Help me Choose Please

baddarryl

New member
Apr 22, 2021
6
1
3
Wilmington NC
Hi Everyone. This is my first post here. My name is Darryl. I have been wanting a tractor for a long time, but have never pulled the trigger. I was in the lawn care business a long time and have now moved to the fencing business. I am a small operator with 1 or sometimes 2-3 employees. I don't have land to work, so this would be to help in my business. The wife and I plan to get a small farm in less than 10 years when we retire though. I am going to buy new so I can get it configured the way I want and also for the financing.

I have rented and used several pieces of equipment over the years, done a lot reading and research and have settled on Kubota L series. We have a few dealers here that are regarded well. I am looking heavily at the L3901, but wondering if the L2501 will do what I need. I will use it primarily to auger post holes, transport supplies around the job site, unload materials from my 1 ton truck. We work a lot of residential properties so I am swayed away from the L4701 due to size and weight though I could use the lifting capacity as a pallet of fence pickets is about 1600 lbs. What ever I get I will order with 3rd funcion, and rear remotes with float/hyd top link and gear drive. I like the live PTO of the L3901 too. Only reason I am thinking the L2501 is Tier 3, but I think I may end up wanting the power of the L3901. If I am going to go Tier 4 I'll skip the L3301 and go to the 39. I know me and I will push a machine to its limits. I will add sooner more than later a box blade, brush cutter, landscape rake and maybe a 3 point trencher so more power at the PTO would help. We still do landscaping and irrigation projects as well I so will offer tractor work too.

I guess I have two questions really. For now LOL!
1. How much more power in reality is the 39 over the 25 and can the 25 do what I need?
2. How much hassle is the Tier 4 and is it worth having as it allows a larger engine?

I appreciate your input. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Cathy Liebchen

Active member

Equipment
KUBOTA L3901, MX5800, MULE PRO FX, MULE PRO FXT
L3901 is way more power and you will need every bit of it with your task list. I would seriously consider an MX (most people skip over the orphan 4701). The tier 4 emissions is nothing to be concerned with, people thinking it has problems don’t have one and just repeat a myth
 
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UpNorthMI

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3200, L3901, MX5800, SVL75-2, KX040
May 12, 2020
595
318
63
Up North, MI
Welcome to the forum, you have good questions.

I have been exactly where you are in your thinking. I came to the conclusion that I really needed about 25 H.P. At the PTO on a L series tractor to run attachments such as a 5’ heavy duty brush cutter, 8 “ chipper, 5’ roto tiller, 6’ rear snow blower etc.

in the current L series most new tractors are HST and they loose a little more HP to the PTO, for this reason and the minimal cost increase between a L3901 from a L3301, I selected the L3901 HST and consider it a good all round compact tractor. The loader is not capable of the 1600 lbs that you mentioned I would say that with forks the maximum you will lift is 1,000 lbs.

the compact size of the tractor is good and it is easy to transport. I never worry about the emission controls and things have worked well for me.

The lower power L2501 is a very capable machine but I believe that the PTO HP at just under 20 is a little too low. I have a L3200 HST 2011 pre emission control tractor that gives 25 HP at the PTO, I notice the difference from the L3901, I would recommend the L3901 for the work you have described.

the third function and rear remotes are important as are SSQA loader, loaded rear tires and telescopic rear stabilizer arms on the 3pt.

Good luck with making your selection.
 

PaulL

Active member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
870
165
43
NZ
I think the L series (other than the L4701?) have the same loader - so same lift capacity. But I do recall there being a smaller and a larger loader, so if the L39 gets you a larger loader, then consider it.

However, you do list a lot of PTO driven things, and things that need HP. A post hole auger probably would work OK with L2501 - you might have to go slower. But if you're using it for earning money I wouldn't take the risk - if you need to make a big hole you'll probably need more than the L2501 can give. The other 3ph implements you suggest also could do with a bit more HP.

Basically, unless you really don't need 39HP (and sounds like you do), I'd just get the L3901. Lots of people have them, and I'm not hearing of them being in the shop getting repaired all the time. It probably won't go for 50 years like an older tractor, but for a machine you're using to make money, you'll probably put a lot of hours on it and therefore only have it for 10-15 years.
 

