New Tractor Operator - Skill Building or Jump In Head First?

Mach'er

New member

Equipment
L3560HSTC-LE, Box Blade, Tiller, Grapple, Spreader, Periodic Stupidity
Apr 14, 2021
15
17
3
Michigan
My new tractor (L3560LE) is going to be delivered on Thursday, along with some implements (box blade, grapple, rotary cutter). I've never driven a tractor larger than my lawnmower - which technically is a garden tractor I guess.

So, my question is, are there any recommendations on anything I should start with before just yelling "Whooo Hooo" and going to town with the grapple or another implement? Because I really want to just jump on and yell "whooo hooo". But, don't want my enthusiasm to lead me to an "ohhh nooo" moment instead.

Thanks for any suggested starting maneuvers or skills you care to share.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Rdrcr

Member

Equipment
L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
66
28
18
WA
Yes, please have your new L3560 delivered to me and I’ll trade you my L2501. A new operator should never learn on such a fine machine!

I’m kidding of course. However, I would suggest reading all the manuals several times over and watch as many instructional videos as possible to learn the skills required to operate that amazing tractor.

Mike
 
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 users

je1279

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
LX2610 w/ 60" MMM, LP 72" FB, Wicked Tooth Bar & 55" Grapple and Woods 60" BB
Dec 6, 2020
604
324
63
Upstate NY
The most important things in my opinion are understanding the need for ballast and how to reduce the risk of a rollover. Those are both very important from a safety perspective. Otherwise, read through the manual as suggested above and enjoy it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

Mossy dell

Member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) B6100E (1988) B2100 (1991) JD970 (1998)
Jul 20, 2020
99
24
8
sw VA
richardgilbert.me
Take it slow. If you have hills BE SURE TO USE 4WD GOING DOWN HILL. And getting used to a bucket or grapple on the front, often with a rear implement too, can challenge. It's so easy to hit things as you swing or to get stuck in a fence corner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

lynnmor

Member

Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
69
30
18
Red Lion
Don't forget that the tractor is new so both you and the tractor needs to adapt. I don't like to repeatedly start and shut down a new engine, so I would be cruising the area for hours at a reasonable rate while varying the engine speed and load. While joy riding, you can play with all the knobs to become familiar with their uses. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. If you need to explain yourself to others in the household, just print this out. 🙂
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Tughill Tom

Active member

Equipment
B3200
Dec 23, 2013
393
55
28
Turin, NY
Like others have said read all the manuals, ask questions here and with your Dealer. GO SLOW there is a learning curve and WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. Have fun you'll get the hang of it in no time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Matt Ellerbee

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000
Jun 27, 2019
426
258
63
Canton, Georgia
Like others have said, just ride it around. Play with all of the levers/buttons. Have fun on it, once comfortable, put her to work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

forky

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4X4 8N
Feb 23, 2021
93
79
18
Wisconsin
Be sure to engage the PTO at idle speed and then increase to the proper level....also lower the rpm's before shutting down the PTO.
Congrats on the new machine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

DaveFromMi

Member

Equipment
L3901, 5' Bush Hog
Apr 14, 2021
51
33
18
Indiana
If you think that there are things you shouldn't hit while bush hogging, walk the area first. Watch out for tree stumps and large rocks. You might get a chance to use the FEL or grapple to move stuff out of the way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,589
459
83
West Central,FL
Check all the fluids, including the front axle. Look for grease on all the zerks. Look in the manual for their locations.

Keep the bucket as low as possible. Have the delivery driver help you put the box blade on the tractor. It will take a little practice just driving it around. Notice how far the bucket/grapple sticks out in front of the tractor. Watch as you turn going forward and in reverse as it is very easy to forget the bucket is out there and swing it into something. The box blade is the same hanging off the rear. Try driving down the edge of the driveway and turn the wheels sharply away from the edge and notice how far the box blade moves over the line of the driveway's edge. Do the same in reverse and watch how far the bucket will cross over the line.

Always have the box blade on the rear of the tractor when you use the front end loader. I repeat carry the FEL as low as you can. Carrying the front bucket at the same height as the hood changes the center of gravity and will make the tractor easier to roll over.

Watch for the cab to get caught in tree branches that are hanging down. Wear the seat belt. Never move the tractor unless the doors are closed. Go straight up and down hills until you get used to the tractor. Remember it is not a bull dozer.

Read and then reread the manual.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

aaluck

Active member

Equipment
L4400HST, Bush Hog 276, RDTH60, Speeco PHD, etc
Oct 9, 2019
389
181
43
Snowdoun, AL
Understand (fear) the two things that can (or will) kill you. Roll-over (as stated over and over above) and PTO. Everything else is just fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

jimh406

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
318
187
43
Western MT
Go slower than you think you should to start, but start using it. There are a lot of youtube videos that demonstrate using tractors. Some seem pretty unsafe to me, but some demonstrate useful techniques. Watch the videos that discuss how not to rollover.

