Time for tractor!?

K7G

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Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
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Aladamnbama
10 acres, mostly pines, none are too close since they were thinned out last year. Our house is in the middle, more or less, and the land falls away from south the north. Nothing too drastic but we do have erosion issues.

So, I need a small tractor that will help carve out a small ditch, line it with riprap, can help maintain our 330’ driveway with gravel and bush hog under the pines. I figure it’ll be about 350’ feet of ditch. Most of “it” is already there but there’s an area by my little shop where a defined ditch is needed. I’ve lined about 30’ already using a small lawn tractor, a small cart and my labor. At 65, I’m just not feeling the fun any longe. Lol

My shop doors are about 55” wide. If I can get a tractor into the shop, so much the better. A loader and a 4 or 5 foot bushhog would be great and a blade box would be a nice addition.

I’m retired so my budget is no more than $25,000. I’d like to add a grapple down the road so quick releases are a nice touch. I also don’t tend to get in a hurry. I enjoy being outdoors in the Deep South until the humidity exceeds the temperature.

I think I can forgo a trailer. When it needs to go to the dealer, I‘ll have to figure that out ie rent, borrow, dealer pickup, mobile service, etc. We’re in a rural location and it seems everyone has tractors and trailers. I refuse to borrow someone’s tractor but trailers are a different ask.

The LX2610 seems to be a good match for my needs and budget but, I don’t know what I don’t know. What other models should I consider?

Picture for attention. This is looking towards the northeast.
IMG_4585.jpeg
 
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PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,288
1,255
113
NZ
Would you mow with a MMM? If not, and if you're not looking at a cab, then an L may be a better choice (more machine for similar money). I think it'd still go in a 55 inch wide door (the website claims 55.1 inches wide). The LX is apparently 53.7 inches, which would be more comfortable width wise.

The LX is otherwise a good choice, and potentially a B would do most of what you describe. (In general terms the sizes go BX->B->LX->L. The L comes in two sizes - L02 series and L60 series aka Grand L, which are expensive and fancy).
 
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Staggerlee1976

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Equipment
LX2610, LA535 w/54"QA, LP 60" Box Scraper
May 28, 2023
12
24
3
Petaluma, CA
I initially started looking at the L, but found the operator station a bit spartan, even with the newer L02 series. I have a different use case, but so far I am very happy with my LX2610. However, be aware that the specs for width are for the R1 tires, not the R4 or R14. I have the larger version of the R4, and I think it's 58" or so. At any rate the track is much wider than my 54" loader bucket.
 
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K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
Would you mow with a MMM? If not, and if you're not looking at a cab, then an L may be a better choice (more machine for similar money). I think it'd still go in a 55 inch wide door (the website claims 55.1 inches wide). The LX is apparently 53.7 inches, which would be more comfortable width wise.

The LX is otherwise a good choice, and potentially a B would do most of what you describe. (In general terms the sizes go BX->B->LX->L. The L comes in two sizes - L02 series and L60 series aka Grand L, which are expensive and fancy).
I can’t imagine I’d use the MMM but, I was going to ask one of my buddies if his M70(something) has one and how he uses it. It seems to be aimed mostly at underbelly mowers or snowblowers?

I need to open the doors fully and take a better measurement. 55” was a quick measurement and 55.1” would probably pass muster and the doors.

I’ll take another pass at the L line which seems a bit more utilitarian than the LX line and I’ll look at the B series also. If I can reduce my spend, it’s a benefit to SWMBO.

Appreciate your input. It helps!
 

K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
I initially started looking at the L, but found the operator station a bit spartan, even with the newer L02 series. I have a different use case, but so far I am very happy with my LX2610. However, be aware that the specs for width are for the R1 tires, not the R4 or R14. I have the larger version of the R4, and I think it's 58" or so. At any rate the track is much wider than my 54" loader bucket.
I caught that the specs was for the R1 and planned to ask the dealer for the R14 measurements. If it’s > 58”, it’s certainly too wide for the doors. I haven’t ruled out adding a three wall and roof addition to my shop. The shop is 24’ wide by 36’ deep with 24x24 enclosed. I’d hate to park it on the “porch” where it’s visible but on the far side with a roof and three sides would work and keep it out-of-sight. That’s a project I’d be comfortable doing. MrsK7G….not so much. Lol

I’ll try and visit our local dealer and check them out. Appreciate your input.
 
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PaulL

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Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,288
1,255
113
NZ
I have a B2601, and it's plenty of tractor for the tasks I do. The step from a BX to a B is a big one, from a B to an LX is less big. It's material, but not night and day. The price is also not all that different though.