NCL4701

Active member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
367
243
43
Central Piedmont, NC
The comment about going with a MX instead of L4701 isn’t illegitimate in most respects, but if you don’t like the weight of the 4701 you REALLY won’t like the weight of the MX. And I agree with your assessment the 4701 is a bit heavy for running on yards. You might have better luck with it if you don’t have loaded rears or go with turf tires (mine has loaded R4’s) but with the loaded R4’s it will leave marks in our clay yard unless it’s really dry. Loaded rears or not, if your going to get max use of the loader your going to need substantial weight on the back.

When this sort of question is asked my answer is repetitive but I still believe valid: get the biggest tractor you can with size limited by the smallest place it has to fit (in your case sounds like weight for running across lawns) and/or limited by budget. For personal use sometimes a smaller machine is acceptable, just takes more time. Making money with it, time is a huge deal so get the HP to run larger/faster implements.
 

bx tractorjoe

Active member

Equipment
kubota l2501 upgraded from a bx23s john deere 670 husquarvana huv 4421 gxp
Jun 3, 2020
256
119
43
loxahatchee flordia
I was just unloading 20 foot long metal roof peices off a trailer for my neighbor, about 500 pounds and had to have 3 guys stand on the back 3 point as the l2501 was lifting the back wheels off the ground, with 500 pounds on the forks at about 3 feet high..

No way you can pick up 1500 pounds on a pallet at over 2 feet.. unless you have the rear tires filled.. but then your adding some 2000 pounds on the back end and are definitely going to leave a mark on nice lawns..

Have you ever used a 3 point post hole digger? They take alot of skill to get the holes straight as the tend to angle when going down..
 

jimh406

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
207
112
43
Western MT
I don’t agree with buy as big as you can, but do buy one big enough for you uses. Sounds like your lifting requirements rules out the L2501-L3901.

Potential emissions problems of diesels are real especially if they have a DPF. If you need a larger tractor, it’s an academic argument unless you buy an older model. The newer large tractors all have DPF, etc. I think it’s rare to have a emissions issue with a newer Kubota tractor.

It’s hard to say if you will need more PTO power or not, but since you’ll have to buy a bigger tractor to have the lift capability, you’ll have it any way.

I’d lean heavy to the MX5400 for the loader work since you are targeting 1600 lbs, but of course, it’s a much larger machine. The L4701 seems pretty unpopular even though it’s very capable.

Besides those, I’d look at L3560LE and L4060LE. They are basically Grand Ls with a few features missing to bring the cost down. You can get them with a heavier loader that puts you in the range of the L4701 or slightly more, but still border line to handle a 1600 lb load.
 
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Bark

Member

Equipment
L4701/FM2560LA765/BB2560Case disk Titan P forks
Feb 18, 2020
102
6
18
North CA
Certainly not an expert here but In regards to the DPF and tires. As has been said, the R4s leave marks. Even totally unloaded my fronts leave marks on hard ground.
As for the Tier 4- I only have 50+ hours but 0 issues. I was talked into getting my tractor by two different neighbors who own L4701s with many hundreds of hours and 0 problems.
 

Nicfin36

Active member

Equipment
L2501 HST, BH77 Backhoe, QA Loader
Jun 19, 2019
603
158
43
Decatur, AL
I have the L2501, simply because I did not want the DPF. I don't really use the PTO much, so it was not as big a factor to me either. It sounds like you have zeroed in on the L3901 for your needs and the extra PTO hp will be handy.

I think you said you want gear drive. Why not HST? If you are moving the tractor backward and forward a good deal, HST would be much nicer to have IMO.
 

NCL4701

Active member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
367
243
43
Central Piedmont, NC
Have you ever used a 3 point post hole digger? They take alot of skill to get the holes straight as the tend to angle when going down..
Totally agree with the 3point PHD comment. Have augered hundreds (maybe more) post holes with a 3 point. Don’t have the need now. If I did, I’d take a hard look at the low flow hydraulic PHD designed for FEL 3rd function that work with the lower flow of CUTs. Down pressure is a big deal particularly if soil type ever requires someone pushing down on the auger. Done that many, many times but it’s not safe at all. And as BX tractorjoe stated it’s a good bit more difficult to get a plumb hole.

And 1600lb capacity is a big ask for a machine that won’t mark a yard. Running turfs, maybe.
 

