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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, I just closed on about 60 acres of hilly land that has been mostly cleared about 8 years ago. It has dozer cleared lumber trails still in place but they never put in culverts in the spots that needed them so there are some pretty deep cuts in a few placed that formed after heavy rains. This isn't all of the trails but many would require some grading and trenching to make them safely usable again. They are walkable but not safe for an atv or utv at this point. I also want to do some selective clearing for paths through a good deal of the brush that has grown in around the some of the trees that were left in place. There are also enough trees that I would want to be able have a grabber to pick them up to clear when they fall down.

I was originally thinking of a John Deere or a Kubota but the pricing has me concerned. I thinking of a tractor in the minimum 25HP range and leaning up as high 37 if I can reasonable afford with the implements needed.

I have operated equipment including excavators, dozers, backhoes, FELs etc. over the course of many years but never actually owned my own equipment.

I have done a ton of reading up in different models, brands and options but am starting to get to the point where i am honestly getting a little lost. Its hard to tell which vids are paid shills vs honest opinion.

I do have a Rural King not far away but I am a bit worried about long term support.

Tractors I am considering:

Kioto CK2610HST
Kubota L2501 or higher
JD 2038R assuming I can find one.
RK 37H

ideally quick attach, 3rd function valve setup
Priority attachments: FEL, Grabber, BOX Blade, brush cutter or 62" hammer flail mower if possible
Nice to have:skid steer pallet, backhoe

Are these options the best tools for the job? Would another option or tool be more appropriate? What are thoughts on reliability/support of one brand over another. Is it generally ok to use other brand implements or stick with the brand of the tractor?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Since you have equipment experience...and you need to improve the roads. I would look towards renting a small dozer to establish the roads and ditches 1st. I think you're online with a 25-35hp 4×4 tractor for mowing and general maintenance of the property after that. I can't speak to which tractor is better...but from some of my research, the RK tractor does provide cheap HP. But as you mention future dealer support could be an issue, unless you're mechanically inclined...but as with most tractors there's always internet parts. B.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. I was thinking mini rental could be the way to go as well.

There are a couple of older tractors available not too far away as well like an older Ford 4000 but not sure if its worth getting or if it could handle serving as a working tractor in this type of situation.

In terms of RK do they offer pricing better than what they list on the website?
 

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Not a Ford guy but the 4000 4cyl 45pto hp tractor has been around in a couple of versions/transmissions a long time. Though only 2whl drive, as a utility tractor they are stable on hillsides could handle a 7-8' bushhog and 3pt equipment. I believe the later version(late 70's-80) have a frame better suited for a loader if you go that direction. As for the RK tractor(they do offer sale prices).I don't have 1st hand knowledge but appear to be a pretty good bang for your buck and RK price is a little better than most offer on TYM tractors in general. Kind of depends on whether you want a 'bells and whistles' cab tractor or open station. Both have their benefits/downsides. B.

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Using a tractor on hills presents special treatment- Always turn upwards to turn never downwards. This prevents tractor from flipping. Know the limits of using loader on hillsides, lifting heavy items offsets center of gravity and can flip you over. All of us that have hills have these issues, it can be a backside tightening experience sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you both for the replies. I am currently trying to work out a price for the 4000.

I also found a possible used JD 5055 with no attachments but the asking price seems really high.
 

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Attachments for the JD fel will eat you alive. You will be limited to JD high dollar attachments for their proprietary j hook system.

I would stick with one of the others that have skid steer type quick attach on the fel.

I agree on renting a dozen or skidsteer to get trails in shape the you can use tractor to fine tune and maintain.

May take a close look at kioti as I've read good reviews...been happy with my kubota but no way would ive bought it new. You having operator experience will go a long way in rentals. If ya have no long term need for backhoe, I wouldn't invest in one. Hard on the less than commercial yellow brand tractors and high dollar not to mention you cant shred or use 3pt attachments with it on. Really limits you unless you have constant need to for one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again. That is what I was afraid of with the JD as the attachment prices are crazy high.

I realized I also have a Kioti dealer close by to the property so will definitely be checking them out as well.
 

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Most attachments for deere aren't made by deere, so you do have aftermarket options.
That said, I thing a little more size would be appreciated compared to the models you list. Cutting roads, ditches and culverts is also an area where you will want a backhoe, and machine size is even more important with a backhoe as a little more reach will mean fewer times getting back in the driver's seat and to reposition.

Getting a good dealer is more important than getting the best brand in my opinion.

Yanmar gave good bang for the buck when I was last shopping. I also trust an established Japanese company more than a Korean company in general, then consider virtually everyone in this power range uses yanmar engines, and their machines have been rebadged as Deere and Cub in the past suggests others trust them too.
 

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60 acres I’d want a couple of pieces of equipment. I struggle at times to handle my small lots with two small tractors. My smaller 30 hp tractor is even to big for some things my larger tractor is to small often.

I cant imagine 60 acres without a backhoe. Both of my tractors have them and both have returned there initial costs and then some v having paid someone or rentals but I have installed a lot of drainage ditches. I dont dig any holes by hand these days unless were talking a few shovels.

seems like low hours late model used name brand tractors are not much cheaper than new. Old is risky in this area I want to see service records and know for sure abuse hasn’t shortened the lifespan. One of my employees bought a used tractor it literally broke in half on him he now owns a new tractor. But theres a hefty price tag between an old tractor and a new tractor so it really boils down to how much money you want to spend. I won’t state afford because I couldn’t afford either tractor I own at the time of purchase but got over that real quick. Big concern for me on a used purchase is why are you selling it the worst used tractor is one that wasn’t big enough it’s probably been worked hard. That being said my father in low had a 70 hp with about 500 hours on it old Ford from the late 70s beast of a machine an older work horse that had low hours something like this would be a different cost v what you get scenario. But it came with history

If I owned 60 acres here I know there would be a backhoe so much work you cant do this without one here’s last week for an example
 

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60 acres I’d want a couple of pieces of equipment. I struggle at times to handle my small lots with two small tractors. My smaller 30 hp tractor is even to big for some things my larger tractor is to small often.

