NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike  (Read 20237 times)

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« on: July 17, 2011, 07:53:37 pm »
I currently have a Kuboto B2530 mini tractor with an under mounted grass cutting facility. It's got to the point where I am about upgrade to a BX2530. Just a quick thought.... I wondered if any quad bike users could give me there opinions on what would be most suitable as I have never used a quad bike but they do appeal.

I have 8 acres, 2 of which needs cutting. I also tow a 275 water bowser on trailer to fill animal water troughs. I have considered a quad bike with a Wessex Country AT110 ATV topper?

Would be grateful for opinions

Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 09:34:20 pm by uppermillfarm »
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blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 05:39:36 pm »
Or does anyone use a quad for cutting grass that can tell me if they are any good at it and what attachment they are using??
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 07:16:26 pm »
We use a quad bike for cutting grass and a Quad-X wildcut mower. Easy to use and does a good job. The bike is a Honda, 4wd, 500cc.

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 08:15:15 pm »
We use a quad bike for cutting grass and a Quad-X wildcut mower. Easy to use and does a good job. The bike is a Honda, 4wd, 500cc.

Thanks for the info.... does the quad x wildcut mower cut down quite low? I mean like a normal lawn mower cut??
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Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 06:58:56 pm »
I've not long ago sold my quad bike and had a Kioti tractor instead. Quad went through a set of tyres in 1200 miles did 25mpg and cost more the second year to insure. I was expecting less due to no claims discount.
Tractor has hydraulics, power take off for any equipment I may want which the quad didn't. Yes you can buy a grass cutter for a quad but it's more expensive than a tractor one because you have to buy one with a motor, tractor runs a log splitter for me which the quad couldn't do.
Best bit though for me is the tractor will go anywhere that the quad went.
Tractor every time for my money.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 05:53:31 pm »
I've not long ago sold my quad bike and had a Kioti tractor instead. Quad went through a set of tyres in 1200 miles did 25mpg and cost more the second year to insure. I was expecting less due to no claims discount.
Tractor has hydraulics, power take off for any equipment I may want which the quad didn't. Yes you can buy a grass cutter for a quad but it's more expensive than a tractor one because you have to buy one with a motor, tractor runs a log splitter for me which the quad couldn't do.
Best bit though for me is the tractor will go anywhere that the quad went.
Tractor every time for my money.

Thanks Moleskins..... grateful for your comments
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blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 10:09:17 am »
Well after much consideration I think I have narrowed it down to a John Deere 3320 with a 60" grass deck and 300cx loader with bucket. I would be grateful for anyone's thoughts if they have had experience with this tractor?
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waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 05:24:13 pm »
i'm guessing that you've got a local dealer nearby with one in stock? 

I looked at the 3320 when my not-so-local-dealer Scamblers had a bunch of new JD's at good prices a few months ago.  But the prices weren't quite good enough by the time I added a loader. 

It's a strange marketplace.  Round here real farmers use real tractors that need a ladder to get into and call 1,000 acres .  This size of tractor is used by golf clubs and sold by groundcare dealers who don't really get farming.  The next size down - the 3/5/700 ranges- are firmly aimed at the ride-on mower market.  The lawn tractor title is a marketing thing, so these tend to be at the top end of the lawnmower dealer's market.

I tried finding out all about the 3320 online but it wasn't very rewarding.  JD's site is abysmal, global and aimed at the heavy end.  I never found a spec sheet for the loader.  When you do find the page on the 3320 it's full of JargonTM crap.  Maybe the brochure is better, and maybe the dealer really knows his stuff.  It's heavy enough for the job and it has enough capacity on the back to lift a heavy pallet.  On a US tractor forum no-one had anything much bad to say about it, or the small tractor ranges generally.

I have a JD X534 4 wheel steer mower with an 25hp engine but weighs only 350kg.  The deck is 54" and is very solidly built, as is the whole thing.  I've had it three years and the only trouble was when I put dirty fuel in.  I use it for topping which is not it's intended use but it is very good at it.  It has enough power to demolish quite thick nettle/thistle scrubby stuff most of the time so I think the 3320 with a 60" deck will be fine.  I also tow a little trailer around the place and its great except that it's too light when the grass is wet.  That said it makes minimal impact on the ground.

