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Author Topic: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.  (Read 19979 times)

redsquirrel

  • Joined Jun 2010
Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« on: June 11, 2010, 05:31:06 pm »
Hi all, I am fortunate enough to own three acres in southern scotland, which my wife is gradually turning into a garden, but keeping on top of it is a lot of work. I am hoping a small tractor would help relieve some of the effort. But which one to buy. I have been looking at the second hand Jap ones in particular the Yanmar but have been drawn to the Chinese ones like the Siromer and Jinma but dont know anybody who has got one. There is always the odd one for sale and they normally have low hours, which worries me as I wonder why they are being sold. If anybody has got one I would love to read their views. My land is reasonably flat, I dont feel I need a 4WD, just something I could mount a loader, use a rotorvator, cut the grass, and perhaps have a loading box on the rear. I currently cut the grass with a John Deere Petrol ride on mower which is a great tool but has limited application and is considerably thirstier than a diesel would be. So basically my useage would be light work, fetching and carrying, and taking over from the John Deere. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Old Empty Barn

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 08:34:45 pm »
Hi,

I've been having some very similar thoughts about tractors ! ...... at first I went down the same route looking at Siromers etc, but I've looked into this for months now & I'm being pulled towards something older like a Massey Ferguson 35 or a Massey 135 or similar ........ they can be had for a lot less & are often coming up on FeeBay ......... older machines that may need an owner that can work their mechanical magic now & then but if you're good with the tools then I would consider this option ....... slightly bigger & heavier machines that would give you more options for the future ........ & the attachments etc to use with them are coming up for sale often & cheaply as well ! ......... We've got six acres & it's sloping ground so I thought at first we would need something like the Siromer 4 wheel drive, but I've changed my thinking on that over the months ......... we visited the National Museum of Rural Life at East Kilbride last week & they're using a Massey Ferguson 35 with a 6ft grass topper on the back ....... far more capable than the wee Siromer !
Hope this helps

Dave

Norfolk Newby

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • West Norfolk, UK
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 03:11:57 pm »
A transporter box and the hydraulic lift on the three point hitch allow you to back up to pile of earth etc and pick up quite a lot (100kg?) very easily. The box can then be unlatched to drop down when lifted which dumps most of the contents. The box also has a scraper bar underneath which allows you to use it to level the ground provided it is not too compacted. Some earth in the box helps it to dig into the earth if it is a little hard.

You can also use it to carry a tank of spay solution and fit the sprays onto the box to make a useful spraying machine with a small pump powered by the tractor electrics or using a pump on the PTO drive if you want to spread larger quantities.

I know I am going somewhat off-topic but for transporting stuff round a farm (small things, anyway), a transporter box is too small to use with bulkier items like straw bales. They would fall off as the tractor goes over bumps.

I have such a box on my little tractor a lot of the time. But I got it with an optional brush rake - which is a set of bars which fit onto the floor of the transporter box. The bars stick out about 1 metre behind the box (the box is about 1 metre wide). I have used these bars and the transporter box as the base for a plywood box 1X1 metre by about 30cm deep. This is much more useful for carting odds and ends around - like a powered wheelbarrow.

However...

When I am using the tractor with a harrow or topper, I don't have anywhere to put small tools, gloves, a hat, mobile phone etc. so I am thinking of making a small box to carry these items. I can fit it onto the roll-over bar or on the mounting for the tow hook. The latter would need some pieces of angle iron to raise it up above the three point hitch. I would probably use plywood to make the box but it could be thinner material (the one on the transporter box is 12mm ply with angle iron reinforcements at the bottom and sides).

I hope that gives you some ideas on why a transporter box is worth having but with some adaptation.

NN
Novice - growing fruit, trees and weeds

pasture eyes

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 08:34:51 pm »
Hello redsquirell
I have purchased a brilliant little tractor, its a Mahindra 254, got it from Compact Tractors & Machinery Ltd, in Frome, Somerset.
I had decided not to buy chinese until I saw a tractor being used by a forestry company, and I had not seen this type of tractor in the year or so I had been looking.  I looked on the sellers website, then contacted them.   They were up-front, no weasel words or bull, they tell it straight, and give a full all encompassing warranty - and they put it in writing !    The tractor is no toy . . .  it can lift at link arm ends - 740 kgs !!  and same at front (including bucket/implement weight), it has a shuttle gear-box with 8 forward + 8 reverse gears.   I had a problem just after I got it, with electrics, . . . they sent an engineer up to me - 270 miles each way ! and he fixed it in 20 minutes . . . it was a loose connection I hadn't found whilst trying to sort it.   Now that IS good service.   It has done everything I've asked of it.   Check out their web-site.   Good Luck.       :wave:

DandG

  • Joined Dec 2008
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 09:49:50 am »
We looked in depth when we thought we had bought a 4 acre smallholding in Anglesey until we got gazumped, but thats another story. There is a good American site dedicated to Chinese Compact Tractors check out http://ctoa.net/modules/newbb/

Siromer and Landlegend seem to be the most popular in the UK, we contacted a lot of Siromer owners and they tell us of lots of electrical problems, oil leaks and even losing 4 wd. I did test drive a Siromer at my local dealer and I was very pleased with the build quality, but the reliability issues put us off.

We then looked at Landlegend, these are made by Dong Feng Industries and the UK dealer is www.cowlingagri.co.uk . We have learned from reading various forums and emailing owners, they say the hydraulics are better and they are very reliable and a good tip is cowlinggri also sell on Ebay, there prices on there are  little cheaper than on their official site.

Another plus point if you dont have a good workshop is the Siromer is flat pack, so you have to assemble it yourself, the Landlegend is already built and ready for work.

