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Old 02-15-2012, 11:47 AM   #181
Infracaninophile
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Originally Posted by oj may View Post
I got the 'OK' from the wife to get a thumb for the backhoe. This will make wood harvesting a lot easier and safer, I can't wait. Bro-Tek makes one specifically for my BX-25, runs $320 shipped. It folds out of the way when digging and it is adjustable over a wide range.

Is there any reason why this is not a good idea?
A backhoe w/o a thumb is like a hand w/o a thumb. It still works somewhat but that thumb makes it work 3x as good. When I bought my Kubota I almost skipped the thumb except for the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON said "get the thumb". They were right. I could not do 50% of what I need to do (move rocks, wood, trees, small children, large dogs, older women) w/o a thumb.

Do it.

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Infracaninophile View Post
A backhoe w/o a thumb is like a hand w/o a thumb. It still works somewhat but that thumb makes it work 3x as good. When I bought my Kubota I almost skipped the thumb except for the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON said "get the thumb". They were right. I could not do 50% of what I need to do (move rocks, wood, trees, small children, large dogs, older women) w/o a thumb.
A good operator doesn't need a thumb.

All kidding aside, it will make things a lot easier. Just keep in mind that a mechanical thumb will be a major pain in the ass once you've used a hydraulic thumb. You may also find yourself in situations where the thumb gets in the way. There's no such thing as "folds out of the way." There have been times when I've been tempted to take the pipe saw to the thumb- both on my work machines and my personal machine. Just playing devil's advocate.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #183
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Kubota 3904 First Impressions:

The 3904 is the 40 horse. It has the 1500 pound loader on the front, with the quick-tach. It's very handy.

I had debated getting the smaller version, with a 30 horse motor and a 1000 pound loader. I'm glad I didn't.

The seat is comfy.

The lights are good. I had the dealer add flood lights to the roll bar, front and rear. They put them on a 24 amp fuse. The wires stay cool.

The toggle for high range and low range is very nice. I used it today to get up a big hill. I was in the High speed, and as the hill got steeper, all I had to do was toggle, and then I was in low range- still high speed, but low range. At the top of the hill, I went back to high range. It is very slick.

The auto-throttle is nice. I just left it on. The tractor will idle when I'm stopped, and rev higher when I want more power.

The 4x4/2x4 shift lever is not convenient, but it works.

The brakes are good, and the engine-breaking is good. Take your foot off the pedal, and the tractor STOPS.

Today I hauled 1400 pound round-bales from a field on top of a ridge about a mile and a half away. I picked up one with the 3-point-hitch mounted bale spear, then one with the loader-mounted bale-spear. That's at least 2800 pounds of hay. The low cockpit height made it hard to see over them, but by swerving a little, I could see good enough. I was easily able to lift both bales, and I made it safely down the hill.

I like the industrial tires (R4's) for the trips up and down the road. The tractor feels planted.

I wish there were mud guards for the front tires. At highway speeds (12 mph!) they throw shit at you.

The loader control is mounted in a good place, at your right elbow.

The tractor had 2.6 hours on it when it was delivered. Now it has almost 10. I like it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:19 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
Kubota 3904 First Impressions:

The 3904 is the 40 horse. .
You mean the L3940? If so- that's a REALLY nice tractor. I've talked to the dealer twice about those and he won't call or email me with a price. Always says, "let me take your information and get back to you early next week." I guess he's unaware of the other Kubota dealers within and hour of me.

Enjoy that thing!
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:26 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
You mean the L3940? If so- that's a REALLY nice tractor. I've talked to the dealer twice about those and he won't call or email me with a price. Always says, "let me take your information and get back to you early next week." I guess he's unaware of the other Kubota dealers within and hour of me.

Enjoy that thing!
I don't think that you will get your best deal from Townline.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
You mean the L3940? If so- that's a REALLY nice tractor. I've talked to the dealer twice about those and he won't call or email me with a price. Always says, "let me take your information and get back to you early next week." I guess he's unaware of the other Kubota dealers within and hour of me.

Enjoy that thing!
You're right: L3940 with the hydrostatic. I've got the Operator's Manual right here next to me.

The price tag was $26,999, but I got it for $24,000, including the loader. The other local dealer just sold a used one, exactly the same as mine, on Wednesday last week, for $25,000. My dealer says he had two that were about to go "off floor plan," and rather than start paying interest on them, he wanted to sell them. He's got one left. I don't know if it's in Richland Center or Madison, WI- he has two stores. He has a reputation for great prices; the other dealer, in Sauk City, has the best service reputation. The cool thing though- Rick, the owner, has lived in Panama only a few miles from the farm where I grew up, in Chilibre.

It's a small world.

Here's the link to his store:
http://www.orangepowerequipment.com/default.htm

As for salesmanship, he and his right-hand guy, Heath, actually came out to the farm. They looked at what I wanted to do, looked at my terrain, and then made their recommendations. They also suggested a couple of used models. It was the old-fashioned kind of salesmanship, and it worked. Why would a dealer not give somebody a quote? That's just dumb!