Also, realize brakes are on the rear and going too fast can make it very hard if not impossible to stop that is why 4 wheel drive and going very slow helps a bunch on hills.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Mach'er

New member

Equipment
L3560HSTC-LE, Box Blade, Tiller, Grapple, Spreader, Periodic Stupidity
Apr 14, 2021
15
17
3
Michigan
I'm getting the feeling that perhaps I should read the manual. :ROFLMAO:

Thanks, all, for the input. I just finished all the paperwork at the dealer. He's supposed to arrive at 8:30 AM Thursday morning, so I'll have hours to tool around and get the hang of things. I have an electronic copy of the manual that I've already started reading, but damn, I keep nodding off at the boring parts. They need to add some action to liven it up... "murdered by pirates is good".

Last minute change - I went back to a tiller rather than the rotary cutter (I went back and forth on this a couple times). I already have a 48" pull behind bush hog/rough cut mower, which I've been using with my ATV. Yeah, I probably will regret it eventually, but not till I'm done tilling a couple acres and then wanting to clear a new area too rough for the tow behind.

Stump removal is the only hitch that remains in my giddy-up. I still have to find a good way to do that. Otherwise, I think I'll have the tools for all the tasks on my list after it's delivered.

Of course, I'm sure all kinds of new tasks are going to get added to the list now. It's like a never ending spiral.

Thanks again, and keep it coming if anyone has any other suggestions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

lynnmor

Member

Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
69
30
18
Red Lion
Stump removal will always be a problem for anything but the largest backhoes. Here is one idea if you have no backhoe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

jimh406

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
318
187
43
Western MT
Last minute change - I went back to a tiller rather than the rotary cutter (I went back and forth on this a couple times). I already have a 48" pull behind bush hog/rough cut mower, which I've been using with my ATV. Yeah, I probably will regret it eventually, but not till I'm done tilling a couple acres and then wanting to clear a new area too rough for the tow behind.
I think this was a great move. I bought a rotary cutter that still hasn’t been used. I’m sure I will use it this summer, but the problem was that I started cutting sagebrush with snow on the ground with the UTV and Swisher Roughcut on uneven ground and of course, drove over the remains of the sagebrush on very off camber terrain. I might have been able to do it with the tractor, but it wouldn’t have been as safe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
5,271
627
113
Chenango County, NY
Everyone has great advice...be slow, be safe. Use 4WD when needed.

The rest will come with experience. :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MDCobraMan

New member

Equipment
Kubota L3430 Grand Open ROPS, L3430 Grand Cab, F2400
Jun 8, 2021
26
12
3
21102
Always watch your surroundings! Kids love tractors and will be curious and not understanding the dangers. Even adults may not be aware how fast a tractor can move and will walk up on a piece of operating equipment. My dogs are always ready to greet me when I'm coming in on the tractor but I always tell them NO! until I shut down and get off. Better safe than sorry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

kcs

New member

Equipment
Kubota B2650
Jan 9, 2021
25
7
3
Virginia
I got a B 2650 about 2 years ago. And like you the only tractor I had been on was a lawn mower. I just started using the grapple and the FEL. I’m no expert but I’ve learned a lot just using it and reading the manuals. And of course YouTube. I enjoy getting on it s using it. I’ve been told I look so relaxed. I still have a lot to learn. Have fun And congrats
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mach'er

New member

Equipment
L3560HSTC-LE, Box Blade, Tiller, Grapple, Spreader, Periodic Stupidity
Apr 14, 2021
15
17
3
Michigan
I think this was a great move. I bought a rotary cutter that still hasn’t been used. I’m sure I will use it this summer, but the problem was that I started cutting sagebrush with snow on the ground with the UTV and Swisher Roughcut on uneven ground and of course, drove over the remains of the sagebrush on very off camber terrain. I might have been able to do it with the tractor, but it wouldn’t have been as safe.
So, not to deviate, but... mine is a Swisher as well. It has two caster front wheels, which don't like obstructions or uneven ground. The rear two wheels are fixed. Something like this:
1623201788546.png


If I pull it such that a front wheel is going over (or too close to) something too pronounced, the front caster wheel will twist around sideways, dig in, and threaten to somersault the thing if I'm not paying attention. Small stump, big root, animal burrow, really uneven ground, etc. Not like I'm trying to wheel over some giant stump or up a flight of stairs.

Therefore, I thought a tractor rotary cutter implement might be better, which is why I was considering it.

I see you said you're using yours on uneven ground. If it's the same four wheel type, do you have any similar issues with your Swisher? Any tricks you've found to deal with it? Or just be careful, go slow, and live with it?

Thanks.
 

jimh406

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
318
187
43
Western MT
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user