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Looking for comparisons/reviews on New Compact and Subcompact Tractors...


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#1 nglauer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2018 - 12:41 AM

I'm curious, has anyone seen any websites that have conducted recent tests/shootouts/comparisons of the current sub compact and compact tractor offerings on the the market? (or at least in the last 5-6 years)

 

With a lot of thought, I think it's time to retire my Bolen's HT's and our IH Farmall 504. I've been looking at sub compact and compact tractors...we have roughly 15 acres of property that i'd like to brush hog, finish mow, and clear dead growth from. It's all flat land, but I have a bunch of multifloral rose, dead popular trees, and other brush that i'd love to move. Also, my grandfather was notoriously bad about shoving fallen trees and dirt into piles all over the property. Because of this... I literally have mounds of misc. compost across the property that i'd like to knock down and smooth out over time.

 

I have looked at the following brands locally, and as a benchmark I have used dad's Kubota BX24 and a friend of mine's recently purchased JD 3032e. I had considered buying a new BX so I could utilize Dad's attachments from his BX24 (however the Kubota dealer says the brackets and everything are different?) Since I can't steal, I mean borrow... dad's loader for my own use.. then I've decided to search for something larger in the 4x4 Compact size range. If anyone knows of a website with comparisons, or would like to leave your own opinion on the brands below, please do. Also, if you know of any other brands I should consider, please let me know.

 

Things it needs - Hydrostatic trans preferred (but would consider other options), loader and either a belly or rear finish mower.

 

Things I would like to eventually add: Front grapple or forks for brush, tiller, disc and plow.

 

Things I currently have, and would like to use: Post hole digger, 2 bottom IH plow, 6ft brush hog, 6ft Box blade, 6ft rear blade (these may all be to big except for the post hole digger, as they were used on our Farmall 504)

 

These are the brands i've looked at locally - new and used. I don't mind buying used, and my goal is to stay around $18,000.00 for a tractor with a loader and mower (I don't mind buying a used finish mower or tractor)

 

Kubota (B series or L series?)

 

Massey Ferguson (I have driven a newer 1700 series and liked it)

 

John Deere (recently had a friend bring over his 2017 3032e to clear some brush and was impressed with it, open to opinions on similar models)

 

Mahindra (hate to say it... but I can't get past the looks of their compact. The subcompact looks decent though. Any opinions?)

 

LS (better looking than the Mahindra, decent prices locally)

 

Rural King (TYM) (Looked decent, but the plastic used for the grills etc. seemed extremely cheap - anyone have experience?)

 

Other brands?

 

Thanks again! 

Nick


Edited by nglauer, May 07, 2018 - 01:35 AM.

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#2 4getgto ONLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2018 - 05:25 AM

Check out some videos on YouTube. There's a lot of dealers and manufacturers that do comparisons between different compacts. Messicks is one that to mind. Did you ever go to the "TractorByNet.com" forum ? Lots of information there.
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#3 nglauer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2018 - 11:05 AM

I haven't yet. I did find a site that had nice reviews of various models. I'm still on the fence on the right model, plus I looked at a Yanmar earlier today. So I continue to confuse myself lol. So many different manufactures and choices. If it was a garden tractor, it'd be a lot easier to pick since hardly anyone makes one now.

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#4 js5020 ONLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2018 - 10:02 PM

From your acreage I wouldn't go smaller than a compact, in fact I would probably look at full size with that "already have" equipment list.  No sub compact is going to effectively handle 6' equipment, you will be underpowered or underweighted and likely both.  A compact in my opinion is minimum and even at that your going to be right at the bottom of weight needed to effectively use some of those implements.  Compacts are great but one usually has to sacrifice the overall weight of the machine.  This is good and bad but you could likely still mow the lawn with one.

 

Full size AG utility in the 40-50hp range with a loader will suffice adding grapples and such and easily power or drag any of the "already have" implements.  Not so good for a lawn mower though and in most instances your not going to see a hydro but a full syncro or reverser gear transmission.  

 

Brands to buy well those opinions are many and most are valid from the individuals point of view.  I personally look long term, product support is king for me since I run everything till it wont run no more so being able to get parts is key.  I do my own work after warranty so service isn't a big deal.  I don't swap machines every other year so resale has little value.  I have learned you get what you pay for so the cheapest initial price isn't always the best deal.

 

Compacts,,,,,

 

Kubota,, totally Kubota

 

John Deere, mostly built by Yanmar I believe

 

Yanmar, known for their engines, supplier to JD and a brief stint with Cub Cadet, in and out of the compact market in the US on their own

 

Massey Ferguson, once built by Hinomoto but now built by Iseki I believe, as a Hinomoto rebadged owner I can tell you parts availability is nill, will it happen again with Iseki?

