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Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved into a home with about half an acre of the back yard containing a dozen fruit trees and a lot of weeds. The lots on both sides (half acre each) have been vacant for years and need to have the weeds knocked down as well. I would like to take everything down to dirt (except for the trees). The rest of my yard I have to mow.

Since I have to drag something, either a box scraper or another attachment, do I look at a higher end garden tractor like a John Deere X485 that mows but can pull attachments as well, or do I look at a compactor that pulls attachments but can mow as well.

Considering what an X485 costs, I am already in the compact tractor price range, so which makes the most sense?

Also, what attachment should I use to scrape off the weeds while keeping the ground fairly solid?
 

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HI Tom, welcome to TF.com! I think you will get more answers in the "Shade tree Lounge" forum. This forum is mainly for questions about using the site, so not all members visit here.;)
Enjoy your visits here, this is home to some great guys, and you have access here to a wealth of experience in many walks of life!
Again,, welcome!!:thumbsup:
 

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A kubota BX 1500/1800/2200 or a JD 2210 or a MF GC 2300 are much better choices for the same amount of money. Plus offere a large choices of attachments.
 

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Tom, if I am correct you will need this tractor to work 1 acre, then what.. Are you going to keep working these lots up to sod or seed???

You can do more w/ a cut, but from what I have decyphered from your post it may be overkill but still feasable compared to some large gt's.... I will need more imput on the useage.

Have you looked into any used equipment???

Also it depends on how many trees and how tightly they are entwined, sometimes a smaller unit will do better overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The area is not more than half an acre but the weeds grow back up regularly, so I am figuring on scraping at least every couple of months with weed killer treatments in between. The area doesn't get watered, so I have no idea how the weeds grow so fast but they do. On the two sides of me I need to cut a fire break at the very least and keep them up. I have enough room between the trees to get either a compact or a mower style in between them.

I am concerned that if I use a garden tractor, even one like the Deere X485 that is supposed to be able to pull attachments, I will wear it out quickly. I don't want too much overkill but I don't want to strain a tractor that is really designed to mow and not much more.
 

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I would rent a machine if thats all you need to do...a CUT with a brush hog will take of that mess in no time. You can then maintain it will a garden Tractor (new or used) and save yourself
a bunch...

Ducati
 

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Tom, I think a good used compact utility tractor would probably fit the bill, The question is how mechanical incline are you, are you prepared to fix, weld and do your own mechainical work as needed or do you want someone else to do the work for you? If you are not much of a mechanic the guys here can assist you in a lot of the information to get up to speed, If you are not mechanical incline and are afraid to touch the mechanical end I would recommend a newer tractor. personally I cannot reccommend any thing until I know more.

I have a couple of freinds and even my younger brother who bought Yanmar and Zen-Noh (Kubota, Yanmar) gray market units and they have pretty good success and I have a 25 year old Kubota L-185 that I have had good luck with, yeah stuff breaks but I am able to fix just about anything and the parts are available for both the grays (somewhat harder) and the U.S. models.

I think if budget considerations are part of this discussions a good used 15-25 year old or even a gray would work good for you.
 

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Boy you know a sub compact would be nice, but for that kinda coin, its a LOT of tractor for just mowing a half acre. I think you are underestamating how tough a good GT can be. Maybe eaven look into a walk behind brushcutter. The old Gravely's are a tough, do anything machene, with a lot of atachments to do just about anything. For a few grand you can get into a 5-10year old Kohler powerd one, that will be pretty user frendly, and have MORE then enough umph to do the job.
 

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Tom...Welcome to TF.com!!!

Scraping every couple of months with weed killer in between is just defeating your purpose. The scaping is going to stir up weed seeds that are laying dormant in the ground waiting for someone to bring them to the surface and create a quagmire every time it rains, plus a dust storm when it doesn't. And all that weed killer you propose can't be good for the environment. You may want to consider planting a grass that is native to your area and then keep it mowed with a nice, affordable lawn tractor.
 

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I agree with Argee's recommendation. I'd recommend a garden tractor with possibly a tiller attachment for your firebreaks. You don't really need a $10,000 machine to do what you want, I think you can easily accomplish your tasks with new machinery at around $4000-5000, and with high quality lightly used machinery for even less. Check out a Cub Cadet 3000 series machine, or Simplicity Conquest or Prestige (or their Massey Ferguson and AGCO clones) or other premium brands. Of course, I am amking this recommendation without seeing the land, just basing it on what a typical 1/2 acre might need.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to everyone who responded with such good advice. I am going to have someone scrape/grade the lot so that I can eliminate the dips and peaks and then I will get a good grade garden tractor and keep it mowed close.

I live in a desert area where we will probably see no rain for 4-6 months or longer during the period between April and November. By drip irrigating the trees I should be able to keep the weeds under control.

I will be looking at the different equipment you have recommended.

Thank you again,
Tom Haikin
 

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tom -- on the garden web forum[ see how tolerant we are here!] a guy by the E- name of USN Ed also lives in a desert environment and I beleive he bought and uses a craftsman GT-- take a peek over at GW and see what USN Ed has to say about desert, snakes etc. BUt don't forget to stay mainly here -- bigl22
 
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