BX vs B - transmission, ground pressure, mowing

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,234
426
83
NZ
I know, same question. But some specific twists all of my own.

I have a bx2350. It's had a hard life, I picked it up cheap from an auction site, then added a loader, fixed the mower, did a full service. It has busted plastic, no lights and some rough bits, but seems mechanically sound. Having demonstrated uses for a tractor, I now have approval from the budget controller (aka missus) to upgrade.

I have no critical use for a tractor - we have probably half an acre or a bit less of land to mow, I chip garden waste, move mulch with the bucket, and sometimes tow the boat with it. No snow where we live, driveway is sealed, no bush that I can get into with a tractor. But I enjoy it, and a guy's gotta have some toys.

Anyway, I'm tossing up between a new bx80 (when they finally come to NZ), or a B2601. I know the differences according to the specs (size, weight, engine displacement, 3 speed HST, position control, lift capacity at both ends), but interested in some things I can't easily find in the specs.

1. The boat isn't overly heavy (maybe 2 ton on the tandem trailer), but the bx struggles a bit sometimes pulling it out the ramp (unfortunately only when I'm not there to see it - seems to work fine for me). The brother in law who is a proper tractor guy reckons I'm beating the torque convertor too much and will kill it. I know the engine in the small B is reasonably similar to the BX, is the transmission noticeably different? Will a B in low ratio be stronger than a BX in low ratio (noting the 3 speed vs 2 speed may mean a lower ratio, and the B has maybe stronger construction). Is this even a thing - it seems to me that it's in low ratio and it's hydrostatic - it just slips. So long as it doesn't overheat there's no reason it'd hurt it - and we pull the boat about 50 metres from the ramp to the shed, so it's not going to overheat. Should I just go back to pulling the boat with the truck, which worked fine but wasn't as much fun? Should I ignore the complaining from onlookers and just use my tractor how I like?

2. The B is a bit heavier, but also has larger tires. Is the ground pressure actually greater? I'm worried about compacting the lawn when mowing and when wet, but my rough math says that the pressure isn't really much if any higher in the larger tractor. Am I thinking about this wrong?

3. People say the BX mows better. Does that mean the quality of the cut, or just that it's smaller and more nimble? I'm remodelling the lawn anyway, so either tractor will go around the curves I'm laying out. I occasionally mow the public land at the end of the road (maybe 2-3 acres)....a faster / bigger tractor would mow that more quickly. But if the quality of the cut is worse, then probably I'd lean to the BX - mowing is most of what I do

4. I note the increased loader and 3ph capacity, but seem to recall somewhere reading the front axle is actually rated lower in the 2601 than the BX. Is this urban legend, does it even matter given that I've never really heard of anyone breaking a front axle by lifting things with the loader (i.e. the loader will stop lifting long before you break an axle)?

Bottom line, they're similar price and the 2601 is more tractor. I have no real need for that more, but lifting a bit more and going a bit faster is always good. I sometimes have to break things down at the moment to do them with the BX. But if I'm going to end up with a tractor that's too big, mows less well, and still won't really be able to pull the boat, I'm probably better to just go BX again. Maybe the 2680, so at least I have a few more horses to feel good about, as well as having a tractor that isn't all beaten up before I started with it.

Any thoughts or information would be useful.

Edit: just to add something that might be useful for others thinking about these tractors, a table of useful metrics. The B series is basically 10% bigger, but it's capacities are about 20-30% more, other than the 3ph which lifts double as much:
No code has to be inserted here.

Other differences are the pin type sway bars on the 3ph on the B series, screw type on BX, and overall clearance and height.

I note that the B series is only a little heavier (about 10%), the tires are actually narrower, but on a larger rim (12 inch front vs 10 inch, and 16 inch rear vs 12 inch). I think this means a bit more footprint, but not massively so. Probably at least the 10% in weight difference though.

The B series has 2 pumps, a steering pump and an implement pump. It looks like they split 3.6gpm power steering, 4.7gpm implements. I don't often steer and move implements at the same time, when just using the implement looks like the B has lower implement flow, therefore potentially slower cycle times. I need to go sit on one to see for sure.

