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What would be a good option?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by GLLawns, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. GLLawns

    GLLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    My father in-law is looking to buy a small tractor that he can put a small bucket on to do misc task around his property. He also wants to use it to mow his 2 acres but doesnt' want a deck bigger then 48in. I think he wants to spend $5000.00 or less, but he may spend a little more. I have no idea about which brand is decent and affordable so I need some help please. He was going to get a ZTR, but since he has a decent size drive to plow, I suggested a mini tractor with the bucket. He would also get a decent amount of use out of the bucket doing typical homeowner chores like moving dirt, gravel, and the occasional limb or 2. Thanks again for any help.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You want to look at compact tractors, that is what they are called, thou for a half-decent one you'll need to spend 6-8g...
    The trick is to find one that already comes with what you need (i.e.: the shovel AND the cutting attachment, some have a deck, others it's PTO driven tow-behind).... Reason I say this is because each attachment can easily run you another grand, but from what I've seen it doesn't seem to affect the price of the tractor if it already has it (strange, I know).

    They are usually in the range of 18-25 hp, 800 - 1300 lbs. lift limitation, and shouldn't weight over 3,000 lbs (making them single - axle trailer transportable in some cases).

    Specific brands that come to mind:
    Hinomoto, Yanmar, Shibaura, Kubota, and I think Mitsubishi makes one as well.
    Allis chalmers is another one, here's a specific example (found this one on ebay but it looks re-painted...)
    Now you might can get one like this for 5g maybe a bit less, but for a nice used one 6-8g... Anyhow:


  3. GLLawns

    GLLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    I did notice that my in-laws are going to have to spend around $9000.00+ to get what he wants new. I'm going to keep my eyes open for them for a decent used one. I don't think they will go for a new tractor, so I'm also going to suggest going back to the ZTR idea. I suggested that he maybe get an ATV and put a plow on it, and get a pull behind swisher to cut with. What do you think about this idea? Thanks for the help Topsites
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I started checking into this a year or two ago, as I eventually plan on getting a compact.

    The biggest things are weight, and limitations... A lot of them are limited to hydraulic lift power of 1000 to 1300 pounds or so, believe me it is nothing to hit that wall, suddenly it just won't do it, so the more, the better.

    Then there's the weight of the tractor, and it's hard to find out, for some reason it appears they act as if you're buying one then who cares... But for me I don't have a 2-axle trailer, you need a 2-axle trailer for anything much over 3,000 pounds. Now it gets tricky... Wanting something that weighs 3000 pounds or less that can lift 1300 pounds, AND that has at least the shovel, a backhoe would be cool, but whatever. If you're not that picky it's easier, for 6-8 you should be able to get almost new, paint job should still look decent, maybe 500 or so hours (not sure here but not a TON), you know, still got a lot of life left in it.

    If you plan 9g you should be able to get hardly used :laugh:

    Price-wise, the pretty decent ones, 6-8g, but to find one with the right attachments is the trick. But I think if you look long and hard you can find a really nice one for less BUT you might have to drive more than a few hundred miles to go pick it up... You know, thou, for saving myself 2g's I'll drive a thousand miles one way and back (call first!).

    It helps a lot if they have pictures, without pictures I wouldn't consider it unless it was local, and you might check some of your publications there... Not sure what you guys have but most places I've been around to have some sort of small local 'trade / for sale / etc' newspaper, which is usually full of ads for used stuff, from cars to TV's and furniture and what have you, tractors might make for a category.

    Local is good with some folks, I prefer ebay and out of town, I like the anonymity factor, but that's just me. I think there's one or two more equipment traders online... You'll look into 'construction,' 'agricultural,' and industrial (as well as, of course, compact tractors (some places call them minis)), forestry might have a few, anyhow categories along those lines.

    The only other thing is, cash deal, no haggling.
    At least not if you're driving hundreds of miles, I always make sure I have ALL of the money they ask for, cash.
    Sure I ask once for a little bit off, most say no, but then I drove out there with the intention anyhow.
    In other words, when I shop I intend to pay the whole thing, otherwise no deal.

    Oh yeah, call in advance, make sure they still got it, all that mess.
    (Except ebay, you shouldn't have to)

    Take your time, cherry pick, don't be afraid to look at dozens, maybe 100, more so if YOU got the money :laugh:
    Shop around, read, educate yourself.
    That's about it.

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    I have a Jd 790 might be a little big for what your fil wants. I think you can get one smaller. A 2wd with a bucket and a underbelly mower maybe 10g. I know I paid 14500 for the 790 4wd with 3 attachments 4 years ago.
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I was amazed to see an old diesel Kubota on consignment at the dealership here for 5K. Ran better than it looked.

    But probably has 20 more years left in it. So you can go gas or diesel - new or used.

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