As for equipment, I got bale spears for the front and back, and my dad already has a brush hog and a scraper blade that he got with a ford 8N.

There is no comparison between this tractor and an 8N! The kubota probably won't be running in 50 years, like the 8N is, but this kubota is going to have the snot worked out of it.

Now I'm in the market for a 6' disc, a 6' or 8' drag, and a broadcast seeder capable of spreading clover at 2.5 (two point five) pounds per acre, up to grass and oats at 14 pounds per acre, and even fertilizer; and a 100ish bushel manure spreader- small enough to pull with the 8N.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #187
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I just realized that I can from now on instead of riding up a ramp, simply pick up my GS and plop it into my truck for when I need to take it to the dealer.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:41 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
As for salesmanship, he and his right-hand guy, Heath, actually came out to the farm. They looked at what I wanted to do, looked at my terrain, and then made their recommendations. They also suggested a couple of used models. It was the old-fashioned kind of salesmanship, and it worked. Why would a dealer not give somebody a quote? That's just dumb!
yeah- the best I can figure is that he's used to catering to the wealthy Dartmouth College / Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center crowd. The last time I went in looking for a quote I wanted to trade my excavator for the tractor. He said he'd go take a look at the excavator and get back to me. Based on the lack of footprints in the snow I learned that he never looked at it. Oh well. Like I said there's other dealers. Kinda wonder where Kobudo bought his.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by R.J. View Post
Thanks for the comments and feedback. It seems rather difficult to find a tractor that will do a nice finishing job on the lawn, but still have enough muscle to plow a lot of snow. Around here, working used tractors are more difficult to come by, especially anything that isn't a monster. Fixing up an old tractor that doesn't already run is out of the question. (That cuts way too much into riding time.) New, they start at over $15K with a simple 54" mower and a front end loader. I don't think we would use all of the extra accessories you can buy. The horses will do most of the mowing on the property. We just need to keep the grass around the yard looking good and to be able to get out of our driveway in the winter.

As an alternative, we are looking at a 4x4 quad with a 6' blade and a separate, smaller riding mower. Even buying new, this set up would save us over $5K and might do a better job of both. As it is end of season, there are some pretty good deals out there right now. There is also quite a bit of used inventory in both small garden tractors and quads available, if we chose to go that route. We move in less than two weeks, so we have to make some decisions soon. The grass growth has slowed considerably as the days are much shorter now, so hopefully we will not have to cut until spring. Old Man Winter, on the other hand is a cranky bastard around here and could make an unwelcome appearance any time...

Any comments on the quad / garden mower combo?
I'm assuming that by now you already made your decision but I'll weigh in anyway. The thread sort of went off into bigger tractors with BHs and PHDs and that's great, but it seems like more than you may have needed for the description you originally gave.

The ATV & riding mower option is not a bad one and offers a number of advantages IMO:

- overall might be substantially cheaper than a new tractor;
- lots of versatility;
- a lawn tractor will be best for finish mowing;
- an ATV with a plow can push a fair bit of snow;
- you could still get a self powered ATV towable mower (either finish mowers or brush mowers);
- other items, like small utility trailers would be interchangeable between the garden mower and ATV;
- you have an ATV for riding, hunting, exploring, camping, etc.

I have a Polaris 550 X2 - it has a dumping pick-up style bed (with pop up passenger seat). I added a 55" Moose blade this winter. I also have a 9.5 hp Craftsman snowblower. I figured the ATV w/ blade would be used as a quick, convenient way to clear the driveway after light snowfalls and if we got a serious dump, then the snowblower would go to work.

Blade down and pushing snow immediately on exiting the garage up a slight grade, the ATV will push snow that spills over the top of the blade easily - and it wasn't dry powdery snow - let's categorize it as medium weight snow due to moisture. A lot of my neighbours hire guys with pick-ups to plow their driveways - a guy with a heavy duty Dodge clears a Dr.'s office parking lot across the road - and in snowfalls that had that Dodge working pretty hard, I was able to clear my driveway without resorting to the snowblower.

The advantage I have in heavier snow over a truck is the ATV can stockpile snow to an extent. When pushing toward a bank as the moving load reaches the stockpile, I winch in a little, raising the blade and then the ATV will climb up the face of the slope, pushing the snow up onto the pile. I learned this over time and it works better as the snow gets wetter/heavier. If stockpiling dry powdery snow (onto a dry powdery pile) over a ditch you have to be careful because the machine actually sinks down into the ditch - but then the lighter dry snow is much easier to windrow and push back anyway.

The snowblower's seen very little use. I still use it to clear the walkway from the drive to the house (if snow's really deep) and I only had to use it on the driveway once. When plowing the first couple of times in the season, I never established my windrows back far enough. As more snow fell, the cleared portion of the driveway got narrower. Unfortunately our weather's been freaky with rain & thaw periods followed by snow and freezing. The narrowed snowbanks became solid hard packed snow covered in a sheath of ice. I ended up having to manually break it up with an ice chipper and shovelling the snowbanks back by hand with 1/4 of the whole driveway perimeter just loose enough to snowblow. So that situation was no slight against the ATV/plow combo but due to my inexperience plowing and weird weather (for this area).