Edit2: included split pump flows, added clearance
 
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PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,234
426
83
NZ
Yeah, my property is basically flat, so clearance is not so important to me, but I've added to the table for those who might find it important. I also found the split of flow for the pumps, and it looks to me that the implement pump is essentially smaller on the B, which is interesting.
 

dalola

Member

Equipment
BX2380 w/FEL & Woods RM48 RFM, Yazoo/Kees Max2 ZTR
Jun 30, 2017
316
3
18
Ohio
This might be a case where you'll want to spend some time on your "B" finalist, and your "BX" finalist, then choose based on which one feels best.

In my particular case, I put the premium on maneuverability, and ease of transport, and the BX fit perfectly.

I think once you spend some time on each unit, one will stand out as the right choice.
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,234
426
83
NZ
I have a BX at the moment, I'm planning to go look at a B this weekend in the shop. Problem is, I'm unlikely to be able to try it out with some things - mowing lawns with it or pulling the boat, so it's hard to get a feel for whether it will be better or worse at those tasks. I'm interested in what other people have found - whether the "better" that the BX is at mowing is really more nimble, or whether it means it cuts grass better. I suspect it's the former, but if your property is reasonably open (as mine is) then a B mows fine.
 

kbarnthouse

New member

Equipment
BX 23S
Jul 27, 2017
1
0
0
St. Augustine, Florida
My name is Kurt. I am really contemplating purchasing a new BX23s with ride over mower. My plan is use this tractor to maintain just under 5 acres of mostly lawn and maintain the wooded parameters of the property. I would like to know what to expect to pay and if it is necessary to purchase the back hoe with the new 23s?

I will need the loader, drive over mower, 3 point hitch and a grapple.

Is this the correct choice for me? How much are these marked up from cost. I am fair but want to get a deal.
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,234
426
83
NZ
I believe the models in the range are BX2380, BX2680 and BX23s.

The main thing that distinguishes the BX23s from the BX2380 is the backhoe, so if you'd like a BX23s without a backhoe, actually the model you'd buy is the BX2380. The BX23s is a TLB (tractor, loader, backhoe), so yeah it always comes with a backhoe.

Note that with the BX series you cannot add a backhoe later, although of course tractors hold their value pretty well, so you can always trade the tractor you buy on one with a backhoe if you decide you need one.

The BX23s also comes without 3 point hitch and usually without a mower, whereas the BX2380 will usually be available in a package with loader and mower, and the 3ph is standard on it.

The drive over mower costs a bit more - check whether you really want/need it. I have the older BX2350, which didn't have a drive over option. Taking a non-drive over mower off isn't that hard - you either turn the mower wheels and pull it out, or you do what I do and use the loader to lift the tractor front wheels off the ground, and push the mower out under them. Then use the loader to pick it up and take it where it lives. The main benefit is therefore the attachment of the driveshaft to the mid PTO. This is a pain to be fair, but I'm not sure I'd pay that much to avoid it. And I've always heard that quick attach systems end up out of alignment reasonably quickly, and then you're worse off not better off because it won't attach at all.

On pricing, be aware that the 80 series is a new model, and seems to have massive demand - they're selling more of them than they can make (and so have a backlog). You're unlikely to get much of a deal when the dealers are selling every tractor they can get their hands on.

I believe the 70 series is still for sale as well, if you're price conscious it's worth considering that model. I'm pretty sure they'd do a good deal on those, they're basically runout. They are an identical tractor in terms of mechanicals, the big differences between 70 and 80 series are the quick attach loader (the old one wasn't that slow to change, and I hardly ever take mine off, the flat face couplers would maybe be nice but not critical), the back hoe mounting (you're not getting a back hoe), the position of the loader control near the seat arm rest (the old position near the steering wheel wasn't that bad). The drive over deck is available with either model. There is a newer dash, but I probably wouldn't spend a lot of money to get a newer dash.

Flipside, probably in 3 years time you'll wish you got the 80 series, it's the newest and bestest, and you remember the tractor long after you forget the price.
 
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