Another Newbie Contemplating a New Purchase

Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
If y’all can tolerate another “newbie wanting to buy a tractor” thread, I could really use some advice. My wife and I have just purchased 27 acres in east Texas. After decades of suburbia we are planning on retiring there soon and I’m definitely feeling the need for something orange. The options and features are dizzying and before I even go to my nearby dealer, I’d like to better understand my options.

Some additional information on my situation and intentions that might be useful:
  • About 14 of the 27 acres are used by my neighbor to graze his cattle. We have a deal where he maintains that area and I let him use the land. So, effectively, I don’t have to worry about those 14 acres. (Unless he changes his mind or moves or whatever, of course.)
  • I have a one-acre lake and whatever solution I end up with will need to support a boom-type cutter to cut the embankments that are unsuitable to drive on. Having a boom mower that’s also capable of trimming trees and high shrubs would be nice, too, but I recognize that would require more horsepower (at least 60 hp for the bush hog flail head boom mower that caught my eye).
  • I have a 60” ZT mower that does an okay job, especially in tight areas where a tractor would be too bulky, but it still seems pretty slow going with some of the larger areas I cut. Especially if I’ve been traveling and skipped mowing for a week or two. When that happens, the ZT mower is not quite up to the job. Some of the areas are somewhat rutted, too, which is painful and slow in the ZT mower. So, I also would like to end up with a wide rotary cutter to pull behind the tractor for much faster cutting, especially when it’s a bit overgrown. I don’t think that I need a center mounted mower for the tractor since the ZT mower seems to be suitable for that role. I’m new at this, though, so I may be wrong.
  • I’m sure I’m going to be trenching, tilling the rutted areas, moving dirt and gravel around, digging post holes and moving posts for fences, moving/planting trees and shrubs, smoothing out a long driveway, etc. So, I definitely will want a backhoe and a front blade.
  • This is east Texas, so snow doesn’t enter the picture, to speak of.
  • I’m pretty sure I want a cab and not a ROPS, primarily because of the scorching heat around here.
  • I’m nearly 60 and I want to save wear and tear on my body. I’m fortunate that I can spend the money on various attachments to make life easier, so while I’m not wanting to go insane with the spending, I don’t want to pinch pennies on an underpowered tractor and regret it for years to come when the attachment I want to buy or rent is too much for my wimpy tractor to handle. That said, there’s no reason to buy a tractor that’s bigger, more difficult to manage, and more expensive to maintain, just for the sake of having it.
So far, I’ve poured over a bunch of material online and I think, but am not sure, that the BX series is probably not powerful enough. I like the LX series. Many reviews online tout the LX’s comfort and ease of use, but the LX's have lower hp ratings than some of the brush hog boom mowers that I've been considering. The L series is compelling for the greater horsepower but is that more horsepower than I really need? That’s as far as I’ve gotten at this point. I'm kinda vapor locked here.

Thank you to those of you who have endured reading all of this. I welcome any insights that you can offer to help me organize my thinking.
 
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Njtool

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Lx2610 HSDC. BH77 backhoe
Jan 1, 2021
216
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New jersey
I’m sure plenty of people will give you advice on tractors that they don’t own. Disregard those people and listen to the people that actually own the tractor they are talking about.
That being said, I own an LX2610 cab and I love it. I have put a lot of hours on it and it is comfortable. It has a lot of lifting power and the 3310 has a lot more HP that will be more suited for brush hogging.

I use a 60” brush hog and it works fine. I don’t go horribly fast and it does a good job. But I don’t mow a lot of acres.

I have a backhoe as well as a bunch of other attachments. I’ve used the front end loader to dig and move dirt, level land, etc.
I have a grapple that I use for moving rocks and boulders, logs, trees etc. I also use it for removing invasive plants like Russian olives and barberry. It had the same loader as the 3310 and i find it well suited for all the things I use it for.

