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Sub Compact Tractors--Share Your Experience, Please!

scut sub-compact

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#1 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2014 - 11:49 PM

Well, after working all weekend, including several hours with my Bolens HT23, I am even more determined to get a SCUT with 4 wheel drive, power steering and a decent turn radius.  I had become ambivalent whether I wanted hydrostatic power or a shuttle, but, while the Bolens wore me out working in my back yard with all the incremental turns, the forward and reverse pedal  is so sweet, and it's almost Second Nature to me, now.

 

However, even with chains on, I had to work hard to avoid getting stuck--working in about 4 inches of slushy snow...

 

So, although the Bolens definitely will remain in my stable, (I just bought a diesel to repower it with--but don't let it know, it's a surprise...), I definitely want to get a SCUT with certain features that the Bolens doesn't have like 4 wheel drive and a good turn radius.  Here's my basic criteria

 

- 4 wheel drive

- Diesel Engine

- Cat 1 3PH

- Good turn radius

- Power Steering (Willing to put an add-on kit on if I can find one).

- FEL

- Minimum 16 hp--18 to 22 preferable

- Weight under 2,000 lbs (including loader)

- Overall length NMT~ 100 inches, w/ 3Ph at horizontal

- Wheel base 56" or under

- NMT 46 inches wide (for access to my back yard.)

- Ground Clearance at least 7.5 inches.

- Hydrostatic Trans preferable--2 range; followed by shuttle shift, I will consider a manual trans.

 

I wouild primarily be using it for FEL and scraper work, plus bush hogging, and post hole digging. Having a mower isn't a concern as I have several others.

 

So, I've been poring over Tractor Data, com, and eBay, Craig's List, and the local classified.

 

Here's my short list:

 

Yanmar YMD1401

Yanmar YM1510D - I'm seriously considering both of these machines due to ther size, decent power, and good reputation. And, even though they're grey market machines, parts are available from Hoyes, etc.

 

Kubota B7100HST

Kubota B1500HST

YM187D

Case DX22E

 

Others I might consider if I got a great price on a lower hour machine (under 1,000 hours):

A/C 5015/Simplicity 9518/Hinomoto C174D

Yanmar YM1500D

Kubota B2100D

 

I know there's some Grey Market machines listed, but there are a couple dealers in the Pacific Northwest that sell these, so freight won't be a concern.

 

I've thought of the mid-sized Bolens/Iseki  (174??) but I'm not sure how good they are for parts availability.

 

I'd like to spend NMT $5,000 incl front loader.

 

Anyway... if anyone has any of these machines  -- OR -- can recommend a similar machine, please let me know.

 

Regards,

 

Smitty

 

 

 


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#2 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 12:05 AM

hi utah smitty, i have had a number of small utility tractors, now they are a great toy to have but if your like me and i have a number of larger gt around the house you might just want to consider a skid steer, i bought one 4 years ago and have since then sold my kubotas, my case 485 hasnt moved in 2 years, my massey 375 with loaded even longer, any attachments you can convert to hydrostatic, and reverse on a post hole digger can be a godsend, it will out work a small utility tractor many times over and they are fairly resonably priced, anyways just my 2 cents, have fun figuring it out , farmer john


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#3 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 12:19 AM

hi utah smitty, i have had a number of small utility tractors, now they are a great toy to have but if your like me and i have a number of larger gt around the house you might just want to consider a skid steer, i bought one 4 years ago and have since then sold my kubotas, my case 485 hasnt moved in 2 years, my massey 375 with loaded even longer, any attachments you can convert to hydrostatic, and reverse on a post hole digger can be a godsend, it will out work a small utility tractor many times over and they are fairly resonably priced, anyways just my 2 cents, have fun figuring it out , farmer john

Farmer J

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I hadn't considered a skid steer, though I have used them in the distant past.  I may get one in the future, but right now I need something I can move around my yard withouit tearing up the lawn too much in the summer. Plus, I want to be able to plow with it...

 

Again, thanks for the input.

 

Smitty



#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 06:10 AM

4" of slush would be hard for my Ford 2000 diesel with an FEL. I have chains and a 1200lbs counterweight but would get stopped about every 70' by the weight to the icy 4" last week.  You may be disappointed in just a scut. Around here the full size go cheaper than scuts. Good Luck, Rick


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#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 06:37 AM

The under 2K weight limit with loader is not practical if you are including ballast in that value. My JD 2320 is 1670lbs bare but the loader and the mount/bucket will go over 600lbs. Add another 1000 lbs ballast for safe operation and you are up there above 3K. In an older JD I like the 4110 which is smaller than my 2320 but has a stronger transmission and lower gearing. All these small JD's are built by Yanmar.

  One small tractor that I really like is the Kubota BX1860 or 70 or whatever the version would be. 18hp diesel and very compact. I think they weigh in at 1250lbs and have a small loader that is sized properly to the tractor. If I downsize that's a tractor I would be looking at. As far as turning radius goes my 2320 will turn in a tighter circle than most large GT's. It is however a lot longer.