My Polaris has electrically selectable 4x4, diff lock and also has a turf mode (open diff) to preserve soft surfaces. I only plow in low range and I haven't had to add any weight.

As for mowing, I only have to cut a fairly small area so a walk behind Honda gas mower is more than sufficient. If I had more lawn to cut, I'd probably get an ATV towable mower.

A close friend has a hobby farm on 10 acres and although he has two older full-sized tractors (one diesel, one gas) he also has a Craftsman 20 hp lawn tractor for finish mowing the 1/2 acre near the house and in between the livestock pens. He got an insane deal on his, I don't know how much, but it was a left over model on sale and he got employee pricing added to that (his FiL worked at Sears). I've used it and I have to say, it was fun. Very maneuverable in around trees and up against the house.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to have the justification to need a tractor! When we were house-hunting prior to buying our current home, we looked at one property that needed a lot of landscaping. When pondering what we'd offer on it, we factored in buying a compact tractor. A compact 4x4 would have been needed as the land was terraced on a steep slope.

Anyway, not sure what the OP went with and I read through the whole thread...
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:54 AM   #190
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Another thought...

If a tractor is necessary for the type of jobs in mind and it doesn't need to be put to work right away, I'd also explore buying an older full sized tractor - possibly one that needed some resto work.

I once helped an old guy finish a restoration on an old mid 50s Massey-Harris. They're fairly easy to work on and according to him, parts were easy to find.

It would also be a relatively inexpensive option.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #191
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Update on the use of my 40 horse, 4x4 Kubota: I'm kicking the shit out of it, and it keeps on kicking back.

I've hauled 1400-1500 pound round bales on the front bale spear, and another 1400-1500 pound round bale on the rear bale spear. No problem. You do have to be careful when you're lifting a bale very high. I can see how one could tip off the spear and kill you.

Lately I've been mowing multiflora rose, prickly ash, and autumn olive. This is where I'm kicking the shit out of the machine. Twice, the brush has pulled pins out of the front end loader, and the brush hog is vibrating the shit out of me. Today, a branch got caught up between the left rear wheel and the frame, and it busted off the tire valve. Suddenly I was being sprayed by blue fluid. I didn't know what it was or where it was coming from. I just unbuckled the seatbelt and jumped off. My first thought was, FUEL?! but it wasn't fuel, it was antifreeze from the tire. Once I realized what was happening, I got back on and moved the tractor until the valve was near the top, and fluid was not longer spraying, or even leaking, out of it. It was a long walk home, and tomorrow I'll get it repaired.

The hillsides that I'm mowing are so steep, I can not go up, or sideways, only down.

I'm easily knocking down trees up to 6 inches in diameter.

I've busted off the aux lights, and the left blinker, in the brush. When I replace the lights and the blinker, I'm putting them somewhere else. But I'm not replacing them until after I'm done with the big initial mowing. I've done about 10 acres. I still have 150 acres to go. I don't think there could be a better tool for this job.

Especially nice is the high/low toggle. The auto-throttle is also nice, but when I'm brush-hogging, I don't use it, I just put the throttle at about 2200 rpm.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:40 AM   #192
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Well, I took the back blade off of the tractor and put the back hoe on. I used the blade one time on 3" of snow, I could have shoveled it, but I wanted to use once before we got a heavy snow. The heavy snow never happened.

So, since I had the back hoe on, I took out a buckthorn stump. It was really a bit to wet and I made a bit of a mess, but I HAD to do it.

The only problem I have with the BX25 is a slow leak in the right front tire. Other than that it a perfect machine for my needs.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:26 AM   #193
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My B3300SU HST Kubota has been doing great too. I have been using it for snow clearing primarily at a remote place I have. I don't go every weekend so I never know what I am going to be facing when I get there. Deepest I have done so far is 2 feet of snow. The snowthrower does great. Last time I was there there was a foot of snow that had melted and froze many times so I ended up having to use the bucket to clear the snow entirely since the snowthrower would just ride up on top of the snow. The bucket does a great job and I can fill it entirely with wet heavy snow and no problem lifting it. No traction issues either with the 4 wheel drive and R4 tires. Currently we have 5 feet on the ground of snow. I am happy with the purchase.

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:38 AM   #194
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Is the Kubota GST the same as the CL ad I am looking at "gear transmission with shuttle shift"?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #195
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Is the Kubota GST the same as the CL ad I am looking at "gear transmission with shuttle shift"?
My buddy has the GST and I've used it quite a bit. It is a nice feature with clutchless shuttle.

When I decided to get my own, I opted for the L3400 HST with a FEL. I found I can work dirt quicker with the bucket and when dumping, it is easier to control rolling speed w/o changing RPM which effects hydraulic speed. It does take some mental editing to learn to let up on the right pedal under loading vs pushing it down to the floor to recover RPM.
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