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    Make Stuff Up

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 12:02 AM

OK, I am still looking into a new small farm tractor, somewhere around 50hp . I  was wanting 2WD because I know they are cheaper. Does anyone know how much cheaper a 2WD is compared to a 4WD? I was talking to my local LS dealer and he said he can't get a 2 wheel drive although the main LS website says they sell 2WD?. I contacted another LS dealer (long ways a way) and he said he can get 2WD, so I don't know what's wrong with the local dealer?.


Everyone tells me to get a 4WD, but I don't see the point, I figure if I get rim guard in the rear wheels along with wheel weights, I should be just fine, they have been using 2WD tractors since the beginning of well.............. tractors.

I was told that a 30hp 4wd can pull the same as a 60hp 2wd and I just don't believe it.

I am planing on doing small scale farm work and some loader work. I can even get some duels put on if needed for field work.

The loader work will be light digging and mainly scooping dirt/manure/compost out of piles.

I already have a Kubota L2000(20hp) that is 2wd, I have good rice/cane tires on it that are fluid filled with 2 sets of wheel weights. The old thing is unstoppable, it can dig, push, plow, disk, mow and do anything else that I throw at it.

When running my Kubota, I have never thought      " I wish I had a 4wd ".


Maybe I'm totally wrong, maybe a 4wd would be the best, but I know I can't afford one :rolling:


What is your experience? how do you think a low hp 4wd pulls compared to a higher hp 2wd?

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#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 12:46 AM

Test drive them all, pick the one that your butt fits in best and operates the way you expect from a tractor. If you can find just one situation you might need 4wd, get 4wd. If you have never needed 4wd, you may be fine. But any chance you might say "I wish I had gotten it with..." you better get it with it.
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#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 07:12 AM

If money is a problem, do you have to go with new? I personnally own and prefer tractors from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. A nice Ford 5000 with FEL is only about $7000 around here. I have a 1973 Ford 2000 with FEL and a 1971 Ford 4500 TLB. There have been times where 4wd might have helped but I don't mis the extra cost and maintenance of the 4wd. Good Luck, Rick
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#4 JDBrian ONLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 07:14 AM

I have a 24hp JD2320 with a loader. You are on the right track getting lots of weight on the back. I have about 1000lbs on the back and it helps a lot. I almost never need 4wd when doing loader work in dry conditions. Where 4wd is needed is if you will be working in the woods on rough terrain, steep slopes, in mud or sand or in snow. Chains can help a lot in all those situations but are a pain to take on and off, noisy, rough riding, heavy in the size needed for a 50hp tractor etc. 

  Most of the time I use 2wd and if I start having traction issues I pull the magic lever and it usually gets the job done. So IMO a lot depends on the jobs you need done and the terrain you will be working on. Eventually you will run into a situation where you wish you had more traction. It all depends on how much you want to pay for that peace of mind. As far as a 30hp tractor out pulling a 60hp. I doubt it, no matter how many wheels are driven. Weight and tire size are much larger on a 60hp tractor and those 2 factors are very important to how much power gets to the ground. 

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#5 Coventry Plumber OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 07:16 AM

Although I have never had or driven a 4 WD tractor I don't dout they get better traction but by the sound of the work you plan to do I think 2WD is adequate . Like you said 2WD was all that was availible for 130 years . 4 WD doesn't make it unstoppable , the Titanic wasn't unsinkable . Just getting a new tractor is a great thing after all. Either way you go you be better off than you are now. Just a bunch of random thoughts in sentence form. Good Luck.

Northern Tom
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#6 JDBrian ONLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 07:26 AM

I'll second the option of looking for a good used 4wd. Big money can be saved if you can wait until a nice used one comes along. There are a lot of people buying pretty large tractors for use on their own properties these days. I'm talking JD 4000 series tractors etc. Many times I see them come up for sale after a few years with less than 500 hours on the clock. 

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#7 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 07:45 AM

Depends somewhat if you need tight turning radius, for the work your doing. Two wheel drives normally turn tighter than four wheel drive. I like four wheel in my truck because of hauling the trailer and tractor to different locations, you just never know what your going to get in to, so it's nice to have the extra traction if needed. Two wheel drive less expensive to maintain. If you get stuck, four wheel drive is harder to get unstuck. If I was going out into my field at home now with the snow that's down to get something, I would take my two wheel drive ferguson tractor instead of my four wheel drive truck. I know the tractor would get trough, not sure about the truck.


Edited by propane1, January 03, 2016 - 07:48 AM.

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#8 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 08:11 AM

Your not going to keep that tractor the rest of your life so think about trade in or resale value too.  Years ago 4X4 trucks were a rarity. Now try and find a 2 WD truck.  Tractors are going the same way.  It is all about traction and not necessarily in mud snow or sand.  Pulling  load up a grade on frozen ground can be real challenge with 2 WD.  Nothing for the tires to bite in to.  4 X4 just might give you that little extra to get the job done.  Before I had the 4 wheelers and GT's I would chain up the IH 400 in the fall and it would stay that way till spring.  Now I use the Gt's and 4 wheeler to do the hauling in lighter loads and the big tractor stay in the shed.  Just bought a Kubota 4WD and when I get it up and running the big tractor will go.  Definitely go with a good used 4X4 tractor with a diesel and FEL.  You will never be sorry.  Just my opinion.

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#9 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 08:25 AM

I almost never need 4wd when doing loader work in dry conditions. Where 4wd is needed is if you will be working in the woods on rough terrain, steep slopes, in mud or sand or in snow...