I also have a front end post hole digger that runs off the 3rd function.
I’m not sure what the next size tractor with a cab is, but the LX is a great tractor. I won’t buy another piece of equipment without a cab.
I hope this helps
 
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JimmyJazz

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B2601
Aug 8, 2020
836
468
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Pittsburgh, Pa
Where will you store it. Some tractors particularly those with cabs may not fit in a standard garage due to height considerations. Something to consider.
 
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Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
Where will you store it. Some tractors particularly those with cabs may not fit in a standard garage due to height considerations. Something to consider.
I'll store it in my workshop. I have a 2,400 sf detached shop with a very high (12 foot?) roll-up door.
 
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Elliott in GA

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LX 2610SU w/535,LP RCR1860,LP FDR1660,LP SGC0554, LP FSP500, DD BBX60005
Mar 10, 2021
322
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North Georgia
Your desire for a Cab and Boom Rotary Cutter means you can start looking at the top of the MX and Grand L60 series. Anything smaller will not have the weight and power to use a Boom Mower. You may well end up buying an M series tractor.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,647
1,475
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
None of use are getting any younger, the older we get..... welcome to the 'club'.

I chose to have 'dedicated' machines for several reasons.
1) adding a MMM to my BX23S would cost $2500+. since I don't have acres to cut, I can buy 4-5 used 'riders' and still have money in my pocket. heck the Cub Cadet I use is 20+ old....so far saved 2500 !!

2) changing implements is ,really, a PAIN in my back. Big tractors are all snap-Coupler (A-C) so, 30-40 seconds to connect and go....any implement to any tractor.

3) There is NO 'perfect' tractor for ALL uses.

4) SSQA is a must, buckets are nice BUT forks work really,really well for some uses (like moving skids of 'stuff'.

best to WRITE down info like what needs to be done, costs of stuff, timelines, etc. Saying it out loud won't SHOW you 'details' that can bite you....

check ACTUAL stock/delivery of stuff. often it's better to have a 'somewhat' less than ideal implement than NONE for 6-8 MONTHS...

There's pros and cons to everything....so education is key to sucess !
 
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Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
This does help. Thank you. Your list of activities sounds much like what I anticipate doing. I've looked at the LX3310HSDC and it's high on my list of contenders. I was wondering if 30.8 hp is sufficient.

I’m sure plenty of people will give you advice on tractors that they don’t own. Disregard those people and listen to the people that actually own the tractor they are talking about.
That being said, I own an LX2610 cab and I love it. I have put a lot of hours on it and it is comfortable. It has a lot of lifting power and the 3310 has a lot more HP that will be more suited for brush hogging.

I use a 60” brush hog and it works fine. I don’t go horribly fast and it does a good job. But I don’t mow a lot of acres.

I have a backhoe as well as a bunch of other attachments. I’ve used the front end loader to dig and move dirt, level land, etc.
I have a grapple that I use for moving rocks and boulders, logs, trees etc. I also use it for removing invasive plants like Russian olives and barberry. It had the same loader as the 3310 and i find it well suited for all the things I use it for.

I also have a front end post hole digger that runs off the 3rd function.
I’m not sure what the next size tractor with a cab is, but the LX is a great tractor. I won’t buy another piece of equipment without a cab.
I hope this helps
 
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Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
I need to start my education by understanding all the terms and acronyms. I go to "Build my xxx" and the features and options make little sense to me right now. MMM? SSQA? Online search, here I come...


None of use are getting any younger, the older we get..... welcome to the 'club'.

I chose to have 'dedicated' machines for several reasons.
1) adding a MMM to my BX23S would cost $2500+. since I don't have acres to cut, I can buy 4-5 used 'riders' and still have money in my pocket. heck the Cub Cadet I use is 20+ old....so far saved 2500 !!

2) changing implements is ,really, a PAIN in my back. Big tractors are all snap-Coupler (A-C) so, 30-40 seconds to connect and go....any implement to any tractor.

3) There is NO 'perfect' tractor for ALL uses.

