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

Russell King

Well-known member

Equipment
L185F, Modern Ag Competitor 4’ shredder, Rhino tiller, rear dirt scoop
Jun 17, 2012
2,532
181
63
Austin, Texas
You may be able to rent a rotary cutter once or twice a year to knock down the tall growth
 
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Snowman7

Member

Equipment
LX3310 535 loader, LX2980, RB2672, FDR1660
May 20, 2020
79
58
18
Boyne Falls, MI.
Just take you time and do everything slowly at first, speed will come with experience. When you screw up your mistake is much more amplified on a 4000 lb tractor vs a lawnmower. Enjoy!
 
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GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
2,491
686
113
Texas
READ your Owners/Operators Manuals. EVERY SINGLE PAGE and imagine why certain operational warnings and cautions are given. Don’t slip into a “Oh...yeah... Well, I understand that and can do that without being that stoopid.”. ...because those warnings/cautions were developed when otherwise smart and experienced people were seriously hurt or killed doing what seemed a simple operation.

Have your selling dealer DEMONSTRATE the equipment to you or come help you get started might also be an option. REmind him that in order for you to be a repeat-customer you have to be a LIVING customer.

NO CHILDREN OR PETS within 100 feet while you’re using it. LOOK AFT before EACH BACKING UP.
Keep your loader as LOW as possible on EVERY use!

And ENJOY your new tractor as you get used to it SLOWLY and SAFELY. :p
 
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Mlarv

Member

Equipment
BX2380
Jan 19, 2020
71
23
8
Crossville TN
Watch when turning when you think you have enough room back up or go forward a little more to make sure. That bucket or grapple up front take awhile to get used to while turning.

If it don't feel safe don't do it. Take a look and see if there might be another way of doing it.

As started above. Ballast is your friend when running the loader or grapple. Weighted tires and maybe a ballast box.

Take it out and run up the power for a little while while you drive it and get the feel of how it reacts to turns and backing up etc. Then turn down the power and run the loader up and down dump it until you can do it with out thinking.

Be the turtle until you get used to it slow and steady wins the race.

If you are in 4wd make sure you are not on pavement or a hard surface. Turning to tight binds the front end up.

For stumps I just rent an excavator and use it to pull them. It is easier on my equipment that way.
 
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random

Active member

Equipment
L3301, bucket, backhoe, grader, plow, harrow, cultivator
Nov 2, 2020
493
236
43
NC
Loader and implements swing out quite a bit when turning - get used to that AWAY from anything of value. Trust me on that one...
 
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walaby

New member
Apr 3, 2021
8
4
3
Warner Robins Ga
I jumped right in when I bought my first tractor. It was used. Had a friend who was very familiar with tractors help me decide to purchase. Read owners manual and walked through all the functions etc, then hopped on and went to work. Good news is my land is level, have only used box blade and rotary cutter thus far, nothing real crazy. Mine doesn't have a front loader (wish it did).

I've only had it for a few months now.

Mike
 
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JimmyJazz

Active member

Equipment
Steiner 425
Aug 8, 2020
381
167
43
Pittsburgh, Pa
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.
My advice is to put a chair in front of your garage with a sign taped to it that says "LOWER ROPS". That all I have to offer.
 

Rdrcr

Member

Equipment
L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
49
17
8
WA
My advice is to put a chair in front of your garage with a sign taped to it that says "LOWER ROPS". That all I have to offer.
On the L3560, even with his ROPs lowered, he’ll still crash into the top frame of a standard 7” garage door! :D

Mike
 
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NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
452
331
63
Central Piedmont, NC
Much good advice already. Only thing I have to add/repeat is be patient with yourself. If something ain’t working, take a little time to think on it, read the manual, phone a friend, and don’t get frustrated. Sometimes it’s easy to look at a highly experienced operator who sets up the hitch on a box blade, makes two passes at 5 mph feathering the height the whole way and think it’s easy until you try it and after 5 passes it looks worse than when you started.

That was me first time with a box blade. I knew what I wanted the road to look like but getting there was another matter entirely. After about 12 (or maybe it was 30) passes I had it figured out and everything looked like it was supposed to. Loader was just as bad. Spent 9 hours doing 4 hours work first day, 5 hours figuring out the loader, box blade, and tractor in general, 4 getting something done. Glad no one was watching. Next day, same project, more like 6 hours to do 5 hours work.

Oh, and if you want to take out stumps with a CUT, you might consider a stump grinder. Rent a grinder or excavator for a few. If you have enough to justify buying and your tractor is HST you might consider something like this:https://woodlandmills.com/product/wg24-stump-grinder/
 
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UpNorthMI

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3200, L3901, MX5800, SVL75-2, KX040
May 12, 2020
622
343
63
Up North, MI
Rear ballast for front loader use. Travel with bucket low.
Take your time, wear seat belt.
4wd for any hills or slopes.
Read manual again in 2 months.
Pto driveline, implement safeties- slip clutch or shear bolt. At start of season reset slip clutch, remove shear bolt and clean connection areas. Make sure that the pto driveline safeties work as designed, it’s easy to be complacent and assume your attachments are protected. I’ve had several failures in this area, ended up replacing gearbox, pto shaft and other parts!!!

Be safe, have fun and enjoy.
 
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Mach'er

New member

Equipment
L3560LE
Apr 14, 2021
13
17
3
Michigan
First day is in the books. Read what I could. Trialed the tiller making some passes in a clearing that will eventually be a field. Trialed the box blade. Used the grapple to grapple some downed smaller trees, and tried out using it as a root rake. Took the grapple off, and did some minor bucket work. So, some basic experimentation with each of my implements.

I'd say I did just enough to know what questions I have, and now plan to hit YouTube for initial answers. Anything unanswered after that, I'll come here for your all's expertise.

Anyway, here she is, in front of her new home. Behind her is an overgrown area of the old clearing that is begging to be re-established (back to the more mature trees) - which will probably be my first actual project. Clean that out, prep the ground, and put in a horseshoe pit and cornhole lane, along with a storage spot for implements.
IMG_4684.jpg


Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm off to research proper use of root rakes, and also reading manuals - but I like firsthand experience as well. Whooo-Hoo! Again, thanks!
 
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Rdrcr

Member

Equipment
L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
49
17
8
WA
Great looking tractor! Again, Congratulations!

Do your research, be safe and enjoy that machine!

Mike
 
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PaulR

Active member

Equipment
BX 23S -- 48 hours seat time so far
Aug 3, 2020
235
137
43
Hadley, MA
:love: :love: :love:
Watch those grapple hydro lines closely, for some reason mine are always getting pinched on the tractor or snagged on branches.
 
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Mach'er

New member

Equipment
L3560LE
Apr 14, 2021
13
17
3
Michigan
Nice looking tractor. I wish I had a cab sometimes.
I wasn't looking at cab models. At all. Then, my wife said, "You should go with a cab. We're doing this once, and while clearing snow in that open seat is probably okay now, in 20 years when you're in your 70s, you're going to wish you had the cab. Wind, cold, snow. Just think about it." [Doing this once, referring to buying a tractor one time and keeping it long term.]

So, we went with a cab. I gotta say, it was humid and in the high 80's on Thursday when I was doing my initial trials. Having A/C was really nice. I think I'll go tell my wife 'thank you' for the nudge to a cab, again, now that I think about it.
 
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forky

Member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4X4 8N
Feb 23, 2021
86
74
18
Wisconsin
Mach'er...your gonna love that tiller. It's the same model I have and have no complaints what so ever. It is a well made piece of equipment for sure.
 
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