...Most of the time I use 2wd and if I start having traction issues I pull the magic lever and it usually gets the job done. So IMO a lot depends on the jobs you need done and the terrain you will be working on. 



I have found this to be a feature I just can't be without, for the reasons above.  I used a small 2x4 loader tractor for a lot of work, and never once thought "I need 4x4".  I just worked the machine to get it done, but since moving to a 4x4 tractor, I eliminated those times where I would have to back away from a task because of obstacles or traction issues.  It was common to need to reapproach once, twice, three times, or simply take smaller bites with the loader...sometimes even get the chainsaw to cut a fallen log out of the way.  With 4x4, I click in, and it's amazing what the front assist will enable me to do.


Another huge benefit for me, is coming and going form the house...I have to climb turf slopes on my return, and almost always use 4x4 now, because it greatly reduces any turf damage from my rear AG's.  Night and day difference.


The benefits in snow are mindblowing.  


But, I'm a big believer in buying the right tool for the task, and not wasting resources ($$$).

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#10 Lmiller3358 OFFLINE  



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Posted January 03, 2016 - 09:24 AM

2 Wd versus 4 WD,,, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it !

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 09:51 AM

Get the 4 WD and be done with it!

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#12 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 11:09 AM

Most company's have those "Package" deals with attachments and maybe even a trailer that seem to be the best buys. Maybe those are more the 30 and under hp??  50 horse, pretty good size. If low money, I would be looking at a real FARM tractor used. 

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#13 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 12:18 PM

I kind of recall an earlier thread where you mentioned growing wheat? For most tilling (plowing, discing etc) the tractor will be light on the front end and 4wd will be of little use. Most tilling and harvesting should also be done when the ground is relatively dry, so again 4wd is not a big deal. If you are working in wet/muddy or slippery conditions, especially with heavy loads in the loader 4wd will be a big benefit.


For the horse power rating you are looking at and your intended use though, I would still be looking at something older. In the later 60's and early 70's 50 to 60 hp was considered a fairly large farm tractor and they were made with enough weight for tilling. These days most farmers would laugh at the idea of tilling with a tractor that "small". The newer tractors in that hp range are really not intended for "field" work, more "yard" work like moving stuff with the loader (manure, silage, round bales). mowing with a bush hog. blowing snow etc. Think of it like this, how does a 10hp GT from the late 60's to ealy 70's compare to a new 10hp "gt" (riding lawnmower)? Most farms have gotten bigger and guys are trying to till/plant/harvest more acres in the same amount of time, so the machines and implements have gotten bigger as well. You mentioned (if I remember right) farming on a scale similar to what was done back in the 60's to 70's. I think you will find that older well maintained equipment will not only cost less, but perform better than most of the new stuff in the same size range.



Edited by CanadianHobbyFarmer, January 03, 2016 - 12:27 PM.

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#14 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted January 03, 2016 - 02:29 PM

I wonder how long tread on tractor tires lasted back in the day of [say] the 9N Ford?  When all common tractors were 2 wheel drive.   Back when those tractors plowed every acre on a farm.  How many sets of tires were ground off with wheel slippage that probably wasn't even thought of back then.  Is 7% wheel slippage noticable to the guy sitting on the tractor seat?  Probably not.  

What if 7% wheel slippage meant 40% more tire wear?  

I remember reading farm magazines back in the 1970's, with very in-depth articles about wheel slippage on large farm tractors and how much waste there was in not only tire wear, but in fuel and general wear of the tractor itself.  

The 1940 9N Ford set a farmer back right at $600.  Today, a new pair of tires on that same tractor will cost nearly $600.   Will you wear down a pair of tires in the next decade on a 2 wheel that maybe wouldn't be worn down on a 4 wheel drive?  At the rate the cost of rubber is increasing you may break even on that factor alone.

What if you find a pile, frozen down and you are tempted to ram the pile to break it up?  With 4X4 you could creep into the pile and not bend or break anything. 

Now think about this:

That $600 [when new] tractor was selling for $1500-$2000 in the1980s.  Darn good return on the investment.  There is a demand for the small tractors.  Keep thinking about "demand"

Now in the 1960s the tractors were much larger.  Lets look at a Case 730.  I picked that tractor because I always liked the look of that style of Case and the 2-tone paint really sets them off.  You could compare a Ford 5000 or whatever you wish. 

The mid 1960s 730 Case costs about $5500 new.   Unless its a top-notch restored 730, its not going to bring $5500 today.  There is not nearly the demand for that tractor.   Just like there won't be nearly the demand for a 2 wheel drive. 

Maybe you aren't looking at resale value and thats fine.  But there is a 100% chance that the tractor will eventually come up for sale .  Plans change.  Sircumstances change.  Lives change. 

20 years down the road,  if you [or your widow] are forced to sell,  Would it be worth a couple grand more now to get 5 grand more then? 

What if your needs for a tractor change and you need to trade in this tractor on one that fits your new needs?

I can only tell you this....

The 4X4 will be much more in demand tomorrow,  next year, and next decade. 

Just random thoughts of mine.  

Worth every penny they cost you. 



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#15 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 06:46 PM

From the power to the ground in less than ideal conditions (icy snow mud etc) experience says 4wd wins. Few years ago my dad could not move a gravity wagon full of grain with the international 986 (110 hp). Went nowhere did nothing but spin. So dad fired up the Ford 5610 fwa (60hp). Away the wagon went. So I would say 4wd if it's pulling/pushing. But maneuverability becomes a factor. That's why the jonn deere 2355 (2wd loader) is used for loading hay. Tire wear is another factor. There's a time and place for both.

Your choice. Do as you see fit. But I recommend a cab...
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