Pointless Upgrade?

Grindstone

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Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
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CT
Asking for a little advice and to either be talked off a ledge or over one. Recently I have been wondering if I should upgrade to a L2501. Working with my B2601 has been great but when moving around IBC cages of green oak it has had me wondering if I should have gone a little bigger. The tractor will pick up a 275 gallon cage 3/4 full of green oak but when transporting it the front axle does not seem too happy (moving on flat level paved driveway). I do not know if its due to the near max weight or because I have turf tires and they aren't stiff enough for the heavy load.
My main purposes for the tractor are grapple work, firewood production (full dump loads of 10-14" lengths), trail making/maintenance on 6.5 acres, mowing/brush hogging, mulch/dirt work, and snow removal.

Question is do I try to sell the B and upgrade to the L or am I being stupid and be happy with what I have?
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,361
588
113
NZ
Ballast is your friend. Picking up a full load with no ballast means the front axles take all the weight from the loader, plus because it's a big lever, it's also unweighting the rear wheels quite a bit. If your rear wheels are nearly off the ground then the entire weight of the tractor plus the load are on your front axle. That's bad.

Filled tires stop the rears coming off the ground. But they don't change at all how much weight is on your front axle - it's still the same forces.

A ballast box or heavy 3pt implement is behind the rear axle, and is off the ground (unlike filled tires). So they work as a pivot on the rear axle - when you have no load at all, if the ballast box is heavy enough your front tires are now off the ground. Basically a ballast box works to transfer weight from the front axle to the rear axle.

I'd try that before I upgraded personally.

Having said that, as a community we are here to support you. You totally need an L2501, and probably should be considering an MX for the tasks you're doing. Would you like us to write a letter of recommendation for your significant other?

I should note the general rule that if you're looking for an upgrade to give more capability (rather than some specific feature you want), then the rule of thumb is to go up two models. B2601->L2501 meets that definition. For snow work, are you running a front blower? Is your mower a MMM? The L has no mid-PTO. The other tasks would go better with an L than a B, but realistically it would only do them faster, it's not so much that the B can't do them. Your cost to change in the current market might be considerable.
 
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Grindstone

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Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
40
18
CT
Ballast is your friend. Picking up a full load with no ballast means the front axles take all the weight from the loader, plus because it's a big lever, it's also unweighting the rear wheels quite a bit. If your rear wheels are nearly off the ground then the entire weight of the tractor plus the load are on your front axle. That's bad.

Filled tires stop the rears coming off the ground. But they don't change at all how much weight is on your front axle - it's still the same forces.

A ballast box or heavy 3pt implement is behind the rear axle, and is off the ground (unlike filled tires). So they work as a pivot on the rear axle - when you have no load at all, if the ballast box is heavy enough your front tires are now off the ground. Basically a ballast box works to transfer weight from the front axle to the rear axle.

I'd try that before I upgraded personally.

Having said that, as a community we are here to support you. You totally need an L2501, and probably should be considering an MX for the tasks you're doing. Would you like us to write a letter of recommendation for your significant other?

I should note the general rule that if you're looking for an upgrade to give more capability (rather than some specific feature you want), then the rule of thumb is to go up two models. B2601->L2501 meets that definition. For snow work, are you running a front blower? Is your mower a MMM? The L has no mid-PTO. The other tasks would go better with an L than a B, but realistically it would only do them faster, it's not so much that the B can't do them. Your cost to change in the current market might be considerable.
Thanks for your reply PaulL. My tires are not filled but when doing loader work I have the backhoe on as rear ballast. While picking up and moving the cages the ballast of the BH kept me planted but maybe thats not enough?

I laughed hard at the letter of rec for the wife!

I currently have a MMM but was thinking running one off the rear PTO would be a bit better for my applications. I just use the bucket for snow removal now (maybe a plow in the future) so losing the mid pto wouldnt be a concern for me, but good point.

Yea i wish they were still offering the 0% for 84 months.
 

