ga
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Silverweasel

Welcome to the Tractor Forum,

I went through my tractor selection process a few years ago. You have a few new models to select from that I didn’t have. I sure any of the tractors on your list will make you a good tractor. The tractor shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. Go with a dealer who is not only close by but the one you think will give you the best service.

Now a word or two on tractor selection. Choose the equipment you plan to use, then choose a tractor to match the equipment. For instance, when I was shopping for my tractor a 5200 JD would have been a little under powered for a 6 foot Bush Hog. For just a few dollars more I got a 5300 that had enough HP to handle the 6ft Bush Hog I was planning to use.

Telescoping lift arms are worth the extra money, if you are planning to “hook up” to 6 foot Bush Hogs, box blades, or anything heavy.

Have the dealer set your wheel spacing to match your needs. Setting spacing can be a chore. Rear wheels are heavy. You can get it done at no cost if you include it in negotiating the deal. I had my tractor set up for planting 36” rows, as I do a little row cropping. This spacing makes the tractor the same width as a 6 foot bush hog.

The dealer will probably “load” your tires at no cost if, again, you include it in negotiating the deal.

A top link is suppose to come with your tractor. Be sure to get yours.

Hope you enjoy the tractor you choose as much as I’m enjoying mine. Good luck. Let us know here on the Tractor Forum what you decide.

:cpu:
 

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Any time I make a major purchase.....car, truck, tractor etc etc, I put a spreadsheet together with all the pertinent info in columns and the various brands I look at in rows. It makes for a nice side by side comparison of each and every tractor your deciding on. Its hard for me to pickup some literature and read it, and then pickup another brand tractors literature and read it and be expectd to remember each and every detail,,,but side by side in a spreadsheat makes it easy with no paperwork to be juggling around.

Can't say if the governing factor that swayed me to Ford when I bought mine would b true today but it was the fact it actually had three seperate hydraulic pumps.unlike some others that used one pump for all, mine had three seperate pumps, so steering is not affected when turning and using the lift arms etc etc.

Take into consideration how many gpm the hydraulics work at and how many psi system it is as well, as it all equates to workable hydrualics but mediocre in speed or a fast cycling hyd system.
Another was the actual horsepower at such and such rpm......by using a spreadsheet it wsa interesting to see how much horsepower each created at a given RPM. Then I took stroke of the piston into consideration, and figured out how many miles that piston would travel up and down over a given period of use (say an hour) and then times that by projected hours a year and it was amazing that some of those tractors engines pistons would have taveled 100 times more than the pistons in another brand which in my opinion is just that much faster that engine will wear out........it was pretty informative what info you could contrive out of specs with a spreadsheet.

Take into consideration also lift weights at given distances on the lengths of the lift arms. Some listed x amount of weight at the lift arm attach holes, where others listed the weight liftable x amount of feet behind the mounting holes in the lift arms, which is a much more valuable bit of info as it relates to actual use better than at the arm itself.

It was the little things when compared side by side thats wayed me from one model to another and helped me make my choice in the end.

Its easy to high light pertinent bits of info to catch your eye, sort and resort, add defined notes, and makes for a well defined reasearch into a major purchase item.......spreadsheets are not hard to do, and its merely used tomake nice neat rows and columns to compare work on in the way I use it, as I am not up with formulas to figure other stuff out so I use it as a sort of lined paper.......
 

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Welcome to Tractor Forum! :friends: :cheers: Great to have you aboard! To some degree, you may be comparing apples and oranges with respect to the machines that you are grouping together. The 4520 and TC55a are in the compact tractor class and the 5205 and 461 are ag tractors. An ag tractor is going to be much more heavily built thus the added weight and different selection of transmissions. The compact tractors are more geared towards light to medium duty and can be equipped with a more consumer friendly and reliable hydrostatic drive transmisson as well as a manual shift type.

You need to consider and ask yourself a few questions such as:

1. HP requirement? What size and type equipment will you be operating and under what conditions.

2. Do you have a preference for a particular type transmission? (i.e. do you prefer hydrostatic drive?)

3. Are there features in a particular add on such as a FEL that appeal to you. For example, Deere makes about the most user friendly and easy to remove and install FEL.

4. What amount have you budgeted for more or less in the tractor purchase.

Most importantly is that you need to demo each of these machines, paying special attention to ergonomics (i.e. postion of pedals, controls, etc.) , operater station room, and how the machine performs with respect to you expectations just to name a few. Consider tire options (in your case I would suggest R-1 ag tires but R-4 industrial tires can sometimes be a good compromise between ag tires and turf tires)

What extra attachments? Do you want a FEL? Carefully consider wheel weights vs. filling tires. What type bucket?

