L3800 l3901 l2502

Buckeye22

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Mar 30, 2024
33
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South carolina
I posted this on Reddit, but figured I'd ask you pros, too. And yes, I just created this account because I needed advice, but hope to join in more conversations I. The future! I've never owned a tractor and don't want to mess up the first purchase!

Anyway, wife and I have been saving and finally bought 12 acres, mostly cleared, but needs some cleanup. I thought I could get away without a tractor and just my a zero turn, but think I've decided it's time to bite the bullet. This land ownership thing is expensive!

I've been pushed toward Kubota due to reputation and now I'm sitting here with a few options.

After clean up of some small trees near entrances and tons of brush around barns, the tractor will be mostly used for brush hogging roughly 10 acres and maintaining a long gravel driveway.

I found a used l3800(pre emissions) from 2012 with 240 hours. Comes with grapple, FEL, and bush hog. Guy is really nice, asking 25k, but said that's negotiable - hoping for around 22k.

Local Kubota dealer has new for 0% 60 month on new tractors. Priced out l2502 with grapple, fel, and bush hog and it sits at 30k pretax.

Dealer also has l3901 for 31k with just FEL.

I'm hoping y'all can help!
 

TheOldHokie

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windyridgefarm.us
I posted this on Reddit, but figured I'd ask you pros, too. And yes, I just created this account because I needed advice, but hope to join in more conversations I. The future! I've never owned a tractor and don't want to mess up the first purchase!

Anyway, wife and I have been saving and finally bought 12 acres, mostly cleared, but needs some cleanup. I thought I could get away without a tractor and just my a zero turn, but think I've decided it's time to bite the bullet. This land ownership thing is expensive!

I've been pushed toward Kubota due to reputation and now I'm sitting here with a few options.

After clean up of some small trees near entrances and tons of brush around barns, the tractor will be mostly used for brush hogging roughly 10 acres and maintaining a long gravel driveway.

I found a used l3800(pre emissions) from 2012 with 240 hours. Comes with grapple, FEL, and bush hog. Guy is really nice, asking 25k, but said that's negotiable - hoping for around 22k.

Local Kubota dealer has new for 0% 60 month on new tractors. Priced out l2502 with grapple, fel, and bush hog and it sits at 30k pretax.

Dealer also has l3901 for 31k with just FEL.

I'm hoping y'all can help!
Call me paranoid but a 12 year old tractor with grapple, bush hog, and loader and only 240 hours sounds suspect to me.

Dan
 

MtnViewRanch

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Oct 10, 2012
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Lakeside Ca.
Call me paranoid but a 12 year old tractor with grapple, bush hog, and loader and only 240 hours sounds suspect to me.

Dan
Why? I have a similar-sized tractor my brother and I use around our places.
It is a 2008 model. It has 232 hours. It works for us and is always there when needed.
Everyone's needs are not the same as well as circumstances and needs change over time.

The 12 year old model would be the first unit of the 3 that I would consider. (y)
 
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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
6,455
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Eastham, Ma
Call me paranoid but a 12 year old tractor with grapple, bush hog, and loader and only 240 hours sounds suspect to me.

Dan
I disagree!
My 13 year old L48 TLB had only 251 hours when I bought it....., from a private party, also.
Absolutely nothing "suspect" about it!

I would buy that original owner 12 year old L3800 in a heartbeat!
It has no very problematic EPA mandated Tier IV anti pollution garbage! (y)
 
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TheOldHokie

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L3901/LA525, B7200DT/B1630, G2160/RCK60, G2460/RCK60
Apr 6, 2021
6,842
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Myersville, MD
windyridgefarm.us
Why? I have a similar-sized tractor my brother and I use around our places.
It is a 2008 model. It has 232 hours. It works for us and is always there when needed.
Everyone's needs are not the same as well as circumstances and needs change over time.

The 12 year old model would be the first unit of the 3 that I would consider. (y)
Why?

Because thats unusually low and disconnecting the meter is trivial.

I have seen many tractors advertised with obvioudly bogus hours. Its a common misrepresentation. So when I see something like that I get suspicous. It could be legit but I would be looking for things to corroborate it.

Dan
 

PoTreeBoy

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L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
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WestTn/NoMs
Do all have HST transmission? 4WD? Do all have SSQA for loader attachments? A disadvantage to me is they all, except the L2502, have the brake pedals on the same side as the hydrostat pedal, so the brakes are useless for steering and minor traction problems. This apparently isn't an issue for most people.

So the L3800 must have 3rd function for the grapple? That's probably worth ~$1k, if you need it. If the L3800 and attachments are in really good condition, and it has 4wd and hydrostatic transmission, I'd probably lean toward the L3800 at $22k.

Edit: you'll need a shelter for it.
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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L3800 if it's an HST would be my pick out of all of those.
 
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PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
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NZ
Loading up the L2502 or L3901 to the same level of equipment and accessories as the L3800 would add a good few thousand, maybe getting up to $10K with grapple, 3rd function, bush hog.