OrangeKrush

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2680, LA344 with Piranha tooth bar, LP PF 1242, LP Rear Blade, KK 60" BB
Nov 15, 2020
1,032
488
83
Indy
Moving across paved drive in 4wd? I guess as long as you are not turning it would be ok.
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,361
588
113
NZ
Sounds like your snow duties aren't substantial. If they were a cab might be a consideration - which might lean you towards Grand L or LX (no factory cab on the standard L).

A backhoe should be enough ballast, although to my mind it's kind of crappy ballast because it's slow and painful to attach, and I think you have to take the 3ph off? You could try borrowing a heavy implement from someone (a rotary cutter is often a good choice because they stick out so far).

But you may not have all that much weight on the front axle if you have a backhoe on the back - perhaps you just need more air in your front tires?

Rear mowers are preferred by a lot of people. I have a MMM personally. Thoughts on rear mowers are:
  • They put a lot of weight on the rear, depending on the machine you may need to mow with the loader on. I personally don't like doing this, as it makes the machine pitch a lot more - you now have a heavy weight way out the back and a heavy weight way out the front, and every bump makes you rock
  • They go really well for long pulls in a straight line, and you can get a wider RFM than you would get MMM. I always figure a given amount of HP can mow a certain number of acres per hour. That can be really fast with a narrow cut, or quite slow with a wide cut - but the amount of grass getting cut stays the same. Slow with a wide cut can be a lot more comfortable on your body than fast with a narrow cut
  • You can back a rear mower under things
  • Rear mowers swing funny, they're annoying along fence lines and around some obstacles
  • Rear mowers can be a disincentive to your significant other mowing. Depends on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing
  • The L2501 doesn't have a lot more power than the B2601. It's a big capacity engine tuned right down, so it has a lot of torque, but it won't mow much faster than a B, irrespective of being a rear mower. You could consider stepping into the L3302, which is a bit better machine and would pull a bigger mower, especially if you have hills - once you're lugging around the mower plus the loader plus a bigger tractor, you may need more power to mow at the same speed as the B did
The L would lift a lot more on the grapple. It would move more firewood. It would do ground engaging tasks a lot better (dirt work you mentioned), it would definitely pull a brush hog better so making trails would likely be better. It would be a bit less manoeuvrable, and quite a bit heavier if you ever need to trailer it.

I guess the question is whether any of the things you currently do you feel lacking on the B, other than the firewood you mention? One question is how big you need to go to comfortably lift a full IBC cage (or would a full IBC cage break - is it too much weight for the cage?) That might make your firewood process more efficient.
 

rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
752
581
93
Ohio
As I have had said before, I’ve not met him, but I believe Mr Matt is wise beyond his years.

Before you get too happy with the throttle, do you have enough machine to trailer a larger tractor (if that is a factor)? It doesn’t take much and stuff starts adding up weight wise.

Next, based off the tasks you describe a B will do them all. That being said if you are not living in tight quarters a bigger machine will make the work easier/safer IMO. I’ve gone from a BX to a B (still have and use daily/weekly but I did not get much in that upgrade IMO) and then I have have an MX. if I did not require the MMM I would not have the B. But I use it for everything (woods work/garden/landscape/mow/unloading and moving lots of pallets)at my residence and I don’t have much to mow but I use the tractor a lot…I wish it was a mid size L though. I think if going to upgrade double the size if you want to be overwhelmed. I think it is an easier decision if you don’t care so much about the PTO HP…then there are lots of choices in the L range. For the work/acreage you described you can very easily use an L or an Mx. I personally don’t like running.back and forth so much on my B and that does more damage to my trails and stuff than just making one or two trips with my MX IMO. So it sort of depends on how you like to do your work and what you consider an upgrade, if that is what you want to do. I also think it is helpful to size the machine to the work you like to do the way you like to do it…make the work easier and safer…we all have a process that works best for us, especially when it comes to wood…how much does your filled tote weigh? I think when it comes to lift capacity, take the stated amount and cut it in half for safe working IMO. I don’t think an L 25 is really going to lift much more than your B…it would certainly handle a load better than the B though….it only looks like a lot as a percentage…in reality not much more in terms of weight…has a better stance though. I think the L2501 is best dollar value of them all, I think the L4701 is a hell of a machine…it’s a nice blend of Weight/stance and lift capability.