4) SSQA is a must, buckets are nice BUT forks work really,really well for some uses (like moving skids of 'stuff'.

best to WRITE down info like what needs to be done, costs of stuff, timelines, etc. Saying it out loud won't SHOW you 'details' that can bite you....

check ACTUAL stock/delivery of stuff. often it's better to have a 'somewhat' less than ideal implement than NONE for 6-8 MONTHS...

There's pros and cons to everything....so education is key to sucess !
 
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Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
That's a big question I have: How to best avoid a situation where attaching/swapping an attachment is more trouble than it's worth? For example, if it takes me an hour of sweating, lifting, and cursing to put pallet forks on for a 15 minute task, then the pallet forks aren't really worth it.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
549
384
63
Ohio
Good day. Congrats on new place and time to yourself. I’d recommend you consider a couple things:
1. What are you potential uses over next 10-15 yrs? Maybe shorter maybe longer pending health and dreams.
2. Think hard about what type of things you want to lift or pull…weight and stability and safety for all who will use or be around the machine.
3. I am not sure it really matters, but do you plan to keep your current ZT for regular mowing or at least close to house and buildings?
4. How many machines do you want to own and love?

Everyone has different thoughts on the topic but I think based on the above consider your priorities for you implements and size appropriately for the future. Seems like 👍 f your prioritize the boom mower that will require some size/weight for safety and stability…sort of suggests biggest L or MX or maybe bigger…I am not aware there has been anyone that regretted the HP or lift capability. Regarding the Bh (I have one, love it, would do again, but unless you value availability, they do not make sense)…f money is an issue but more implements with the money you would spend on Bh and then pay someone for the fee Bh jobs you may have.

If money no issue buy a size bigger than you think you need. Otherwise buy biggest you can afford.

If you have not had equipment before, I’d recommend talk to your neighbor that feeds his cattle on your pasture. I bet he has some. Ask if you can drive and try and recommendations. He is likely family with the lay of your land and most likely has a tractor he let you try. You can compare that to whatever you decide you need. Have a fun shopping…i hope I helped.
 
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Arachnophobe

New member
May 17, 2022
14
18
3
East Texas
Good day. Congrats on new place and time to yourself. I’d recommend you consider a couple things:
1. What are you potential uses over next 10-15 yrs? Maybe shorter maybe longer pending health and dreams.
2. Think hard about what type of things you want to lift or pull…weight and stability and safety for all who will use or be around the machine.
3. I am not sure it really matters, but do you plan to keep your current ZT for regular mowing or at least close to house and buildings?
4. How many machines do you want to own and love?

Everyone has different thoughts on the topic but I think based on the above consider your priorities for you implements and size appropriately for the future. Seems like 👍 f your prioritize the boom mower that will require some size/weight for safety and stability…sort of suggests biggest L or MX or maybe bigger…I am not aware there has been anyone that regretted the HP or lift capability. Regarding the Bh (I have one, love it, would do again, but unless you value availability, they do not make sense)…f money is an issue but more implements with the money you would spend on Bh and then pay someone for the fee Bh jobs you may have.

If money no issue buy a size bigger than you think you need. Otherwise buy biggest you can afford.

If you have not had equipment before, I’d recommend talk to your neighbor that feeds his cattle on your pasture. I bet he has some. Ask if you can drive and try and recommendations. He is likely family with the lay of your land and most likely has a tractor he let you try. You can compare that to whatever you decide you need. Have a fun shopping…i hope I helped.
Thanks! I plan on keeping the ZT mower because I feel like a kid driving it, for some reason. The wife may ultimately enjoy using it, too. Right now, I see myself owning the ZT and a tractor with a host of implements. Some implements I'll want to own and some might be needed rarely enough that I can rent them. (There's a pretty well-equipped rental place convenient. I've considered renting an orange tractor from them after I know a little more about what I don't know.) I like the idea of taking to cow neighbor. He and my other neighbor seem pretty knowledgeable about such things. They have the advantage of being familiar with my land, since theirs is rather similar in character.
 