The mid-PTO can run two main things - a mid mount mower (aka belly mower) or a front snow blower. You say Deep South, so I guess no snow blowing. An M series doesn't have a mid-PTO, it's only the BX, B, LX and the Grand L (and the Grand L doesn't take a belly mower, it's only for snow blowing or mounting a front broom or the like).

I use my MMM for a lot of stuff on my B, and for moving around trees and narrow spaces I find it easier than a rear mounted mower. They're reasonably heavy duty, so if you're mowing between your trees often it may be all you need.

If you are going with a bush hog then you'd want a reasonably small one (looking at your tree spacing), so a B may be all you need there as well. You should also consider a flail, which sits sort of halfway between a finish mower and a bush hog - and importantly they sit much closer to the back of your tractor, so they're easier to swing between trees.
or
gives good info.

If you're getting a grapple you may want to consider getting the third function valve installed when you buy, and as you mentioned get the quick attach. I don't think it's dramatically more expensive to get the third function installed later when you get the grapple, but there is some benefit in not having the tractor in the shop twice. Personally if I was getting a grapple I'd get it up front, then the dealer has to make the fittings match.

I agree on trailer. I can trailer mine, but I've only had it to the shop once, and that was just because I decided to have them do the first service for me. Servicing is pretty easy, no real reason not to do it yourself, and I did the second service myself.
 

GrizBota

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Equipment
L3830HST/LA724, B2601/LA435/RCK54-32, RCR1872, CDI 66”grapple, pallet forks
Apr 26, 2023
1,154
735
113
Oregon
I think a B might do what you want. I’ve got a B and an L. I have some sloped ground with trees as well. The L with a brush hog will eat just about anything if you go slow enough. But the BH hanging of the back makes it pretty long and you’ll hit a lot of trees with the rear swing in a turn getting the hang of it. The B with a mid mount mower sure makes it look nice and will get tighter to the trees. You say you had it thinned? If there are stumps left, even if only 4 inches high, you’ll be hitting those with whatever you mow with. After 27 years, most of my stumps have rotted away. But it sure make’s the equipment and me unhappy when we hit a competent stump, no matter how short.
 

K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
I have a B2601, and it's plenty of tractor for the tasks I do. The step from a BX to a B is a big one, from a B to an LX is less big. It's material, but not night and day. The price is also not all that different though.

The mid-PTO can run two main things - a mid mount mower (aka belly mower) or a front snow blower. You say Deep South, so I guess no snow blowing. An M series doesn't have a mid-PTO, it's only the BX, B, LX and the Grand L (and the Grand L doesn't take a belly mower, it's only for snow blowing or mounting a front broom or the like).

I use my MMM for a lot of stuff on my B, and for moving around trees and narrow spaces I find it easier than a rear mounted mower. They're reasonably heavy duty, so if you're mowing between your trees often it may be all you need.

If you are going with a bush hog then you'd want a reasonably small one (looking at your tree spacing), so a B may be all you need there as well. You should also consider a flail, which sits sort of halfway between a finish mower and a bush hog - and importantly they sit much closer to the back of your tractor, so they're easier to swing between trees.
or
gives good info.

If you're getting a grapple you may want to consider getting the third function valve installed when you buy, and as you mentioned get the quick attach. I don't think it's dramatically more expensive to get the third function installed later when you get the grapple, but there is some benefit in not having the tractor in the shop twice. Personally if I was getting a grapple I'd get it up front, then the dealer has to make the fittings match.

I agree on trailer. I can trailer mine, but I've only had it to the shop once, and that was just because I decided to have them do the first service for me. Servicing is pretty easy, no real reason not to do it yourself, and I did the second service myself.
Thanks bud. Appreciat your input. No snow here…well, maybe every 30 years and it’s gone in a day or two. No MMM needed - if I had a tractor, I’d leave the mower on the little JD.

Just happened: We’re sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee. MrsK7 just said, “Go buy the tractor.“

Anyway, agreed on the third function and grapple.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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B2650, MX6000, Ford 8N, (BX sold)
Sep 13, 2021
2,188
2,532
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Ohio
If there is not need for the mid PTO, with your described budget cap, if an L could be finagled, that’d be much more tractor for the $$…I’m not sure the width on L25s, but it might be worth pricing them. I think the extra weight and stance of an L (if it fits in the barn) will be helpful with your described tasks. But I think a BX or B would do them as well. Basic Ls are a little simpler and a little more machine that the features on the BX and Bs IMO. In that size/price range I think it is sort of comparing features vs capability….either way between the three the differences are in the margins. Good luck.
 