Cowling agri also sell other Tractors for all budgets.

Please note we have no connection to either company, just thought we would share our findings to help others as this would be a major purchase, so you have got to get it right. We also cannot confirm if any of the statements about reliability are true or false, just what we was told.

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 11:18:58 am »
Hello redsquirell
I have purchased a brilliant little tractor, its a Mahindra 254, got it from Compact Tractors & Machinery Ltd, in Frome, Somerset.
I had decided not to buy chinese until I saw a tractor being used by a forestry company,

I think Mahindra are made in India.

My tractor is way too big, it's a Massey 698 which is 90hp....But the blower and radio is nice in the summer ;D I am keeping my eyes open at the moment for something a bit smaller and would like a Deutz air cooled about 45 to 50hp I personally think it's better to buy something that can take all standard equipment.

LB

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 12:34:31 am »
There is no complete answer to this question - it's all a matter of compromise.  A recognised brand of tractor with a serious distributor will cost a lot more than either a chinese/indian/whatever tractor or a grey import.  But when it goes bang you will get the support, which you will pay for through the nose.  Chinese tractor manufacturers are vast enterprises making lots of machines to all manner of regulations, some of which may even be EU ones.  But some aren't and some distributors are small businesses who will be praying for low warranty claims. 

There are lots of grey-import Japanese tractors around, brilliant machines but hard to get spares for. 

A neighbour has a Siromer 204 which has been trouble free but he wanted a bigger one and found it very hard to sell.

I started with a grey Fergie which I happily sold because it belonged in a museum.  Wonderfully innovative in 1948 but lethally dangerous with no double clutch or any other safety kit.  Roll over Protection is mandatory for a reason.  I then got a great MF 565 but it was too big and I needed 4wd so I acquired a Kubota LA34 with a loader.  I expect it so see me out.  It starts in all conditions and just works. 

Instead of a transport box consider pallet forks, strong ones.  My transport box is gently rusting now because I put everything onto pallets often using builders big bags.

Anything made by Fleming is made to last, with a price to match.

If I had the money I'd get a baby Avant loader and a Kawasaki Mule or equivalent.  We can dream.

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 08:54:54 am »
Lots of equipment is imported from China, obviously. The way many importers operate is to buy a shipping container or two of say quad bikes, tractors etc. Some of the equipment usually get damaged en route these are then used for the spare parts stock. I don't think I would be tempted personally. But that's just me

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 12:15:54 pm »
Agree with Waterhouse can't beat a Kubota. I have had a little B1610 for the past six years with pallet forks and grass topper, over the years we've bought a Kuhn rotivator, a Wessex rough cutter and a grass sweeper. (Northern Tool catalogue is good for accessories) It starts first time and is a very capable little machine even on our engine riving clay ground. Don't think they make the 1610 anymore but a B1410 which would be adequate for your purpose.The only thing is they're like gold dust to pick up secondhand!
HTH
Mandy

kingnigel

  • Joined May 2009
  • Gainsborough
  • www.zabalaz.co.uk
    • Zabalaz Siberian Huskies
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2010, 06:46:46 pm »
hi
kubota for me too
i have a b7100d, i does what its supposed to, starts (always the second turn of the key). i have a mower and a sprayer for it, ive had it for about 9 years i think and done a few little jobs on it to keep it going (the parts are easy to get hold of, even new ones). cant fault it really
kn

lostinfens

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 03:17:02 pm »
Hi all,
New here, so hope this is correct. I'm presently trawling through the minefiled that is compact tractors, and am suffering from info bafflement/overload. 
Is the Kubota 1501 a decent workhorse? I'm thinking of topping ie jungle clearance, rotovating, hedging etc on a smallish plot.
Are 2 cylinders capable? I have a rusting Super Dexta which was a beast 7 that only has 3 cyl, are 2 significantly less powerful?

Cheers.

Norfolk Newby

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • West Norfolk, UK
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 10:04:47 am »
One thing you may notice with a compact tractor - one of the 15-20hp jobs - is that they are more sensitive to any bumps, holes and small slopes than a larger tractor. It's a matter of scale. Where a large tractor would cope with such undulations with little roll a smaller one tips more and does so more suddenly because of the smaller wheel size.

This can be upsetting for the driver and also make a mess of the job you are doing as the plough or cutter bobs up and down.

I thought about getting a little Kubota or similar mini-tractor but when I thought about it I decided to get an alpine tractor which has 4 low pressure tyres, a lower centre of gravity and a 4-wheel steering system. There are several Italian companies selling them. I have a Goldoni from BSG in Marks Tey near Colchester.

Have a look at this link for some pictures:-

http://ww.bsgtractorsandmachinery.co.uk/epages/es109747.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es109747_shop/Categories/%22Quad%20Tractor%20Range%22/%22Quad%20Details%22

I am not trying to sell you one of these but I hope to highlight the shortcomings of a mini-tractor. You might prefer to get something larger to avoid them.

NN

Novice - growing fruit, trees and weeds

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Help and advice needed to buy a compact tractor.
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 05:26:05 pm »
We'd been looking for a while for a compact but after a fair bit of research I'd more or less decided to go for an older British built machine if I could find a decent one for reasonable money. Main reasons being the availability of cheap parts and the DIY repairability if soething does go wrong. Plus the range of implements available for a "proper" tractor is so much better (and cheaper). In the end my mind was made up for me when our Nuffield came on the market only 3 miles down the road. It's old but in great condition mechaniclly and came with loads of implements in the deal. I'd have been gutted if I'd bought one of the others I'd looked at all of which were miles away and a lot more expensive,m not to mention rusty and uncared for. My advice would be bide your time, don't rush into anything, and with a bit of luck what you need will turn up eventually.

 

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