I cant imagine 60 acres without a backhoe. Both of my tractors have them and both have returned there initial costs and then some v having paid someone or rentals but I have installed a lot of drainage ditches. I dont dig any holes by hand these days unless were talking a few shovels.

seems like low hours late model used name brand tractors are not much cheaper than new. Old is risky in this area I want to see service records and know for sure abuse hasn’t shortened the lifespan. One of my employees bought a used tractor it literally broke in half on him he now owns a new tractor. But theres a hefty price tag between an old tractor and a new tractor so it really boils down to how much money you want to spend. I won’t state afford because I couldn’t afford either tractor I own at the time of purchase but got over that real quick. Big concern for me on a used purchase is why are you selling it the worst used tractor is one that wasn’t big enough it’s probably been worked hard. That being said my father in low had a 70 hp with about 500 hours on it old Ford from the late 70s beast of a machine an older work horse that had low hours something like this would be a different cost v what you get scenario. But it came with history

If I owned 60 acres here I know there would be a backhoe so much work you cant do this without one here’s last week for an example
odd how people have entirely different opinions on what is a large amount of land. My family holds one chunk of land that's a bit over 600 acres and several smaller pieces. I never considered us to be "land barons". It all depends on what you want to do with it.
The primary use for the backhoe is culverts for us. Its also good for cutting roads into the side of hills if you don't have a 6-way blade. The 80" hoe we have is too small for much else.
 

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I'd look around for a used industrial tractor. I have a Ford 345c that has heavy FEL and 3 point, and it's a beast compared to the "compact" tractors. Weight is your friend. The 3 point versions are less common, and many are high hour machines to stay away from. I bought mine from a golf course with 2,000 hrs. JD and Case have similar "yellow" tractors. A little FEL with a grapple, probably isn't going to clear much timber slash, unless you have a loooong time to peck away at it. Good Luck on your search
 

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odd how people have entirely different opinions on what is a large amount of land. My family holds one chunk of land that's a bit over 600 acres and several smaller pieces. I never considered us to be "land barons". It all depends on what you want to do with it.
The primary use for the backhoe is culverts for us. Its also good for cutting roads into the side of hills if you don't have a 6-way blade. The 80" hoe we have is too small for much else.
For sure.
I’m from a family of moderately large ranchers in fact pioneers homesteaders who were the first to see land deeded with peoples names. Big ones. So ive seen the full spectrum of equipment small to large. My father was a heavy equipment operator the kind that come in on several trucks and were assembled. It was funny to see him after he retired manicuring his 2 acre lot with a garden or lawn tractor. 6’4 1/2” tall doing all kinds of yard work on that teeny little tractor but he liked to work dirt and it showed.

Today one fact in my life that seems to have come with tractors. No tractor has ever reduced the amount of physical work I end up doing. I may do 100 times the amount of work but it sure doesn’t feel like I physically work any less. I have a few properties that I maintain the largest is 1.5 acres and I can barely manage it with a 40HP and a 25 HP tractor. But its also a working shop that is on a swamp. I never run out of tractor work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks again for the additional input. Hopefully I can find something used to help with the bare essentials.I also found that the property does have large smooth rock formations visible on some exposed areas in the logging dozer trails where the water washed away the dirt running down the hill. I was also thinking of trying to run a flail mower on the front if possible to help clear some of the rough overgrowth that has come in over the past 8 years since the lumber was cut. Would that work with the RK37?
 

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Renting a dozer to get your trails passable is an excellent idea and will save wear and tear on your own tractor. With the situation your talking about I feel your second purchase should be a track-hoe (excavator) at least 12,000 lbs. I'm down to two loader tractors, one with a backhoe and a 12,000 lb track-hoe. There is no comparison between the two and you will find that a lot of times they work really good together.
A heavy tractor of 35hp minimum would be my choice for your land. 4wd. in those hills would be a huge plus.
Anyway give some serious thought to renting a small to medium sized crawler and good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again for that confirmation. Renting a dozer is definitely where I will start for sure. I will be on the lookout for a used track-hoe if possible as well. I was thinking 35HP for the tractor would be the minimum at this point.

Closing actually got delayed until a couple of weeks out. Running into a little bit of a hiccup with the survey on the property. Turns out part of a fence and driveway is actually across the property line which is a bit of a pita.
 

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Good luck with the survey. 40 hp. Is a good starting point on both the track-hoe and the tractor. My Kubota hoe is 40 and has done r everything I've needed.
 

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Good luck with the survey. 40 hp. Is a good starting point on both the track-hoe and the tractor. My Kubota hoe is 40 and has done r everything I've needed.
IMO, people are too hung up on HP. The machine's weight is what dictated what work a machine can do. HP may allow it to do it faster, but is that a big thing for most small tractor users?
I've got a 1958 Deere 420 crawler with an industrial loader. I believe it was rated in the neighborhood of 32hp. It will outlift, both in terms of weight and height, my Dad's newest 59hp utility tractor. It'll also out push/pull it easily. That's a bit of an extreme example, but you get my point.
 
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