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rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
549
384
63
Ohio
Thanks! I plan on keeping the ZT mower because I feel like a kid driving it, for some reason. The wife may ultimately enjoy using it, too. Right now, I see myself owning the ZT and a tractor with a host of implements. Some implements I'll want to own and some might be needed rarely enough that I can rent them. (There's a pretty well-equipped rental place convenient. I've considered renting an orange tractor from them after I know a little more about what I don't know.) I like the idea of taking to cow neighbor. He and my other neighbor seem pretty knowledgeable about such things. They have the advantage of being familiar with my land, since theirs is rather similar in character.
Just remember people that drive a Prius may not understand or see the value of a someone who commutes in a 3/4 ton truck and vice versa. Same applies to tractors. Ask your neighbors if they wish they bought smaller machines…see what they say. Maybe ask them how much tractor you need for whatever implement you want to run…especially the boom mower.
 
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mcmxi

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Lifetime Member

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M6060HDC, MX6000HSTC, MX6000HST (sold), BX25TLB (sold), GL7000
Feb 9, 2021
1,842
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113
NW Montana
As someone who owns 20 acres and does similar tasks to those you mention, also someone who owned a BX25D for five years on this property, an MX6000 open station for a year (sold), an MX6000 cab model for five months (keeping) and an M6060 for a couple of weeks (keeping), I would suggest an MX6000 HSTC, Grand L6060 or bigger.

The HST is very easy to use but you won't find anything bigger than the MX or L6060 with an HST. Also, I run a hydraulic offset rotary flail cutter and it works fine with the MX with wheel weights and ballast.

I really can't say enough good things about the MX tractors. They're not as fancy as the Grand L60 models, but then again not as expensive. They're a good value, they're incredibly capable and very easy to live with day in and day out. I have a friend with a Grand L4060 and he wishes he'd gone bigger in terms of hp. He also lives on 20 acres, does all manner of projects and finds the power lacking for his needs.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,647
1,475
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
Be aware that 'bigger' is NOT always 'better'.
Depending on your property (trees for instance),size of shed/barn... bigger may not work for you.
I could have bought a BH(Back Hoe)(1/4 the cost of the BX23S) for my big tractors but they would NOT be able to get into the areas the BX23S can.
If you have wide open pastures ,then sure bigger is usually better, not true in the woods though . The BX23S is too big for cutting the motocross rails in my neighbour's pine forest.....bummer cause we want a pair of jumps put in there...
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Lifetime Member

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L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
1,067
417
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WestTn/NoMs
If y’all can tolerate another “newbie wanting to buy a tractor” thread, I could really use some advice. My wife and I have just purchased 27 acres in east Texas. After decades of suburbia we are planning on retiring there soon and I’m definitely feeling the need for something orange. The options and features are dizzying and before I even go to my nearby dealer, I’d like to better understand my options.

Some additional information on my situation and intentions that might be useful:
  • About 14 of the 27 acres are used by my neighbor to graze his cattle. We have a deal where he maintains that area and I let him use the land. So, effectively, I don’t have to worry about those 14 acres. (Unless he changes his mind or moves or whatever, of course.)
  • I have a one-acre lake and whatever solution I end up with will need to support a boom-type cutter to cut the embankments that are unsuitable to drive on. Having a boom mower that’s also capable of trimming trees and high shrubs would be nice, too, but I recognize that would require more horsepower (at least 60 hp for the bush hog flail head boom mower that caught my eye).
  • I have a 60” ZT mower that does an okay job, especially in tight areas where a tractor would be too bulky, but it still seems pretty slow going with some of the larger areas I cut. Especially if I’ve been traveling and skipped mowing for a week or two. When that happens, the ZT mower is not quite up to the job. Some of the areas are somewhat rutted, too, which is painful and slow in the ZT mower. So, I also would like to end up with a wide rotary cutter to pull behind the tractor for much faster cutting, especially when it’s a bit overgrown. I don’t think that I need a center mounted mower for the tractor since the ZT mower seems to be suitable for that role. I’m new at this, though, so I may be wrong.
  • I’m sure I’m going to be trenching, tilling the rutted areas, moving dirt and gravel around, digging post holes and moving posts for fences, moving/planting trees and shrubs, smoothing out a long driveway, etc. So, I definitely will want a backhoe and a front blade.
  • This is east Texas, so snow doesn’t enter the picture, to speak of.
  • I’m pretty sure I want a cab and not a ROPS, primarily because of the scorching heat around here.
  • I’m nearly 60 and I want to save wear and tear on my body. I’m fortunate that I can spend the money on various attachments to make life easier, so while I’m not wanting to go insane with the spending, I don’t want to pinch pennies on an underpowered tractor and regret it for years to come when the attachment I want to buy or rent is too much for my wimpy tractor to handle. That said, there’s no reason to buy a tractor that’s bigger, more difficult to manage, and more expensive to maintain, just for the sake of having it.
So far, I’ve poured over a bunch of material online and I think, but am not sure, that the BX series is probably not powerful enough. I like the LX series. Many reviews online tout the LX’s comfort and ease of use, but the LX's have lower hp ratings than some of the brush hog boom mowers that I've been considering. The L series is compelling for the greater horsepower but is that more horsepower than I really need? That’s as far as I’ve gotten at this point. I'm kinda vapor locked here.