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#6 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 08:06 AM

The under 2K weight limit with loader is not practical if you are including ballast in that value. My JD 2320 is 1670lbs bare but the loader and the mount/bucket will go over 600lbs. Add another 1000 lbs ballast for safe operation and you are up there above 3K. In an older JD I like the 4110 which is smaller than my 2320 but has a stronger transmission and lower gearing. All these small JD's are built by Yanmar.

  One small tractor that I really like is the Kubota BX1860 or 70 or whatever the version would be. 18hp diesel and very compact. I think they weigh in at 1250lbs and have a small loader that is sized properly to the tractor. If I downsize that's a tractor I would be looking at. As far as turning radius goes my 2320 will turn in a tighter circle than most large GT's. It is however a lot longer.

Thanks, Brian.  I hadn't thought of the need for Ballast. My weight requirement is mainly driven by not wanting to have to buy a larger trailer to haul it in...  I have seen JD2320s for sale, so I'll take a look at it.  I'll also look into the Kubota BX18XX series. And... it looks like I need to start scouting for a larger trailer...

 

Smitty



#7 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 08:08 AM

4" of slush would be hard for my Ford 2000 diesel with an FEL. I have chains and a 1200lbs counterweight but would get stopped about every 70' by the weight to the icy 4" last week.  You may be disappointed in just a scut. Around here the full size go cheaper than scuts. Good Luck, Rick

Yeah, the full size are a lot cheaper here, too.  If I had some acreage I'd go for a larger machine... that MAY happen some day, if the politicians don't suck away every dime from my retirement...

 

Smitty


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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 08:44 AM

Yeah, the full size are a lot cheaper here, too.  If I had some acreage I'd go for a larger machine... that MAY happen some day, if the politicians don't suck away every dime from my retirement...

 

Smitty

I'm retired on SS and my Army Reserve Retirement. Together they provide just enough to get by. The best part of the Army retirement is the Medical and Dental coverage.

 

I bought my acreage in 1986 when it was reasonable (though others told me I paid too much). I wish that I could have afforded more. It took 2 more years to start building the house. We moved in in 1999 but it still isn't finished. Good Luck, Rick



#9 js5020 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 08:57 AM

Id look at the Yanmars, Kubotas, even Iseki (better parts supply), but Id steer away from Hinomoto or the rebages AC, Simpy, MF (pretty limited parts supply and not the best for a loader).  Not sure on Mitsubishi parts?

 

The newer the machine you can afford the better the features you will find, most 80's stuff is going to be cumbersome compared to current machines, as most 80s are basically just Japanese rice farm tractors labeled as subcuts or cuts, they are not as refined as the modern machines.  Ive used the Kubota BX25 and JD 2305 and I own an AC5020 that I purchased new in 84.  The bigger older AC doesnt compare when it comes to utility work. 


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#10 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 09:29 AM

There seems to be a lot of confusing (maybe should call it a Grey Area) in the classification of Scut Vs Compact tractors.

What would have been called a Compact utility in the 80's would be considered a Scut by todays standards.

My 1980 Ford 1500  weighs just a shade over 2,000 lbs (no loader) with 20 hp and 24" rear tires.  It is a little larger than you specify in your requirements. It does not have all the goodies like power steering,Hydro(there are versions that do) . I don't run a loader and have found a litlle weight on the 3 point makes it feel like power steering.

I ca tell you that on my acreage it is the best thing I ever bought.

The newer sub compacts are really amazing and would fall right into your requirements. With the quick change loaders,backhoes etc they are pretty impressive.  One thing you might want to investigate is on the newer sub compacts they have what they call a limited Category 1 3 point hitch. That means that they do not lift as high as a 3 point on a standard compact. Which would not be an issue, untill you get to things like the Post Hole Digger? In Iowa the post needs to be over 3 ft deep to prevent frost heave. Putting a 3 ft+ auger on a power head could be an issue or require a unit built specifically for a SCUT.  I don't doubt that a modern Scut would do anything I want to do on my 9 acres, But the implements would have to be sized specifically for the SCUT.  As I aproach Retirement myself, I have not found the budget to swing a new machine, yet.


Edited by JD DANNELS, February 10, 2014 - 09:33 AM.

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#11 tractorskipper OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 07:57 PM

Back before I retired, I shopped for a used compact tractor for over 2 years.  Financing for used machines is difficult so machines i could pay for were junk & machines that weren't junk, I couldn't pay for.  I finally opted for new so it could be financed reasonbly & since I was still working I could manage it.  I bought a JD 2320 & never regreted it.  I have a loader, hoe & belly mower.  Between mine & my 2 daughter's propertys, I have done more work with that expensive "toy" (as my wife called it) than I ever dreamed I could.  Over 6 years (500 hrs) & all I need my dealer for is filters, never a lick of trouble. That's the real +, not having to work on it every time I want to use it.