That being said, if the heavy totes is the main issue, get a couple more totes and don’t fill so full…that’s a lot cheaper than my bright ideas above. If you feel like it is undersized for the work you do and the way you want to do, then I would question is the L2501 really going to make you happy.
 
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Grindstone

Member

Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
40
18
CT
Sounds like your snow duties aren't substantial. If they were a cab might be a consideration - which might lean you towards Grand L or LX (no factory cab on the standard L).

A backhoe should be enough ballast, although to my mind it's kind of crappy ballast because it's slow and painful to attach, and I think you have to take the 3ph off? You could try borrowing a heavy implement from someone (a rotary cutter is often a good choice because they stick out so far).

But you may not have all that much weight on the front axle if you have a backhoe on the back - perhaps you just need more air in your front tires?

Rear mowers are preferred by a lot of people. I have a MMM personally. Thoughts on rear mowers are:
  • They put a lot of weight on the rear, depending on the machine you may need to mow with the loader on. I personally don't like doing this, as it makes the machine pitch a lot more - you now have a heavy weight way out the back and a heavy weight way out the front, and every bump makes you rock
  • They go really well for long pulls in a straight line, and you can get a wider RFM than you would get MMM. I always figure a given amount of HP can mow a certain number of acres per hour. That can be really fast with a narrow cut, or quite slow with a wide cut - but the amount of grass getting cut stays the same. Slow with a wide cut can be a lot more comfortable on your body than fast with a narrow cut
  • You can back a rear mower under things
  • Rear mowers swing funny, they're annoying along fence lines and around some obstacles
  • Rear mowers can be a disincentive to your significant other mowing. Depends on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing
  • The L2501 doesn't have a lot more power than the B2601. It's a big capacity engine tuned right down, so it has a lot of torque, but it won't mow much faster than a B, irrespective of being a rear mower. You could consider stepping into the L3302, which is a bit better machine and would pull a bigger mower, especially if you have hills - once you're lugging around the mower plus the loader plus a bigger tractor, you may need more power to mow at the same speed as the B did
The L would lift a lot more on the grapple. It would move more firewood. It would do ground engaging tasks a lot better (dirt work you mentioned), it would definitely pull a brush hog better so making trails would likely be better. It would be a bit less manoeuvrable, and quite a bit heavier if you ever need to trailer it.

I guess the question is whether any of the things you currently do you feel lacking on the B, other than the firewood you mention? One question is how big you need to go to comfortably lift a full IBC cage (or would a full IBC cage break - is it too much weight for the cage?) That might make your firewood process more efficient.
Yes my snow removal isn't substantial and thank you for the info on the rear mowers. I guess the only aspect I see where the B is lacking would be in moving full cages. I also wonder what setup would more easily lift full cages without going too big. I have both 275G and 330G. My B can move a 275 3/4 of the way full and a 330 about 1/2 full. The cages should not break unless very compromised.
 

Grindstone

Member

Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
40
18
CT
As I have had said before, I’ve not met him, but I believe Mr Matt is wise beyond his years.

Before you get too happy with the throttle, do you have enough machine to trailer a larger tractor (if that is a factor)? It doesn’t take much and stuff starts adding up weight wise.

