Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: tractor advice please  (Read 2870 times)


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Machynlleth, Powys
tractor advice please
« on: July 31, 2015, 10:54:46 am »
I've been looking at small alpine tractors because about 1/3 of my pasture is on the kind of slope shown in the attached picture, and I also have some acres of similarly sloping woodland.  I currently co-own a Fordson Major with my neighbour but it really seems inconveniently big for me and my land, and it really doesn't seem safe for those slopes, at least not for a driver with my level of experience.

Someone reasonably near me is selling a used Ferrari Vipar 30 RS (full specs here) at a good price and I am very tempted.  My goal is to be able to top all of my pasture including the small steep bits and also ideally my orchard, and ideally to also be able to grade my drive and to cut and turn hay.  I'd be very grateful to get any comments or advice on this from people with more tractor expertise than me (which is nearly everybody).   :thinking:
Shetland sheep, Copper Marans chickens, Miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, and ginger cats.


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: tractor advice please
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 04:16:27 pm »
I suppose the real answer is 'can you borrow it or test drive it on some slopes'?
Slopes never look as steep in pics...but I'd guess mine are as steep or steeper.. as a coward I pay a village guy to drive my 40hp  tractor when they need work. Local farmer tops them for me in exchange for hay once a year..and the speed he goes at all sorts of angles with a 90HP John Deere is scary.

Even an alipine tracto can't be an excuse to go silly. Although i was aboard a jacobsen 5 gang mower the other day across a short section of 35-40 dg slope and it's so low and wide that it felt perfectly stable (did I mention I'm a  coward?)


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Machynlleth, Powys
Re: tractor advice please
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 04:24:56 pm »
Thanks pgkevet.  In this case it's not close enough to borrow/test drive, unfortunately.  I'm fairly confident it'll do for my slopes, based on demonstration videos of similar models.  Less confident of my ability to be sure it has everything I'll need in terms of linkage, power, repairability, etc -- it's one of those I don't know what I don't know challenges :P

A neighbour topped most of mine for me last year (not the bit in the picture, but some bits that are equally steep but not so tight) on his fairly big normal tractor -- but he's been driving a tractor for 40+ years, whereas I'm a beginner.

I'm definitely a coward too -- but I can manage all of my land on my quad bike in 4wd going slow and careful, so I figure a small alpine should be much the same :fc:
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 04:28:02 pm by Thyme »
Shetland sheep, Copper Marans chickens, Miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, and ginger cats.


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: tractor advice please
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 05:34:55 pm »
Funnily enough the guy that drives the slopes for me won't take a quad up there - although i do :)

As for equipment ..if it;s got a 3-point linkga eand a PTO it'll do most stuff.. a couple of double acting spools might be handy if you ever think in terms of a light digger (but you're better off hiring a real one) or perhaps a logsplitter on the back or a tipping trailer.

I do admit to a full safety cab on mine (as well as a/c) and the one time I had a back wheel off the ground was enough for me to see sense.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: tractor advice please
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2015, 07:19:15 pm »
Looks an ok machine for the job , lombardini engines are fairly solid .  Slope looks fairly gentle to me but since  most of my ground is  sloping it would . Certainly  a  tall narrow 2wheel drive major  can't compare to  an alpine from a safety angle


  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: tractor advice please
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 11:05:18 am »
I live on a hilly farm with similar gradients but to be honest as long as there is somewhere reasonably level to turn around at the top and bottom of the field then you don't really need anything specialist. 4 wheel drive, don't try turning on the steep slopes and try to avoid them in the wet and you'll be fine.

By the way if there isn't anywhere to turn or its very steep/wet its just a case of reversing up the hill then driving down it.


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