I also have a MF 1533 which I would guess is more comparable to the 3320.  That, however, is really an Iseki painted red which to my mind is an advantage.  Small tractors are serious business for Iseki while for MF they're a distraction.  My experience which covers five tractors so is modest is
1. Turf tyres do no damage but are useless on slopes in the wet.  Ag tyres rip the ground in all conditions, but R4s are a good compromise
2. Manufacturers and golf clubs love the hydrostatic transmissions for some reason.  I don't: I don't find it intuitive and I don't know what it's doing so I prefer the shuttle manual gearbox, which is also vastly cheaper to repair.  I also want to be able to switch between 2wd and 4wd so I know its slippy before I'm stuck
3. I prefer an open machine rather than a cab, but then I'm in the soft south.  It's quieter and you can both see and hear what's happening far better

Hope it helps.  Best of luck.

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2011, 07:20:21 am »
i'm guessing that you've got a local dealer nearby with one in stock? 

I looked at the 3320 when my not-so-local-dealer Scamblers had a bunch of new JD's at good prices a few months ago.  But the prices weren't quite good enough by the time I added a loader. 

It's a strange marketplace.  Round here real farmers use real tractors that need a ladder to get into and call 1,000 acres .  This size of tractor is used by golf clubs and sold by groundcare dealers who don't really get farming.  The next size down - the 3/5/700 ranges- are firmly aimed at the ride-on mower market.  The lawn tractor title is a marketing thing, so these tend to be at the top end of the lawnmower dealer's market.

I tried finding out all about the 3320 online but it wasn't very rewarding.  JD's site is abysmal, global and aimed at the heavy end.  I never found a spec sheet for the loader.  When you do find the page on the 3320 it's full of JargonTM crap.  Maybe the brochure is better, and maybe the dealer really knows his stuff.  It's heavy enough for the job and it has enough capacity on the back to lift a heavy pallet.  On a US tractor forum no-one had anything much bad to say about it, or the small tractor ranges generally.

I have a JD X534 4 wheel steer mower with an 25hp engine but weighs only 350kg.  The deck is 54" and is very solidly built, as is the whole thing.  I've had it three years and the only trouble was when I put dirty fuel in.  I use it for topping which is not it's intended use but it is very good at it.  It has enough power to demolish quite thick nettle/thistle scrubby stuff most of the time so I think the 3320 with a 60" deck will be fine.  I also tow a little trailer around the place and its great except that it's too light when the grass is wet.  That said it makes minimal impact on the ground.

I also have a MF 1533 which I would guess is more comparable to the 3320.  That, however, is really an Iseki painted red which to my mind is an advantage.  Small tractors are serious business for Iseki while for MF they're a distraction.  My experience which covers five tractors so is modest is
1. Turf tyres do no damage but are useless on slopes in the wet.  Ag tyres rip the ground in all conditions, but R4s are a good compromise
2. Manufacturers and golf clubs love the hydrostatic transmissions for some reason.  I don't: I don't find it intuitive and I don't know what it's doing so I prefer the shuttle manual gearbox, which is also vastly cheaper to repair.  I also want to be able to switch between 2wd and 4wd so I know its slippy before I'm stuck
3. I prefer an open machine rather than a cab, but then I'm in the soft south.  It's quieter and you can both see and hear what's happening far better

Hope it helps.  Best of luck.


Thank you waterhouse.... very kind of you taking the trouble to provide so much information from your experiences.
I am very new to this whole farming / smallholding thing but I am learning fast (what’s sleep again). I originally come from Hackney in East London but have lived in the North East of Scotland since I was 18. It's been almost 30 years but I'm not a local yet  :cow:

I have 6 acres of paddocks, about 2 acres of garden and about another 2 acres of ponds with nice walks (all grass to be cut) around them. The Kuboto B2530 that I have does a fine job; it takes me around 2 hours to cut all the grass (not including the paddocks) with a 60" deck. I did consider another Kuboto but locally everyone rate JD. Fortunately I do have a JD and Kuboto dealer quite close to me and both seem OK. You are certainly right about the ‘big tractor’ thing…. I am just the poor relative in these dealerships and sadly pretty low in the pecking order.
I think the 3320 with the loader and a bucket will do the job for me. Like you I prefer to be cab-less and open to the elements…. I know what the winters are like up here but that just adds to the fun for me. When I watch the news and see what is going on in our cities I feel pretty lucky to have ended up where I am. While cutting the grass around my property I’m lucky enough to see otters, kingfishers and a whole host of other wonderful wildlife.