I would say the Deere 4720 would be a much closer comparison hp wise with the other machines.

Another VERY VERY important consideration is the dealer. Take a look around the dealership. Does the place look well kept or is it a pig pen. If possible, try to talk with other customers who have purchased from them. Try to get a feel for how you perceive the dealer supports their customers AFTER the purchase. Some dead give aways might be, does the salesman have a thorough working knowledge of the machine he is trying to sell you? Take a look around the service dept.; ask a few questions. Do the answers you get give you the idea that they know what they are doing or not? A dealer who gives poor support after the sale is best to pass up on and buy elsewhere. A good solid and customer oriented dealer that show great concern and consideration AFTER the sale will make your ownership experience a much more pleasant one.

For the tasks you mention, in my opinion, I would be leaning towards the 4520 or 4720 equipped with the eHydro transmission and 400X FEL. All of the machines you mentioned are good machines but you will have to narrow the choices down to what machine and dealer will in your estimation meet your needs and price consideration best. You can go on the Deere website and use the build your own feature and subtract about 20% of the retail price to get you into the range of a fair price to pay. Depending upon the model, dealer and area; you can get between 5% - 20% off retail. Good luck and let us know what you decide to purchase.

We wanna see lots of pictures!
:D ;)
 

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Check out the JD 4720 also...I think the resale will be better than the JD 4520 and I don't think it will cost that much more. The JD 4520 in my opinion is just not as popular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Moving to a Decision

I wish to thank all who responded to my thread. Your comments were most helpful. Choosing the implements first and then, the tractor second is a great recommendation and one that will be followed. Also, I won't forget telescoping lift arms and wheel spacing. It's always a good time to negotiate these items before signing the deal.
Chipmaker's spreadsheet suggestion is a great idea and most useful for side-by-side comparisons. The Deere website allows a user to download its specification spreadsheet into an Excel format.
With respect to the four tractors being considered, Chief's comment that I'm comparing apples to oranges is on point but, was largely the result of dealer recommendations. For example, the Massey Ferguson 1455-4 at 55.3 HP @ 2500 RPM and 3791 pounds is an excellent compact utility tractor that compares with the John Deere 4520. However, the local MF dealer pointed out that the MF 461 with 64 HP @ 2200 RPM and 5456 pounds is about the same price as the 1455-4. The overall length of the 461 is 126.8" and the 1455-4 is 137". The 1455-4 has the Iseki diesel and the 461 has the renown Perkins diesel which is made in England. Most would agree that the Perkins is the superior engine with tons of grunt. The MF dealer says the 461 is a substantial tractor as compared with the much lighter 1455-4. From a value standpoint, the 461 towers over the 1455-5 as these two tractors are comparably priced. The same comparison can be made with the JD 4520 and JD 5205. The 4520 is the more expensive of the two but, the 5205 is of similar size but, heavier and more horsepower. The 4520 has many more options and is probably my favorite. It is also the most expensive of the four being considered. I also considered the JD 4720, but is not available with the 12F/12R PowerReverser which I prefer.
Both Deere and Massey Ferguson show the 5205 and 461, respectively, as "Utility" tractors, as opposed to "Ag" tractors. Both are slightly smaller in stature (except weight) than the "compact utility" tractors with similar horsepower. I discovered this when I prepared a spreadsheet.
Finally, many of you have suggested the dealer is one of the most important variables in the decision of what to buy. Two of the dealers are local (JD and MF) and the New Holland dealer is about 45 miles from my home. All appear to be excellent with good support staffs.
I need to negotiate stronger with the JD dealer. He tells me that JD commands a pricing premium over other brands. If I had to decide tonight, it would be the MF 461 with 1050 FEL. If I can get the JD dealer to move, I will probably own green.
More to follow.
 

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Have you considered a 4710? Might be able to get a great deal on one of these to clear out stock for the new stuff. At 48 hp. they are in the ball park for the power and size you want. Have you tried out the eHydro transmission yet? I was a died in the wool gear shift man until my buddy who sells Deere equipment made me test out an eHydro 4310. I was amazed to say the least. The eHydro will also give the machine the highest resale value. Nothing wrong with the other transmissions; the eHydro can do it all very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
4710

Chief: I considered the JD 4710, but rejected it for a couple of reasons. First, the 4710 does not use the John Deere PowerTech engine, which I prefer, but rather, a Japanese diesel, which is probably an okay engine. Second, the PTO HP of the 4710 is 40 and I wanted to get closer to 45 or 50 for running a large tiller in heavy soil. I tried both the eHydro transmission and the 12F/12R PowerReverser. I preferred the PowerReverser for loader work.
 
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