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The Evil Twin

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L2501, LA526,
Jul 19, 2022
2,519
2,489
113
Virginia
If there is not need for the mid PTO, with your described budget cap, if an L could be finagled, that’d be much more tractor for the $$…I’m not sure the width on L25s, but it might be worth pricing them. I think the extra weight and stance of an L (if it fits in the barn) will be helpful with your described tasks. But I think a BX or B would do them as well. Basic Ls are a little simpler and a little more machine that the features on the BX and Bs IMO. In that size/price range I think it is sort of comparing features Bs capability….either way between the three the differences are in the margins. Good luck.
100%
When I bought, and have no need for a MMM, the price difference was nominal to go to the L.
Be aware, though. The L will not fit through a 55" door. Not with the R4 tires anyway. Don't know about R1s. Also, the bucket is 60 something inches.
My advice- get one larger than you think you'll need. Then use it to build an equipment shed 😉 You'll want a place to store implements and stuff anyway. May as well.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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B2650, MX6000, Ford 8N, (BX sold)
Sep 13, 2021
2,188
2,532
113
Ohio
100%
When I bought, and have no need for a MMM, the price difference was nominal to go to the L.
Be aware, though. The L will not fit through a 55" door. Not with the R4 tires anyway. Don't know about R1s. Also, the bucket is 60 something inches.
My advice- get one larger than you think you'll need. Then use it to build an equipment shed 😉 You'll want a place to store implements and stuff anyway. May as well.
Yep….I really needed an L when I got the BX and the B for that matter, but the mid PTO (mmm) was the priority. Looking back I would have been better off to get the L from the jump and a rear cutter and either a small riding mower or just do extra trimming…it would not have been that many places it would not fit. In the bucket width, just remember if it has SSQA, the bucket could be left outside very easily. There is nothing wrong with some proper orange yard art.
 
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K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
I think a B might do what you want. I’ve got a B and an L. I have some sloped ground with trees as well. The L with a brush hog will eat just about anything if you go slow enough. But the BH hanging of the back makes it pretty long and you’ll hit a lot of trees with the rear swing in a turn getting the hang of it. The B with a mid mount mower sure makes it look nice and will get tighter to the trees. You say you had it thinned? If there are stumps left, even if only 4 inches high, you’ll be hitting those with whatever you mow with. After 27 years, most of my stumps have rotted away. But it sure make’s the equipment and me unhappy when we hit a competent stump, no matter how short.
I don’t plan on getting a BH. I needed it for the line going to the shop but I got someone to do that. FWIW, I laid the line myself and filled it in by hand. Also made the connections on both ends after wiring the shop. As I told a friend, I triple-checked everything twice.

Yep, lots of stumps. I had piles of limbs as large as a city bus. The original plan was to burn them but that would have taken weeks. I had them mulched down and opened up a little more land at the same time.

In between this post and the last one, MrsK7 walked around and I explained the little projects. Now it’d be worth my time to build a small spreadsheet (cough/nerd/cough) and highlight the differences between the BX, B, LX and L models under 25 hp. I understand the X indicates a lighter version of essentially the same model but I want to insure I don’t miss something.

Then, I’ll visit my buddy and bounce my choices off of him to narrow down the field. There are a couple of incentives available that makes cash worthwhile but zero percent is nice also.

Step 1 is to measure the shop doors wide open.

(to be continue & sincerely, thanks for the input. Still open to your learned thoughts!)
 
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The Evil Twin

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L2501, LA526,
Jul 19, 2022
2,519
2,489
113
Virginia
Yep….I really needed an L when I got the BX and the B for that matter, but the mid PTO (mmm) was the priority. Looking back I would have been better off to get the L from the jump and a rear cutter and either a small riding mower or just do extra trimming…it would not have been that many places it would not fit. In the bucket width, just remember if it has SSQA, the bucket could be left outside very easily. There is nothing wrong with some proper orange yard art.
True on the QA bucket. For me, it wouldn't be bad initially. I could see it getting old to have to take it off every time.
So far as yard art- a house around here has a raised planter made out of an old mining wheel bucket. It's not orange but it is cool!
 

Elliott in GA

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Equipment
LX 2610SU w/535,LP RCR1860,FDR1660,SGC0554,FSP500, DD BBX60005
Mar 10, 2021
674
655
93
North Georgia
Like me, you do not have a use for a mid-PTO; you should consider the LX2610 SU. It is the same price (MSRP) as the 25HP B2601, but it is a slightly bigger machine with a little more capacity.