My next challenge is dealing with some neglected paddocks…. Very long grass and weeds. I have to make sure all the visible ragwort is removed and then plan to keep topping it until I have it under control. I cannot really get it cut and bailed due to the ragwort risk.

I have uploaded a couple of pictures
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Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2011, 10:26:13 am »
fantastic place

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 11:08:55 am »
Beekeeping

Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 06:47:35 pm »
Hi,

My view for what it is worth....

With 8 Acres you need to decide what you are going to need to do eg: Mow? Cut for hay? Bale? Flail? Spray? Plough some of it? Power Harrow after ploughing? Tow Big trailers? Lift Things?

For all of the above I would suggest a full size tractor (even an old one) for a couple of reasons:

1 The equipment can be bought second hand cheaper than that for a compact tractor
2 A quad is good for playing on or moving bales around but does not have the capabilities of a tractor.

We use a 30 year old IH and it handles everything on our 20 acres with ease.

Thanks
www.suppliesforsmallholders.co.uk - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
Also www.suppliesforfarmers.co.uk for more larger farm related items

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 12:21:56 am »
That's torn it!  I thought we might have a thread without the new versus old debate.

I've had the old tractor as well (MF575) and you do for sure get a lot of tractor for your cash plus the fun of trying to find manuals, spare parts, special pullers and someone with the knowledge and willingness to fix it.  If that rings your bell, then fine.

For me the 575 was a vintage car without the fun.  It was heavy and left big ruts, 2wd so got stuck and made bigger ruts, had an indifferent turning circle so took a lot of space i don't have and had a very basic bucket loader which was effectively permanently attached.

My 240 hour MF1533 has the turning circle of the grey fergie but with 4wd and excellent power steering. It uses standard skid steer buckets which remove in seconds, or I can detach the entire loader in minutes.  It has lots of hydraulics and plenty of power with no rust and a comfy seat. 

Compact covers a big range from 12hp to 40hp, and these machines aren't toys.

Perhaps it's the Honda CB750 compared with the Norton Commando...

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 06:39:19 am »
I suspected I would get suggestions of 'what about an old tractor'. And this is fine, actually if I were more mechanically minded and had more available time I have now doubt I would really enjoy the challenge of an old tractor..... I love land rovers and drive a new defender but each and everyday I remember all the old landys I have owned and loved. It's only when you are in one of them on a wet day and you cannot see jack sh*t that you feel oh I'm glad I have this new one :-)

Also, the previous owners of my property did a lot of work landscaping the place and in doing so made many areas 'compact tractor' width so to be honest without a large element of ground works I am restricted somewhat to a very maximum in some areas of 1.7m.

I have to say from a complete newbies point of view my Kuboto B2530 does a cracking job. When all the grass is cut, the paddocks topped the place looks immaculate. I think I will find the loader extremely useful and of course the small increase in HP from 25 to 31 cannot be bad.

I really appreciate everyones thoughts and comments  :)
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Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: Mini Tractor V Quad Bike
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2011, 08:05:30 am »
Few more things to think about.

Quads tend to have lower ground pressure than tractors so are less likely to muck up the ground but the mower for a quad weighs an enormous amount as well as being expensive.

The land appears reasonably level so you probably don't need a quad to go from A to B unless you are carrying something.  Equally you can probably get away without 4WD.

Do you have a partner?  That isn't me being nosey but sometimes it is good for two to be able to travel to jobs at the same time.  When its chucking it down and cold its not fun for the one who is walking nor is it fun for the one who might have to wait at the other end.  If there might be two of you working at the other end would it be helpful to have say one brushcutting while the other loads a trailer?

If the budget will stretch to it then the perfect combination might be a tractor that suits the land (we have a Goldoni because our slopes are horrific and we have neither the room nor the funds for a big alpine) and a second hand quad that can be used to get to animals quickly, pull a trailer, deliver hay to animals and provide transport for a second person.  But a quad as the only workhorse is really limiting. 

 

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