Buying Advice - B26 or BX25?

shaymus

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Sep 17, 2021
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I have 10 reasonably flat acres that i am about to start developing. I plan to do a lot of trenching for irrigation, power, and water lines. The wife is planning an orchard on about an acre of the land that will need trees planted and irrigation. I'm putting up a garage / workshop about 800' away from the house so will be doing the trenching for power and water there. I'll be putting in a septic system for the workshop. I also need to cut in a road and spread gravel, do some gravel road maintenance, and generally get some clearing and other work done. Mowing too. I plan on getting other implements like a post hole digger, pallet attachments, and a mower.

The property is pretty remote so going to the rental store a lot is not appealing, even though the perfect machine for each job can be rented. I'm in no hurry to get it done quickly and also just want to be out there playing around.

My budget is around $25K. I'm handy and can fabricate and fix most things and have tools / etc. Looking for insights on a good TLB tractor. I would expect the post hole digger and mower to be additional.

I started looking at models and they are all over the map. In my head, I'm leaning toward the B26, but could be talked into other models assuming the budget is right. I don't think I need the weight of the L. Thoughts?
 
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85Hokie

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When you say a B26 ..... you talking the loader/backhoe ?

That machine is much more suited for trenching and the whatnot. A much more heavier machine than the BX series - two entirely different machines.

The BX is a great machine - dont get me wrong , I have one and it does everything I need! But the B26 will be a monster compared to the BX!
 
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Roadworthy

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You could also look into the LX series - basically a heavy B series, not really an L. When doing excavating be aware that these tractors may not have the depth capability required for the septic tank though they could do the drain field just fine.
 
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dirtydeed

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BX25 and B26 are two entirely different class machines. A B26 is a true, small TLB. It's capabilities far exceed those of a BX25. It'll lift and dig at least twice as much/faster than BX25. It also has a dedicated loader and 4 post ROPS...neither of which is easily removed. So, you'd have to use a 3 pt rear mower while ROPS and Loader is attached on a B26.

Additionally, you wont find a new B26 for anything close to 25K. I think you'd be looking for closer to $40K for that machine unless you found something used.

However, if you were referring to the B-01, B-50 (or now LX) series models (B2601, B2650, LX2610) that changes things quite a bit.
 
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shaymus

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BX25 and B26 are two entirely different class machines. A B26 is a true, small TLB. It's capabilities far exceed those of a BX25. It'll lift and dig at least twice as much/faster than BX25. It also has a dedicated loader and 4 post ROPS...neither of which is easily removed. So, you'd have to use a 3 pt rear mower while ROPS and Loader is attached on a B26.

Additionally, you wont find a new B26 for anything close to 25K. I think you'd be looking for closer to $40K for that machine unless you found something used.

However, if you were referring to the B-01, B-50 (or now LX) series models (B2601, B2650, LX2610) that changes things quite a bit.
Thanks for the info.

Yes, I would look for a used tractor. I do know that everything is in pretty short supply at the moment, so I'll likely be looking for a while.
 

dirtydeed

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I hear ya...

The B26 is pretty stout for its size. I suppose you could consider it as a small "commercial construction" tractor. Something that you would likely see in the rental fleets. I don't think that they have a mid PTO. The backhoe is a 4 point mount like most other kubota backhoe's. It also has a regular rear PTO and three point hitch.

I think that the BX25 would be a bit small for your needs. Granted, they are impressive for their size, but you reach their limits quickly.

The part that could mess you up with a dedicated TLB (like the B26) is that the loader doesn't come off and the same applies to 4 post rops. You can't even fold it down.

Perhaps, you may want to look at a non dedicated machine like the other B and LX series that I mentioned above. You can get 4 point mounted hoes for all of them. Hoe is easily removed in a few mins.

anyway, best of luck to you.
 

OrangeKrush

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With that much land and work to be done.. definitely something larger than the BX model. As said above it's a great machine but you would be kicking yourself.. kinda like buying a push mower for an acre of grass! Get the right one the first time..
 
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PaulL

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B26 is broadly based on the B2601. BX25 is broadly based on the BX2380. Substantially different machines.

For 10 acres and that much trenching, I'd agree a BX is not the best machine, although it may be the cheapest.

A B26 would be a great machine, but also agree any of the B models with a hoe would also be suitable, and in some ways better (such as removing the loader as noted above).

If you're going used, you could get into quite a bit bigger machine for not a lot more money. Small tractors aren't _that_ much cheaper than big tractors. 10 acres could justify a bigger machine, and sounds like you're talking about a rear mower anyway rather than a belly mower. I'm not sure I'd want to put in a driveway with a B, it can be done but it'd be slow.

Of course, the usual advice also applies. The work you mention that stands out to me is trenching irrigation and wires, and putting in a driveway. Without those two tasks you might pick a quite different machine.

Trenching a lot of distance with a tractor backhoe is pretty slow and makes a lot of mess. You can rent a chain digger, or even buy a second hand PTO attach chain digger. You can also get a mole plow that will pull in an irrigation line and wires. The speed of trenching with either solution would be substantially faster, and the speed of backfilling also a lot better because either would make a much narrower trench.

As for a driveway, that's something I'd always hire out to a guy with a big tracked machine. He'll know 100x more than you ever will about building a driveway, the driveway he makes will last many more years than what you make (unless you are far better at these things than I am). And getting a guy to come and put a driveway in is surprisingly inexpensive, because he's good at it so it doesn't take him long.

That then changes what sort of machine you're trying to buy. You maybe don't need a hoe, you need a tractor that can mow, run a post hole digger, grade your driveway once established. In other words, pretty much any tractor - whereas TLBs are harder to find. In the Kubota range I'd recommend a B or a small L on 10 acres. Of course there are other brands that also have good machines, and if you need to buy second hand limiting yourself to only Kubota may mean waiting a while.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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yeesh, I'm tired just THINKING of having to walk 800 feet to your garage !! So, I understand the septic for garage plan !! 'bigger is better', and older should get you more tractor for the money. No one tractor does it all,well and fast.
In addition to a small tractor/mower ,you may want to consider buying a 2wd 'used-abused' backhoe, lke a Case580 ? You've got a lot of 'backhoe' specific jobs and 2wd backhoes, at least around here are cheap. It's common for guys to buy them, build their house, and when done, resell to the next guy. While you can dig septics with smaller TLBs( I've used my BX23S for one), it is slow going and you have to plan ahead. Bigger machines are faster,so a lot depends on the time you have to do the jobs.
For irrigation lines a subsoiler with 'hose/wire' inserting option would be faster than an open trench. Hopefully you don't have BOULDERS underground,just waiting to rear their ugly heads !
Write down on paper, what work you NEED to be done, decide on the order, then look for machines that'll DO the work,hopefully within your time limit. SEEING stuff on paper can be a real eye opener .
 
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BobInSD

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yeesh, I'm tired just THINKING of having to walk 800 feet to your garage !!
With a wife, and two small kids (in the past), a little separation between the shop and the house is a good thing. If it's important enough for them to get bundled up and come to get me, they need me. I'd it's "hey dad, I can't find my sweatshirt " they become a little more self reliant rather than make the trek.
 
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shaymus

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What about a B2650 with BH77 backhoe? Does anyone know how that compares to the B26? Can you run a mid-mounted mower with the backhoe subframe?