 

LS, I believe these use to be Montana's, I think they build some New Hollands, not in the US market long enough for me

 

Mahindra, no clue but the local dealer thinks he's selling JD's or Kubota's by the prices.

 

TYM , Korean built?  Not sure.

 

I guess by my comments you can see I would be biased toward JD or Kubota when it comes to sub and compact tractors, I feel either of these would have the best possibility of obtaining parts 10 or 20 yrs down the road, little to no faith of parts support 10 yrs out in the rest.

 

Full size AG I would be open to JD, MF, and Kubota pretty much for the same reason, parts support long term.

 

I currently own an old mid frame compact and have been contemplating another machine myself.  I don't have the acreage to really justify a full size machine but with the prices on compact tractors now days a slightly used 2wd 45hp machine is competitive if you can deal with the size and weight of one.  Sub compacts and compacts are handy little beasts but they are fairy light for serious loader/ground engagement work and I find them a bit on the heavy side for lawn mowing.  I still haven't made a decision.  I will say one can be overcome with specs and such,,, analysis paralysis can set in pretty easy.


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#5 4getgto ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2018 - 06:39 AM

js5020 brings up a lot of good points. 15 acres rules out any subcompact especially if you want to move brush piles and such and the compact size is questionable. A 30 h.p. Would be a good starting point. Especially since you already have some attachments.
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#6 4getgto ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2018 - 07:28 AM

Double post.

Edited by 4getgto, May 08, 2018 - 07:30 AM.


#7 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2018 - 10:57 PM

  From what your saying and my experience you should probably consider nothing smaller than 30 hp. and 40 to 50 would be better. When you put a grapple on a loader your going to find yourself trying to lift stuff that would rule out a smaller tractor. Trust me, if you can grab it you will try and move it. 

  As far as make and model, when you find something that interests you research the heck out of it. Most comparisons are carried out by people who won't be living with the tractor like your planning to and long term comparisons are in short supply. 


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#8 js5020 ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2018 - 09:56 AM

Another thought with the sub compacts, they don't have a lot of ground clearance and if your grubbing around especially in the woods the hydro fans and filters are subject to damage from sticks and such poking their way into the underside of the machine.


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#9 blacktruck OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2018 - 10:22 AM

As mentioned in other posts, for your acreage you need a compact tractor I would suspect. I also have a similar sized property and have a sub-compact diesel powered Cub (Yanmar). It is a great tractor and works well but in too many instances like brush clearing or mowing pastures if overgrown, it is too small. It does the work but a little too small to do it efficiently. 


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#10 nglauer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2018 - 02:19 AM

I've been looking at the Kubota L series tractors, as well as the 2000 and 3000 series John Deere tractors. The reality is that I'll probably never turn all 15 acres into a plush mowable lawn, however I will need something to pick up, drag, or push fallen trees. Today alone we lost 4 large popular trees due to a crazy storm that ripped through. A local dealer has a mint condition 36hr 2016 John Deere 2025r with loader, forks, deluxe curtis cab, back blade, chains, heater, wipers, auxillary led lights front and rear, a radio, and tiller. Plus they said they would cut me an amazing deal on a finish mower. I think this would be a perfect little tractor to mow and move snow. I'm sure it's a little more capable than the BX24 we use on the property too. However I really like The Kubota L series, and the biggest B series, along with the 1700 series Massey Fergusons. I may go on the smaller side new and invest in a wide front end to convert our IH 504. It has plenty of loader power, but the weight of the front loader is hard on the narrow front and makes it more likely to get stuck. It's pretty hard to beat old iron though, so I may keep it as an option vs selling it. As a side note, I think Kubota is my top preference, followed closely by JD and Massey. I've also put some thought into Yanmar. I almost bought a Yanmar Cub 5 years ago, and recently looked at and was impressed by the Yanmar units. Although I don't know what the future holds, I have a good feeling about parts availability on atleast the motor.

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#11 js5020 ONLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2018 - 06:02 PM

I like the looks of the L series Kubota's.  I think the weight of the L2501 bare tractor is 2600lb, big tires, big frame, saw one yesterday at the dealer.  The JD 3025E does not have a QT loader and you cannot put a backhoe on the machine, if that stuff matters. I like JD myself but in this class machine the Kubota is a no brainer in my opinion.

 

The B series and 2 series are likely pretty close, as are the BX series and 1 series, my opinion both brands have somethings I'd like to have on the other to make the "prefect" machine.






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