Next, based off the tasks you describe a B will do them all. That being said if you are not living in tight quarters a bigger machine will make the work easier/safer IMO. I’ve gone from a BX to a B (still have and use daily/weekly but I did not get much in that upgrade IMO) and then I have have an MX. if I did not require the MMM I would not have the B. But I use it for everything (woods work/garden/landscape/mow/unloading and moving lots of pallets)at my residence and I don’t have much to mow but I use the tractor a lot…I wish it was a mid size L though. I think if going to upgrade double the size if you want to be overwhelmed. I think it is an easier decision if you don’t care so much about the PTO HP…then there are lots of choices in the L range. For the work/acreage you described you can very easily use an L or an Mx. I personally don’t like running.back and forth so much on my B and that does more damage to my trails and stuff than just making one or two trips with my MX IMO. So it sort of depends on how you like to do your work and what you consider an upgrade, if that is what you want to do. I also think it is helpful to size the machine to the work you like to do the way you like to do it…make the work easier and safer…we all have a process that works best for us, especially when it comes to wood…how much does your filled tote weigh? I think when it comes to lift capacity, take the stated amount and cut it in half for safe working IMO. I don’t think an L 25 is really going to lift much more than your B…it would certainly handle a load better than the B though….it only looks like a lot as a percentage…in reality not much more in terms of weight…has a better stance though. I think the L2501 is best dollar value of them all, I think the L4701 is a hell of a machine…it’s a nice blend of Weight/stance and lift capability.

That being said, if the heavy totes is the main issue, get a couple more totes and don’t fill so full…that’s a lot cheaper than my bright ideas above. If you feel like it is undersized for the work you do and the way you want to do, then I would question is the L2501 really going to make you happy.
Very good points, thank you. I really have no clue what a full tote weighs loaded with the green oak. Only know what i could lift by trial and error of loading until the B didn't want to move it anymore. I will have to do some math and figure out around what the totes weigh full.
 

rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
752
581
93
Ohio
Very good points, thank you. I really have no clue what a full tote weighs loaded with the green oak. Only know what i could lift by trial and error of loading until the B didn't want to move it anymore. I will have to do some math and figure out around what the totes weigh full.
You could take an estimate of the cube your are using and see how much of a cord you think you get in there…I put a chart with green weights for you below. I’d think you probably have less than a face cord in the tote…probably 1/2 - 2/3 of a face cord would be my rough guess….but I really am not sure…depends on tightly you stack them and actual volume used.
 

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TheOldHokie

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Equipment
L3901/LA525, B7200DT/B1630, G2160/RCK60, G2460/RCK60
Apr 6, 2021
2,804
1,279
113
Myersville, MD
Yes my snow removal isn't substantial and thank you for the info on the rear mowers. I guess the only aspect I see where the B is lacking would be in moving full cages. I also wonder what setup would more easily lift full cages without going too big. I have both 275G and 330G. My B can move a 275 3/4 of the way full and a 330 about 1/2 full. The cages should not break unless very compromised.
Assuming you have a LA434 loader you won't gain a lot - 430 kg vs 525 kg = roughly 200 pounds.

Dan
 
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Grindstone

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Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
40
18
CT
You could take an estimate of the cube your are using and see how much of a cord you think you get in there…I put a chart with green weights for you below. I’d think you probably have less than a face cord in the tote…probably 1/2 - 2/3 of a face cord would be my rough guess….but I really am not sure…depends on tightly you stack them and actual volume used.
Thank you.
 

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,897
706
113
West Central,FL
You could get a set of pallet forks that attached to the three point hitch. This would carry a little more weight than your front end loader. But it won’t give you much height.

The spec sheet on the B 2601 says the front and loader can lift roughly 950 pounds at the pins. Your three point hitch is rated at 1800 pounds. So if you were just transporting a tote you will have doubled your capacity. If you are using the loader to put the totes on a trailer or truck then you’d be SOL.
 

Grindstone

Member

Equipment
B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
87
40
18
CT
You could get a set of pallet forks that attached to the three point hitch. This would carry a little more weight than your front end loader. But it won’t give you much height.

The spec sheet on the B 2601 says the front and loader can lift roughly 950 pounds at the pins. Your three point hitch is rated at 1800 pounds. So if you were just transporting a tote you will have doubled your capacity. If you are using the loader to put the totes on a trailer or truck then you’d be SOL.
Good idea! Also laughed my a$$ off over the SOL comment. I just need to lift the totes high enough to move them from the splitting location to my storage area.