In order I'd say:

* L3800. No emissions but plenty of power. Cheapest by a long way once you include equipment. I am a big fan of used equipment for your first tractor - you'll probably damage it pretty quickly, we all do
* L3901. At only $1k more than the L2502 it's good buying. Yes, it comes with emissions, but it's not the end of the world. It's quite a bit more powerful than the L2502, and even though it's the older 01 model (probably why it's cheap) you're not really missing out on much
* L2502. This is a good machine. It's a little down on power compared to the other two, but for most tasks you won't notice. Bush hogging is probably the task you have where you'd notice - you'll potentially need to be a bit slower up hills and the like with the L2502

They're all good machines. Are they big enough for the task you have in mind? You'll be going for a while bush hogging with an L size machine on 10 acres. How often do you plan to mow? How manicured do you intend to keep the grass? You may find a flail to be a better choice if it' s already cleared - it'll give you a finish closer to a lawn, and you can run a bigger (wider) flail than you can a bush hog.
 
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Buckeye22

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Mar 30, 2024
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South carolina
Loading up the L2502 or L3901 to the same level of equipment and accessories as the L3800 would add a good few thousand, maybe getting up to $10K with grapple, 3rd function, bush hog.

In order I'd say:

* L3800. No emissions but plenty of power. Cheapest by a long way once you include equipment. I am a big fan of used equipment for your first tractor - you'll probably damage it pretty quickly, we all do
* L3901. At only $1k more than the L2502 it's good buying. Yes, it comes with emissions, but it's not the end of the world. It's quite a bit more powerful than the L2502, and even though it's the older 01 model (probably why it's cheap) you're not really missing out on much
* L2502. This is a good machine. It's a little down on power compared to the other two, but for most tasks you won't notice. Bush hogging is probably the task you have where you'd notice - you'll potentially need to be a bit slower up hills and the like with the L2502

They're all good machines. Are they big enough for the task you have in mind? You'll be going for a while bush hogging with an L size machine on 10 acres. How often do you plan to mow? How manicured do you intend to keep the grass? You may find a flail to be a better choice if it' s already cleared - it'll give you a finish closer to a lawn, and you can run a bigger (wider) flail than you can a bush hog.
Great summary and explanation. Thank you! I was thinking the same about used for my first mower. It's always been sheltered and will be sheltered under a barn for me. The 2502 is about the same price as 3901 because that was a price with the same attachments the 3800 has. All are hydrostatic
 

Buckeye22

Member
Mar 30, 2024
33
18
8
South carolina
Do all have HST transmission? 4WD? Do all have SSQA for loader attachments? A disadvantage to me is they all, except the L2502, have the brake pedals on the same side as the hydrostat pedal, so the brakes are useless for steering and minor traction problems. This apparently isn't an issue for most people.

So the L3800 must have 3rd function for the grapple? That's probably worth ~$1k, if you need it. If the L3800 and attachments are in really good condition, and it has 4wd and hydrostatic transmission, I'd probably lean toward the L3800 at $22k.

Edit: you'll need a shelter for it.
Thank you! So helpful. All are HST AND 4WD. You make a solid point about the brake pedal. I appreciate your help!
 

Buckeye22

Member
Mar 30, 2024
33
18
8
South carolina
I disagree!
My 13 year old L48 TLB had only 251 hours when I bought it....., from a private party, also.
Absolutely nothing "suspect" about it!

I would buy that original owner 12 year old L3800 in a heartbeat!
It has no very problematic EPA mandated Tier IV anti pollution garbage! (y)
Thank you! Really helpful.
 

Buckeye22

Member
Mar 30, 2024
33
18
8
South carolina
Why? I have a similar-sized tractor my brother and I use around our places.
It is a 2008 model. It has 232 hours. It works for us and is always there when needed.
Everyone's needs are not the same as well as circumstances and needs change over time.

The 12 year old model would be the first unit of the 3 that I would consider. (y)
Thanks MVR! Yeah, I don't think there's anything suspect about hours. It looks brand new and has always been covered. Obviously, I have no way to know, but based on what I heard from how the owner used it, seems believable.
 

WDF

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Kubota L2501 HST/FEL
Jan 4, 2021
88
79
18
Central Florida
I have a 4 year old L2501 with 16 hours, I guess it's suspect too. Spends most of it's time in the tractor shed.

Of those machines, I'd go new L3901 or used L3800. I don't know anything about the 3800 but a grapple+3rd function kit is at least $3000.
 
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jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
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Western MT
I have a L2501. I would have bought a L3800 or L3400 if that would have been an option. I would buy an MX if I had to buy a DPF tractor.

Do you have to pay sales tax on the used one? If not, that makes the L3800 an even better deal.
 

Buckeye22

Member
Mar 30, 2024
33
18
8
South carolina
I have a L2501. I would have bought a L3800 or L3400 if that would have been an option. I would buy an MX if I had to buy a DPF tractor.

Do you have to pay sales tax on the used one? If not, that makes the L3800 an even better deal.
Thanks for the help! No sales tax on used, it's just a guy that has two tractors and is selling one to help pay for building a home
 

PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,113
1,117
113
NZ
So, if the L2502 includes a bunch of attachments (and particularly a grapple + 3rd function kit), then the price isn't really apples for apples with the L3901. I'd sit down and do the maths to make them all equivalent in equipment, then look at the spread of price. I'm guessing that'll make the L3901 quite a bit more expensive, and so then really the L3800 has all the power of the L3901 at about the price of the L2502 (or even cheaper). And no emissions. Sure, it's older. But not too old.
 
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