Thank you to those of you who have endured reading all of this. I welcome any insights that you can offer to help me organize my thinking.
Since it's only your money :), I'd be looking for a used M6040 or M7040, maybe a larger MX. And a 15' batwing mower.

None of us has seen your property, but, to me, it sounds like you'll be doing lots of mowing. Mowing 15 acres with a 6' cutter gets to be boring. A batwing hangs out the sides and flexes, so you can cut under low-hangimg trees and ditch/lake banks (to some degree). But it won't cut sides and overhead, of course. But anything that will, won't mow a very wide swath.

A FEL with SSQA should be a given. If you're going to be drilling holes, I'd go with a front hole auger. Sooner or later, you'll want a third function for a grapple or hole auger.

You'll get a lot of pushback on the backhoe. I've got one on my L35 and it comes in handy if you have it, but it is a pretty expensive option. If you have much trenching, renting a chain trencher is more productive than a backhoe.

Sounds like you're new to tractors. An MX or M feels intimidating at first. But the learning curve is steep. You won't be satisfied with a BX for long, or a B/LX for much longer. That's my 2¢.
 
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fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
1,272
912
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Eastham, Ma
Your desire for a Cab and Boom Rotary Cutter means you can start looking at the top of the MX and Grand L60 series. Anything smaller will not have the weight and power to use a Boom Mower. You may well end up buying an M series tractor.
Excellent advice!
 
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NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
1,384
1,493
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Central Piedmont, NC
Often there is the one implement/job that determines the minimum size of the machine. It sounds like the offset bank mower is probably that implement/job in your case. I have looked at offset and boom mowers for mowing our pond banks and trimming corridors and trails vertically with my L4701. Not that there are absolutely no mowers of that type it will run but the hydraulic powered ones require more flow and most of the PTO powered ones require a slightly heavier machine to provide a sufficiently stable base. The ones it will run don’t reach far enough to be worth the money for our specific property.

Bank mowers and boom mowers vary quite a bit in reach, mowing head size, weight, hydraulic requirements and by extension they vary on minimum requirement for the tractor. Most likely if you really want/need an offset bank mower I would probably pick the mower that would do the job and make sure the tractor will run it. That will probably put you in a MX at a minimum.
 
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jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
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I think it’s a question of how many hours a week you might use your tractor. I’ve had my L2501 HST for 1 year and almost 4 months. It’s been really good.

I think the attachments should figure a lot into what you want to buy. I used my bucket, blade, and grader scraper today. Yes, it was worth it to use all three. Although I love the MX in concept, I don’t really need one. I’m up to about 100 hrs total in my almost 17 months.

Spend some time thinking about what attachments you plan to use. In the tractor world, even small tractors can do a lot of work with implements. Larger tractor means more expensive implements.