Bmyers

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Grand L3560 with LA805 loader, EA 55" Wicked Grapple, SBX72 BB, LP 1272 mower
May 27, 2019
1,122
613
113
Southern Illinois
My L3560 with the LA805 loader has the lift capacity you are looking for:

LA805 | Kubota Canada

Understand to get that lift capacity, you need a larger tractor to be able to handle the weight being lifted. Yes, R4 tires will leave marks, nothing like R1s, but more than turf tires.

I have over 200 hours on my tractor and so far, not DPF issues. I regen when it flashes and I do a lot of my chores at higher RPM.

20190530_105032.jpg
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baddarryl

New member
Apr 22, 2021
6
1
3
Wilmington NC
Totally agree with the 3point PHD comment. Have augered hundreds (maybe more) post holes with a 3 point. Don’t have the need now. If I did, I’d take a hard look at the low flow hydraulic PHD designed for FEL 3rd function that work with the lower flow of CUTs. Down pressure is a big deal particularly if soil type ever requires someone pushing down on the auger. Done that many, many times but it’s not safe at all. And as BX tractorjoe stated it’s a good bit more difficult to get a plumb hole.

And 1600lb capacity is a big ask for a machine that won’t mark a yard. Running turfs, maybe.
I have thought of that and wonder if a hydraulic top link would help with that? I am in SENC where we have a mix of sand and soil with lots and lots of roots!!
 

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,466
339
83
West Central,FL
I was just unloading 20 foot long metal roof peices off a trailer for my neighbor, about 500 pounds and had to have 3 guys stand on the back 3 point as the l2501 was lifting the back wheels off the ground, with 500 pounds on the forks at about 3 feet high..

Use a proper counter weight when lifting with the FEL. For your application loaded tires will not work as the sole counter weight. You will need to hang weight off the rear of the machine to be the counter weight.

Do not get a geared tractor for the tasks that you listed. The control of the tractor with the HST is much easier. In addition there will be times that your help will be driving the tractor and you can not find a helper that knows how to drive with a clutch any more. Clutches are expensive to replace.

The trencher that you would want would also require the HST. This is an example:

If you are working in sub divisions the larger machines are out of the question. The liability problems caused by the weight of the machine as you cross over curbs, sidewalks, driveways and then the buried items will cause you grief. Have the owner sign wavers for damages before you start. Also film the areas before you start and after you are done. I have been blamed for damages that occurred days after I was done and gone.

The L tractors will not pick up 1600 pounds on a pallet. Have the pickets set on your trailer and off load a few at a time onto the pallet forks and spread them out. The addition of the 1600 pounds will cause damage to the lawn as you turn on any tractor on the lawns.

I would not think that the 3 point PHD would be ideal for a commercial application. You must match the flow rate of the PHD to the tractors ability to supply the oil. There is a poster on OTT that built his own PHD as he found a low flow motor for the smaller tractor. NHSleddog has a good post about his build of the HPHD.

I would think that a lot of your tractor time will be spent at a low speed. This is not good for the tier 4 engines. They require some high speed RPMs to gain the high temperatures and I do not think you would find that often enough. Also there is no computer on the L2501. It does not happen often when that computer goes bad it is a dealer only repair with a very high replacement cost.

It might be cost effective to rent the L2501 for a week and use it on a job. I believe in the KISS approach.
 

NCL4701

Active member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
367
243
43
Central Piedmont, NC
I have thought of that and wonder if a hydraulic top link would help with that? I am in SENC where we have a mix of sand and soil with lots and lots of roots!!
I’ve heard there are some PTO rigs that have down pressure somehow using rear remote for a cylinder on the implement but I’ve never seen one. If somebody has one I’d sure like to see a couple of pictures of it.
 

DVR

Member
Premium Member

Equipment
Kubota MX5400, L3560LE, L3301, B2320
May 8, 2020
39
6
8
Columbia, SC
I have a 3301, 3560le and mx5400.
The 3560 and 5400 are huge compared to a 2501, 3301 or 3901.
3301 is an amazing and capable machine.
The 2501 is probably a good choice.
In any of the smaller "L's" you will likely run out of traction before hp. Particularly with turf or R4 tires.
 

tradosaurus

Member

Equipment
Kubota MX5400 HST, Land Pride RCR2660 , EA 60" Xtreme grapple, EA box blade
Mar 7, 2019
92
55
18
Texarkana, Tx, USA
Hi Everyone. This is my first post here. My name is Darryl. I have been wanting a tractor for a long time, but have never pulled the trigger. I was in the lawn care business a long time and have now moved to the fencing business. I am a small operator with 1 or sometimes 2-3 employees. I don't have land to work, so this would be to help in my business. The wife and I plan to get a small farm in less than 10 years when we retire though. I am going to buy new so I can get it configured the way I want and also for the financing.