Choosing the SU, you give up the better seat (a ~$600 direct switch out / I am happy with the standard seat), cruise control (you add it back if you need it / I do not) and tilt steering wheel (cannot be added / again I do not care). The SU will come with the bigger tires - better traction and more stable.

The L2502 HST is ~$1,500 more (MSRP). For me, the deal breaker on the L25 was the location of the loader control (have to reach out to the stick versus next to your hip); you may not care.

Just some things to consider.
 
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K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
Yep….I really needed an L when I got the BX and the B for that matter, but the mid PTO (mmm) was the priority. Looking back I would have been better off to get the L from the jump and a rear cutter and either a small riding mower or just do extra trimming…it would not have been that many places it would not fit. In the bucket width, just remember if it has SSQA, the bucket could be left outside very easily. There is nothing wrong with some proper orange yard art.
We live about 20 min outside of Auburn/Opelika AL. Proper orange yard art is not only nice but it’s also nearly a requirement.
 
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K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
Like me, you do not have a use for a mid-PTO; you should consider the LX2610 SU. It is the same price (MSRP) as the 25HP B2601, but it is a slightly bigger machine with a little more capacity.

Choosing the SU, you give up the better seat (a ~$600 direct switch out / I am happy with the standard seat), cruise control (you add it back if you need it / I do not) and tilt steering wheel (cannot be added / again I do not care). The SU will come with the bigger tires - better traction and more stable.

The L2502 HST is ~$1,500 more (MSRP). For me, the deal breaker on the L25 was the location of the loader control (have to reach out to the stick versus next to your hip); you may not care.

Just some things to consider.
Consider it …considered. I was aware of that model and you addressed the differences. I’ll add it to the sheet. At 6’2” with long arms, it may not matter but a butt in a seat will help with that decision. Can’t do everything on paper. Greatly appreciated.
 

K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
Oh yeah, flail mower: while the large limbs were picked up, there’s still a lot of small stuff out there. 99.9% is less than an inch in diameter and most of it is probably “soft”. What would those do to a flail mower? Is a bush hog a better tool at least initially?
 

The Evil Twin

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501, LA526,
Jul 19, 2022
2,519
2,489
113
Virginia
For reference, I took some quick measurements. They are not exact.
Tractor with R4s sidewall to sidewall on the rear: 62"
Bucket on the 526 loader: 67"
 

Elliott in GA

Well-known member

Equipment
LX 2610SU w/535,LP RCR1860,FDR1660,SGC0554,FSP500, DD BBX60005
Mar 10, 2021
674
655
93
North Georgia
Oh yeah, flail mower: while the large limbs were picked up, there’s still a lot of small stuff out there. 99.9% is less than an inch in diameter and most of it is probably “soft”. What would those do to a flail mower? Is a bush hog a better tool at least initially?
If you have not seen it, the Messick's video should give you some useful information.


I fall into the camp that says a flail (suitable for a compact tractor) is not a substitute for a rotary cutter. I have a rotary cutter and a finish mower; each has a purpose. A flail can do some of the work of each. I would never use a flail to clear/re-claim some of the areas that my rotary cutter cut - the rocks and big sticks would have been a serious problem. With my rotary cutter set to 5-6 inch cut height, I heard lots of noise, but I never had any damage (my blades have some dings). A rotary cutter is also much less expensive.
 
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K7G

Active member

Equipment
L2501HST, LA526 w/ L2248, BB1260, RCR1860, EA Disc Harrow
May 29, 2023
76
111
33
Aladamnbama
For reference, I took some quick measurements. They are not exact.
Tractor with R4s sidewall to sidewall on the rear: 62"
Bucket on the 526 loader: 67"
Thanks you for doing that. I measured the shop doors and they’re a half inch short of 5’. Not exact either but close enough to your measurements to say, “it won’t fit.”


If you have not seen it, the Messick's video should give you some useful information.


I fall into the camp that says a flail (suitable for a compact tractor) is not a substitute for a rotary cutter. I have a rotary cutter and a finish mower; each has a purpose. A flail can do some of the work of each. I would never use a flail to clear/re-claim some of the areas that my rotary cutter cut - the rocks and big sticks would have been a serious problem. With my rotary cutter set to 5-6 inch cut height, I heard lots of noise, but I never had any damage (my blades have some dings). A rotary cutter is also much less expensive.
Just sitting down at the computer so I’ll watch it now. I noted your comments also. We do have some rocks. Mostly quartz or, interestingly enough, mica in one spot. The mica always makes me think that I hit glass.
 
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