Now that I'm retired, I understand your financial situation but I don't think you will get much in the 4X4 market for 5K.  Good luck.

 

Skip


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#12 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 08:13 PM

 

Id look at the Yanmars, Kubotas, even Iseki (better parts supply), but Id steer away from Hinomoto or the rebages AC, Simpy, MF (pretty limited parts supply and not the best for a loader). 

:iagree:


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#13 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 11:35 PM

Id look at the Yanmars, Kubotas, even Iseki (better parts supply), but Id steer away from Hinomoto or the rebages AC, Simpy, MF (pretty limited parts supply and not the best for a loader).  Not sure on Mitsubishi parts?

 

The newer the machine you can afford the better the features you will find, most 80's stuff is going to be cumbersome compared to current machines, as most 80s are basically just Japanese rice farm tractors labeled as subcuts or cuts, they are not as refined as the modern machines.  Ive used the Kubota BX25 and JD 2305 and I own an AC5020 that I purchased new in 84.  The bigger older AC doesnt compare when it comes to utility work. 

Good Info... thanks!!

 

Smitty



#14 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2014 - 11:56 PM

There seems to be a lot of confusing (maybe should call it a Grey Area) in the classification of Scut Vs Compact tractors.

What would have been called a Compact utility in the 80's would be considered a Scut by todays standards.

My 1980 Ford 1500  weighs just a shade over 2,000 lbs (no loader) with 20 hp and 24" rear tires.  It is a little larger than you specify in your requirements. It does not have all the goodies like power steering,Hydro(there are versions that do) . I don't run a loader and have found a litlle weight on the 3 point makes it feel like power steering.

I ca tell you that on my acreage it is the best thing I ever bought.

The newer sub compacts are really amazing and would fall right into your requirements. With the quick change loaders,backhoes etc they are pretty impressive.  One thing you might want to investigate is on the newer sub compacts they have what they call a limited Category 1 3 point hitch. That means that they do not lift as high as a 3 point on a standard compact. Which would not be an issue, untill you get to things like the Post Hole Digger? In Iowa the post needs to be over 3 ft deep to prevent frost heave. Putting a 3 ft+ auger on a power head could be an issue or require a unit built specifically for a SCUT.  I don't doubt that a modern Scut would do anything I want to do on my 9 acres, But the implements would have to be sized specifically for the SCUT.  As I aproach Retirement myself, I have not found the budget to swing a new machine, yet.

Thanks. 

 

Most of the Newer--5 years old or newer SCUTs Compact tractors I've seen have been about double what I want to pay... A post hole auger is something I want to have since I will probably be taking care of mom's place when she get's to the point she can't or doesn't want to any more.

 

Smitty



#15 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2014 - 12:05 AM

Back before I retired, I shopped for a used compact tractor for over 2 years.  Financing for used machines is difficult so machines i could pay for were junk & machines that weren't junk, I couldn't pay for.  I finally opted for new so it could be financed reasonbly & since I was still working I could manage it.  I bought a JD 2320 & never regreted it.  I have a loader, hoe & belly mower.  Between mine & my 2 daughter's propertys, I have done more work with that expensive "toy" (as my wife called it) than I ever dreamed I could.  Over 6 years (500 hrs) & all I need my dealer for is filters, never a lick of trouble. That's the real +, not having to work on it every time I want to use it.

Now that I'm retired, I understand your financial situation but I don't think you will get much in the 4X4 market for 5K.  Good luck.

 

Skip

 

I'm not retired, yet.  I have another 5-6 years as a minimum.  I make pretty good money, er... made pretty good money, but got nicked with sequestration and only recenlty got a pay raise (first one since the current president took office--the 1% raise doesn't even cover the rise in insurance premiums and co-pays).

 

Anyway, rant over...

 

I guess I want to do too many things with one machine.  Right now I'm on a small (.18 acre) residential lot with a large detached garage (2 1/2 car).  However, I do have access to about 1/3 acre for a garden spot, but it's 3 miles away.  I don't want to leave the tractor there due to possibility of theft or vandalism... so, I'm trying to find a machine that I can use in a residential setting--compact, agile, but with enough power to do some real work.  My Bolens HT23 is plenty powerful enough, and the loader is actually deeper than several I've seen on larger Kubotas and Yanmars--it just doesn't have 4 wd, and, when I'm finished will only have a CAT O 1/2 Hitch (CAT O on lower end of arms, CAT 1 on uppers).

 

I have to haul my tractor around, so I'm trying to keep the weight down as my K10 Chevy pickup is the light duty version, although 4 wd. 

 

Eventually, I'll probably either get a place in the country, or be living at my mom's helping take care of her.  She has about 10 acres at the house and a couple more 8 miles away.

 

Maybe the solution is to get something handy and small now, and something a little larger when I do get some elbow room...

 

Thanks for your reply,

 

Smitty


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