I have rented and used several pieces of equipment over the years, done a lot reading and research and have settled on Kubota L series. We have a few dealers here that are regarded well. I am looking heavily at the L3901, but wondering if the L2501 will do what I need. I will use it primarily to auger post holes, transport supplies around the job site, unload materials from my 1 ton truck. We work a lot of residential properties so I am swayed away from the L4701 due to size and weight though I could use the lifting capacity as a pallet of fence pickets is about 1600 lbs. What ever I get I will order with 3rd funcion, and rear remotes with float/hyd top link and gear drive. I like the live PTO of the L3901 too. Only reason I am thinking the L2501 is Tier 3, but I think I may end up wanting the power of the L3901. If I am going to go Tier 4 I'll skip the L3301 and go to the 39. I know me and I will push a machine to its limits. I will add sooner more than later a box blade, brush cutter, landscape rake and maybe a 3 point trencher so more power at the PTO would help. We still do landscaping and irrigation projects as well I so will offer tractor work too.

I guess I have two questions really. For now LOL!
1. How much more power in reality is the 39 over the 25 and can the 25 do what I need?
2. How much hassle is the Tier 4 and is it worth having as it allows a larger engine?

I appreciate your input. Thank you.
The 2501, 3301 and 3901 are all on the same chassis. If you need the max PTO get the 3901. I don't know what post hole auger needs as far as PTO. Probably want to stay with turf tires running around on people's lawns.

I'm assuming you aren't buying this tractor to be used for your future farm?

Messicks has a good video explaining the L series tractors.
 
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baddarryl

New member
Apr 22, 2021
6
1
3
Wilmington NC
Thank you for your input every one. I am now thinking of the L4701 more and more. It has very close to the lift capacity that I need. We have gotten used to laying plywood down at least for property access.

I am also looking at Branson. I have a dealer right up the street from me. Due to their dual hydro design they can lift what I need in even a 25 hp tractor. I am keen on closer to 40hp as stated though. Branson's seem like fine tractors that people are happy with. I can get a 1530 with 3rd function, 2 rear remotes, HST and a canopy for $27000 with a better warranty. He will even through a n Auger in with it, but I think I'll decline that to negotiate if I decide to go there.

The real concern I have is they don't have near the pedigree or dealer Network of Kubota. If the local guy goes away it's a long way to another. That is large to me.
 
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tradosaurus

Member

Equipment
Kubota MX5400 HST, Land Pride RCR2660 , EA 60" Xtreme grapple, EA box blade
Mar 7, 2019
92
55
18
Texarkana, Tx, USA
Thank you for your input every one. I am now thinking of the L4701 more and more. It has very close to the lift capacity that I need. We have gotten used to laying plywood down at least for property access.

I am also looking at Branson. I have a dealer right up the street from me. Due to their dual hydro design they can lift what I need in even a 25 hp tractor. I am keen on closer to 40hp as stated though. Branson's seem like fine tractors that people are happy with. I can get a 1530 with 3rd function, 2 rear remotes, HST and a canopy for $27000 with a better warranty. He will even through a n Auger in with it, but I think I'll decline that to negotiate if I decide to go there.

The real concern I have is they don't have near the pedigree or dealer Network of Kubota. If the local guy goes away it's a long way to another. That is large to me.
Did you mean 5530? If you get the Equine discount (20%) the Kubota price will be competitive to most brands. I briefly considered a Branson but the nearest dealer was 2 hrs away and within a year he closed down.
 

random

Active member

Equipment
L3301, bucket, backhoe, grader, plow, harrow, cultivator
Nov 2, 2020
444
218
43
NC
Dealer stability and accessibility would be a big deal to me. You want to know they're around when you need them.
 
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baddarryl

New member
Apr 22, 2021
6
1
3
Wilmington NC
Did you mean 5530? If you get the Equine discount (20%) the Kubota price will be competitive to most brands. I briefly considered a Branson but the nearest dealer was 2 hrs away and within a year he closed down.
No for the one he quoted it is the 1530. The dealer situation is what I am really concerned about I think.